Two of Connecticut’s metropolitan regions have among the highest median earnings for full-time workers age 18 to 34, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area ranked #5, with Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford ranked #6, just ahead of New York-Newark-Jersey City. Connecticut and California were the only states to have two regions among the top ten. The media income in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area was $42,757, and the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford region was $42,322 for 18-34 year olds working full-time, according to the data, highlighted in an article posted to The Atlantic’s CityLab website.
Those median salaries in Connecticut compare to a media of $33,883 for the same age category nationwide. The data indicates that 21.9 percent of the region’s population is age 18-34 in the Hartford metro area; 19.9 percent in the Stamford centered region.
Nationwide, the website points out “since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, the median wage for people between the ages of 25 and 34, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in every major industry except for health care.” The Atlantic reported earlier this month that “overall U.S. wages are barely growing, and wages for young people are growing 60 percent more slowly than overall U.S. wages.”
“When you dig into the numbers,” the website continues, “the Hartford, Connecticut, metro area emerges, beaconlike, in the darkness: It has become one of the most lucrative job markets for young Americans.”
The report notes “a higher median income for young workers than in New York, Seattle, or Chicago. Millennial wages in many smaller metropolitan areas, including Austin, Minneapolis, and Denver, also lag behind Hartford's.” The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford region offers the combination of strong median income and a cost of living that isn’t rising at the rate of other metropolitan areas, which makes the region “looking remarkably attractive.”
Also this month, the real estate website Zillow predicts “a big year for home buyers in 2015, with more millennials entering the market amid rising rents.” Zillow’s annual housing predictions identified the five best housing markets for first-time homebuyers in the year ahead, and ranked Hartford at #2, just behind Pittsburgh and ahead of Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta.
Looking ahead to 2015, Hartford was among the “markets most favorable to first-time buyers … with strong income growth among 23-34 year olds, significant growth in the number of entry-level homes on the market and home prices that won’t take a big chunk out of buyers’ paychecks.”