Is this how New Jersey can hang on to millennials?
As the size of the largest generation increases significantly on the national level, but drops in the Garden State, a just-released survey looks at what can be done to keep millennials within New Jersey's borders.
In the survey of nearly 1,000 accounting professionals, including a couple hundred millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000), 'reducing taxes' was most cited as a tactic to keep the generation from leaving New Jersey.
Thirty-four percent of respondents in the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) survey said reduced taxes would have the biggest impact. Another 16 percent said bringing more businesses to the state would help, and 14 percent recommended additional affordable housing.
"We're looking at how we can turn New Jersey around, and millennials play a significant part in that," said Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA. "If they are not staying in New Jersey, it erodes the tax base, but more importantly our talent pool is also impacted."
According to recent research, New Jersey ranks dead last for the net migration of millennials. The state lost 22,000 millennials in 2015, while other states gained several thousand (Texas added nearly 115,000).
"You have to engage them," Thomas said of millennials. "If you don't, they have no problem picking up sticks and going somewhere else, or even sitting on the sidelines."
About 250 millennials participated in the NJCPA survey. More than a third prioritized a reduction in taxes as the best way to keep them here. Building more affordable housing (21 percent) and improving mass transit (11 percent) received a decent number of votes as well.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.