Labour Immobility

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  • Created on: 14-10-12 20:52
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Labour Immobility
The mobility of labour refers to the ability of workers to change from one job to another; this is both
occupationally and geographically. There are 30 million people in the UK working but there is also
around 2.5 million unemployed, indicating that labour markets do not always operate efficiently.
Some of the unemployed may simply be changing jobs and register as out of work for a short period
of time. The economy is dynamic and specialised, so we should expect some unemployment since
jobs are continuously being created and ended. Unemployment while people search for jobs is
known as frictional unemployment.
However, there is a type of unemployment that is due to a mismatch of skills and location between
job seekers and job providers.
Geographical unemployment refers to the obstacles which prevent labour moving from one place to
another to find work. There are several causes, such as family and social ties, the financial costs with
moving home, imperfect knowledge on available work, and regional variations in house prices and
the cost of living.
Occupational immobility refers to the obstacles which prevent labour from changing their type of
occupation to find work. There are several causes, including insufficient education, training, skills and
Government measures to increase labour mobility
There are several measures that a government might undertake to increases the geographical
mobility of labour and these include:
Relaxation of planning laws which enable new houses to be built in areas where there are
more jobs.
Housing subsidies for particular groups of workers where acute shortages exist and also rent
Improving the operation of job centres so that more information is available on job vacancies
in any area.
The measures a government might take use to increase occupational mobility of labour include
increasing the supply of vocational education and training schemes, especially for the unemployed.



This is a one page summary of the reasons for geographical and occupational immobility and possible remedies for it.

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