Things that Really Matter in Growing Local Economies

August 1, 2010 at 7:03 am Leave a comment

Researchers at the Upjohn Institute in Michigan say these things are most important in driving economic growth in region (or county). I agree with them by the way. So the first step in making certain the new organization growing out of Project Concentrus is performance-based is to make sure it is focused on these issues. It is important to focus work effort on those factors that will matter most in creating economic vitality in Snohomish County and focus performance measures of these factors.

• There is no single factor or variable that single-handedly determines whether or not a region’s economy grows. This should be no surprise for most; however, it does reconfirm the importance for metro area stakeholders to carefully reexamine the relative importance of different factors to overall economic growth before selecting regional economic development policies.

• A skilled workforce and strong business dynamics are highly correlated with regional economic growth. Both indicate the importance of human capital development in the increasingly knowledge-based, global economy. Metro areas that successfully create an environment where training and educational opportunities are available and where entrepreneurs are welcomed and encouraged have a greater chance of generating greater economic growth.

• Openness to new cultures (urban assimilation), racial inclusion, and income equality are positively correlated with economic growth.

• Locational amenities, a measure of quality of life variables such as universities, recreation, and transportation, is positively correlated to per capita income growth but not to the other three growth measures.

• Finally, regions burdened with negative legacy of place costs are at a disadvantage when repositioning their economies for growth relative to newer metro areas.

Source: Development of a Regional Economic Dashboard, by Randall W. Eberts, George A. Erickcek, and Jack Kleinhenz

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Entry filed under: Metrics and Dashboard. Tags: , .

Lead Metrics Used by St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association Key Economic Development Metrics from Alaska

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