The neglect of a consideration of history has been a feature of mobility research. ‘History’ affects the results of analyses of social mobility by altering the occupational/industrial structure and by encouraging exchange mobility. Changes in industrial structure are rooted more directly in historical causes and can be seen as more fundamental than changes in occupational structure. Following a substantial review of the secondary literature on changes in industrial and occupational structure in Northern Ireland, loglinear analyses of intra- and intergenerational mobility tables for sociologically-derived cohort generations that incorporate occupational and industrial categories are presented. Structural and inheritance effects for industry are as significant as those for occupation. Given the well-established finding of ‘constant social fludity’ in mobility tables once structural effects are controlled, the inclusion of categorization by industry is necessary in order to reach an accurate understanding of occupational mobility and the role of historical change in mobility.