Employment in the seven-county Cleveland-Akron metropolitan area is being projected to dip ever-so-slightly in November. The estimated decline — 1,400 jobs or 0.1% of the employment in an economy of nearly 1.2 million jobs — reflects an annual slowdown in the manufacturing, or goods-producing, sector, according to the latest Ahola Crain’s Employment (ACE) Report.
The decline is the first drop since July and reflects an estimated increase of 834 jobs in service employment that is offset by a loss of 2,233 jobs in goods-related businesses.
Year-over-year, though, employment is up, according to the ACE numbers, with a modest gain of 5,427 since November 2014, a 0.58% seasonally adjusted increase.
“The region in recent history registers softer employment gains for the goods-related sector, typically in the later months of the year, and we are not overly concerned about the contractionary reading (for November) as the region remains in expansion territory,” said economist Jack Kleinhenz, who compiles the ACE data.
“The recent trend of performance is indicating further economic activity and job growth, but perhaps at a slower pace,” Kleinhenz said.
The regional economy continues to lag the national economy. Private employment nationally rose by 2.1% over the last 12 months, according to current employment data compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The two sub-metro areas in the region are performing similarly, though Cleveland is doing narrowly better than the Akron metropolitan area.
Estimates by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS), which analyzes the BLS data, found that the number of people employed grew by 0.018% over the last year in its Akron metro area, which includes Portage and Summit counties. Employment in the five-county Cleveland metro grew 0.019% from November 2014 to November 2015. The ACE estimates cover only private sector employment; the BLS data include all non-farm employment, including the government workforce.
Similarly, unemployment for the Cleveland metro was 3.7%, according to ODJFS, down from 5% in November 2104, while the two-county Akron metro had an unemployment rate of 4.6%, down from 5.3% a year ago.
Regional employment is expected to continue to grow, though slowly. Economists at PNC Financial Services Group, parent of PNC Bank, found optimism in October when the company surveyed small and middle market business owners in Ohio.
Because of optimism about the outlook for their own businesses and for the local economy, 19% of business owners surveyed said they planned to hire in the months ahead, compared with only 10% who had plans to hire six months earlier.
In addition, 36% of those employers — PNC did not disclose the size of its sample — said they expected to increase employees’ pay, up from 26% who were planning pay raises in the spring. Of those planning raises, 59% said they planned to give raises of 3% or more during the next six months.
Seasonally Adjusted Data
|Month||Non-Farm||Small (1-49)||Mid-Sized (50+)||Goods-producing||Service Producing|
|Recent Month’s Estimated Change|
|Oct ’15 to Nov ’15||(1,400)||(431.7)||(968)||(2,233)||834|
|Diff from Nov 2014||5,427||2,430||2,997||(2,174)||7,601|
Crain’s Cleveland Business