Adam Belz -- Michael Porter was in the Twin Cities on Monday talking about regional clusters, American stagnation and the country's failed economic development efforts. He was helping roll out Cluster Mapping, which he, the U.S. Department of Commerce and many others hope will be a tool for better economic development policy. For the purposes of this blog, here are five takeaways from Porter's presentation, and from the data:
1. Most Americans are struggling in the economy and it's not because of the recession.
Porter, in his speech earlier today at the Humphrey School, said this:
What we all know is that well before the recession that hit in 2008, we were on the wrong path in America. It wasn’t the recession. The recession was an extreme event that was triggered by a variety of circumstances, but actually we were on a very disturbing path.
The problem is that wages are drying up for middle-skill jobs. Very high-skill jobs are doing better, but wages for jobs that require a college degree or less are either stagnant or sinking in the past 12 years. Porter showed this slide: