What are Opportunity Industries and How Are Good Jobs in the Inland Empire Related to Them?

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Oct 27, 2021

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Opportunity Industries

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Opportunity Industries”—the industries that disproportionately contain the Inland Empire region’s “good jobs” and “promising jobs. “Good jobs” refer to those that provide middle-class wages and benefits. “Promising jobs” are entry-level jobs that provide career pathways to good jobs,” according to a report by Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution.

We have covered this in our Weekly Wire Roundup

Empire’s logistics and manufacturing industries

Logistics and manufacturing industries lead the way in offering and sustaining ‘good jobs’ in the Inland Empire. They also contain a disproportionate share of the region’s good jobs, especially for workers who do not have a bachelor’s degree.

The opportunity industries contain 18% of Inland Empire’s total jobs, but contain nearly 27% of its good jobs.

Brookings Institution

To understand the big role both of these industries play in creating good jobs, or jobs that provide middle-class wages and benefits, consider the following:

The Inland Empire’s well-established tradable industries, such as logistics, wholesale, and manufacturing, each provide above-average concentrations of good jobs. Together, these industries contain 18 percent of the region’s total jobs, but contain nearly 27 percent of its good jobs for sub-baccalaureate workers and nearly 18 percent of its promising jobs for these workers”.

Metropolitan Policy Program | Brookings
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Source: Advancing Opportunity in California’s Inland Empire: Metropolitan Policy Program | Brookings

From an Inland Empire Resident’s Perspective

The numbers worked out by the Metro Policy Program at Brookings give a clue about upward mobility to residents of the Inland Empire.

For example, ‘opportunity industries’ like logistics and manufacturing make up 18% of the workers in the Inland Empire, but they make up 27% of the ‘good jobs.’ Thus, if you are in the Inland Empire and want to not go below a ‘middle-class’ lifestyle and income level, your best bet is to stick around the logistics and manufacturing industry.

The Brookings report emphasizes paying special attention to improving these industries through R&D and providing them with the resources needed to expand further.

“Firms in these industries may require new local resources to develop innovative new products and services and implement more efficient processes that reduce costs and improve product and service delivery. Creating centralized expertise and technology can provide a shared resource that increases these firms’ capacities, their workers’ capabilities, and the quality of their jobs”. (Brookings Institution).

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Source: Advancing Opportunity in California’s Inland Empire: Metropolitan Policy Program | Brookings

We reported how Amazon is single-handedly investing more than any other regional private employer. Take, for example, its new grocery store, Amazon Fresh, in Murrieta.

This will help create jobs for other associated industries also. Similarly, vertical-specific startup accelerators have launched in the market to help tap the region’s potential in the logistics and distribution sectors.

Fourth Sector Innovations, or 4th SI, is a prime example where the accelerator accelerates logistics and distribution startups.

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