Upcoming Events: October 7-9, 2014 VEDA Fall Conference: Governor's Conference on Economic Development

Event Date: October 7-9, 2014

Location: Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa

 Conference Website: 2014 VEDA Fall Conference

Session I on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 8:30 AM:

Dr. Chris Chmura

How Labor Availability is Changing the Conversation Around Deal Flow

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Chris Chmura is the President, Chief Economist, and Principal of Chmura.

Chris Chmura is the President and Chief Economist for Chmura Economics & Analytics, a quantitative research and economic development and workforce consulting firm located in Richmond, Virginia, that she founded in December 1999. She is a quoted source on regional and national trends in the media throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, as well as national publications such as the Wall Street Journal. She writes a monthly column on the economy for the Richmond Times Dispatch.




Economic Impact: Health care and construction jobs will be fastest growing in region

If you are looking for work during the next decade, consider health care and construction jobs.

Those two industries should see the fastest-growing employment in the Richmond area.

The health care and social assistance sector should grow an average 2.5 percent a year in the Richmond area during the next 10 years compared with an average 1.2 percent for all industries, according to analysis by Chmura Economics & Analytics.

That translates into a need for 24,480 more health care workers over the next 10 years.

In addition to that, 19,168 people will be needed in that sector to take the place of people who retire or leave the industry.

Skill sets that will be needed in the Richmond health care sector include:

• personal care aides (2,884 new positions expected with an additional 469 positions replaced);

• registered nurses (2,043 new positions expected with an additional 2,248 positions replaced);

• home health aides (1,843 new positions expected with an additional 786 positions replaced); and

• nursing assistants (1,173 new positions expected with an additional 1,140 positions replaced).

Employment at health care firms consistently outpaced the overall economy during the recession and since it ended.

In contrast to health care, employment in construction saw a larger percentage contraction during the recession than any other major sector.

Looking ahead, Chmura Economics & Analytics expects employment in that sector to grow at the second-fastest pace in the Richmond area as recovery in the construction industry builds momentum.

Employment at area construction firms is expected to grow an average 2.7 percent a year in the next decade, adding 20,568 jobs with an additional 7,632 positions for retirements or transfers to new positions.

The largest openings related to construction are expected to be:

• construction laborers (1,470 new positions expected with an additional 1,268 positions replaced);

• carpenters (927 new positions expected with an additional 560 positions replaced); and

• electricians (753 new positions expected with an additional 666 positions replaced).

Aside from growth in health care and construction-related occupations, bookkeepers, accountants, first-line supervisors, and sales representatives are expected to expand by the largest number of jobs in the metro area.

On the flip side, the largest number of area job losses are expected at the U.S. Post Office as it continues to grapple with the fast pace of communication over the Internet.

Job opportunities currently are better in the Richmond area compared with the state, which is still struggling with federal spending cuts.

Nonfarm employment rose 2.1 percent in July in the Richmond area from the same month a year ago, while it rose 0.6 percent in the state during the same time period. National employment grew 1.9 percent over the same period.

As we celebrate achievements of workers this Labor Day, we should also look at what jobs will be here in the future. Students, take note.


State-Level Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Now Available by Quarter

State-level gross domestic product (GDP) is now available by quarter. Previously, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) only provided state-level GDP on an annual basis. The agency’s news release explains “These new statistics provide a more complete picture of economic growth across states that can be used with other regional data to gain a better understanding of regional economies as they evolve from quarter to quarter.”

Below is a dashboard showing the quarterly annualized percent change in GDP by state from 2005Q2 through 2013Q4. Use the bar in the middle of the page to slide through time or select a specific quarter from the dropdown menu. You can hover over any state for more detailed information, and the percentage change for the United States is summarized in the bar chart below the map for comparison purposes. One note on interpretation: U.S. GDP by state excludes federal military and civilian activity located overseas (it cannot be attributed to a particular state), so a summation of quarterly GDP by state for the nation will differ somewhat from the GDP in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs).

This format in the link above makes it easy to see, for example, that while GDP in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased or was unchanged over the quarter for the nation as well as in 49 states, it decreased 3.0% in Mississippi. More data are available from the BEA, including 21 industry sectors—check it out and let us know what you think.


Upcoming Events: October 15-17, 2014 CRADLE TO CAREER NETWORK CONVENING

Event Date: October 15-17, 2014

Location: Paradise Point

Chris Chmura will be speaking at this workshop:

  • Labor Market Analytics as a "Flashlight": Using Data to Drive Post-Secondary Attainment Action Friday, October 17 11:00-12:15 p.m.

Additional Event Details




What: Join Cradle to Career Network members from communities throughout the country who are working to improve student outcomes through building cradle to career civic infrastructure.  Come learn, share and network with others doing like work and facing similar challenges.  Leave with concrete ideas on how to move this work further faster in your community to get to Proof Point.

Where: Paradise Point, 1404 Vacation Road, San Diego, CA 92109

When: October 15-17, 2014; Time: 5:30 pm PT on Oct 15.-2:30 pm PT on Oct. 17

Who: Cradle to Career Network members who have completed the Civic Infrastructure Assessment and met the Exploring quality benchmarks in the Theory of Action are eligible to attend.  For more information on Network membership, contact robinsonk@strivetogether.org.

How: Registration is open until October 1, 2014.

Interested in being a sponsor or exhibtor?  Learn more about the opportunities available here.


Economic Impact: Some signs emerging for growth in midwage jobs

A lot has been made about the hollowing out of America, also called “job polarization” by economists.

Since the recovery began, job growth has been lagging in midwage occupations. The greatest increase has been in lower-wage occupations, such as jobs in retail and food services.

Growing income inequality is a concern if the reduction in midwage jobs is part of a long-term trend as opposed to the temporary effects of recessions.

In fact, the last three recessions were associated with a “jobless recovery,” where output grew for several quarters while employment growth remained lethargic.

A 2012 study by Nir Jaimovich and Henry Siu for the National Bureau of Economic Research, using data since 1970, showed that job polarization mainly occurs during economic downturns and is not a gradual phenomenon that takes place over the long run.

Moreover, the jobs that are lost to technological advancements and more liberal trading policies are often middle-wage jobs that focus on routine tasks.

Are midwage jobs growing now that we are in the fifth year of the expansion?

Twenty-two percent of U.S. jobs created in 2012-13 were midwage jobs, according to the latest data from 2013 figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Midwage jobs are occupations with median hourly wages from $13.84 to $21.13, or the equivalent of annual income of $28,510 to $43,950.)

A much higher percentage of jobs created during the same period came from lower-wage positions (42 percent) and from higher-wage occupations (35 percent).

Overall, midwage jobs accounted for 27 percent of the workforce, compared with 38 percent for lower-wage jobs and 35 percent for higher-wage jobs.

The mix was even worse in Virginia. The state also had 22 percent of jobs created over the same period in midwage positions, but 58 percent were lower-wage occupations and 21 percent were higher-wage ones.

The substandard trend in Virginia is probably a result of federal government cuts that are impacting the economy.

In this sense, Virginia’s economy is undergoing a restructuring similar to a business cycle downturn that is dampening growth in middle-wage jobs in industry sectors such as construction and professional services.

A different trend is emerging in the Richmond area, where employment in midwage jobs is growing faster than the nation. Midwage jobs made up 41 percent of all jobs created in 2012-13, compared with 49 percent for lower-wage positions and 10 percent for higher-wage ones.

Although the latest occupation data through 2013 is not showing a lot of support in the nation or state that midwage jobs are returning, national industry employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics through this June is showing some promising signs.

Employment in construction, which has many midwage occupations, is up 3 percent from a year ago, and residential builders have expanded their payroll by 8 percent over the same period.

Employment also has grown 1 percent over the same period in manufacturing, which also has many midwage occupations.

The more recent industry data show signs of hope for midwage jobs.