Employment by Sector 1970 - History

Employment by Sector 1970 - History

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Top Jobs In The 1970s: Working 9 To 5

Although unemployment rose slightly in the 1970s over the previous two decades, companies still demanded skilled and responsible workers to keep the country humming along. The seventies was a unique time for jobs. The women’s lib movement was in full force, yet we still saw jobs divided by genders. The push for more workers’ rights, better working conditions, and better pay meant some industries were plagued by workers’ strikes in the 1970s. And the decade saw a shift from labor and services to technology-based jobs. Take a glimpse into the top jobs of the 1970s.

Employment by Sector 1970 - History

Rising labor productivity, particularly in the manufacturing industries, contribute significantly to the nation's economic development. Labor productivity was unusually high in the late 1970s, when Japan's wages first become competitive with other industrialized nations. But productivity rose at an annual average rate of only 2.6 percent between 1978 and 1987. At the same time, Japan was able to keep its unemployment rate between 2.8 and 2.2 percent from 1987 to 1992. The structure of the nation's employment system and relatively harmonious labor-management relations were two of the reasons for this enviable performance.

Employment, Wages, and Working Conditions

Japan's work force grew by less than 1 percent per year in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991 it stood at 62.4 percent of the total population over fifteen years of age, a level little changed since 1970. Labor force participation differed within age and gender groupings and was similar to that in other industrialized nations in its relative distribution among primary, secondary, and tertiary industries. The percentage of people employed in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, and fishing) dropped from 17.4 in 1970 to 7.2 in 1990 and was projected to fall to 4.9 by 2000. The percentage of the Japanese labor force employed in heavy industry was 33.7 in 1970 it dropped to 33.1 in 1987 and was expected to be 27.7 in 2000. Light industry employed 47 percent of the work force in 1970 and 58 percent in 1987. The sector was expected to employ 62 percent by 2000. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, well over 95 percent of all men between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-four were in the work force, but the proportion dropped sharply after the usual retirement age of fifty-five (by 1990 the retirement age for most men had risen to sixty). Women participated most actively in the job market in their early twenties and between the ages of thirtyfive and fifty-four. The unemployment rate (2.2 percent in 1992) was considerably lower than in the other industrialized nations.

Wages vary by industry and type of employment. Those earning the highest wages are permanent workers in firms having more than thirty employees and those workers in finance, real estate, public service, petroleum, publishing, and emerging high-technology industries earned the highest wages. The lowest paid are those in textiles, apparel, furniture, and leather products industries. The average farmer fares even worse.

During the period of strong economic growth from 1960 to 1973, wage levels rose rapidly. Nominal wages increased an average of 13 percent per year while real wages rose 7 percent each year. Wage levels then stagnated as economic growth slowed. Between 1973 and 1987 annual nominal and real wage increases dropped to 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Wages began rising in 1987 as the value of the yen sharply appreciated. In 1989 salaried workers receiving the highest average pay hikes over the previous year were newspaper employees (6.7 percent), followed by retail and wholesale workers (6 percent) and hotel employees (5.7 percent). Workers in the steel (2.5 percent) and shipbuilding (4.2 percent) industries fared worse. The salaries of administrative and technical workers were about 20 percent higher than those of production workers. In the late 1980s, with wages in manufacturing firms having 500 or more workers indexed at 100, enterprises with 100 to 499 employees were indexed at 79, those with thirty to ninety-nine employees at 64, and those with five to twenty-nine employees at 56.6. The gap between wages paid to secondary school and college graduates was slight but widened as the employees grew older wages peaked at the age of fifty-five, when the former received only 60 to 80 percent of the wages of the latter.

Workers received two fairly large bonuses as well as their regular salary, one mid-year and the other at year's end. In 1988 workers in large companies received bonuses equivalent to their pay for 1.9 months while workers in the smallest firms gained bonuses equal to 1.2 months' pay. In addition to bonuses, Japanese workers received a number of fringe benefits, such as living allowances, incentive payments, remuneration for special job conditions, allowances for good attendance, and cost-of-living allowances.

Working conditions varied from firm to firm. On average, employees worked a forty-six-hour week in 1987 employees of most large corporations worked a modified five-day week with two Saturdays a month, while those in most small firms worked as much as six days each week. In the face of mounting international criticism of excessive working hours in Japan, in January 1989 public agencies began closing two Saturdays a month. Labor unions made reduced working hours an important part of their demands, and many larger firms responded in a positive manner. In 1986 the average employee in manufacturing and production industries worked 2,150 hours in Japan, compared with 1,924 hours in the United States and 1,643 in France. The average Japanese worker is entitled to fifteen days of paid vacation a year but actually took only seven days.

The Structure of Japan's Labor Market

The structure of Japan's labor market was experiencing gradual change in the late 1980s and was expected to continue this trend throughout the 1990s. The structure of the labor market is affected by the aging of the working population, increasing numbers of women in the labor force, and workers' rising education level. There is the prospect of increasing numbers of foreign nationals in the labor force. And, finally, the labor market faces possible changes owing to younger workers who sought to break away from traditional career paths to those that stressed greater individuality and creativity.

Working Women

Japanese women are joining the labor force in unprecedented numbers. In 1987 there were 24.3 million working women (40 percent of the labor force), and they accounted for 59 percent of the increase in employment from 1975 to 1987. The participation rate for women in the labor force (the ratio of those working to all women aged fifteen and older) rose from 45.7 percent in 1975 to 50.6 percent in 1991 and was expected to reach 50 percent by 2000.

The growing participation of women reflected both supply and demand factors. Industries such as wholesaling, retailing, banking, and insurance have expanded, in large part because of the effective use of women as part-time employees.

Foreign Workers

Traditionally, Japan has had strict laws regarding the employment of foreigners, although exceptions were made for certain occupational categories. Excepted categories have included executives and managers engaged in commercial activities, full-time scholars associated with research and education institutions, professional entertainers, engineers and others specializing in advanced technology, foreign-language teachers, and others with special skills unavailable among Japanese nationals.

The problems of foreign workers in the labor force were expected to continue throughout the 1990s. Despite the long-term upward trend in the unemployment rate, many unpopular jobs go unfilled and the domestic labor market is sluggish. Imported labor is seen as a solution to this situation by some employers, who hire low-paid foreign workers, who are, in turn, enticed by comparatively high Japanese wages. The strict immigration laws are expected to remain on the books, however, although the influx of illegal aliens from nearby Asian countries to participate in the labor market is likely to increase.

Workers' Changing Attitudes

The success of corporations in Japan is attributable to the remarkable motivation of its workers. Also behind this corporate prosperity is the workers' strong sense of loyalty to and identification with their employers. While many theories have evolved to explain the extraordinary attitude of Japanese workers, perhaps the most noteworthy is that of personnel management. This view holds that loyalty to the company has developed as a result of job security and a wage system in which those with the greatest seniority reap the highest rewards. Such corporate structure presumably fostered not only a determined interest in the company but also a low percentage of workers who changed jobs.

During the postwar economic reconstruction, the backbone of the labor force was, of course, made up of people born before World War II. These people grew up in a Japan that was still largely an agriculturally based economy and had little material wealth. Moreover, they had suffered the hardships of war and had accepted hard work as a part of their lives. In the late twentieth century, these people were being replaced by generations born after the war, and there were indications that the newcomers had different attitudes toward work. Postwar generations were accustomed to prosperity and were also better educated than their elders.

As might be expected, these socioeconomic changes have affected workers' attitudes. Prior to World War II, surveys indicated that the aspect of life regarded as most worthwhile was work. During the 1980s, the percentage of people who felt this way was declining. Workers' identification with their employers was weakening as well. A survey by the Management and Coordination Agency revealed that a record 2.7 million workers changed jobs in the one-year period beginning October 1, 1986, and the ratio of those who switched jobs to the total labor force matched the previous high recorded in 1974. This survey also showed that the percentage of workers indicating an interest in changing jobs increased from 4.5 percent in 1971 to 9.9 percent in 1987.

Another indication of changing worker attitudes is the number of people meeting with corporate scouts to discuss the possibility of switching jobs. Corporations' treatment of older workers also affects attitudes: there are fewer positions for older workers, and many find themselves without the rewards that their predecessors had enjoyed.

Aging and Retirement of the Labor Force

Japan's population is aging. During the 1950s, the percentage of the population in the sixty-five-and-over group remained steady at around 5 percent. Throughout subsequent decades, however, that age-group expanded, and by 1989 it had grown to 11.6 percent of the population. It was expected to reach 16.9 percent by 2000 and almost 25.2 percent by 2020. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this trend was the speed with which it was occurring in comparison to trends in other industrialized nations. In the United States, expansion of the sixty-five-and-over age-group from 7 percent to 14 percent took seventy-five years in Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), this expansion took forty-five years. The same expansion in Japan was expected to take only twenty-six years.

As Japan's population aged, so did its work force. In 1990 about 20 percent of the work force was made up of workers aged fifty-five and over. The Ministry of Labor predicted that by 2000 about 24 percent of the working population (almost one in four workers) would be in this age-group. This demographic shift was expected to bring about both macroeconomic and microeconomic problems. At the national level, Japan may have trouble financing the pension system. At the corporate level, problems will include growing personnel costs and the shortage of senior positions. If such problems become severe, government will be forced to develop countermeasures.

In most Japanese companies, salaries rise with worker age. Because younger workers are paid less, they are more attractive to employers, and the difficulty in finding employment increases with age. This pattern is evidenced by the unemployment rates for different age-groups and by the number of applicants per job vacancy for each age-group in openings handled by public employment offices. As the Japanese population ages, such trends may grow.

Most Japanese companies require that employees retire upon reaching a specified age. During most of the postwar period, that age was fifty-five. Because government social security payments normally begins at age sixty, workers are forced to find reemployment to fill the five-year gap. However, in 1986 the Diet passed the Law Concerning the Stabilization of Employment for Elderly People to provide various incentives for firms to raise their retirement age to sixty. Many Japanese companies raised the retirement age they had set, partly in response to this legislation. And despite mandatory retirement policies, many Japanese companies allow their employees to continue working beyond the age of sixty--although generally at reduced wages. People over sixty continue to work varied: to supplement inadequate pension incomes, to give meaning to their lives, or to keep in touch with society.

As Japan's population ages, the financial health of the public pension plan deteriorates. To avoid massive increases in premiums, the government reformed the system in 1986 by cutting benefit levels and raising the plan's specified age at which benefits began from sixty to sixty-five. Under the revised system, contributions paid in equal share by employer and employee were expected to be equivalent to about 30 percent of wages, as opposed to 40 percent of wages under the old system. However, problems now arose in securing employment opportunities for the sixty-to-sixty-five agegroup .

In 1990 some 90 percent of companies paid retirement benefits to their employees in the form of lump-sum payments and pensions. Some companies based the payment amount on the employee's base pay, while others used formulas independent of base pay. Because the system was designed to reward long service, payment rose progressively with the number of years worked.

Social Insurance and Minimum Wage Systems

Companies in Japan are responsible for enrolling their employees in various social insurance systems, including health insurance, employee pension insurance, employment insurance, and workers' accident compensation insurance. The employer covers all costs for workers' accident compensation insurance, but payments to the other systems are shared by both employer and employee.

The Minimum Wage Law, introduced in 1947 but not enacted until 1959, was designed to protect low-income workers. Minimum wage levels have been determined, according to both region and industry, by special councils composed of government, labor, and employment representatives.

Labor Unions

Japan's 74,500 trade unions were represented by four main labor federations in the mid-1980s: the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan (Nihon Rodo Kumiai Sohyogikai, commonly known as Sohyo), with 4.4 million members--a substantial percentage representing public sector employees the Japan Confederation of Labor (Zen Nihon Rodo Sodomei, commonly known as Domei), with 2.2 million members the Federation of Independent Labor Unions (Churitsu Roren), with 1.6 million members and the National Federation of Industrial Organizations (Shinsanbetsu), with only 61,000 members. In 1987 Domei and Churitsu Roren were dissolved and amalgamated into the newly established National Federation of Private Sector Unions (Rengo) and in 1990 Sohyo affiliates merged with Rengo . Local labor unions and work unit unions, rather than the federations, conducted the major bargaining. Unit unions often banded together for wage negotiations, but federations did not control their policies or actions. Federations also engaged in political and public relations activities.

The rate of labor union membership, which was 35.4 percent in 1970, had declined considerably by the end of the 1980s. The continuing long-term reduction in union membership was caused by several factors, including the restructuring of Japanese industry away from heavy industries. Many people entering the work force in the 1980s joined smaller companies in the tertiary sector, where there was a general disinclination toward joining labor organizations.

The relationship between the typical labor union and the company is unusually close. Both white- and blue-collar workers join the union automatically in most major companies. Temporary and subcontracting workers are excluded, and managers with the rank of section manager and above are considered part of management. In most corporations, however, many of the managerial staff are former union members. In general, Japanese unions are sensitive to the economic health of the company, and company management usually brief the union membership on the state of corporate affairs.

Any regular employee below the rank of section chief is eligible to become a union officer. Management, however, often pressures the workers to select favored employees. Officers usually maintain their seniority and tenure while working exclusively on union activities and while being paid from the union's accounts, and union offices are often located at the factory site. Many union officers go on to higher positions within the corporation if they are particularly effective (or troublesome), but few become active in organized labor activities at the national level.

During prosperous times, the spring labor offensives are highly ritualized affairs, with banners, sloganeering, and dances aimed more at being a show of force than a crippling job action. Meanwhile, serious discussions take place between the union officers and corporate managers to determine pay and benefit adjustments. If the economy turns sour, or if management tries to reduce the number of permanent employees, however, disruptive strikes often occur. The number of working days lost to labor disputes peaked in the economic turmoil of 1974 and 1975 at around 9 million workdays in the two-year period. In 1979, however, there were fewer than 1 million days lost. Since 1981 the average number of days lost per worker each year to disputes was just over 9 percent of the number lost in the United States. After 1975, when the economy entered a period of slower growth, annual wage increases moderated and labor relations were conciliatory. During the 1980s, workers received pay hikes that on average closely reflected the real growth of GNP for the preceding year. In 1989, for example, workers received an average 5.1 percent pay hike, while GNP growth had averaged 5 percent between 1987 and 1989. The moderate trend continued in the early 1990s as the country's national labor federations were reorganizing themselves.

Employment by economic sector in Ghana 2020

202028.46 % 22.19 % 49.36 %
201929.27 % 21.78 % 48.96 %
201830.43 % 21.1 % 48.47 %
201731.99 % 20.1 % 47.91 %
201633.74 % 19.15 % 47.12 %
201535.18 % 18.69 % 46.14 %
201440.42 % 16.19 % 43.39 %
201345.38 % 14.07 % 40.55 %
201246.85 % 14 % 39.15 %
201148.41 % 13.88 % 37.71 %
201050.23 % 13.67 % 36.1 %

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COVID-19 deaths worldwide as of June 16, 2021, by country

COVID-19 cases worldwide as of June 16, 2021, by country

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, recoveries, and deaths worldwide as of June 16, 2021

Cumulative cases of COVID-19 worldwide from Jan. 22, 2020 to Mar. 16, 2021, by day

Employment by economic sector in South Africa 2020

20204.99 % 22.72 % 72.29 %
20195.09 % 22.91 % 72.01 %
20185.17 % 23.15 % 71.69 %
20175.29 % 23.35 % 71.37 %
20165.57 % 23.33 % 71.1 %
20155.61 % 23.83 % 70.56 %
20144.65 % 23.42 % 71.93 %
20134.98 % 23.52 % 71.5 %
20124.84 % 23.45 % 71.72 %
20114.6 % 24.18 % 71.22 %
20104.86 % 24.4 % 70.74 %

Show sources information Show publisher information

COVID-19 deaths worldwide as of June 16, 2021, by country

COVID-19 cases worldwide as of June 16, 2021, by country

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, recoveries, and deaths worldwide as of June 16, 2021

Labour market

View frequencies, conduct simple online tabulations, produce graphs.

Whilst there is a wealth of data on the labour market, a number of studies are regarded as 'key' – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their use of standard measures, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they are used to create 'official' figures.

The key individual-level surveys on the labour market are the Labour Force Surveys (LFS) and related dataset, the Annual Population Survey (APS). These are cross-sectional repeated survey data. Other datasets may be of relevance depending on the nature of the research question. For example, the Health Survey for England (HSE) will be useful for researching relationships between health and labour market variables. The Family Resources Survey (FRS) contains information about income, benefits and assets as well as a range of labour market variables.

The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) is a key resource in this field for researchers who wish to study individual change over time using panel data.

The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand' they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.

The UK Data Service provides access to the following primary data sources:

ILO measures
hours worked
employment workplace
economic policies

economic activity
socio-economic group
industry of employment
hours worked
travel to work
national statistics socio-economic classification (NS-SeC)

economic activity
hours worked
NS-SeC socio-economic classification

1975-1983 biennial Annually from 1984
Quarterly from 1992

cultural employment
employment in visual arts
number of performers, number of artists
employment in crafts
cultural labour force
women/men in cultural employment

All British workplaces and employees in those workplaces with at least 10 or at least 25 employees, except for those in the following Standard Industrial Classification (1992) divisions: A B C P and, Q.

History in Those Hard Times: Looking for Jobs in the 1970s

Editor&rsquos Note: Continuing our series of essays that cast a backward glance at the AHA&rsquos past, partly in commemoration of its 125th anniversary being celebrated this year, we present below an article that looks at the predicaments faced by historians seeking jobs in the 1970s, and which echoes some of the issues discussed in the essays in this issue by Robert B. Townsend, and John Dichtl and Robert B. Townsend.

While it is little comfort for a doctoral student approaching the history job market now, the present economic problems are not new for the discipline. History faced many of the same issues and debated many of the same solutions 40 years ago.

While the present difficulties are more closely tied to an economic recession, the academic job market in the 1970s suffered from a demographic recession, as a sudden sharp increase in the number of baby boomers receiving history PhDs overran the number of undergraduate students studying history.1 Then, as now, the difficult times were preceded by considerable optimism. From 1960 to 1970, the number of history BAs rose 67 percent, creating significant demand for history teachers at the college level and an encouraging market for prospective graduate students. Tracking these trends, the discipline ramped up the number of new PhD programs (from 80 to 122 between 1960 and 1970) and the number of new PhDs conferred doubled between 1964 and 1970 (from 507 to 1,092). 2

However, the interests of undergraduate students shifted to more present-minded concerns in the 1970s, and the number of students receiving BAs in history fell 56 percent, even as the total number of undergraduates at colleges and universities remained fairly constant. Interest in studying history flagged as the disciplinary requirements for teacher certification and graduation were reduced or eliminated at many colleges and universities, and student interest and attention turned to the other social sciences and professional degrees. 3

By the time the AHA&rsquos leadership realized the magnitude of the problems confronting them, it was already too late to change the trajectory of many doctoral students&rsquo careers. At the Association&rsquos December 1969 meeting, the number of applicants for jobs at the annual job fair was twice the number of the year before, and almost ten times the number of jobs available. 4

The members of the AHA committee on the &ldquoprofessional register&rdquo&mdashall senior members of the profession&mdashnoted the problem with some equanimity as a &ldquo&lsquotime of troubles&rsquo for the fledgling historian.&rdquo 5 But over the next three years the problems grew significantly worse. A 1970 survey of PhD programs found that less than half of their students seeking employment had found &ldquosatisfactory positions&rdquo over the previous year. The following year the numbers had become even worse, as 2,481 applicants vied for 188 job openings at the AHA&rsquos annual meeting. The disparity between jobs and PhDs continued to expand throughout the 1970s, as the annual number of new recipients of history doctorates continued at roughly the same pace (around 1,200 new PhDs per year) until the middle of the decade (Figure 1).

For the first few years of the job crisis, efforts to address the employment issues in history were limited by the confining parameters of the profession, which posited that the PhD was a sine qua non for employment as a research scholar (or at the very least a teacher) in academia. 6 Within the history discipline, the members and leaders of the AHA spent the first five years of the crisis debating ways to rebalance the two sides of that equation&mdashby either cutting the number of graduate students or increasing the number of available jobs in colleges and universities.

On the supply side, numerous proposals were floated to press schools to cut student admissions and close &ldquoless worthy&rdquo schools. And on the demand side, as early as the 1971 AHA Business Meeting, resolutions were introduced to encourage older faculty members to &ldquoretire at the minimum retirement age,&rdquo hire part-time faculty whenever possible, and discourage schools from hiring PhDs who already had full-time employment outside the academy.

But given the average of about eight years from admission to completion of the degree, it took a long time to reduce the number of new students even after doctoral programs began to curtail admissions in 1970. And given that the number of job openings remained relatively stable while the number of PhDs remained at historically high levels, there was very little opportunity for improvement in the number of available positions.

As a result, more than a third of all history PhDs found themselves employed outside of the four-year college and university jobs held up as the ideal by doctoral programs and the AHA. The first reliable federal survey of former doctorate recipients in 1979 found significant numbers of history PhDs widely distributed into a variety of jobs&mdashincluding two-year and precollegiate teaching positions, as well as positions in government, historical societies, archives, and other nonprofit and for-profit businesses (Figure 2). And the proportions in most categories continued to grow into the early 1980s.

This shift of large numbers of doctorate students into employment outside of academia called into question long-held views about employment of history PhDs. In the mid-1970s the leadership of the AHA tried to more aggressively promote and encourage other job opportunities. The Association attempted to revitalize its engagement with history teaching at all levels, in part by establishing a Teaching Division and a regular column on teaching in the AHA Newsletter to help the profession &ldquorespond effectively to history&rsquos changing status in academe.&rdquo 7

And quite belatedly (given that almost one out of every five history PhDs was finding employment outside of teaching) the AHA also became more attentive to other job areas&mdashhighlighting &ldquoalternative careers&rdquo in both its newsletter and at its annual meeting.

This movement was given a more substantive focus in 1976. Under the direction of Robert Kelly, a program in &ldquopublic historical studies&rdquo was initiated at the University of California at Santa Barbara (intended to &ldquocreate a new kind of historical person: a public historian&rdquo). That same year, the AHA and four other groups established a National Coordinating Committee on the Promotion of Historical Studies and the Employment of Historians to &ldquoincrease the demand for professional historians, both in the private and public sectors at the local state and national levels.&rdquo 8

While these efforts helped to ameliorate the sense of crisis, the situation was only fully addressed by a realignment between the number of new PhDs and the number of academic jobs in the 1980s. Although the shape of the historical profession was subtly altered, the normative (and self-fulfilling?) idea that a history PhD is preparation for academic employment was also revived, sowing the seeds for the job crises of the 1990s and of these distressing times.

&mdashRobert Townsend is the AHA&rsquos assistant director for research and publications.

1. This essay is based on research and material in Robert B. Townsend, &ldquoPrecedents: The History Job Crisis of the 1970s,&rdquo Perspectives (April 1997): 9&ndash10 and Robert B. Townsend, &ldquoMaking History: Scholarship and Professionalization in the Discipline, 1880&ndash1940&rdquo (PhD dissertation, George Mason University, 2009).

2. Thomas D. Snyder, Sally A. Dillow, and Charlene M. Hoffman, Digest of Education Statistics, 2008 (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, 2009), Table 317. Available online at

3. Roger L. Geiger, &ldquoDemography and Curriculum: The Humanities in American Higher Education from the 1950s through the 1980s,&rdquo in The Humanities and the Dynamics of Inclusion since World War II, ed. David A. Hollinger (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 54&ndash68.

4. The previous year the Washington Post reported that &ldquomore than 2,000 young historians were competing for positions at 225 colleges, an increase of 1,000 job seekers since last year&rsquos meeting.&rdquo Kim Klein, &ldquoYoung Historians Find Jobs Scarce,&rdquo Washington Post, December 31, 1969, A3. It should be noted, however, that these numbers were not quite as grim as these reports suggest. It was the practice at that time to enter the market well before the dissertation was completed, and a significant number of searches were still conducted through back channels.

5. AHA Annual Report 1969, 130&ndash32.

6. Some critics of the modern languages noted a similar pattern in those disciplines, e.g., Richard Ohmann, &ldquoEnglish Departments and the Professional Ethos,&rdquo New Literary History 5 (spring 1974): 565&ndash93.

7. Henry Bausum and Myron Marty, &ldquoInnovation in Undergraduate History,&rdquo AHA Newsletter 12 (September 1974): 3.

8. The NCC, under its first director Arnita Jones, lobbied on behalf of history in Washington and provided a central clearinghouse for information about the emerging public history movement through a regular column in the AHA Newsletter.

Global steel production grew enormously in the 20th century from a mere 28 million tonnes at the beginning of the century to 781 million tons at the end. [1] Per-capita steel consumption in the US peaked in 1977, then fell by half before staging a modest recovery to levels well below the peak. [2]

World steel production in the 20th century Edit

Production of crude steel has risen at an astounding rate, reaching 1,691 m tonnes by 2017

During the 20th century, the consumption of steel increased at an average annual rate of 3.3%. In 1900, the United States was producing 37% of the world's steel, but with post war industrial development in Asia and centralised investment by China, by 2017 China alone accounted for 50%, with Europe (including the former Soviet Union) down to 24% and North America down to 6%.

For details of country-wise steel production see steel production by country.

Amongst the other newly steel-producing countries, in 2017 South Korea produces 71 million tonnes, nearly double Germany and Brazil 34 million tonnes all three countries little changed since 2011. Indian production in 2017 production is just over 100 million tonnes up substantially from 70 in 2011 – compared to only 1 million tonnes at the time of its independence in 1947. By 1991, when the economy was opened up steel production grew to around 14 million tonnes. Thereafter, it doubled in the next 10 years, and then it is doubling again, maybe over a slightly longer span.

The world steel industry flattened from 2007 to 2009 at 1,300 million tonnes, before rising again, due to worldwide recession starting in 2008, with its heavy cutbacks in construction, sharply lowered demand and prices falling 40%. Showing the impact of that plateau, in 2007 ThyssenKrupp spent $12 billion to build the two most modern mills in the world, situated in Alabama and Brazil. They lost $11 billion on the new plants, which sold steel below the cost of production. [ clarification needed ] Finally in 2013, the plants were sold at under $4 billion.

A modern steel plant employs very few people per tonne, compared to the past. In South Korea, Posco employs 29,648 people to produce 28 million tonnes.

During the period 1974 to 1999, the steel industry had drastically reduced employment all around the world. In the US, it was down from 521,000 to 153,000. In Japan, from 459,000 to 208,000 Germany from 232,000 to 78,000 UK from 197,000 to 31,000 Brazil from 118,000 to 59,000 South Africa from 100,000 to 54,000. South Korea already had a low figure. It was only 58,000 in 1999. The steel industry had reduced its employment around the world by more than 1,500,000 in 25 years.

History of Labor Turnover in the U.S.

Labor turnover measures the movement of workers in and out of employment with a particular firm. Consequently, concern with the issue and interest in measuring such movement only arose when working for an employer (rather than self-employment in craft or agricultural production) became the norm. The rise of large scale firms in the late nineteenth century and the decreasing importance (in percentage terms) of agricultural employment meant that a growing number of workers were employed by firms. It was only in this context that interest in measuring labor turnover and understanding its causes began.

Trends in Labor Turnover

Labor turnover is typically measured in terms of the separation rate (quits, layoffs, and discharges per 100 employees on the payroll). The aggregate data on turnover among U.S. workers is available from a series of studies focusing almost entirely on the manufacturing sector. These data show high rates of labor turnover (annual rates exceeding 100%) in the early decades of the twentieth century, substantial declines in the 1920s, significant fluctuations during the economic crisis of the 1930s and the boom of the World War II years, and a return to the low rates of the 1920s in the post-war era. (See Figure 1 and its notes.) Firm and state level data (from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) also indicate that labor turnover rates exceeding 100 were common to many industries.

Contemporaries expressed concern over the high rates of labor turnover in the early part of the century and conducted numerous studies to understand its causes and consequences. (See for example, Douglas 1918, Lescohier 1923, and Slichter 1921.) Some of these studies focused on the irregularity in labor demand which resulted in seasonal and cyclical layoffs. Others interpreted the high rates of labor turnover as an indication of worker dissatisfaction and labor relations problems. Many observers began to recognize that labor turnover was costly for the firm (in terms of increased hiring and training expenditures) and for the worker (in terms of irregularity of income flows).

Both the high rates of labor turnover in the early years of the twentieth century and the dramatic declines in the 1920s are closely linked with changes in the worker-initiated component of turnover rates. During the 1910s and 1920s, quits accounted (on average) for over seventy percent of all separations and the decline in annual separation rates from 123.4 in 1920 to 37.1 in 1928 was primarily driven be a decline in quit rates, from 100.9 to 25.8 per 100 employees.

Explanations of the Decline in Turnover in the 1920s

The aggregate decline in labor turnover in the 1920s appears to be the beginning of a long run trend. Numerous studies, seeking to identify why workers began quitting their jobs less frequently, have pointed to the role of altered employment relationships. (See, for example, Owen 1995b, Ozanne 1967, and Ross 1958.) The new practices of employers, categorized initially as welfare work and later as the development of internal labor markets, included a variety of policies aimed at strengthening the attachment between workers and firms. The most important of these policies were the establishment of personnel or employment departments, the offering of seniority-based compensation, and the provision of on-the-job training and internal promotion ladders. In the U.S., these changes in employment practices began at a few firms around the turn of the twentieth century, intensified during WWI and became more widespread in the 1920s. However, others have suggested that the changes in quit behavior in the 1920s were the result of immigration declines (due to newly implemented quotas) and slack labor markets (Goldin 2000, Jacoby 1985).

Even the motivation of firms’ implementation of the new practices is subject to debate. One argument focuses on how the shift from craft to mass production increased the importance of firm-specific skills and on-the-job training. Firms’ greater investment in training meant that it was more costly to have workers leave and provided the incentive for firms to lower turnover. However, others have provided evidence that job ladders and internal promotion were not always implemented to reward the increased worker productivity resulting from on-the-job training. Rather, these employment practices were sometimes attempts to appease workers and to prevent unionization. Labor economists have also noted that providing various forms of deferred compensation (pensions, wages which increase with seniority, etc.) can increase worker effort and reduce the costs of monitoring workers. Whether promotion ladders established within firms reflect an attempt to forestall unionization, a means of protecting firm investments in training by lowering turnover, or a method of ensuring worker effort is still open to debate, though the explanations are not necessarily mutually exclusive (Jacoby 1983, Lazear 1981, Owen 1995b, Sundstrum 1988, Stone 1974).

Subsequent Patterns of Labor Turnover

In the 1930s and 1940s the volatility in labor turnover increased and the relationships between the components of total separations shifted (Figure 1). The depressed labor markets of the 1930s meant that procyclical quit rates declined, but increased layoffs kept total separation rates relatively high, (on average 57 per 100 employees between 1930 and 1939). During the tight labor markets of the World War II years, turnover again reached rates exceeding 100%, with increases in quits acting as the primary determinant. Quits and total separations declined after the war, producing much lower and less volatile turnover rates between 1950 and 1970 (Figure 1).

Though the decline in labor turnover in the early part of the twentieth century was seen by many as a sign of improved labor-management relations, the low turnover rates of the post-WWII era led macroeconomists to begin to question the benefits of strong attachments between workers and firms. Specifically, there was concern that long-term employment contracts (either implicit or explicit) might generate wage rigidities which could result in increased unemployment and other labor market adjustment problems (Ross 1958). More recently, labor economists have wondered whether the movement toward long-term attachments between workers and firms is reversing itself. “Changes in Job Stability and Job Security” a special issue of the Journal of Labor Economics (October 1999) includes numerous analyses suggesting that job instability increased among some groups of workers (particularly those with longer tenure) amidst the restructuring activities of the 1990s.

Turnover Data and Methods of Analysis

The historical analyses of labor turnover have relied upon two types of data. The first type consists of firm-level data on turnover within a particular workplace or governmental collections (through firms) of data on the level of turnover within particular industries or geographic locales. If these turnover data are broken down into their components – quits, layoffs, and discharges – a quit rate model (such as the one developed by Parsons 1973) can be employed to analyze the worker-initiated component of turnover as it relates to job search behavior. These analyses (see for example, Owen 1995a) estimate quit rates as a function of variables reflecting labor demand conditions (e.g., unemployment and relative wages) and of labor supply variables reflecting the composition of the labor force (e.g., age/gender distributions and immigrant flows).

The second type of turnover data is generated using employment records or governmental surveys as the source for information specific to individual workers. Job histories can be created with these data and used to analyze the impact of individual characteristics such as age, education, and occupation, on labor turnover, firm tenure and occupational experience. Analysis of this type of data typically employs a “hazard” model that estimates the probability of a worker’s leaving a job as a function of individual worker characteristics. (See, for example, Carter and Savoca 1992, Maloney 1998, Whatley and Sedo 1998.)

Labor Turnover and Long Term Employment

Another measure of worker/firm attachment is tenure – the number of years a worker stays with a particular job or firm. While significant declines in labor turnover (such as those observed in the 1920s) will likely be reflected in rising average tenure with the firm, high rates of labor turnover do not imply that long tenure is not present among the workforce. If high turnover is concentrated among a subset of workers (the young or the unskilled), then high turnover can co-exist with the existence of life-time jobs for another subset (the skilled). For example, the high rates of labor turnover that were common until the mid-1920s co-existed with long term jobs for some workers. The evidence indicates that while long-term employment became more common in the twentieth century, it was not completely absent from nineteenth-century labor markets (Carter 1988, Carter and Savoca 1990, Hall 1982).

Notes on Turnover Data in Figure 1

The turnover data used to generate Figure 1 come from three separate sources: Brissenden and Frankel (1920) for the 1910-1918 data Berridge (1929) for the 1919-1929 data and U.S. Bureau of the Census (1972) for the 1930-1970 data. Several adjustments were necessary to present them in a single format. The Brissenden and Frankel study calculated the separate components of turnover (quits and layoffs) from only a subsample of their data. The subsample data were used to calculate the percentage of total separations accounted for by quits and layoffs and these percentages were applied to the total separations data from the full sample to estimate the quit and layoff components. The 1930-1970 data reported in Historical Statistics of the United States were collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and originally reported in Employment and Earning, U.S., 1909-1971. Unlike the earlier series, these data were originally reported as average monthly rates and have been converted into annualized figures by multiplying times 12.

In addition to the adjustments described above, there are four issues relating to the comparability of these data which should be noted. First, the turnover data for the 1919 to 1929 period are median rates, whereas the data from before and after that period were compiled as weighted averages of the rates of all firms surveyed. If larger firms have lower turnover rates (as Arthur Ross 1958 notes), medians will be higher than weighted averages. The data for the one year covered by both studies (1919) confirm this difference: the median turnover rates from Berridge (1920s data) exceed the weighted average turnover rates from Brissenden and Frankel (1910s data). Brissenden and Frankel suggested that the actual turnover of labor in manufacturing may have been much higher than their sample statistics suggest:

The establishments from which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has secured labor mobility figures have necessarily been the concerns which had the figures to give, that is to say, concerns which had given rather more attention than most firms to their force-maintenance problems. These firms reporting are chiefly concerns which had more or less centralized employment systems and were relatively more successful in the maintenance of a stable work force (1920, p. 40).

A similar underestimation bias continued with the BLS collection of data because the average firm size in the sample was larger than the average firm size in the whole population of manufacturing firms (U.S. Bureau of the Census, p.160), and larger firms tend to have lower turnover rates.

Second, the data for 1910-1918 (Brissenden and Frankel) includes workers in public utilities and mercantile establishments in addition to workers in manufacturing industries and is therefore not directly comparable to the later series on the turnover of manufacturing workers. However, these non-manufacturing workers had lower turnover rates than the manufacturing workers in both 1913/14 and 1917/18 (the two years for which Brissenden and Frankel present industry-level data). Thus, the decline in turnover of manufacturing workers from the 1910s to the 1920s may actually be underestimated.

Third, the turnover rates for 1910 to 1918 (Brissenden and Frankel) were originally calculated per labor hour. The number of employees was estimated at one worker per 3,000 labor hours – the number of hours in a typical work year. This conversion generates the number of full-year workers, not allowing for any procyclicality of labor hours. If labor hours are procyclical, this calculation overstates (understates) the number of workers during an upswing (downswing), thus dampening the response of turnover rates to economic cycles.

Fourth, total separations are broken down into quits, layoffs, discharges and other (including military enlistment, death and retirement). Prior to 1940, the “other” separations were included in quits.

  • There were 3.9 million retirees.
  • 55% of people over 55 were retired, up from 53% in 2016-17.
  • Average retirement age (of all retirees) was 55.4 years.
  • Half a million people intend to retire within 5 years.
  • Average age people intend to retire is 65.5 years.
  • Pension was the main income source for most retirees.

Employment in renewable energy activities reports on full time equivalent employment by state and territory and type of renewable energy

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