Growth & Opportunity Framing Paper

Growing inequality, combined with the inability of entire segments of the population to advance economically, has emerged as a defining challenge of our time. Although not a new issue, there is an escalating debate as to whether and how inequality and the weakening of the middle class may inhibit economic growth in the United States.

This paper highlights trends in Northeast Ohio, a region responsible for almost $200 billion per year in gross regional product (GRP) and representing 4.4 million urban, suburban and rural residents in and around four major metro areas. We offer Northeast Ohio as an example of a region uniquely challenged by population and job loss, and — like many markets in the U.S. — determined to connect its residents to a rapidly changing, global economy.