In this article we will discuss about Mobility of Labour. After reading this article you will learn about: 1. Types of Mobility of Labour 2. Factors Determining Mobility of Labour 3. Obstacles 4. Merits.

Types of Mobility of Labour:

Mobility of labour is of the following types:

1. Geographical Mobility:

When a worker moves from one place to another within a country or from one country to another, it is called geographical mobility of labour. For example, the movement of labour from Delhi to Chennai or from India to England is geographical mobility.


2. Occupational Mobility:

Occupational mobility refers to the movement of workers from one occupation to another.

This mobility is further divided into the following two types:

(a) Horizontal Mobility:


The movement of labour from one occupation to another in the same grade or level is called horizontal mobility. For example, a bank clerk joins as an accounts clerk in a company.

(b) Vertical Mobility:

When a worker of a lower grade and status in an occupation moves to another occupation in a higher grade and status, it is vertical mobility. Just as a school lecturer becomes a college lecturer, a clerk becomes a manager, etc.

3. Mobility between Industries:


The movement of labour from one industry to another in the same occupation is industrial mobility. For example a fitter leaving a steel mill and joining an automobile factory.

Factors Determining Mobility of Labour:

The mobility of labour depends upon the following factors:

1. Education and Training:

The mobility of labour depends on the extent to which labour is educated and trained. The more a person is educated and skilled, the greater are his chances of moving from one occupation or place to another. Geographical and vertical mobility depend on education and training.

2. Outlook or Urge:

The outlook or urge of workers to rise in life determines their mobility. If they are optimist and broad minded, they will move to other jobs and places. Differences in language, habits, religion, caste, etc. will not be hindrances in their mobility.

3. Social Set-up:

The mobility of labour also depends upon the social set-up. A society dominated by caste system and joint family system lacks in mobility of labour. But where the joint family and caste systems do not exist or have disintegrated, the mobility of labour increases.

4. Means of Transport:


Well developed means of transport and communications encourage mobility of labour. The worker knows that in case of emergency at home, he can easily communicate with his family on phone or travel back by train within the country or by aero plane if he is abroad.

5. Agricultural Developments:

With agricultural development, labour moves from high population to low population areas during busy seasons.

6. Industrialisation:


The mobility of labour is determined by industrial development. Workers move from different occupations and places to work in factories. Industrialisation also leads to urbanisation and workers move from rural and semi-urban areas to industrial centres and big cities.

7. Trade:

The development of business and trade leads to the spread of their offices and institutions related to them in different parts of the country. As a result, workers move from one place and occupation to another to work in trade and business offices, banks, insurance companies, etc.

8. Advertisement:


Advertisements relating to jobs in newspapers also determine the mobility of labour. Accordingly, workers move between places and occupations.

9. State Help:

When the state starts industrial centres, and estates, employment exchanges, dams, public works, etc., they encourage mobility of labour.

10. Peace and Security:

The mobility of labour depends to a large extent on law and order in the country. If the life and property of the people are not safe, they will not move from their present places and occupations to others.

Obstacles in Mobility of Labour:

There are many factors which hinder mobility of labour. They are differences in climate, religion, caste, habits, language, customs, tastes, etc. The other factors are illiteracy, ignorance, indebtedness, attachment to property and place, poverty, economic backwardness, lack of means of transport and communications and employment opportunities, etc.

Merits of Mobility of Labour:


The mobility of labour helps in increasing efficiency and productivity of workers when workers move to occupations for which they are suited the best. It also increases their incomes when they shift from low paid to high paid jobs.

It solves the unemployment problem when workers move to places where they are wanted. Further the mobility of labour helps in economic development when unemployed labour shifts to public works like dams, roads, canals etc. and to factories. It thus increases production, employment and income.