Employment in the Cleveland Metropolitan Area

Article excerpt

The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had 2.14 million residents in 2003, making it Ohio's most populous MSA. Over the past year, Cleveland has lost 0.2% of its total employment, compared to the nation's 1.6% gain. The MSA's employment growth trailed the nation's in every industry but leisure and hospitality. And, although manufacturing employment growth in the Cleveland MSA has been improving, it lost 0.5% over the year, exceeding the U.S. loss of 0.3%.

Cleveland's employment composition differs from the U.S. in several respects: In the MSA, manufacturing's share of total employment was 1.3 times larger than in the U.S., but the share of jobs in the information and the natural resources, mining, and construction industries was far smaller than in the U.S.

Perhaps Cleveland's industrial composition of employment, which is heavily weighted in manufacturing, has hampered its total employment growth over the last business cycle.

Breaking down employment growth by component reveals that manufacturing has had a negative effect in each of the last five years. It subtracted 1.4% from total jobs growth in 2001, 1.6% in 2002, and 0.8% in 2003. During the same period, the education, health, leisure, government, and other services industries made positive contributions to total employment growth, except in 2003.

Part of Cleveland's weak overall employment growth also results from its slow population growth. The MSA's population growth generally has mirrored the nation's but has trailed it by an average of 1.1% since 1980. Since 1997, the MSA has been losing residents.

The MSA's low or negative population growth may also contribute to its relatively high office and rental vacancy rates. …