A contentious point and one I found alarming is a result of company reduction, off shoring services, and the flight of manufacturing from the United States. We are told new jobs are being created, but at what expense? It became more difficult to find new employment and most new jobs were lower paying and lacked benefits. Many people have little or no reserves, so the loss of a job or an extended illness often results in missed mortgage payments and, eventually, default.
Twenty-five percent of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost since 2001 were in Ohio. In Northeast Ohio, more than 45,000 higher-wage manufacturing jobs vanished between 2000 and 2006.
A formerly prosperous industrial city situated on the banks of Lake Erie, Cleveland’s population has shrunk in recent decades to some 450,000 inhabitants from around 950,000 as job opportunities have declined. A Cleveland State University analysis of U.S. Census data showed a jump in the number of households that make less than $50,000 a year between 2000 and 2006. Households making less than $10,000 a year, the most impoverished category, increased by more than 12,700.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has accused a group of 21 big banks and financial firms of triggering local housing woes through the marketing of subprime home loans. One of the accused banks, Citigroup, strenuously denies Jackson’s accusations. Other banks targeted for damages by the city include Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and HSBC among others. The number of housing foreclosures in the city leapt to 70,000 last year from 120 in 2002 amid a national housing slump.
Cuyahoga County is the most populated county in Ohio, with Cleveland serving as the county seat. Jay Seaton, head of the local Consumer Credit Counseling Service, said it is not uncommon to find a Cuyahoga County resident with $50,000 in unsecured debt.