Migration into Hartford County helps Connecticut fight outflow trend | Crain's Connecticut

Migration into Hartford County helps Connecticut fight outflow trend

Connecticut, lifted by a net migration into Hartford County from out of state last year, made one of the largest moves up in an Allied Van Lines national survey.

The Nutmeg State rose to 26th place among all U.S. states from the 37th position a year earlier, according to the Allied Van Lines Magnet States Report for 2016. Only Virginia, which rose 16 places to 34th; and Iowa, which rose 15 places to 27th, made bigger moves upward.

Connecticut’s position was its highest since a 19th place finish in 2011, which was the last year it had more inbound moves than outbound registered by the 49-year-old survey, said Laura McGowan, a spokeswoman for Illinois-based Allied Van Lines. The state fell to 36th in 2012, 42nd in 2013, and 43rd in 2014.

The survey consists of data from state-to-state moves handled by Allied Van Lines. It does not include moves within Connecticut.

ZIP code-linked data supplied by Allied Van Lines showed that Hartford and Litchfield were the only net gainers among Connecticut’s eight counties. Hartford County showed a net inflow of 94 with 437 moves in compared with 343 going out of state. Litchfield County showed a net gain of nine with 22 in-bound moves compared with 13 out.

Allied Van Lines has major corporate and university accounts in Hartford County and increased activity in those caused the region’s net increase, said Lesli Bertoli, the company’s general manager and vice president. She declined to name the holders of those accounts. Allied Van Lines has Connecticut branches in New Britain and New London.

“Those are skilled workers moving in,” Bertoli said in an interview with Crain’s Connecticut. “Those are good jobs with skilled workers. That helps housing and a lot of other things. That’s all good for Connecticut.”

Moving in

The local real estate market has been gaining in recent months, according to the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors. Through November, year-to-date pending sales were up 5.6 percent to 12,256 transactions from 11,606 a year earlier while median sales price climbed 4.72 percent to $222,000 from $212,000, the association said in a December news release. Closed sales were up 11.93 percent to 11,004 from 9,831.

Meanwhile, inventory is declining. The association reported that year-to-date new listings were down 5.26 percent and average days on the market dropped 8.45 percent to 65 days.

Closed sales in November were up 20.35 percent to 893 from 742.

“The jump in closed sales signifies a strong fall market, which is encouraging even with tightened inventory,” said Jeff Arakelian, CEO of the West Hartford-based association. “Lower inventory may mean prices could continue to rise as more buyers take advantage of historically low interest rates.”

Finding work

Connecticut has also been attracting more young, working-age people than it’s been losing and the Hartford County data is further proof of that trend, said Manisha Srivastava of the state Office of Policy and Management. Srivastava wrote an article in the December 2015 issue of The Connecticut Economic Digest titled “The Crossroads of Millennials and Migration.”

East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney is among Connecticut firms ramping up payrolls. President Robert Leduc told a Middlesex Chamber of Commerce audience in September that the jet engine maker plans to hire 8,000 workers in Connecticut over the next decade including 1,000 engineers in the next year as well as 1,000 in manufacturing positions.

Hartford County added 2,200 private-sector jobs, growing the workforce 0.5 percent, in the 12 months that began in November 2015, said Andy Condon, director of research at the Connecticut Department of Labor. The manufacturing sector, however, was not responsible for that increase.

There is a shortage of qualified workers in Connecticut to fill jobs such as accountants, insurance actuaries and skilled manufacturers at Hartford-area companies, said Peter Gioia, vice president and economist at the Hartford-based Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

“Our companies have gone begging for people to do those jobs,” he said. “There’s some out-of-state recruiting going on.”

Moving out

New London County was home to Connecticut’s biggest loss in the 2016 Allied survey. The county lost 44 residents with 57 in-bound compared with 101 outbound, according to Allied.

New Haven and Fairfield counties were the second- and third-biggest losers in Connecticut with New Haven at minus 41 and Fairfield at minus 26. Among the remaining counties, Middlesex came in minus 1, Tolland minus 9, and Windham minus 5.

Overall for 2016, Connecticut was minus 10 with 892 inbound moves and 902 outbound, Allied Van Lines reported.

Florida had the biggest impact on Connecticut, both for incoming and outgoing residents, according to data supplied by Violette Sieczka, Allied’s marketing manager. There were 89 Florida-to-Connecticut moves handled by Allied last year and 163 Connecticut-to-Florida moves, she said, adding that the moves to Florida were mostly retirees. Nationally, Florida was the state that gained the most through moves handled by Allied.

Connecticut finished fourth among New England states for 2016, beaten by Vermont (20th place with net positive 44), Maine (24th place with net negative 5), and Rhode Island (25th place, negative 8). Connecticut managed to beat out Massachusetts (29th place, negative 20) and New Hampshire (33rd, negative 73). New York finished 47th with negative 714.

Connecticut’s struggle to attract and retain people was also visible in the 2016 survey made by Missouri-based United Van Lines, which showed Connecticut No. 4 among the most outbound states with 60 percent of moves being out of state, according to a Jan. 3 press release. It held the same spot in the 2015 survey after it went from the 10th most outbound in 2014. Only New Jersey, Illinois, and New York fared worse in 2016 and 2015.

United Van Lines has Connecticut branches in Cheshire, Stamford, Stratford, South Windsor, and Windsor.

Nationally, Texas lost the top spot in the Allied Van Lines survey after holding it for 12 years straight. Florida and Arizona ran No. 1 and 2 this year with Texas coming in third, Allied Van Lines said in the release.

Illinois was the least magnetic state with 2,112 inbound moves compared with 3,396 outbound moves for a net outflow of 1,284.

January 5, 2017 - 11:38am