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Team NEO Report: Thousands of Skilled Workers Needed to Fill Looming Job Gaps

By Jay Miller, Crain's Cleveland Business

While the 18-county Northeast Ohio region will experience only very modest employment growth over the next five years — about 20,700 new jobs — it nonetheless will need to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings due to retirement and normal employee turnover, a new report from Team Northeast Ohio says.

Filling those jobs is critical to economic growth. But it won't be easy and the region is only beginning to come to terms with a plan to fill them.

The organization's latest quarterly economic review projects that the region's employed workforce will grow by only 1.1%, from 1.927 million to 1.948 million workers, between now and 2023. But retirements and normal turnover will mean finding workers for thousands of jobs that in many cases require increasingly specialized skills and proficiencies because of emerging technologies.

The report estimates the region will have 8,500 new job openings in health care fields by 2023, as well as a need for 77,700 replacement workers. The region will also see 2,500 additional jobs in the computer and mathematical sector and need 15,000 replacement workers.

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