Labour Market Development in Newfoundland and Labrador: Regional Challenges and Active Solutions

Lysenko, Ekaterina and Vodden, Kelly (2010) Labour Market Development in Newfoundland and Labrador: Regional Challenges and Active Solutions. Working Paper. Memorial University.

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The labour market in Newfoundland and Labrador is challenged by historically high unemployment and Income Support dependency rates and an emerging shortage of labour. Seasonal employment fluctuation in primary industries and tourism creates instability of earnings and dependence on employment insurance. Growing labour demand in the province is further exacerbated by the out-migration and rapid aging of the population. Active labour market policies (ALMP) aimed to radically improve the functioning of labour market have been suggested as at least a partial solution to these issues (Freshwater, 2008). This paper seeks to explore to what extent ALMP are implemented in Newfoundland and Labrador, what outcomes and challenges they encounter, the extent to which these key success factors are in place, and what the possibilities are of transferring successful ALMP practices from other international jurisdictions, in particular from Norway. The critical aspect for this research is if they can be and if so how to transfer successful local development initiatives from their original location to Newfoundland and Labrador. Such policy transfers should include a complex assessment of place specific factors and the extent to which they determine the success of ALMP in the original location, and whether such factors exist in the comparing area (i.e. Newfoundland and Labrador). In order to achieve a closer examination of problems and functioning of local labour markets in Newfoundland and Labrador this study has focused on three case study regions, representing three types of rural regions: a rural region adjacent to a metro/urban center (St. John’s), Twillingate-New World Island (rural non-adjacent) and Labrador Straits (rural remote). Data collection in these regions included nine formal in-person interviews with local providers of employment services and three focus groups with local business owners; and 133 questionnaires from local businesses, NGOs and regional NGOs collected by the Rural Urban Interaction in Newfoundland and Labrador research team. Six interviews with senior government officials in provincial and federal government were also conducted and included in this research.

Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
Item ID: 317
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: June 2010
Date Type: Publication

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