• structural tension;
  • Venezuela;
  • migration;
  • development

Mismatch of labor demand and supply, resulting from economic growth, is referred to here as structural tension. Spatial variations in structural tension are identified for Venezuelan states in 1971. Positive tension, indicating overutilization of human resources, prevails in urban areas. By contrast, rural locales exhibit underutilization due to rapid labor force growth without parallel increases in employment opportunities. Influence of structural tension, coupled with other migration determinants, upon destination choice by economically active immigrants is explored. Structural tension emerges as strongly significant for the total sample, displacing wages from the model. This is consistent with our contention that wages are a less precise indicator of labor supply and demand.