Job hubs are specific places of concentrated economic activity in a region. They are defined and identified based on the extent to which they exhibit the following four characteristics:
- High concentration of traded-sector jobs: Job hub locations are based on the number of traded-sector jobs in a particular area. As a starting point, all census block groups with a density of 4,280 jobs per square mile (or 7 jobs per acre) were flagged as potential job hubs. This equates to roughly the top 5 percent of job dense census block groups in the region. The traded sector includes manufacturing companies, consulting firms, and other businesses that export (or trade) goods and services outside of the local market. By doing so, the limits of local market demand do not constrain the growth of companies in this sector. The revenues and value added by traded-sector firms constitutes roughly three quarters of Northeast Ohio’s regional gross domestic product (GDP), and this wealth creates spillover economic benefits at a higher rate than companies that serve the local population., Furthermore, jobs in the traded sector typically pay approximately double the wages of local, population-serving jobs. By improving the competitiveness of traded-sector job hubs, organizations will be supporting the growth of a significant portion of the economy that generates wealth and brings broader economic benefit to the community.
- Multiple traded-sector employers: A key part of the job hub idea is that it’s a clustering of business activity—as opposed to a single large employer—and assets (existing infrastructure, utilities, etc.) that are attractive to multiple kinds of businesses. When identifying job hubs, we looked specifically for places with traded-sector jobs spread across multiple employers, where the economic vibrancy resulting from idea exchange and the presence of human capital can be fully realized.
- Alignment with local development patterns: Job hub locations must be clearly defined and reflect local development patterns, including roads, current building and site inventory, and local infrastructure, such as utilities and sewers. While pre-defined boundaries such as cities, zip codes, or census tracts help identify the rough outline of job hub locations, their final shapes were drawn in partnership with local planning and development agencies to accurately reflect the local built environment.
- Alignment with civic priorities and economic development opportunities: In addition to representing places of current business activity, many job hubs also contain high-quality sites with existing infrastructure or office inventory that, if occupied, could further add density to the job hub.
 Cleveland MSA GDP by industry from Bureau of Economic Analysis 2015 figures.
 Economic spillover for traded-sector and population-serving industries estimated from EMSI calculations of direct jobs added for every one job added in traded and population-serving industries.
 Based on EMSI annual wages across 18 counties of Northeast Ohio.