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Chan, P W and McCabe, S (2010) Emerging disparities: exploring the impacts of the financial crisis on the UK construction labour market. In: Egbu, C (Ed.), Proceedings 26th Annual ARCOM Conference, 6-8 September 2010, Leeds, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 523–32.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: labour market; disparities; economic downturn; employment trends; recovery strategies
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-4-5
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2010-0523-0532_Chan_and_McCabe.pdf
  • Abstract:
    Economic downturns generally disrupt the employment landscape and lead to economic restructuring. The purpose of this article is to explore how the recent financial crisis has impacted on UK construction employment. The analysis reveals a number of emerging disparities in terms of age, gender, employment status, and employment conditions. Specifically, the disparities point to increasing marginalization of youths in recruitment into the sector, resilience of women in weathering unemployment, proliferation of non-traditional forms of employment relationship and decline of working conditions. Comparisons are made with a number of European countries to illustrate how political differences can contribute to distinctions in labour market trends. Thus, questions are raised on the adequacy of the UK government’s response to the financial crisis. Arguably, the perpetuation of neo-liberal policies serves only to further dismantle the traditional employment relationship, replaced by more flexible labour markets that in turn threaten long-term prospects for the construction industry.