Economic development was the top issue for mayors in their annual State of the City addresses for the fourth year in a row, according to State of the Cities 2017, a report recently released by the National League of Cities. The report explains:
- 66% of state of the city speeches included significant coverage of economic development issues.
- Much of the coverage was positive, describing “jobs created and developments built.” Wages and employment are generally up, while unemployment rates are down.
- The top five economic development topics (in order) were:
- job creation
- business attraction
- downtown development
- arts & culture
- Economic inclusiveness, the need for more jobs that pay a living wage, and efforts to help the middle class are current economic development priorities.
- Workforce development initiatives that help develop residents’ skills and link job seekers to employers will continue to become a larger component of all economic development work.