Historically, the economies of Detroit and Silicon Valley couldn’t look more different: the Motor City has long been known as a hub for manufacturing and the auto industry, while innovations in technology have dominated Silicon Valley. Despite their differences, these cities are actually more similar than most think.
Increasingly, manufacturing has gone high-tech in Detroit, while the Silicon Valley/San Jose region has seen an uptick in manufacturing. This isn’t what we might expect, but to understand this convergence, it helps to look at a recent Brookings report, which lists a group of 50 advanced industries, ranging from automobile manufacturing to software development. Together, they contain our nation’s most competitive and innovative firms. Nationally, these industries have an outsized impact on the economy—just 9% of the workforce, they produce 17% of gross domestic product and, since the end of the recession, advanced industries have created 65% of new jobs.
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