Key term definition: Segmented labour markets

Segmented labour markets are dual labour markets, which consist of various sub-groups with little or no crossover capability. The labour markets are divided in 2 sectors: primary sector and secondary sector. The primary sector generally contains the higher-grade, higher-status, and better-paid jobs, with employers who offer the best terms and conditions. It is a male dominated sector. The secondary sector is characterised jobs which are mostly low-skilled and require relatively little training. There are few barriers to job mobility within the secondary sector. Because the jobs are unattractive there is little incentive to stay, and there are high levels of labour turnover, with workers moving on to other jobs or employers. Wages are low, and terms and conditions of the job are poor. It is a female dominated sector.


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