Northeast Ohio Jobs Figures From Ahola Payroll and Crain’s Show Modest Growth that Lags Nation

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Richards: Tell me about the August numbers.

Miller: Well, we saw an increase in the number of people employed – 5,109 – and that’s a 0.44 percent increase. In July we had seen an actual job loss, but that may have just been an anomaly.

Richards: And so July and August figures this year show an improvement over last year. What do you make of that?

Miller: The economy is picking up. It’s not a real robust improvement, but the economy is improving.

Richards: So who’s hiring and who’s laying off?

Miller: Most of the growth is in the service industries as opposed to the manufacturing industries. We have things like health care and finance, which are growing, as opposed to the metals industries, which are still strong, but they’re not growing as rapidly.

Richards: How does Northeast Ohio compare to other areas and the nation as a whole in job gains?

Miller: A little behind. If we’re growing over the past year at 1.2 percent, the national growth is probably 1.7 percent. Neither is very robust, but we do lag a bit. The population is older and the population is stagnant here.

Richards: What else is significant about these numbers?

Miller: Much of the growth we’re seeing is internal growth, when you talk about things like health care and finance. But when you look a little beyond that, you see that money is coming into the region in the shale gas industry, in Summit County and Stark County and those kinds of areas, and further south. But that’s going to affect our industries in Northeast Ohio because of the steel industry that we have here. And that will continue to grow and give the economy a bit of a boost.

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