chapter  4
The Uneven Development of Women's Participation in the Labour Market
WithSarah Jenkins
Pages 23

This chapter describes the level of variation in women's participation within the United Kingdom labour market, and point out that this is not simply a reflection of the status of the local economy of that area. It argues that only by looking at the many processes which construct the local labour market can we begin to gain a full understanding of women's labour market participation. This takes labour market analysis beyond concerns national data. The chapter examines some attempts by geographers to integrate spatial variation into labour market theory, arguing that the majority of attempts have insufficient sensitivity to the importance of social factors in their typologies. S. Duncan and D. Smith highlight historical evidence which shows that women entered the workforce in large numbers before the development of state support, and argue, therefore, that local expectations of women's roles play a more important part in women's decision-making process.