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Annual Review Rates 300 Global Metro Economies, Including Cleveland

Flickr.com photo by Xiaofan Luo
Flickr.com photo by Xiaofan Luo

Cleveland finds itself ranked at….258. That’s behind Cincinnati (#213) and Akron (#198), but ahead of Columbus (#273), Dayton (#287), and the Thai city of Bangkok…which bottomed out at 300.

So why 258th? Well, in 2014, Cleveland’s employment rate grew .7 percent, while its GDP per capita fell .9 percent.

Both figures are below national averages, says Brookings research analyst Joe Parilla. And that still leaves the Cleveland area below pre-recession levels.

“So the region has not yet recovered,” says Parilla. “It has exceeded its pre-recession levels of GDP per capita. So on a whole, average incomes are higher, but it has yet to regain all of the employment losses from the recession.”

However, Parilla says public, private, and civic partnerships shine around Northeast Ohio.

“The leadership in Cleveland given the challenges the region has had over the past two decades, has really come together and is seeking to make the types of investments -- both public and philanthropic -- to further the economy going forward.”

Parillia points to successful collaborations like the Fund for Our Economic Future which brought different types of partners together focused on growing the local economy. Over a decade, The Fund has distributed $100 million to economic development ventures across Northeast Ohio.

The most recent analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland shows slow but steady growth in employment and GDP through the third quarter of 2014.

For more global perspective, Cleveland’s economic performance puts it just ahead of Paris, France (#260) and St. Petersburg, Russia (#261).