Lightcast Releases 2023 Talent Attraction Scorecard

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Dec 8th, 2023

Florida and Texas dominate, but Vermont breaks into top 10 thanks to post-COVID migration

(Moscow, ID) – December 7, 2023 – The ongoing impact of post-COVID worker migration has vaulted Vermont into the top 10 states for attracting and retaining workforces in the latest edition of Lightcast’s annual Talent Attraction Scorecard.

Florida and Texas remain the top two states for talent attraction, followed by Vermont at No. 3—a major leap up from last year, when it was at 30. Georgia is the other new addition to the list, coming in at No. 10, up from twelfth in 2022.

“Vermont leads in talent migration, driven by an influx of remote workers from neighboring states. This underscores the far-reaching influence of post-COVID patterns on shaping opportunities for communities eager to attract growth,” said Josh Wright, Executive Vice President of Growth at Lightcast.

The Lightcast Talent Attraction Scorecard, now in its eighth year, assesses states and counties on their ability to attract, develop, and retain a robust workforce, an essential element in economic development. Communities are assessed on six metrics: net migration, overall job growth, educational attainment, regional competitiveness, annual openings per capita, and skilled job growth. The elements are used to create a combined score.

Idaho, in fourth place overall, earned the No. 1 ranking in three categories: educational attainment, job growth, and skilled job growth.

Maricopa County, AZ, which includes Phoenix, remains first among large counties, as it has for six of the past seven years. Overall, Florida and Texas dominate the list of large counties (those with more than 100,000 residents). Besides Maricopa County, six of the top 10 large counties are in Texas, and the other three are in Florida.

Top 10 states 

1. Florida
2. Texas
3. Vermont
4. Idaho
5. North Carolina
6. Utah
7. Arizona
8. Tennessee
9. Nevada
10. Georgia

Top 10 Large Counties (populations greater than 100,000)

1. Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix)

2. Collin County, TX (Dallas)

3. Travis County, TX (Austin)

4. Denton County, TX (Dallas)

5. Fort Bend County, TX (Houston)

6. Williamson County, TX (Austin)

7. Hillsborough County, FL (Tampa)

8. Lee County, FL (Fort Myers)

9. Polk County, FL (Lakeland)

10. Montgomery County, TX (Houston)

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