Cleveland Seventh in Hot Job Markets?

According to the oft-quoted “Cleveland Tourism Video” series, “our main export is crippling depression.” In fact, the video goes so far as to say that things are so bad that one can “buy a house for the price of a VCR.”

However, according to an article put out by Monster.com, Cleveland ranks seventh in the list of hottest job markets right up there with Washington, D.C., Seattle and Boston. Apparently, this list is based on the number of jobs available compared to the work force.

Most of you probably stared at your computer screens in shock when you logged onto the CSU Web site and read the article posted about this new ranking.

You weren’t alone. I then began a search to find proof that Cleveland has a terrible economy. I looked at Parenting.com’s 2010 list of “5 Worst Cities for Economy.” We weren’t on it. And we went from the most miserable city in the country according to Forbes to number 10 – a clear improvement.

Yes, it sucks to be the 10th most miserable city in the nation, but according to Forbes this is all due to the weather, sports teams and corruption, not our economy.

In fact, the London School of Economics ranked Cleveland 10th among 50 US cities in economic recovery last November. Part of the ranking was based on annual growth in employment.

I find all of this astounding considering that the Cleveland area’s unemployment rate stands at 8.5 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, just slightly below the national average. That doesn’t make us an economic hotspot in my mind.

And if you really look at it, we aren’t. Monster.com tells us we’re seventh, but that’s only in available jobs, and the reality is that said job market is mostly due to the healthcare industry. This basically means that you can find jobs if you’re a doctor, nurse, radiographer, medical technician, etc.

But what if you’re not? What if you’re a mechanic, teacher, or a writer? What if you’re not in the healthcare field? What if you don’t want to be in the healthcare field?

It’s wonderful to look at our city and think that jobs are coming out the wazoo. It’s nice to imagine that they’re readily available and that we’ll probably get a job tomorrow or the next day, because they’re there, and we just have to find them.

But in reality, we’re ranked 183rd in the nation in employment.

It’s great that we’re improving, and that such improvement is being recognized. But false hope isn’t helping anyone.