Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840-1950

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Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1992 - Business & Economics - 317 pages
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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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Contents

Entering the World of Work
17
Schools and Work
57
Agencies
98
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Walter Licht is professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of "Working for the Railroad: The Organization of Work in the Nineteenth Century, Work Sights: Industrial Philadelphia, 1890-1950," and "Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840-1950." "The American Moment."Stanley I. Kutler, Series Editor.

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