In recent years, America has increasingly been defined by a winner-take-all geography, with coastal superstar cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., garnering a disproportionate share of high-tech startups, corporate headquarters, and innovation and talent. But surging costs and inequality in these places—elements of what I call the New Urban Crisis—may be shaping the beginnings of a shift in talent to other parts of the country.
That’s the upshot of the newly released 2019 Talent Attraction Scorecard from Emsi, a company that analyzes labor-market data. This edition of the scorecard covers America’s 3,000-plus counties, breaking out the data for three types: big counties (with more than 100,000 people), small and medium-size counties (with between 5,000 and 100,000 residents), and very small, micro-counties (with fewer than 5,000 people). The analysis is based on Emsi’s Talent Attraction Index, which is comprised of six key metrics: job growth, skilled job growth, net migration, annual openings for skilled workers (per capita), educational attainment growth (based on adults with associate degrees and above), and a broad measure of regional competitiveness.