Employment Trends in the Twentieth Century



Britain and the USA were two of a group of only half a dozen nations which by 1900 could be regarded as being ‘mature economies’. They had technically advanced manufacturing industries and were in the process of evolution towards the next identified stage of economic development, mass consumption. This chapter explains how, as this economic development was taking place, changes in the structure of industry had an important influence on the pattern of female employment. In both nations the agricultural sector has contracted as an employer of labour while simultaneously a growth in service sector employment has taken place. In the productive sector, which includes manufacturing, mining and construction, the pattern has differed. Until the 1960s the relative importance of this sector increased on both sides of the Atlantic, but since then its relative significance has declined (see Table 3.1).


Labour Force Industry Sector Productive Industry Female Employment Female Contribution 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1987

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