2009 volume 27(6) pages 1022 – 1039

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North D, Syrett S, Etherington D, 2009, "Tackling concentrated worklessness: integrating governance and policy across and within spatial scales" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 27(6) 1022 – 1039

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Tackling concentrated worklessness: integrating governance and policy across and within spatial scales

David North, Stephen Syrett, David Etherington

Received 19 May 2008; in revised form 30 March 2009; published online 14 September 2009

Abstract. Spatial concentrations of worklessness remained a key characteristic of labour markets in advanced industrial economies, even during the period of decline in aggregate levels of unemployment and economic inactivity evident from the late 1990s to the economic downturn in 2008. The failure of certain localities to benefit from wider improvements in regional and national labour markets points to a lack of effectiveness in adopted policy approaches, not least in relation to the governance arrangements and policy delivery mechanisms that seek to integrate residents of deprived areas into wider local labour markets. Through analysis of practice in the British context, we explore the difficulties of integrating economic and social policy agendas within and across spatial scales to tackle problems of concentrated worklessness. We present analysis of a number of selected case studies aimed at reducing localised worklessness and identify the possibilities and constraints for effective action given existing governance arrangements and policy priorities to promote economic competitiveness and inclusion.

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