This course examines contemporary labor markets through two thematic lenses. One is the growing discussion of knowledge industries and "knowledge workers" and their importance to regional innovative capacity and competitive advantage in a global economy. The other is the persistent challenge of unemployment, underemployment and working poverty within metropolitan regions. In exploring these themes, readings for the class synthesize perspectives on work, labor markets and economic growth from economics, sociology, history and political science. Class lecture and discussion, supplemented by the occasional guest practitioner, will focus on translating academic research into knowledge that can be used in local economic and community development practice.