The Big Mistake It is something that I see in economic development every day. Will it always be this way? Frankly, I'm not sure. The Big Mistake is giving primacy to business attraction over business expansion and retention.
I get why this is. There is a certain allure and excitement to the hunt, to recruit a new corporate player to the community. That is what garners headlines and attaboys from elected officials, who often want to partake in golden shovel ceremonies.
Attraction is what economic development organization board members so often want and what economic developers are judged on.
"Hey, Bob, Mary, insert name here, why don't you go out and get us one of those Amazon fulfillment
Holding Their Feet to the Fire You seldom hear about state and local governments enforcing clawback clauses that are common in incentive agreements with companies. The bottom line is that a deal is a deal is a deal. And I have no problem with that. That's why they call them agreements. All parties need to uphold what they said they were going to do.
Having said that, if a company said it would create 200 jobs over an agreed upon period of time but created say 190 jobs, would I go after them? No I would not.
It's the blatant offenders who don't come close to doing what they said they would do that need the attention. After all, this is the taxpayer's money we're talking about.
A Wobbly Recovery
The U.S. labor force reached a high of 164.6 million persons in February 2020, just at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Nearly 21.5 million Americans lost their jobs in March and April and only around half of those jobs have returned. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data show around 141 million employed in the U.S., compared to 152.5 million in February. Both the labor participation rate at 61.7 percent, and the employment to population ratio, at 56.5 percent, are historically low and well below their levels in February. As of Aug. 22, according to labor data, 29.6 million people were on some form of unemployment insurance, nearly 20 times
Escape from New York We're watching this trend closely, if indeed it truly is a trend. More and more people appear to be leaving major cities, at least some major cities, for places with more space, fewer people and greater affordability. Both San Francisco and New York saw 80 percent more people leave than move in during the months of March and June, according to a report from HireAHelper, an online marketplace for moving services. Signed contracts for sales of condos and co-ops in Manhattan plunged nearly 60 percent in July, while contracts for single-family homes in areas outside of New York City skyrocketed, according to a recent report from brokerage firm Douglas Elliman and Miller Samu