Tag Archives: The Federal Reserve Bank of CLeveland

Caution to Cities: Don’t Overly Focus on Increasing Degree Share

Lots of people who care about cities have focused their energy on helping cities attract college graduates, as the college degree share of a region is highly correlated with how successful it is economically.

This report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland cautions that  “too narrow a focus on the graduates can lead to misguided policies”

It continues:

“It is a summary statistic that can change for many reasons. One metro area could have a fast-rising share because it has a lot of universities graduating local students or attracting high-skilled immigrants. Another area might achieve a rising share by losing unskilled workers when its low-skill industry declines. To understand the factors that have shaped the degree share, we need to dig behind the summary statistic and examine what is happening to both the graduate and nongraduate populations.”

What do you think?

The Fed report concludes:

“Some metro areas that appear to be highly successful at raising their college degree share are really just keeping pace with the national growth in college graduates while not offering an attractive standard of living to adults without college degrees. It may not be politically desirable, or even possible, for other metro areas to copy their ‘success.’ Likewise, there are metro areas that are gathering massive workforces of college graduates, but they receive less attention from regional development experts because strong in-migration of nongraduates keeps the college degree share at a modest level.

The point to take away from this analysis is that the growth in the nondegree population has to be taken into consideration when the divergence of education levels is discussed. Educating students, retaining graduates, and attracting migrant graduates all matter, but retaining or attracting nongraduates also matters. The populations of adults without college degrees are not static or immobile. Looking at growth relative to a historical baseline refocuses our attention on the majority of the workforce that does not hold an undergraduate degree. Understanding how they impact “smart places getting smarter” is an important step toward deriving useful policy recommendations from this phenomenon.”

-KG

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Filed under Brain Drain, Economic Development, Good Ideas

Fed Research Shows Positive Trend for Pittsburgh

This post was written by contributor Lewis Lehe. -KG

Stephan Whitaker, a research economist at the Cleveland Fed, has noticed two salubrious trends in RustBelt demographics:

1) between 2000 and 2008, college graduates rose sharply as a share of the work-force in several urban areas

2) in the future, the graduate share will keep rising as older, less-educated workers retire

This news is good taken at face value, because research by Ed Glaeser and other urban economists suggests cities thrive as idea-generating centers. When educated people interact face-to-face, they breed businesses and insights.

Educational Attainment of Working-age Adults in Fourth District Metro Areas

Working-age adults (2008) Degree share 2000 (percent) Degree share 2008 (percent) Change (percent)
Erie 151,718 22.5 28.2 5.6
Akron 386,990 26.1 31.6 5.4
Pittsburgh 1,235,251 28.1 32.7 4.6
Columbus 896,440 32.3 36.9 4.5
Lexington-Fayette 161,486 37.1 41.5 4.4
Mansfield 67,839 13.1 17.4 4.3
Youngstown-Warren 306,892 17.5 21.7 4.2
Cleveland 1,223,369 26.0 29.2 3.2
Cincinnati 863,150 28.6 31.7 3.1
United States 167,282,883 26.5 29.6 3.1
Canton 226,427 19.1 20.8 1.8
Lima 80,257 14.9 16.6 1.7
Hamilton-Middleton 195,416 25.9 27.4 1.5
Dayton-Springfield 508,775 24.4 25.8 1.3
Toledoa 419,227 21.6 22.9 1.3

Things I thought were interesting

Whitaker finds that Pittsburgh stands out in both trends, because we are gaining lots of graduates (mainly PA locals and international immigrants) and because our older workers are very uneducated—probably because they grew up in a city with steel mills. He speculates: “If the highly educated cohorts in Pittsburgh continue to phase in, the city will eventually have a workforce like a university town rather than a former industrial center.”

I also did my own comparison and found that the number of college-grad immigrants Pittsburgh gained exceeds the entire population of Bloomfield. I think this is a good thought comparison because Bloomfield itself is split between young college grads and old people. Here is a picture I took in Bloomfield that captures the tension:

These trends indicate Pittsburgh will probably become a better place for people like me to live. More college graduates will produce wider cultural variety, more startups, and less-corrupt politicians.  I’m excited about that, but I believe there’s another side to this coin: Pittsburgh’s graduate share will rise in part because it is not a good place for working-class men and women to move. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when you take the whole universe into account, though. After all, in order for some places to be good at attracting working class men and women, other places have to be good at losing them (or at least not gaining them). But it’s worth keeping in mind.

In contrast, I thought this was worth highlighting: “Columbus and Cincinnati both experienced large increases in their populations of unskilled immigrants. In Columbus, the nondegreed immigrant adult population increased from just under 30,000 to over 46,000, and the equivalent population in Cincinnati increased from 19,700 to 29,600.”

Since unskilled immigrants are the working class of the working class, I say hats off to Columbus and Cincinnati for providing an attractive place for these families to live. Doubly so for Columbus as it is also a highly-educated city.

-Lewis Lehe

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Filed under Brain Drain, Economic Development, Education, Headline, regionalism

The Masonry and Ironwork of Cleveland

At some point in the Cleveland’s history, it must have been home to some of the finest stonemasons and ironworkers in the world.

Now that working stonemasons and ironworkers–craftsmen–are mainly a thing of the past, their legacy endures and continues to add character, beauty and sometimes even humor to the Cleveland streetscape.

I’ve been meaning to do this blog post since I began this blog early this year but until last week I was lacking a functional camera.

I shot these photos on my ride home from work, mainly in a six-block stretch of Superior and St. Clair avenues.

Start: The Archdiocese of Cleveland, 9th and Superior

Start: The Archdiocese of Cleveland, E. 9th and Superior

Keeping watch

Keeping watch

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Next Stop: The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, E. 6th and Superior

Next Stop: The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, E. 6th and Superior

These statues used to contain machine gun torrets, as armed guard protected the safe during the turbulent years of the 1920s and '30s.

These statues once contained machine-gun turrets, as armed guards protected the safe during the turbulent years of the 1920s and '30s.

Next door: The reading garden at the Cleveland Public Library Main Branch, gaurded by children

Next door: The reading garden at the Cleveland Public Library Main Branch, guarded by children

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Weather worn, the public library: 6th and Superior

Weather worn, the public library: 6th and Superior

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Across the street: The arcade. One of America's first shopping malls.

Across the street: The arcade. One of America's first shopping malls.

Mall building has changed a lot since 1890.

Mall building has changed a lot since 1890.

A better view.

A better view.

A really a lot better view.

A really a lot better view.

The Federal Courthouse: East 3rd and Superior.

The Federal Courthouse: East 3rd and Superior.

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War Memorial Sculpture, Cleveland Mall

The Cleveland Mall was built as part of the City Beautiful movement under the guidance of famous Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. A complete history here.

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The Mall is flanked by the Board of Education building and a statue of Abraham Lincoln.

The Mall is flanked by the Board of Education building and a statue of Abraham Lincoln.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument: W. 2nd and Superior, public square.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument: W. 2nd and Superior, Public Square.

The May COmpany Building, formerly home to May Department Store, Euclid and E. 2nd.

The May Company Building, formerly home to May Department Store, Euclid and E. 2nd.

Tower City, Public Square

Tower City, Public Square

Until 1964, Tower City was the tallest building in America outside of New York City. It was built as a train station and still serves as a stop on RTA’s rapid transit line as well as as a mall and movie theater.

The Cleveland Trust Company Building, precursor to National City Bank.

The Society National Bank Building, precursor to Key Bank.

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West Third Street

West Third Street

The county courthouse, Lakeside and Ontario

The county courthouse, Lakeside and Ontario

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My personal favorite, the Rockefeller Building: W. 6th and Superior. Abraham Lincoln once spent the night in this building.

My personal favorite, the Rockefeller Building: W. 6th and Superior. Abraham Lincoln once spent the night in this building.

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The Perry-Payne Building, W. 9th and Superior

U.S. District Court, Superior and Huron

U.S. District Court, Superior and Huron

Ok. That’s all for now. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list. Most notably overlooked examples include the “Guardians of Traffic” on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge and, of course, the dozens and dozens of beautiful churches that pepper the city.

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-AS

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