Historians, sociologists and other commentators on work disagree over the extent, pace and patterning of change, arguing over the degree to which work has been transformed since 1945 and what this means for the future of work. This chapter looks more closely at the data and at changing employment patterns, divisions within the labour market and the nature of work — delineating and exploring the changing occupational profile of Britain since the Second World War. Inequalities, advantages and disadvantages are considered within what is a deeply segmented labour market, divided by social class, gender, race and disability. The data explored is drawn from a range of sources, including the decennial population Census and the Office for National Statistics (Labour Force Surveys). It indicates a series of quite fundamental changes in working lives, with the sharp decline in manufacturing and mining, the transition to a service-sector and knowledge-based economy, the information technology revolution associated with computers and the web, and the marked change in the gendering of work as an increasing proportion of women entered the paid, formal economy.
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