This book includes empirical contributions focusing on disadvantaged workers. According to the European Commission’s definition, disadvantaged workers include categories of workers with difficulties entering the labour market without assistance and hence, requiring the application of public measures aimed at improving their employment opportunities. In addition to the labour market perspective, this is also relevant in terms of social cohesion, which is one of the central objectives of the European Union and of its Member States. This work deals with the most relevant groups of disadvantaged workers, namely disabled workers, young workers, women living in depressed areas, migrants in the labour market and the long-term unemployed, and analyses the situation in the Italian, Spanish and some African labour markets. The determinants of disadvantage in the labour market are investigated, highlighting both the role of supply variables, including structural factors and the weakness on the demand side, the role of the economic crisis and the ineffectiveness of some labour policies. A complex framework emerges in which disadvantaged groups may share common problems, both in terms of integration into the labour market and in terms of working conditions, but often require group-specific policies, taking into account their intergroup heterogeneity.
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