Foundational Indicators for Economic Competitiveness helps community leaders identify factors that are associated with economic growth in mid-sized U.S. metropolitan areas in a post-recession economy. This work builds upon six previous iterations (called the dashboard of economic indicators) and assesses the relationship of 55 variables to economic growth across four measures: per capita income, gross metropolitan product (GmP), productivity and employment, between 1990 and 2011.
Results of the study indicate that growth is not a one-size-fits-all proposition for America's mid-sized metros. education and innovation remain highly associated with GmP, productivity and per capita income growth over the past two decades, but strong performance in those areas has been insufficient to restore jobs to many of our communities. Alternatively, many metro areas that have been successful in adding jobs, struggle to translate that growth into rising incomes.
This research provides data that civic leaders can use to ask more strategic questions about how "growth" can be pursued, and to identify their own distinct approaches to get there.