The New Geography of Jobs
By Enrico Moretti
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780547750118, 304pp.)
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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An economist at Berkeley looks at the major shifts taking place in the U.S. economy and reveals the surprising winners and losers—specifically, which kinds of jobs will drive economic growth and where they’ll be located—while exploring how communities can transform themselves into dynamic innovation hubs.
Enrico Moretti is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among other publications.
"Moretti has written the most important book of the year, I can't recommend it enough. The Cal-Berkeley economic professor's book is extremely necessary for politicians and commentators alike, book that artfully slays myriad myths that cloud the economic debate. Brilliant."
"Enrico Moretti's superb book highlights why the study of economic geography is vital for understanding fundamental issues such as the root causes of rising income inequality, innovation, and job growth. For those who are curious about how the United States will continue to thrive in the global 21st century economy, I can think of no better book to read than The New Geography of Jobs."
—Matthew E. Kahn, author of Climatopolis
"A fresh, provocative analysis of the debate on education and employment. . . A welcome contribution from a newcomer who provides both a different view and balance in addressing one of the country's more profound problems."
"Wow. . . Without referring to Charles Murray, Moretti blows Coming Apart totally out of the water, replacing Murray's moralistic sociology with solid economics."
—Arnold Kling, EconLog "[A] persuasive look at why some U.S. cities have prospered in recent decades while others have declined."
—James Pressley, Bloomberg - Businessweek
"The New Geography of Jobs explains the major shifts taking place in the United States economy and reveals the surprising winners and losers—specifically, which jobs will drive economic growth and where they’ll be located. Which communities will transform themselves into dynamic innovation hubs in 2012 and beyond? It can be done.Get educated, get a map and get going!"
—Troy Onink, Forbes
"In a new book, The New Geography of Jobs, University of California at Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti argues that for each job in the software, technology and life-sciences industries, five new jobs are indirectly created in the local economy. The jobs range from yoga instructors to restaurant owners. Mr. Moretti calculated such a multiplier effect by examining U.S. Census Bureau data from eight million workers in 320 areas during the past 30 years. By comparison, he found that just 1.6 local jobs were created for every new job in the manufacturing industry during the same period. Mr. Moretti says the data support the argument that technology innovators are one of the most important engines of job creation in the U.S.—with three of those five jobs going to people without college degrees."
—Jessica E. Vascellaro, Wall Street Journal
"As Enrico Moretti documents in compelling detail in a recently released book, The New Geography of Jobs, even if we don’t assemble iPhones or sneakers in America, we supply their designs to those who do. And we do still make things—things like precision scientific instruments and jetliners. But the way we’re producing them has changed as well: Even in sectors that have expanded production over the last decade, there are fewer jobs to be had— the so-called productivity paradox. The reason? Production is increasingly automated, requiring more computers and fewer human beings. All this adds up to an economy that generates just as much income, but with profits flowing into far fewer pockets than they did in the previous century. Moretti suggests that the prognosis for the average American worker need not be so gloomy if, as he predicts, America continues to thrive as a hub of knowledge generation and innovation. While the idea creators—those who design iPhones and develop new drugs—will continue to be the drivers of prosperity, more than a few crumbs may fall to the workers who support them. For example, Moretti estimates that Microsoft alone is responsible for adding 120,000 low-skill jobs to the Seattle area, where the company is based. This is because of the support workers required to style the hair, cut the grass, and yes, build the houses, of all those Microsoft engineers and computer scientists. And they earn more doing it—a barber in San Francisco earns about 40 percent more than his counterpart in Detroit or Riverside, Calif. So one way of boosting incomes of the bottom quintile would be to provide incentives for them to pick up and move from the rust belt to innovation hubs like Austin, San Francisco, and Boston."
—Ray Fisman, Slate
"In The New Geography of Jobs, Moretti explains how innovative industries bring 'good jobs' and high salaries to the communities where they cluster, and their impact on the local economy is much deeper than their direct effect."
—Joann Steinmetz, Buffalo Rising
"The New Geography of Jobs, examines how and why hiring is stronger in some U.S. cities than in others."
"Whatever this month unemployment report turns out to be, it's probably not gonna be great news for the Rust Belt. Best guesses are manufacturing jobs are still scarce. Meanwhile, new economy places like Silicon Valley continue to thrive. The difference? Location, location, location. So says economist Enrico Moretti in his latest book, The New Geography of Jobs."
"Professor Moretti is a visionary scholar and one of the most important new voices in economics."
—The Costa Report
"The choice of where you live is the most important choice an American worker can make today." —MSNBC – The Dylan Ratigan Show
"The book is excellent, I strongly recommend it." —Forbes (Adam Ozimek)
"What explains the wide range of economic growth and prosperity across U.S. regions, and why is it so hard for struggling metro areas to reverse multi-decade trends? These are the questions that urban economist Enrico Moretti addresses in The New Geography of Jobs. In his vision, innovative workers and companies create prosperity that flows broadly, but these gains are mostly metropolitan in scale, meaning that geography substantially determines economic vitality. [...] Moretti has written a clear and insightful account of the economic forces that are shaping America and its regions, and he rightly celebrates human capital and innovation as the fundamental sources of economic development." —Brookings Institution (Jonathan Rothwell)
"An important new book."
"A bold vision."
—MIT Sloan Management Review
"Economist Enrico Moretti finds that earnings of a high school graduate increase 7% for every 10% increase in the percent of people in a city that are college graduates. While having more high-skilled workers around tends to raise everyone's salaries, Moretti's research shows that low-skilled workers benefit four to five times more than college graduates. Even as liberals work to find a way to counteract the problem of the 1 percent, they should view HSI as a step toward turning America back into a true middle-class society."
"Prof. Moretti's findings are both significant and provocative."
—Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
"[There is] a growing divide among American cities. The winners are metro areas like Raleigh, N.C., San Francisco and Stamford, Conn., where more than 40 percent of the adult residents have college degrees. The Raleigh area has a booming technology sector and several major research universities; San Francisco has been a magnet for college graduates for decades; and metropolitan Stamford draws highly educated workers from white-collar professions in New York like finance. Metro areas like Bakersfield, Calif., Lakeland, Fla., and Youngstown, Ohio, where less than a fifth of the adult residents have college degrees, are being left behind. The divide shows signs of widening as college graduates gravitate to places with many other college graduates and the atmosphere that creates. "This is one of the most important developments in the recent economic history of this country," said Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who recently published a book on the topic, The New Geography of Jobs."
—The New York Times (Sabrina Tavernise)
"The New Geography of Jobs, by Enrico Moretti of U.C. Berkeley, provides an excellent big-picture analysis of the increasingly divergent outlook for our nation’s cities and delves into the reasons why this disparity is likely to widen. […] Highly recommended, a compelling read!"
—Talking about Finance (Eric Von Berg)
"An unprecedented redistribution of jobs, population and wealth is underway in this country."
"Remember author Thomas Friedman’s argument that the world was flat, and where you lived didn’t matter, because with e-mail, cell phones, and the Internet, you could do business all over the world? Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti pretty much says "that is so 10 years ago!" In fact, Moretti says the opposite has happened. There’s a sea change going on, a redistribution of population and wealth fueled by innovative companies that need to be in ecosystems to thrive."
—NPR Here and Now
"Amid growing concern about its outsourcing practices, Apple has posted a study showing that it has created or supported more than 514,000 jobs in the United States. That includes glass manufacturers, FedEx, UPS and a whole new mini-industry of people developing apps for the iPhone and iPad. But some economists are skeptical. University of California, Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti has written a new book about this kind of indirect job creation. He says Apple's total job creation estimate is too high — the real total is somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000. "My own research suggests that for each additional job in the average high-tech firm, five additional jobs are created outside that firm in the local community," Moretti says. And when well-paid tech employees spend a lot of money, that also creates jobs. According to Moretti, "That would suggest that at the local level, Apple generates about 300,000 jobs all together in the U.S."
—NPR All Things Considered "The dueling speeches on the economy by Obama and Romney simply offered national solutions. Yet so many cities and states are on a strong comeback. Each place has unique reasons for doing well, such as natural resources or creative universities. New York City thrives on finance, arts, tourism. Washington, D.C., prospers on tax and visitor dollars. Many places have largely defied the sluggishness in the national economy. These growth centers could become America’s pathway back to prosperity. They not only hold lessons for what other places can do, but they can serve as magnets for the unemployed. More than ever, local communities are the secret of economic success" in a global economy, finds Enrico Moretti, an economics professor at theUniversity of California, Berkeley, and author of a new book, The New Geography of Jobs. Like many scholars now studying microeconomies, Dr. Moretti sees the mobility of workers to low-employment cities as an easy solution to improve the national economy. ‘Your salary depends more on where you live than your résumé,’ he writes." —Christian Science Monitor
"Politicians from both parties, acutely aware that voters are giving a critical eye to the unemployment rate, continue to tout a rebirth in American manufacturing as the key to job growth. However, not everyone agrees that more manufacturing equals more jobs. In his book The New Geography of Jobs, University of California at Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the information economy is a driver of job growth. The problem, according to Moretti, is that we often look at places like Palo Alto, Calif., with its office parks, Stanford University campus and ambitious entrepreneurs, and fail to recognize the ripples that tech companies send through the greater economy. Using reams of U.S. Census data, Moretti estimates that for every job created by the likes of Apple or Cisco Systems, another five jobs are added in the local service industry." —TERRENCE MURRAY in "The Financialist"