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Travel to work areas and local unemployment statistics: a Glasgow view

Webster, D. (1997) Travel to work areas and local unemployment statistics: a Glasgow view. In: Turok, I. (ed.) Travel-to-Work Areas and the Measurement of Unemployment: Conference Proceedings. Series: Occasional Papers (38). Centre for Housing Research and Urban Studies, Glasgow, pp. 33-75. ISBN 9781871769098

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Abstract

Through detailed consideration of the Glasgow case, this paper shows that the UK official 'travel to work areas' (TTWAs) misrepresent the geographical pattern of unemployment. After a brief consideration of the origins of the TTWA system, it criticises the use of the local 'workforce', rather than residents, as the denominator in the unemployment rate, and of 'self-containment' rather than internal cohesion as the dominant criterion in selecting boundaries. It shows how these procedures cause large concentrations of unemployment to disappear almost entirely from view, and that where there is an imbalance between commuting inflows and outflows, as is often the case, the TTWA unemployment rate will be under- or over-estimated, often by substantial amounts. TTWAs also fail to reflect the restricted commuting fields of most workers. The paper argues that the way ahead lies in identifying local concentrations of unemployment using a resident-based denominator, and mapping their effective commuting fields to establish where employment growth would need to occur in order to benefit them.

Item Type:Book Section
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s):Turok, Prof Ivan and Webster, Dr David
Authors: Webster, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Publisher:Centre for Housing Research and Urban Studies
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1997 The Author
First Published:First published in Travel-to-Work Areas and the Measurement of Unemployment: Conference Proceedings
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the author

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