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More Than Manufacturing Could be Behind Cleveland's Slower Recovery

Rolled steel

  The Columbus and Cincinnati areas have already recovered the jobs lost during the recession, however Greater Cleveland still hasn’t bounced back. A recent U.S. Conference of Mayors’ report say the region’s heavier reliance on manufacturing is a big reason. But one economist says there is another factor. 

PNC Bank economist Mekael Teshome says Cleveland-area manufacturing jobs are slowly returning, but that recovery is on two tracks.

“One track is the autos and housing-related, which is really doing fairly well. The other track being steel and energy-related industries. It’s true that getting manufacturing on track has kind of held things back, but I think it has more to do with demographics, with slower population growth that’s keeping our overall rate of growth down.”

Overall, Ohio gained more than 15,000 jobs last December, and about 3,200 of them were in manufacturing. The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ report estimates that it will take the Akron area two more years to recover, while the Toledo and Dayton areas will need five years to regain all of their lost jobs.