CLEVELAND--October 9, 2017--The Fund for Our Economic Future announced today the release of new research identifying highly concentrated areas of economic activity in Northeast Ohio -- or, job hubs -- and how the number of jobs in each hub has changed over time, what industries these jobs are in, and where people who work in each job hub live. The Fund developed the job hubs map and analysis over the course of 2017, working closely with several partners including Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), Team NEO, Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Stark County Area Transportation Study (SCATS), and DigitalC. The map is an evolving work-in-progress as the Fund and its local partners work together to refine it.
"Where jobs locate matters -- for residents, businesses, municipalities, the environment, and the regional economy," said Fund President Brad Whitehead. "Having a clear understanding of where job growth has occurred and a common definition and map of concentrated areas of employment in Northeast Ohio are powerful tools that will allow our community to raise the bar for sustainable, inclusive growth in our region."
Over the last several decades in Northeast Ohio, industrial, commercial and residential development has expanded outward without an increase in the number of people or jobs to support such growth. The result: Jobs are located farther and farther away from where people live.
"This spatial mismatch between people and jobs has real costs," said Peter Truog, director of civic innovation and insight at the Fund and primary author of the research. Residents spend more time and money commuting; businesses struggle to fill open positions; municipalities spend more to support new development, while also maintaining the underutilized infrastructure left behind; and the environment suffers as air quality declines due to long, car-based commutes.
"The reasons for the outward expansion cannot be chalked up to free market forces entirely," added Truog. "Fragmented and under-coordinated decisions on where to allocate public incentives, how to prioritize land aggregation, and what infrastructure upgrades to invest in have had a compounding impact over time."
Understanding Northeast Ohio's job hubs can help influence smarter land-use policy and better coordination between transportation infrastructure planning, the business community and economic development entities, reverse the development patterns that have created economic disparities, and increase job access and bolster inclusive economic growth.
The research and interactive maps are available at www.jobhubsneo.org. Use #jobhubs to join the conversation on Twitter.