Industry Diversification is Key in Northeast Ohio

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Team NEO’s research provides insights into Great Recession Recovery

Northeast Ohio’s regional economy has steadily added jobs, increased productivity and become more diversified since the Great Recession, according to the Quarterly Economic Review (QER) released by Team NEO. The report, made possible with generous support from Fifth Third Bank, examines the progress made since the Great Recession and indicates this diversification is key to the region’s resilience in future downturns.

“In the past 18 months, half of our projects were concentrated in diversifying sectors such as health care, professional services, information technology and aerospace,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “While this diversification is critical, advanced manufacturing continues to play an important role in our economy and we continue to see companies add jobs and make capital investment in this sector.”

The Quarterly Economic Review reports that Northeast Ohio’s 18-county regional workforce of 1.94 million people is now nearing pre-recession levels. However, it’s important to note that Northeast Ohio had not fully recovered from the 2001 recession before entering the 2007 recession. Employment was down 4% heading into the Great Recession, from 2.13 million workers in 2001 to 2.05 million workers in 2007.

Other key findings from Team NEO’s research team include:

  • Industries from the top 10 sectors that have recovered and surpassed their 2007 employment levels include:
    • Health care, which has grown by almost 38,000 workers, or 13%
    • Management of companies and enterprises has seen an increase of more than 10,000 employees, representing 26% growth
  • Health Care and Professional Scientific and Technical Services Output Grows
    • Health care has grown nearly 20%, or 3.8 billion
    • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services has grown by $2.3 billion, almost 22%
    • Oil and gas grew 525% due to potential of the Utica and shale deposits here
  • Productivity Surpasses Great Recession Rate
    • Northeast Ohio’s productivity rate has fully recovered and surpassed 2007’s rate by 9%, compared to the U.S. growth rate of 7% for the same time period
  • 25% Net Wage Growth
    • Average wage growth in Northeast Ohio since 2007 is 25%, slightly trailing the national average of 32%

Team NEO publishes the Quarterly Economic Review to provide a holistic picture of what is and is not working across Northeast Ohio’s regional economy, representing the 15th largest market in the United States. It is the only regular source of collective economic data and insights for the 18-county region. Team NEO’s insights serve to inform conversations around opportunities presented and influence solutions for challenges the data reveal. View previous Quarterly Economic Reviews.

Team NEO uses Moody’s Economy.com, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and Ohio’s Labor Marketing Information to aggregate regional figures.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people.