Construction is a Vital Part of the Northeast Ohio Region’s Economy

Industry experts collaborate to reveal insights

The Construction Employers Association (CEA) and Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council (CBCTC) collaborated with Team NEO to report on the construction industry, including trends for the decade 2009 – 2019 as well as projections post-pandemic through 2025.

With a track record of steady job growth, jobs offering family-sustaining wages, and multiple career pathways, the construction sector has long been an important economic driver for the Northeast Ohio Region’s economy.

“We saw steady growth in construction-related employment during the decade before pandemic-related job losses occurred,” said Tim Linville, Chief Executive Officer, CEA. “Now with major construction projects underway, we expect to see job growth in the skilled trades and construction management over the next two to four years, providing a strong foundation for broader economic growth and more access to jobs with family-sustaining wages and good benefits.”

Team NEO insights include:

Data for 2009 – 2019

  • For the decade preceding the pandemic, employment grew 19%, making it the third-fastest-growing sector among Northeast Ohio industries.
  • The average earnings at $74,258, including management and executive occupations as well as trades occupations, ranks among the top third for average earning by sector.
  • Occupations cover a broad scope of opportunities, from specialized trades to general labor. Laborers are most numerous, with nearly 13,300 workers, followed by electricians at just over 8,200 and carpenters at more than 7,300.

Projections Post-Pandemic Through 2025

  • Both construction employment and construction GDP are projected to recover faster than other industries:
    • Employment is projected to recover most of the construction jobs lost due to the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, with projected growth of 10% by 2025;
    • Construction GDP is projected to achieve pre-pandemic levels of output by the end of 2021; while the region overall is projected to recover a year later in 2022.

“Our members train through rigorous apprenticeship programs that prepare them for any project,” said David J Wondolowski, Executive Secretary, CBCTC. “For over 100 years, we have been the foundation of the construction industry throughout Northeast Ohio.” 

“We are grateful for the work that both CEA and CBCTC are doing to ensure we have a talented workforce to serve the construction industry,” said Bill Koehler, Chief Executive Officer, Team NEO. “By offering training for family-sustaining wages helps us build a more vibrant regional economy.”

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in the region’s 18-counties; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market the Northeast Ohio Region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. We do this to build a more vibrant regional economy; one that is more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient and prosperous. For more information, visit

About Construction Employers Association

The mission of Construction Employers Association (CEA) is to represent and advance the interests of quality contractors in Northeast Ohio. CEA’s efforts in labor relations, advocacy, safety, inclusion and training are all intended to help achieve this central mission. For more information, visit