Sunday, July 26, 2009

Handwriting On Rust Belt Walls

Attracting migrants is tough enough. Ohio is trying to create incentives for instate college graduates to stay put. Policymakers should take a gander at the doings in Scotland:

Scotland's population has shown a slight increase, from 5,057,400 in 2003 to 5,168,00 last year, and a better-performing economy under devolution has started to reverse decades of outward migration. But Murphy said: "Our need for a growing population is ranked alongside the need to recruit to occupations where we have a shortage."

He added: "Over the summer we will be consulting on this new points-based route to citizenship, and I am pleased to say living and working in Scotland is proposed as one way to earn points.
Scotland has already learned that attempts to stop out-migration don't work. More resources are poured into the Scottish Diaspora, deriving benefit from brain drain. But immigration is the only viable solution to the problems associated with a shrinking population.

California is beginning to show the same demographic stresses as Scotland. Actually, that's been the case for some time. But strong immigration to the state glossed over a perennial domestic migration loser. That talent pipeline is now slowing, dramatically.

Meanwhile, Ohio continues to waste time and money trying to bar the door to other states. The Rust Belt is aging and foreign born talent is heading elsewhere. The window of opportunity is closing.


Unknown said...

How can we increase foreign immigration to the rust belt (and pgh specifically)?

Jim Russell said...

Dropping the word "retention" from workforce development policy discourse would be a strong start.

There are some good ideas already out there. We need to move them up the priority list.