DDS Entity Definition: R_IND_MIN
- INDUSTRY_GEN:min *
- Display as:
- Continuous time series
- Mining has never been a large part of the national economy.
Even at its peak in the early 20th century it employed under 10% of the workforce,
while in 2001 it employed about a quarter of a percent.
Because of its relatively small size nationally mining is not always easy to
measure, and in areas where it was unimportant this rate can behave erratically.
However, it must be included here because in some localities it
was enormously important and defined their character.
Many communities grew up around particular mines and lacked alternative employment,
so the industry's decline had a large human cost.
The extreme example is Easington in Durham.
Our 1841 data are tricky, but we estimate 26% of the workers there were miners.
More reliably, in 1881 it was 48%.
However, as better technology enabled mines to be extended under the sea, the
proportion grew to 64% -- and this rate is for the whole district so some villages
would have had even higher rates. By 1971, the proportion was still 31%.
Unfortunately, our data do not allow us to separate mining from utilities in 1981 but
by 1991, after the 1984-5 strike and the following mine closures programme, only 2% of
Easington's workforce were in mining, and today it is only half a percent.
Similar stories can be told for many other districts in the North East, Yorkshire and South Wales.
In 1841, mining was not totally dominated by coal. In Cornwall and in parts of the northern Pennines,
in districts like Teesdale, it meant mining lead and tin.
By 1881, coal was dominant and we start to see districts with around
50% of their workers in the sector.
The industry peaked just before the First World War, with British coal being shipped around the world.
However, for now our next set of data are for 1931, by when the industry was already in decline.
Its geographical distribution was also changing, as old mining districts like Lancashire and
Staffordshire began to run out of coal, and new pits were developed in the East Midlands and,
in extreme isolation, north of Dover in Kent.
By 1971, the industry's distribution was therefore quite different from 1881.
However, rapid decline then began, and by 2001 the remaining workers in the sector were mostly
not in traditional mining at all:
the two largest concentrations are around Aberdeen -- servicing North Sea oil rigs -- and
in Restormel in Cornwall, a centre of china clay production.
"R_IND_MIN" is contained within:
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"R_IND_MIN" contains no lower-level entities.