The future of the skilled labor force in New England: the supply of recent college graduates
One of New England’s greatest assets is its skilled labor force, historically an engine of economic growth in the region. Yet the population of recent college graduates—the skilled labor force of the future—has been growing more slowly in New England than elsewhere in the country. ; The need to attract and retain recent college graduates has become a salient issue in every New England state. Policymakers and business leaders alike are concerned that an inadequate supply of skilled workers will hamper economic growth by creating barriers for companies looking to locate or expand within the region. ; However, policymakers have taken only preliminary steps to tackle this challenge because they lack information on the extent of the problem, its root causes, and how best to address it. To help close that gap, this report explores several key questions, including which factors affect New England’s stock of recent college graduates, how those factors have changed over time, and their relative importance in explaining the recent slowdown. The ensuing analysis leads to several conclusions that run contrary to conventional wisdom.
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