Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Krmenec, Andrew J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Temporary employment; Business cycles; Industrial location


In recent years, the structure of our national economy has endured many unforeseen changes. Vast technological changes in basic production processes, improved product quality from competitor nations, and the emergence of a global economy have left several domestic manufacturing sectors behind. National industrial decline inevitably leads to some plant closure or worker displacement at the local level. Yet not all cases of decline result in plant shutdowns. This research focuses on the short-term employment adjustment strategies of firms in the primary metals and construction and mining machinery industries from 1978 to 1986 as a means of examining the process of industrial decline. The probabilistic Markov process is used to describe changes in employment levels, firm entries, and firm exits within the Chicago metropolitan system. Each industry shows different adjustment strategies across organizational types (headquarters, branch plants, and single establishments), reflecting some basic characteristics of market and capital structure. Locational characteristics of areas gaining and losing employment also are examined. The results indicate that certain areas do experience employment increases in declining industries, although these also vary by organizational types. Overall, the study confirms the unique nature of intrametropolitan location decisions. Implications for economic developers and existing industrial location theory also are discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 170-179)


xii, 193 pages




Northern Illinois University

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