Unemployment duration and employability in remote rural labour markets

Colin Lindsay, Martin McCracken, Ronald McQuaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyses the barriers to work faced by long- and short-term unemployed people in remote rural labour markets. Applying a broad concept of ‘employability’ as an analytical framework, it considers the attributes and experiences of 190 job seekers (22% of the registered unemployed) in two contiguous travel-to-work areas (Wick and Sutherland) in the northern Highlands of Scotland. The labour demand side of employability is also considered through interviews with 17 employers. The paper identifies the specific job search and other employment problems faced by unemployed people living in isolated rural communities (labour supply); considers the perspective of employers (labour demand); and discusses potential policies to address the needs of unemployed individuals. Many job seekers were found to have gaps in generic and job-specific skills, whilst some (particularly males) were reluctant to pursue opportunities in non-traditional sectors of the economy. The importance of informal job search and recruitment networks (which may exclude the young and the long-term unemployed) and the lack of access to formal employment services in remote areas also potentially contributed to labour market disadvantage. Holistic and client-centred solutions are required to address the barriers faced by these rural job seekers, including adult basic education provision, flexible training focussing on skills and work experience with particular relevance to the new rural economy, and support services for job seekers in isolated areas. These supply-side policies should be combined with demand-side measures to stimulate endogenous and exogenous growth in isolated local economies.
LanguageEnglish
Pages187-200
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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Employability
Rural labor markets
Unemployment duration
Job seeker
Labour demand
Job search
Employers
Nontraditional
Supply side
Labor supply
Rural communities
Local economy
Support services
Scotland
Disadvantage
Education
Endogenous growth
Rural economy
Labour market
Work experience

Cite this

Lindsay, Colin ; McCracken, Martin ; McQuaid, Ronald. / Unemployment duration and employability in remote rural labour markets. 2003 ; Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 187-200.
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Unemployment duration and employability in remote rural labour markets. / Lindsay, Colin; McCracken, Martin; McQuaid, Ronald.

Vol. 19, No. 2, 2003, p. 187-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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