The Fund for Our Economic Future's framework for how to take a collaborative approach to building stronger, more equitable local and regional economies through job creation, job preparation and job access efforts.
The Fund for Our Economic Future's Growth & Opportunity framework is about supporting and encouraging more than just "jobs, jobs, jobs." It's also about creating good jobs, preparing our residents for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and improving connectivity between jobs and workers through better transit access and more sustainable growth patterns. In previous issues of this newsletter, we've touched on the importance of that third piece -- job access -- and of understanding where jobs are locating as a way to better address barriers to employment, particularly for low-income individuals.
Job access, we'd argue, has received the least attention when it comes to economic development decision making. One reason is data on this topic do not always provide the most complete picture and tend to be on a significant lag. And while some overarching trends can be distilled, job growth patterns in one corner of the country may look very different from patterns in other parts for a whole host of reasons. To be sure, issues of sprawl and spatial access to jobs have had the attention of researchers and practitioners for some time, and are gaining traction. We think a closer look at what's happening in Northeast Ohio is warranted.
Using the new
Local Employment Dynamics (LED) and
Zip Code Business Patterns data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Fund is working to synthesize what we know about the spatial distribution of jobs in Northeast Ohio. We hope this analysis kick-starts a conversation that can lead to both short-term and long-term solutions.
Join the Conversation
If you are pursuing similar work to understand where job growth is happening in your area and for whom, and want to compare notes, or if you'd like to stay in touch with the "Geography of Jobs" work generally, please
Ultimately, we hope our research brings the issue of spatial access to jobs to the fore and equips decision makers with the data to make smart job development decisions now and in the future. Our full economic recovery depends on it.
In the News
Yellen Comes to Cleveland
Earlier this month, the City Club of Cleveland hosted Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen, who shed light on the state of the economic recovery.
Indicators suggest that while the labor market has improved, it has not fully recovered, she said.
In addition to unemployment (which stood at 5.3 percent in June), she cited several other indicators that should be considered in order to have a fuller picture of the U.S. economy's overall health, including labor force participation rates (still staggeringly low in some parts of Northeast Ohio), the number of people working part time who would rather work full time, and the pace of hiring and wage increases. Yellen closed by stressing the importance of strengthening education and training, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and promoting capital investment, which "could all potentially be of great benefit in improving future living standards in our nation."
You can watch a video of the full speech here.
World Bank on Inclusive Growth
More fodder for the job access discussion is a
new policy research working paper from the World Bank entitled, "Inclusive Economic Growth in America's Cities: What's the Playbook and the Score?" The authors state: "Beyond the 'right' to access consumption in cities, and beyond relatively standardized safety net policies that support economic security,
inclusion demands intentional, flexible, context-appropriate strategies aimed at shifting the dynamics of local land and labor markets, public education, and other institutions." The paper points to four dimensions that are particularly crucial to supporting inclusion: "an urban area's level of economic growth, the quality of its jobs, its demographic profile, and its geography of opportunity (degree and form of spatial inequality)."
From the Blogosphere
"There's a whole lot of collaboration going on," writes Fund for Our Economic Future Director of Regional Engagement Chris Thompson. Everyone from Kanye West to the Air Force seems to be doing it. But what does it really mean to support civic collaborations that advance both Growth & Opportunity? Thompson explains in this
Fed Policy Summit Recap
Did you miss the Federal Reserve Policy Summit last month? Resources from the 2015 Summit on Housing, Human Capital and Inequality, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Philadelphia and Richmond, are now online, including a full summary, speaker presentations, videos, and more. Check out what drew some 350 community and economic development professionals to Pittsburgh, including highlights from the tour of East Liberty.