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Pre-1924 U.S. Economic History - Term Paper Example

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Name Macro & Micro Economics 4 December 2013 The 19th Century Labor Market During the 19th century, America experienced positive economic growth. The national product grew at a rate of 4 percent each year. However, this could not be attributed to changes in technology, but rather growth in factor supplies…
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Pre-1924 U.S. Economic History
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Download file to see previous pages In 1800, a quarter of the American population was in the labor force. Between 1800 and 1900, the labor force increased at an annual rate of approximately 3 percent. This growth was unprecedented although the civil war slowed it down. The arrival of immigrants in America affected the growth of the nineteenth century labor force. Majority of the immigrants came from East and South Europe. The composition of the work force included more males than females. However, males below the age of fifteen did not work since they needed to attend schools at the time. Those above the age of fifteen were however the largest percentage in the labor force. Females also accounted for a proportion of the labor force although they were not as many. However, their rate of participation kept increasing throughout the century. Majority of these women were single and young, since most of the married ones stayed at home. Slaves also accounted for the overall amount of those in the labor force. At the close of the civil war, slavery was abolished and this is among the reasons why there was a decrease in the overall labor force. Since majority of black women and children had forcefully worked as slaves, when slavery was declared illegal, they ceased to work. The proportion of men however remained the same as most of them continued to work to sustain their families. It was during this time that craft workers in the workshops were replaced by the large industrial working class people. At the end of the 19th century and the start of the Second World War, the labor market entered in a phase of labor homogenization. This meant that the market was divided as either primary or secondary labor market. The primary labor market was disproportionately composed of highly skilled or the well-educated white male. In this category, the employment was secure, the earnings were high, and the edging benefits were generous. The secondary labor market was disproportionately composed of a large number of women, racial minorities, Africans, and Hispanics. These people were unskilled and lacked education. They worked in small enterprises that had low investments, employment was insecure, the earnings were low, and edging benefits were insufficient. In the 19th century, most of the American businesses were categorized as a monopoly. As other businesses continued to emerge, others such as the petroleum, sugar, and tobacco industries took control of the labor market. Due to the monopoly, many firms faced competition from their competitors, and this resulted to lowing of prices and passing of the saving along to the consumer in order to increase sales and make profits. During this period, there was pressure from the competitors, and there was a threat of reduced profits that motivated the US companies to reduce prices and maintain high levels of production. During this era, there was a lot of wasted land that needed to be exploited, yet wealth per capita was increasing at a high rate in Europe, and all available land was used. The neo-classists explained that there was equilibrium growth in terms of accumulated capital. This had put a lot of emphasis on savings as the main source of growth. Walrasian stated that, the net saving by the wealth-holders was shammed to be exactly balanced by net investment in additional production capacity. During the 19th century, industrial revolutions occurred; these included the invention of long distance transport, the steam engine, and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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