Are second-home owners a hidden recruitment resource for rural and peripheral areas?

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för geografi

Abstract: Skilled and educated workers are somewhat of a rarity for many rural and peripheral communities. The global migration trend where younger residents of these communities tend to leave for more populated areas leaves the communities with an older population that struggles to find new employees to replace those who retire. However, this does not mean that rural and peripheral communities are unattractive areas. Second-home owners verifies how these areas are attractive for certain individuals for various periods. More importantly, previous research show how second-home owners are often highly educated within their fields, they invest time in their host community, and they can potentially become permanent members of the society. Thus, this study aims to explore second-home owners potential of acting as a recruitment resource for the local labour market of the host community. This is done by using Vilhelmina municipality in Västerbotten county, Sweden, as an example. By using quantitative methods, the findings of this study suggest that the occupational background of second-home owners causes them to be a potential recruitment resource for the local labour market. However, the findings for the study suggest that the willingness to contribute to the local labour market is a mixed bag. Nevertheless, this study contributes to the current understandings of labour recruitment in rural and peripheral areas by confirming the possibility for extension of second-home owners as a resource.

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