In this paper the results of lines of research, developed by a group of scholars at the ORML (Regional Observatory of the Labor Market), are presented through the analysis of the medium term evolution of the Tuscan regional labor market. After discussing some standard macro-economic indicators of labor supply and demand and unemployment, the issue of mobility and fragility of jobs is treated upon the basis of job creation and destruction measurements during the 1989-1996 period. Qualitative aspects of labor demand are added to the picture, emphasizing the issue of firm needs in terms of skills and competencies, and of the mismatch between the quality of labor demand and supply. All these elements are inserted within an interpretative framework, which allows the analysis of the gap between growth potential of the economic system and the structural dynamics in Tuscany. Last of all five hypotheses for public policy are suggested.