Happy Holidays fellow travelers.
A posting by a local paper in Milwaukee noted a recent study by Apartment List showing the Wisconsin metro as a top destination for the much-desired millennial workforce. There is no doubt that Milwaukee, much like Omaha and other ‘flyover metros’ are emerging destinations for these much sought after talent workers. Rankings are fickle however, and while the Apartment List analysis favors Milwaukee in this case, there are other rankings which place Milwaukee below the usual top 10 – think San Fran, Austin, DC, Denver, Seattle …
To help explain the Apartment List study I found this quote from a December 2015 WTMJ interview & think it’s on the mark: “The restaurant scene is huge in Milwaukee, one of the things that millennials that move here for a job enjoy once they’re here. The arts, culture, museums, opportunities and places to see all different kinds of people, share spaces together.”
The quote above is reflective of an emerging national phenomenon. We are on the cusp of the reemergence of once ignored metros whose low cost of living/affordability, coupled with the cool factor – from craft beer tasting rooms to coffee shops and restaurant scenes – serve as magnets to young workers. This in turn explains why Inc 5000 businesses are beginning to shift from high-cost San Jose and San Fran to Omaha, Lincoln and Milwaukee. Sports franchises and museums play a lesser role with the millennial crowd and emerging Generation Z, although I’m certain that the older, philanthropic set still find such amenities attractive.
Wrap up: I believe we are on the front end of something big in this Country as the new administration begins to shift the focus of high-tech manufacturing and product development from cheap overseas locations to America’s interior, where the cost of living is low, but access to talent high. There is going to be a boom in new emerging metros – think Milwaukee, Omaha, Huntsville, Kansas City, Nashville, Dallas, Denver/Boulder and Tampa. Yes, Tampa.