Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840-1950
How did working people find jobs in the past? How has the process changed over time for various groups of job seekers? Are outcomes influenced more by general economic circumstances, by discriminatory practices in the labor market, or by personal initiative and competence?
Walter Licht uses intensive primary-source research on a major industrial city for a period of over one hundred years to tackle these questions. He looks at when and how young people secured first jobs, the influence of agencies on the hiring process, schools and work, apprenticeship programs, unions, the role of firms in structuring work opportunities, the state as employer and as shaper of employment conditions, and the problem of losing work--the job search as a seemingly perpetual activity.
Licht's findings enliven and sometimes revise specific scholarly and social policy debates. School programs, for example, are shown to have been unsystematic because of various social clashes; working-class children had only loose ties to schools. Men and women, blacks and whites, older-stock Americans and newcomers had disparate labor market experiences. Experience in the labor market varied not only by group and across time, but also during different stages of the individual's life.
Getting Work is important reading for policymakers, social historians, economists, and students of management and industrial relations.
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Entering the World of Work
Schools and Work
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African-Americans agencies American apprentices apprenticeship Association of Philadelphia Baldwin Baldwin Locomotive Catholic child labor city's civil service Company Papers decades delphia Department Development economic employed employees employment bureaus established ethnic example experience firms formal girls Gladys Palmer groups help-wanted high school hiring Horstmann Ibid immigrant Industrial Education initiatives institution interviews Irish Italian job seekers John Gay John Wanamaker labor force labor market late nineteenth layoffs male ment Metal Manufacturers municipal nineteenth century operated organized percent personnel phia Phila Philadel Philadelphia Gas Philadelphia workers political positions practices production programs public employment public schools recruitment reform remained reported role school attendance school officials skilled social Stetson Temple University textile tion trade union turnover twentieth century University of Pennsylvania unpublished Ph.D vocational education W. E. B. DuBois Wanamaker's Weigley white-collar William workers in Philadelphia young