Detroit Bankruptcy: Missing the Point

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman tells us that “sprawl killed Detroit” in his The New York Times column.

The evidence is characterized as “job sprawl” – that a smaller share of metropolitan area jobs are located within 10 miles of downtown Detroit than in the same radius from downtown Pittsburgh (see Note on Decentralization and “Job Sprawl”). It is suggested that this kept the city of Pittsburgh out of bankruptcy.  read more »

Infographic: Growth of All Occupations by Industry & Education, 2001-2011

We recently partnered with Catherine Mulbrandon at to create a series of treemaps that illustrate important aspects of the labor market. In this post we provide a sneak peek at two of the graphics she created. The remainder will be posted in An Illustrated Guide to Income in the United States, a booklet from Catherine set to be released this summer.  read more »

Metro Job Recovery in 2011

The latest BLS release for metro area unemployment has full year averages for 2011 available, so we can see which cities added the most jobs last year. On the whole, it was a much better year for metros than we’ve seen in the recent past. The national economy added jobs, and all but two large metros did as well. New York City added the most jobs of any region, but given that it is far and away the biggest city in America, it should do so. NYC ranked only the middle of the pack on a percentage growth basis. On that measure, Austin, Texas was number one.  read more »

Interactive Graphic: Ranking States By Competitiveness

In a previous post we looked at which states have been most competitive in terms of job creation since the recession.  read more »

The Hardest Job To Fill In 2012? A Look At The Supply of Web Developers

Keith Cline at has a fresh look at one of the enduring, and perplexing, stories of 2011 — the skills shortage. Even with 13.3 million Americans unemployed, and millions more underemployed, there are industries severely lacking in skilled talent.

Cline provided five loose job titles/duties that employers will have a hard time filling as 2012 starts. Chief among them: software engineers and web developers.  read more »

Avent on Cities: Understanding Part of the Equation

Ryan Avent hits a home run, strikes out and earns a "yes, but," all in the same article ("One Path to Better Jobs: More Density in Cities") in The New York Times.  read more »

Interactive Graphic: Job Growth by Sector for all Counties in the Nation

The fully interactive map below indicates job growth and decline for all US counties from 2006 to 2011. These show up as hot or cold spots; red for growth, blue for decline. You can select a state to zoom in on and find a county that way, or simply click on a county to drill in. Once you’ve chosen a county, the table under the map will show you job numbers by industry category.  read more »

Why the Green Jobs Movement Failed

"Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed," the New York Times reported last week, drawing similar conclusions to the ones we drew in our essay for The New Republic last October.  read more »

The Spread of Proprietors/Independent Contractors In the US

A few weeks ago EMSI looked at the states with the largest share of 1099 workers — that is, proprietors/independent contractors, farm workers, and others not covered by unemployment insurance. We found that since 2006 every state (as well as D.C.) has seen growth in noncovered workers.

Simply put, the number of workers outside traditional employment rolls is on the rise.  read more »

US House Gives Small Business the Huggem-Muggem

“In public Congress hugs them, in private they mug them!” So said the late Milt Stewart, one of the architects of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program in the 1980s and a renowned advocate for America’s small businesses.

I first met Milt in 1992 and eagerly joined forces with him and others from business and government to generate more research opportunities for America’s small businesses – then and now, the most potent force for innovation and job creation on the planet.  read more »