What is the Impact of Opportunity Zones on Employment Outcomes?


We study the effect of Opportunity Zones (OZs) on employment outcomes. We match zip codes with OZs to a control group of similar zip codes that do not have any OZs, and compare job postings and posted salaries across these two groups over time. We find that zip codes with OZs have fewer job postings but higher posted salaries, though both effects are very small in magnitude. We explore further the extent to which the results are driven by particular OZs. About 8700 census tracts were designated as OZs in 2018, yet it appears that only a few hundred have received investments. Those OZs for which we are able to gather data on investments are among the most economically attractive in that they already had more job postings and job growth prior to their OZ designation. When we redo our analysis on the smaller set of OZs with investment we again find fewer job postings and higher posted salaries, but the magnitudes are slightly higher than on the full matched sample.