For decades, most Americans working in metropolitan areas have gone to work outside city centers – in suburban office parks, stores or plants, not downtown skyscrapers. But as people increasingly choose to live in cities instead of outside them, employers are following.
In recent years, employment in city centers has grown and employment in the surrounding suburban areas has shrunk, a striking change from the years before, according to a report published Tuesday by City Observatory, a think tank. The changes are seemingly small, but they represent an important shift in the American work force. As recently as 2007, employment outside city centers was climbing much faster than inside.
Some cities — especially big ones hemmed in by water, like New York and San Francisco — have held onto a large share of employment near the city center. But now, urban job growth is increasing more quickly in those cities than before. And in other cities — including Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, Charlotte and Milwaukee — employment is growing in the urban core and declining in the suburbs.
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