California has lost 3.4 million workers since 1990 to other states, an exodus that can be attributed to such factors as recession, high unemployment and a shrinking defense sector. These are the findings of “The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look,” a Manhattan Institute report authored by Tom Gray and Robert Scardamalia.
Less than a decade ago, both California and Texas had comparable economies, but in 2007 California’s jobless rate began to climb, reaching 12.4 percent in July 2010. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Texas stabilized, making it a destination state for Californian job seekers.
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The report lists 10 states that have been top destinations between 1990 and 2010, and CNBC.com presents them here. These states are not limited just to those that have seen significant increases in migration from California, but also include those that have received major infusions to its workforce from places like the Deep South and the Northeast.
Also included are Internal Revenue Service figures of state-to-state migration flows from the specific period of 2009 to 2010, with data detailing which states lost the most workers to other states.
Read ahead to see the top states in the Manhattan Institute report, and find out what employment data, industries and companies are located there to make them destination states for jobs.
The state that received the most in-migration from others between 1990 and 2010 was Florida. In the 2009-2010 time span, 405,424 people moved to the state, but it is important to note that the largest group to relocate there came from New York. This group of people is likely to have included many retirees, not job seekers, Robert Scardamalia said in an interview.
Whatever the makeup of these people, there is no denying that Florida has become a destination state for jobs. The all-important leisure and hospitality sector has continued to improve, and there has been job growth in the education and health services sector; the professional and business services sector; and the trade, transportation and utilities sector.
In the Manhattan Institute’s report, Texas benefitted greatly from California’s misfortunes. During the months of 2009-2010 alone, The Lone Star state welcomed 439,456 new residents, 48,877 of whom had come from California. Florida and Louisiana followed behind.
According to the report, the typical profile of a Californian moving to Texas in the 1990-2010 period was that of a young person with a family looking for employment. Given the state’s job growth, this would have been a good bet. Recently, it has been the U.S. leader in the creation of logging and mining jobs, and it has a strong energy sector.
3. North Carolina
The infusion of new residents that North Carolina received in 2009-2010 derived largely from nearby states. The most in-migration came from Florida and South Carolina, both of which had higher rates of unemployment.
However, the state with the second-highest rate of in-migration was Virginia, despite an unemployment rate that held steady at a relatively low 6.9 percent.
People from nearby Virginia and other neighboring states may have moved to North Carolina simply because of the presence of some major players in the banking industry, such as Bank of America, and the many opportunities available in technology, biotechnology and biochemistry in the Research Triangle Park area. The state ranked fourth on CNBC’s “Top States for Business 2010” list.
The pattern of net in-migration to Georgia from 1990 through 2010 is similar to that of Arizona, as the majority of it took place in the 1990s and declined in the 2000s. In the 2009-2010 period, the three largest sender states were Florida, Texas and Alabama.
What the state has going for it is the headquarters of several major employers, such as Home Depot, UPS and Coca-Cola. The state was also the site of a newly-opened Kia plant in West Point, in which the Kia Motors Corporation invested $1 billion. According to the company’s press release, the plant would create 7,500 jobs in the region.
Between 1990 and 2010, enough people moved to Arizona to make it the fifth largest state for net in-migrations in the country. The majority of these moves took place in the 1990s and declined in the 2000s.
In 2009-2010, Arizona’s unemployment rate rose from 9.9 percent to 10.5 percent, but the state received an infusion of 159,212 new people regardless. The Manhattan Institute report describes the migrants to Arizona as “affluent retirees” and “young families looking for economic opportunity.”
See the full list: Top Destination States for Jobs
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