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The spatial division of information labour in Great Britain

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrew Gillespie


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In this paper the prevailing geography of the information economy in Great Britain is examined. Attention is focused on the 1981 labour-force share of information occupations at the level of standard regions. This occupation approach, as developed by Porat, is interrelated with Singlemann's sectoral classification in order to provide a new view of the information-based service economy in a regional context. The spatial division of information labour in Great Britain is identified and its theoretical and policy implications are discussed. It is shown that, despite regional differences in industrial specialisation, job prospects in all parts of the country are increasingly dependent on information-based services. There is, however, clear evidence of Greater London's dominance of the information economy, particularly in higher-order information occupations related to management and control functions and specialised producer-services activities. It is suggested that innovations in information technology (computer-communications networks) will reinforce this uneven geography of employment opportunities, particularly with the further integration of Britain into the global information economy. In this light, theoretical approaches to regional economic policy must embody an international dimension and address the transsectoral nature of information-based development in which the new technologies play a central role.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hepworth ME, Green AE, Gillespie AE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 1987

Volume: 19

Issue: 6

Pages: 793-806

Print publication date: 01/06/1987

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/a190793


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