Economic Innovation Group

The 21st Century Race for Jobs, Businesses, and Human Capital

Posted on June 11, 2018

Escape Velocity: How Elite Communities Are Pulling Away in the 21st Century Race for Jobs, Businesses, and Human Capital

Report: Many in US left out of recovery from Great Recession

Only the most affluent zip codes quickly recovered from the Great Recession and went on to rack up significant job gains, while the economies of the country’s most distressed communities continue to struggle, according to a new report released last week.

Why it matters: The report by the Economic Innovation Group, a research and advocacy organization, shows how the spectacular performance of a relatively small number of communities at the top has allowed the overall national story to obscure the decay at the bottom.

The wealthiest regions continue to pull farther and farther ahead of nearly every other region — including those considered to have “comfortable” economic conditions — as white-hot markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and Washington D.C., gobble up jobs, businesses and talent.

That means economic growth has consistently failed to reach the communities struggling the most during the 21st century.

Having so many underperforming communities makes the country less productive and resilient. The U.S. increasingly depends on a relatively small number of economic engines.

And this divergence is accelerating. Less advantaged communities aren’t just not keeping pace — their fortunes continue to fall.

“For those regions, there’s been nearly uninterrupted, prolonged decline,” said John Lettieri, the group’s co-founder and president. “For the top, it’s been nearly uninterrupted, rocket-ship growth.”

Escape Velocity


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