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Derek Thompson

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The Feedback Loop That Will Make America's Richest Cities Even Richer

March 26, 2015 This week, the Brookings Institution came out with a report on "job proximity"—that is, which cities have the largest and fastest-growing concentrations of jobs in their city centers. This is an important statistic, because people who live closer to work are more likely to be employed. It's particularly important for ...

The Richest Cities for Young People: 1980 vs. Today

February 17, 2015 Today, there are lots of articles telling young people which cities have the most college gradates, the highest wages, and the most jobs. These are perfectly useful guides to the near future. But it's interesting to look back at the best cities for young workers in 1980 to see how ...

The Miracle of Minneapolis

February 17, 2015 If the American dream has not quite shattered as the Millennial generation has come of age, it has certainly scattered. Living affordably and trying to climb higher than your parents did were once considered complementary ambitions. Today, young Americans increasingly have to choose one or the other—they can either settle ...

'From Atoms to Bits': A Brilliant Visual History of American Ideas

February 16, 2015 One night in the the spring of 1983, the scientist Kary Mullis was driving with his girlfriend along Highway 128 from Berkeley to Mendocino, California. As Mullis took in the perfume of California buckeyes swinging their blossoms along the road, his mind wandered back to his job as a chemist. ...

The Typical Millennial Is $2,000 Poorer Than His Parents at This Age

February 2, 2015 The past is another country. In 1980, the typical young worker in Detroit or Flint, Michigan, earned more than his counterpart in San Francisco or San Jose. The states with the highest median income were Michigan, Wyoming, and Alaska. Nearly 80 percent of the Boomer generation, which at the time ...

The Incredible Shrinking Incomes of Young Americans

December 5, 2014 American families are grappling with stagnant wage growth, as the costs of health care, education, and housing continue to climb. But for many of America's younger workers, "stagnant" wages shouldn't sound so bad. In fact, they might sound like a massive raise. Since the Great Recession struck in 2007, the ...

Where to Move If You Want a Job, More Money, or Lots of Single People

December 4, 2014 Springfield, Massachusetts is the most single. San Jose, California is the most international (richest, too). Provo, Utah is the youngest workforce in America, and McAllen, Texas has the most minorities (and the poorest workers). Those are some of the tidbits you can scoop up from the new edition of the ...

The Gender-Wage Gap Is Shrinking—or Is It?

November 20, 2014 The wage gap between young male and female workers is historically low. The wage gap between young male and female workers is growing. Yes, both things can be true at the same time. Intergenerational economic inequality is declining: The gap between male and female wages among Millennials is lower than ...

Why It's So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work

November 19, 2014 So what'll it be: Dayton or San Francisco? Alright, so that's not the most common choice for young people getting ready to start their lives. But it's an instructive question. Dayton is the most affordable housing market in the United States, according to Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko, while San ...

Quit Your Job

November 7, 2014 My friends sometimes approach me with career anxieties, under the false impression that writing about economics makes somebody a good career advisor. My counsel is typically something like optimistic incrementalism. Don’t quit your job, mastery comes with time, job satisfaction comes with mastery...that sort of stuff. When the same friends ...