The Future of the Skilled Labor Force in New England: The Supply of Recent College Graduates The Future of the Skilled Labor Force in New England: The Supply of Recent College Graduates

By Alicia Sasser Modestino

This report investigates an issue critical to the region's economy: our ability to attract and retain college graduates to meet current and future labor force needs. Many are concerned that an inadequate supply of skilled workers in New England will deter companies looking to locate or expand within the region. Since 2000, the population of recent college graduates in New England has been growing more slowly than other parts of the United States. This research report investigates the factors that affect the stock of recent college graduates, how those factors have changed over time, and their relative importance in explaining the slower growth of this segment of the labor force.

Dr. Sasser finds that, although migration has played a relatively small role over time, retaining more of those recent college graduates educated in New England may offer the most promising and immediate channel to expand the stock of recent college graduates. Yet contrary to the usual litany of reasons offered to explain why individuals leave New England-cold winters, high cost of living-our research shows that recent college graduates report leaving the region primarily for employment reasons. Better matching of recent graduates from New England institutions with jobs and employers around the region could be a promising strategy. Stronger partnerships between universities and industry groups, as well as statewide or regional job clearinghouses may also provide an opportunity to reach this new generation of workers.

In May 2013, Retaining Recent College Graduates in New England: An Update on Current Trends was released as an update to this report.

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