Local Economies

Paid sick leave sticks after many pandemic protections vanish

Paid sick leave protects both the community's public health and the economic security of low-wage workers.

What makes a top performing city?

The tech and hospitality industries drive sustainable economic performance, but broadband access, affordability and resilience also play key roles, according to the Milken Institute.

How paid sick leave helps cure economic instability

Cities and states are enacting paid leave policies that prevent low-wage workers from choosing between rest and recovery or work and a paycheck.

‘I felt so naughty’: New open carry alcohol laws boost downtowns

Some places see promise in areas allowing visitors to shop, sip and stroll.

State AGs at odds over proposed EPA tailpipe emissions rules

Republican attorneys general say they are impractical and illegal. Democratic AGs applaud the proposals, but say they don’t go far enough.

Connect with state & local government leaders

From homes and cars to parking, how the sharing economy is evolving

COMMENTARY | As more people work from home, parking spaces have opened up in cities. This presents a unique opportunity for governments to make their communities more sustainable and inclusive.

Why More Cities Are Hiring ‘Night Mayors’ and Establishing Forms of Nighttime Governance

COMMENTARY | Nighttime is much more than a source of danger or an occasion to party – it’s a portal into a different world, with rhythms, challenges and lifestyles of its own.

Did Your Town Make This List of Best-Performing Cities?

The Milken Institute is out with its annual report ranking the economic performance of more than 400 metropolitan areas. Here’s what it takes to be a booming city.

Cities Stare Down Huge Budget Gaps

Growing expenses and lagging downtown recoveries are straining city finances as federal pandemic relief funds run out.

The Future of Cities Depend on Solving the Retail Puzzle

Retail sales have rebounded, but a new report says local and state officials will need to get creative to revive downtowns and help brick-and-mortar stores thrive again.

Urban Areas Are Adding People and Gobbling Up Land in Most States

An analysis shows the South, Southwest and Midwest saw the most growth in its urban areas.

The Governors Wading Deeper Into the Housing Crisis

Across the country, state leaders are putting the nation’s housing shortage at the center of their agendas this year. But it's still uncertain whether their proposals to solve the problem will gain traction and some question whether the plans go far enough.

Cutting Building Emissions is About More Than Gas Stoves

As an uproar over the future of gas appliances burns hot, it's overshadowing efficiency gains and other benefits states can achieve with building code updates.

How State and Local Leaders Can Address America’s Wealth Gap

COMMENTARY | The traditional method of offering incentives to corporations to help generate economic development in distressed areas has failed. It’s time to embrace a more people-centric approach called community wealth building.

Gulf Coast Passenger Rail to Restart as 17-Year Dispute is Resolved

Amtrak and freight railroads said they struck a deal to revive the route. It’s a bright spot for passenger rail advocates who hope to see service expand as new federal infrastructure funding flows.

Backlash Over New ‘Buy America’ Rules for Infrastructure Projects

State and local transportation agencies are concerned the feds are moving too fast in imposing tighter requirements, complicating a wave of new construction.

Best US Cities to Rent an Apartment

Five of the top 10 cities are small, including No. 1 Round Rock, Texas, near Austin.

Could Investments in Community Broadband Bridge the Digital Divide?

COMMENTARY | These locally owned and operated broadband networks can bring down prices, expand coverage and increase competition.

Home Sale Prices Fall Swiftly in Pandemic Boomtowns

Many homes for sale in July nationwide experienced price drops, especially those in cities that saw an influx of residents during the pandemic. Boise, Idaho, led the pack with nearly 70% of houses on the market falling in price.

The Rising Costs of Extreme Heat

Hot weather can be deadly. It’s also putting a dent in the nation's economy and forcing new expenses on states and localities.