Though growth continues to be slower than national and statewide advances, the Cleveland metro area’s economy has strengthened in the first half of 2014. The housing market
has particularly improved, with both house prices and building permits increasing. The metro area has also experienced a sharp decline in unemployment and modest increases
in job numbers and average weekly wages. The latest data shows that 28.5 percent of adults in Cleveland have a bachelor’s degree, bringing the metro area up to the nation’s rate.
Cincinnati—Poised for Continued Growth
The Cincinnati metro area’s recovery continues to gain steam as strong growth in the education and healthcare sectors is supplemented by strong and growing employment in the manufacturing and trade, transportation, and utilities sectors. A highly educated workforce, diverse economy, and the presence of multiple Fortune 500 company headquarters positions the metro area for long-term growth.
Pittsburgh—Glass Half Empty, or Half Full?
The Pittsburgh metro area’s unemployment rate fell almost a percentage point in the first half of 2014. Nevertheless, employment gains have been muted in the metro area since it surpassed its pre-recession employment total in early 2012. This slowdown in employment growth is also evident across the area’s major industry segments. Additionally, average inflation-adjusted weekly wages have mostly moved sideways since early 2013. Still, Pittsburgh’s per capita GDP has surpassed the level it achieved in the last expansion, which has yet to be the case for the US. And, in 2014, home prices have risen somewhat more sharply in Pittsburgh than in the US.