Employment opportunities shift according to the demands of the economy. The Bay Area once had many industrial and manufacturing jobs, but the changing economy has created new and different jobs. Read the passage below to learn what new jobs have emerged in recent decades and where those jobs are located.
THE CHANGING ECONOMY
Impacts on Cities
Many traditional manufacturing and defense-related industries in older Bay Area cities have either downsized, moved, or closed â— leaving in their wake unemployment and corridors of underutilized land along waterfronts and rail lines.
[Meanwhile], jobs in information and business services have emerged, requiring different skills and levels of education. These new jobs are concentrated in the cities’ downtowns and include both professional, high-end jobs that are critical to the information economy (such as financial management, computer services, and advertising), and low end jobs (such as janitorial and food and hotel services). There are fewer middle-income jobs associated with these sectors of the economy. Middle-income wages are largely connected with traditional or high technology manufacturing â— and those jobs have moved either to suburban locations or to other areas or countries with lower labor costs.
Impacts on Suburbs
Suburbs, too, have experienced tremendous change as they have transformed from bedroom communities to sprawling residential and commercial centers. Jobs are no longer tied solely to central cities, as changes in communication, transportation, and other technologies have made proximity to raw materials, ports and rails lines less important.
Suburban areas now house more middle and upper income jobs, such as high technology manufacturing and corporate back-office operations (e.g., accounting, check processing, payroll, data processing, and information management).
Location of New Jobs
In the Bay Area, the area outside of the 3 largest cities is also projected to acquire the vast majority of new jobs. For example, new jobs in the service sector will be available outside of the three largest cities by more than 3 to 1; new jobs in the manufacturing and wholesale sector (combined) will be available by more than 8 to 1; and new jobs in the retail sector will be available by more than 7 to 1.
1. List one impact of the changing economy on cities and one impact of the changing economy on suburbs.
2. What challenges might these changes present to the metropolitan region as a whole?