Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840-1950

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University of Pennsylvania Press, Jan 17, 2000 - Business & Economics - 336 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?

To tackle these questions, Walter Licht uses intensive primary-source research—including surveys of thousands of workers conducted in the decades from the 1920s to the 1950s—on a major industrial city for a period of over one hundred years. He looks at when and how workers secured their first jobs, 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. Licht also examines the disparate labor market experiences of men and women and the effects of race, ethnicity, age, and social standing on employment.

 

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Contents

Particularities
1
Entering the World of Work
17
Schools and Work
57
Agencies
98
Firms
141
The State
174
Losing Work and Coping
220
Conclusion
256
Primary Sources
265
Notes
267
Index
313
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About the author (2000)

Walter Licht is Professor of History and Associate Dean at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Working for the Railroad: The Organization of Work in the Nineteenth Century (recipient of the Philip Taft Labor History Prize), Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century, and coauthor of Work Sights: Industrial Philadelphia, 1890-1950.

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