Addressing Workforce Shortages in the Dakotas

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While not immune to the recession, the upper Great Plains is in a different economic situation from the rest of the nation. Growth coupled with low unemployment means more strain on the region’s workforce, making it tougher for employers to find the workers they need. It's not so much about jobs anymore, but about finding the right workers.  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

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Vietnam may be the next China. With a nominally communist government, Vietnam has liberalized its markets and is prospering from an increased reliance on exports. Vietnam's gross domestic product per capita is still only about $3000, but has been among the faster growing economies over the past 10 years. Vietnam is well positioned to capture any growth that might be diverted from China’s east coast urban areas as labor costs there rise and concerns increase about the influence of that country’s powerful state-owned corporations.  read more »

Data Spotlight: Ranking States by Their Dependence on Manufacturing

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A recent Brookings paper makes a clear case from the start: “Manufacturing matters to the United States …” Other economists and econ bloggers aren’t so sure.

What’s clear, however, is certain states (think Indiana, Wisconsin, and Arkansas) depend on manufacturing to fuel their economies more than others. One way to measure just how dependent states are on manufacturing – rather than simply looking at total jobs or exports – is by looking at a common concentration measure known as location quotient (LQ).  read more »

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The Expanding Wealth Of Washington

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Throughout the brutal and agonizingly long recession, only one large metropolitan area escaped largely unscathed: Washington, D.C. The city that wreaked economic disasters under two administration last year grew faster in population than any major region in the country, up a remarkable 2.7 percent. The continued steady growth of the Texas cities, which dominated the growth charts over the past decade, pales by comparison.  read more »

Floribec : Quebec in the Tropics

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Floribec has been part of the collective imagination of the Quebecois for nearly 50 years. Over time, a movie, a novel, advertisements and news reports played an important part in establishing the greater Miami region as the destination of choice for Quebec tourists. Floribec began as a result of tourism and it later evolved into a transnational community. After visiting southeast Florida, some Quebec tourists decided to take up permanent residence there and to make their living providing services in French to other French-speakers.  read more »

The Use and Misuse of Glaeser's Triumph of the City

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Appeals to authority are now the stock-in-trade of progressive pundits across a range of public controversies. In the face of popular discontent bubbling up from forums on the net and elsewhere, their fall-back posture is heavy-handed ‘expertism’. Policymaking is the prerogative of those with the right qualifications and credentials. Ordinary citizens should butt-out, no matter how self-interested the experts may seem. So too in the field of urban policy, encumbered as it is with a green-compact-city orthodoxy, do appeals to authority hold sway.  read more »

Rick Santorum’s Ugly Appeal to Rural Voters

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Not all of them are “clinging to guns and religion,” as Barack Obama famously said in 2008, but Rick Santorum has catapulted to the top of the Republican field by connecting with a bitter streak among rural voters. This is bad news for the Republican party and for rural America, which in fact has some pretty good reasons to be optimistic.  read more »

The Sorry State of American Transport

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We constantly read about the infrastructure crisis in America. I’ll have more to say on this at a future date, but it is pretty clear that we need to spend more money in a whole lot of areas: airports, roads and bridges, public transportation, and more.

Yet it’s very easy to see that so much of what ails transport has nothing to do with a lack of funds and everything to do with a lack of will. I took a train ride on the Northeast corridor last week that really drove it home to me.  read more »

The Republican Party's Fatal Attraction To Rural America

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Rick Santorum’s big wins in Alabama and Mississippi place the Republican Party in ever greater danger of becoming hostage to what has become its predominate geographic base: rural and small town America. This base, not so much conservatives per se, has kept Santorum’s unlikely campaign alive, from his early win in Iowa to triumphs in predominately rural and small-town dominated Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota and Oklahoma.  read more »

Measuring the Impact of Apple and the App Economy

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We all know about the explosion of Apple tech products, the ever-expanding number of mobile applications in the App Store — and the near $100 billion in cash that Apple is hoarding. Yet one question that has gone mostly unanswered is how many jobs Apple has generated (and supported) with its mind-boggling growth.  read more »

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