New Economic Projections for Northeast Ohio in 2021

Team NEO provides updated forecasts based on March 2021 data from Moody’s Analytics

The Northeast Ohio Region may have cause for renewed optimism. Recent calculations by Team NEO, based on March 2021 annualized national and local projections from Moody’s Analytics, indicate improvements over previous projections.

Specifically, in 2021:

  • Employment is projected to grow 1.7%, up from an estimate of less than 1% total projected growth, which had been based on fourth-quarter 2020 data
  • Regional gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to fully recover, with growth of 4% over 2020
  • Overall wages are anticipated to surpass 2018 wages by 8%

However, as projected in earlier data, employment for both the U.S. and the Northeast Ohio Region is projected to recover more slowly than GDP. While both U.S. and Northeast Ohio GDP are poised to fully recover this year, U.S. employment is projected to recover in 2022, while Northeast Ohio employment should near full recovery in 2025. This trend is consistent with employment recovery after the 2001 recession and the Great Recession.

Almost all sectors of the economy are projected to increase GDP and add jobs in 2021. Exceptions include some portions of leisure and hospitality, government and real estate.

“The resilience of our region is playing an important role in our economy’s recovery,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “The diversity of our sectors and strong manufacturing presence have contributed to our ability to rebound. One key factor in accelerating growth even further is more targeted investment in workforce development focused to deepen and broaden our talent pools across the region.”

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