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January 19 2018

America’s New Economic Geography

by Rachel DiCarlo Currie

Writing in City Journal, the always interesting Joel Kotkin, a scholar at Chapman University and executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, examines how population and economic trends vary from red states to blue states.

Here’s Kotkin on the geography of population growth:

“Today, the often-disdained red states have the wind at their back, while in blue America, the economy seems to be slowing, as industries and people move to lower-cost, lower-regulation states. Seven of the top 10 states in terms of population growth last year were deep red; overall, the South has become home to the better part of economic dynamism in the country, with Texas and Florida alone accounting for one-third of all U.S. growth since 2010.”

What about America’s fastest-growing metropolitan-area economies? According to Kotkin, “Twenty of the 25 fastest-growing metro economies are in Trump states, both in the South and in the Rust Belt. The top three — Jacksonville, Des Moines, and Chattanooga — are all in the heart of Trump country.”

Kotkin also makes an important point about the distribution of manufacturing jobs:

“Some of the most precipitous drops in the numbers of highly paid blue-collar jobs since 1991 have been in blue states like California, New York, and Illinois. This has been particularly notable in Los Angeles and in Cook County, Illinois, long the country’s leading industrial regions. Today, manufacturing accounts for barely 5 percent of state employment in New York and 8 percent in California, weakening the focus on productive industry. But manufacturing accounts for 16 percent of jobs in Wisconsin and more than 13 percent in both Michigan and Alabama. These states see manufacturing jobs as a road to future prosperity.”

Read the whole thing.

 

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