One of the themes in our recent series of whitepapers on green jobs is how to weigh economic and job-creation issues against environmental concerns. The same topic is raised in the Christian Science Monitor by guest blogger Matthew Kahn.
Kahn, a professor at UCLA, specifically focuses on manufacturing and the case of A123 Systems, a green battery maker profiled in the Los Angeles Times because of its struggles creating a manufacturing presence in the U.S. compared to China. A123 wanted to set up solely in the U.S., but it ran into serious obstacles and established its first plants overseas.
The company is nonetheless flourishing — its parlayed millions in stimulus funding to start a factory in Michigan.
[The] firm expects to create 400 Michigan jobs at its new factory by the end of the year. Is that a big number? How will the Obama team know if they have “over-paid” in terms of the incentives package they offered? Don’t forget Tim Bartik’s work on the economics of local development. He asked; “who gets the new jobs?” A Mayor may hope that the unemployed and discouraged not in the labor force workers will get these jobs but Bartik showed that migrants from other areas will move in and grab roughly 90% of the new jobs. So, this Michigan effort will move 40 currently unemployed people to gainful employment.
Read more here.