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Returning to work: regional determinants of re-employment after major redundancies
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3570-7690
Handelshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet.
2018 (English)In: Regional studies, ISSN 0034-3404, E-ISSN 1360-0591, Vol. 52, no 6, p. 768-780Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using matched employer-employee data on roughly 429,000 workers made redundant from large plant closures or major downsizing in Sweden between 1990-2005, this paper analyses the role of the regional industry mix (specialization, related and unrelated variety) in the likelihood of returning to work. Our results show that a high presence of same or related industries speeds up the re-employment process, while high concentrations of unrelated activities do not. The role of related activities is particularly evident in the short run and in regions with high unemployment. Consequently, the prospect of successful diversification is enhanced in regions with related industries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 52, no 6, p. 768-780
Keywords [en]
labour market dynamics, redundancies, regional absorptive capacity, plant closure
National Category
Human Geography Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140383DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1395006ISI: 000430097800004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85038037660Local ID: 881251OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140383DiVA, id: diva2:1147898
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2013-1313Available from: 2017-10-09 Created: 2017-10-09 Last updated: 2019-02-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Returning to Work: geographies of Employment in Turbulent Times
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Returning to Work: geographies of Employment in Turbulent Times
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis adds to theorizations of resilience, by placing workers and employment on the center stage. This has been addressed by contextualizing gross employment changes and workers’ way back to employment after redundancy. Swedish longitudinal microdata from 1990-2010 were used. This made it possible to study employer-employee links that disappeared and appeared, and to follow redundant workers over time and space. 

The empirical findings conclude there are big regional differences in resilience, absorptive capacity and employment growth. The trajectories of regional net employment growth are diverging – an unequal spatial development that might become reinforced with time as the empirical results show that resilience is a path-dependent phenomenon. Moreover, industry proximity is an important factor when analyzing both regional absorptive capacity and labour matching, thus significantly affecting worker adaptability in times of turbulence.

This is explained by the frictions and skill (mis)matching that arise in the labour market and in new employment positions due to industry proximities. A cohesive and diverse region is more resistant to shocks as well as adaptable in the aftermath of the crisis, while a specialized region is more sensitive and less resilient in general. In addition, a worker facing redundancy in a region where there is a big share of the same or related industries to the industry she became redundant from decreases the time to re-employment as there is a big supply of jobs that need similar skills and competences. However, there are significant differences in the mobilities of redundant workers, where some groups are more inclined to diversify into new regions and industries, while some have more invested in the industry and region. However, staying in the same industry that experienced the major lay-off means a less stable employment, but moving into unrelated industries increases the workers’ chances of experiencing skill mismatch and becoming underemployed. Finding a new job in related industries means a more stable employment and increases the chances of upward mobility. 

In conclusion, based on these findings, it is argued in the thesis that regional branching into related industries is a good regional resilience strategy. However, it needs to be combined with policies aiming for related labour branching as well in order to be able to reallocate skills into new parts of the economy while avoiding skill mismatch. This provides a good base for regional diversification that can result in path re-orientation and renewal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2018. p. 68
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2018:3
Keywords
Regional resilience, adaptability, industry relatedness, labour branching, redundancy, industry mix, re-employment, industry mobility, regional mobility
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152944 (URN)881251 (Local ID)978-91-7601-969-6 (ISBN)881251 (Archive number)881251 (OAI)
Public defence
2018-11-23, Hörsal B, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-02 Created: 2018-10-30 Last updated: 2019-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Hane-Weijman, EmelieEriksson, Rikard H.

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