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The Geographical Concentration of Labour-Market Disadvantage

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  • Webster, David

Abstract

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 and on transport and other infrastructure. The case for more supportive policies towards manufacturing should also be considered. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Webster, David, 2000. "The Geographical Concentration of Labour-Market Disadvantage," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 114-128, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:16:y:2000:i:1:p:114-28
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Glyn & Stewart Wood, 2000. "New Labour`s Economic Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 49, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Mihails Hazans, 2004. "Does Commuting Reduce Wage Disparities?," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 360-390.
    3. Stephen Drinkwater & David Blackaby, 2004. "Migration and Labour Market Differences: The Case of Wales," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0604, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    4. Yu-Ting Tang & C. Paul Nathanail, 2012. "Sticks and Stones: The Impact of the Definitions of Brownfield in Policies on Socio-Economic Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(5), pages 1-23, May.
    5. Stephen Drinkwater, 2003. "Estimating the willingness to move within Great Britain: Importance and implications," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1203, School of Economics, University of Surrey.

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