In this section of the business plan we look at the labor force and the unemployment rate for Cuyahoga County. Looking at these two key economic indicatorsover a long period of time ( we recommend at least 10 years), is able to give us some very good perspective into how the labor force has grown over time and also howsensitive the unemployment rate is to the regular business cycles of growth and recession.
When we look at the labor force over the course of 2 decades beginning in January 1996 we find that the labor force remained fairly steady through the late 90's. After 2003 we find that the labor force for Cuyahoga County begin a steady downward decline from the 670,000 levels to the 620.000 level. This decline took a few years beginning in 2003 and extending slowly but steadily until 2010. From 2010 onwards the labor force has been in a holding pattern with a slightly upward bias.
The Unemployment rate for Cuyahoga County during the same 2 decades indicates an interesting picture. From the mid 90's to 2001 the unemployment rate held steady averaging about 3% but staying mostly below 4% and at times going down to as low as 2%. However during the recession of 2001, we find that the rate of unemployment begin ticking up steadily and rose all the way to 6% in 2004. From 2004 to 2008, we find that the unemployment rate in Cuyahoga County remained fairly steady below 6%. The most striking part of this analysis however is the fact that between 2008 and 2011, as the great recession rolled on, the unemployment rate rose all the way to 9% and while the rate of unemployment has been coming down significantly to below 5.5% in 2015, we don't see an increase in the overall labor force.
These numbers indicate that many folks have simply stopped looking for work and are no longer being counted in the number of unemployed and also the fact that with the increases in technology, employers are probably extracting more work from the existing base of workers. What is also not reflected is part time employment that has become an important facet of economic life in the United States - more and more folks are patching together two and three part time jobs on and off the books to make their ends meet and these numbers don't always get reflected in the official unemployment rate and labor force statistics.
Clearly while the decline in the overall unemployment rate is important, it is equally important to see the similar rise in the overall labor force and this is not evident for the target market of Cuyahoga County. This means that businesses like Lights On Electrical will have to work harder to maintain a strong brand name and reputation for their electrical contracting services in order to be able to preserve and increase their share of the target market
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