A micro level study was undertaken in a local labour market (LLM) comprising one small town and two industrial villages, each within commuting distance of the town. The boundary of the LLM was clearly defined in that it was surrounded by open countryside free of industry. Analysis of collected data shows that commuting to any other neighbouring industrial settlement was rare, and that the LLM was characterised by relatively high female participation. The aim of the research was to identify the relationships of demand for female in‐factory manual workers and to compare these with those of twilight workers and homeworkers who performed identical work for the same employers. The major industry, that of hosiery and knitwear manufacture, was surveyed to provide a large body of information, but this article extracts only those data relevant to recruitment practices. A pre‐pilot study of a hosiery and knitwear manufacturing company in a different LLM, and a pilot study of footwear manufacturing establishments in the same LLM, revealed that the industry was likely to generate sexually segregated labour forces. Consequently, it was necessary to collect some data for men in order to put into perspective the demands for women.
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