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Photograph of a  Welcome To Vermont. The Green Mountain State  sign
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Vermont is looking for more workers, and it's willing to pay. New residents of the Green Mountain State can get up to $7,500 if they’re up for working in short-staffed industries like childcare, construction or restaurants. It’s a sweet deal for those interested in relocating to what's generally considered the country’s most environmentally-friendly state.

Cities and states eager to boost the local population have been using cash incentives and other promotions to draw in workers for a while now. These programs are primarily in rural states and cities that have been experiencing a net loss in population for years.

Rural areas in the U.S. are seeing slower population growth than cities, and because so many people can work remotely from any location now, it's theoretically easier to attract high-income earners to help the local economy. Interest in escaping crowded cities for more rural surroundings increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, making these relocation incentive programs especially intriguing.

Earlier this spring an incentive offering remote workers up to $12,000 to move to Morgantown, West Virginia, created so much buzz that 7,500 people applied for just 53 spots. That’s a 0.7% acceptance rate, which is many times more competitive than the nation’s most selective colleges.