Chapter

Internationalisation and the labour market of the European Union

Peter Plougmann

in Changing labour markets, welfare policies and citizenship

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9781861342720
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301660 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861342720.003.0002
Internationalisation and the labour market of the European Union

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The European labour market is currently experiencing radical changes that challenge the institution of the European welfare state. A new international division of labour is creating new opportunities including new threats for the European labour force. As a new international division of labour and new technologies are finding dominance, employees of the old manufacturing industries are becoming increasingly displaced and substituted. Knowledge workers and service workers are replacing conventional white-collar workers. Several young workers do not look at regular jobs as something rewarding but instead take advantage of new opportunities to become ‘free agents’ and self-employed and engage in the networking of the new economy. Transnational corporations also are having a profound impact on the location of production and the distribution of wealth. They are the main actors behind internationalisation and the new global division of labour. New powerful social dynamics are becoming prominent, created by the growing significance of locality and competence of the labour force, the potential impact of global migration trends, and an increasing political awareness of the role of social capital as a condition for industrial innovation and social inclusion. This chapter discusses the future of some of the significant features of the European Union (EU) labour market. It also examines the process of internationalisation and the fundamental social and political dynamics of change that are affecting the European firms and wage-earners including European welfare states.

Keywords: European labour market; European welfare state; labour; labour force; workers; labour market; internationalisation

Chapter.  8459 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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