“America’s Silver city” – A report from the McKinsey Global Institute

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Lakeland skyline | Photo by @catapultlkld

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Across the country, automation is changing the landscape of local labor markets. Lakeland is no exception. A report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) looked at 315 cities to identify the ways automation is affecting markets.

In the report, cities are divided into 13 archetypes (full list here) based on characteristics like economic health, business dynamism, labor force demographics + industry mix. The 13 archetypes were then grouped into five segments: Urban core, urban periphery, niche cities, mixed middle + low-growth and rural areas.

Lakeland’s archetype is “Silver cities” in the “Niche cities” segment.

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Chart from McKinsey Global Institute analysis

Niche cities account for 6% of the U.S. population. They define this segment by saying these cities have “found success by building on unique features and have the fastest economic growth rates across all other archetypes on the list.

We’re in good company. Some other Niche cities are:

  • Provo, UT
  • Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Reno, NV
  • South Bend, IN

Nineteen locations make up Silver cities (basically the fast-growing retirement destinations) which accounts for ~2% of the population. With healthcare as a major driver of economic growth, this archetype is home to both the oldest populations on average + the highest net migration rate as the baby boom generation continues to retire in these locations.

Let’s put it into perspective – some of the other Silver cities are:

  • The Villages, FL
  • Prescott, AZ
  • Asheville, N.C.
  • Naples, FL
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C.

So, what do our labor market trends look like as it relates to automation? Across the country, automation is expected to affect some of the largest occupational categories like office support, food service, production work, customer service + retail. As some occupations decline, the economy should continue to grow + create new jobs. For Silver cities, the net job growth percentage from 2017-2030 is expected to be 15% (up from 7% between 2007-2017).

Want a deeper dive? Grab your cup o’ joe and click here for the full article.


– LALtoday team (Jessica + Kaylee)