She grew up in Maple Grove, went to college at the University of Minnesota, and lived in both St. Paul and Minneapolis. But when the 27-year-old met with a job recruiter last year, she was set on the Pacific Northwest.
“I don’t think I’ll be back,” said Sperzel, now with a Seattle ad agency.
States are scrambling for young professionals like Sperzel to help offset the wave of baby boomer retirements. Minnesota is falling behind in that competition.
The state has lost residents every year since 2002, with young adults most eager to leave. About 9,300 18- to 24-year-olds move out annually, according to the Minnesota State Demographic Center.
That — combined with a declining birthrate and an aging population — has demographers and civic leaders sounding alarms.
“It’s a lapel-grabbing moment,” said Peter Frosch, a vice president at Greater MSP, a St. Paul nonprofit focused on economic development in the Twin Cities metro.