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That way you can find a new job without uprooting yourself (or your family) if need be.

Yes, that is a 'plus'. But so is cost and quality of living. I wouldn't want to go to Silicon Valley (SF) because it's phenomenally expensive. Some engineers literally live in campers in company parking lots because otherwise they wouldn't be able to save for their retirement. That also is a factor. I've been contacted a few times over the years for "silicon valley jobs", and I have no interest. I love visiting SF, but I can't imagine even trying to live anywhere in that vicinity. It's crushingly expensive, traffic is nightmarish, etc.

As an employee I would place greater weight on the quality of life in an area, and the COL in that area, than whether or not there are 20 other companies in the same industry in that vicinity. I might even tolerate a crappy company for a region I really liked (I know someone who did that...loved where he relocated, hated the company).

So I really think a larger factor for employees would be their quality of life. Good schools for the kids, affordable housing for the family, good parks and eateries and culture (movies, theater, whatever), etc. Bentonville, according to someone I know who was once a manager-level (lower) person in some sort of distribution center, is full of great shopping and theaters and such, because the employees of the company wanted all that stuff so it sprang-up. And, yes, cost of living is higher than the rest of Arkansas.

I don't think there is anything inherently better or worse in many locations, it's just a matter of what's available to people who might relocate (jobs, clean environment, good schools, etc). Communities could do what Pittsburgh did and make themselves attractive (develop "walkable" areas, parks, try to get Google Fiber, etc), or a Jeff Bezos could take advantage of lower costs of an area and locate there creating jobs which will spur the development of all that cool stuff that people want in their communities.

1poorguy
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