Relocation Grants

What do local authorities do when they have more vacant jobs than people to fill them? We look at how cities in the USA dealing with full employment

Golden Hello for companies 

Governments around the world spend a lot of time and effort trying to attract companies to set-up in specific areas. Some businesses have become renowned for the way in which they have managed their expansion to make sure that they get the best deal possible from potential host cities for the jobs that they are likely to create when they open a new facility.

In some ways both the governmental enterprise funds and the employers have been too successful for their own good. Many cities and regions around the world are now able to describe themselves as having full employment.

So, what do you do when you have more jobs on offer than people who want a new job?

You incentivise people living in areas where there are no jobs to get on their bikes and move to places where there are lots of jobs.

Ten Pound Poms

In the 1950s and 60s the UK invited people from the Caribbean and Africa to move to the UK to take jobs that were difficult to fill.

Australia adopted a similar strategy, offering Brits the opportunity to start a new live down under for a £10 one-way fare. All my aunt and uncle had to do was get on the boat and give it a go for a while. If it didn’t work out, they had to pay their own fare home.

While these ten-pound poms gave rise to humour that has outlasted the scheme the majority went on to enjoy successful lives down under.

Still a workable option

Many cities in the United States of America are adopting a similar strategy of incentivising people with the right skills to move and take vacant positions

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut – famous as the home of Yale University is reportedly willing to contribute a US$10,000 in interest free loans towards the deposit on residential property and will also lend you up to US$30,000 to help make your new home more energy efficient.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – the city that played host to the hit TV series The Wire is reported as being willing to give anyone who is prepared to take on a house that has been empty for a year US$10,000 towards renovation costs.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma – is trying to attract people who work for employers based outside of the city, but who themselves work from home and shared facilities. If that is you, then you could receive US$10,000 on the first anniversary of your move to the city.


Vermont – the home state of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is willing to give new arrivals who work for a local company up to US$7,500.

St Clair County, Michigan

St Clair County, Michigan – if you want your student debt paid off this is the place to go. The County will pay off the student debt of graduates who move to there to take up a job


Kansas – there are 80 opportunity zones where graduates can have up to US$15,000 of student debt paid off if they move there for work.

Lifestyle over Work Style

There is a view that you will never know how good you are until you have tested yourself against the best, and that invariably means that you must move to the big cities. That is because there is an assumption that the best in any industry always congregate together in specific areas.

If you want to be in movies you have got to head to Hollywood. If being in I.T. is your thing then you’ll be heading to Silicon Valley, Merchant bankers will aim to work in London and fashionistas will be heading to Paris or Milan.

Majors not Playing

Wondering why we haven’t mentions places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington or Boston in the list?

Well that’s an easy one to answer.

A.T. Kearney the business consultancy in their Global Cities Report for 2018 described New York as the best city in the world for business, the other cities all feature in the top 20.

If you fancy moving to one of these cities you are unlikely to find any incentives on offer, they don’t need to entice either employers or workers to move there in the same way that more regional cities and regions do.

But, take heart, New Haven is just 70 miles from New York city.