December 9, 2023


education gives you strength

Jobs outlook for central Ohio much weaker than a year ago

A help wanted sign hangs on the door of a Target store last week in Uniontown, Pa. [Gene J. Puskar/ASSOCIATED PRESS]

© Provided by The Columbus Dispatch
A help wanted sign hangs on the door of a Target store last week in Uniontown, Pa. [Gene J. Puskar/ASSOCIATED PRESS]

Manpower’s quarterly jobs outlook for central Ohio this fall is much weaker than during the same period last year.

Blame the coronavirus pandemic and the damage it has done to the economy.

The survey, released Tuesday, shows that 15% of employers expect to hire in the final three months of 2020, while 10% say they’ll cut staff. Of the rest, 72% will keep staffing where it is and 3% are unsure.


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The five-point spread between hiring and firing is 26 points below where it was a year ago, when central Ohio had the strongest hiring outlook in the country among the 100 biggest metro areas and the weakest outlook among Ohio’s big metro areas.

Dayton has the strongest outlook with a 14-point spread between hiring and firing. For the state, that spread is eight points.

Among the big metro areas in Ohio, only Cincinnati has a better outlook than it did a year ago.

Columbus is getting stronger, said Dylan Atherton, Manpower’s market manager for central Ohio.

“Things are looking up,” he said. “It’s just taking longer to get that to point.”

The good news for workers is that companies looking to hire for the holidays are boosting pay to lure people, he said. Manpower has even heard from clients needing workers that haven’t reached out in a couple of years, he said.

“Everybody is going to be competing for the same workforce,” Atherton said.

Nationally, employers tell Manpower that the recovery will take longer than initially thought.

Only 36% of employers expect to return to pre-pandemic hiring levels within a year as opposed to the 66% of employers who responded that way when asked in April.

The report identifies retail, private education, health care and transportation as among the sectors that should do well this fall in Columbus. Professional and business services and a catch-all category called other services are expected to see a decline in payrolls.

Manufacturing is expected to be a mixed bag, with some parts expected to cut staff while others will be flat.

Hiring in construction, finance, leisure and hospitality, and government is expected to be unchanged during the quarter.

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