Recent Employment Growth in Cities, Suburbs, and Rural Communities Recent Employment Growth in Cities, Suburbs, and Rural Communities

By Benjamin K. Couillard and Christopher L. Foote

While policymakers have long studied economic inequality among US householders and wage-earners, more recently this work has focused on how geographic disparities across the United States may be contributing to differences in labor market conditions and hence to increasingly divergent economic outcomes. In October 2019, the Boston Fed sponsored a conference titled “A House Divided: Geographic Disparities in 21st-century America,” that investigated these disparities in detail. This paper opened that conference by highlighting some of the broad trends in economic opportunity along a number of dimensions. The paper focused on trends in the suburbanization of employment and population, the behavior of earnings in counties with different density levels, and the how trends in manufacturing employment are related to regional economic disparities in the United States.

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