As many cities in developed economies continue their recovery from the global financial crisis and remake themselves in light of long-term industrial decline, the urgency to chart a more sustainable and stable growth trajectory is subsiding. But just beneath the surface of these improvements, tensions and anxieties that critically affect the labor markets of transatlantic cities have been increasing over time.
The JustJobs Network will collaborate with the German Marshall Fund’s Urban and Regional Policy team on a detailed, data-driven analysis of economic diversification, job quantity and quality, and workforce development in one American city, Detroit, and one European city, Bilbao. This city-level exploration of economic development patterns and labor market trends over the last two decades will shed light on the ways in which cities in the developed world are grappling with the dual imperative of competing in the innovation economy, on the one hand, while ensuring inclusive economic development, on the other.
As urban regions whose economies were once driven by large manufacturing sectors – automobiles in Detroit and iron, steel and ship-building in Bilbao – both cities have witnessed significant social and economic change as a result of globalization and technological advancements. This research effort will seek to understand the extent to which these cities have managed to diversify their urban economies, the degree to which the emerging economic landscape in Detroit and Bilbao is generating more and better jobs, and how workforce development initiatives are playing a role in fueling economic diversification and inclusive economic development.
JJN and GMF will release their findings at the BUILD 2017 conference, hosted by GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy team and the City of Detroit.