Jouke van Dijk, Arjen Edzes

Towards inclusive and resilient regional labour markets: challenges for research and policy

Unemployment and inactivity remain among the largest social and economic problems in society, especially in the context of structural developments, such as sectorial shifts in employment structures and globalization, coupled with robotization and automation, that question future job growth. These employmentrelated issues vary by region, and between urban and rural areas, due to differences in economic structures and location factors, and in the quantity and quality of the labour force which is to an extent related to aging and processes of spatial sorting. Science and policy, particularly where related to economics and geography, are developing alongside two perspectives that dominate labour market research: the economic investment perspective and the social compensation and activation perspective. This paper discusses specific challenges facing research and policy and offers three recommendations that aim to stimulate inclusiveness in regional labour markets: the necessity of a place-based approach, the need for fundamental changes concerning the concept of labour and enhancing effective regional governance.

Keywords: regional labour markets; regional economics; unemployment; social inclusion; labour market policy