Three rust-belt provinces in China’s northeast continue to suffer from an exodus of talent, with college graduates from these regions opting to work elsewhere, a recent report shows. Last year, only 47.5% of university graduates from the three provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang chose to work with local employers. That compared to 49.2% in 2015, according to the report jointly released by Beijing-based private consultancy Mycos and state-owned publishing house Social Sciences Academic Press. That was far below the national average of three out of four college graduates finding a job in their home provinces. According to Caixin, that signals a widening gap between these three northeastern regions and the rest of the country, particularly provinces along China’s affluent east coast. The three provinces, with more than 115 million people, was China’s old industrial heartland in the 1980s and was home to many state-owned heavy industries.