Alternative job search strategies in remote rural and peri-urban labour markets: the role of social networks

Colin Lindsay, Malcolm Greig, Ronald McQuaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines the importance of informal methods (especially social networking) to the job search strategies used by unemployed people. It compares three areas: a small rural town; a larger, more sparsely populated, remote rural area; and a centrally-located, peri-urban labour market. The analysis is based first on survey research undertaken with 490 job seekers across the study areas. Emerging issues were then followed up during a series of twelve focus groups. The survey research showed that job seekers in the rural study areas were significantly more likely to use social networks to look for work. However, those who had experienced repeated or long-term periods out of work, the unskilled and young people were significantly less likely to use such networks. Focus groups confirmed the perceived importance of social networking to the job search process in rural areas, in contrast to the more marginal role such methods appear to play in peri-urban settings. For many rural job seekers, formal job search activities conducted through Jobcentres were seen as largely symbolic, lacking the practical value of social networking. These results suggest that service providers seeking to assist unemployed people in rural areas need to address the problems faced by many disadvantaged job seekers who are currently caught between their lack of social network relations and the absence of local public employment service facilities in more remote communities.
LanguageEnglish
Pages53-70
Number of pages18
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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job seeker
job search
social network
labor market
networking
rural area
survey research
service provider
employment service
local public
Group
town
lack
community

Keywords

  • job search strategies
  • rural communities
  • remote communities
  • peri-urban labour markets

Cite this

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Alternative job search strategies in remote rural and peri-urban labour markets: the role of social networks. / Lindsay, Colin; Greig, Malcolm; McQuaid, Ronald.

In: Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2005, p. 53-70.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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