Workers Navigating in Changing Local Economies

There is a strong mutual relationship between places and people living there. The skills and competences of workers are critical resources for regions, while only those places can be considered successful that manage to continually provide economic opportunities and life perspectives for the locals.Hence, our research at REC in connection with this theme explicitly focuses on workers as both mediators of change at the regional level, but also as people who manage the recurring labour market realignments and improve their current labour market status. The former relates to a great extent to drivers and consequences of labour mobility within and between regions as a mediator of diffusing non-standardised (tacit) knowledge, and to what extent this could be beneficial for firms and regions. The latter focus is on how economic shocks influence the labour market and the possibilities for workers to find new employment. These shocks range from firm closures or mass layoffs to more encompassing shocks like the Great Recession in 2008, automation or the covid-pandemic. But shocks can also be positive in the form of successful structural change and therefore we also do research on how new jobs are filled and how labour markets respond to entries of new firms and jobs, creating opportunities for instance in escaping low-wage jobs.

Keywords: spatial mobility; gendered labour market trajectories; low-wage jobs; career and wage mobility; automation

The aim of the project is to study labor mobility and skill matching after redundancies with regard to both supply and demand in labor markets. This is done by a) analyzing how the region can provide structures that enable good skills matching while allowing a productive diversification of the regional economy, and b) examining the trajectories of different workers after redundancies on their way to re-employment. An important starting point for the project is that occupations (as a measure of skills) are the main analytical unit instead of industries or technologies.

REC contact person:

Emelie Hane-Weijman

Related publications

graphics and website by Sabi