Competitiveness of regional labor markets as a determinant of international migration: A nexus empirical study

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A large-scale migration from Ukraine caused by russian military aggression has triggered new security challenges to the national and regional economies. The paper aims to assess the competitiveness of regional labor markets and examine its nexus with international out-migration (on the example of the Carpathian region of Ukraine). The research methods include a composite approach (assessment of labor market competitiveness), the theory of sensitivity (identification of degree of sensitivity of composite and partial indices to changes in indicators), nonlinear regression (determination of dependence of the international out-migration on labor market competitiveness), and econometric nonlinear optimization (calculation of critical values of migration). The information and analytical basis comprises indicators reflecting the development of labor markets and international migrations in the oblasts of the Carpathian region in 2008–2021. The study reveals that the level of labor market competitiveness in the region mainly remained below the national average. Two groups of indicators dominated the structure of composite indices of labor market competitiveness in the region’s oblasts: institutional capacity (indicators measuring the ability of regulatory institutions and labor market entities to provide adequate support to the unemployed and promote employment) and labor motivation (wage and income indicators). Only Lviv oblast demonstrated resilience and growth of competitiveness, which was reflected in moderate out-migration. Meanwhile, the intensity of international out-migration in Zakarpattia and Chernivtsi oblasts (with worse labor market parameters) exceeded the estimated critical values. The paper confirms that low competitiveness of the labor market is a factor increasing migration losses.

Acknowledgment
This study has been conducted with the support of the Virtual Ukraine Institute for Advanced Study (VUIAS) Fellowship Programme, 2023/2024.

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    • Figure 1. Intensity of international out-migration from the Carpathian region in 2008–2021, ‰
    • Table 1. Composite indices of labor market competitiveness of the Carpathian region of Ukraine, 2008–2021
    • Table 2. Empirical analysis of the international out-migration dependence on the labor market competitiveness on the example of the oblasts of the Carpathian region of Ukraine*
    • Table A1. Systematization of criteria (groups) and indicators for assessing labor market competitiveness
    • Table B1. Composite indices and sub-indices of regional (oblast) labor market competitiveness in Ukraine, 2008–2021
    • Table C1. Distribution of weighting coefficients (weights in composite indices) by groups of indicators of labor market competitiveness in the oblasts of the Carpathian region of Ukraine (%), 2008, 2014 and 2021
    • Table D1. Outcomes of composite assessment of the labor market competitiveness of the Carpathian region of Ukraine, 2008–2021
    • Conceptualization
      Taras Vasyltsiv, Olha Levytska
    • Investigation
      Taras Vasyltsiv, Olha Levytska, Yuliia Shushkova, Oksana Voronko, Maryana Kohut
    • Methodology
      Taras Vasyltsiv, Olha Levytska, Oksana Voronko
    • Project administration
      Taras Vasyltsiv
    • Resources
      Taras Vasyltsiv
    • Supervision
      Taras Vasyltsiv, Yuliia Shushkova
    • Validation
      Taras Vasyltsiv, Oksana Voronko, Maryana Kohut
    • Writing – original draft
      Taras Vasyltsiv, Olha Levytska, Yuliia Shushkova
    • Formal Analysis
      Olha Levytska
    • Funding acquisition
      Olha Levytska
    • Software
      Olha Levytska
    • Writing – review & editing
      Olha Levytska, Oksana Voronko, Maryana Kohut
    • Data curation
      Yuliia Shushkova, Maryana Kohut
    • Visualization
      Yuliia Shushkova, Oksana Voronko, Maryana Kohut