Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

A Tale of Four Cities

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

A Tale of Four Cities

Article excerpt

What's special about Elkhart, Indiana; Iowa City, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin; and Indianapolis, Indiana?

"Looking for diamonds in the rust: Midwest cities and job growth" (Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, July 2006) by Michael Munley answers that question.

The Federal Reserve's Chicago District comprises Iowa, and most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. During the 1990s, this area seemed to shed its unofficial nickname: "the rest belt." But since 2000, employment in this area has declined by a half million. One might generalize about an area that is roughly a tenth of the country, but not all of the 50-some "rust belt" cities that are within the district's boundaries have fared the same over the past 5 years.

Between 2000 and 2005, the percentage change in employment in cities in the area ranged from -12.0 percent to 8.9 percent. But in addition to asking whether a given city experienced job growth, there is a more interesting question: what was the growth compared with that which could be expected, given its industrial composition.

Determining expected employment growth means assuming that employment in each industry in a given city should grow (or shrink) at the same rate as the national rate for that industry. Each industry's share of city employment determines that city's industrial structure and the weight each industry is reflected in its expected growth rate. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.