Midwest cities such as Columbus, Ohio, have had some of the most resilient job markets during the pandemic.
Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Cincinnati joined Columbus as having among the lowest unemployment rates of 51 major metro areas at the end of last year, on the unadjusted basis the Labor Department uses to rank cities. That placed the heartland cities well ahead of tech and financial powerhouses such as San Francisco and Boston.
Economists said Columbus and other Midwest cities that are faring relatively well benefited from a diverse economy that includes a larger-than-average concentration of white-collar workers who could shift to remote work during the pandemic. They also have less reliance on tourism compared with other large metro areas, relatively low population densities, and their overall Covid-19 caseloads haven’t been as severe as some hardest-hit parts of the country.
“In the case of this particular crisis, the stars are aligned for these places,” said Sarah Crane, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “They basically have low exposure to the most damaged parts of the economy.”
Benjamin Gibbs, co-founder and chief executive of Ready Robotics, which makes software that runs robots from multiple manufacturers, moved his startup to Columbus from Baltimore three years ago, despite advice from Bay Area venture capital funds that the company needed to move to the West Coast to thrive.
Source: WSJ – US News