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27 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

The stories Dane thinks you need to see. December 14, 2023.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
5 min read
27 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

Table of Contents

Welcome to this week's issue of What Economic Developers Need to Know This Week, where we explore the evolving dynamics of our economy. 

This week we have 27 tools, stories, graphics, charts, and videos that I think you'll find informative, useful, inspiring, and perhaps even humorous. Some are economic development related directly, and some only indirectly. 🤔

If you're wondering what to do with the info in this newsletter, send something to your board members. It will make you look good!

1) I asked ChatGPT to generate caricatures of economic developers from all fifty states and Washington DC. Here's Alaska:

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2) Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new 2022 and revised 2017-2021 GDP statistics for counties and metropolitan areas. For counties with populations greater than 500,000, Douglas County, NE (9.2 percent), had the largest increase. Oklahoma County, OK (–5.3 percent), had the largest decrease.

Here are the top performers in real GDP growth in 2022, among the 100-largest:

Counties (and county equivalents)

  1. Douglas, NE, 9.2%
  2. Collin, TX, 8.7%
  3. Travis, TX, 7.7%
  4. Denver, CO, 7.3%
  5. Davidson, TN, 6.9%
  6. Essex, NJ, 6.6%
  7. Orange, FL, 6.5%
  8. Denton, TX, 6.4%
  9. Hudson, NJ, 5.9%
  10. Baltimore (Independent City), MD, 5.9%


3) Welcome to our town: Revitalizing rural America: It may come as a surprise that since 1970, more people are actually choosing to live in rural communities.

Ben Winchester, rural sociologist and extension educator with the University of Minnesota (UMN), is using quantifiable data to contradict the nebulous feeling that small towns are dying. He believes the issue stems from a false narrative, entrenched with assumptions about rural communities.

4) The surprising connection between after-hours work and decreased productivity.

5) The Walmart CEO says high inflation has ended and that shoppers may soon encounter the polar opposite in stores: deflation

6) Goods deflation is back. It could speed inflation's return to 2%: Prices of durables have been falling for five straight months.

7) Unpacking the Place Branding Process: The 5 Principles of Successful Place Branding. 🎡🗿🥇

8) Core inflation increased a little in November.

9) Here's a picture of inflation on a year over year basis:

10) US population growth over time:

11) America's smallest employers have a record share of job openings:

12) 6 reasons why global supply chains are shifting: Political risk, emissions and lead times are just some of the drivers pushing companies toward onshoring, nearshoring and friendshoring decisions.

13) Economic developers, you must dig into your workforce to win: Nothing will impact your success more than the quality of your community's workforce and workforce development pipeline.

14) CEO sentiment points to "steady-as-she-goes" economy:

15) Childcare is infrastructure that makes all other work possible:

For all the economists who are still scratching their heads about why people have "bad vibes" about the economy even if you think macro trends look good, I'd like to suggest you are looking under the wrong rocks.
Hardly anyone is tying the collapse of the childcare sector about why people might not feel great about their economic realities.

16) Alexandria, Virginia has eliminated all single family zoning: The city joins Minneapolis, Walla Walla, and Arlington in the move to open up opportunities for a diversity of housing needs.

17) Growing the growth coalition: Local government faces incentives just like everything else. If we want voters to encourage growth near them, we need to make it worth their while.

18) Stop saying "there is no decoupling". Decoupling will take time, and it won't look like the Iron Curtain, but it's happening.

19) Where you can drink tap water is a fairly good economic indicator: It roughly matches up with countries where GDP per capita is at least US $22,000.

20) Microsoft is going nuclear to power its AI ambitions: Microsoft is looking at next-generation nuclear reactors to power its data centers and AI, according to a new job listing for someone to lead the way. ⚡️☢️

21) The Bureau of Labor Statistics updated the full Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages database through the second quarter of 2023.

22) At Heartland Forward’s event in Bentonville, Arkansas, three communities were spotlighted for having the ingredients to thrive: Omaha (Nebraska), Oxford (Mississippi), and Cincinnati (Ohio).

23) Economic Development and Developers in the News # 135 - Econ dev news from 72 economic development executives and organizations in 20 states and Canada.

24) 51 Economic Developers as Imagined By AI - Stereotypical caricatures of economic developers from all fifty states + Washington DC

25) Podcast Episode # 121: Nate Clayberg's Vision for Tomorrow's Workforce - Who knew economic developers are the secret career matchmakers?

26) 43 New Economic Development Jobs - Jobs in 22 states this week. From $42k - $219k. Plus 106 older jobs.

27) 28 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week - The stories Dane thinks you need to see. December 7, 2023 edition.

What Economic Developers Need to Know This WeekNewsletter

Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Economic developer in Galveston County, Texas.

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