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Tracking Ohio's Economy: Unemployment rate expected to fall in 2021

Posted at 5:46 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 19:08:21-05

CLEVELAND — Thanks to stimulus checks, the vaccine rollout, and the easing of pandemic restrictions, experts say some parts of our economy continues to barrel forward at a record pace, while others still show signs of the pandemic slowdown.

On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted touted the Ohio Tax credit Authority's approval for tax credit assistance to aid Rocket Mortgage's downtown Cleveland expansion plans.

"This is great news for the city of Cleveland," he said. "Currently, they have 721 people employed in Cleveland and they’ll be adding another 630."

In a release, it details how Rocket Mortgage considered several cities for its expansion.

Bill Adams serves as the senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

"This pandemic has had the fastest recovery from the deepest downturn on record," he said. "We’ve come a long way compared to where we were a year ago."

Adams told News 5 some industries, such as housing and manufacturing continue to excel, while others, such as tourism and energy, are slower to recover.

“Those sectors are less important parts of the Cleveland economy than they are the national economy so that’s helping Cleveland get through this economic downturn without more damage to its economy," he explained.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in northeast Ohio sits at 6.2%. Exactly one year ago, the unemployment rate was close to a record low at 3.5%.

During the peak of the pandemic, the unemployment rate in northeast Ohio stood at 22.4%.

"We think the unemployment rate can fall further in 2021 and 2022," Adams added.

December is usually the slowest month for the housing market, but home prices in 20 U.S. cities including Cleveland rose at the fastest pace in seven years.

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index shows prices climbed more than 10% from a year earlier, marking the biggest year-end jump since April 2014.

"The last two economic downturns, we had a much harder time than the rest of the country because manufacturing was hit so hard," Adams said. "This time, Ohio is tracking with the rest of the country overall. It’s a sign we’re doing better than we have historically."