northeastern ohio manufacturing rebounds

Team NEO Charts Racial Disparities in Workforce

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A new Team NEO report outlines the impact racial disparities in northeastern Ohio has on the region’s economy  

Team NEO, a regional business and economic development organization, released “Misaligned Opportunities: How Racial Inequities Lead to Skills Gaps in Northeast Ohio” Monday. It can read HERE

Non-White people – including Black people, Hispanic people, Asian people and multiracial people – represent about 23% of the region’s population, but are underrepresented in several fields, including management and construction, while overrepresented in others, such as service jobs.  

“We hope this report can be used as a starting point to inform local conversations on how racial inequities lead to talent gaps in northeast Ohio, and influence solutions that we, as a region, can implement to effect positive change,” said Team NEO’s CEO, Bill Koehler, in the introduction to the report. 

“The objective of this research is to better define the challenge and inspire solutions that will positively impact both personal and regional economic growth.”  added Jacob Duritsky, vice president of strategy and research for Team NEO.

A series of charts in the report outlines the inequities experienced by Black and Hispanic people. While 35% of White people in the region have a bachelor’s degree or above, just 23% of Black people and Hispanic people do. White people account for 71% of postsecondary completions in in-demand industries, compared with 11% for Black people and 4% for Hispanic people. 

Black people and Hispanic people are disproportionately underrepresented in many in-demand occupations. Black people represent just 5% of general and operations managers and Hispanic people, 2%. White people hold 91% of those positions. White people make up 84% of web developers, compared to Black people (5%) and Hispanic people (4%). 

Unemployment among both groups is double or more that of White people. White unemployment is 5%, compared with a 10% rate for Hispanic people and 12% for Black people. Median household income for Black people is $30,403 in the region, compared to $44,356 for Hispanic people and $55,687 for White people.

Further, minority-owned businesses represent just 15% of businesses in northeastern Ohio, and account for just 6% of firms with paid employees. 

Asian people, who represent 2% of the region’s population, outperform White people and other racial minorities, with an unemployment rate of 2%, 64% having a bachelor’s degree or above and median household income of $79,844.  

The report also outlines regional efforts to boost educational attainment and equity, including the IT Workforce Accelerator that Youngstown State University and IBM launched to better align the workforce with in-demand industry jobs.     

“The message is clear that economic success has not been equitable for all members of our community, particularly people of color,” Koehler said. “We hope this report can be used as a starting point to inform conversations on how racial inequities lead to talent gaps in Northeast Ohio, and to influence solutions that we, as a region, can implement to effect positive change.”   

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.