CLEVELAND — An economic recovery is on the way for Northeast Ohio, according to a new report from Team NEO, an economic development agency in Cleveland.
The report shows the gross domestic product which was lost last year is projected to fully recover this year, while employment may not approach full recovery until 2025. Still, the agency said, this should give the region a renewed sense of optimism as these numbers show a much better sign than previous projections.
"Three months ago, we thought maybe half the economy would see job gains. Now, it's about 90% of the economy projected to see job gains," said Jacob Duritsky, the Vice President of Strategy and Research at Team NEO.
The report indicates employment is to grow 1.7%, which is up from an earlier estimate of less than 1%, which was based on fourth-quarter 2020 data.
"It's not to say we're out of the woods yet," Duritsky said. "It certainly remains a health crisis. There are small signs that the recovery in 2021 could be better than what we initially thought, even three or four months ago."
Duritsky credited businesses and the community working together to pivot and fill pandemic needs. As well as, innovation in our economic development systems regionally and statewide, for helping speed up our recovery.
But, he added, old problems persist, like workforce and population retention and making sure people have the right skills to fill in-demand jobs here at home. Which, he said, will be especially important in a post-pandemic world - where companies now view talent as a global asset able to work from anywhere.
"To be competitive for the future workforce of NEO, we're going to have to think differently as an economic development system, as companies, as higher education, and training providers about what that means and what success looks like and how we define it through that lens."