Counterurbanization & Its Effects On Jobs

Updated: Mar 2

Over the past 18 months, many new trends have emerged. One of these trends is the gradual move from large urban centres to less densely populated areas. More and more people have decided to move out of cities and into more rural areas. What is causing this trend and why has it caught on? What is attracting individuals to move farther away from city centres? Keep reading to learn more.

How The Trend Emerged


During the pandemic, many in-person jobs became virtual. What this offered to people was more flexibility in terms of how they go about their day, as well as the ability to work from pretty much anywhere. As we look towards a post-pandemic future, although there is going to be a large shift back to in-person work, many companies have decided to keep some roles remote, or at least provide employees with a hybrid approach. Many people do not enjoy the commutes downtown, so with many positions remaining online, some people have taken the opportunity to move away from all the hustle and bustle.


What It Offers


Although people moving away from the larger cities is bad news for metropolitan areas, it is good news for up and coming communities. With more settlement in suburban and rural areas, it presents these communities with a great opportunity to really develop and grow furthermore. With more people there is more demand for jobs, services, etc., so with more people moving out of the cities there are bound to be more and more opportunities there.


Implications On The Job Market


However, how does this relate to the job market? Since the start of the pandemic, companies have had to adjust their hiring strategies to keep up with changing times and accommodate restrictions. As businesses and society at large begins to open up, many companies are beginning to decide how they run operations. Some have decided to keep hiring and onboarding processes online, some are doing a bit of both, and others are looking to revert back to in-person meetings. How does this relate to a climbing real estate trend? If companies continue to offer jobs and hiring processes virtually, there is more opportunity and reason for people to move out of the city and into more rural areas.


By The Numbers


Statistically, it has been reported that younger demographics have been more inclined to move out of the city. According to the Financial Post, nearly 82% of people who moved out of metropolitan areas were 45 or under. Between the years July 2019 and 2020, it was reported that nearly 50,375 Torontonians moved out of the city. However, while Toronto experienced a loss, nearby communities such as Oshawa grew by 2.1%.


What Does This Mean For The Future of Jobs?


With a big move toward suburban and rural life, the job markets are likely to see some twists and turns. For younger generations, moving to a smaller city or town may allow for more financial flexibility as housing usually costs more in larger cities. With more remote job opportunities and potentially reduced cost of living, this can make it easier for the younger generation to own their own home faster.


Some companies have pledged that remote work will be there to stay, which could drive up competition among those looking for remote work as many businesses revert to in-person operations. However, as the job market begins to revamp with a mix of highs and lows, there is bound to be a lot of change in activity in the near future. This real estate trend could potentially help smaller cities and towns grow and establish themselves, prompting them to increase development and increase employment.


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Citations:

  1. Agecoutay, C. & Andersen, R. (2021, January 16). Canadians leaving big cities in record numbers: Statistics Canada. Retrieved August 25th, 2021, from https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canadians-leaving-big-cities-in-record-numbers-statistics-canada-1.5270161

  2. Hertzberg, E. (2021, January 14). Younger Canadians are moving out of big cities at record levels. Retrieved August 25th, 2021, from https://financialpost.com/real-estate/younger-canadians-moving-away-from-big-cities-at-record-levels

  3. Holder, S., Kessler, A., & Patino, M. (2021, April 26). More Americans are leaving Cities, but don’t call it an urban exodus. Retrieved August 25th, 2021, from https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-citylab-how-americans-moved/

  4. Kamin, D. (2021, April 9). Reverse migration: moving to cities while others flee. Retrieved August 25th, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/realestate/suburb-to-city.html

  5. Martel, E. (2020, December 1). Are people really moving out of cities due to the pandemic? Retrieved August 25th, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2020/12/01/are-people-really-moving-out-of-cities-due-to-the-pandemic/?sh=764048f26279

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