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The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.
An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.
As this report will highlight, the first step is to fund jobs that support long-term economic competitiveness, notably by investing in people and physical infrastructure. While the economic climate for profit-making business opportunities is more limited, investments in education, health care, transit and energy efficiency can create immediate jobs while strengthening building blocks for prolonged growth.
The next step is helping the private sector leverage opportunities for job creation and technological innovation. Too often, some state leaders treat economic development as merely a bidding war between states to give away the most tax breaks or economic subsidies to big corporate bidders. Not only do most studies show such tax-giveaway approaches to be ineffective -- fundamentals like labor productivity and physical infrastructure are more critical in site selection for most global businesses -- but they end up devoting most state resources to a few large businesses while ignoring investments in start-ups and smaller homegrown firms that are the heart of long-term local prosperity.
This report on State Job Creation Strategies is a combination of two Stateside Dispatch articles published by Progressive States Network (PSN) on January 19th and 25th, 2010. For any questions on this report, please contact PSN's Executive Director and report author, Nathan Newman, at email@example.com .