Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED Programme)

Coping with the crisis at local level


Policy lessons from the OECD programme on Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)


Action is needed at the level of local communities to tackle job losses and return economies to prosperity. LEED’s governing board, the Directing Committee, held a session open to LEED Partners to discuss how national and local responses to the crisis can be combined in practice.

Delegates and Partners agreed local economic development needs to address both short-term needs and long-term potential. Many of the actions needed now to combat recession (e.g. short-time working) may be effective in helping businesses to ride the crisis and keeping individuals attached to the labour market but they need to remain short-term.

At the same time, localities need to be laying the foundations for returning to more sustainable economic development, without slowing down structural adjustment. Stimulating growth of high quality jobs requires building a longer-term response with respect to both the labour market and the business sector.

Governments should help localities to move from low-skills to high-skills equilibrium by investing in education and training systems, while also fostering better skills utilisation in the workplace and raising productivity. This means taking an integrated approach to both the supply and demand for labour and skills. Taking such an approach in turns requires flexibility in the management of labour market policy, strong capacity at the local level, local intelligence and cross-sector partnerships.

There are four key areas where national and local governments can invest now, for a more sustainable economic future:

  • Good quality jobs as a way back to prosperity.
  • Streamlined and better targeted policies.
  • Building an entrepreneurial culture.
  • Getting finance flowing again.

LEED's policy messages in the context of the global crisis are available in the document:

Coping with the crisis at local level, Policy lessons from the OECD programme on Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)