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THE URBANIZATION AND SUBURBANIZATION OF THE SERVICE ECONOMY: PRODUCER SERVICES AND SPECIALIZATION IN STOCKHOLM

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

This article highlights cities and urban regions as the focal point of the growth and geography of post-industrial and postmodern service activities. Based on an empirical study of Sweden's capital city region, it illustrates the presence of multiple patterns as far as the structure and geography of urban economic development are concerned. Using statistical data for all employees in Stockholm and its surrounding region in 1993 and 2002, the service sector workforce is analysed by industry (finance, producer services, IT services, media and amenities) and categorized according to levels of education, employment status (self-employed or employed) and workplace size. As prior research would lead us to expect, the results show the importance of Stockholm for the development of post-industrial and postmodern service activities in Sweden. For the investigated sectors, 54 per cent of the employees in Sweden are employed in the Stockholm region, compared with 20 per cent for all sectors. It also shows the importance of these sectors for the economic development of Stockholm. The employment growth in these sectors between 1993 and 2002 amounted to 50 per cent of the total employment growth in the Stockholm region over this period. Finally, and most importantly, the study identifies a variety of development paths, differentiated by sector, and by central, semi-peripheral and peripheral locations within the region.

Keywords: Stockholm region; employment data; post-industrial services; postmodern services; urban economic geography

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2007.00260.x

Affiliations: Dept. of Human Geography, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden., Email: Brita.Hermelin@humangeo.su.se

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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