Economic development scholars and practitioners increasingly recognise the importance of both industry and occupational composition as sources of regional strength and specialisation. At the same time, occupational cluster analysis has paid insufficient attention to a main potential constituency of economic development: people in or near poverty. This article addresses this gap by developing 25 occupation clusters using a wide range of attributes, including skills and work styles, available from US Occupational Information Network (O*NET) data. The resulting clusters include many lower-wage occupations and illustrate possible career paths within clusters and across industries, based on similar interests and abilities, among other factors. These occupation clusters can be used to define the labour pools in US regions. Two of these clusters are used to demonstrate the concept that economic development centred on existing labour assets in a particular city or region may lead to stronger growth as well as reduced poverty.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Urban Studies