Thirty Years of Change
What do you remember from the 1990s? While the decade may bring back memories of fashion disasters (think leggings, scrunchies and designer overalls – just to name a few) it was also a period of transition for Northeast Ohio. Fashion trends aside, the Northeast Ohio of the 1990s has changed significantly from the one that exists today, and the one that we expect to see in 2020. As detailed in Team NEO’s latest Quarterly Economic Review, Northeast Ohio’s economy has become more diversified, adding jobs across a number of sectors. What is more, this trend is expected to continue in the years ahead, leading to strong job growth in the region by 2020.
In its recent Quarterly Economic Review, Team NEO examines economic trends from 1990 – 2020, looking at how the region’s economic landscape has changed and what we can expect for the future. While manufacturing dominated Northeast Ohio’s economy in 1990, representing 23 percent of the region’s total employment, today it represents just 14 percent. Despite the drop, manufacturing is still playing a vital role in the region’s economy, producing roughly the same amount of goods as what was produced two decades ago. In contrast to 1990, today’s manufacturing industry is more advanced, employing more skilled laborers with starting salaries ranging from $45,000 - $50,000. Many of these jobs require advanced training as opposed to the unskilled positions that were available in the 1990s.
While the region’s reliance on manufacturing has shifted, Northeast Ohio has experienced growth in an array of diverse industries, leading to a more resilient economy. From 1990 – 2012, Northeast Ohio has seen a 55 percent increase in healthcare employment, adding some 107,000 jobs. In addition, professional, scientific and technical services jobs increased by 27 percent. Ultimately, growth across these sectors has created a more diverse economy, which helps explain how the region has begun to recover from the latest economic recession at a rate more in line with the rest of the nation. In fact, Northeast Ohio’s unemployment rate continues to remain below the national average, an encouraging sign for the entire region.
Perhaps even more importantly, as Team NEO explains in its report, nearly every sector in the region is expected to grow between now and 2020. The healthcare sector is projected to add 40,000 jobs; finance 8,000 jobs; professional, scientific and technical services 12,000 jobs; and construction 12,000 jobs. Over this 30-year period (1990-2020), it is estimated that employment in Northeast Ohio will increase by eight percent, or nearly 150,000 workers.
Just as our fashion sense has come a long way since 1990, so too has our economy. Still rooted in manufacturing, today Northeast Ohio boasts a more diverse economy, propelled by growing industries like healthcare. The region’s ability to diversify its economy has helped weather the most recent economic recession, especially when compared to recessions of previous decades. While Northeast Ohio’s recovery lagged behind much of the country in previous economic downturns, the region is steadily keeping pace, and in many cases is outperforming much of the nation. This is very encouraging as Northeast Ohio looks ahead to its next 30 years of growth and success.
For more on Team NEO’s report, follow the links below.
+Team NEO predicts strong job growth in Northeast Ohio by 2020
+Plus Review Q3 2012