Today I’m going to present findings from our report on economic ties in Southeast Louisiana
Here’s the background. Throughout nearly all of human history, cities have developed as…
… centers of commerce along important trade routes.
Over time, cities also became centers of innovation…
… where workers and companies congregated.
The history of New Orleans and Baton Rouge is no different.
Suburbs began to sprout around cities,…
… and since 1950, significant decentralization has taken place nationwide,…
… and later many businesses relocated to suburbs as well.
Today, metro areas rather than cities are our economic engines.
While municipalities within each metro area may come into conflict over issues such as political representation and the siting of subsidized housing, these squabbles are trivial compared to these municipalities’ economic interdependence as evidenced by…
… thousands of residents, workers, and…
… executives who cross their boundaries on a daily basis to conduct business.
Today, it is widely understood that metropolitan areas are the geography were labor is pooled and where innovation and production are concentrated.
As development has sprawled farther…
… outward, suburbs of…
… near-by cities have begun to overlap.
Some scholars suggest that important economic interconnections extend even further than the suburbs, and “super regions” are forming across proximal metros. Evidence of this includes overlapping commuter patterns, increasing freight and information flows, and complementary industries. The literature on this topic is relatively new, and the definitions of super regions vary,…
… but evidence is mounting that super regions of various shapes and sizes…
… are the globally competitive new economic geography.
These three metros comprise about 48 percent of the population of Louisiana and 52 percent of the jobs in the state. Moreover with a total population of 2,207,914 and 986,200 jobs in 2011, a Southeast Louisiana "super region" would be comparable in size to the Portland, Oregon metro area. It would be larger than the Nashville metro. And it would eclipse the burgeoning Louisville-Lexington super region.
But do New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Houma-Thibodaux share important economic synergies?
Scholars studying super regions tend to look for several indicators of economic synergies. The most important is a rigorous analysis of industry specializations (or tradable sectors) to determine whether the region should work together to foster their collective competitive advantages. But a good first step is looking at commuter patterns that may point to the sharing of a specialized workforce. New data from the Census Bureau allows us to quantify this.
The data we are going to talk about today comes from the Local Employment Dynamics data set from the Census Bureau.
The map on the left depicts the origin points of workers in Jefferson Parish who work in that parish’s 186,315 jobs. And the map on the right depicts the origin points of workers in Orleans Parish who work in that parishes 145,944 jobs.
This cross-metro flow map illustrates the many commutes that spill over metropolitan boundaries in SE Louisiana.
Cross-metro commuting has existed for quite some time.
In 2010, over 26,000 workers commuted from the Baton Rouge metro to the New Orleans metro, up from roughly 20,000 commuters in 2004. And about 22,000 workers commuted in the opposite direction -- a decrease from 25,000 six years earlier when the New Orleans metro had substantially more population than today. In 2010, roughly 11,000 workers commuted from the Houma-Thibodaux metro to the New Orleans metro while about 8,000 commuted the opposite direction. Cross-metro commuting between these metro pairs has increased 11 percent overall since 2004.
Although there are not strong patterns, cross-metro commuters are slightly more likely to be working in either lower-wage jobs or higher-wage jobs than the average worker in all three metros.
We recently had the opportunity to do some data analysis for the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission looking at job categories in several industry sectors one of them being the healthcare industry. The health care industry is interesting because it has many jobs paying a middle wage. $1733/month = $20,000 year $3,467/month = $40,000 year $6,933/month = $80,000 In a minute you’ll see I’m going to blend these later 2 categories together for jobs that make $40,000 or more a year. These data are for the New Orleans region, but these patterns are likely similar in Baton Rouge and elsewhere.
The majority of jobs are also middle-skilled – meaning they require more than a high school degree, but less than a bachelors degree. There are a large number of jobs in health care that require an associates degree or various sorts of post-secondary certifications. As the landscape of hospitals and health care providers are geographically shifting in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, it’s hard to know exactly what kinds of commuter patterns we might see.
But what we can do is look at the commuter patterns of one hospital in New Orleans to give us a sense of how far various employees may commute for health care jobs. Because the commuter data is available at the census block level, very small area analysis is possible – such as an analysis of the labor shed for Touro Hospital.
The main census block of Touro hospital provides 392 jobs. In this block we have a larger share of workers with bachelor’s degrees, a large number of food service, health care, and professional workers, and a very large share of jobs paying $40,000 or more per year.
But, we know that many hospitals take up more space than just one census block AND they support many surrounding businesses.
Looking at Touro and the surrounding area (defined as all census blocks within 0.1 miles) there are 1,471 jobs with a larger share of workers earning more modest wages ($15,000-$40,000), a larger share of food service jobs and not as many workers with bachelor’s degrees or higher.
Workers in the area surrounding Touro Hospital come primarily from Orleans Parish and secondarily from Jefferson Parish.
The labor shed of Touro Hospital shows that most of the workers come from Orleans. This second map shows the very low-wage labor shed for Touro Hospital – that is workers earning less than $1,250 per month or less than $15,000 per year.
Compared to all workers, low wage workers: Are less likely to live within 10 miles Are more likely to live within 10 to 24 miles Are less likely to live within 25 to 50 miles Are more likely to live further than 50 miles away. Compared to all workers, high wage workers: Are less likely to live within 10 miles Are less likely to live within 10 to 24 miles Are more likely to live within 25 to 50 miles Are more likely to live further than 50 miles away.
Economic ties acrossEconomic ties acrossSoutheast Louisiana:Southeast Louisiana:Preliminary findings fromPreliminary findings fromcommuter datacommuter data Presented by: Dr. Allison Plyer
Source: Lang, R.E. & Dhavale, D. (2005). America’s megapolitan areas. Land Lines.
Source: Regional Plan Association. (2008). The emerging megaregions. American 2050.
Source: Florida, R., Gulden, T., & Mellander, C. (2007). The rise of mega regions. Toronto, Canada: TheMartin Prosperity Institute, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Q: Do New Orleans, Baton Rouge,and Houma-Thibodaux shareimportant economic synergies?
Do N.O. Baton Rouge, and Houma-Thibodauxshare important economic synergies? • Shared industry specializations • Shared suppliers • Shared investors • Shared workforce
Local Employment Dynamics (LED) data from the U.S. Census Bureau State payroll data IRS and Census dataWhere worker works Where worker lives
The labor sheds of Jefferson and Orleans are another useful way to look at these interconnections. Interestingly, Jefferson attracts workers from a larger geography.Source: GNOCDC analysis of Local Employment Dynamics, U.S. Census Bureau.
The cross-metro flow map below illustrates that many commutes spill over metropolitan boundaries in Southeast Louisiana. Workers commuting between Southeast Louisiana parishes, 2010Source: GNOCDC analysis of Local Employment Dynamics, U.S. Census Bureau.
Cross-metro commuting has existed for quite some time… Workers commuting between metros, 2004Source: GNOCDC analysis of Local Employment Dynamics, U.S. Census Bureau.
Cross-metro commuting has existed for quite some time… but the interconnections have increased post-Katrina. Workers commuting between metros, 2004 and 2010Source: GNOCDC analysis of Local Employment Dynamics, U.S. Census Bureau.
Inter-metro commuters are slightly more likely to work in jobs paying less than $1,250 or more than $3,333 per month than the average worker in Southeast Louisiana… Commuters by wage, 2010Source: GNOCDC analysis of Local Employment Dynamics, U.S. Census Bureau.
Healthcare industry:Healthcare industry:Job categories and commuterJob categories and commuterpatternspatterns Draft data analysis
Jobs in the healthcare and biosciences industry span across all wage levels, with the majority paying a middle-wage. Percent of jobs by hourly wage in the healthcare and biosciences industry New Orleans 5-parish regionSource: GNOCDC analysis of data from EMSI
Jobs in the healthcare and biosciences industry span across all skill levels, with the majority of jobs being middle-skilled. Percent of jobs by skill level in the healthcare and biosciences industry New Orleans 5-parish regionSource: GNOCDC analysis of data from EMSI
Although we can’t know the commuter patterns for hospitals yetto be built, we can look at commuter patterns to existinghospitals – such as Touro Hospital.
The main census block of Touro Hospital provides 392 jobs.
The main census block of Touro hospital provides 392 jobs. But,we know that many hospitals take up more space than just onecensus block AND they support many surrounding businesses.
The area around Touro Hospital supports 1,471 jobs that employmore middle wage people, more supportive services like foodservices.
Workers in the area surrounding Touro Hospital come primarilyfrom Orleans Parish.
The labor shed of Touro Hospital shows that most of the workerscome from Orleans Parish. Sources: GNOCDC analysis of Local Employment Dynamics, U.S. Census Bureau.
Workers in the area primarily live within 10 miles of TouroHospital with some variability by wage level.