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Useful Stats: “Eds and Meds” employment by metropolitan area

March 08, 2018

As explored in last week’s Digest, the presence of Eds and Meds institutions can positively influence the levels of human capital in a region, but the need to keep costs low can hinder their overall growth. SSTI’s analysis subsequently found that employment in Eds and Meds industries increased in every state from 2005 to 2015. This article looks at Eds and Meds employment for the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  Mid-sized regions in the Northeast like Rochester, New York (4.4 percentage points), New Haven, Connecticut (2.9 percentage points), and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2.3 percentage points) experienced the largest growth in per-capita employment in Eds and Meds industries between 2010 and 2015.

Defining “Eds and Meds”

Research from Tim Bartik and George Erickek of the Upjohn Institute uses five NAICS codes to define Eds and Meds industries, those “service industries whose original primary goal is to enhance human capital, either through education or health care.” Three of these NAICS codes represent health care industries – ambulatory health care services (NAICS: 621), hospitals (622), and nursing and residential care facilities (623). Two represent educational industries: junior colleges (6112) and colleges, universities, and professional schools (6113). Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns (CBP) database.

There is more data suppression at the metropolitan level than at the state level, and especially so for smaller regions. This is because CBP suppresses data to avoid disclosing the specific employment levels of individual firms. In the case of many metropolitan areas, big and small, Eds employment and Meds employment are concentrated in just a handful of large institutions.

When possible, the midpoint method is used to impute suppressed data. In some instances, employment for a region in 2005 is suppressed to zero. This complicates the estimation of historical employment and over-time comparisons. For that reason, the article looks at the 2010-2015 time period for the largest 100 metropolitan areas by total employment. 

Total employment

Similar to the state level analysis, a look at the metropolitan level finds a close relationship between a region’s total Eds and Meds employment and its total employment across all industries. The metropolitan areas with the most employment in Eds and Meds industries are New York City (1.4 million employees), Los Angeles (663,985), and Chicago (578,938). Of the 100 metropolitan areas with the most total employment, Fayetteville, Arkansas (20,704 employees) Bakersfield, California (25,970) and Lafayette, Louisiana (27,379) had the fewest employees in Eds and Meds industries in 2015.  

Change in employment

From 2010 to 2015, the metropolitan areas where Eds and Meds employment increased the most were Lafayette, Louisiana (54.3 percent), Rochester, New York (34.5 percent), and Grand Rapids, Michigan (32.1 percent). Only seven of the largest 100 metropolitan areas experienced a decrease in Eds and Meds employment between 2010 and 2015, led by Youngstown, Ohio (-14.4 percent), Toledo, Ohio (-12.2 percent), and Little Rock, Arkansas (-11.3 percent).

Per capita employment

Of the 100 metropolitan areas with the largest total employment, the three cities with the largest share in Eds and Meds industries were New Haven, Connecticut (26.9 percent), Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina (24.4 percent), and Springfield, Massachusetts (23.8 percent). Alternatively, Las Vegas, Nevada (8.1 percent), Fayetteville, Arkansas (10.4 percent), and Austin, Texas (10.8 percent) had the lowest share of employment in Eds and Meds. Although each of these three regions are anchored by their state’s flagship university, they also have increasingly large private sector employment.

Change in per capita employment

The regions where Eds and Meds employment per capita increased the most between 2010 and 2015 are Rochester, New York (4.4 percentage points), New Haven, Connecticut (2.9 percentage points), and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2.3 percentage points). In Winston-Salem, North Carolina (-4.1 percentage points), Youngstown, Ohio (-3.3 percentage points), and Toledo, Ohio (-2.9 percentage points), the share of employment in Eds and Meds industries decreased by the most among the largest 100 metropolitan areas.

As can be seen through this analysis, Eds and Meds makes up a large, and increasing, portion of total employment for many metropolitan areas throughout the country. It should be noted, however, that these industries represent just one subset of the overall Eds and Meds economy. New data is needed to distinguish between all Eds and Meds employment and research-intensive employment.


useful stats, metros, higher edFile Useful Stats 030818.xlsx