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New Report from Team NEO Projects Economic Growth for Northeast Ohio

map of Team NEO counties
Team NEO website
A new report from Team NEO projects economic growth in Northeast Ohio in 2021.

A new report from Team NEO is projecting employment growth and a full recovery in gross domestic product in Northeast Ohio this year. That growth will depend on more people being able to participate equally in the labor market.

The report projects that employment will grow 1.7% in 2021. Although this is better than previously assumed, Team NEO’s Vice President for Strategy and Research Jacob Duritsky says he doesn’t expect employment to fully recover until after 2025. And he says diversity, equity and inclusion will be essential in this recovery.

“If we don’t have a more inclusive strategy to address that here in the region, those numbers are going to lag, so it’s just a key component of it," he said.

Duritsky says between workforce development, state economic development and companies ready to help, the infrastructure is in place to focus on diversity in the workforce.

Duritsky on what's ahead in 2021

“One, it’s going to be a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy that is more holistic and more encompassing of everyone in the region," he said. "But two, it’s going to be thinking about what the pandemic is going to do to labor markets, how it’s going to accelerate the need for talented workers, and how we think about aligning those workers with the opportunities in the economy today.”

The report also projects job growth in almost every sector of the economy.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.