Discussion: Can Engagement Strengthen the Economy?

6 Hypotheses on the Link Between Civic Health and Unemployment

February 16, 2012
In September 2011, "Civic Health and Unemployment: Can Engagement Strengthen the Economy?" was released. It found that states and cities with higher civic engagement rates saw less growth in unemployment during the height of the recession.

NCoC found this to be an exciting connection, but we wanted to understand its depth and rationale further. The "Civic Health and Unemployment" brief posited 6 hypotheses (listed individually below). At the heart of each of them is the importance of connection. Of relationships. Of social capital. We have long believed that the strongest force in American democracy is the connection among cities. These hypotheses aim to explore that further and show why social and civic engagement are critical to fostering economically prosperous communities.


To facilitate dialogue on these hypotheses, we've created this discussion series, and we invite you to weigh in on each topic individually.
  • Do you agree? Disagree? Tell us why.
  • Do you have data or stories that illustrate or disprove this point? Please share them.
We will also be presenting at Conferences throughout the year, and taking on additional research initiatives to generate further information on this topic. For more on our Annual Theme and its associated activities, click here.
We will summarize these discussions along the way and present what we hear at our 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship, hosted in partnership with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this September.
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