Northeastern Ohio economy showing slight signs of life

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CLEVELAND — For the third consecutive quarter since the recession began, northeast Ohio has posted year-over-year employment gains.

The quarterly Cleveland Plus Economic Review, released recently by Team NEO, reports the region saw year-over-year improvements in both manufacturing and services sectors as well as total employment.

Other year-over-year comparisons reveal that initial unemployment claims are down and that the unemployment rate dropped overall.

In previous recessions, the Plus region has experienced more severe declines in employment than the U.S. However, through the 13 quarters of the current recession, the region is tracking the same as the U.S.

According to the report:

— Q4 2010 saw a year-over year-increase of more than 30,000 jobs;

— Manufacturing employment is up about 10,000 jobs from the Q4 2009 average, while the services sector is also up about 6,000 jobs from Q4 2009.;

— Northeast Ohio unemployment rate declined to 9.3 percent, with Ohio at 9.4 percent, and the U.S. at 9.1 percent. Unemployment for Northeast Ohio dropped nearly 1 percent since Q4 2009, when the unemployment rate was 10.2 percent;

— Average Q4 2010 claims are at 5,600 compared with 7,100 a year ago;

— In comparing the employment from the 1981 recession to the current recession, northeast Ohio is tracking the same as the U.S.

For the 13 quarters of the 1981 recession, northeast Ohio employment was 7 percent below the U.S. trend: For the 13 quarters of this recession, Northeast Ohio is mirroring the national trend — with both having employment 5 percent below 2007 levels.;

Moody’s economy.com estimates that 2010 GRP for the region will grow 3.6 percent, greater than the U.S., which is projected to grow 2.7 percent.

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