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The Economic Outlook for Northeast Ohio is Mostly Positive

Steelmaking in Northeast Ohio could be hurt in 2017 by downturns in oil and gas drilling and the auto industry.

Despite some potential soft spots, Northeast Ohio’s economy should see continued improvement in the new year.

Jacob Duritsky is vice president of strategy and research at Team NEO, the region’s economic development organization. He says in 2017, Northeast Ohio’s job growth should continue to follow the upward trend of the past three years. He says the health-care field will remain strong, but there is some concern about the important manufacturing sector.

“It’s about 20 percent of output and 12 or 13 percent of employment. As goes manufacturing, a key to our economy, and a lot of the macro factors that drive manufacturing, the price of oil and things like that are out of our control. So we’ll continue to pay close attention to that going into 17.”

Duritsky says the slow downs in oil and gas drilling and in the auto industry are big factors. A positive economic element for Northeast Ohio in 2017 is the visitor and tourism industry. Duritsky says big 2016 events in Cleveland like the Cavaliers’ NBA Championship, the RNC, and the Indians World Series run have helped polish the region’s image as a place to be.