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  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: March 2008

19 - The urban labour market

from Part IV - Getting and spending
Towns are often presented as market centres, but mainly as places for the buying and selling of goods, or for financial transactions. This chapter examines several of the most important sectors of the labour market, following the paths taken by individuals over their lives. It then explores the development of each of these sectors, developing an account of the changing nature of life-paths and career structures, and their implications for the developing urban system. The chapter discusses casual trades, skilled artisans, factory workers, miners, domestic service and white-collar work. Finally, it scrutinizes the interactions between the labour market processes and the form of the urban system, concentrating on spatial divisions of labour and the ways in which economic fluctuations altered the relationships between different sectors of the labour market and transformed the geography of towns and cities.
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The Cambridge Urban History of Britain
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