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BBA Economic Digest: Failing Some

Is College a Good Investment? A college degree, even with the debt that comes with it, is worth it, according to conventional thinking. Those with a bachelor’s degree on average earn over $1 million more than high school graduates make during their working lives, according to a 2014 report by the Federal Reserve. But borrowing heavily for college can mean decades of debt payments. Putting the college-income premium in perspective is important to determine if borrowing for education is actually a good investment. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review recently published a paper that looks not just at income but also net worth. “Our results suggest that college and postgraduate education

BBA Economic Digest: Home Alone

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash More Are Doing It Here's something that economic developers are going to have to wrap their heads around -- more people are working from home. St. Louis Fed researchers found that more than 3 percent of American employees primarily worked from home in 2017, up from 0.7 percent in 1980, reports Axios. That number rises to 4 percent for workers in sales, and 5 percent for workers in management, business and finance. Sounds small. It's not. In Boulder, Colorado, 9 percent of full-time employees work primarily from home. "The technological substrate of collaboration has gotten shockingly good over the last decade," wrote Stripe CTO David Singleton, announcing

BBA Economic Digest: Staying Put

A Tougher Proposition There was a time not so long ago when moving to a different town for a new job opportunity was fairly common. That time -- when most households had one primary earner -- is no longer. The reason: Most households today rely on two incomes and relocating requires finding two good jobs instead of one. That makes it a much tougher proposition for many couples. More than 60 percent of all U.S. households have two working parents, according to Pew Research Center. White-collar workers are more likely to be part of households where both partners work full time. "Now, when you have two-professional couples, you don’t want to go to a place where one has a great opportunity and o

BBA Economic Digest: Difference Maker

The Big Differentiator Yes, a community needs real estate "product" to compete for capital investment. It also needs supporting infrastructure. But the most important thing, that which differentiates a community from other places, is talent. Human resources trumps all else in whether corporate investment will occur in any given place. The collective knowledge and capabilities of the U.S. workforce is worth an estimated $240 trillion -- four times more valuable than the country’s physical capital stock and ten times more valuable than all the urban land in the United States. And yet here is the head scratcher -- certain places do not devote the needed resources or place a premium on vocationa

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