Posts Tagged ‘college towns’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Jul 21st 2009 at 10:45am UTC

Where Unemployment Is Worse than Expected

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

The impacts of the economic crisis continue to be felt unevenly across the country. I’ve previously looked at the factors associated with higher rates of regional unemployment. But which places have seen the biggest jumps in unemployment since the crisis hit?

To get at this, my colleague Charlotta Mellander conducted a straightforward statistical exercise called a “residual analysis.” It’s a simple way to track how a location performs relative to the performance of all other locations. Basically, the analysis examines to what extent the initial unemployment rate in May 2008 seems to have had an impact on the change in unemployment over the last year. Technically speaking,  Mellander ran a regression analysis predicting change in unemployment over this last year (May 2008 to May 2009) as a function of the initial level of unemployment at the beginning of the period (May 2008). She then compared the predicted values to the actual values.

The first graph shows the pattern for U.S. states.

The hardest hit states are ones that were doing badly even before the crisis hit. The fitted line is steep; the correlation between the two is 0.59 and significant; and the R2, 0.345. States below the line experienced a smaller than predicted increase in unemployment levels, while those above the line saw a larger than predicted increase.

Michigan has the highest unemployment rate, but Oregon (+3.0) has taken the biggest relative hit. Alabama (+1.8), Indiana (+1.6), South Carolina (+1.6), and Wisconsin (+1.4) have also taken bigger than expected hits. North Dakota has the lowest rate of unemployment but Alaska (-2.8), Mississippi (-2.1), Arkansas (-1.2), Connecticut (-1.2), Iowa (-1.1), and Nebraska (-1.2) have done better than expected.

The second graph repeats the analysis for U.S. metropolitan regions. It excludes two extreme outliers in California – Yuma and El Centro – which started the period with 20 percent plus rates of unemployment.

The hardest hit metros are also those that were doing badly before the crisis. The fitted line is again steep; the correlation coefficient is high, 0.59; and the R2, 0.351.

The crisis has hit hardest at smaller Rustbelt metros, especially those in Indiana: Elkhart-Goshen, IN; (+7.3); Kokomo, IN (+7.2); Decatur, GA (+3.2); Sheboygan, WI (+2.7); Fort Wayne, IN  (+2.3); and Youngstown, OH (+2.2).

While Detroit has faced staggering unemployment, the difference between its actual and predicted unemployment is +1.6. Among large metros, Portland (+3.1), Charlotte (+2.2), and, San Jose (+1.9) experienced even bigger than expected increases in unemployment. Las Vegas (1.5), Boise (1.29), and Orlando (+1.29) have also been hard hit. San Francisco (+.93), Miami (+.49), L.A., Chicago (+.31), Atlanta, and San Diego (+.21) also performed worse than their May 2008 unemployment levels predicted.

Several Oregon metros took worse than expected hits: Bend-(+4.6), Eugene-Springfield (+3.8), Portland (+3.0), Salem (+2.5), Medford (+2.4), Corvallis(+1.9). Metros that border Oregon like Spokane, Washington (+0.8) and Boise, Idaho (+1.3) also have high differentials.

Three Texas cities – Dallas (-1.0), Houston (-0.9), and Austin (-1.0) – performed considerably better than expected. Minneapolis-St. Paul (-0.4) did too. Cities along the Bos-Wash mega-region – Boston (-0.4), D.C. (-0.3), New York (-0.1), and even Philadelphia (-0.3) – also did better than predicted. Surprisingly, Phoenix also outperformed expectations (-.2), albeit modestly.

College towns number among the best performers, doing much better than predicted: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, home to University of Illinois (-2.2); Iowa City, University of Iowa (-1.81); Manhattan Kansas, Kansas State University (-1.82); College Station, Texas, Texas A&M (-1.74); New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University (-1.54); State College, Pennsylvania, Penn State University (-1.47); Boulder, Colorado, University of Colorado (-.93); Austin, Texas, University of Texas (-1.0); Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan (-.94); and Ithaca, New York, Cornell University (-.97), among others.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 11th 2009 at 9:00am UTC

What Gen Y Wants

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Business Week examines how Gen Y is coping with the crisis. Boulder, San Francisco, and D.C. top the list. College towns and big cities dominate the list prepared by Kevin Stolarick and our MPI team.

So we dug into some Gallup data on what Gen Y wants in cities and here’s what we found:

Jobs are clearly important. Gen Y members ranked the availability of jobs second when asked what would keep them in their current location and fourth in terms of their overall satisfaction with their community ….

[T]he highest-ranked factor was the ability to meet people and make friends. Makes perfect sense, since Gen Y intuitively understands what economic sociologists have documented: Vibrant social networks are key to landing jobs, moving forward in your career, and one’s broader personal happiness. They not only desire a thick labor market but what I have come to call a thick mating market, where they can meet new people, go out on dates, and eventually find a life partner. They recognize what psychologists of happiness have shown. It’s not money per se that makes you happy; it’s doing exciting work and having uplifting personal relationships …

Where older Americans see high-quality schools and safe streets as key, Gen Y understandably ranks the availability of outstanding colleges and universities higher. Many are likely to go back to graduate school, and having great programs nearby is a big plus. When it comes to their overall community satisfaction, access to open space, being in an aesthetically beautiful city, and having access to vibrant nightlife are also quite important; Affordable housing, air and water quality, and availability of religious institutions matter too but slightly less so.

When we look at the factors that affect the likelihood Gen Ys will stay in their current community, the beauty of the place again mattered, along with its climate, the ability to get around easily with little traffic, and affordable housing.

This is important, because Gen Y members are considerably less attached to where they live than other Americans. About a quarter (26.5%) of them said they were extremely satisfied with the place they currently live, compared with nearly half (47.4%) of all Americans. Twentysomethings are on average three or four times more likely to move than forty- or fiftysomethings.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu May 21st 2009 at 1:30pm UTC

Town, Gown, and Unemployment

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

It’s clear that the economic crisis is having uneven impacts on different types of workers and different kinds of communities. Highly educated people and highly educated places are holding up much better than others.

But among the most stable places in the current downturn are college towns.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for March 2009, Martin Prosperity Institute researcher Patrick Adler put together the following graph which plots the unemployment rate for various states, major commercial cities, and college towns. The results speak for themselves.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Mar 28th 2009 at 10:14am UTC

College Towns Thrive in the Reset

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

(Graphic from the Wall Street Journal).

College town economies are among the most resilient according to the Wall Street Journal.

Of the six metropolitan areas with unemployment below 4% as of January, three of them are considered college towns. One is Morgantown. The other two are Logan, Utah, home of Utah State University, and Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University. Both have just 3.8% unemployment, based on Labor Department figures that are not seasonally adjusted. The pattern holds true for many other big college towns, such as Gainesville, Fla., Ann Arbor, Mich., Manhattan, Kan., and Boulder, Colo. In stark contrast, the unadjusted national unemployment rate is 8.5%