Why are Millennials moving to Jacksonville?

Alan Vargas

Graphic by Sam Chaney

It’s hard to guess what makes someone decide they wanted to move to Jacksonville; some people might say it’s the weather or the beaches while others would argue it’s the breweries, the Jaguars or maybe even the schools in the area.

Regardless, according to SmartAsset, Jacksonville attracted a total of 6,354 new Millennials in 2016, and the number may still be steadily growing.

But why would Millenials keep coming?

Well, while it may be debatable as to whether or not Jacksonville has it all, according to a survey conducted by the New York Federal Reserve, 54 percent of people who moved here from a different state reportedly did so for job-related reasons.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Jacksonville fell from 6 percent in January 2015 to 4.3 percent in December 2016. Many jobs were filled over this time and all of these new job postings would be quite attractive to a newly graduated Millennial looking for work. On top of this, the housing costs in Jacksonville appear to be attractive to those who are still new to the workforce.

If we compare Jacksonville to the median home price in the United States, we can see that home prices in Jacksonville are lower on average. According to this Kiplinger’s article, in 2017, the median home price in the U.S. was $232,000, yet in Jacksonville, it was $170,000. That low price could definitely entice a number of people to buy property.

However, before you pack your bags and move from your dorm room to a more permanent Jacksonville residence, you may want to consider the average wage within the city. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2017, the median wage in Jacksonville was approximately $22 per hour, while the national average was closer to $24.34. That is, Jacksonville residents made an average of 10 percent less than the national average.

So, what do all these numbers mean?

The ones who care where Millenials are moving (aside from Millennials themselves) are usually the ones trying to sell them something. SmartAsset, in particular, appears to be pushing their mortgage tools, which makes sense for a website that is helping you be “smart with your assets.” But this is a college newspaper, so why is it important for you? Simply put, because you need to pay attention.

Remember, when a lot of people want something (like houses in Jacksonville), it usually causes there to be less of that specific product; therefore, the price of that product increases. Watching these trends can help you be a smarter consumer. Look at the data and consider the trends.

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