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Economy and Business

Region's economy is slowly improving, and the future could be brighter
Report shows healthcare, paint and construction are big drivers

Kevin Niedermier
The 18-county Northeast Ohio region should see slow but steady economic growth according to business attraction organization Team NEO.
Courtesy of Team NEO
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In The Region:
Slow-but-steady improvement with positive indicators for the future. Those are the findings of the most recent economic report for Northeast Ohio from Team NEO, the region’s business attraction organization.

In the first quarter of 2013, the 18-county region’s unemployment rate was 8 percent. That’s higher than the state’s overall rate, and than the average national rate of 7.7 percent. But Team NEO CEO Tom Waltermire says the region’s unemployment rate is now two-tenth’s of a percent lower than last year at this time, thanks to gradual improvement in a variety of industries.

Paint, autos and healthcare big job producers

“Manufacturing is increasing slightly thanks to the resurgence of the auto industry. Service employment is doing better. And there’s a big improvement in construction jobs. In the long-term, medical device manufacturing and aerospace will do well. But the fasting growing industry in Northeast Ohio is coating and specialty chemicals. In construction, there are big booms in downtown Cleveland and Kent, and hospitals across the region are expanding.”

Thousands of new jobs expected in the next 10 years

Waltermire says over the next 10 years, Northeast Ohio should generate about 150,000 new jobs.

“That’s about the same as the number of unemployed people we have in the region. But we may have a shortage of skilled people to fill all those positions. Most of these jobs will be in healthcare and production, followed by business, management and finance.”

To help meet the demand for these new positions, Waltermire says businesses need to be more aggressive in publicizing the kinds of jobs they need filled, and the skills those jobs require. That way, local colleges and universities will know where to focus their curricula to train future Northeast Ohio employees.

Here is the new report by Team NEO on the 2012 economic picture of Northeast Ohio:

Related Links & Resources
Team NEO

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