Team NEO Reports Regional Workforce Nearing Pre-Recession Mark

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In the 12 years since the start of the Great Recession, the economy of northeastern Ohio has added jobs, become more productive and grown more diverse, according to the Team NEO quarterly economic review released Monday.

“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 in a statement. “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 review found that the 18-county region – which includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties – employs 1.94 million people, a figure closing in on pre-recession levels of 2.05 million workers in 2007.

The report also found that the region’s top 10 sectors have surpassed their 2007 employment levels, including the health-care field, which has expanded 13% with the addition of nearly 38,000 jobs. The industry has grown nearly 20%, or $3.8 billion, since 2007.

Productivity, meanwhile, has surpassed the 2007 rate by 9%, ahead of the national growth rate of 7% in the same time period.

“Going forward, an emphasis on the need for the region to continue to diversify will be important to NEO’s resilience in future downturns,” the report said. “One area where the economy has seen meaningful improvement since the economic low point in 2010 is productivity growth, particularly in sectors like manufacturing.”

And, the Team NEO report found, average wage growth in up 25% since 2007, behind the national average of 32%.

The full report can be read here

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