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excerpted from AreaDevelopment Online

When Richard Florida published The Rise of the Creative Class in 2002, a new dialogue among economic development professionals started: Does a city’s concentration of “creative” knowledge workers impact its economic output?

Prior to Florida’s book, Next Generation Consulting (NGC) made a related discovery: Young knowledge workers said that where they lived was more important than where they worked. Furthermore, Census figures indicate that from 1990 to 2000, only a handful of cities had a net in-migration of young knowledge workers, while 90 percent of America’s cities suffered a net loss. In other words, cities that can attract and retain these highly mobile young knowledge workers will reap economic gains.

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