Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Economic Development on the Radio and at the News Stand

By Stephanie Allen, Project Assistant. 

You may have heard me mention the National Public Radio Planet Money podcast before; it’s one of my favorites. Recently the Planet Money team collaborated with This American Life and with Wired Magazine on some interesting economic development stories. Just in case you are not a follower of all things Planet Money or haven’t heard about some of the recent podcasts, radio shows, or reports they have done on economic development, I thought I would share a few links: 

This American Life’s May 13th episode, “How to Create a Job”, looks into the business of job creation, goes to a meeting of the International Economic Developer’s Council, takes a look at the high unemployment rate among people with only high school educations and a program in Rochester, NY that is specifically designed to help them get jobs. The episode asks some big questions about the nature of the economic development business and offers an outsider’s perspective.

Planet Money’s podcast from last Friday (May 27th, 2011), “How Many Jobs Has Scott Walker Created?” is an interview with Wisconsin’s governor Scott Walker (most of this interview appears in the TAL “How to Create a Job” episode). The planet money team examines whether the sort of incentives and tax breaks typically found in the economic developer’s toolbox—the sort of incentives Walker is using in Wisconsin—are really responsible for creating jobs or whether the jobs would be created incentives or not when it makes good sense for businesses to create them (and not before).

An older Planet Money podcast (from April 5, 2011), “How Do You Create a Job”, which asks what we mean when we say we’ve created a job and who deserves credit for a job’s creation.

A short story from Morning Edition, “Looking for a High-Tech Job? Try Cotton”, looks at the age-old cotton industry and some of the ways technology is making this once back-breaking and low-paying industry high-tech.

A special report from Planet Money and Wired Magazine on the “Smart Jobs” that promise to revitalize the ranks of the American middle class. This cover story for June’s print issue of Wired Magazine looks at data compiled by Wired and the Planet Money team and posits the emergence of “a whole new category of middle-class jobs”. They’re called “smart jobs” and they’re located in all sorts of places across the nation. The best part… there are jobs for people with PhDs, sure, but there are many well-paying jobs for those with bachelor’s degrees and even for those with only high school diplomas. Check out these articles posted today “Job Growth and the Resurgent Middle Class”, “How an Old Industry is Rebooting”, “The Revival of Small-City Downtowns”, and look out for two more articles on Wired’s site Thursday (June 2) “The Surprising New Job Centers” and “Why One Tech Corridor is Booming”.