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Job Growth Accelerates in Urban Centers, Slows on the Periphery

City centers have caught up to suburbs in terms of economic performance, according to new analysis.
October 11, 2016, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Joe Cortright examines the movement of jobs back to city centers by explaining the findings a new City Observatory report, Surging City Center Job Growth and a new paper from Nathaniel Baum-Snow and Michael Hartley [pdf] for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The latter examines neighborhood change relative to proximity central business districts. Cortright explains the findings of the latter study:

In the 1990s, the further you went from the urban core, the faster jobs were growing. Within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles of the center), job growth was, in the typical metropolitan area declining.  Beyond 15 kilometers (about 9 miles) the total number of jobs more than doubled during the decade (i.e. and increase of more than 100 percent over the decade).

Which compares to the decade following:

Between 2000 and 2010, job growth was nearly the same regardless of distance to the central business district.  Within four kilometers of the CBD, employment growth improved compared to the 1990s; beyond four kilometers, employment growth was much slower than in the 1990s.

According to Cortright, such findings are evidence of an increasingly positive economic performance of core urban areas.

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Published on Monday, October 10, 2016 in City Observatory City Commentary
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