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Workforce skills across the urban-rural hierarchy
This paper examines differences in the skill content of work throughout the United States, ranging from densely populated city centers to isolated and sparsely populated rural areas. To do so, we classify detailed geographic areas into categories along the entire urban-rural hierarchy. An occupation-based cluster analysis is then used to measure the types of skills available in the regional workforce, which allows for a broader measure of human capital than is captured by conventional measures. We find that the occupation clusters most prevalent in urban areas?scientists, engineers, and ...
Which Workers Bear the Burden of Social Distancing Policies?
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, nearly all U.S. states imposed social distancing policies to combat the spread of illness. To the extent that work can be done from home, some workers moved their offices to their abodes. Others, however, are unable to continue working as their usual tasks require a specific location or environment, or involve close proximity to others. Which types of jobs cannot be done from home and which types of jobs require close personal proximity to others? What share of overall U.S. employment falls in these categories? And, given that these jobs will be the ...
Knowledge in cities
This study identifies clusters of U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas with similar knowledge traits. These groups?ranging from Making Regions, characterized by knowledge about manufacturing, to Thinking Regions, noted for knowledge about the arts, humanities, information technology, and commerce?can be used by analysts and policymakers for the purposes of regional benchmarking or comparing the types of programs and infrastructure available to support closely related economic activities. In addition these knowledge-based clusters help explain the types of regions that have levels of economic ...
Shared knowledge and the coagglomeration of occupations
This paper provides an empirical analysis of the extent to which people in different occupations locate near one another, or coagglomerate. We construct pairwise Ellison-Glaeser coagglomeration indices for U.S. occupations and use these measures to investigate the factors influencing the geographic concentration of occupations. The analysis is conducted separately at the metropolitan area and state levels of geography. Empirical results reveal that occupations with similar knowledge requirements tend to coagglomerate and that the importance of this shared knowledge is larger in metropolitan ...
Evidence on the Within-Industry Agglomeration of R&D, Production, and Administrative Occupations
To date, most empirical studies of industrial agglomeration rely on data where observations are assigned an industry code based on classification systems such as NAICS in North America and NACE in Europe. This study combines industry data with occupation data to show that there are important differences in the spatial patterns of occupation groups within the widely used industry definitions. We focus on workers in manufacturing industries, whose occupations almost always fit into three groups: production, administrative, or R&D. We then employ two approaches to document the spatial ...
Cognitive Hubs and Spatial Redistribution
In the U.S., cognitive non-routine (CNR) occupations associated with higher wages are disproportionately represented in larger cities. To study the allocation of workers across cities, we propose and quantify a spatial equilibrium model with multiple industries that employ CNR and alternative (non-CNR) occupations. Productivity is city-industry-occupation specific and partly determined by externalities across local workers. We estimate that the productivity of CNR workers in a city depends significantly on both its share of CNR workers and total employment. Together with heterogeneous ...
Changes in the Occupational Structure of the United States: 1860 to 2015
This Commentary describes how the mix of occupations in which people have been employed in the United States has evolved over time. After 100 years of dramatic change, the mix of occupations has been more stable since 1970. This trend adds occupational structure to the growing list of ways our nation?s economy has become less dynamic in recent decades.