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Mentor, Lake County Leading Region With High-Tech Job Growth

Lake County saw a 22 percent leap in high tech jobs from 2010 to 2011

The region of Northeast Ohio received good news earlier this month but the best news was reserved for Lake County.

A study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute said the number of high-tech jobs in the region leaped 9.1 pecent in 2010-2011, which are the most recent statistics available.

That means jobs were growing more than three times the national average of 2.6 percent.

The region -- which, according to the study, includes Cuyahoga, Lorain and Lake counties -- is the 16th fastest growing for high-tech jobs during the last available year.

And, among those three Ohio counties, Lake County is the vanguard.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lake County's number of high-tech jobs grew 22 percent. Cuyahoga and Lorain's gains were more modest -- 7.5 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

"What that would seem to indicate is that Lake County really pulled up the metropolitan area in high-tech employment," said Ron Traub, the director of economic development for the city of Mentor.

While pretty much all jobs are welcome, high-tech jobs are particularly desirable for several reasons.

The high-tech sector has been more resilient in the recent recession-and-recovery period, its unemployment level is consistently below the national rate and its wages are higher, according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

Additionally, high-tech jobs tend to create other jobs.

According to the study, for every one high-tech job that is created another 4.3 jobs are created in the local goods and services sector.

That number -- called the local multiplier -- is lower for most other industries. For example, every manufacturing job creates another 1.4 jobs, the study said.

The region is still behind the national average on the number of overall high-tech jobs.

About 5.6 percent of all jobs in the country were in the high-tech sector in 2011. For the Cuyahoga-Lorain-Lake region, that number is only 3.8 percent.

However, with growth at this rate, the area could catch up soon, Traub said.

"While the percentage of high-tech jobs is below the national average, the percentage growth is much stronger than the U.S. average," he said.

While Lake County's percentage growth was 22 percent, the country only averaged 2.6 percent growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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