By David Gard
A recent article from Governing poses an interesting question: “can you have economic development without job growth?” At the end of the day, economic development is always about jobs. But, as the article asserts, the strategy implemented to secure new jobs may need to be about something else. Thus, if new jobs are the desired outcome, strategies may need to be focused on the outputs that can then help lead to job growth.
In the so-called “jobless recovery,” how do you measure economic development success without depending on jobs? A few emerging ideas are proposed:
- Focus on the emerging sectors that are a good match for your community, region, or state.
- Focus on the “high value added” sectors of the economy that will add true wealth to the economy (look upstream in the value chain).
- Match businesses to local labor skills – while still striving to broaden skill and educational levels.
- Plan for contingencies – what economic foundation (skills, assets, resources) are left in place even if a major employer departs?
Here’s the link for the full article: