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Dimensions of Change in Cleveland's Economy

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In the past two decades, Cleveland has shared in the plight of many heavily industrialized cities in the northern United States. Unable to match the attractions of climate and business environment of the Sunbelt, these metropolitan areas have experienced a slow but steady movement of population and employment opportunities away from the North and into the South and Southwest. In most cases, the shift in activity is a response to fundamental social and economic changes in the United States and not to specific conditions in particular metropolitan areas. Nonetheless, this trend has placed cities such as Cleveland in an uneasy period of transition. Once a great success story in the industrialization of this country, Cleveland is now grappling with declining population, an employment growth rate that is below the national average, and a shift away from manufacturing to other types of employment. The Cleveland of tomorrow will be dramatically different from the Cleveland of two decades ago.

In the past two decades, Cleveland has shared in the plight of many heavily industrialized cities in the northern United States} Unable to match the attractions of climate and business environment of the Sunbelt, these metropolitan areas have experienced a slow but steady movement of population and employment opportunities away from the North and into the South and Southwest. In most cases, the shift in activity is a response to fundamental social and economic changes in the United States and not to specific conditions in particular metropolitan areas. Nonetheless, this trend has placed cities such as Cleveland in an uneasy period of transition. Once a great success story in the industrialization of this country, Cleveland is now grappling with declining population, an employment growth rate that is below the national average, and a shift away from manufacturing to other types of employment. The Cleveland of tomorrow will be dramatically different from the Cleveland of two decades ago.


Suggested citation: Eberts, Randall W., 1984. "Dimensions of Change in Cleveland's Economy,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 10.08.1984.

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