How Digitalization and Online Jobs Affect Migration to Urban Areas and More Developed Countries
This is an interesting and thought-provoking topic, and it is also more difficult to investigate than you think. Data on migration is only available once the act of migration is realized, but a decrease in migration cannot be simply attributed to the availability of online jobs. There are multiple challenges and reasons why someone wants to move to a different area, country or even continent. Here we will explore why people migrate in general and how online jobs can impact those decisions.
Reasons for migration
Basically, there are 4 main reasons for migration: unsatisfactory living conditions, economic stagnation, power abuse and corruption of government, and accessibility to more developed countries. In other words, the pursuit of a career is not one of the main reasons for people to change their locations. That being said, employment is one of the main reasons for migrating from rural to urban areas, but there are other reasons for that as well – social reasons, living conditions, and education.
Moreover, a lot of people move from urban areas to rural for employment as well, it really all depends on the market demand.
Digitalization only brought an extra level of convenience, for those who do not wish to move. Thanks to remote work and learning, many can take courses, exams, get licensed, or even perform their job duties online, but at the end of the day if they wish to move they will be work on that goal.
How Digitalization affects migration
Thanks to the development of online job platforms, multiple employment, and outsourcing opportunities suddenly became available. This allowed a lot of people to earn as freelancers for a living and also incentivized companies with a broad selection of services to form. Countries that have talent but are underdeveloped can offer services at a lower price and still make a decent income. Furthermore, there are also full-time remote workers, however, career-oriented individuals will likely stay there if there is a chance to advance which would entail migration at some point.
Another important thing to note is job hunting. Thanks to online ads, people can find employment opportunities online a lot quicker, so in that sense, it pushes migration forward.
Working from home
Another important factor that impacts migration is whether someone is satisfied working from home. Sure, there are certain conveniences or perks, but there are also some drawbacks to the whole arrangement. You might not have to commute or spend as much on your meals, but if you love to socialize, or if you simply love some change of environment, then working from your own home might not be what you want.
You can open the office in the area and even start your business, and that would even create an incentive for people to move from the city to a different more remote area. That would, however, mean that your area is becoming more urban and would eventually lose the status of rural areas, which is how all the cities came to be in the first place.