October 13 2020
Economic Analysis,Employment/Workforce,General

The Capital Region is the Nation’s 4th Leading Destination for Relocating NYC Workers

ALBANY, NEW YORK – New U.S. Census Bureau data reveals the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the nation’s fourth biggest attractor of greater New York City metro area workers who relocate for jobs, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Job-to-Job Flows Explorer data.

In 2018, the five-county Albany MSA saw approximately1 14,456 job-to-job flows from the New York-Newark-Jersey City MSA. That was a 20.3 percent increase from five years earlier. The only other metros with more job-to-job flows from the NYC MSA in 2018 were the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA (42,995), Trenton-Princeton MSA2 (17,231) and Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown MSA2 (15,432). Job-to-job flows are the movements of workers with a short or no observed unemployment spell.

Top Metros Driving Workers to the Capital Region

The metros that sent the next most workers to the Albany MSA were the Glens Falls MSA (2,564) and Rochester MSA (2,331). Outside New York State, the most job-to-job flows to the Albany MSA came from the Boston-Cambridge-Newton MSA (673). In 2018, an additional 5,326 job-to-job flows came from non-metropolitan areas in New York State.

In contrast, the biggest driver of job-to-job flows for the Glens Falls MSA (Warren and Washington counties) in 2018 was the Albany MSA (2,391), followed by the New York City MSA (1,039) and Syracuse MSA (178). The only non-New York State metro in the Glens Falls MSA’s top 10 for job-to-job flows was the Burlington-South Burlington MSA (35). The Glens Falls MSA also attracted 735 workers from non-metropolitan areas in New York State and 292 from non-metropolitan areas in Vermont.

“This is not a secret: the Capital Region has an unparalleled quality of life and career opportunities that are just as stellar. New York City workers know this. They are very mobile – especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic – and out of all the metros in the nation from which they can choose to go for new jobs, the Albany metro is the one that attracts the fourth greatest number of them,” said CEG President and CEO Mark Eagan.

Talent Attraction Opportunities

This trend of New York City workers moving upstate presents to Capital Region a major talent attraction opportunity – one that is greater amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are indications the coronavirus crisis is accelerating the migration of downstate workers and the region’s labor force stands to gain from them. For example, the real estate market in Columbia County is one of the few markets in the state to see year-to-date growth in single-family home sales, up 11.5 percent for the first eight months, according to data from the New York State Association of Realtors. Over the summer, Warren County’s home sales picked up markedly, up 26.2 percent in July and August. Warren County Economic Development Corp.’s interim president, Jim Siplon, has even recently declared he wants to target downstate for new residents and business growth.

“The entire Warren County region is clearly seeing a new wave of economic development as professionals and entrepreneurs alike seek safer, smaller communities to work and relocate their families,” said Siplon. “Residential real estate is moving quickly – sometimes at prices above the listing price – and local schools report increases in enrollment. We are organizing our economic development models to include this professional relocation with continued investment in both the infrastructure like broadband and the outreach to support new professionals and their needs as a core pillar of our mission and see this trend as part of a vibrant future for Warren County.”

“Over the past several months, Columbia County has seen a 30 percent increase in home purchases, including many purchasers from outside the area. The county has also seen an influx of existing second home owners who have taken refuge from New York and Boston, and they are now working remotely. The additional spending-power that has resulted has already enhanced the local economy and over time, as they settle in, will add to the fabric and vibrancy of the community”, said F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Columbia Economic Development in Hudson.

Regional Branding/Talent Attraction Initiatives

To build on this talent attraction momentum, CEG and its affiliate, the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE), have been working on regional branding and the CapNY Talent Initiative designed to inform and attract Millennial- and Gen-Z talent to the Capital Region: one million residents, 24 higher education institutions, hundreds of cultural institutions, thousands of acres of parks and recreation. Research has shown that less than 30 percent of $100,000 wage earners in NYC and Boston have heard of the Capital Region. This high-impact, multi-platform campaign incorporates social media, web, print, air and more, ensuring that our region is known across the U.S. as a leading place for young people to invest and thrive in their business, career and family lives.



1 Annual job-to-job flow totals are aggregates of quarterly data. The totals are not a unique count of workers changing jobs during the selected quarters. The J2J Explore compares workers’ main jobs at the beginning and end of the quarter and only count them as a job-to-job flow if their main jobs are different. Since workers may change jobs in multiple quarters of a given year, the annual total will overstate the number of workers who have different main jobs at the beginning and end of that year, according to the Census Bureau.

2 The Trenton-Princeton and Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown MSAs are new MSAs under the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s new MSA definitions. A previous version of this CEG report highlighted J2J Explorer data extracted before it was updated with more current data and the new MSA definitions.  


The Center for Economic Growth (CEG), an affiliate of the Capital Region Chamber, is the Capital Region’s regional economic development organization, supported by hundreds of investors in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors. CEG is also a New York Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation-designated Regional Technology Development Center and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). For more information, visit www.ceg.org






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