Health care invigorates regional economy

Staff report


Employment in health care in Northeast Ohio has grown 20 percent since 2000, making it the region’s largest employment-growth sector, according to an economic development report released Sunday.

In the 18-county Northeast Ohio region, which includes the Mahoning Valley, health care is nearly a $14 billion sector, with some 177,000 employees, according to the quarterly Cleveland Plus Economic Review.

Research expenditures by medical institutions and universities have nearly doubled, growing from $370 million in 2000 to more than $660 million in 2012, the report said.

The gross regional product in health care grew by 25 percent, or $3 billion, between 2000 and 2014, the report said.

Over the past 14 years, health care has grown from 7 percent to 9 percent of regional employment and from 5.5 percent to more than 7 percent of the gross regional product.

GRP is the total output of goods and services in the region, estimated at $197 billion for 2014.

With more than 60 hospitals, including the world-famous Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, Northeast Ohio is a health care hub, the report said.

Officials at Team Northeast Ohio, which compiled the report, could not be reached to comment on the extent to which the aging population and other factors may have contributed to growth in the health care sector.

Sunday’s report did not contain any health care employment figures for Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties and their hospitals.

However, the report specifically mentioned two non-health care businesses that have positioned themselves for growth in the Mahoning Valley.

Laird Technologies, a world leader in electronics and technology, has announced plans to move its wireless automation and controls business from Sharpsville, Pa., to a new facility in nearby Warren, Ohio, bringing 150 jobs to Warren and estimating it will add more than 50 jobs here over the next three years.

Hynes Industries, a leading North American supplier and processor of strip steel, roll formed shapes and flat wire, which has had multiple Mahoning Valley facilities for nearly 90 years, has consolidated all of its local operations into a single 264,000-square-foot Austintown plant on 33 acres.

The report said Northeast Ohio’s construction sector has gained 1,200 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the same quarter in 2013, with total employment growing by 9,700 jobs during that time.

Manufacturing was relatively flat during that time, adding just more than 200 jobs.

Total employment in the 18 counties averaged 1.9 million in the final quarter of 2013.

The report was compiled using Moody’s, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Ohio’s Labor Marketing Information.

The Cleveland-based Team NEO is a private sector organization, whose goal is business attraction and growth in the region. It is a regional partner of Jobs-Ohio, a private nonprofit corporation that drives economic development and job creation for the state.

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