State Job Creation Strategies

Source: Progressive States Network, January 2010

Part I: Finding the Money and Investing in Human Capital and Physical Infrastructure
As this Dispatch will highlight, the first step is to fund jobs that support long-term economic competitiveness, notably by investing in people and physical infrastructure. While the economic climate for profit-making business opportunities is more limited, investments in education, health care, transit and energy efficiency can create immediate jobs while strengthening building blocks for long-term growth.

Part II: Supporting Innovation, Industrial Clusters and Green Job Creation
The next step, as this Dispatch will describe, is helping the private sector leverage opportunities for job creation and technological innovation. Too often, some state leaders treat economic development as merely a bidding war between states to give away the most tax breaks or economic subsidies to big corporate bidders. Not only do most studies show such tax-giveaway approaches to be ineffective — fundamentals like labor productivity and physical infrastructure are more critical in site selection for most global businesses — but they end up devoting most state resources to a few large businesses while ignoring investments in start-ups and smaller homegrown firms that are the heart of long-term local prosperity.

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