What Are Job Hubs?
High concentration of traded-sector jobs: Working with the Fund for Our Economic Future and TeamNEO, we identified job hubs based on the number of traded-sector jobs in a particular area, with a focus on places with job density in the top 5 percent in the region. The research focused specifically on identifying clusters of employment in sectors of the economy like manufacturing or business consulting that can export (or trade) goods and services outside of Northeast Ohio. To learn more about the importance of the traded sector and why it was focused on in the study, download the full report here.
Multiple traded-sector employers: Job hubs represent "clusters" of business activity and other assets like roads, highways, transit, and utilities. Business clustering allows for efficient use of infrastructure and creates other spill-over benefits from the accumulation of human and physical capital.
Alignment with local development patterns: Job hubs reflect local development patterns and the location of businesses, infrastructure, transportation assets, and land inventory in each place. This alignment with the built-environment will hopefully facilitate local community planning discussions around potential land use policies, transportation investments or other strategies to enhance each job hub's market competitiveness.
Alignment with civic priorities and economic development opportunities: Beyond encompassing many existing businesses and jobs, job hubs also contain high-quality sites with existing infrastructure or office inventory that, if occupied, could further add density to the job hub. We are coordinating with our local partners to promote the vibrancy and growth of job hubs that can compete in the global 21st-century economy.
Why Do Job Hubs Matter?
The spatial mismatch between people and jobs has real costs. People spend more time and money commuting; businesses struggle to fill open positions; municipalities spend on infrastructure to support new development while having to maintain the underutilized assets left behind; and our environment suffers as air quality declines due to long, car-based commutes. Ultimately, our regional economy loses its competitive edge.
Supporting business growth around a thoughtfully identified and competitive job hub can form the foundation of an economy that is attractive for businesses to grow, efficient for residents to access, fiscally prudent, and environmentally responsible. And it is a concept that allows for growth throughout the region since there are job hubs in cities, suburbs and rural communities.