We are finally in an economic recovery with plenty of jobs. To fill the unfilled jobs, cities are getting creative with incentives that will lure younger workers to settle in their locales.  

From Few Jobs and Many Workers to Many Jobs and Few Workers

The Wall Street Journal explained that coming out of the recession, jobs were scarce and young workers moved to big cities where there were more opportunities. Small cities fared okay because they had few employment opportunities, to begin with.

Ten years after the recession, the economy has turned around dramaticallyNationally, the unemployment rate is at 4.1 percent – close to full employmentLast week, unemployment claims fell to their lowest levels in almost 50 years.

Now, smaller cities face an aging population, no interest from young workers, and a strong economy that demands more workers.

This is great news for younger workers, especially those with student loan debt or who are ready to purchase homes. Smaller cities are experimenting with programs that offer loan repayment or mortgage assistance.

Let's make a deal

Here are a few examples of what smaller cities are offering if you move there:

  • Hamilton, OH – $5,000 toward student loans of people in engineering, technology, science or the arts, if they agree to live for two years in downtown Hamilton (about 45 minutes from Cincinnati).

  • Grant County, IN – $5,000 toward buying a home for people moving to the area if they have a job and advanced training or a college degree. (This is converted to a loan if they move within five years).

  • North Platte, NB – $10,000 to move into town for a job. 

This is probably just the start of many new incentives that will aid in revitalizing aging cities with young workers. An influx of young workers putting down roots helps the local labor force, stimulates economic activity, and spurs new services to meet demands of young families.

strong economy aids younger workers with opportunity, greater benefits, and economic mobility. These benefits (such as tuition repayment and paid leave) have so far been reserved for workers in certain industries like technology, but are spreading more broadly. 

Millennials who took on high debt to pay for college and graduate degrees carry heavy debt loads. At least this is a way for them to get financial relief and benefit the communities they move to.

Pro-growth policies such as tax cuts and deregulation are driving the strong economic growth we have today leading to more jobs, higher wages, bigger paychecks, and new benefits. These policies work and our leaders in Washington and across states shouldn't take the foot off the gas.