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Press Release

Cleveland Fed research: Management and transportation were fastest-growing occupations during pandemic

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, occupations related to retail and food service have become less prevalent in both the region served by the Cleveland Fed and nationally, while the opposite is true for jobs linked to shipping and warehousing as well as business management, according to a new Cleveland Fed report.

The four largest metro areas in the Cleveland Fed’s region — Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh — mostly mirrored national trends related to wages and occupational mix, with one notable exception: High-earners in those regions saw smaller wage gains than their national counterparts from 2019 to 2022, the period covered by the report.

Overall, wages and wage growth were lower for smaller metro areas in the region. For example, nationwide, 12 of the 13 occupation groups analyzed in the report saw an average wage increase of at least $2.50 per hour. But in the Cleveland Fed’s region occupation groups were less likely to cross that threshold, especially in smaller metros.

  # of occupation groups with average wage increases of at least $2.50 per hour
Nationwide 12
Lexington and Toledo 11
Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus 10
Akron and Pittsburgh 8
Canton, Dayton, Erie, Huntington, and Youngstown 7 or fewer

In both the region and the nation, the fastest-growing and highest-paid occupation group was “Management, Business and Financial.”

Read the District Data Brief: Changes in Wages and Occupational Mix of Fourth District Metro Areas Between 2019 and 2022

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Chuck Soder,, 216.672.2798