How the Hartford region is faring, and what the future looks like

Print More

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving recently released its annual regional indicators report, looking at key issues facing the region.

Last year, the foundation’s report focused on access to schools, jobs, neighborhoods, and access to opportunities, as well as the opportunities and challenges of increased cultural and linguistic diversity.

This year, the group focused on the next generation of residents, mobility, job growth, education, and civic engagement in the context of declining state and local resources.

This is a summary of the Hartford Foundation’s findings. Future stories on Trend CT will godeeper into these topics and the data analyzed by the group.

More Millennials

By 2020, millennials are projected to be the largest workforce segment in the Metro Hartford region.

Many of the region’s millennials are not high-mobility college-educated individuals. Population numbers by opportunity level show that 45 percent of the 18- to 34-year-olds in our region live in low or very low opportunity neighborhoods, and most of the inflows from out of state are to the same neighborhoods.

The Metro Hartford region retains the fewest four-year graduates of any metro region in the country, with 60 percent of recent graduates citing “jobs” as their primary reason for leaving.

Young people are leaving

College graduates, individuals with advanced degrees and older residents are moving out of Connecticut and the Hartford metro area, while younger and less educated people are moving in.

This out-migration increases budget challenges as taxpayers leave the region and businesses lose customers.

From 2012 to 2014, the net migration of taxpayer income out of the region was more than $912 million.

Improving transit options

The Hartford region’s residents of all age groups prefer to live in areas they can easily access by public transportation or walking.

Many in the region endure long commutes, especially low-income residents who spend time traveling to jobs in the suburbs that are not easily accessible via public transportation.

Barely any job growth

During the past 25 years, the Hartford metro area has had some of the slowest growth compared to others across the country.

Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, Hartford ranks 21st in share of jobs in advanced industries but is 74th when it comes to growth in jobs in advanced industries.

Metro area job growth since 1991

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT NECTA

1.1 %

Cleveland-Elyria, OH

3.5

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

4.3

New Orleans-Metairie, LA

4.9

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

5.5

Rochester, NY

7

Pittsburgh, PA

12.6

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

12.9

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

13.3

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA NECTA

13.6

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

16.5

St. Louis, MO-IL(1)

17.3

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

17.5

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

19.8

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

20

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH NECTA

23

Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

24.7

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

24.9

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

25.1

Kansas City, MO-KS

28.6

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

29.1

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

29.3

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

29.3

Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

32.6

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

37.2

Richmond, VA

40.4

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

41.8

Columbus, OH

42.4

San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

43.7

Oklahoma City, OK

45.1

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

45.7

Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA

46.1

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

48.6

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

50.7

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

52.8

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

54.6

Jacksonville, FL

61.1

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

65.5

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

65.6

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

66.1

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

67.3

Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

69.8

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

72.6

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

82.7

Salt Lake City, UT

84.2

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

88.4

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

93.1

Raleigh, NC

102.5

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

107

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

144.1

Austin-Round Rock, TX

144

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1991 – 2016

According to the analysis, most future job openings will be high-wage jobs that require advanced degrees or low-skill jobs with high turnover and wages that cannot sustain a family of four.

Solutions

The Hartford Foundation said that with the decline of regional government involvement, local groups must collaborate to drive initiatives.

To attract and retain millennials, some towns are expanding public transportation and creating walkable areas, the foundation said. Colleges are expanding their presence in downtown areas. Groups focused on networking young professionals are increasing.

Hubs for innovation are being created, as well as regional collaboratives that help bridge school-to-workplace development, and there are opportunities for new local and federal sources for worker funding.

What do you think?

  • Max

    I think the data needs to be more clearly explained. For example, a heading reads “Young people are leaving” but then the article says “younger and less educated people are moving in.”

    Can the author clarify this? Are more young people leaving greater Hartford or moving into greater Hartford? It seems from the report that, on the whole, more young people are moving here but not the type of young people that the report’s authors desire.

    I also wonder about the solutions proposed, namely an emphasis on walkable areas – what data is there to demonstrate that walkable areas lead to job growth? It seems that the regions most successful in creating jobs are those without many walkable areas – Orlando, Las Vegas, Raliegh, Phoenix, Riverside, etc. Are the jobs in those areas being made because of walkable neighbords or public transit? I’d like to see some data linking job growth to these solutions.

  • Lynn Roe

    Hartford is declining. The people with a higher education are moving elsewhere to places with opportunity. Governor Malloy’s 6 yrs have made Connecticut unbearable. The over taxation, money spent with such recklessness, and on Pet Projects instead of on necessities. Governor Malloy’s failed policies, lack of leadership have sent us careening out of control.

  • Joseph Brzezinski

    The given solutions are far too vague. Specific solutions need to be proposed and prioritized and discussed, not only in the media but thoroughly before this year’s election. Candidates for state officd have to be specific about where they stand aND will vote on the states fiscal policies and agenda.