Benchmarking High Performance Economic Development

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Jonathan Morgan

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.

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What are the characteristics of high performance economic development organizations? What do the top performers actually do to promote economic development? What types of activities do they emphasize?  What outcomes do they measure?  The topic of economic development performance measures is discussed in an earlier post.

A recent report produced by Atlas Advertising provides some insight into these questions.  The report is titled High Performance Economic Development: How Technology and Outcome-Based Metrics Will Save Economic Development Investment and Promotion as We Know It.  The report is based on interviews with and surveys of economic developers from around the U.S. in an attempt to collect data on economic development activity and performance metrics.  One goal of the report is to establish a baseline for gauging the performance of economic development organizations using four metrics:

  • Website unique visits
  • Conversations (defined as discussions with prospective, existing or entrepreneurial companies who are expanding or relocating)
  • Jobs announced in the community
  • Capital investment announced in the community

The following table is an excerpt from the report that shows a baseline for measuring economic development performance based on a community’s population size:

Population

Yearly Web Visits

Conversations Past 12 Months

Jobs Last 12 Months

Capital Investment Last 12 Months

Less than 25,000

6,926

25

83

$23,738,889

25,001 to 100,000

9,075

68

469

$59,606,630

100,001 to 250,000

19,016

89

1,243

$260,039,168

250,001 to 1,000,000

47,619

462

2,083

$321,698,824

1,000,001 to 2,500,000

105,051

280

5,616

$798,839,772

Over 2,500,000

58,740

130

10,496

$457,858,333

Average for All Sizes

29,181

148

1,768

$244,629,502

Jonathan Morgan (55 Posts)

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.


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