Archive for November, 2009

Peter Kageyama
by Peter Kageyama
Fri Nov 27th 2009 at 8:00am UTC

Florida Tourism – A Double-Edged Sword

Friday, November 27th, 2009

14th Street Lifeguard Tower

In her September 3 blog post, “Creative Florida”, Rana Florida asked for thoughts about Florida tourism. As a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, I thought I should respond.

Tourism has long been the golden goose in Florida but it is also a double-edged sword. We have no state income tax in large part due to the sales tax revenue that tourism provides. When the tourists come, the coffers fill and all is well. When we have downturns in the economy or other disruptions (such as hurricanes or 9/11) our budgets shrink. This volatility prevents us from having a predictable revenue stream which in turn means less long-term planning.

For better or worse, tourism also defines Florida. For many it is great to have that identity but I know a lot of creative class entrepreneurs in high-tech who lament that they can’t attract talent or VC interest because no one takes Florida seriously as a business environment.

But to me the largest impact of tourism is that it has made us lazy (I say this with love, Florida!). Tourism is easy money and we have coasted on that for too long. When the tourists just arrive with bags of money, why innovate? Why invest in our schools or our infrastructure? Why make the hard tax choices when we can raise the bed tax on hotel rooms or local tax on car rentals? We need to rethink tourism and make it a higher value experience, one that leverages the service economy and makes it more creative and innovative.

Florida had a wake-up call last year when, for the first time since WW2, we had a net outflow of population. That is a seismic shift in the underpinnings of Florida’s economy and I hope that it forces us to look at diversifying our economy and making the harder choices of developing industries beyond the beach and theme park.

Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Wed Nov 25th 2009 at 10:11am UTC

Four Recessionary Impacts on Knowledge-Economy Workplaces

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

OfficeChairSky

About 14 months into the downturn in Canada, about 20 months in the U.S.A., and I’ve been examining how the recession has affected workplaces and what some longer-term implications may be. Today, I offer a Canadian perspective. I invite you to add your own. Next week I’ll try to create an American list, or compare and contrast the recessionary experience in the two countries.

Four ways the recession may have changed creative class workplaces in Canada

  1. The rapid spiral from booming economy to downturn in the fall of 2008 both forced and allowed many companies to re-focus, fast. Many quickly removed employees not seen as having a long-term future with the firm; they also sharpened scrutiny on various business lines or projects, canceling those not deemed likely to be profitable in the short term. In Canada, economists now say the job shedding happened much faster than in past recessions.
  2. For some employees, the “golden hand cuffs” came off and they have had an opportunity to move. For staff with bonuses tied to the profits of particular projects or the company generally, a down year can mean you’re not leaving as much money on the table if you quit. The significant increase in self-employed workers is likely a consequence of this. People are going out on their own.
  3. The government “may” start to recognize that North American economic future is in knowledge-work, high technology, more than old-style industrial manufacturing. In Toronto there are now more jobs in the Finance Insurance Real Estate sector (FIRE) than manufacturing (324,000 vs 316,000), and by early 2010 there will likely be more in Professional Scientific & Technical Services as well (at 315,000 now).  Already, the financial services industry in Toronto has created an alliance to educate and lobby the government to provide a further boost to this successful sector.
  4. As in the U.S., women’s jobs have tended to be less affected by the recession, which hit manufacturing and resource industries harder than service and knowledge work. This may be the start of a big shift in how families with children live and work as well.

What else?

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Nov 25th 2009 at 10:00am UTC

Mariah Carey, Music Mogul

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

RecordsMusicLifestyleAbstract

Fascinating interview with Mariah in The Times of London on selling-out, music business models, creativity, and more (h/t Dan Silver). Money quote:

“I don’t care if the rock-band person thinks, ‘Oh, I’m a sellout’. Well, guess what? They’re a sellout anyway for going to a record company. I’m sorry — you are. You want to just play in bands in bars? Then do that. Or play on the streets. And if someone throws you some dollars, then you can go get a soda. But you could also help somehow merge the soda business with the music business in a way that is creative.”

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Nov 25th 2009 at 9:00am UTC

The Geography of Obesity

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

CreamSprinklesFood

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America. More than 72 million American adults are obese, according to estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics. But obesity varies greatly by state. The map below, from the Centers from Disease Control (CDC), shows the obesity rate for the 50 states, measured as the share of people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 which the CDC classifies as “obese.”

ObesityMapNew

A week or so ago, I looked at the relationship between smoking and a variety of economic, social, and health factors. With a helpful analytical hand from Charlotta Mellander, we found that smoking was significantly correlated with obesity as well as being correlated with education levels, class structure, and other factors. So, we decided to take a quick look at the state-level factors that might be associated with obesity. We ran some simple correlations and scatter-plots between state obesity rates and these factors. As usual, we point out that correlation does not imply causality, but simply points to associations between variables. Still, a number of interesting things stand out.

It should come as little surprise that states with higher levels of obesity have significantly higher rates of death from cancer, heart disease, and cerebrovascular diseases like hypertension. There is a significant correlation between obesity and death rates from cancer (.7), heart disease (.7), and cerebrovascular disease (.7).

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It might be, however, that states with greater percentages of obesity are those where people pay less attention to their health generally or are more likely to engage in risky behavior. And that’s what we find at least in the case of smoking which correlates highly with state levels of obesity (.8).

bmismoking

Might obesity be related to states’ broader social and psychological climates? To get at this, we looked at the relationship between obesity and a commonly used measure of subjective well-being or happiness developed by the Gallup Organization. Obesity is negatively associated with state happiness (with a correlation of -.6). Since these correlations only reflect associations between variables and not causality, it’s hard to say whether this reflects the fact that happier people eat less, are healthier, or are less prone to obesity, or if unhappier people eat more, are unhealthier, or are somehow more prone to obesity, or if both obesity and happiness levels reflect something else. To get at this, we look at the associations between state obesity rates and social and demographic factors below.

bmiwellbeing

Common sense would suggest that more affluent people would have lower levels of obesity and poorer ones higher, and we find such an association. Obesity is correlated with income levels (-.6) and more moderately so with economic output, measured as gross state product per capita (-.4).

One would think that states with greater concentrations of more highly educated people have lower levels of obesity, and that is what we find. States with higher levels of human capital, measured as the percentage of adults with a college degree, have lower levels of obesity (the correlation being -.8).

To what extent does obesity reflect the kind of work people do? We examine the relationships between obesity and three classes of jobs – creative/professional/knowledge jobs, blue-collar working class jobs, and standardized service class jobs like those in food processing and home health care. Obesity is strongly associated with the share of working class jobs (with a correlation of .7). Obesity is negatively correlated with the share of creative class jobs (-.6). Obesity is also negatively correlated with the share of service class jobs (-.4), though more moderately so.

Obesity is lower in states with higher concentrations of artists, musicians, and entertainers (with a correlation of-.6), those with larger concentrations of gays and lesbians (-.5), and immigrants (-.5). This likely reflects broader structural characteristics of those states, as more highly educated states also tend to be more tolerant and open to diversity.

Peter Kageyama
by Peter Kageyama
Tue Nov 24th 2009 at 10:35pm UTC

Thank You Richard Florida

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Yellow success key with clipping path

I thought in my first blog post for CCE I should give props to Richard for helping me get to this point. I first met Richard in 2003 when he came to speak in Tampa, Florida for the first time. I had read TROCC at the suggestion of my wife (at the time), Michelle Bauer, who was the executive director of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. They were part of a unique coalition of groups that brought Richard to Tampa.  Also key in the process were the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Council, and Workforce Tampa.  Getting these four entities to agree on one speaker truly was historic!

TROCC and Richard’s talk got me excited about ideas in a way that I had not been excited by ideas since college. It spoke to how I worked, how I thought about my life and my community. I suspect I am not alone in this capacity. I got to know Richard and his former associate Rod Frantz and we became friends, conspirators, and colleagues.  Creative Tampa Bay was founded in 2004 and took up the mission of developing the creative economy in the region. I became its second president and within two years I had the honor of sharing a stage with Richard in Perth, Australia, where we talked about the impact of his work on communities like mine.

Richard’s work shifted the direction of my own work and has led me to other incredible thinkers and practitioners in this arena such as Charles Landry, John Howkins, and Carol Coletta. In true creative class fashion, I have been able to create my own career and am doing work I love.  Richard had a direct influence on that, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 19th 2009 at 9:00am UTC

Where (and Why) the Job Openings Are

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

BusinessOfficeStairsWork

Even as the economy improves, the unemployment rate continues to grow higher and job creation remains a central issue. Not only does unemployment vary widely across cities and regions, certain places have been able to generate many more new jobs than others.

A couple days ago, I posted a chart which compares the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings for America’s 50 largest metro areas. It’s a pretty good metric of the resilience of job markets in the face of our ongoing employment crisis. The most resilient metros on this score, Greater D.C. and Baltimore, generate about one new job opening for every unemployed person. The least resilient have much higher numbers of unemployed workers for every new opening. In Detroit, the ratio is 18 unemployed workers for each job opening, in Miami its 12 to 1, Las Vegas 8 to 1.

The question becomes: Does this just reflect random, idiosyncratic differences among metros, or might there be more systematic, identifiable factors that distinguish places with more resilient job markets from less resilient ones? To get a handle on this, Charlotta Mellander and I looked at whether and what regional economic factors might affect the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings. (As usual, I point out that our analysis identifies correlation or association between variables and does not in any way imply causality.)

The nature of the job market itself appears to play the most important role. The most highly correlated factor of all was the share of creative class employment (.6). There were also relatively strong correlations for three specific kinds of creative class jobs: science and engineering (.57), legal occupations (.53), and management (.5). We find more moderate correlations for arts, entertainment, and media jobs (.44), computer science and mathematics occupations (.44), and business and finance jobs (.42). Places with more resilient job markets also had higher levels of human capital (.46), measured as the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree and above. There was no statistically significant association between resilient job markets and health care, education, and architecture and engineering jobs.  This is troubling since many believe “meds and eds” jobs to be among the most stable of all as well as being a major source of future employment growth. Job markets in places with higher shares of working class employment were more problematic, the correlation for this variable being negative and significant (.-46).

Not surprisingly, more resilient job markets were also associated with stronger, more higher-paying regional economies. Better ratios of unemployed workers to job openings were associated with higher regional income levels (.58), higher regional wages (.48), and greater regional economic output per person (.45).

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Nov 18th 2009 at 10:42am UTC

Service Wage Gap

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

EconomyMoneyDollarBruised

Last week, I posted on the need to upgrade service class jobs. New research by the Martin Prosperity Institute finds that even though they compose 46 percent of the workforce, service workers take home just 35 percent of all wages in salaries in Canada. Creative class workers, in contrast, compose 29 percent of Canada’s workforce but take home 42 percent of wages and salaries. The working class makes up 22 percent of Canada’s workforce and takes home 20 percent of wages and salaries.

JobHolders

Mike Dover
by Mike Dover
Tue Nov 17th 2009 at 5:46pm UTC

The Grey Flannel Suit and the Hawaiian Shirt

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

AtComputerWorkTechnologyPaper

There were some interesting comments on my last Creative Class post about the value of one’s social media presence and possible positive and negative effects on a career. One of the readers suggested that having two Twitter accounts makes sense – one that publishes professional material and the other is more personal and restricted to family and close friends.

When I deliver speeches on social media, I often explain the difference between social media platforms in terms of your closet. LinkedIn is a grey flannel suit and Facebook is a Hawaiian shirt. It’s important to have both, but if you show up in a boardroom in a Hawaiian shirt you look like a goof and if you show up on a boathouse roof in a grey flannel suit, you look like an ass. As a side note, several people have pointed out that often the guy wearing a bright floral shirt in a boardroom often owns the place, but that might be the exception that proves the rule.

Generally, LinkedIn should have the reserved, dignified tone of a resume but with fewer restrictions on format and length. Good profiles provide lots of search terms and plenty of recommendations. Although my personal profile might have gone too far in this respect. Beyond 50 recommendations takes someone a few exits past “let’s hire this guy”  and is careening towards “desperately insecure attention seeker”-ville.

Facebook allows more leeway for frivolity in the form of cheeky update status, personal photos, and non-business links (although, trust me… people aren’t interested in what Hogwarts faculty member you are). There are some downsides to inviting colleagues as Facebook friends. For example:

  • Violating work-life separation.
  • Constantly have to monitor content to make sure others aren’t tagging you in the vacation pictures you don’t want the guy in accounts receivable to see.
  • Appearances of favoritism – why did my boss friend my colleagues and not me?
  • “Banter competition” – if Facebook walls become the water cooler, am I putting myself at a disadvantage by not showing up?
  • Offending people (maybe a customer or your boss) by not accepting them or putting them on limited profile (if they are paying attention, it’s easy to tell).

What are your guidelines for friending colleagues?

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Nov 17th 2009 at 9:00am UTC

The Geography of Smoking

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

MatchRedBlackDifferentGroupCrowd

One in five Americans continue to smoke cigarettes, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The smoking rate varies from low of 9.2 percent in Utah to a high of 26.6 percent in West Virginia. The map below, from the Wall Street Journal, shows the smoking rate by state.

smoking

The data are interesting and they allow us to look at the extent to which smoking is associated with all sorts of things, from more obvious ones like cancer and heart disease to the economic and demographic characteristics of states with higher or lower levels of smoking and even the relationship between smoking and happiness. With a helpful analytical assist from my colleague Charlotta Mellander, we decided to take a quick look. We ran some simple correlations and scatter-plots between state smoking rates and these factors. As usual, we point out that correlation does not imply causality, but simply points to associations between variables. Still, a number of interesting things stand out.

It will come as little surprise that states with higher levels of smoking have significantly higher rates of death from cancer, heart disease, and cerebrovascular diseases like hypertension.  There is a significant correlation between state smoking rates and death rates from cancer (.75), heart disease (.67), and cerebrovascular disease (.59).

cancer1heartdisease1cerebro1It might be, however, that states with greater percentages of smokers are those where people pay less attention to their health generally or are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Consider the relationship between state smoking rates and their levels of obesity, where we find significant association both for obesity among adults (.68) and children (.57).

adultobesitychildobesityMight smoking be related to states’ broader social and psychological climates? To get at this, we looked at the relationship between smoking and a commonly used measure of subjective well-being or happiness developed by the Gallup Organization. Smoking is negatively associated with state happiness (with a correlation of -.71). Since these correlations only reflect associations between variables and not causality, it’s hard to say whether this reflects the fact that happier people smoke less or unhappier ones smoke more, or that both smoking and happiness levels reflect something else. To get at this, we look at the associations between state smoking levels and social and demographic factors below.

wellbeingCommon sense would suggest that more affluent people would smoke less and poorer ones would smoke more, but that’s not what the data indicate – at least when comparing states. State smoking levels are not related to state income levels or to Gross State Product per capita; the correlations for both are not statistically significant.

One would think that more highly educated people smoke less. And that is borne out by our analysis. Smoking is reasonably associated with education levels, measured as the percentage of adults with a college degree (with a negative correlation of -.76).

To what extent does smoking reflect the kind of work people do? We examine the relationships between smoking levels and three classes of jobs – creative/professional/ knowledge jobs, blue-collar working class jobs, and standardized service class jobs like those in food processing and home health care. The strongest association is with working class jobs, with a correlation of .5: Smoking is higher in states with a greater concentration of these blue-collar jobs. Smoking is also associated with service class jobs. But here the correlation is negative (-.62). Smoking does not appear to be associated with knowledge-professional-creative jobs, the correlation here is not statistically significant.

That said, smoking rate is associated with concentrations of artists, musicians, and entertainers. Contrary to the stereotypical image of cigarette-puffing bohemians or hipsters, smoking is less prevalent in states with more of these artistic types: The correlation is negative (-.50), and about the same as for education.

Lastly, smoking is negatively correlated with larger concentrations of gays and lesbians, as well as immigrants (both with correlations of roughly -.45). This likely reflects broader structural characteristics of those states, as more highly educated states also tend to be more tolerant and open to diversity.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Nov 17th 2009 at 8:45am UTC

Reading My Palm

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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readmypalm

Thanks to Lena and SOMA Magazine. Click here to read the whole story, then scroll to pages 42 and 43.