Loudoun County Continues to Lead Nationally in Talent Migration

Midsize Market Workforce

The availability of skilled labor consistently ranks as the most important driver of site selection decisions. Employees are the lifeblood of any company, catalyzing innovation, growth and any business success metric.

Loudoun County, which leads Virginia in percentage growth of population (36.2%) since the 2010 U.S. Census, is also a national leader in workforce talent attraction, both domestically and internationally through Washington-Dulles International Airport.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, the analytics team at Emsi (Economic Modeling, LLC) finished county-level data collection for all jurisdictions across the U.S. This data powers their Talent Attraction Index, which equally weighs migration, growth of jobs and skilled workers, regional competitiveness, job openings, and education attainment to rank each county.

Across the U.S., results showed that talent is migrating from major metros to midsize markets (250,000-1 million people), such as Loudoun County, which sits just 25 miles from downtown Washington, D.C., and within four hours’ drive of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and more.

Taking a deeper look at the six factors, this is how Loudoun stacked up among large counties:

2020 Overall Rank: 34th (up from 40th in 2019)

  • Educational Attainment: 24th
  • Skilled Job Growth Rate: 24th
  • Regional Competitiveness: 39th
  • Net Migration: 47th
  • Overall Job Growth Rate: 53rd
  • Annual job openings per capita: 127th

Drew Repp, content manager for community insights at Emsi, had this to say about the data in an article written for Site Selection Magazine:

“It may no longer be about recruiting talent to you, but about you going to where the talent is. Increasingly, this is less likely to be the superstar cities of the early 2010s,” Repp explained. “As people seek more affordability and less stress (and due to the pandemic, less density), midsize markets provide the alternative they are seeking.”

Several factors that underscore Loudoun’s superior quality of life include safety, entertainment, and purchasing power for residents.

In the most recent study from SmartAsset shows that Loudoun residents get more for their money than people in any other county in Virginia, and ranks 80th among 3,000 counties nationwide. The study compares median income and cost-of-living data nationwide to find the counties where people hold the most purchasing power.

Loudoun also has the lowest crime rate of any jurisdictions in the national capital area, which includes parts of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The rate of serious crimes in Loudoun has dropped 34 percent since 2012, while the county’s population has increased by more than 100,000 people.

Cheers to Loudoun! In addition to leading Virginia in the number of wineries and breweries, Loudoun also leads in hops, grapes and honey production, thanks to Loudoun’s vibrant rural industries and agritourism. With amenities like these, why would you want to live anywhere else?

Thinking of starting or relocating your business in Loudoun County? We are a full-service economic development organization, dedicated to your #LoudounPossible business success. Working with us is like adding a team of no-cost specialists to your team, with expertise in the following areas:

    • Site selection and real estate searches;
    • Workforce development and pipeline support;
    • Process and permit navigation;
    • Fast-track and financial incentives;
    • Marketing and communications outreach;
    • Networking, resource and industry introductions.

Contact Nancy Evanko today to launch your #LoudounPossible journey.