The geographical concentration of labour market disadvantage

Webster, D. (2000) The geographical concentration of labour market disadvantage. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 16(1), pp. 114-128. (doi: 10.1093/oxrep/16.1.114)



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This paper argues that British ‘welfare to work’ policies are inadequate given the geographical concentration of worklessness in northern regions and in cities and former coalfields. While unemployment has been converging geographically, inactivity has not. All the ‘welfare to work’ target groups – youth unemployed, long-term unemployed, lone parents, the long-term sick and partners of the unemployed – have closely similar geographical distributions. Official arguments that there are adequate job vacancies everywhere are shown to be flawed. The geography of worklessness is largely explained by the weakness of adjustment through migration and commuting to the loss of jobs in manufacturing and mining, the cities being particularly affected by “urban-rural manufacturing shift”. Policy needs to promote more relevant employment in high unemployment areas, through increased spending on derelict land reclamation, transport and other infrastructure. The case for more supportive policies towards manufacturing should also be considered.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Oxford Review of Economic Policy following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Webster, D. (2000) 'The Geographical Concentration of Labour Market Disadvantage', Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 16(1), Spring, pp.114-28 is available online at: <a href=""></a>
Keywords:Unemployment, labour market, welfare-to-work, job vacancies
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Webster, Dr David
Authors: Webster, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Oxford Review of Economic Policy
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1460-2121
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2000 Oxford University Press
First Published:First published in Oxford Review of Economic Policy 16(1):114-128
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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