HomeHR glossaryDual labor market
Dual labor market

Dual Labor Market refers to a concept in human resources and labor economics that describes the division of the labor market into two distinct segments: the primary labor market and the secondary labor market.

In the primary labor market, workers typically enjoy job security, higher wages, better benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. Jobs in this segment often require specialized skills or education, and employers invest in long-term relationships with their employees.

Conversely, the secondary labor market consists of jobs characterized by lower wages, limited job security, minimal benefits, and a lack of career progression. These jobs are often temporary or part-time, requiring fewer skills and offering little job stability.

Consider a software development company. In the primary labor market, highly skilled software engineers work full-time with competitive salaries, comprehensive health benefits, and opportunities for skill development and promotions. They form the core workforce of the company, contributing to its long-term success.

In contrast, the secondary labor market within the same company might include temporary or contract workers who perform routine tasks like data entry or quality assurance on a project-by-project basis. They receive lower wages, no benefits, and little job security. Their employment is contingent on project availability, making their work less stable compared to the engineers in the primary labor market.

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