RSC Studies Refugees Economic Impact In Cleveland

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in News | Comments Off on RSC Studies Refugees Economic Impact In Cleveland

RSC Studies Refugees Economic Impact In Cleveland

Economic Impact Study Documents Positive Effect of Refugees Resettling in Northeast Ohio


First-of-its-kind study reveals that refugees led to 650 jobs in Cleveland in 2012;  nearly $50 million impact



The Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland (RSC) released an Economic Impact Study today detailing the employment and fiscal impacts of refugees and refugee service organizations in the Cleveland area in the benchmark year, 2012.  The report shows a potentially substantial impact, especially in a region struggling with issues related to population loss.  The full report is available at; highlights of the report follow:


  • Approximately 598 refugees were resettled in the Cleveland area in 2012 and a total of 4,518 refugees from 2000 to 2012.
  •  In advanced economies, once refugees have adjusted to their new life after resettlement, they can provide substantial contributions to the workforce and economic development in the long run at the regional level.
  • Refugees placed in the Cleveland area typically find employment within five months of their arrival in the country despite the fact that many lack English proficiency.
  • The member organizations of the Refugee Services Collaborative of Cleveland spent an estimated total of $4.8 million on refugee services in 2012.
  • The total economic impact of refugees in the Cleveland area is estimated at $48 million and 650 jobs in 2012.
  • The total fiscal impact of refugees in the Cleveland area is estimated at $2.7 million in tax revenue to local and state governments in 2012.
  • Refugees are thriving in Cleveland and are at or above average compared to national norms in socioeconomic integration.
  • The refugee community has accounted for approximately 248 additional home purchases in the Cuyahoga County over the last decade.

Refugees are legal residents of the U. S. who have fled their homelands due to the “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”  Most refugees settling in Northeast Ohio come from areas of conflict across the world, including Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.


The Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland (RSC) is a group of 13 Greater Cleveland organizations joined together to better serve the rising numbers of refugees resettling in Northeast Ohio.  It includes the three Cuyahoga County refugee resettlement agencies and area school systems, healthcare providers, government agencies, and community and faith-based organizations.


The study was funded primarily by a grant from the Cleveland Foundation, with significant additional financial support by all RSC member organizations, including a lead gift by RSC member Global Cleveland.


Chmura Economics & Analytics, who produced the study, provides applied economic consulting, quantitative research, and software solutions requiring the integration of advanced economic analysis.  The firm has offices in Richmond, VA, and Cleveland, OH.                                    ###


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