Man's physical universe

xanabras

312 FORMS OF ENERGY

The Demand for Workers Is Higher in Mechanized Industries than in

Hand Trades.

Marked mechanical developments have taken place in

the manufacture

of women's clothing, and yet employment increased 121 per

cent from 1925 to 1936. The majority of unemployment during the

depression was in the building industries, where machines have made

little impression. The total decrease in employment in all of the manufacturing

industries during the depression was only 1,700,000.

Unemployment Is the Result of an Increased Supply of Workers Rather

than a Decreased Number of Jobs. The Supply of Workers in

Proportion to Population Increased 50 Per Cent in One Hundred

Years.^

There are 15,000,000 more workers available today than would have

been available from the same population a hundred years ago, because

of the increasing concentration of the population in the older age

groups. In 1900, 55.7 per cent of the population were twenty years of

age or over, while 61.2 per cent in 1930 and 65.5 per cent in 1940 were

twenty years of age or over. Smaller families and increased lifeexpectancy

due to the advances of modern medicine have been largely

responsible for this trend. Even during the depression there was a

higher percentage of the population in jobs than in "boom" times of a

century ago.

As a result, in part at least, of an increased supply of workers, the

number of children working is constantly declining. In 1900 one child

out of every five between the ages of ten and fifteen was employed.

In 1930 the figure was less than one in twenty.

Present trends indicate that the supply of workers per thousand of

population has about reached a peak.

Living-standards Have Been Improved by the Advance of Technology.

The present standard of living would be impossible without machinery.

Workmen's wages have increased because machinery has made it

possible for the workers to step up their output.

During the period 1899-1929, wages paid by manufacturers increased

479 per cent, while factory employment increased 88 per cent. During

the same period manufacturers increased machinery 331 per cent.

Average weekly incomes of factory wage-earners in December, 1938,

'

The consuming power of human beings is, for all practical purposes, unlimited. It

follows, therefore, that the most strenuous efforts of every available worker could not produce

an absolute surplus of commodities even though they used every labor-saving device

ever invented. Where production is determined by need rather than profitability, there is

no involuntary unemployment.

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