Archive for the ‘Wages, Income & Prosperity’ Category

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Jun 4th 2011 at 1:35pm UTC

Where Paychecks Go the Furthest: 20 Best and Worst Cities

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

As anyone who has ever paid Manhattan rents swiftly learns, New York City’s relatively high salaries don’t go very far.  In fact, when cost of living is taken into account, the New York metro posts the second lowest “real income” of any region with more than 500,000 people, according to an analysis commissioned by US News and World Report. New York’s median household income of $62,887 falls to an adjusted real income of just $35,370 when cost of living is taken into account.  Only the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro in Texas, one of the very poorest in the nation with an actual income of just $30,460, fares worse with a real income of $34,931.

Des Moines takes the top spot on this real income measure: Its median income of $56,576 translates into $62,446 in spending power.  Greater Washington DC takes second place:  Its median income of $85,168, one of the highest in the nation, equals $61,449 when adjusted for cost of living. Two Texas metros – Houston and Dallas – also stand out, as well as leading college towns.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri May 20th 2011 at 11:55am UTC

Best Places for College Grads

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Congratulations, Class of 2011, and welcome to a job market that’s only a little less terrible than the one that last year’s graduates had to contend with. Don’t feel too bad if you’re moving back to your parents’ house. According to a widely-reported recent survey, that’s where some 85 percent of your classmates are headed too.  Still, you’re going to be striking off on your own at some point, and the choices you’ll make about where to live can make an enormous difference in the kind of jobs you can get to help launch your career and life.

To seize your opportunities and navigate a career in this new borderless world, you have to be prepared to pick up stakes. Depending upon where Mom and Dad live, you might need to move to get that critical first job.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Sep 19th 2010 at 10:15am UTC

Where Did All the “Growth” Go?

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Have a gander at this mind-boggling chart put together by Mike Mandel.

It shows the share of real growth of private fixed assets – stuff like machinery, factories, technological equipment, and, yep, housing. Or, as Mandel puts it: “All the privately owned productive assets of the country – for the decade spanning 1999 to 2009.”


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Aug 12th 2010 at 10:31am UTC

Turning the Corner

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Here’s some video from my CNBC StreetSigns appearance with Robert Shiller.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Aug 12th 2010 at 9:56am UTC

The Roadmap to a High-Speed Recovery

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Check out my new piece in The New Republic:

Speaking at a health care reform rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July 2009, President Obama declared that the worst of the recession was over. “We have stopped the free-fall. The market is up and the financial system is no longer on the verge of collapse,” he said proudly.

A year or so later, with midterm elections looming and an electorate that is as fearful and angry as any in memory, the stock market has risen, but even a breath of bad news can send it tumbling. As dismal as housing prices continue to be, they have yet to hit bottom in some places. Unemployment remains frozen at an overall level of nine-plus percent, and job creation has been anemic. If the crisis belonged to George W. Bush, the recovery has been Obama’s—and it has been a fragile and tentative one at best. Along with billions of dollars in stimulus payments, the president has spent down most of his political capital. So what is his next step?

Read the full article here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Aug 5th 2010 at 1:00pm UTC

The Geography of High-Paying Jobs

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Last week, I posted on a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the metro regions with the highest-paying jobs in nine major occupations. But this report only listed the top two regions in each category. So I decided to take a closer look at the underlying BLS data to compile a more comprehensive mapping of regional pay. With the help of my colleague, Charlotta Mellander, we looked at the pay levels for three types of jobs – high-skill, high-pay, creative class jobs; traditional, blue-collar, working class jobs; and lower-skill, lower-pay service jobs.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Apr 10th 2010 at 9:00am UTC

Working Smart for the Money

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

A new study (PDF) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides important insight on states where workers toil the longest hours and make the most money. The study by Dante DeAntonio uses data from the Current Employment Statistics – a monthly survey of more than 400,000 U.S. business establishments – to provide estimates for employment, hours, and earnings for all 50 U.S. states. Catherine Rampell summarized some key findings of the study earlier this week over at Economix.

Take a look at the map of the hardest-working states in terms of hours worked. Nevada tops the list with an average of 37 hours per week. Wyoming, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, and Alabama all average more than 36 hours per week. At the opposite end of the spectrum are Montana, the Dakotas, Hawaii, and New Hampshire which average less than 33 hours per week.


Zoltan Acs
by Zoltan Acs
Tue Feb 2nd 2010 at 8:38pm UTC

Entrepreneurship and the Economy

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010


As one looks around the economic landscape I am struck by the devastation. One number stands out above all others. One in five males between the ages of 25 and 55 is out of work! That is a staggering number. The numbers are not going back to anything “normal” anytime soon according to the IMF. Financial crises followed by recessions do not return to normal levels of employment for over a decade. Why you might ask? The answer I guess is that the levels of debt need to be worked down. Everyone owes everyone money and none pay anyone. Second, the recession destroys real capital. In this situation it was housing. It will take years to work off the excesses of the housing crisis.

So what does entrepreneurship have to do with the recession? If we take what we know today, entrepreneurs and innovation play a vital role in the economy. But can they help us in the great recession? In other words, what policy should we be pursuing to move the unemployment rate below 10 percent and back into the neighborhood of 5 percent? We know that new firms are important. They create most of the net jobs.  However, only a small percent, perhaps 4 percent, create almost all of the jobs in any given four-year period. And this seems to hold up in different times, different countries, and different industries.

So how do we forge a policy? Two stories are told out there. First we know that age and size are important variables. And we know that age appears to be more important than size. In other words, we should target firms based on age not size. The two stories out there are one by Zoltan Acs and the other by Carl Schramm. In a highly influential study, Acs found that the average high impact firm was about 20 years old and came in all sizes, small, medium, and large. Schramm, on the other hand, using a Census Bureau study, found that firms less than five years old created almost all of the jobs independent of size.  They both cannot be right.

However, if we are interested in short-term policy solutions and not real economic growth, we should help stimulate solo self-employed. They have a start-up rate that is three times as large as firms with employees. They start easily but also go out of business quickly. So an effective policy would be to make it easier for them to stay in business longer.

A simple policy would be to cut the self-employment tax, not over 15 percent of all new solo self-employed firms to zero for three years. If they hired any employees we should cut the employer share 7.5 percent for three years also. This would greatly increase the survival rate for these new firms. Of course this is not a long-term solution because many of these firm will contribute very little to productivity, economies of scale, or wealth creation. But they will pull down the unemployment rate.

The impact on the deficit would not be great since many of these people would not have survived to pay payroll taxes anyway. Once the economy picks up the issue of long-run growth can be addressed. But in the short run, let’s get people working.

Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Mon Jan 18th 2010 at 10:44am UTC

Have Women Changed the Workplace?

Monday, January 18th, 2010


Despite the recent The Economist magazine proclamation of pending equality in the workplace, evidence suggests that the situation is more complex.

Commentators on my recent post here at Creative Class raised several good points:

Alan Says:  Start celebrating when women earn 50% of total salaries – I expect the champagne will remain on ice for a long time/ probably forever.  Sorry of this seems pessimistic.

Jana Says:   There’s a big difference between women being 50% of the workforce and women being equally represented in the workforce. My guess is that the majority of the women in the study are in lower level positions than the men. An example being that in one company I worked for was that the majority of the accounting department was female, but these were people inputting invoices, doing reconciliations and payroll. The counterpart was that the head of the department was male.

Without a better look at the statistics I’m not sure if this is something to celebrate.

The folks at Economix blog also weighed in:

Furthermore, the Current Population Survey data show that women are more than twice as likely as men to work part time (24.6 percent in 2008 compared with 11.1 percent in 2008). A measure of equal participation in paid employment should take that difference in hours into account.

The Economist notes that women remain underrepresented in management positions but registers considerable optimism concerning current trends.

By contrast, recent research by the sociologists Philip Cohen, Matt Huffman and Stefanie Knauer showed that women’s entry into management positions in the United States slowed significantly in the 1990s.

The consensus seems to be that The Economist jumped the gun in declaring a female victory.

In light of this discussion, it’s worth re-examining and considering Penelope Trunk’s long-held belief that women — along with younger generations invading the workforce — have changed the entire workplace game. I agree with Trunk that for many women and men, the new career (or should I say life) goal isn’t to maximize salary but instead to maximize life experiences, including those of raising children, spending time with friends and family, and generally enjoying the rich offerings life gives.

From a 2005  Penelope Trunk blog post:

Forget the glass ceiling because it’s about to become irrelevant. Not because women are finally going to get to the top of Fortune 500 companies in forces of more than two companies at a time. That may happen, but no one’s holding their breath. The glass ceiling is going to become irrelevant because the women who are coming into the workforce now see what’s above that glass and they are uninterested.

…. five years after earning an MBA, 40% of women are working from home. Often the press writes about this statistic like it’s a travesty, but I think it’s great. It’s an achievement that these women have decided they can find success on their own terms instead of having to fit themselves through paths that were established for men, decades ago.

The disenchantment with corporate life is not limited to women: eighty percent of men aged 20 to 39 said that a flexible job to accommodate kids takes a higher priority than doing challenging work or earning a high salary.

Many women with children — and increasingly their male partners as well — will gladly forgo career advancement, and the higher salaries that go along with it, in return for a more flexible job that allows for a better and more fulfilling family life.

Moreover, many organizations have much less hierarchical structures today. This suits the many women and men who value life experiences over corporate ladder-climbing. Working on interesting projects and with great people is a life experience they treasure — climbing a corporate ladder increasingly is not.

Your thoughts?

Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Wed Jan 6th 2010 at 9:11am UTC

Are Women Taking Over the Workplace?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010


From The Economist, December 30, 2009:

The rich world’s quiet revolution: women are gradually taking over the workplace

At a time when the world is short of causes for celebration, here is a candidate: within the next few months women will cross the 50 percent threshold and become the majority of the American workforce. Women already make up the majority of university graduates in the OECD countries and the majority of professional workers in several rich countries, including the United States. Women run many of the world’s great companies, from PepsiCo in America to Areva in France.

Women’s economic empowerment is arguably the biggest social change of our times.

From another article in the same issue:

The rich world has seen a growing demand for women’s labor. When brute strength mattered more than brains, men had an inherent advantage. Now that brainpower has triumphed the two sexes are more evenly matched. The feminization of the workforce has been driven by the relentless rise of the service sector (where women can compete as well as men) and the equally relentless decline of manufacturing (where they could not). The landmark book in the rise of feminism was arguably not Ms Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” but Daniel Bell’s “The Coming of Post-Industrial Society”.

Or perhaps Rise of the Creative Class is a landmark book for demonstrating why women have increasingly found a fit in the wage-earning world.

Your thoughts?

(Thanks to colleague MW for drawing my attention to the article.)