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Economy

Do Jobs Follow People or Do People Follow Jobs?

According to a new study pulling numbers from 250 economic regions in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, it all depends on what kind of jobs are created.
Workers install the Microsoft logo in Espoo, Finland in April 2014.
Workers install the Microsoft logo in Espoo, Finland in April 2014. Mikko Stig/Reuters

It’s the biggest chicken-and-egg dilemma of economic development: Do jobs follow people or do people follow jobs?

Traditionally, it was thought that people follow jobs. We move for money, right? Accordingly, cities shelled out big incentive packages in order to lure companies and factories. But with the rise of the knowledge economy, the opposite notion has gained sway: Highly skilled and talented people—the knowledge and professional workers, artists, musicians, and media workers that comprise the creative class—have the ability to pick where they want to live and then create and attract companies.