Business cycles in wealthier countries reflected a continuous transformation of spatial organizations of both countries and regions, possibly strengthening social inequalities and polarization in more and less productive areas. Local job markets are particularly sensitive to changes in both settlement forms and socioeconomic functions, being in turn dependent on more intense regional divides and product dynamics. More specifically, economic downturns were assumed to influence regional spatial structures. To validate this hypothesis, we investigated (i) spatial regime and (ii) short-term changes of both activity rate and unemployment rate (taken as proxies of local job market functioning) in 686 homogeneous districts of Italy over three periods: (i) employment growth reflecting moderate income expansion (2004–2007); (ii) early crisis' stage with a modest increase of unemployment (2007–2010); and (iii) late crisis' stage with marked increase of unemployment (2010–2013). The empirical analysis identified the socioeconomic factors that characterize job market dynamics more effectively. Results pointed out that the 2007 recession corresponded with decreased spatial polarizations in unemployment rate, resulting in a deepening of the traditional gap between affluent northern regions and disadvantaged southern areas.
Enlarging spatial divides in local job markets? Insights from Italy, 2004–2013 / Ciaschini, C.; Salvati, L.. - In: GEOJOURNAL. - ISSN 0343-2521. - STAMPA. - (2021). [10.1007/s10708-021-10558-4]