NATCHEZ – The most affordable area in America to live, especially for those without a college degree, is the commuting area around Natchez, Mississippi, a top new study finds.
Stanford University economist Rebecca Diamond teamed up with UC Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti for a four-year study that delved into the daily finances of three million Americans across the country, reports Greg Rosalsky of NPR’s Planet Money newsletter.
According to Rosalsky, economists found that Natchez offered better value for money for the 60% of American adults who did not graduate from college.
Big cities may offer a higher salary, but the cost of living quickly swallows up that extra money.
These findings come as no surprise Chandler Russ, executive director of Natchez Inc.
It is Russ’s job to recruit new businesses in the Natchez area, as well as to offer support to existing employers here. However, as a native of Natchez, Russ is very familiar with the work history of the community and the renewed interest of manufacturers and other employers in Natchez.
âAs you know, we have a huge amount of jobs open and available here, and they have been for years now. Most of them don’t need a college degree. They require a skill set – like a welder or an electrician – and they may require some sort of certification, but these jobs exist all over the region, âRuss said. “And these are jobs that can support you and a family.”
Over the past 40 years, Natchez’s population has declined as large manufacturers like International Paper shut down factories and strive to streamline their operations as technology improves.
âThis decline is not unique to Natchez, but has occurred in rural areas of the country. And that’s what has helped keep this area affordable. He kept house prices and the prices of other things in check.
âIn recent times we’ve seen a huge increase – in the last 12 to 14 months – with home sales almost double what we typically see in a year. It’s not just people who exchange houses. The reality is that we have a good influx of new people to the area, âsaid Russ.
He said those with a strong work ethic and skill set or a willingness to learn can find a job with a paycheck that allows you to firmly support a family.
Russ said the workforce development effort undertaken through a partnership between Adams County, the City of Natchez and the Natchez-Adams School District would make it much easier to prepare for open, well-paying jobs. in the Natchez region. Workforce Development training will help prepare Natchez students and other job seekers for the jobs available in Miss-Lou.
âThe ultimate goal is to fill the workforce niche, to help existing businesses here fill vacancies with skilled workers. These jobs currently pay $ 35,000 to $ 60,000 for workers who are or are likely to be trained. A university degree is not necessary, âhe said.
For workers with only a high school diploma, the highest standard of living and opportunities are found in:
Gallup, New Mexico