The labour market
At the start of the postwar period, once demobilisation was complete, the British work-force was overwhelmingly male, working a 48-hour week, with approximately equal numbers involved in industry and the service sector. By the 1990s there was a significantly bigger, more diverse labour force. The hard core in heavy industry had substantially diminished, work patterns had changed with the enormous growth of part-time employment and there was a much more even balance between males and females. Unemployment, which had been at almost insignificant levels in the late 1940s, re-emerged in the 1970s and since 1979 has been at levels which compare with the interwar period.