Following the creation of 4,800 jobs in 2010, Cleveland companies are forecast to hire 11,000 workers this year, expanding the overall headcount by 1.1%, according to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. The manufacturing sector is projected to add nearly 1,200 jobs, after shrinking by nearly 40% over the past decade.

With the economy gaining strength, retail sales will rise slightly this year, supporting increased tenant demand. Consequently, the vacancy rate is expected to dip by 10 basis points by year’s end to settle at 12.5%, reflecting a healthy trend that began last year. The vacancy rate fell by 30 basis points in 2010.

A modest uptick in leasing activity is expected to support the first rental rate improvement in two years. During 2011, researchers say that shopping center owners will lift asking rents an average of 0.5% to $14.98 per sq. ft., while effective rents will rise an average of 0.6% to $12.90 per sq. ft.