According to a new study sponsored by the Fund for Our Economic Future, a foundation based in Northeast Ohio, economic development efforts that focus solely on job growth might lead to other problems for a local economy:
Based on an analysis of a hundred and fifteen mid-size metropolitan areas between 1990 and 2011, What Matters to Metros (10 pages, PDF) found that while some metro areas experienced significant job growth over the period, those jobs did not translate into higher incomes. In fact, inequality, poverty, and crime tended to be more prevalent in regions that saw the greatest job gains. “The data tell us that it is not enough to have economic strategies focused solely on job creation,” said Fund for Our Economic Future president Brad Whitehead. “Northeast Ohio and other U.S. metros must adopt strategies that create pathways to better-paying, higher-quality jobs.”
This is the approach we take in economic development strategies that have ranged from small towns to major metropolitan areas. We’ve always turn to our work in Ontario County, NY as the place that exemplifies our approach.
You can read about the study in the Philanthropy News Digest.