Largest year-over-year job growth since 1997 and 4th highest gain in the nation
A new report produced by Cleveland State University’s Center for Population Dynamics highlights the ongoing economic and community revival currently taking place in the greater Cleveland region. The center’s latest trend study, released today, shows that from 2014 to 2015, Greater Cleveland experienced its largest year-over-year job growth since 1997, a gain of over 23 thousand jobs. This ranks fourth out of 15 benchmark regions nationally.
During the same time period, the Greater Cleveland unemployment rate decreased by 21 percent, from 5.6 percent to 4.4 percent, ranking third nationally. The leading job growth sectors identified were education and healthcare, leisure and hospitality, construction, and finance.
“The data highlights the continued recovery of the Cleveland economy following the 2008 Great Recession, as well as the transformation of our economic makeup from one dominated by manufacturing to a diversified portfolio of industries,” sayss Richey Piiparinen, director of the Center for Population Dynamics.
The report notes that education and healthcare have now become the key export industry in the region, experiencing 3.8 percent job growth from 2014-15 ranking third nationally. Furthermore, payroll in the “eds and meds” sector is currently at $8.5 billion, up nearly $2 billion since 2001, while the average hospital employee in Greater Cleveland makes $61,200 annually, up from $50,000 in 2002. Cleveland also ranked first in the growth of both construction and finance jobs with 12.6 and 5.7 percent increases respectively.
The report does note that additional policies need to be put in place to continue this growth and create a supportive infrastructure that can further drive Cleveland’s economic transformation.
“Given the growing prominence healthcare will play in society, strategic thinking must be given as to how the Cleveland region’s tradable professional services can begin specializing in ‘know-how’ related to the healthcare industry—be it legal, finance, education, or technology,” adds Piiparinen. “This was a key factor in the growth of Cleveland’s ‘white collar’ workforce on the backs of heavy industry, and can occur in partnership with the region’s “white coat” industry as well. By accelerating broader growth in the region’s competitive tradable sectors, we can improve our overall economic health and spur additional job growth.”
Read the report.