Creating Jobs

Good article about this and Sacramento comes in 27th in medium sized cities, from New Geography.

An excerpt.

In our modern economy, the biggest wellspring of new jobs isn’t the information sector, as hype might lead some to think, but the somewhat nebulous category of business services. Over the past decade, business services has emerged as easily the largest high-wage sector in the United States, employing 19.1 million people. These are the white-collar jobs that most people believe offer a ladder into the middle class. Dominated by administrative services and management jobs, the sector also includes critical skilled workers in legal services, design services, scientific research , and even a piece of the tech sector with computer systems and design. Since 2004, while the number of manufacturing and information jobs in the U.S. has fallen, the business services sector has grown 21%, adding 3.4 million positions.

Given these facts, mapping the geography of business services employment growth is crucial to getting a grip on the emerging shape of regional economies. And because business services cover such a wide spectrum of activities, there is no one kind of area that does best. Business services thrive in a host of often different environments, far more so than the more narrow patterns we see in manufacturing or information. To generate our rankings of the best places for business services jobs, we looked at employment growth in the 366 metropolitan statistical areas for which BLS has complete data going back to 2003, weighting growth over the short-, medium- and long-term in that span, and factoring in momentum — whether growth is slowing or accelerating.

Tech-Service Hubs

Increasingly much of what we call tech is really about business services. Companies that primarily use technology to sell a product generally require many ancillary services, from accounting and public relations to market research. Apple, Google, and Facebook clearly demand many services, and that’s one reason why San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ranks first on our big metro areas list (those with at least 450,000 jobs). Since 2009, business service employment has expanded 34.7% in the area; just last year the sector expanded 7.9%. The Bay Area’s other tech rich region, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, ranks second.

This linkage of tech with business services can be seen in other information-oriented parts of the country. Both third-ranked Raleigh, N.C., and No. 5 Austin, Texas, are also tech hubs, and boast rapidly expanding business service sectors. They are also much less expensive places to do business, which may suggest these areas will be well positioned to capture more service jobs if bubble-licious stock and real estate prices undermine some of the economic logic that has driven business in the Bay Area.

The key here may also be cultural. Workers in business services tend to be well educated, and younger employees may well share the lifestyle preferences that have led workers to the Bay Area, as well as such moderately hip places as Austin. Their higher wages help defray the spiraling costs of living in these desired locations and millennials’ and, at least until their 30s, keep them closer to the urban core.

Retrieved July 18, 2015 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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