Contemporary Problems of Social Work


The systematization of economic and geographical approaches to research of regional labour market

Автор/Author: Podgornaya A.V.

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Список литературы/References:

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Содержание статьи/Article:

The labor market is the subject of research in the economic theory, demography, economics and sociology of labor, regional economy, social and economic statistics and other branches of social sciences. At the same time the characteristics of the labor market as geosystem depends from natural and resource potential and the geographical location of a particular region, as well as from the prevailing at the time of the study territorial organization of the population and the economy. This fact calls for necessity of the use of specific techniques applied in geographical science.

One of the main tasks of modern social and economic geography is the study of people's work  defining the territorial organization of production and dispersal of the population, as well as the features of the formation of labor demand and labor supply in the labor market at various levels (local, regional and international).

Implementation of the act purchase and sale in labor market requires the following conditions:  the existence of two parties interested in the exchange of labor; existence the goods with use-value for the partner; the opportunity to accept the offer or reject it and the existence of a relationship of trust between the partners [23, P. 6 - 7].

In labor market the object of purchase and sale is not a hired worker, but his working hours; in this connection, individual solutions of workers are of great importance: to work more or to rest more, which determines the volume of work offer. N. M. Rozanova notes that each individual – the potential carrier of labor – has possibility of  choice between free time which is the benefit for him, and operating time which represents the anti-benefit. Therefore tension of work has to be compensated by a salary [18, P. 726]. The relations in labor market aren't limited to the act of purchase and sale, they mention everything that is connected with system of social partnership and protection, education, vocational training and retraining of personnel, with management of employment at enterprises, at regional and federal levels [25, P. 5].

The analysis of the existing researches of labor market allowed to reveal two main directions of studying of labor market: social and economic and spatial (economical and geographical).

The first – the social and economic direction has social and economic and political character, thus labor market is considered as a system of social and the economic relations.

Within the second - the spatial direction labor market is considered as geographical space on which there is interaction between the worker and employer, and the market itself is considered derivative from interaction of natural, labor, social and economic capacity of the territory.

In figure 1 the main conceptual approaches to the analysis of functioning of modern labor market from positions of economy and economic geography are presented.

Figure 1 - Main conceptual approaches to research of labor market

Within the social and economic direction it is possible to allocate three main conceptual approaches to the analysis of functioning of modern labor market: neoclassical, Keynesian and institutional, based on the concept of post-industrial society.

Neoclassics (P. Samuelson. M. Feldstein, R. Hall) and supporters of the concept of economy of the offer (D. Gilder, A. Laffer, etc.) adhere to neoclassical approach. They claim that  the main regulator of labor market is the labor price, and investments in training and professional development bring in the income like investments in the new equipment. According to the marginal concept the man invests in the qualification until the rate of return on these investments goes down. From the neoclassical concept it follows that the labor price flexibly reacts to requirements of the market therefore unemployment is simply impossible. However this approach isn't confirmed by real practice of functioning of labor market since change in wages in accordance with fluctuations in supply and demand isn’t always observed, and unemployment as the phenomenon continues to exist.

Supporters of Keynesian approach (Keynesians and monetarists) consider labor market as the phenomenon of constant and fundamental disbalance. The Keynesian model (J. M. Keynes, later R. Gordon) proceeds from "the unconditional fact" that the salary is rigidly fixed and practically doesn't change; therefore, it can't be the regulator of the market. The part of such regulator is assigned to the state which, changing cumulative demand, can liquidate the arising disbalance. Keynesians recognize objectivity of existence of the compelled unemployment at which the economy can be in an equilibrium state even in a situation of part-time employment. According to this approach the psychological factors influencing behavior of people are the basis of employment formation. Representatives of school of monetarists (M. Fridmen) also proceed from rigid structure of the prices of labor and a constant tendency to their increase. They enter the concept of "natural rate of unemployment ", and for an equilibration of the market suggest using the monetary policy tools stimulating business activity of the population and increasing employment in the country.

On a joint of neoclassical and Keynesian approaches there was a contract theory of employment (M. Bailey, D. Gordon, K. Azardiadis) based on the principles of stability of employment and rigidity of the salary which is practically independent from recession or rise of production. According to this theory businessmen and workers enter among themselves the long-term contractual relations, sign the "implicit" labor contract reflecting their economic interests and minimizing risk of financial, production and labor losses [9, Р. 435-436].

Institutional approach to studying of regional labor market is based on the concept of post-industrial society and has two features. The first consists in division of labor market into separate groups, proceeding from distinctions in needs of workers, their characteristics or behavior. The second feature consists in close attention to the analysis of the role of institutes increasing the efficiency of this market. D. Bell formulated the main signs of post-industrial society and connected them with essential changes in labor market and formation of a new role of the hired worker. J. G. Gelbreyt pointed to the huge role of the labor unions acting as the counterbalancing force in labor market. P. Druker developed the concept of increase of efficiency of functioning of economy thanks to active participation in production of "information workers" - educated and comprehensively developed persons [5, 22].  Most of economists and sociologists recognize existence of the state market mechanism allowing to provide this or that degree of balance of interests of workers, employers and state bodies [11, Р.139].

In our opinion, it is possible to agree with the definition of labor market presented in the work of Yu. I. Bogomolova who considers that «in a widesense of word labor market acts as a system of the reproduction relations and institutes of a market-oriented economy covering technical and technological, coordination and administrative, social and economic relations between its subjects» [1].

The economist of the present M. Kastels develops the concept of network society and division of the entire globe into those who have the Internet and those who don’t have the Internet. The Internet influences functioning of labor market as it gives the opportunity to the unemployed to find vacant places and apply for jobs, carry out intellectual activity and to work at home that is especially convenient for physically disabled people and also for those who have dependents.

According to E. Toffler in modern society the knowledge becomes an important factor of production, and changes in the sphere of work lead to emergence of individual personal approach to highly skilled employees. The role of small business grows in such environment and there is a need for study and introduction of the new more flexible forms of government considering identity and value of each worker [21].

Within institutional approach there was a concept of the segmented labor market (Daplon, P. Drenger, M. Payor, D. Gordon and B'day). For example, J. Daplon developed the cluster theory of workplaces. He claimed that there are clusters uniting uniform workplaces in which there is a certain level of a salary. P. Drenger and M. Payor offered the theory of the domestic market of the work which is formed in the large companies along with external and is caused by specifics of working conditions in particular production, informal communication, traditions and norms accepted in collective. Lidbiter, Granovetter, Atkinson put forward the theory of dual labor market the primary which is characterized by stable employment, high qualification of workers, opportunities to advance in career ladder, the high level of a salary, use of high technologies, existence of effective labor unions, and the secondary, having opposite tendencies.

Recently in the developed industrial countries the concept of flexible labor market (R. Buaye, G. Stending) based on its dereglamentation and transition to the individualized and non-standard forms of employment appeared and is implemented in practice. At the same time labor market is guided by the accounting for features of labor behavior of separate social groups of workers (women, pensioners, youth). In this concept numerical flexibility (ability of employers to reduce the number of workers according to changes in production volumes), functional flexibility (movement of the worker from one workplace to another or combination of professions), and also flexibility of working time (opportunity to regulate the mode and period of operation depending on needs of production) are distinguished [25, Р. 29].

Some researchers point out that hiring of labor force will take place only if the worker is suitable for requirements of the employer for this workplace, and the provided workplace – to interests of the worker. In this regard Pavlenkov V.A. draws a conclusion that labor market is unity of the market of work force and the market of workplaces [15,  Р.12]. At the same time PhD in Economics A.A. Orlova in the study of the conceptual foundations of the formation of the national labor market model makes conclusion about the transition to the national Russian labor market model. She also notes the relationship of the labor market with the market goods [14].

Specific features inherent to labor market don't allow correlating it to the markets of other resources completely. So, it is rather difficult to estimate the potential, motivation, commitment and labor productivity of alleged workers before their real employment. In this regard recently there has been popular a concept of the reaching individual calling into question the simplified market and price approach to the person and pointing to social and psychological factors, which influence him.

In recent years there was a concept of the human capital which is based on the theory of "investments into the person" (M. Blaug, S. Bouls, B. Veysbrod, R. Campbell, F. Makhlup, B. Sidzhel, etc.) and theories of "production of the human capital" (I.  Ben -Poret, Zvi Griliches, J. Mintser, R. Pelmen, Nobel Prize laureates G. Becker and T. Shults). According to this concept differentiation of compensation is caused by various investments into the human capital. In the broad definition under the Human Capital economists and geographers understand  "the intensive productive factor of development of economy, society and a family including educated part of labor resources, knowledge, tools of intellectual and administrative work, habitat and work providing effective and rational functioning of the human capital as a productive factor of development" [4]. In our opinion, now for Russia concepts of the human capital and flexible labor market are foreground.

Within the second - the spatial direction of research of labor market it is possible to allocate four approaches: system, system and structural, geographical and marketing.

Most often in economical and geographical researches of labor market the system approach based on the general theory of systems is applied. Among the most important concepts of systems theories are: integrity, structure, self-regulation and sustainability. The system campaign allows looking in a new way at object as on the whole, quantitatively to characterize it and to create its graphic model. This approach began penetrate into geographical researches in 60-70 of the XX century in the works of A.D. Armand, V. S. Preobrazhensky, A.Yu. Reteyum, Yu.G. Puzachenko, A.G. Isachenko, Yu.G. Saushkin, V. N. Solntsev. The system approach is applicable to a wide range of geographic problems in statics (analysis forming the system elements. their relationships and structure) and in dynamics (forecasting changes). System analysis in economic geography is used for complex study of the structure of the economy and domestic relationships and complemented by research of their interaction  [8, Р . 29 - 30].

According V. S. Bulanov's definition, labor market is "the dynamic system including a complex of social labor relations concerning terms of employment, use and exchange of labor for vital means and the mechanism of its self-realization, the mechanism of supply and demand" [11].

Nikiforova A.A. considers that labor market as the system of the social relations reflects degree of development and balance between interests of forces participating in labor market (businessmen, workers and the state) at the moment time [13, Р. 10].

According to B.A. Raizberg, the labor market has strong specific national features, as the volume and structure of supply and demand are influenced by the level of investment activity, the value of the labor income of the population, tradition and national features of behavior of the worker and employer  [2, Р. 131].

Doctor of Geographical Sciences Y. Porosenkov and Candidate of Geographical Sciences O. Sushkova offer in geographic labor market research to investigate the "regional territorial system of the labor market" (RTSLM) and its territorial organization, which must be based on systematic and structural approach [10, с. 10]. They consider methodological problems of geographical research of labor market of the region and suggest to conduct geographical researches in the different economic regions of the country. Yu.V. Porosenkov claims that as a subject of regional geographical researches is the territorial organization of labor markets of different hierarchical level which is understood as a combination of territorial structures of supply and demand of labor. Thus formation of labor markets of various hierarchical levels is caused by discrepancy of territorial structures of production, moving, training and management. As part of a unified national labor market, regional and local markets are allocated. In general, systemic and structural approach allows us to investigate in labor markets both sectoral and territorial elements [16, Р. 45].

The founder of the Soviet district school in economic geography N. N. Baransky claimed that "different areas have different characteristics", that conditions of construction of the enterprises and their functioning "in places unpopulated and densely populated areas differ sharply". It proves the influence of geographical aspect on formation of market of workplaces. He considers branches in the complex existing in the countries and regions, and the territory - as complexes of branches for given natural conditions and resources. While conducting regional studies of the labor market it is necessary to resort to the geographic approach that combines two requirements in the analysis of any territory - accounting the space and complexity. Therefore, in economic geography in the study of the labor market the "point" approach to its study and the description of economy by integrated indicators and models without spatial distinctions should be abandoned. At geographical approach usual practice of use of the general standards and the practicing for all country is inadmissible as in formation of labor market of a certain region play a role a set of social, natural, ethnic and economic factors are important [6].

According to E.B. Alayev, the geographical method means the "Triune" approach, which requires compliance with territoriality, complexity and specificity. Its application is impossible without simultaneous use of a cartographical method. [20]. Now "triune" approach is supplemented with two more qualities:  integrality( in the geographical knowledge biological, social, economic, political, etc. knowledge are joined) and  globality (correlation local, regional, national, continental, zone, etc. private problems is joined to their world "background"). The necessity of inclusion of the principle of globality in a geographical method of research is caused by the fact that all modern global problems originally appear not on global, and at the local or regional levels.

Within marketing approach in economic geography to collect and analyze data on the characteristics of supply and demand in regional labor markets are collected and analyzed; labor market segmentation; segmentation of labor market; elaboration of the marketing strategies used for regulation of personnel policy at all levels of management [19, Р.12]. At research of consumers of labor force the main attention is paid to motives of their behavior at the choice of potential employees that determines volumes of demand and depends on the type of economic activity, its scale, level of security with labor, its quantitative and qualitative characteristics, and also indicators of the movement of the personnel. In the study of the labor market indicators of jobs are analyzed, their qualitative characteristics, as well as trends of change, determined by the phase of the economic cycle (the emergence of workplaces in the phase of ascent and reduction - in the decay phase). Marketing approach in geography of the population carries out researches of segmentation of labor market according demographic and occupation characteristics. When carrying out segmentation of labor markets in economic geography on the basis of use of statistical data on a large number of territorial subjects of the Russian Federation the individual and generalizing indicators of a condition of labor market are applied. It allows to reveal regions with excess and shortage of labor. So, Candidate of Geographical Sciences I.A. Gluhih carries out the territorial analysis of formation and development of women's labor market in the Republic of Bashkortostan taking into account regional peculiarities of formation, offers the female workforce and demand for territorial differentiation of the labor market at the meso- and micro levels [7]. Carrying out market researches of regional labor market assumes existence of the following stages: studying the behavior of workers in the labor market; research of behavior of employers; of dynamics of investments into the human capital; of marketing communications, and including advertizing and self-promotion; studying of indicators of compensation and activity of intermediaries in labor market (recruitment agencies and institutions of the State Employment Service).

In recent years, it becomes topical to study the structure of labor resources and various factors affecting the formation and functioning of the labor market. So, Candidate of Geographical Sciences  Puhova A.G. is conducting a study of geographical aspects of the formation of the labor market in Nizhny Novgorod region in new economic conditions. She carries out factor geographical analysis of the formation of the labor market in the region, exploring the influence of economical and geographical location, social and economic factors and migration, as well as features of the reproduction of the population and the quality of its labor potential [17].

Candidate of Economics Sciences Mamilova of A.M. at research of state regulation of regional labor market in the Republic of Ingushetia in 2001 suggested to carry out the analysis of regional labor market on the basis of a method of the ranging allowing to assess the situation in labor market and to determine the degree of influence on it the level of demographic and social and economic development [12]. Later in 2005 Candidate of Geographical Sciences Firstova O.A. in her dissertation research has improved this technique and redesigned indicators of the labor market in according to the specific region (Omsk region) [3].

Thus, having studied conceptual bases and the existing researches of labor market, it is necessary to establish the fact of that formation and functioning of regional labor markets is investigated rather actively now that is explained by continuous improvement of structure and mechanisms of labor market, its fast development, practical need for the regional analysis. However from the point of view of economic geography didn't receive due study territorial distinctions of labor markets on the scale of adjacent regions.  We consider that studying of a current state and prospects of development of regional labor markets as territorial social and economic systems has to rely on deep theoretical ideas about features of behavior of subjects of the market relations, bodies of state regulation of the social and labor sphere and to be based on application of methodology of interdisciplinary researches.

Ключевые слова/Tags1: local and regional labor market, directions of researches, socio-economic direction, economicgeographic (spatial) direction, conceptual approaches, theories.