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Unemployment among Professional Workers


A RECENT report of the International Labour Office indicates that, during the last two years, unemployment among professional workers has continued to increase, and that there is scarcely a country or a profession which has not been acutely affected. In Poland, estimates in March 1935 of the director of the Vocational Re-training Institute for Professional Workers showed that about 170,000 out of 570,000 professional workers in that country (including salaried employees) were without employment. In Switzerland at the beginning of 1935, the number of technical workers (engineers, chemists, etc.) registered with the employment offices was 6,000, while the number of non-registered unemployed was estimated to be at least 1,000; the total, 7,000, represents more than 30 per cent of the professional workers in Switzerland. Between 1913 and 1932 the increase in the number of students, which varied from 30 to 3 per cent, greatly exceeded the increase in the population of the world. Thus in Germany and in the United States of America, the number of inhabitants per student fell in that period from 866 to 506 and 237 to 127, respectively. In Holland, the ratio similarly fell from 1,229 to 636. It is considered that in Germany 10,000 university graduates are needed each year to fill vacant posts, but between 1925 and 1933, the average number of persons leaving the universities was 25,000 a year. From these figures, it is easy to see why the estimated number of unemployed university graduates in Germany was so high as 50,000 in 1933.

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Unemployment among Professional Workers. Nature 137, 101 (1936).

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