The responsiveness of unemployment to growth is an issue of ongoing political and academic interest. Economic growth is supposed to be the key to increase labour demand and reduce unemployment. Departing from Okun's law, most research on the unemployment intensity of growth has focused on national disparities and the role of labour market institutions. Empirical evidence at the regional level is scarce. We investigate differences in regional labour market responsiveness and their potential determinants for a cross section of European regions. The data set covers the NUTS 2 regions in the EU15 for the period 1980 to 2002. Following a spatial modelling approach interaction among neighbouring labour markets is taken into account. Our findings point to substantial differences in labour market effects of output growth among European countries and regions. Both national labour market institutions and regional characteristics, such as structural change explain a significant part of these disparities.