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The aim of this study is to present the labour market characteristics of a disadvantaged region, the Érmellék, based The aim of this study is to present the labor market characteristics of a disadvantaged region, Érmellék, based on the results of qualitative research. Our choice of topic is part of a deliberate series of studies in the Érmellék region. In 2020, we investigated the silver economy in this area, and in 2021, we focused on the social entrepreneurial community in Bihor County. These studies provided us with a much deeper insight into a specific area of the Hungarian minority in Romania, with general characteristics of Érmellék including a disadvantaged situation, a double minority of Roma living in the area, a specific border existence (daily commuting to educational institutions and workplaces), a constant possibility of permanent emigration, limited labor market opportunities, an aging population, etc. Primary data collection through interviews aims to reveal labor market characteristics not apparent from available secondary data, such as the presence of atypical forms of work as a source of labor market vulnerability and informal economic arrangements between employer and employee. The central research question of the study was, therefore: What are the specific characteristics of the labor market in Érmellék? How prevalent are atypical forms of work and/or informal strategies, and how do employers and employees perceive this? Based on the results of the preliminary research conducted in the region and the present study, it can be said that Érmellék, as a small region, has specific characteristics unique to the region in terms of the labor market. These characteristics amplify the presence of atypical forms of work while simultaneously placing a strong emphasis on the use of informal labor market survival strategies, in addition to global influences.

Keywords: labour market, atypical forms of work, informal strategies, disadvantaged

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