The musical The Last Ship is set in Wallsend, England. In this town, there is one shipyard that will close in the near future.
The workers sing about how “the only life we’ve known is in the shipyard”. With the closing of the shipyard, the workers will be unemployed. If their skills don’t translate easily into another industry then these individuals could be called “structurally” unemployed. Structural unemployment occurs when the skills of the workers don’t match the skills that are needed by employers.
The song also has other economic themes, including compensating wage differentials (higher pay for riskier jobs) and a discussion of Karl Marx.
Discussion Questions for “Shipyard”