Five Research Reports To Guide Economic Developers in 2024

January 17, 2024
Newspaper with news on economic development, glasses, pen and coffee sitting on a brown desk.

Kick off the year right with a review of the trends and data found in just a few of the research studies important for economic developers to consider in 2024. It’s an election year in the U.S., the economy continues to stabilize, and global conflict and environmental crises are creating uncertainty worldwide, but data is a stabilizing ally—and an economic development marketer’s best friend.

These five research reports provide the insight marketers need to guide their strategies in the new year. Listen to the experts, observe what impacts corporate investment trends, and better understand what talent needs and wants as the job market and workplaces evolve.

1. Lightcast

Lightcast’s 2023 Talent Attraction Scorecard is the perfect companion to any economic development research for 2024. By understanding the key trends from last year, decision-makers can build success in the new year and beyond. Lightcast combs through data related to education attainment, regional competitiveness, and job growth to piece together its annual research study. 

The report, in its eighth edition, reveals surprises including the growth of migration in Kentucky and Missouri. Vermont is attracting remote workers at record growth while Texas continues to top the attraction rankings. 

Results offer key Insights into job growth, education, and migration across the nation to showcase the talent trends that employers need to adopt alongside the talent attraction strategies needed for state and regional growth.

2. Brookings

With technology (both information and emerging) as a target industry for many regions and states, understanding the dynamics of tech talent and job growth is critical. The key focus of this Brookings report is a deep dive into the migration patterns of tech talent with some surprising results.

Among the takeaways, private semiconductor and electronics manufacturing investments are rising, and social media epicenters are spreading out, providing new opportunities to attract tech talent beyond traditional hubs. By tracing private investments and federal initiatives around the United States, Brookings provides essential data to inform decisions for any destination interested in attracting top tech talent.

3. Ipsos

The five steps presented in this Ipsos research are a powerful guide to reorganizing any approach to ESG policies and initiatives. Increasingly rising in importance, corporate investment and talent attraction will continue to be impacted by enhanced scrutiny of Environmental, Social, Governance—or ESG— policies as we move through 2024. Consumers and talent demand greener practices from companies, but the potential to greenwash always looms.

Applying to more than just the economic development industry for 2024, this Ipsos insight underscores one big word: focus. As businesses develop greener policies and more sustainability-minded features, they suffer from trying to do it all too quickly. Instead, the Ipsos report suggests slowing down, focusing on goals, and being more realistic about their ESG policies. That’s wise guidance for all, including EDOS, communities, and companies.

4. Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Seven experts affiliated with the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research share their insights and predictions about what’s coming. This economic development research shows how 2024 will be a year of fluctuations, with consumer sentiment lagging while work-from-home rates will begin to rise.

This election year in the U.S., treasury reform and Congressional roadblocks will also impact business trends and investment this year. 

Know the challenges facing us in 2024 and see what the experts have to say about them, including signs of hope for solutions to overcome each one.

5. Glassdoor

When it comes to understanding workplace trends, look no further than Glassdoor to round out your economic development and talent attraction research in 2024. Their recent report reveals eight trends that you need to know about today’s talent. 

Among the top takeaways, it’s finally time that Zoomers replace Boomers, with more Gen Z workers filling offices than older generations. Also, mid-level managers are suffering while small businesses are attracting top talent—but there’s much more to unpack in the report.

Learn about stats on workplace satisfaction, culture expectations, and the conversations that will guide your decision making moving forward this year.

Looking to conduct a research study to learn more about your community and how current economic and workforce trends align with your marketing goals? If you want answers, we’ll develop questions. Reach out to Robyn Domber at [email protected] to learn more about how DCI’s research team can boost your marketing efforts.

Written by

Robyn Domber

Senior Vice President, Research