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13 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

The stories Dane thinks you need to see. March 14, 2024 edition.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
3 min read
13 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

1) This week’s essential update for economic developers: My new platform, Sitehunt, is live.

With AI-assistance, Sitehunt streamlines property database creation and turbocharges your RFI responses. If you’re involved in building and site management and handle RFIs, Sitehunt is a must-have tool.

Check out our new walkthrough video to see it in action:

Interested in a personalized demo for your organization? Contact me to see how Sitehunt can work for you.


2) Labor productivity at large US firms is rising again – after 15 years of no growth.


3) Job postings are increasingly dropping educational criteria: In the wake of a rising trend towards prioritizing skills over degrees, more employers are shifting away from mandating official educational qualifications for employment opportunities.

  • A majority (52%) of US job postings on Indeed did not mention any formal education requirement as of January 2024, up from 48% at the same time in 2019.
  • The share of US job postings requiring at least a college degree fell from 20.4% to 17.8% in the last five years, opening doors for the 64% of US adults without a bachelor's degree.
  • Formal educational requirements are declining in nearly every sector, and mentions of college degrees have fallen since 2019 in 87% of occupational groups analyzed by Indeed.

4) What people don’t know about manufacturing is hurting us: Some of the most cutting edge and downright coolest things in the world are happening at American manufacturers, things that will shape our future and touch the lives of every human being. But ask your average Jane or Joe on the street about them, and they'd likely have no idea how things work inside a manufacturer.


5) Mass timber is great, but it won't solve the housing shortage.


6) Suburban offices have lost about 17% of their value since the peak. That's not what anyone wants for their portfolio, but it's not nearly as bad as cities' central business districts:


7) U.S. propane exports established a new record in December 2023:


8) Anyone who has a future-optimist will almost surely find the following two charts incredibly aggravating – if not outright demoralizing:

The clear message of those two charts: Despite the promises made in the CHIPS and Science Act to boost funding for scientific research and development in the US, Congress has significantly underfunded key agencies and programs as intended by the 2022 law.


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