WSJ: A Recipe for Middle Class Jobs


The Wall Street Journal today reports that the most certain way to create jobs and prosperity for the middle class is to do so by attracting educated professionals to cities that they refer to as “BRAIN HUBS”. Austin, Texas is particularly praised for such accomplishments. In the graphics available on the link every city surveyed with middle class job growth that exceeded 10% during the last decade is in a right to work state.


“As the nation grapples with stubbornly high unemployment, Texas’s political and high-tech capital shows one way to create good jobs for people who didn’t go to college: Attract highly skilled entrepreneurs, and watch the companies they start hire lower-skilled workers.”

“Austin added 50,000 “middle-skill” positions in the past decade. These are jobs that require a two-year associate’s degree or the equivalent work experience, and pay a median wage of $17.30 an hour, or $38,000 a year. That pace of growth is roughly four times faster than the nation’s as a whole”

“In recent decades, a select number of brain hubs like Austin have attracted a higher percentage of well-educated workers and a lopsided share of new investment and young companies”

“Beyond creating new middle-skill jobs, such brain hubs have generally higher incomes and for the most part have performed better through the recession.”

“Simply put, rapid growth boosts the value even of workers who have a limited education but possess knowledge of a company’s systems.”

“Mr. Kanneman, 37 years old, began his working life like a lot of people who didn’t go to college—at a retail store with low pay. Looking to better his prospects at 25, he went to community college for computer training and eventually landed a customer-service job at SolarWinds in Tulsa, Okla., which makes software that controls companies’ information infrastructure like computers and phone systems. Later, when SolarWinds moved to the tech hub of Austin, Mr. Kanneman went with it. As the company grew, he worked his way into the better-paying information-technology department. A year ago, he did something that he said validated the worth of his new skills: He quit for a higher-paying job elsewhere in Austin, and with overtime can now earn more than $90,000 a year.

“It proved that I was worth as much as I thought I was,” Mr. Kanneman said.”


  1. The recipe for providing jobs is simple. Turn loose the risk taker entrepreneurs that want to fill a void in the market place and don’t let the politicians give away our jobs to foreign competitors. It takes our jobs by bring back in inexpensive products we can’t compete with. Or make the foreign competitors come up to our human rights, epa and osha standards while providing a livable wage for the employees and providing healthcare. Then see they fare in our marketplace with 6,000 dollar per container shipping fees. We would crush them!

  2. “to create jobs and prosperity for the middle class is to do so by attracting educated professionals to cities that they refer to as “BRAIN HUBS”.

    Notice the WSJ author did not say we needed more “labor hubs”.

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