Greater Cleveland, Ohio (which includes Cleveland and the outlying suburbs) has actually been doing an admirable job of adding employment opportunities for people out of work, even in a weak economic recovery. Unfortunately, the jobs that people are getting pay less than they did before the economic downfall.
According to the Brookings Institution’s MetroMonitor, which is a project measuring economic performance in the 100 largest metro areas of the United States, while the Cleveland-Elyra-Mentor area gained jobs in the first quarter of 2011, economic output in the area fell. This a common trend in the economic recovery patterns over and over again, in many areas.
The report showed that Cleveland ranked second in terms of places that have brought down their unemployment rate, but is still struggling in economic output (the value of goods and serviced produced in the region). Part of the problem is how productivity is measured. Manufacturing jobs get higher points on the productivity scale because they pay more than lower paying service jobs. Manufacturing is a key post-recession job growth factor in Ohio and neighboring states.
Local experts say that there is still reason for hope. Early figures show that the Cleveland area continued to add obs during the second quarter of 2011, including jobs in the business and professional sector, which are also higher paying jobs. Cleveland has a very large medical professional community due to the many high level hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals systems. In many ways, the medical industry is what is driving much of Cleveland’s economic growth and stability, and creating jobs for people that will eventually turn into home buyers as they settle in the Cleveland area.