Migration within Britain for job reasons
The total rate of residential migration in Great Britain was close to 11 per cent in each of the last three spring quarters of 2001. About 19 per cent of movers (and 2 per cent of the working-age population) moved across a local authority district boundary but remained within the same region. Another 19 per cent of movers (and 2 per cent of working-age people) moved between regions.
Individuals are led to migrate by a variety of events in their lives. Among the most important of these events are changes in an individual’s labour market circumstances, including movements into or out of employment and movements from one job to another. This article is concerned with the role of labour market factors in the geographical migration of the working-age population. It focuses particularly on individual and group differences in migration behaviour and the implications of those differences.
The article begins by presenting some recent evidence, from the Labour Force Survey and the British Household Panel Survey, on the frequency of internal migration within Great Britain, by distance moved. It then describes some of the key features of migration for job reasons, comparing job-related flows with other types of internal migration. The determinants of job-related migration between regions are explored and compared with the determinants of other types of inter-regional migration. Workers with higher levels of skill are disproportionately likely to migrate, both for job reasons and for other reasons. The reasons for this skill bias in migration rates, and some of the consequences for population change and adjustment processes within the labour market, are discussed.
Labour Market Trends
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