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Economy

Young People Are Pulling Jobs Back to City Centers

A new analysis suggests that jobs previously lost to the suburbs are returning to the core.
More and more city centers are outpacing the peripheries in terms of job growth.
More and more city centers are outpacing the peripheries in terms of job growth. City Observatory

Talented young people are moving to urban centers, raising the skill level of the labor force and attracting the attention of businesses. As a result, some of the job sprawl that took place in the early 2000s has started to swing back to cities, concludes a new analysis by the City Observatory think tank of Census data on local employment and housing.

From 2002 to 2007, as population grew in the suburbs, jobs followed. But since 2007, data from the 41 largest U.S. metro areas show that city centers (defined here as the area within 3 miles of each region's central business district) have seen a 0.5 percent annual increase in jobs, while the peripheries have seen a 0.1 percent annual decline: