Attract workers and not companies: the new challenge of local governments..

One of the great challenges that local managements face is to battle unemployment by generating genuine jobs in the cities. In the past, efforts were focused only on attracting companies to settle in the territory and provide sources of work, regardless of the type of activity they developed, such as industry, commerce, services, etc.

Currently,  expert projections indicate that industry, commerce and services began to undergo automation and digitalization processes, which lead to a drastic decrease in traditional jobs. While the pace of the process and its depth are debatable, the trend is evident. At the same time, it is observed that the labor market of independent workers and, in particular, digital workers is in continuous growth and is projected to continue increasing,both due to the possibilities offered by new technologies and the need for labor reconversion. These factors force local governments to change their approach to the problem of unemployment, focusing on people and not only on companies.

In this context, it is important to emphasize that the strategies for attracting companies and people are very different. As for the former, the requirement is much more limited and simple; whether it has an adequate industrial estate, energy, even tax benefits, etc. On the contrary, in the case of people, the focus should be on strengthening the local market and increasing the number of inhabitants who develop their own project, as well as encouraging residents of other locations to choose to move and settle in the city.

Traditional work <Digital work

Freelancers are a growing sector of the economy that have the possibility to perform their work without relying on a particular physical location. Because of this, cities that wish to attract these workers should adapt an integral vision, which considers both attractive working conditions, as well as the offer of a quality of life and services according to their interests and desires.

The availability of coworking spaces, the granting of tax benefits and the carrying out of activities that promote the development and support of entrepreneurs, among other things, are resources and strategies commonly used to attract independent workers. At the same time, cities must provide good quality of public services, security, access to green spaces, cultural and entertainment offer, the possibility of living in an ecosystem of entrepreneurs that is useful to grow and solidify projects, etc., since these aspects will probably define the Freelancers the choice of the place to carry out their work, and therefore where to pay and spend their money.

Current trends indicate that migration flows are likely to increase in the future, which will cause some cities to increase their population and economy at the expense of others that do not provide an attractive environment. Unlike the past, this phenomenon will not be as visible as the closure of a factory leaving hundreds of unemployed neighbors, but it will be an individual and drip phenomenon and the damage to the local economy and the quality of life of the city will be even deeper, and difficult to reverse.

Cities will compete against each other to attract workers and what will determine the succeed will depend on local management.