Mobility of labour may be increased by removing obstacles such as non-transferability of pensions, rent-controlled housing, and losses on owner-occupied dwellings. Firms can be assisted by encouragement to locate labour-intensive activities overseas, either through direct foreign investment or subcontracting.
1. Training and education are the key factors in improving mobility between broad groups in the labour force. Pay differentials are not a major source of immobility.
2. Justice and equity likewise require that the mobility, which is necessary in a developing economy, be regulated in such a way as to keep the life of individuals and their families from becoming insecure and precarious. When workers come from another country or district and contribute to the economic advancement of a nation or region by their labour, all discrimination as regards wages and working conditions must be carefully avoided. All the people, moreover, above all the public authorities, must treat them not as mere tools of production but as persons, and must help them to bring their families to live with them and to provide themselves with a decent dwelling; they must also see to it that these workers are incorporated into the social life of the country or region that receives them. Employment opportunities, however, should be created in their own areas as far as possible. In economic affairs which today are subject to change, as in the new forms of industrial society in which automation, for example, is advancing, care must be taken that sufficient and suitable work and the possibility of the appropriate technical and professional formation are furnished. The livelihood and the human dignity especially of those who are in very difficult conditions because of illness or old age must be guaranteed. (Second Vatican Council. Gaudium et Spes, 1965).
Mobility of the work force does not look a very convincing solution to unemployment when there are vastly greater numbers of unemployed than there a vacancies to fill. More important that mobility per se is the adaptability of the work force and its ability to develop new skills.