Jobs and development: Two of the many reasons moving millennials to Buffalo

A few months ago I blogged about the 20-something invasion of Buffalo Niagara. Through the blog, I conveyed the enormous opportunity that we have to engage these young people and provide them with reasons to stay in the area.

Let’s talk about why we need them to stay:

When it comes to the out-migration of income, New York State leads the nation.

According to a study by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, NYS saw $45.6 billion in income leave with those residents.

Here’s where the 20-something invasion comes in to play:

WNY population graph
Buffalo Area Economic Outlook, Gary Keith M&T Bank. January 28, 2014

From 2006 to 2012, there was an 8.3 percent increase in the population of 20-34 year olds in the region. This increase topped the U.S average of 7.4 percent.

What does this mean for us?

In order to continue this trend, and keep our dollars in state, the young adult segment needs reasons to stay here.

What’s the most important reason? JOBS!

One of the strongest reasons we have to convince young adults to stay in Buffalo Niagara is the fact that we have more jobs:


  • Buffalo area job growth has averaged 1.3 percent annually
  • According to this article in Buffalo Business First, the jobless rate for the Buffalo metropolitan area dropped to 7.1 percent, down from 8.2 percent in the same month last year
  • According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Buffalo is leading all of its upstate peers with 1.2 percent private sector job growth, which is 50 percent above the Upstate NY average. (As of October 2013)


But our advantages are greater than just jobs.

What are some of these advantages?

Our newest employee, Matthew Bruno, weighed in:

Q: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Matthew. When and why did you leave Buffalo?

matthew bruno headshot
Matthew Bruno; Membership Coordinator at Buffalo Niagara Partnership

A: I left Buffalo to move to New York City for greener pastures in 2003. I worked in healthcare administration while living in the city for a number of years before returning to Buffalo in November 2011.

Q: What inspired you to move back?

A: It was a combination of factors. I was at the point in my life where I was thinking about settling down, and Buffalo is the ideal place for that. Also, I could see from afar that things were happening here. I would see signs of progress whenever I’d come back to visit family.

I saw signs of growth, like the new Federal Courthouse… it made me want to come back here to live in the center of the action.

Q: So, you moved back even before this trend of young people moving back to the region. How do you feel about the fact that millennials are finally moving back to Buffalo?

A: It’s fantastic. We’ve lost our own to the usual suspects for years; warmer weather, better job opportunities, a perceived lack of diversity. There was this feeling that the grass has to be greener, but I think that’s changing.

Q: I couldn’t agree more. Why do you think that now is the time to be here?

A: There is genuine business development and job creation happening. There’s a lot this city has to offer, and it’s exciting to be on the ground floor of something (our city) that’s really moving forward.

Q: That’s great to hear. What was the biggest change you noticed in the city upon your return to Buffalo?

A: The attitude and environment here has changed. A new attitude has appeared and people seem to be more committed to creating a better community, rather than complaining that one doesn’t exist. People are excited to be here because they realize all of the opportunities. You don’t realize how great it really is here until you go somewhere else.

It’s clear to see that the young professionals in Buffalo are excited and passionate about being here and contributing to the region’s overall growth and development.

Let’s continue to spread the word to this ever-expanding group of young professionals that the Buffalo Niagara region is the place to live, work and flourish.

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Headshot

About Dottie Gallagher-Cohen

President & CEO