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Gender specific local labour market areas in England and Wales

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes


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Local labour market areas (LLMAs) are usually defined on the basis of total commuting flows between constituent ‘building block’ areas. Indeed the 1984 revision of Travel-To-Work Areas (TTWAs) was based on aggregate flows between 1981 Census wards. It is widely recognized, however, that various sub-groups of the population have distinctive commuting patterns. TTWAs therefore represent the outcome of an ‘averaging’ of the journey-to-work patterns of different gender, socio-economic and occupational groups. In this preliminary review, the self-containment of TTWAs in England and Wales, which have been generated using aggregate data, is assessed at the simplest level of disaggregation of the commuting data: disaggregation by gender. In accordance with expectations, it is found that TTWAs defined on the basis of total commuting flows are generally more self-contained for females than for males, and that those TTWAs which are insufficiently self-contained to be considered as LLMAs for males are overwhelmingly concentrated in the most urbanized regions. These findings are reinforced by the results of re-running the TTWA regionalization algorithm against 1981 flow data for males and females in order to create gender-specific TTWAs; disparities between Male and Female TTWAs are greatest in the most urbanized regions. Such differences are investigated in greater detail for two Metropolitan Regions (MRs): the combined Liverpool and Manchester MRs in the north-west and the London MR in the south-east.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Green AE, Coombes MG, Owen DW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geoforum

Year: 1986

Volume: 17

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 339-351

ISSN (print): 0016-7185

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9398


DOI: 10.1016/0016-7185(86)90002-3


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