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Roberts to discuss labor market changes at Community Lecture Series event

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Allison Roberts

Allison Roberts will speak on labor market changes at the Nov. 13 Community Lecture Series event.

The nineteenth century brought with it changes in the supply and demand of labor. When Allison Roberts speaks on the topic at the Nov. 13 Community Lecture Series event, she will discuss how those changes gave way to such structures as the Hotel Ponce de Leon.

Roberts, a Flagler College associate professor of economics, will speak on "Structural Changes in the Market for Labor during Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.”

“As a labor economist, I am intrigued by the resources needed to build the Ponce de Leon Hotel and the Florida East Coast Railway,” said Roberts. “My talk will explore the labor conditions of the time that made such grand construction possible.”

Roberts says that changes in demand were primarily driven by the railroads, agrarian capitalism and industrialization. Changes on the supply side were brought about by the first major wave of immigrants flocked to the north; and with emancipation, slaves and their descendants journeyed into freedom in the South.

“This was such an interesting time in our nation’s economic past, as many of the relationships between worker and firm were tested and forged during this time,” said Roberts. “And, unfortunately, the racist behavior of this period grew such strong roots that its effects are still felt today.”

Roberts has a Ph.D. in economics from Northern Illinois University and a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Lake Forest College. Her primary academic interests are in econometrics, labor economics and public finance. In addition to her academic service, Dr. Roberts has served as a data analyst, research consultant and research assistant to private consulting firms and healthcare organizations.

Roberts’ lecture is the third in this year’s lecture series entitled “Reconstruction & Gild: Wealth, Innovation and the Pursuit of Status in Late 19th Century America” which focuses on defining moments in American history during the mid to late 1800s. Speakers will discuss the topic through the lens of their particular discipline.

Tickets are $5 per person for a single lecture, or $15 for four lectures. Active military personnel may attend at no charge. Lectures begin at 10 a.m. in the Flagler Room at Flagler College, 74 King St. Reservations are required, but space is limited. The lecture will last approximately one hour and will be followed by a coffee and pastry reception.

For reservations or more information, call Holly Hill, Assistant Director of College Relations at (904) 819-6282. To watch a live stream of these lectures, visit