Social Change and the Experience of Unemployment

By Duncan Gallie; Catherine Marsh et al. | Go to book overview

2
Economic Convergence: A Tale of Six Cities

CATHERINE MARSH AND CAROLYN VOGLER


1. INTRODUCTION

This chapter draws mainly on sources of data outside the Social Change and Economic Life Initiative (SCELI), in order to provide a profile of the history of the occupational structure in the six labour markets. In the first half, a thumbnail sketch is given of the employment traditions in the six areas from their first industrialization up to 1971, showing how the areas industrialized in very different periods and in very different ways. The second half presents the more recent industrial histories of these locations, drawing on data from the Census of Employment in 1971 and 1981, as well as information about unemployment compiled by local Department of Employment Jobcentres.


2. HISTORICAL TRADITIONS OF THE SIX LOCALITIES UP TO THE EARLY 1970s

The six SCELI towns entered the recession which began in 1973-4 and which accelerated dramatically at the end of the 1970s with the stamps of their histories still clearly marked upon them. In this section we shall present something of the histories of the six areas, two of which were in Scotland--Aberdeen and Kirkcaldy--and the other four of which--Coventry, Rochdale, Northampton, and Swindon--were in England.

The Industrial Revolution began, as every school child knows, in Britain; indeed, it was the location for several decades of

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*
This chapter draws on material presented by Carolyn Vogler and Colin Mills to the Sixth Urban Change and Conflict Conference at the University of Kent at Canterbury in September 1987.

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