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.
MACHINES HAVE RAISED LIVING-STANDARDS 313 were 105 per cent higher than in 1914, although food, clothing, and shelter had increased only 40 per cent. When the United States was using $23 worth of machinery per capita, Great Britain was using $10 worth and paying one third the American wage; Germany was using $9 worth and paying one fourth the American wage; China was using 5 cents worth of machinery per capita and paying one twentieth the American wage. Technological advancement has not only furnished goods and services that would have been impossible without the machine, but it has also increased the capacity of many people to obtain these goods and services by increasing their incomes and decreasing the prices of the goods and services. The United States has only 7 per cent of the world's population, but Americans operate 33 per cent of the world's railroads, own 50 per cent of the world's radios, use 60 per cent of the world's telephone and telegraph facilities, and drive 80 per cent of the world's automobiles. The Work Week Has Declined. URS OF Work