Report shows shift in jobs to suburbs
From 1998 to 2006, nearly every major metropolitan area in the United States experienced a drop in the share of jobs located downtown as businesses increasingly moved to suburbs, according to a report released by the Brookings Institution yesterday.
In 2006, only 21 percent of employees worked within three miles of downtown, compared with 45 percent who worked more than 10 miles from the city center.
Des Moines ranked as the fifth most centralized metro area among small employment centers, with 40.2 percent of jobs located within three miles of the city’s center. However, from 1998 to 2006, it experienced a 6.7 percentage point decrease in the share of jobs within three miles of downtown. It faces moderate decentralization, with a 6.2 percentage point increase in jobs within three to 10 miles of the city’s center and a 0.4 percentage point increase in jobs beyond 10 miles.
This compares with a national decrease of 2.1 percentage points in jobs within three miles of downtown, and a 2.6 percentage point increase in jobs beyond 10 miles of city centers. Omaha-Council Bluffs had a 2.6 percentage point decline in jobs within three miles of downtown and a 3.6 percentage point increase in jobs beyond 10 miles of downtown. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet had a 2 percentage point increase in jobs more than 10 miles from its downtown, and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington had a 5.5 percentage point increase.
According to the Brookings Institution, the results of “job sprawl” include an increase in energy consumption, higher cost for infrastructure and commuting times, a decrease in innovation among firms and isolation of low-income and minority workers in the urban core from employment opportunities.
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