Momentum is Strong in Northeast Ohio’s $22 Billion Health Care Industry

Team NEO research shows significant, sustained health care GDP and employment growth since 2001

Team NEO Health Care in Northeast Ohio Quarterly Economic Review Cover

Health care stands strong as a major driving force in Northeast Ohio’s economy. The region is a health care hub, with more than 60 hospitals and a vibrant biomedical community. Northeast Ohio’s 18 counties have shown substantial and steady growth in health care sector GDP and employment over the past two decades, according to Team NEO’s latest Quarterly Economic Review, released today.

Northeast Ohio’s health care GDP grew 37% from 2001 to 2019, from $16 billion to $22 billion overall. A breakdown of health care GDP reveals ambulatory health care services and hospitals account for the lion’s share of GDP, with ambulatory services contributing 46% and hospitals 42% of the total. Nursing and residential care facilities contribute to the remaining 12%.

The large patient population in the region gives rise to a great variety and volume of health care employment opportunities. The region’s health care workforce, which includes individuals with diverse levels of education, has grown significantly over the past couple of decades. Team NEO’s research reveals there is a 21% overall increase in health care employment since 2001. The region now boasts 270,400 health care workers. Growth is most significant for ambulatory health care services (25%), hospitals (21%), and nursing and residential care facilities (17%). Continued overall health care employment growth is expected.

Health care is one of the top three industries in Northeast Ohio for minority employment, with nearly a quarter of health care occupations currently filled by people of color. Only adminis­trative/support and agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting employ a larger percentage.

In addition to the strength of the public-service side of health care, Northeast Ohio’s biomedical sector – including medical devices, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, health IT software and services, and research and development — continues to thrive. Cleveland alone boasts more than 700 BioMed businesses, which have raised more than $3 billion in growth capital since 2002. According to BioEnterprise’s 2018 Midwest Healthcare Growth Capital Report, 71 Northeast Ohio biomedical companies raised $294 million in growth capital in 2018 alone, the third-largest region in total investments in the Midwest.

See the full Team NEO December QER for a deep dive into employment growth over time, as well as top health care occupations and recent health care-related development activity, plus year-over-year economic trends for Northeast Ohio.

Team NEO publishes the Quarterly Economic Review to provide a holistic picture of what is and is not working across Northeast Ohio’s regional economy, representing the 15th largest market in the United States. It is the only regular source of collective economic data and insights for the 18-county region. Team NEO’s insights serve to inform conversations around opportunities presented and influence solutions for challenges the data reveal. View previous Quarterly Economic Reviews.

Team NEO uses Moody’s, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and Ohio’s Labor Marketing Information to aggregate regional figures.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people.