All jobs are not created equal: Divergent indicators in the knowledge economy

Elizabeth Mack, Anthony Grubesic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Univariate indicators such as employment are often used to benchmark economic growth at the local and regional levels. However, the tremendous technological and industrial changes in the U.S. economy in the second half of the twentieth century suggest this practice may be outdated. In fact, the singular use of univariate indicators to benchmark regional development may obscure a much richer and more complex web of economic processes. Given the potential complexities associated with regional benchmarking in the current global economy, this paper will explore the numerical differences in economic performance presented by popular univariate indicators of regional growth. Results demonstrate a univariate approach to benchmarking presents an incomplete snapshot of regional performance that is incapable of capturing the multifaceted nature of economic growth in today's global knowledge economy. Although job creation remains an important component to development efforts, many other factors should be considered in evaluations of regional performance, including the industries in which jobs are created and their associated wages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Convergence
  • Divergence
  • Information and communication technology
  • Regional development
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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