Why NYC Startups Can't Get Good Help

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We hear a common refrain when we talk to NYC startups about the challenges of doing business in NYC: It’s really hard to get good people. One explanation is that NYC doesn’t have enough density of high-tech companies and engineering schools. Another is that Wall Street pays competent tech people much more than a startup could hope to offer. But the NY Observer, citing a newish study from the City Comptroller, offers up another explanation: Middle-class people are fleeing the city, chased out by the preposterous cost of living:

Twice as many people move out of New York City to other parts of the nation than migrate here each year, the comptroller’s office concluded.

Those most likely to stay are in households earning between $60,000 and $140,000 annually—or in ones earning over $250,000. Those likeliest to leave are in households earning between $40,000 and $60,000 or between $140,000 and $249,999 annually. (The city’s median income is around $40,000.)

The Observer notes that many of those who leave the city really leave it: 40% of emigrants aren’t going to the NY suburbs, or even other big cities, but to much smaller metro areas. Conclusion: If you’re a cash-strapped company looking for good help, you may well have to rely on telecommuters. Get good phones and a decent IM client. NYObserver

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