Employment in Detroit Michigan and New Orleans, Louisiana
During the 1800s, urbanization has been one of the turning points in history, and a significant increase in the population has been one of its greatest impacts. This is due to the foreign immigrants that began pouring in the cities as well as the migration of people from the farms to the cities. Aside from an increase in the population, it also created jobs due to the increasing demand in investment and finance. However, the jobs that were created is not enough for everyone thus, unemployment took place (Judd, 2004b).
To address the problem of unemployment, both the local and federal government implement policies that would help minimize the said problem. With this, cities become a bit autonomous because certain national policies are not applicable to a specific city, therefore make rise to the concept of political isolation of the cities. According to the readings, issues took place even before the cities had these kinds of authorities. However, after some time, it was found out that cities do really need such autonomy but in turn, the state and the legislature only gave limited powers to the cities (Judd, 2004a).
The objective of this paper is to know the certain policies that the local governments, specifically the city governments of Detroit and New Orleans, are implementing to address the urban issue of unemployment. Specifically, it seeks to: (1) know the initiatives that the Michigan and Louisiana states are doing to address the said urban issue. It also (2) identifies the major issues of city governance and the reforms that they should make. In addition, it (3) discusses the coherence between national and local policies.
Moreover, it lets people (4) more informed about the issues on the rise of Sunbelt cities, urban expansion, and sprawl. Furthermore, it (5) describes the political economy. Lastly, it aims (6) to make necessary recommendations on the existing local policies. Urban Issue of Employment One of the major economic issues is employment. Employment, defined as the condition wherein one is working or has a job (“Employment,”). Having a job translates to higher revenues for the person, the city to which that person belongs to, and even to the state where the person is working.
With this, it has always been a major concern to cities and the states as well on how to help decrease the unemployment rate in their areas for it not only alleviates the situation of the city and/or the state, but also eases the poverty of its people. More problems would start to flourish if there would be a failure of addressing the unemployment properly and readily. According to sources, the unemployment problem in the United States is not a problem at all. This is because during the early 1990s, almost 50% of the unemployed are around their teen’s age.
With this, the data is not alarming because most of the members of this group are not really the primary sources of income in the household. Moreover, the unemployment only lasts for 15 weeks, sometimes even shorter (Summers, 2002). However, this was during that time, more than a decade ago to be exact. At present, the population is greater and the cost of living is even higher. Therefore, an average American could not possibly live today with what he is earning before.
With this, any income that is coming into the household, contributed by any of its members, is very relevant. Lastly, due to this situation, being jobless entails a higher opportunity cost. Thus, cities and states are thinking of ways to reduce unemployment significantly. What Cities are doing about the Unemployment Issue? In every city, they address the issue of unemployment differently. This highly depends on the people in the area for they have varying cultures.
It is also dependent on what the city government considers the most efficient at the same time effective way of addressing the said problem. In this paper, the two cities that would be of interest are the cities of Detroit, Michigan and New Orleans, Louisiana. The paper would look on what the city governments are doing in order to address the employment problem, what the states are doing to help its constituents, and what are the things that the writer thinks may help in this urban issue. City of Detroit, Michigan For starters, this city has a Planning and Development Department.
This branch of local government reinforces and invigorates the city’s neighborhoods and communities, and soothes and alters the physical, social and economic development of Detroit (City of Detroit, 2007). In addition, the city has another government branch specializing in the employment sector, which is the Detroit Workforce Development Department. This department, certified by Section 7-101 of the City Charter, as amended, offers jobs and training services to their residents. It also manages and if not supervises a broad assortment of workforce development activities, but not direct services.
The direct services on the other hand are provided by subcontractors and service providers chosen by the Employment and Training Department and the Detroit Workforce Development Board using a competitive Request for Proposal or Request for Quotation bid process (City of Detroit, 2006). City of New Orleans, Louisiana In the case of this city, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development hooks up people and businesses to opportunities by creating and leveraging partnerships both in the local and international community. They educate and position the workers of the city. They maintain and draw industries.
They also give programs to support equal business opportunities. They administer and sell the city’s assets and even its resources. Lastly, they commit to service and aspire for excellence to improve the quality of life for all residents of the said city (City of New Orleans). State Initiatives towards Unemployment Consequently, in relation to employment, the states of Michigan and Louisiana also have certain measures that they are implementing in order for them to help their constituents. Sometimes, applying the courses of action to the entire state is more effective for it has more impact.
In addition, when the method is right, then the entire state would flourish. State of Michigan Employment has been a perennial problem in the state of Michigan. To address this problem, the Office of the Governor saw the need of diversifying the economy of the state in order to foster the creation of new jobs (Diversifying Michigan’s Economy to Create Jobs, 2005). Governor Jennifer M. Granholm’s program entitled “21st Century Jobs Fund” is helping to create new jobs for the state, which are applicable to its residents.
Authorized by the bipartisan legislation in the autumn of 2005, the program is investing $2 billion in rising sectors that guarantee tremendous employment growth. Some of which include alternative energy, life sciences, homeland security, and advanced manufacturing. At the beginning of the implementation of the project, there were already 67 companies and projects that in turn created thousands of jobs in the state (Diversifying Michigan’s Economy to Create Jobs, 2005). State of Louisiana
With the growing poverty rate in the state, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco made programs on fighting poverty. One solution that her office considered is to empower adults to learn how to read because this will greatly help people to look for high-paying jobs. Another is to help families find a decent yet affordable housing (Governor Announces Solutions to Poverty Agenda, 2004). 3. 2 Reform Measures for City Governance Making changes for enhancement in order to get rid of abuse and injustices (“Reform,”), or simply reforms, are needed because these help improve the status quo.
In terms of the issue of employment, certain city policies need reforms because although the current policies already address the unemployment problem, still, there can be further improvements possible that are more efficient and more effective than the existing one. City of Detroit, Michigan The city of Detroit could consider alternative ways and means of solving the unemployment problem. Although conducting training services is a start, the city government should not fixate itself on that kind of solution.
This is because making training services is rather stagnant because it limits the workers on jobs that they learn in the said training. It is evident that the more human capital a worker has, the more chances he has in working in a wide range of companies. In addition, the worker would not be limited on the same nature of work. Having a wide range of knowledge would increase a worker’s chances of working in plenty of companies. City of New Orleans, Louisiana
Although the local government is performing a good job of matching the workers on what the market needs to the skills of its residents, either already acquired by the people or by training them, the problem with this solution is that it limits the residents of New Orleans to what others want. Particularly, the people in the area could not maximize their full potential on the activities that they have a comparative advantage on. As a specific example, consider a person that knows more or is very interested in electronics. However, what the market needs is someone who is good in manufacturing.
With this, the person has two choices: either to stay unemployed or to train himself on the art of manufacturing that he does not want. More often than not, the worker would choose the latter and the said worker could not utilize the knowledge that he knows about electronics. In addition, another disadvantage of this policy, that why it needs reform, is that it is very costly to implement, either in monetary terms or not. This is because the city government would have to use some of its funds to look for possible employers to its unemployed people or to train them.
Another cost would be the time and effort that the government would exert, termed as haggling cost in economics. This enables its people to become well trained and equally competitive in the market. 3. 3 Major Issues Concerning City Governance As stated earlier, although unemployment is the single urban issue or problem, the solution differs from place to place, city to city. This is because there are different reasons why the people in a specific area are unemployed, thus there is a need for different solutions. This part of the paper tackles the different major issues concerning city governance.
City of Detroit, Michigan One of the issues in the way Detroit exercises its city governance is that it offers a broad assortment of workforce related activities. With this, the training that the residents of the city would get would be too general. In economics, there would be higher chances of being hired, and a higher salary pay if the human capital of a person were specialized. The logic behind this economic thought is that it assuming all people could do the “general” job, only a few could perform a job that is somewhat specific.
With this, a person that specializes in something would eventually have a comparative advantage on that nature of work. City of New Orleans, Louisiana On the other hand, the problem with the governance in this city concerning the unemployment problem is that they focus more on making their unemployed workers hired by other employers. What the city fails to do is that they forgot to put ample emphasis on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship involves the compliance to take certain risks involved in starting and managing a business (“Entrepreneurship,”).
The city should take into consideration that funding certain businesses is also beneficial for it not only makes jobs, but it also makes the city increase it revenues through taxes, etc. 3. 4 Political Relationships between National and Local Policies The issue of employment is a universal problem. Therefore, in order for it to answer it properly, the policies of the city government should match to that of the national policies. Conflicting policies is not an option for it would just cause confusion to the people and would eventually drive off investors, among others.
National Policies The Employment and Training Administration, under the U. S. Department of Labor, manages employment training and workforce dislocation programs under the federal government, giving away of federal grants to states for employment service programs that are available for everyone, and unemployment insurance benefits, among others. The aforementioned services are basically offered through state and city employment development systems (About ETA, 2004). National Policies vs. City Policies
Both the cities of Michigan and New Orleans adhere to the policies set and implemented by the national government, which is conducting job training programs, worker dislocation programs, and public employment service programs. However, what the two cities fail to implement is the national policy pertaining to implementation of an unemployment insurance benefits program. Although the cities are already helping their constituents to find a job, having insurance for the unemployed is very beneficial, especially to those who do not have a job yet or are still waiting to work. 3. 5 The Rise of Sunbelt Cities
Thousands of people migrate to the United States annually to look for a better life. Likewise, millions of American people move to new locations due to the same reason. With this, some cities like Detroit and New Orleans are losing considerable numbers of their populations. In turn, other cities are gaining these alleged domestic migrants at a quick rate. The cities that are receiving the said migrants are located in the sunbelt, a term used to describe cities in the South and West for their favorable weathers, thus gave rise to the term sunbelt cities (Frey, 2003). Alas, most growth in such cities has occurred in the suburban areas.
Sunbelt cities namely Phoenix, Atlanta, and Orlando, are a few of the most suburbanized and therefore decentralized cities in the country. Because the said suburbanization is most swift in the Sunbelt, where cities are encountering unprecedented growth, the suburbs of these cities are the neediest contenders for a project that would eventually bring forth regional definition and identity (Frey, 2003). 3. 6 Issues concerning Urban Expansion and Sprawl Urban Expansion This is defined as the expanding area of development for urban uses like that of housing (“Urban Expansion,”).
Some of the issues connected with urban expansion include failure of controlling rural-urban migration flows, and the decreasing urban densities in all regions (Angel, Sheppard, & Civco, 2005). On the issue of rural-urban migration flows, due to lack of employment in the cities mentioned, some of its people resort to migrating in other places resulting to Sunbelt cities as discussed earlier. Failure to address the problem immediately will lad to the loss in significant number of skilled workers, and no one would be left in their own homeland, and the already developed Sunbelt cities would only continue to flourish.