Ore fields undergoing change
- A report about the labour supply and development opportunities
The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Growth Analysis) has been commissioned by the Swedish Government to analyse and forecast the future need for and supply of expertise and labour with the aim of contributing to positive development and greater growth in the municipalities of Gällivare, Kiruna and Pajala. The primary issue is how regions that face significant industrial change should act in order to develop as positively as possible. This assignment will be presented in an interim report on 14 May and a final report on 30 June 2010. These reports are intended to be used as a basis for decisions by the municipalities of Gällivare, Kiruna and Pajala, and to provide guidance to other regions facing significant industrial investments.
This interim report consists of six chapters. Chapter one contains a brief introduction and description of the structure of the report. Chapter two contains a theoretical overview that describes the problems associated with mining regions and single-industry towns, i.e. those strongly dominated by one industry. Chapter three describes the background and conditions for development of Gällivare, Kiruna and Pajala. Chapter four provides various development forecasts in the municipalities with regard to central variables. The forecasts were compiled by WSP Analys & Strategi with help from the regional forecast and analysis tool rAps. The rAps forecast tool is specially developed to forecast future regional scenarios and is consequently particularly suited for forecasting and analysing the future development in Gällivare, Kiruna and Pajala. Chapter five builds on the theoretical overview, the regions’ background conditions and the forecasted future scenarios to draw summarising conclusions and discussing possible ways forward for each region. The sixth and final chapter consists of summarising comments in conclusion.
A mining establishment entails both direct and indirect effects on the local economy. The direct effects come from those employed in the actual mining industry. The indirect effects come from the propagation effects that the mining industry has on other local businesses. The indirect effects consist in part of higher demand for input goods from suppliers in multiple stages, and in part of more consumption as a result of higher incomes. The indirect effects as a result of more consumption naturally grow if there is also an influx of labour.
The population is expected to decrease in each municipality according to most scenarios. The mining expansion is expected to mitigate the population decrease and the most positive development is naturally obtained with a higher influx of people. However, according to the forecasts, more inbound commuters are necessary in all municipalities in order to meet the demand for labour. Since the municipalities extensively compete for the same workforce, this indicates that the entire need for labour will not be able to be met by commuters from the surrounding area. Consequently, in order to meet the labour demand, an influx of people from remote locations is probably needed and possibly also longdistance commuters.
All three municipalities are consequently facing the same main challenge: to make themselves so attractive as to entice people to move there. In this work, the municipalities’ natural conditions are similar, i.e. a cold climate, large distances and sparse development. These factors are generally viewed as weaknesses, but can also constitute strengths from an attractiveness perspective. Being a rural area close to nature is exactly what makes Northern Sweden unique and the municipalities should therefore focus on attracting the part of the population drawn by such environments. Since the three municipalities are facing largely the same challenge, one conceivable future route is to investigate the possibilities of additional cooperation projects between the municipalities.