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Ohio's Unemployment, Housing Performance Analyzed

Zillow • Aug 27, 2014 at 3:13 PM

By S.E. Slack Wondering how much farther Ohio has to go until it has fully recovered from the Great Recession? A new study has some answers, which include both good and bad news for Ohio cities. Employment is generally up, but housing still has a long uphill road ahead.

Metro Monitor tracked Ohio’s performance in jobs, unemployment, gross product and home prices over three time periods: The recession, the recovery, and the full course of the recession from the pre-recession period to most recent quarter.

In Toledo, for example, unemployment scraped the bottom of the barrel in the second quarter of 2009 and has been generally improving since that point. Akron reached a similar point in the last quarter of 2009; Columbus followed during the first quarter of 2010.

Housing gave equally poor showings in each of those three metro areas. Metro Monitor states that Toledo’s housing market hit bottom – so far – during the second quarter of 2013. It last peaked during the first quarter of 2005. As of September 2013, the Toledo housing market tanked nearly 35 percent from its 2005 high.

In Akron, the housing market is displaying nearly matching qualities. From its peak in the first quarter of 2005 to its most recent low during the second quarter of this year, the housing market has dropped more than 29 percent.

It took Columbus almost another two years to reach the housing market bottom and it is still performing much better than the other two cities. Still, housing has dropped almost 22 percent from the highs experienced during the first quarter of 2005.

Ohio’s ups and downs mirror the nation. Study authors Alec Friendhoff and Siddharth Kulkarni said that while the nation continues to post positive economic numbers in the long march to recovery, full recovery is still far off.

The United States remains 1.9 million jobs short of its pre-recession employment level, even as housing market news points to a broad-based, solid recovery. And while some areas of the country, such as Detroit, continue to attract housing investors for its perennially poor housing market, other markets continue to post slow gains.

It’s not the best news one could hope for, but it does show upward trends that, if continued, do point to eventual recovery instead of another crash.

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