Katie Paton and E.C. Myers
The proportions of the locations of the work force in the United States are changing. The labor force is shifting from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and the West.
The West has had the largest percentage increase over the past 40 years. During the development of the United States, there have been different eras when jobs have been concentrated in certain regions. Recently, technology industry clusters have been popping up on the West Coast.
The Multifactor productivity of manufacturing computer and electronic products has steadily increased since the late 1980’s. The industry gained momentum in course with Silicon Valley and other technological hubs along the west coast. This brought people from all over the US in search of jobs, particularly people from the Northeast, as is seen in their percentage population decline. Industry clusters are groups of similar firms in a defined geographic area that share a common market. The Silicon Valley attracts many young technology professionals to the area due to start up companies such as Apple, Netflix, and Google. These tech start up companies are creating an expressive culture that differs greatly from the East Coast’s work culture.
The East Coast’s developed financial market may have less room for growth than the developing West Coast’s technology market, but the past 40 years has shown a steady growth in the industry. The total assets in all commercial banks in the US has experienced a steady growth over the last 40 years. In January of 1976, when 31.6% of the US labor force was located in the south, the commercial banks had total assets of $918 billion US dollars. In December 2017, the percentage of the US labor force in the South had grown to 36.9% and the commercial banking assets had increased to $16,787 billion US dollars. While causation is not evident in these similar growth patterns, correlation is certainly evident. The South has experienced an increase in the labor force largely as a result of the growing commercial banking industry, prevalent in the south. For example, Charlotte, NC is the 2nd largest financial center in the US.
Having new industry clusters is good for the local economy as it brings jobs to the area. This growing market will increase GDP, increasing the income of technology employees, and increasing the consumption, creating a cycle to help the United States economy.
-Katie Paton & E.C. Myers