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Issue #19 | October 2, 2018

Recently, from the Cleveland Fed

  • Parents’ living nearby is good news if you lose your job

    Parents’ living nearby is good news if you lose your job

    Almost half of all workers in the United States will lose a job at some point in their careers, an experience that prompts long-lasting earnings losses. There’s a silver lining for some of these displaced workers, however: Young adults who live near their parents recover their earnings faster after a job loss than those who live farther away, shows new research from the Cleveland Fed. Find out what’s behind this positive earnings effect.

  • Study explores transit options for Pittsburghers

    Study explores transit options for Pittsburghers

    Job access, or the ability to get to a job in a reasonable commute time, affects employers looking for workers and jobseekers looking for the best jobs. In a new study, Cleveland Fed researchers examine job access in Allegheny County—home to Pittsburgh—for commuters who use public transit. They also explore one possible avenue for increasing residents’ access to jobs: adding ride-hailing services such as Lyft or Uber. Step aboard to read A Long Ride to Work.

  • Gamers and student seafarers, we’ve got an adventure for you!

    Gamers and student seafarers, we’ve got an adventure for you!

    You’re stranded on an island with only some foraged fruit and a damaged raft. How do you fix your vessel and make your way home? Our newly redesigned Escape from the Barter Islands game sets players on a puzzle-based adventure, trading goods and learning about the value of a common currency. How fast can you barter your way to a seaworthy ride and sail away from shark-infested waters? Available in English and Spanish. Play the game now or download it to your mobile device.

  • Small urban manufacturers across Ohio face common challenges

    Small urban manufacturers across Ohio face common challenges

    Small urban manufacturers face barriers despite their proximity to talented workers. A new Cleveland Fed blog post explores opportunities for growth and collaboration based on a study of Cincinnati-area manufacturers and on outreach conducted by our community development team in partnership with the Urban Manufacturing Alliance. Read the post, check out related resources, and add a comment.

Ask the Expert


Why is it a challenge for workforce development strategies to prepare workers for future jobs, and how can they contribute to local economic growth?


Workforce development—training and education to help enhance people’s lives through career advancement—can be difficult because the economy is always changing and the labor force is always changing with it, and it’s hard to project what the jobs and necessary skills of the future will be. For instance, in trying to forecast what jobs will be needed in a region, there might be a company that leaves and there might be a company that enters, and either one could change the skills that are needed locally. It’s a moving target.

One important contribution workforce development strategies can make is to provide clarity in terms of what skills translate into current and future career paths. For example, there are countries that have what are called “occupational standards” that outline the skills and certifications that are needed to enter occupations and to advance in the field, so there’s a clear roadmap for people. Parts of the United States are moving toward this model of set occupational standards. I talk to so many people who say they wish when they were younger that they had had a better understanding of all the job opportunities that existed and the skills that would be needed for particular jobs. Occupational standards could give them that information.

With an unemployment rate around 4 percent, employers are having to look in places they hadn’t looked before to find qualified workers. There are manufacturers that could be running at full capacity but aren’t because they can’t find enough employees to fill open positions that require certain skillsets. So, there’s more pressure for the workforce development system to attract and develop enough workers to meet the needs of regional employers and to help companies and the economy grow.

Drew Pack

Drew Pack

Drew Pack is a community outreach manager in the Community Development Department at the Cleveland Fed. He works with community members in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania, and Wheeling, West Virginia, to stay informed about community and economic development challenges and to facilitate collaboration among organizations, including foundations, banks, and universities.

Graphic of the Month

Declines in the labor share

Labor share indicates how much workers are being paid compared to the total output their labor helped produce.

Declines in the labor share

By the Numbers

On the Calendar

  • July 14–December 6

    Volatility Smile (Cleveland, OH)
    Contemporary art by Philip Vanderhyden on display at the Cleveland Fed Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm

  • October 18

    The Opioid Epidemic: What We Know and How We Connect Community Practices (Webinar)
    Federal Reserve staff will share what they have learned about the opioid epidemic and its impact on the economy, as well as examples of local models and practices used to address the epidemic.

  • October 19

    Exploring Careers in Economics (Live webcast)
    Student-centered discussion of opportunities in economics and Federal Reserve System career paths
    Read about the one-hour event here or watch it here starting at 10:30 am ET

  • May 9–10, 2019

    Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference (Washington DC)
    Submit your abstract by October 9

  • Policy Summit 2019

    June 19–21, 2019

    Policy Summit 2019 (Cincinnati, OH)

From around the Federal Reserve System

Small-biz owners share perceptions of online lenders and the lending process

The Federal Reserve Board and the Cleveland Fed recently published a report that examines small-business owners' perceptions of online lenders and their understanding and interpretation of the information that online lenders use to describe their credit products. Many of the small-business owners who participated in the study indicated a need for clear disclosure of product costs and terms. Such disclosures could enable borrowers to better evaluate products suitable for their businesses and could help lenders engender trust and grow their customer base.

Small-biz owners share perceptions of online lenders and the lending process

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