Upjohn Author ORCID Identifier


Publication Date



Upjohn Institute Technical Report No. 22-044




The United States has two types of “place-based” jobs problems: low employment rates in 1) local labor markets and 2) neighborhoods. The local labor market problem can be dealt with by targeting distressed local labor markets for job creation. The neighborhood problem can be dealt with by targeting distressed neighborhoods with programs to improve residents’ job access. This report describes the magnitude of these place-based jobs problems and reviews research on the most cost-effective programs to address these problems. The report also reviews current state government efforts to target job opportunities to distressed places, pointing out that such targeting is frequently too modest and poorly designed. As an alternative, this report proposes that state governments adopt two targeted block grant programs: a “Local Job Creation” block grant; a “Neighborhood Employment Opportunities” block grant. The costs, benefits, and distributional effects of these block grants are described.

Issue Date

June 2022


Upjohn project #34439


The Pew Charitable Trusts

Subject Areas

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Local labor markets; Regional policy and planning; Business and tax incentives

Updated simplified SCZ grant calculations.xlsx (776 kB)
State Commuting Zone Grant Calculation Data

Tract data with calculations for Pew tract grants(1).xlsx (64067 kB)
Tract Data with Calculations




Bartik, Timothy J. 2022. "How State Governments Can Target Job Opportunities to Distressed Places." Upjohn Institute Technical Report No. 22-044. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://doi.org/10.17848/tr22-044