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Spatial labour market inequality and social protection in the UK

Lee, Neil ORCID: 0000-0002-4138-7163, Fransham, Mark ORCID: 0000-0002-9284-2517 and Bukowski, Pawel ORCID: 0000-0003-3795-6308 (2024) Spatial labour market inequality and social protection in the UK. LSE Public Policy Review, 3 (2). ISSN 2633-4046

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Identification Number: 10.31389/lseppr.99


Spatial inequality in economic outcomes is increasingly seen as a problem for national economies. This paper considers spatial inequality in the UK labour market, its causes, and potential policy solutions. Relative to other European countries, the UK is highly spatially uneven, but it is not as unequal as the United States. The most common explanations for growing spatial inequality are economic, in particular the linked processes of manufacturing decline, the rise in knowledge-based services, and London’s growth as an international service hub. However, these explanations ignore the importance of spatial labour market institutions on different local economies. In this paper we argue that labour market institutions are one of the key missing explanations for the changing patterns of spatial inequality in the UK, and that the impact of labour market policy is likely to dwarf the limited funding provided for local economic development policy. We conclude with some suggestions for how policy might better address spatial labour market inequality in the UK and start to create good jobs across the country.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Geography & Environment
International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General > J08 - Labor Economics Policies
N - Economic History > N9 - Regional and Urban History > N90 - General, International, or Comparative
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R0 - General > R00 - General
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2024 16:12
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:45

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