It’s an undeniable fact that our entire region needs more people. Nearly every industry is experiencing labor shortages that, in some cases, are impacting businesses’ ability to meet demand for their products or services. Competing businesses in many industries are essentially trading employees as they try to fill open positions with the existing pool of workers, which is little like putting a Band-Aid on a shotgun wound. We simply need more people.
State initiatives have been launched in the Dakotas to entice former residents to return home and take advantage of the opportunities available, but considering the historically low populations of these states, it will take more than former residents to fill the workforce demands. We need people to relocate and give our states a try, but from where?
A Gallup poll released today could provide a few clues. According to the poll, half of the people in Illinois and Connecticut would move out of their states if given the opportunity. Several other East Coast states ranked in the top 10, along with Nevada, Louisiana and Mississippi.
North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota each had 30 percent or fewer respondents eager to relocate, slightly below the 50-state average of 33 percent. Montana, Maine, Oregon and Hawaii residents are among those least likely to move, according to the poll.
Interesting to note, however, is that while half of the Illinois residents polled said they want to move, fewer than 20 percent said they believe they might actually move out of the state within the next year. The same is true for other states that reported a large number of people who would move for an opportunity. Perhaps they just need a little encouragement from their neighbors to the north.
For the complete list of results, check out gallup.com.