Desperate times call for desperate measures. With unemployment rates so low, towns and cities are competing for the workers they need to fill their factories and service jobs. Some have gotten creative, offering new residents cash to relocate within their borders. David Harrison and Shayndi Raice report:
Jobs at the paper mills and safe manufacturers on this stretch of the Great Miami River mostly dried up by the early 2000s, leaving behind closed factories and an abandoned downtown.
Today, a spruced-up waterfront, loft apartments and help-wanted signs give the appearance of economic renewal. All that’s missing are workers—and that has prompted a novel experiment.
Relocate to Hamilton and the city promises $5,000 to help pay student loans. Pack up for Grant County, Ind., and claim $5,000 toward buying a home. Settle in North Platte, Neb., and the chamber of commerce will hold a ceremony in your honor to present an even bigger check.
In this new phase of the U.S. economy, one marked by a shortage of workers rather than jobs, civic leaders in Hamilton and elsewhere are asking themselves: Why not pay people to move here?
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