Diversity Of Industries Puts Cleveland Above Other Regional Cities For Jobs, Economic Output

Photos by Brian Bull, ideastream/WCPN.
Photos by Brian Bull, ideastream/WCPN.
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The Brookings Institution calls them “advanced industries”, which range from making medical equipment and semi-conductors, to data processing and management consulting.

Scott Andes is Senior Policy Analyst at the Brookings Institution. He says innovations and developments have changed what used to be time-honored standby industries for Cleveland.

“When people generally think about Cleveland, they think of it as a traditional manufacturing town,” says Andes. “And you do have a strong presence in motor vehicle parts production, iron and steel products are still very prevalent in the area. But interestingly enough, those aren’t the largest employers of advanced industries in your region.”

Andes says computer and system design companies along with architecture and engineering firms are among the largest employers.

Researchers say these are important because they have led recovery from the latest recession.

Meanwhile, Cleveland State University economist Ned Hill says many of the advanced industries listed for Cleveland require a high level of skill, but also have high benefits.

“The average wage in the industries they looked is far above the national average, and is showing that investment in research development and investment in capital equipment is hugely important for providing high-earning occupational opportunities,” says Hill. “This is a report that really says skilled innovation that results in products is critical towards a region’s success.”

The Brookings Institution ranks Cleveland 40th among all large metropolitan areas for Advanced Industries. Neighboring Youngstown and Akron rank 65th and 68th respectively in the U.S. Andes says that’s because Cleveland’s roster has a balanced mix of specialized services and high-end manufacturing.

The report also notes traditional standbys like car part manufacturing and iron and steel are still in the top 10 industries for Greater Cleveland.

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