With businesses hiring, Columbus area unemployment rate falls to 5% in March

The Columbus area added 6,500 jobs in March as central Ohio's unemployment rate fell to 5%.

Central Ohio’s unemployment rate fell in March as employers slowly bring back the jobs that were lost during the early days of the pandemic.

The region’s unemployment rate fell to 5% from 5.4%, according to data released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The rate was 4.7% a year ago.

Cincinnati posted the lowest unemployment rate in March among the state’s metro areas at 4.2%. Cleveland had the next lowest rate at 4.9%.

The Columbus area added 6,500 jobs in March, led by a gain of 2,100 leisure and hospitality jobs, the hardest hit sector of the economy. The professional and business services sector and the government sector added 1,900 jobs apiece last month.

Though the unemployment rate is higher than Cincinnati and Cleveland, Columbus is bringing back jobs faster than its counterparts.

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