The Cincinnati metro area continues to outperform most other Ohio MSAs and many elsewhere in the Midwest. Its recovery continues apace; it benefits from a highly educated workforce, a diversified industrial base, and the presence of several Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered or doing business there. Employment continues to recover: The professional and business services sector, along with the education and health services sectors, show the greatest strength.
Pittsburgh—Strong Economy; Stalled Employment
The Pittsburgh metro looks strong overall, though employment growth stalled in early 2012 after 30 months of strong recovery. This weakness was broad based, with most major industry segments experiencing slower employment growth than their national counterparts. Pittsburgh’s housing market and population are both stable, and average wage, GDP per capita, and income have all been rising steadily. From 2001 to 2012, Pittsburgh’s per capita income grew about twice the rate of the nation. The area’s unemployment rate declined 1 percentage point in 2013, but much of it was due to a decline in the local labor force.
Cleveland—A Welcome Recovery
Recessions hit the Cleveland?Elyria metropolitan area harder than the nation as a whole because the metro has a strong concentration of durable goods manufacturing, one of the most vulnerable sectors in a downturn. However, this sector has recovered well from the most recent recession and has contributed to the metro’s gain of about 34,000 jobs since the recovery began. This is dramatically better than its loss of 18,000 jobs during the recovery from the 2001 recession. Cleveland’s output, earnings, and
unemployment rate have also bounced back nicely. Nonetheless, the metro continues to lose population, and, as a result, its housing market remains comparatively weak.