Confused about Northeast Ohio's economy? That's not surprising. Depending on when data come out and which headline you read, you may think the economy's soaring at best, dismal at worst. In his column for cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer last month, Richey Piiparinen referred to this as a "gray period" for Cleveland. But things may be more black and white than they appear. In advance of Friday's jobs report, it helps to look at Northeast Ohio in the context of long-term trends.
All Northeast Ohioans should see two things in sharp focus: 1) Jobs are coming back, but not as quickly as in other places in the country, and not to the level we had in 2000, and 2) as the economy recovers, residents — particularly those in poor neighborhoods — have seen their chances at securing good-paying jobs within a reasonable distance from their homes significantly diminish.
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