Commonalities and Differences in Labour Market Developments and Constraints in Different EU Regions
This paper provides a detailed overview of the differences across EU member states’ labour markets, through the extensive use of descriptive statistics. The objective is two-fold: firstly, it identifies the commonalities and differences in rural labour markets across EU regions and their developments, with special regard to agriculture, and secondly it emphasises the constraints that may hinder the efficient functioning of labour markets. Therefore, the paper starts with a description of the main indicators in the general labour market theory, such as the structure of the population in terms of age and gender distribution, unemployment and activity rates, employment levels, quality of human capital, migration patterns, and so forth. Secondly, we focus on the differences among rural and urban areas to then look closely at the agricultural sector. The institutional framework in which labour market institutions operate is also included. Lastly, as an attempt to summarise the analysis and to classify the EU member states according to certain rural and specific agricultural indicators, cluster analysis is also employed. Policy implications include investment in human capital and vocational training, support to young farmers, promoting economic diversification and upgrading infrastructure, with special regard to the new member states and to the Southern parts of Europe.
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