Coolest Job Data Visualization You’ll Ever See

October 23, 2014

By: Chris Tomlinson
Via: The Houston Chronicle

Graphic shows how jobs surge and contract across the country

Job data is important to understanding the nation’s economy, but the spreadsheets can be painful to analyze. The economic development consulting firm TIP Strategies, though, has developed a very cool visualization tool to understand how employment surges and contracts over time and geography.

The Greater Houston Partnership recently crowed about adding 600,000 in the first nine months of this year, and that is truly remarkable. But how does this recent boom compare to the last 15 years? When Houston is adding jobs, what is the rest of the country doing?

Hitting the play button, it’s fascinating to watch the pulsing blue circles of added jobs from 1999 to 2002. Dallas and New York added jobs at a much higher rate than Houston. Then a recession hits in 2002 and the whole country begins losing jobs as the dot-com bubble burst. Other parts of the country suffered much more than Houston.

Then in early 2004, Houston lags behind the rest of the nation as the economy takes off elsewhere. This is where you can see how a growing economy demands more energy, and in response, Houston begins adding jobs to meet those needs.

Perhaps most stunning, Hurricane Katrina hits in 2005 and like a bomb, the orange circles of lost jobs explode over New Orleans as thousands of jobs are lost. The number of new jobs in Houston surges as workers flee Louisiana.

Then in 2007, Houston’s job growth begins to lead the rest of the country. The recession hits, and while most U.S. cites, particularly Los Angeles, lays off tens of thoussands of workers each month, Houston continues to add until 2009 when it begins registering losses. The fracking boom takes hold in 2010, and we know the story from there.

The lesson from the data is that Houston has done remarkably well compared to the rest of the country. The reasons are many and debateable. There’s also an intense debate over the quality of those jobs, and the state’s 15.9 percent poverty rate which just dropped to become the same as the national average.

Fundamentally, though, the map is simply very cool, and a reminder of how good Houston has it.

The City Of Fort Collins Hires TIP To Update Their Economic Health Strategic Plan

October 17, 2014

By: Caroline Alexander, Senior Consultant, TIP Strategies

Image credit: Old Town Car Show by Charles Willgren via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The City of Fort Collins is re-examining the TIP-prepared 2011 Economic Health Strategic Plan to align the plan with the city’s sustainability focus and to update the plan in light of current economic conditions. The city has engaged TIP Strategies to assist in refining the plan and identifying meaningful metrics to measure progress and impact. The project will entail a review of the city’s social and environmental sustainability initiatives to identify ways to marry them with the city’s economic health goals and strategic initiatives. The result will be a plan that is more integrated with the city’s new organizational structure and more reflective of the post-recession economy.

Vista 2025 Report Has Important Messages For Us

October 16, 2014

Via: Daily Local News

There are some very important messages coming out of a recent report from the Vista 2025 partnership plan and they are: don’t take anything for granted, don’t rest on your laurels and don’t assume that what worked yesterday is going to work tomorrow.

But fear not, all is not gloom and doom. Chester County apparently is in a unique position, one of which not many areas around the country enjoy like we do.

And according to the recent report, economic growth for Chester County is as dependent on preserving natural beauty as encouraging business growth.

The Vista 2025 partnership plan between the Chester County Economic Development Council and Chester County will help keep the county growing going forward, said Tom Filippo, co-chairman of the Vista 2025 Executive Alliance.

Business and community groups were interviewed to develop goals with the assistance of TIP Strategies of Austin, Texas. The plan released Tuesday at a meeting at Penn State Great Valley suggested goals and strategies for officials to consult over the next 10 years.

Jon Roberts, the principal at TIP, said the level of diversification of the economy in Chester County was unique in the United States, and has helped it weather economic problems better. He said, however, that officials cannot take that position for granted. Developing an economy was not just about job growth, but what kinds of jobs.

There was a chance of “getting this wrong” if the county followed a natural tendency of riding past success, and not stay alert to what got it there. That is probably the most important statement to come out of the report.

Roberts warned that the changes to the national economy from the last recession have changed some of the rules for communities to be economically successful. Not every current successful suburban area will be successful going forward, he said.

While county government has to continue to support Chester County as an attractive place to work, to live, and to raise children, it also has to continue to make Chester County a place that people want to come to, said Roberts.

Agreed. And that’s where many cities and towns have fallen down making the fatal error of not continuing to look forward.

For example, he warned that some parts of the United States are finding that office parks that were once successful are being abandoned by companies because employees find them too sterile and too difficult to get to.

To counter that, communities are starting to look at redeveloping office parks into multiple use areas, he said.

One thing that Chester County should do is to engage young people in both business creation and civic affairs, said Roberts.

The Vista 2025 plan is a continuation of planning for development off Chester County’s Landscape proposals. Those plans have emphasized preserving open space and encouraging development and redevelopment in the county’s urban areas.

But finding the perfect balance is the toughest part of the equation. And certainly the “looking forward” part isn’t easy. If it was we would never have suffered through any recession.

But this report offers hope and confidence that Chester County is headed in the right direction.

And for the half-million people who live here in Chester County that’s something to be proud of.

Jon Roberts Speaks At The 2014 Missouri Governor’s Conference

October 5, 2014

By: TIP Strategies

Jon Roberts, TIP principal and managing director, was recently invited to speak at the Welcome Plenary Session of the 2014 Missouri Governor’s conference. His presentation, which kicked off the September conference, addressed issues specific to Missouri’s business climate and future growth opportunities. These issues were informed by a survey of conference participants.

Jon also addressed broader issues affecting the future of economic development, including a thought-provoking discussion of the ways in which disruptive technologies are changing the landscape of society, jobs, and business as we know it. The conference also featured Pulitzer-prize winning author, Thomas Friedman, as the Keynote speaker. Additional information is available through the links below:

Jon Roberts – Welcome Plenary Session Presentation [PDF]
2014 Missouri Governor’s Conference Media
Additional 2014 Missouri Governor’s Conference Materials

TIP Engaged By The East Michigan COG For Regional Prosperity Strategy

August 10, 2014

By: John Karras, Consultant, TIP Strategies

The State of Michigan has embarked on a cutting-edge experiment in regional collaboration, the Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI). Michigan has created 10 Prosperity Regions with the goal of aligning the efforts and programs in five domains—economic development, transportation, workforce development, adult education, and higher education—within each zone. The East Michigan Council of Governments has engaged TIP Strategies to develop a Regional Prosperity Strategy for an eight-county area in East Central Michigan centered on the cities of Saginaw, Midland, and Bay City. The region and the state of Michigan have endured a multi-decade decline in their manufacturing sector, largely driven by the automotive sector. Manufacturing is making a partial comeback, with solid job growth since 2010, but the region has many assets that can be leveraged to grow the region’s economy beyond manufacturing.
Created by Governor Rick Snyder in 2012, the Regional Prosperity Initiative is a voluntary competitive grant process intended to encourage local private, public, and non-profit partners to create vibrant regional economies. The RPI recognizes that local partners are often in a better position to determine and affect the factors that drive economic prosperity. Establishing a formal mechanism for regional collaboration also provides opportunity for shared service delivery and technical assistance for local communities from their regions. In addition, by creating a strong regional strategy for economic prosperity, local partners will be better able to compete locally in an increasingly global economy.
To find out more about about the Regional Prosperity initiative:
Official Site
Frequently Asked Questions

Lubbock EDA Hires TIP For Strategic Planning Services

August 9, 2014

By: John Karras, Consultant, TIP Strategies

The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) has engaged TIP Strategies to provide economic development strategic planning services for the city. This effort will build on prior work including an Industry Cluster Study completed by TIP Strategies in 2013 and the Imagine Lubbock Together community visioning exercise which took place in 2013. The Lubbock economy has performed well in recent years thanks to the steady growth of Texas Tech University and the region’s health care sector and, increasingly, the oil and gas boom in the Permian Basin region just south of Lubbock. LEDA recognizes that the timing is right for this Economic Development Strategy because the city is in a stronger position than ever before to pursue new avenues for economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Find out more:
The Lubbock Report, a quarterly report that provides updates regarding LEDA and Market Lubbock.
Imagine Lubbock Together on Facebook