It is no secret that the economic climate in the Tri-State area is not great. From high taxes, to burdensome regulations, to nickel and dime fees, making a go of it in New York, particularly as a small business gets harder by the day. Unfortunately, as publications such as Bloomberg and the New York Times point out, States like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are hemorrhaging people, and the economic vitality they provide.
New York’s annual net loss was the highest in the nation, with a net $8.4 billion exiting the state. Next was Illinois and New Jersey with net outflows of $4.8 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively. Connecticut and Pennsylvania each had a net outflow of $2.6 billion.
Interestingly, many of the big winners happen to be states with no income taxes. Florida far and away led the field with a net gain of $17.2 billion. Texas was second with a net gain of $2.4 billion. Other income tax-less states in the top ten were Tennessee (which taxes dividends and income from investments) with a net gain of $1.3 billion and Nevada with a $1 billion net gain.
Though, it is important to note that this exodus is not only those at the higher end of the economic spectrum. Workers without college degrees are fleeing “superstar cities” in large numbers as well. In 2018, eight of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the country, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, lost people to other places. In 2016 that number was 7 out of 10, in 2013 that number was five out of 10, and in 2010 it was just 4 out of 10. Sadly, the New York Metro area ha snow lost people for two consecutive years. As the Times puts it, “Moving to opportunity is not what it once was. Forty or 50 years ago, someone with no more than a high school diploma had much better job opportunities in a big city than in a small town. Not only did those at the bottom of the wage scale — janitors, cashiers at 7-Eleven — make more money in dense urban centers, but these places also offered data entry, bookkeeping and other jobs that paid middle-class wages while requiring little or no college experience”. Now though, that 7-Elevan cashier will not make any more money in New York City than they will in a small town in Alabama, especially with sky-high housing costs factored in.
There is yet a third component that lawmakers and “business leaders” must factor in when trying to reverse the outward trend and that is the high paying trades jobs that sit empty. We know that trucking companies in the Tri-State area are desperate for drivers, mechanics, and technicians but there is an enormous demand for jobs like carpentry, electrical, plumbing, sheet-metal work and pipefitting as well. College is a wonderful experience for many but is not right for everyone. There are wonderful careers in the trades and it would be wise for areas that are experiencing painful exoduses to reevaluate the career tracks they lay out for students.