In a now almost week old story that has been totally ignored by the local media - and local politicians - not only is Los Angeles no longer attracting young college graduates, but we are now one of only two cities that is losing that demographic. The other one is... Philadelphia. And we are losing our young college graduates at a far faster rate than Philadelphia.
Evidently... W.C. Fields... isn't the only one who would rather be in... Philadelphia, or any place but LA.
The chart at the end of the below story tells the tale of why Los Angeles's quality job creation rate is far lower than that of almost ever major city in the country, another story that the LA media and LA politicians ignore as the city passes law after law designed to drive business out of Los Angeles.
The only possible silver lining is that these statistics stop the year before the loft boom started that might start to halt the rate of our loss of jobs that require a college education. Lofts alone, however, will not do the job; a true urban culture needs to be also created and, alas, both the government agencies and the private sector organizations that should be working on this, have been largely ineffective.
And even that will not be enough because until the city takes job creation serious and reverses its current anti-business climate, no real change is going to be possible.
Atlanta Leads the Nation in Attracting Most Coveted Demographic in the Country
Monday November 20, 3:02 pm ET
'Young and Restless' Study Shows Atlanta is the Place to be for Highly Educated 25- to 34-year-olds
Focus Groups Cite Airport, Affordability, Diversity and Opportunity
www.MetroAtlantaChamber.com (Visit this site for full press kit)
ATLANTA, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta leads the nation in attracting highly educated 25- to 34-year-olds, the most coveted demographic in the country. They are known as the "Young and Restless."
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061120/CLM012LOGO )
"Atlanta is winning the war for talent," said Sam A. Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. "The 'Young and Restless' are the most sought-after talent in the country. Cities want them for their economic future. Companies want their knowledge and talent. And Atlanta is leading the nation in attracting them."
These are the findings of a study conducted by Portland, Ore., economist Joe Cortright of Impresa Consulting and released today by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. The study showed that from 1990 to 2000, metro Atlanta increased its young adult population 46 percent, which is faster than any of the top 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the country.
At a time when this age group was declining by 9 percent nationally, the number of young adults increased 20 percent in Atlanta. All other of the top 50 metropolitan areas, besides San Francisco, had smaller increases or outright declines in their 25- to 34-year-old population from 1990 to 2000. And the competition for young, talented labor is getting fiercer as baby boomers retire and the workforce shrinks.
"Cities across the country recognize that their ability to attract this well-educated, hard-working young age group is critical to their future success," said Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
Atlanta has also been a mecca for young, highly educated African-American adults. While the African-American young adult population declined nationally in the 1990s by about 6 percent, Atlanta saw a 36 percent surge.
While much larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago still have greater absolute numbers of college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds, Atlanta has disproportionately outpaced all of them in rapidly growing its percentage of these up-and-comers.
For instance, from 1990 to 2000, New York City -- with a "Young and Restless" population nearly five times the size of Atlanta -- only grew its "Young and Restless" population by about 35,000, while Atlanta grew its number by more than 80,000.
"While the nation's talented, young workforce is shrinking, Atlanta's share is growing faster than anywhere in the country," said economist Joe Cortright. "Companies looking for a talented workforce can't find a hotter spot than Atlanta."
Most "Young and Restless" relocate to Atlanta from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami or Washington, D.C. The largest single contributor of 25- to 34-year-olds to Atlanta is New York, accounting for 7 percent of Atlanta's in- migration. Washington-Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago each account for about 3 percent.
"Macquarium Intelligent Communications owes much of its success as an interactive strategy and design consultancy to the fact that Atlanta is such an appealing city," said Art Hopkins, president of Macquarium, a web development and consulting firm. "Macquarium was built by talented young people with an entrepreneurial spirit, and continues to attract the best and the brightest young professionals from all over the country. We know that being in Atlanta has tipped the scales in our favor."
Focus groups cited Atlanta's competitive advantageous as affordable housing, cultural opportunities, jobs and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
"Atlanta offers the most of everything that I look for in a city," said Kate Demange, a member of the Young and Restless group and a Macquarium employee. "The weather is great, the city is green and beautiful, I can do outdoor activities year round, it has direct flights to major cities in the U.S. and Europe, a good job market, and the cost of living is lower."
While educated people in their early 20s move around, those in their mid 20s and early 30s are settling down, pursuing careers and starting families. The likelihood of moving to another state or metro area declines sharply in the early 30s. So attracting people in the 25- to 34-year-old group offers metros the best chance of building a stable base of human capital that fuels a region's economic future.
A diverse and educated workforce adds to Atlanta's appeal, Williams added, noting that the region's 45 colleges and universities educate more than 200,000 students a year. Georgia Tech alone turns out the largest number of engineers of any university in the country, and Atlanta ranks fifth in the nation for the fastest growth rate of college-educated young adults, greatly exceeding the national trend.
In addition to being plentiful, young adults in Atlanta are better educated, on average, than those in other metropolitan areas -- 36 percent versus 30 percent with four-year college degrees. The number of 25- to 34- year-olds with a four-year degree increased 46 percent in Atlanta over the past decade, more than four times faster than the nation as a whole.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (MACOC) -- with our 4,000 member companies that collectively employ more than 700,000 workers -- is a catalyst for a vibrant metro region. The Metro Atlanta Chamber focuses on the issues that matter most to the business community: improving quality of life, promoting economic growth and making Atlanta a brand name that means opportunity.
Top Metro Areas & Change in Raw Number of
Young & Restless*.
Metro 1990 2000 Change
New York 1,107,128 1,141,990 34,862
Los Angeles 616,689 590,745 (25,944)
Chicago 428,445 486,669 58,224
San Francisco 390,613 474,707 84,094
Washington 446,706 473,201 26,495
Boston 372,300 375,403 3,103
Philadelphia 278,047 274,893 (3,154)
Atlanta 176,366 257,837 81,471
Dallas 231,782 252,437 20,655
Detroit 195,284 227,319 32,035
Although metro Atlanta ranks eight in the overall number of 25- to 34- year-olds, it experienced a 46 percent increase in this age cohort, where many of its competitors saw outright declines or small percent increases. No other of the top 10 metro areas in the country saw this kind of increase. *Metro areas ranked by total Y&R population.