Saturday, September 26, 2015

Right-to-Work States Lead Midwest Job Creation

Over the last three years, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin enacted Right-to-Work laws, and today, these three states lead the Midwest in job creation.  At 2.7%, Michigan is adding jobs at a rate faster than the national average, and Metro Detroit employment is growing at nearly double the rate of Metro Chicago.

While it's obviously not clear that all the gains in these states are due to the RTW laws, the forced union state in the middle, Illinois, is lagging severely.  Chicago's job count has grown at a below average 1.5% over the last year, but the rest of the state has actually lost jobs in spite of an improving national economy that's added over 2 million jobs.   The state is fairly close to being in a jobs recession, and Caterpillar's recent layoff announcement won't help.

Milwaukee isn't adding jobs at much faster pace than Chicago, but the rest of Wisconsin is, from Green Bay to Madison to Appleton.   Old industrial Indiana cities like Evansville, Fort Wayne, and Muncie are all growing employment at faster than the national average.   

Right-to-Work is not a guarantee of success.  Virginia's growing its job count at a weak 1.4%, due to its excessive dependence on military spending.   RTW North Dakota has lost jobs over the last 12 months due to falling oil prices.  Ohio's hanging in there in spite of its new RTW neighbors, and Toledo is benefitting from its proximity from Detroit's new found growth.   However, Ohio's 1.6% job growth rate is more than a point lower than the rate on the other side of its northern and western borders, where workers now enjoy freedom from forced union dues payments.   

Friday, September 25, 2015

Six Figure Cities

Doing some more Indeed mining, was interested to see where the six figure jobs are.   Running at a 25 mile radius to the main downtown, which gets close to MSA-level, top 10 were:

1. NY - 17,737 openings > $100k
2. SF - 6,527 openings, yes it beat L.A.
3. DC - 5,701
4. Boston - 5,576 a shutdown or sequester away from topping DC
5. Chicago - 5,009
6. San Jose - 4,446
7. LA - 3,908 more on this below, barely beat Seattle
8. Seattle - 3,058, only top 10 for $100k's that's under 2 million total MSA jobs
9. Atlanta - 2,877
10. Dallas - 2,643

Surprises, Thoughts, and Comments:

1. Philly didn't make it.  It was 12th.   It's got about 2.8 million MSA jobs, slightly more than Boston, but less than 1/2 as many six figure jobs.  But then this starts to make sense when you look at how much cheaper class A space is in Center City compared to downtown Boston.

2. LA has fewer 100k jobs in a 50 mile radius than San Francisco has in 25.  

3. Seattle seemed high, even with Amazon and Microsoft.   Some of this reflects its overall strength, with 4% annual job growth, among the highest in the country, but also the strength of its downtown, and the fact that most of its large suburban submarkets, especially downtown Bellevue, are reasonably close.   70% of the 100k jobs within a 50 mile radius of the Space Needle were also within a 5 mile radius.   In DC and Boston, this ratio was less than 50%, reflecting more suburban jobs paying >$100k in those regions.

4. The ratio mentioned above - 100k's within 5 miles/100k's within 50 miles was exceptionally low in LA - just 33%.   Not surprising, but the Bay Area had over 11,000 within 50 miles of San Francisco, which was twice as many as LA had within 50 miles.

5. Nearly 10% of all Boston listings showed up as paying > $100k, a level matched only by San Francisco and New York.   More than 10% of all $100k listings nationally were within 5 miles of Lincoln Center, or essentially in Manhattan.

6. Wasn't Top 10, but Austin had more 100k's than Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa, or Las Vegas.   Maybe I'll post more on this.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Test Tube Cities

Few things have had stronger staying power in the economic development business than pictures of lab coat techs starting at test tubes.   And with about 20 regions claiming to be top 5 in biotech, thought I'd do an Indeed search to see how many openings each metro actually had in this field.

Washington, DC.   Lots of hype about the 270 Biotech corridor, Human Genome, and MedImmune.  Within 50 miles of NIH's Bethesda HQ, 1,275 biotech jobs.

Boston.  Research, universities, more research, MIT, Harvard, Gronk (really is an amazing tight end, look up his stats).   Within 50 miles of Biogen HQ in Kendall Square, 2,996 jobs.

Seattle.  Paul Allen's money, Bill Gates's money, the intended biotech campus turned Jeff Bezos HQ in South Lake Union. Within 50 miles of the Westlake Avenue Streetcar (don't call it the SLUT anymore), just 379 biotech jobs.  Wow. San Diego came in higher at 785.

San Francisco.  2,356.

Outside of the Northeast Corridor and the Bay Area, only other regions I found over 300 were Chicago at 607, and LA at 814.

So within the Northeast Corridor,  there's a steady flow of companies from NIH to MIT.  Made sense then to run some 25 mile searches as well.

1,096 jobs within 50 miles of the Liberty Bell, but only 526 within 25 miles of the Philadelphia landmark.   Similar numbers within 25 miles of Princeton University, but 2,139 within 50 miles of that school, where you can tap into both Philly and NY Metro areas.   There are more biotech jobs within 50 miles of Princeton than there are within 50 miles of Manhattan.   Some of this is because New Jersey has a lot more going on with traditional pharma than Connecticut.

Also wanted to see how these places measured up in terms of VC raised, based off of data in the PwC Moneytree Survey.   Metro Boston and the Bay Area are tied at about $2.1 billion biotech raised over the last 12 months.   Metro NY, Philly, and DC each have done about 1/10th this, less than San Diego and Seattle.   So outside of Boston, the NE Corridor seems to be pulling in a lot of old school pharma.

Boston's clearly #1 with San Francisco #2.   After that, it's a huge drop off to #3, with San Diego and Seattle in a tie if you're looking at edgier, experimental companies, and NJ Turnpike Exit 7 getting #3 if you pull in biotech jobs at older pharmaceutical companies.    So no matter how many pictures of lab techs starting at test tubes are on your region's economic development website, pretty good chance it can't compete with Exit 7.