The U.S. housing crisis affected certain regions of the country more significantly than others. States like California, Nevada and Florida fell victim to the housing crisis and their economies, as a result, were greatly impacted following the subprime meltdown. According to a published report, mayors of major U.S. cities are endeavoring to drive job growth in innovative ways.
Las Vegas, Nevada, has long been a tourist destination for its myriad casinos and luxury hotels. Visitors from around the world flock to the city every year and it served as the fastest growing city in the U.S. over the past decade.
However, the housing boom and subsequent bust, along with a decline in consumer spending has hurt revenue at Las Vegas' casinos, leaving Mayor Carolyn Goodman scrambling to find ways to jump-start the city's beleaguered economy, according to a report from Bloomberg
Las Vegas has begun a spate of high-profile public works projects aimed at attracting new residents and tourists. Goodman is working to fuel an expansion of the city's labor economy and has spearheaded projects that include a new museum, City Hall and a performing arts center, among others.
Additionally, Las Vegas has a two-year old brain trauma center run by the vaunted Cleveland Clinic that is attracting medical tourists and helping to drive jobs growth in the healthcare sector. Healthcare companies have been one of the lone bright spots in the depressed jobs market, with such businesses experiencing a hiring boom over the past eight years.
"It's diversifying us economically," Goodman said of the healthcare facility in an interview. "And it's new jobs."
A majority of large cities in the U.S. have been impacted by the recession, with 25 percent of the country's metropolitan areas reporting unemployment rates above 10 percent. Many cities in the U.S. don't expect job levels to return to previous highs for another 10 years, according to industry experts.
That has led many cities - with Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Seattle among them - to cultivate job growth in novel ways.
That includes beefing up their export economies, which many industry experts agree is a quick way that cities can help create jobs. States like New Jersey are working to increase foreign investment and their economies and the policy moves have resulted in an uptick in the number of manufacturing and construction jobs
Cities like Seattle are also working to eliminate regulatory hurdles that some analysts contend are preventing companies from hiring new workers. For example, Seattle officials are promoting a bevy of incentives to encourage businesses to expand their payrolls.
Aside from the government actions, private companies are also working to promote a pro-business environment. Comcast, King County Metro Transit and Seattle City Light are all working in conjunction to install high-speed fiber optic lines in a historic downtown area, a move that officials assert will attract startups and other technology-based businesses to the city.
Other cities like Boston, Massachusetts, have also worked to drive job growth by targeting educated workers and improving infrastructure, according to New England Cable News
. Boston benefits from playing host to some of the world's most respected higher education institutions, including MIT and Harvard, and has worked to keep those students in the state once they graduate.
It seems to be paying off: In June, more than 10,300 new private sector jobs were added in Massachusetts. That figure represents more than 50 percent of all new job growth in the U.S. during the month, according to the news provider.
Boston has also benefited from the kinds of businesses that have historically comprised a large chunk of the city's economy. Such companies represent the education, healthcare and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields - all of which have witnessed an uptick in demand for skilled workers over the past few years.
Still, many mayors of major cities assert that no magic formula exists of how to drive job growth. Some cities that are floundering have had unfortunate luck, while others have experienced a population contraction. Detroit, analysts affirm, has struggled to emerge from the recession - much like Michigan as a whole - because young, educated workers have been leaving for the past decade.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
, this year 81 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10 percent in May of this year. That figure is down from the 118 regions that reported such high unemployment rates the year prior, but it illustrates how persistent unemployment is hurting city economies.