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Describe and explain recent changes (since 1945) in the employment structure of the UK

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Describe and explain recent changes (since 1945) in the employment structure of the UK: This essay will first describe and then go on to explain the changes that the UK's employment structure has experienced since 1945, post World War Two. The levels of employment in each of the different economy's sectors will be examined as percentages, to show clearly the increase or decline over time. Principally the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors will be described as will the Quaternary and possibly Quinary in the later 20th century, and early 21st century. The Primary sector involves the extraction of raw materials that all other areas of an economic system rely upon; examples include Mining, Fishing and Agriculture. At the end of any Primary activity there is little or no value added to the product; low value, high bulk products. The Secondary Sector involves adding value, and shedding bulk from these products. There are two types of manufacturing; Heavy industry - processing raw materials directly from primary products (steel to iron ore), and Light industry - assembling products in preparation for the market (car manufacturing). The Tertiary Sector is the provision of goods and services to the consumers. There are no processes involved; the products (goods or information) are simply supplied to the consumers. The Quaternary Sector is a more recent evolution and subset of the tertiary sector. It has aroused from the new market created from technological advances and is widely known to involve Research and Development. ...read more.


This caused a negative multiplier, as machines replaced jobs, electricity replaced coal, thus a fall in demand for coal and more jobs lost in the Primary sector. Agricultural decline has also been largely attributed to the spatial limits of UK farms, as economies of scale apply; the larger the land cultivated the lower the overall costs. Much cheaper crops could soon be imported from countries overseas where labour and land are both cheaper than in the UK. Farmers in the UK are out-bided for land as more profitable industries require it for other uses. The recent disease out-breaks in the UK have also fuelled the employment decline in agriculture. Demand for British meat and crop products has been extremely negatively affected by BSE and Foot and Mouth in recent years, and the low scale UK economy in this sector has never fully recovered. Now in the UK nearly 50% are leaving university with degrees, and this results in a very high demand and high aspirations for graduate level jobs. With more and more people being better educated, and in search of better jobs; higher paid with better prospects, less young people are taking over either family run farms or interested in employment in the manufacturing sector. The average annual wage of a farmer in the UK is �9000 or less, making this an unthinkable occupation for a highly educated skilled workforce. Another larger contributing reason for the decline in manufacturing employment in the UK, especially the rapid decline after 1975 is the government policies implemented during the late 1970s and 1980s. ...read more.


This has been responsible for the growth of the UK's now extremely strong and world renowned financial services sector, which contributed �19 billion to the UK's GDP in 2005. Although most salaries in the service sector are low, the financial service sector provides very high potential salaries, as well as annual bonuses and employs over 1.1 million people. The growth of the internet has allowed many service and good producing firms to close down high street shops and operate entirely from the internet, reducing rent and labour costs enormously and allowing more money for investment and/or profit. Examples include Amazon and Elephant; an insurance company providing an internet based service only. In conclusion I believe that the Primary and Secondary sector's decline in employment was largely down to mechanisation, however in later years other factors had great impacts too; for example policies during Margaret Thatcher's time as Prime Minister in the 1980s causing privatisation. The Tertiary sector employment boom is down to better educations and higher aspirations of the UK workforce, as well as cheaper labour and land abroad. The internet and greater quality of communications has also allowed both the Tertiary and Quaternary sectors to expand as globalisation has occurred. Social wants and desires have also fuelled the service sector growth. Given more time and resources this topic could have been discussed in far greater depth, looking back further in time at employment structures as well as studying and predicting possible trends in the future in the UK economy, as well as looking at global trends. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sarah Bewers ...read more.

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