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Mass. 'Hemorrhaging' College Grads — Blame Housing Costs

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A report from the Boston Fed says nearly half of college graduates in Massachusetts leave the commonwealth within a year; only 12 other states have a higher exit rate. And, while the Fed and pols blame a disconnect between schools and employers as to what sorts of jobs are available, we think it has more to do with the high cost of housing relative to what grads might get hereabouts.

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson summed up the official line to The Herald: "The places they go to — New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington — are counter-intuitive because they're more expensive, so it's not based on housing price, but opportunities and an environment that celebrates youth. We do some of that, but we can continue to do a better job." In other words, the relatively new if-only-Boston-were-hipper canard.

Having lived in two of the cities the councilor cites, we can say unequivocally that the Boston area is just as expensive, if not more so (and we're not entirely sure that Washington celebrates youth). Moreover, the at-least-hipster-Brooklyn-like cost of housing here is a chronic, man-made reality brought on by decades of building on a small scale and less densely than possible; it's been further compounded in recent years by proposals for thousands of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments that immediately don't lend themselves to young families with children, hastening decisions to leave the Boston region and perhaps the state.

State and local governments seem to have belatedly recognized this problem, having proposed various (relative) fast tracks toward more housing. Good on them as it's where the real focus should be if Massachusetts truly wants to retain its college grads.
· Mass. Bleeds Talent as Grads Flee State [Herald]
· Group Wanting to Make Boston Hip Loves Boston the Way It Is [Curbed Boston]
· Why the Hub Housing Market Could Get Worse, Much Worse [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Is for Lovers (Just Not Their Kids): a New Apt. Dynamic [Curbed Boston]
· Is Governor Patrick's Apartment Plan Too Little, Too Late? [Curbed Boston]