The rise of the new economy has radically altered the ways that cities and regions establish and maintain their competitive edge. Knowledge has replaced natural resources and physical labor as the source of wealth creation and economic growth. In this new era, a region’s ability to attract and retain the highly educated talent needed for growth has become the key factor in its economic success. But attracting and retaining this talent has proven to be something of a challenge.
Conventional wisdom argues that if the jobs are available, the workers will follow, but the new economy doesn’t quite follow these rules. Because the demand for talented people outstrips supply, and because competition has pushed salaries and benefit packages to very enticing levels, these highly skilled workers can essentially choose where to live and work. When it comes to choosing where to locate, knowledge workers have definite shopping lists, — and regions that seek to attract them do well to know what they want.
This report details the findings of a year-long study of the relative importance of various factors beyond job availability in attracting talent. The study looked specifically at how a group of measures that can be collectively referred to as “Quality of Place” affects the ability of regions to attract talent and to generate and sustain a high technology environment.