Introduction The chapters in this book collectively embrace a wide range of perspectives on unemployment and its relationship to social exclusion. Some of the papers are primarily concerned with manifestations of, and explanations for, unemployment at the regional scale. Others focus on the interface between inequality and the labour market at the local or city-regional level. Some papers examine changes at the macro level, whilst others explore interrelationships between the operation of labour markets and their impact on specific sectors in society. Nevertheless, despite this catholic range of contributions, a number of overarching themes can be identified which characterise much of this material.