One takeaway from our research is that strategies to create economic growth are necessary but insufficient, while those to improve prosperity and inclusion require greater attention and intention. In the depths of the recession, many city leaders prioritized job creation, and justifiably so: with metropolitan economies in a tailspin and unemployment rising sharply, getting people back to work was essential. But our research is a stark reminder that growth alone does not deliver rising productivity or living standards for all. As I describe in a , metropolitan areas are pioneering new strategies to create the conditions for continuous growth, prosperity, and inclusion. They are setting new metrics for success beyond GDP growth including measurements of job quality, high school graduation rates by race, and share of jobs accessible by public transportation. Their strategies are focused on boosting income and productivity through trade, innovation, and investments in skills training for workers. City leaders are mindful that regional cluster strategies must work alongside efforts to rebuild the central city or connect distressed neighborhoods to regional opportunities. These strategies are built for the long run, less easily measured than simple “jobs created” statistics, but are critical to improving the prospects of people and communities in metropolitan areas.


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