In a few minutes, the council's Economic Development Committee will take up the subject of Dallas' Workforce and Jobs, which comes with this 29-page PowerPoint worth a look-see even if you're not planning on following along, which we are. Long story short: "In an ongoing weak national economy," says the doc prepared by the Office of Economic Development, "Dallas is better positioned than the nation and peer cities." The reasons, it says, are myriad and familiar: "diverse business base, regulatory and tax environments, no income tax, geography and location" and low cost of living, among the explanations making up the good-news laundry list.
But a few pages in and it's not all champagne and Calatravas. Dallas's unemployment rate, below the national average for most of the recession, is catching up -- or, as the briefing puts it to soften the blow, "Dallas' unemployment rate is converging to the U.S." And out of the million folks who work in the city limits every day, 727,000 are "suburban residents [who] come into the city for their work," then scoot when it gets dark.
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Worse, says the presentation, there exists in Dallas what the OED calls an "industry mismatch," meaning: "Dallas' workforce is heavily concentrated in the lower paying, higher unemployment occupations." Which leads to this question: Does Dallas have the "wrong workforce or the wrong jobs"? Answers forthcoming. Tune in.