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Survey: Our Region's Economy a Draw for Millennials

Posted by GREATER MSP on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Workforce is our region’s greatest asset.  When the GREATER MSP team works with companies looking to expand, often the first question we hear is whether we have the quantity and quality of workers they need and we do.


Yet, indications are that the nation will face some workforce challenges over the next few years.  A variety of organizations, ranging from McKinsey to Georgetown to Manpower have tried to estimate the future availability of talent.  All agree that a talent crunch is coming.  It is an issue we need to address quickly.


Key to building this workforce pipeline is connecting with Millennials --- those individuals between 20 and 35 who are beginning to move into the workforce, acquiring the necessary skills, identifying their places in the world.  Along with Gen X, they will also help to replace retiring Baby Boomers.


We have all heard the stereotypes --- Millennials are compulsively techno-centric, choose their city before they choose their job, more tolerant than their elders, change jobs frequently and have boomeranged back home to Mom and Dad.   Like all stereotypes, there is probably an element of truth in all of them, but they're probably also a little simplistic.  We thought it would be helpful to dig into the millennial mindset a little bit more. 


We found that young adults surveyed in our region are quite career focused and these concerns were more important than lifestyle in terms of selecting the Greater MSP region as home.


To understand these individuals, we conducted research to gain insight into their attitudes and perceptions about this region and its assets.  We leveraged social media and heard from over a thousand 18-40 year olds.  We asked why they lived in this region and while proximity to family and friends was first at 76 percent, access to jobs and career opportunities was second at nearly 50 percent (respondents gave multiple answers). A strong arts and entertainment scene, access to an active lifestyle and strong educational opportunities round out the top five. 


We also asked about their perceptions of our region for each of these areas. In all cases perceptions about our region are well above average.


So while we have some challenges ahead to maintain our competitive advantage for talent, it is equally clear that we have a number of great assets from which to build.