Footloose or Stuck in Place?

Research Report

Footloose or Stuck in Place?

Firm Mobility across Six Metropolitan Areas

Abstract

Firm migration is seen as a barometer of business climate and economic health. State and local governments feel the pressure to retain and attract jobs, often by competing using economic development packages. To better understand local employment changes, and the prevalence of job migration, we conducted a study of six metropolitan areas using establishment-level information from National Establishment Time Series (NETS) data for a twenty-year study period through 2012. Migration of establishments constitutes a fairly minimal share of total job gain or loss, suggesting that public resources may be better spent on larger contributors to local employment gains.

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