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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
L. B. Schwellenbach, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
A. F. Hinrichs, A ctin g Comm issioner

Employment Situation in
Certain Foreign Countries

B ulletin T^o. 864

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U . S. Governm ent Printing Office




Washington 25, D . C. -

Price 10 cents




Letter o f Transmittal
U

n it e d

States D
B

epartm ent

ureau

of

L

op

abor

L

abor

,

S t a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. C.} M ay 29, 1946.
T

he

Secretary

op

L

abor

:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on the employment
situation in foreign countries. Part 1 gives details for British coun­
tries, the U. S. S. R., Sweden, and Switzerland and part 2 for liberated
and enemy countries. A subsequent report, covering the employment
situation in Latin America, appeared in the May issue of the Monthly
Labor Review. This report was prepared under the direction of Faith
M. Williams by Margaret H. Schoenfeld of the Bureau's Publications
Staff and by members of the Bureau's Staff onForeign Labor Conditions.
A. F. H i n r i c h s , Acting Commissioner.
H o n . L. B. S c h w e l l e n b a c h ,
Secretary of Labor.




(h i )

Contents
Page

Summary___________ _____________________________________ ______ — ——
Trend of employment_____________________________________________
Part 1.— British countries, the U.S.S.R., Sweden and Switzerland_______
Introduction of labor controls______________________________________
Registration of workers________________________________________
Measures relating to essential work____________________________
Disposition of labor force_____________________________________________
Great Britain____________________________________________________
Australia________________________________________________________
Canada_________________________________________________________
New Zealand____________________________________________________
Sweden__________________________________________________________
Switzerland______________________________________________________
Relaxation of controls , and problems of transition_____________________
Long-term outlook___________________________________________________
Part 2.— Liberated and enemy countries___________________________________
Liberated and enemy Europe_________________________________________
Prewar trend of employment_____________________________________
Introduction of labor controls____________________________________
Enemy countries and satellites_______________________________
Invaded countries___________________________________________
Period of extended German manpower control, 1942-44___________
Reorganization of labor-market controls_____________________
Utilization of foreign labor---------------------------------------------------Final stages of mobilization__________________________________
Opposition of German controls____________________________
Wartime disposition of labor force-----------------------------------------------Germany and occupied Europe____________________________
The situation in 1945--------------------------------------------------------------Western countries___________________________________________
Other invaded countries_____________________________________
Enemy countries and satellites____________________________
Postwar problems and plans----------------------------------------------------Asiatic countries___________________________________________________
Asiatic mainland________________________________________________
Japan___________________________________________________________
Curtailment of British employment controls-----------------------------------------------




(IV)

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43

B ulletin 7s[o. 864 o f the
U n ited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the M onthly L abor R eview , January and February 1946, with later data]

Employment Situation in Certain Foreign Countries1
Summ ary
Four months afterVJ-day, unemployment was lower than might have
been anticipated in the United Nations and neutral countries where
industrial production was maintained at a high level through the
war, and in some liberated areas, such as Belgium, France, and
Norway. However, low unemployment in these countries does not
necessarily mean continuance of the high level of employment main­
tained up to the defeat of the Axis powers. An indeterminate propor­
tion of war workers—students, housewives, and retired persons—
withdrew from the labor market; some of the released veterans and
civilians were not yet actively seeking work; others released from
imprisonment or forced labor were temporarily incapacitated for
seeking employment. In Denmark, unemployment was partially
avoided by work sharing. In Germany, Italy, and Japan, the dis­
organization resulting from defeat and the ravages of war has caused
heavy unemployment.
Wartime manpower controls tend to be relaxed as labor scarcity
lessens and unemployment reappears, but in certain fields labor short­
ages continue. Nations in which the physical damage from warfare
was either small or nonexistent have been able to abandon controls
more rapidly than those that were bombed and fought over and in
those where it has been considered expedient to delay the return of
men in the armed forces to civilian life.
Reports from Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the
Soviet Union, Sweden, and Switzerland show that employment on
reconstruction and reconversion projects and in the production of
consumer goods and, in some of these countries, retention of men in
the armed forces have kept the number of unemployed to a small pro­
portion of those who are able and willing to work, and far below pre­
war levels. However, statistics on the subject thus far received in the
United States show some increases in unemployment recently. All
these countries have recognized the responsibility of the government
for preventing unemployment and have developed plans of quite
different types for achieving that end.
National and local plans for resumption of economic activity have
been made in Italy, but unemployment has recently been estimated
at 1 to 2 million and proposals for controlled and protected emigra­
tion were being discussed. The situation in the Balkans and eastern
Europe is obscure, but it appears that there are large numbers of
unemployed. In France and Belgium, however, in spite of the prob­
lem involved in rehabilitating great numbers of displaced persons,i
i Materials for this report were taken from official publications and reports from members of the
United States Foreign Service.




(i)

2
deportees, and prisoners of war, recorded unemployment had been
reduced to a minimum by the autumn of 1945, and there was reported
to be need of immigrant labor (for coal mining, building construction,
etc.). No record is available of the numbers who were temporarily out
of the labor market because of the enfeebled condition in which they
returned to France, because of receipt of cash benefits or for other
reasons. In both the Netherlands and Finland, proposed Government
measures for increasing the number of applicants for jobs indicate a
lack of work incentives. A common Nordic labor market was pro­
posed by the Social Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,
and Sweden at a conference held in September 1945.
In western Germany, industry is practically at a standstill. In the
United States Zone, factories were operating at about 12 percent of
available capacity in December. The number of men and women
seeking jobs at employment offices was relatively small for a
variety of reasons, among them the diversion of urban labor to farms,
and the weakening of incentives because of disorganization and
extreme shortages of anything that wages could buy. Some workers
have been busy at repair of dwellings or raising food in gardens. The
available labor surpluses, consisting mainly of women, white-collar
workers, the old, and the physically handicapped, could not satisfy
the demands for skilled or heavy manual labor which were acute in
coal mining, building, and transportation. Some prisoners of war have
been released to meet these demands. Responsibility for organizing
unemployment relief projects rests, not with Military Government,
but with the German civilian authorities which are at present func­
tioning only on a local and provincial level.
In Japan, it was estimated in November that there were 4,000,000
unemployed. It is difficult to estimate accurately the existing amount
of unemployment or the size of the labor force of Japan, because the
repatriation of military and civilian Japanese from Korea, Man­
churia, and other parts of the Far East is still in process. The Supreme
Allied Commander has given the Japanese Government the responsi­
bility for working out measures for the relief of unemployment and
the development of employment in peaceful civilian industries within
the general framework of the economic disarmament program.
In Latin America, reports indicate that current demands for food,
petroleum products, and minerals have thus far combined to maintain
employment at approximately wartime levels, but difficulties in
obtaining needed machinery and machine tools have prevented the
development of employment in certain new industries which are
planned for the immediate postwar period.
Trend o f Em ploym ent

National and international postwar policy is being directed toward
achieving a high and stable level of employment, commonly called
“ full employment.” If this goal is to be realized, the knowledge of the
location, occupation, and size of the labor force, that was a wartime




necessity, must be continued into the peace to provide exact knowl­
edge on which to determine manpower budgets.
Except for a few countries that have thus far issued detailed statis­
tics of the distribution of their labor forces in wartime, the measure­
ment of manpower utilization must be based on statistical series
maintained before 1939 which show trend but not total volume of
employment.
Data on employment and unemployment in nine countries for the
period 1935-45 are shown in table 1 as "far as they are available.2
The coverage of the unemployment statistics varies considerably.
The membership of the trade-unions supplying unemployment statis­
tics was as follows:
Members

Australia (1940)__________________
Canada (1940-44)........... ............
Denmark (1945)__________________
Sweden (1945)______ ______ ______

470, 000
450,000
567,000
786,000

For Great Britain, New Zealand, and Norway, the unemployment
statistics are related to comprehensive unemployment-insurance
systems. The series for Great Britain and Norway as given here do
not cover agriculture, forestry, fishing, and domestic service. The
Swiss figures are based on a Cantonal unemployment system which is
compulsory for most factory workers and voluntary for others. The
Irish unemployment-insurance system is comprehensive, but because
of peculiarities in the operation of the law, only the series for urban
unemployment is comparable from month to month.
The statistics indicate a gradual decrease in unemployment from
1935 to about the spring and summer of 1938, when there was a slight
increase in unemployment. The timing of this increase varied some­
what from country to country, but in general lasted until the follow­
ing year. After allowances for seasonal fluctuations, it is seen that
from the middle of 1939 a steady and marked decline in unemploy­
ment took place which continued through the first months of 1945.
Immediately following VE-day and VJ-day, Denmark, Great Britain,
Norway, and Canada experienced some increase in unemployment.
This trend continued after VJ-day in Great Britain and Canada, but
no marked unemployment has as yet been reported from these nine
countries.
The employment series, in the three countries for which they are
available, indicate that the peak in employment was reached rather
early in the war— September 1941 in Norway, December 1943 in
Canada, and March 1943 in Australia. The apparent early peak
in Norway and later drop may be due to the fact that many people
tended to shun the employment offices in order to avoid compulsory
labor instituted by the Germans.
2 Noncontiouous series or those without recent data are available for a much larger number of countries,
such as Belgium, France, Germany, and Japan, but have not been reprinted here. These series are treated
in the sections dealing specifically with the particular countries.




4
T able

1.—Statistics of Employment and Unemployment in Nine Foreign Countries•
1935-45 «
Australia

Canada

Denmark

Great Britain

Trade-union
unemploy­
ment fund,
unemployed

Unemployed regis­
tered at employ­
ment offices

W
i

Period

and
salary Trade-union­
earners
ists unem­
in fac­
ployed
tory
pay­
ment,
index
(1928-29 Num­
ber
- 100)

1935: March
June............
SeptemberDecember1936: March.
June............
SeptemberDecember—
1937: March_____
June............
SeptemberDecember—
1938: March_____
June............
September.
December—
1939: March_____
June............
September.
December—
1940: March_____
June............
September.
December—
1941: March_____
June............
September.
December—
1942: March_____
June............
September.
December—
1943: March.
June........ .
September.
December—
1944: March
June............
September.
December..
1945: January___
February—
March____
April— - . M ay______
June___ _
_
July_______
August____
September.
October___
NovemberDecember..

107

111

113

111

113
115
119

120
123
127
128
125
124
124
128
125
127
133
134
133
140
146
151
154
158
163
165
166
168
171
173
173
173
173
173
170
•169
167
167
167
167
166
166
166
166
166
161
158
158

80,548
77,177
69,575
59,992
59,621
57,001
52,482
46,863
44,004
43,584
42,145
37,558
36,751
39,464
42.672
41,667
45,545
45,183
48,888
44,253
38,307
49,775
36.892
31,491
27,289
18, 595
17,541
16,628
10.767
10,296
9,603
8,350

8,021

Employmen
industrial1

Per­ Index
(1926= Number
cent
100)
18.6
17.8
15.9
13.7
13.4

12.8
12.0
10.7
9.9
9.7
9.3

8.2
8.0
8.6

9.2
8.9
9.6
9.5

10.2
9.3
7.9
10.5
7.4

6.2
5.3
3.6
3.2
2.9

1.8
1.7

1.6

1.3

1.2
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.0

7,423
7,356
7,381
6,987
9,433
7,947
7,925

1.2
1.2

7,616

1.1

7,795

1.1

7,769

1.2

1.4

1.2

96.4
97.6
102.7
104.6
98.9

102.0
107.1

110.1
102.8
114.3
123.2

121.6
107.8
111.9
115.1
114.0
106.5
113.1
119.6
122.7
113.5
120.9
131.6
139.1
135.3
152.9
162.7
168.8
165.1
171.7
179.3
186.5
181.5
181.2
186.2
190.6
181.7
180.5
185.5
185.7
180.4
178.9
178.2
176.9
175.5
175.3
175.4
.175.0
172.8
168.7
171. 2
172.9

902,138
915,746
964,977
985,481
933,221
963,401
1,015,639
1,044,411
976,535
1,088,652
1,174,296
1,159,759
1,029,001
1,072,123
1,104,865
1,097,953
1,031,679
1,100,098
1,166,242
1,198,541
1,109.526
1,184,283
1,290,530
1,364,601
1,344,138
1,527,920
1,627, 645
1,688,298
1,651,757
1,718,329
1,795,411
1,867,597
1,818,942
1,818,240
1,870,836
1,916, 6 8
8
1.831,310
1,821,490
1,882,790
1,887,752
1,834,450
1,820,842
1,813,991
1,803,015
1,789,970
1,790,072
1,792,125
1,787,952
1,764,621
1,724,875
1,750,740
1,768,635

Per­
cent of
tradeunionists
unem­
ployed

Num­
ber

16.7
15.4
13.0
14.6
14.5
13.9
10.9
14.3
12.9
10.4
7.7
13.0

12.8

13.5
10.4
16.2
15.7

11.6
9.1
11.4

10.8
7.6
4.4
7.4

6.6

4.1
2.7
5.2
4.5
2.5

.8
1.2
1.3

.6

.3

.8

.9
.3
.3

.6

Per­
cent

84,342
48,855
57,923
124,612

22.3

46,138
53,181
127,478
122,687
60,199
72,387
153,384
99,658
75,679
77,373
147,152
108,316
53,341
60,805
159,259
152,495
84,636
89,936
179,410
140,014
<20,251
35.081
70,375
95,737
17,402
24,349
47, 341
36,093
13,771
24,204
59,998
29,484
10,532
18,858
47.463
57,738

12.6

14.9
31.7
26.2
11.3
12.9
30.3
28.6
13.9
16.5
34.6
21.9
16.6
16.7
31.4

22.8
11.1
12.5
32.2
30.6
16.9
17.8
35.6
26.8
3.8

6.6

13.1

17.8
3.2
4.6

8.8
6.6
2.5
4.4

10.8
1.9
3.4
8.4
10.3

11.6

.5
1.4
3.0

51,388
52,851
38,845
33.591
35,659
38,058
38,643
40,277
64,485

7.7
9.1
9.4
6.9
5.9
6.3

Total

Wholly
unem­
ployed

2,153,870

1,746,277
1,555,184
1,958,610 1,576,425
1,868,565 1,585,990
1,881,531 1,560,574
1,702,676 1,326,057
1,624,339 1,322,934
1,628,719 1,365,035
1,601,201 1,359,556
1,356.598 1,088.866
1,339,204 1,090.967
1,665,407 1,283,604
1,748,981 1,350,121
1,802,912 1,268,566
1,798,618 1,324,151
1,831,372 1,474,019
1,726,929 1,429,085
1,349,579 1,098,793
1,330,928 •1,103,829
1,361,525 •1,218,460
1,121,213
965,667
766,835
648,314
* 829,846
»613,671
705,279
541,900
457,918
364,308
301,939
243,656
230,621
196,594
188.354
165,224
/ «163,444
«149,328
\« 135,762
• 121,646
7 106,170
• 99,240
104,108
98,662
81,943
vO ,
U
•76,769
•73,258
•71,129
•73,936
•72,253
•79,037
•76,674
74,690
73,092
63,197
61,905
81,070
79,235

2, 000,110

98,720

95.273

90,479

88,969

113,468

111,825

16.7
0
6.8

7.0

11.1

245,289
277,431
299,228

•Since publication in Monthly Labor Review this table has been brought up to date and, in the case
o f Sweden, revised.
• Includes manufacturing, logging, mining, construction and maintenance, services, and trade.
* Includes unemployed casual labor.
» Great Britain, after July 1940, excluded from “ wholly unemployed” men at Government training centers.
* Exdudingutt8^ p ^1111^ 941 ^ thereafter exclude unemployables and those unemployed less than 7 days.
•Including unemployables.*
*
7British figures for this and all following months exclude unemployables.
•Beginning with 1943 British unemployment figures have been published quarterly, for January, April,
Jffiy» and October; in this table the British figure for April has been used for March, July for June, etc.
• For this and all following months the Australian employment index is provisional.
* Provisional figure.




5
T able 1.—Statistics of Employment and Unemployment in Nine Foreign Countries,
i 935-45—Continued

Period

Ireland:
New
Unem­ Zealand:
ployed
Unem­
registered ployed
at urban insured
employ­
in re­
ment
ceipt of
offices
benefits

Norway: Insured
persons—

Sweden: Tradeunionists
unemployed

Wholly
unemployed

Partially
unemployed

Num­
ber

Per­
cent

Num­
ber

18.5
11.3
10.9
21.3
16.5
9.3
8.7
17.5

72,981
45,445
51,045
94.940
85,082
55,826
60,629
78,864

13.4
8.3
9.2
17.0
15.6
11.0
14.3

36, 495
29.865
30.861
37,217
37,203
29,143
28,336
18,176

6.7
5.4
5.6
6.7
6.7
5.3
5.1
3.3

80,221
43,468
38,941
102,676
79,313
52,171
46,586
110,837

14.5
7.7
6.8
17.8
13.0
8.5
7.5
17.8

66.985
34,082
36,404
71,613
52,007
34,005
34,264
74,689

12.7
6.4
6.8
13.4
9.6
6.3
6.3
13.7

14,488
10,217
11,194
18,877
25,074
25,580
23,502
26,178

2.7
1.9
2.1
3.5
4.7
4.7
4.3
4.8

33,194
20,802
22,672
29,358
29,100
37,200
22,800
511,544 « 21,800

79,861
38.619
44,629
107,890
113,632
62,962
71,006
115,521

11.7
5.6
6.3
15.2
15.8
8.7
9.8
16.1

56,518
23,947
22,912
33,586
17,839
8.607
11,454
28,095

10.4
4.4
4.2
6.2
3.3
1.6
2.2
5.3

21,069
14,717
15,222
12,425
9,603
10,534
14,066
12,864

3.9
2.7
2.8
2.3
1.8
2.0
2.7
2.4

511,371 « 42,514
573,809
8,446
576,582
5,650
546,610
10,374
536,416
13,879
558,930
1,424
561,411
888
534,385
1,054

114,280
69,567
55,000
97,000
83,872
36,797
32,779
78,894

15.1
9.3
7.3
13.0
11.0
4.9
4.3
10.3

10,604
6,474
6.002
18,806
12,163
4,863
5,126
15,208

2.0
1.2
1.1
3.6
2.3
.9
1.0
2.9

8,345
7,862
8,183
14,877
12,592
8,227
8,374
14,606

1.6
1.5
1.6
2.8
2.4
1.6
1.6
2.8

630
198
240
321
308
86
183
1 600
3

49,538
34,075
27,151
74,207
56,895
25,457
22,805
57,980

6.4
4.4
3.5
9.6
7.2
3.2
2.9
7.2

7,200
4,837
3,932
14, 527
11. 624
3,365

7,943
7,376
7,017
11,316
11,017
6,973

18,703

1.4
1.0
.8
2.8
2.2
.6
.7
3.6

10,789

1.5
1.5
1.4
2.2
2.1
1.3
1.5
2.0

1,172
1,257
1,000
735
8,628
14,420
10,362
10,278
11,456
14,480
16,592

52,446
50,161
48,349
37,034
30,586
28,040
25,983
24,789
24,026
25,552
32,314
54,915

6.5
6.2
5.9
4.5
3.8
3.5
3.2
3.1
3.0
3.2
3.9
6.7

7,155
4,515
3,387
3,389
3,175
3,886
4,179
4,513

5.3
3.2
1.3
.8
.6
.6
.6
.7
.8
.8

8,321
6,454
4,742
4,364
3,807
3,735
2,716
2,448

1.8
1.7
1.6
1.2
.9
.8
.7
.7
.5
.5

Wholly
unem­
ployed

Per­
Number cent

1 41,631
1

September.
December..

45,160
42'590
42)490
42,190
43,630
37,500
35)500
35)120

29,757
32,548
40,950
39,999
26 139
28,122
36,260

91,116
54,934
53,967
104,784
83,912
47,187
45,251
92,683

1937: March.........
June........ .
September.
December..
1938: March
June______
September .
December..

37,180
36,050
38,070
39,690
42,110
38)890
38,780
43)880

32,951
22,028
25,431
33, 906
34,104
22,938
26,105
34,873

1939: March.

September.
December..

44,910
41,020
44,080
46,750
49,570
42,310
42,760
41,890

7,036
6,805
5,042
4,053
6,048
4,286
2,405

1941: March.........
June............
September.
December..
1942: March.. . . .
June............
September.
December-

46,810
41,370
41,490
40.310
44,020
41,090
41,490
41,180

1,815
2,391
2,094
1,234
841
848
803
549

1943: March_____
June............
September.
December1944: March____
June............
September.
December-

38,400
35,720
36,090
35,860
33,890
33,830
32, 790
37,330

549,098
373
547,935
390
540,289
445
527,539
322
531.799
266
533,308
288
521,811
398
3
368 1 494,732

1945: January___
February. _
March........
April--------M ay______
June______
July_______
August.......
Sepiember.
October___
November.
December..

34,280
34,040
32,000
31,300
31,320
30,510
30,650
30,280
29,847
31,075

315 1 480,855
0
222
481,344
299
479,766
471,875
193
186
451,575
242
436, 335
1 254
0
438,000
442,763
10 270
i«297
437,026
10377 448,452
458,758

1935: March_____

June

September.
December..
1936: March.........

.Tnrift

June

September.
December..

1940: March

June

Switzerland: Insured
persons—

Em­
ployed

h

(12)

10.1

(12)

Per­
cent

1 Provisional figure.
0
1 Norwegian figures for 1935 through 1940 are for registered unemployed; figures for 1941 and thereafter
1
are as indicated in column heading above.
1 No data.
3
1 Estimates based on September 1944 data; communications with northern Norway were severed in that
3
month.
MFigures for 1945 exclude northern Norway.

687642°—46----2




6
Part 1.— British Countries, U. S. S. R ., Sweden, and Switzerland
Foreign countries with a high level of industrial production through­
out World War II, which were able to proceed immediately to recon­
version when war ceased in 1945, include five United Nations (Great
Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Soviet Union) and
two western neutrals (Sweden and Switzerland). Although the em­
ployment outlook differed greatly among these nations in 1939, as the
war progressed, manpower resources were strained in all seven in the
maintenance of relatively large numbers of men under arms and in
the production of war or other goods in quantity. Great Britain and
the Soviet Union were the only belligerents in this group that were in
the original theater of war and seriously damaged by enemy attack.
Britain also had a fairly small population and the authorities realized
early that the combination of staffing the military forces and furnishing
manpower for industry would be a serious problem. During the
early stages of the war. Australia’s effort was concentrated on indus­
trial development to build up productive resources, a relatively small
proportion of total manpower being diverted to the armed forces.
Canada’s immediate problem was to absorb some 400,000 unemployed
and to supply food and munitions to other allied nations. Before the
attack on Pearl Harbor, New Zealand was able to send 86,000 men
overseas, without reducing industrial output, and actually raised
production in nonluxury lines by absorbing the few unemployed, in­
creasing individual effort, and other means. The Soviet Union had
achieved full employment and was developing its industry farther
from the European borders and nearer its sources of supply. The
two neutrals, Sweden and Switzerland, had practically full employ­
ment when hostilities commenced, but prepared for the possibility of
unemployment.
Introduction o f Labor Controls

The timing in the progressive tightening of labor controls naturally
corresponds roughly with the periods when dangers of war became
acute in the different areas. All of these countries except the Soviet
Union gave their Governments general powers over labor in 1939; in
1940, the fall of France and the Low Countries led to a broadening of
compulsory powers over labor. In British countries this action was
authorized under amendments, in May and June, to the emergency
legislation of 1939; these authorized the Governments to require
citizens to place themselves, their services, and their property at the
disposal of the respective nations when this appeared necessary for
the public safety and national defense. Sweden did not change her
general control legislation in 1940 but was obliged to take other steps
to facilitate the best use of labor, owing to the adverse effect on her
foreign trade resulting from the blockade. In Switzerland, the com­
pulsion on labor to perform urgently needed work, covering males 16 to
65 years of age and females 16 to 60 years of age, with exceptions, was
increased by order of May 17, 1940, making the compulsory powers
more specific. In the Soviet Union the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet used its decree-making constitutional powers whenever the
occasion called for defense measures.




7
R E G IST R A TIO N OF W O R K E R S

To exercise the powers thus granted (later extended under the
different national orders and regulations), a knowledge of the available
labor force was required. This was obtained by means of national
registrations. Great Britain began in 1939 by registering males
between the ages of 18 and 41 years for military service, and gradually
covered the work force of both sexes in registrations under different
regulations. Australia carried out a registration early in 1942 cover­
ing individuals over 16 years of age (later reduced to 14 years) and
attributed the success of the registration program to (1) the fact
that the returns were to be the basis for the issuance of identity cards
and for civilian rationing, (2) the desire to cooperate, in view of
the possibility of invasion, and (3) the growing consciousness of the
need for information. The Canadian registration in 1940 covered
every person 16 years of age and over. Registration in New Zealand
was carried out by age classes as in Britain. By law of December 30,
1939, the Government of Sweden was empowered to register persons
for compulsory labor service, but this power was utilized only under
statute of November 1942 to mobilize male subjects born in 1923 for
work in the forests and peat bogs. A decree of September 1942,
effective on November 1, 1942, required labor-recruiting offices in
Switzerland to maintain a register of persons liable for compulsory
labor service and of those unemployed or not regularly employed.
M E A SU R E S R E L A T IN G TO E S S E N T IA L W O R K

Australia and Great Britain issued lists of so-called “ reserved occu­
pations” from which men meeting the occupational and age require­
ments might not be taken for military duty. During the first 2 years
of the war, this was the only labor control of significance in Australia.
Great Britain’s schedule was used as a basis for deferring men until
January 1942, when it was virtually abolished and deferment was
granted only if the job itself was essential and the worker was irre­
placeable. New Zealand apparently also used such a list in author­
izing deferment but without publishing it (as in the foregoing coun­
tries) and without blanket reservations for any industry, service, or
occupation.
Once Britain’s law of mid-1940 authorizing increased manpower
control was on the statute books, it was implemented immediately.
The widely discussed regulation 58A was adopted, which empowered
the Minister of Labor and National Service to direct any person of
any age in the United Kingdom (not only in Great Britain) to perform
services of which the Minister deemed the individual capable. In the
same period, the Undertakings (Restriction on Engagement) Order
was promulgated, providing for the engagement of workers in certain
vital industries through employment offices.
Another turning point in Great Britain was reached after March 6,
1941, with the adoption of the Essential Work (General Provisions)
Order under which a series of essential-work orders was issued for
different industries. Regardless of age, persons employed in an indus­
try or enterprise which was declared to be essential were forbidden to
leave their employment and might not be dismissed, except for serious
cause, without the permission of the local representative of the Minis­
ter of Labor. As the war progressed, 7% million persons in Great



8
Britain were subject to the restrictions of the essential-work orders.
All of these basic control measures were in force before the attack on
Pearl Harbor. They w ere later supplemented by such orders as those
requiring that women between certain ages should be employed only
through employment offices (Employment of Women (Control of
Engagement) Order of January 1942) and requiring employers to
report the termination of employment of all males 18 to 64 years old
and females 18 to 59 to employment offices (Control of Employment
(Notice of Termination of Employment) Order of 1943).
It was late in 1941 before Australia acted to stop labor pirating,
which was assuming serious proportions. Regulation 5 of the Na­
tional Security (Manpower) Regulations authorized the Government
to declare, by order, that any industry or section of an industry, or
any enterprise, or part thereof, was “ protected.” In a protected
employment, the employer waived his right to dismiss an employee
except for serious misconduct and the employee might not resign with­
out written permission from the Director General of Manpower. The
next measure (following the Pearl Harbor attack) was to forbid em­
ployers to seek to engage or to engage male labor except through a
national service officer unless a permit had been issued. The regula­
tion (No. 13, Statutory Rules 1942, No. 34, January 31, 1942) did
not apply to munitions employers or those carrying on protected
work.3
Direction into employment was confined to unemployed registrants
until January 29, 1943, when employed persons were also brought
under control. Between that date and July 31, 1944, directions were
authorized in 9,629 cases, representing about 1 percent of the number
of placements; other workers transferred voluntarily.
In Canada, competition for labor by employers led the Government
to issue an order on November 7, 1940 (P. C. 6286), prohibiting em­
ployers from enticing workers by advertisement and other means.
However, important extension of manpower controls did not start
until 1942, following the establishment of the National Employment
Service in the previous year. On June 12, 1942, the Control of
Employment Regulations specified that the hiring of both males and
females should be done through employment offices. By a regula­
tion of September 1942, workers were required to give 7 days’ notice
of intention to quit their employment, and the same restriction was
placed on employers who wished to dismiss workers. A survey was
made in order to assign priority ratings to different companies (rating
them very high, high, loW, or no priority) and on January 19, 1943
(P. C. 246), the compulsory transfer of labor was authorized. A series
of compulsory transfer orders followed, providing for the removal of
workers to essential jobs. Up to August 31,1944, a check of 170,000
men had disclosed that approximately 90 percent were already in
essential work and 10 percent could be transferred. The manpower
policy was rounded out on September 20, 1943 (P. C. 6625), when
workers employed in industries of high essentiality were “ frozen” on
their jobs. This measure had a broad coverage, as about a fourth of
the workers 14 years of age and over were employed in high-priority
classes on January 30, 1943.
In New Zealand, wartime control of industrial workers followed
Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Starting in January 1942, the*
* Coverage was later extended to female workers under 45.




9
Industrial Manpower Emergency Kegulations provided that in indus­
tries and enterprises declared to be essential, workers might not leave
their employment without a district manpower officer’s consent.
Employers were required to obtain consent for the termination of a
worker’s employment. By March 31, 1944, it was estimated that
some 255,000 workers were engaged in essential industries. The
object of the declaration of essentiality was twofold—to hold those
workers already employed and to prepare for the compulsory direc­
tion of others into essential work, as required by the emergency
regulations. Up to March 31, 1945, direction of 168,612 persons into
employment was authorized. The Employment Restriction Order
completed the main controls, by prescribing that, before a worker
might be employed in any important urban area, consent must be
obtained from the appropriate district manpower officer.
On June 26, 1940, a year before the German attack, Soviet workers
were forbidden to quit their jobs without permission from their em­
ployers. On October 19, 1940, skilled and technical workers were
made subject to compulsory transfer to any part of the country. B y
the decree of December 26, 1941, all war workers were “ frozen” in
their jobs. It was not until 1942 that the civilian population was
mobilized for war work; the decree of February 13 created a committee
for the registration and distribution of able-bodied persons living in
cities but not working in State enterprises. Those affected were men
16 to 55 years of age, and women 16 to 45 (later changed to 50). The
decree of April 13,1942, similarly made all able-bodied city and village
residents, from ages 14 to 55 for males and 14 to 50 for females,
subject to draft for urgent agricultural seasonal work.
On May 7, 1940, the Swedish employment offices were placed under
State control, to facilitate transfer of workers. In November 1942
(Statute No. 878) all male Swedish subjects born in 1923 were mobi­
lized to work in the forests or peat bogs, as the fuel shortage was
critical. This statute was repealed effective February 1, 1944, and
thereafter only voluntary labor was used in these pursuits. In De­
cember 1943, the State Labor Market Commission provided for relief
work on road building in certain Provinces in which the loss of export
markets for forest products had caused unemployment.
Following the adoption of general compulsory powers in the early
war period, the Swiss Government found it necessary to apply its
compulsory-service powers more specifically to agriculture by action
on February 11, 1941, May 28, 1942, and January 26, 1943, and to
construction work which the Army Command or the Office for Indus­
try and Labor regarded as of national importance, under the terms of
orders of April 17, 1941, and March 31, 1942. In September 1942,
the War Industry and Labor Office was empowered to draft both
employed and unemployed workers and, if necessary, to transfer
them from one working place to another.
To prepare for possible unemployment, the Swiss Federal Council
in July 1942 outlined regulations for providing employment in war­
time. The Confederation was empowered to grant subsidies and loans
and to undertake work projects itself under a program popularly
known as the “ Zipfel plan.” In August 1943, the program for com.
bating unemployment was entrusted to the Employment Commis.
sioner who had been appointed in 1941. The functions of the Com.
missioner included the coordination of employment measures o f




10
public agencies and private enterprises; and the proposal of measures
for the development of export trade in cooperation with the appro­
priate Federal offices or departments. Provision was also made for
granting Federal subsidies for works having cultural, economic, or
military interest. The need for providing work opportunity did not
arise, however, and few workers appear to have been employed under
these plans.
D isposition o f Labor Force

Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand were able to increase
their respective labor forces (armed and civilian) to a peak in 1943.
Either some reduction occurred later or the totals remained nearly
stable as a result of varied factors, important among them war casual­
ties and, no doubt, the retirement of indeterminate numbers of per­
sons when the acute danger period of the war had passed. In
Canada, the official estimates for 1944 show a continuing but slight
numerical rise in both the armed forces and gainful workers, the
combined advance corresponding with the population growth. For
the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Switzerland, information is not avail­
able showing the changes in total volume of manpower.
The apportionment of manpower between the armed forces and
different forms of civilian work in the four British Commonwealth
nations followed an irregular course within individual countries and also
between countries, depending on the relative impact of the tide of
war and the pressure for increased production. In general, of the
belligerents, Great Britain and Canada were still maintaining their
fullest military strength in the late months of the war. In Australia,
it was decided to shift a part of the military manpower back to civilian
production in 1943. New Zealand made such a diversion in 1944.
The accompanying tabulation shows, for the period between the
outbreak of war in 1939 and the date of peak employment in each of
the four warring countries, the rise in total manpower (including
persons bearing arms) and the maximum proportion of manpower
in the armed forces (including the auxiliary women’s services and
full-time civilian defense).
Percent of increase in Percent of total tabor
total labor force1
force in military forces

Canada2___________________
Australia 8_________________ __________
Great Britain 4_____________
New Zealand 5_____________ ...................

32
24
13
9

15
22
24
17

i Allowance must be made for the different methods by which the statistics were collected in the countries
concerned and the variation in coverage. No adjustment has been made for population growth.
%
Includes categories such as homemakers on farms (see table 3).
s Based on estimates obtained from different sources.
« Includes males 14-64 years and females 14-59 years, in Great Britain only.
* Coverage not defined.

GREAT BRITAIN

To meet the manpower requirements of the armed forces and for
munitions and supply production, Britain curtailed the number of
employees in civilian and export industries sharply. In Great Britain
(Northern Ireland excluded) distribution of manpower of working
age (i. e., males 14 to 64 years and females 14 to 59 years) was shifted
during hostilities, as shown in table 2. When mobilization was at
its peak in September 1943, the proportion of persons between the




11
ages noted who were at work or under arms, etc., represented 94.3
percent of males and 45.3 percent of females—in all, 69.7 percent of
this entire population group. Of the 22 million persons of working
age, almost half were in the armed services or employed in “ munitions
work.” Mobilization for war greatly overstrained the British
economy. Such occupations as building, textiles, distribution, pro­
fessional services, etc., had a labor force of just over 5 million in 1944
(excluding those engaged on war orders) as compared with well over
9 million in 1939.4
T able 2.—Distribution of Manpower in Great Britain, Selected Periods, 1939-45
Number (in thousands)
Industry and service
June 1939

June 1943

June 1944

19,750

22,281

22,004

21,652

477
80

4,754
323

4,963
282

5,086
158

3,106
5,540
9,277
1,270

5,233
5,632
6,279
60

5,011
5,686
6,008
54

4,492
5,688
6,141
87

Total labor force (excluding indoor private domestic
R
firvifiA
)
_ _
_
_
Armed forces and women’s services................. .................
Civil defense, national fire service, and police__________
Industry:
Group 11_
Group fT l
_
Group ITT8
_ _
_
_ _ _
Registered insured unemployed............. ............................

May 1945

i Metal and chemical industries.
* Agriculture; mining and quarrying; national and local government services; gas, water, and electricity
supply; transport, shipping, and fishing; and food, drink, and tobacco.
8 Building and civil engineering, textiles, clothing, boots and shoes, other manufactures, distributive
trades, other services.

AUSTRALIA

Australia started the war with an effort to build up industrial
resources, diverting only a small proportion of total manpower to the
armed forces. When France fell, and again when Japan entered the
war, more labor was shifted to the military services and munitions
production. During 1943, it became apparent that the increase in
manpower for direct military use was not feasible, owing to arrears in
the maintenance of rural and other industries; in October, therefore,
priority was placed on “ indirect” war industries. The strategic
position also having improved, it was possible to shift 40,000 men to
other work from the army and munitions industries.
Estimated number (in thousands)
August
1989

June
1943

June
1944-

2,750

3,400

3,300

Employed__________________...................2,437
Armed forces_______________...................
13
Unemployed_______________ ............
300

2, 636
738
26

(>)
(»)

Total labor force___________ ...............-

<*)

J
No data.

CANADA

By mid-1942, manpower conditions in Canada had become very
difficult and it was estimated that 1,300,000 persons were either in the
forces or directly or indirectly engaged in war production; 1,350,000
were agricultural workers and 300,000 were engaged in essential
< For more detailed information see Monthly Labor Review, January 1945 (p. 74) and December 1945
(p. 1149).




12
utilities and mining. The remaining 2,000,000 persons employed in
civilian industries comprised the only large pool of labor, and it was
estimated that 500,000 of these might be withdrawn for other purposes
by drastically cutting living standards. The subsequent shifts in
large groups of the labor force are given in table 3.
T able 3.—Estimated Distribution of Manpower in Canada, Selected Periods, 1939-44
Oct. 1,1943

Oct. 1,1939
Class

Oct. 1,1944

Number
Number
Number
(in thou­ Percent (in thou­ Percent (in thou­ Percent
sands)
sands)
sands)

Total population, 14 years of age and over........

8,332

Total labor force in armed forces or gainfully
occupied____ —_______- __________ - _______ _
_
Armed forces1_______ _________ ____ - ............
Gainfully occupied2.........................................
Nonagricultural -------------------------------Agriculture—males only............................
Farm women, 14-64 3__...................................
Students................................ ................... - ........
Unemployed__________________ ____ _ ____ }
_
All others*_____________ _____ ___ ________

3,863
70
3,793
2,568
1,225
805
633
3,031

8,797

100.0

8,904

100.0

5,029
46.3
753
.8
45.5
4,276
3,291
30.8
985
14.7
765
9.7
442
7.6
f
66
36.4 \ 2,495

57.2
8.6
48.6
37.4
11.2
8.7
5.0
.7
28.4

5,095
777
4,318
3,293
1,025
780
442
61
2,526

67.2
8.7
48.5
37.0
11.5
8.7
5.0
.7
28.4

100.0

1 Includes prisoners of war and persons missing but still “on strength” . Excludes persons enlisted but
on leave and in civilian occupations.
2Excludes women gainfully occupied on farms or in farm homes who are included with farm women.
> All women on farms are covered, except students, women 65 years old and over, and those gainfully
occupied outside the farm.
<Includes homemakers not on farms.

NEW ZEALAND

The wartime movement in the labor force of New Zealand is shown in
the statistics for December 1939, 1943, and 1944, as given in the
accompanying tabulation. In 1943, the armed forces were apparently
expanded, at the expense of industry, but in 1944 the movement was
reversed.
Estimated number 0In thousands)
Decernber
19S9

Total population______________________ 1, 642
Total labor force and armed forces_____
703
Labor force______________________
700
Armed forces_____________________
3

Decern•
ber
194S

Decern•
ber
19U

1, 723
763
634
129

1, 742
757
655

102

SWEDEN

Sweden, although not a participant in the war, felt its effects in a
labor shortage. When war broke out in 1939, the Swedish labor force
was practically fully employed and remained so until the blockade of
April 1940 cut off important foreign trade. The dislocation which
followed was increased by military recruitment and also by the shift
to the production of defense materials and substitutes for goods
previously imported. Unemployment immediately after the block­
ade was minimized by the availability of raw materials imported
prior to that time. By 1944, withdrawals from civilian pursuits for
military service had been offset, in part, by employment of refugees.5
* In mid-November 1943, of 18,000 Norwegian refugees, 12,000 were employed; of 9,000 Danish refugees,
some 6,000 were employed. The number of refugees in Sweden totaled 170,000 in November 1944, of whom
45,000 were Finnish children. With the return of refugees to their homelands, labor shortages were noted
In parts of Sweden.




13
The employment of refugees was encouraged by Royal Proclama­
tion of October 1, 1943, authorizing citizens of the other Scandinavian
countries (and Estonian Swedes) to take employment without first
obtaining the work permits required by the Swedish Social Board.
Other aliens in Sweden were permitted to work in domestic, forest,
agricultural, and peat employment without permit.
Indexes of employment (September 1939=100) in certain industries
for selected periods are shown in table 4.
T able 4.—Indexes of Employment in Specified Industries in Sweden, Selected Periods,
1941-45
Indexes (September
1939=100)
Group

Sep­
tem­
ber
1941

Sep­
tem­
ber
1943

Indexes (September
1939=100)
Group

Janu­
ary
1945

All occupations 1 .................
~

92

91

95

Building industry___ ______
Explosives_____ ___________
Coal mines________________
Peat industry.............. ..........
Flour mills................... ..........
Packers and canners_______
Tanneries................................

62
165
132
175
104
124
111

61
114
104
192
98
108
95

63
102
127
75
89
105
110

Shoe factories.........................
Sawmills and planing mills..
Iron, steel, and copper
works___________________
Machine shops.......................
Shipyards................................
Woodpulp mills___ ________
Woolen industry_____ _____
Cotton industry.......... ..........

Sep­
tem­
ber
1941

Sep­
tem­
ber
1943

89
75

56
64

87
61

110
111
107
63
95
96

101
119
114
65
89
87

105
128
124
68
101
94

Janu­
ary
1945

* This series covers a broader range of industries than shown in the table

SWITZERLAND

After the war started in 1939, Switzerland had 650,000 persons
under arms.6 The size of the military forces was reduced to 250,000,
however, after the collapse of France. Lacking information on the
total number of persons mobilized for production, the index of wageearner employment from representative industrial establishments is
shown. Employment in this sample of enterprises rose from 1939
through 1942, then dropped, as follows:
Index of employment
{1929 = 100 )

1939.
1940.
1941.
1942.
1943.

76.8
80.3
84. 3
85. 6
81. 9

Index of employment
( 1929 = 100 )

1944_............... .
1945:
June_____
December

77. 9
85.0
91. 0

Relaxation o f Controls9 and Problem s o f Transition

The sudden end of warfare in the Pacific, sooner than anticipated,
involved certain dislocations that might have been avoided had there
been time for a gradual shift of personnel from war to civilian produc­
tion. This, in turn, resulted in a more rapid removal of manpower
controls than would have been possible otherwise in Australia, Canada,
and New Zealand, as labor became more plentiful; and in some in­
stances unemployment reappeared. Government officials hoped that
the major remaining controls might be lifted by the end of 1945 in
Australia and New Zealand and very rapidly in Canada, although no
date was specified. Among the five United Nations included in this•
•This number constitutes over a third of the gainful population of 1,942,626 persons which was reportedin the census of 1930; official data are not available showing the gainful population in 1939.
687642°—46------3




14
discussion, Great Britain was an exception; in that country certain
essential controls were retained in the belief that they would be
necessary for some time to come. It is still too early to obtain a
complete picture of the status of labor controls in the Soviet Union;
however, in view of the great problems of reconstruction, these con­
trols are not likely to be relaxed completely for some time. On
March 17, 1944, Sweden extended its National Labor Service Act to
June 30, 1945; no information has been received to indicate whether
it was extended beyond that date. Switzerland narrowed the appli­
cation of obligatory work service but did not consider it advisable to
relax labor controls when active military service was ended in that
country on August 20, 1945.
Civilian manpower controls that were continued in Great Britain
after VJ-day cover smaller numbers than in wartime, owing largely
to the narrowing of the age classes affected and the shrinkage in the
work force in the industries or enterprises subject to control. Thus,
exemption from essential-work orders has been extended to men
aged' 65 years and over, women of 50 and over, workers who have
been away from home for 3 years (and who can find important work
near home), and persons who are granted licenses to reopen shops or
businesses. The coverage of essential-work orders has also declined
as war plants have ceased production. On June 4, 1945, the control
of engagement of workers was narrowed to males 18 to 50 years old
and females 18 to 40 years old.7
Britain’s chief problems are (1) to restore the export trade on which
the country was largely dependent prior to World War II and of
which over two-thirds was deliberately sacrificed to the war effort
and (2) to relieve the worst civilian shortages, of which housing is
among the gravest. To bring the labor strength of certain indus­
tries back to the prewar level, construction, which in the fall of 1945
had 337,000 persons, would require double that number of additional
workers; cotton (including rayon staple fiber, carding, spinning,
doubling) would require 90,000; and clothing and hosiery 200,000
workers. Other high-priority industries are agriculture, services of
different kinds, and printing. Manpower needs in the foregoing
pursuits cannot be met fully but are to be given priority.
Notwithstanding the fact that the general outlook in Britain is
one of labor scarcity, some transitional unemployment was expected,
owing to cutbacks, lack of transportation, and housing shortages.
Another complication is the wartime dispersal of industry, which
necessitates extensive readjustment. The difficulty of obtaining
sufficient labor in the transition period is complicated by the desire
of some workers to retire, to take care of their families and homes, or
to take vacations. Ex-servicemen are entitled to 8 weeks of paid
leave on discharge, with additions for overseas service; of them
260,000 had not yet taken employment in mid-September. The
rate of discharge from the armed forces is another factor; according
to figures released by the British Government in mid-November
1945, V a million members had been released since D -day.
/
By
December 1945, the total labor force was 20,969,000; of this total,
the armed forces numbered 3,966,000; the employed 15,968,000, of
whom 1,790,000 were making supplies for the armed forces. Ex-serv­
icemen not yet at work numbered 750,000, while 285,000 persons
T
? See M onthly Labor Review, September 1945 (p. 437), for further details.




15
were unemployed. A source of some supplementary labor consists
of German prisoners, of whom the Government proposed in October
1945 to use 110,000 for reconstruction work.
Australia began to revoke nonessential manpower controls soon
after the Japanese surrender, by waiving the requirement that a per­
mit be obtained to leave or change employment. No one was to be
directed into employment; young persons under 18, women over 45,
and ex-servicemen who were not released on occupational grounds
were to be completely free in choosing employment. Any employer
might advertise for labor in the above categories but, temporarily,
other advertising was to be subject to permit. By the end of October,
compulsion to remain in protected enterprises was lifted in its entirety.
The only remaining control required certain nonessential businesses
to obtain permits to secure additional labor.
The great problem in Australia at the war’s end was the redistribu­
tion of more than 1,150,000 men and women (including 650,000 in
the armed forces, 250,000 in war and related industries, and 250,000
transferees whose peacetime jobs were cut off in wartime). Some
delay was expected in transference of war workers. Rapid absorp­
tion was contingent on the reconversion of war plants and the availa­
bility of raw materials for production. Continuing labor shortages,
largely of skilled labor, existed in the Melbourne metropolitan area in
early November.
Canada discontinued the compulsory transfer of men to highly
essential employment in May 1945, after the war ended in Europe.
Women were freed from the necessity of obtaining selective-service
permits before taking employment (but had to report employment 3
days after acceptance), and employers were permitted to advertise
for their services. The Japanese surrender was followed by the
revocation of part of the controls on August 16, 1945, except those
requiring that men obtain employment-office permits to accept work
other than in agriculture and fishing; that employees give 7 days’
notice of intention to quit a job; that employers list vacancies with
employment offices, and that those seeking work must register there;
and that persons seeking work outside Canada must obtain labor-exit
permits.
Recent official employment statistics show that the number of
registered unemployed exceeded the number of available jobs. Actual
unemployment was greater than that reflected in a comparison of
unplaced workers and unfilled jobs since the full effects of the war’s
end on employment was not immediately apparent, as many ex-serv­
icemen and some ex-war workers were taking vacations before looking
for jobs.
By June 1945, the New Zealand Minister of National Service an­
nounced the first classes of workers which were to be removed from
control. The classes released from control consisted of wives of re­
turned servicemen who wished to establish homes; married women
aged 40 years or over; young persons under 18; and widows of service­
men who died in World War II. Early in August, control was also
removed from returned servicemen, regardless of their medical grading.
Immediately after VJ-day the following classes were exempted from
direction into employment: All married women; all other women aged
30 years and over; and all men of 45 and over. The requirement that
employers should secure consent to engage manpower was waived, and




16
they were required only to notify manpower officers of such action
within 7 days. The one control remaining was that whereby cer­
tain workers were frozen in their jobs by reason of declarations of
essentiality.
In the Soviet Union, manpower controls have been continued.
However, effective on July 7, 1945, the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet of the U. S. S. R., in celebration of the victory over Germany,
granted a general amnesty to all workers who were imprisoned or
convicted for deserting their wartime jobs.
Compulsion in directing labor to employment was used in Sweden
only in the fuel industry, during 1942-43, and specific legislation on
direction within that industry was repealed early in 1944. The re­
moval of 120,000 metalworkers from employment, owing to a strike
that lasted from February to July 1945, lessened unemployment during
reconversion to peacetime conditions. About 30,000 of these em­
ployees worked temporarily in other occupations, notably forestry,
for varying periods. Resumption of shipping at the beginning of June
1945 tended to increase emplojunent. Other favorable factors were
the return of the metalworkers to their employment, the reopening of
markets, and the reconversion of industries. On the whole, the em­
ployment situation was very satisfactory throughout the first three
quarters of 1945.
By order of August 17, 1945, the Swiss Government provided for the
limitation of obligatory work service to those industries which supplied
food and fuel— agriculture (including the improvement of land de­
signed to increase the production of food), forestry, mining, and turf
cutting. Up to October 1945, employment records were favorable.
A noticeable drop occurred in requests for employment, in job vacan­
cies, and in placements recorded at the employment offices for agri­
culture, the building trades, and among unskilled workers. As the
situation was reversed for skilled workers, the explanation may be
that the unskilled were absorbed in compulsory service, agriculture,
and certain phases of industry under the orders already cited. Appar­
ently, the need for the public-works plan authorized by the decree
of July 1942 (the Zipfel plan mentioned above) was not great, for the
number of positions procured under that program in July 1945, after
the end of the war in Europe, was smaller than in the same month in
1943 and in 1944, as shown by the following tabulation:
1943

Number ofjobs_______
1944
1946

Relief work, work-service, vocational classes, e tc.. 1, 393
Voluntary military service______________________ 2,703
Work companies for military or civil projects_____ 3, 125

1, 289
2, 274
2, 016

1,179
2, 202
2, 443

Long-Term Outlook

In all seven countries, exploratory work has been carried on to
determine means of providing a high and stable level of postwar
employment. Great Britain avoided the use of the term “ full em­
ployment” in the White Paper on Employment Policy issued in 1944
(Cmd. 6527) as did Canada in 1945 in a similar paper on Employment
and Income, although the Canadian report stated that “ in setting as
its aim a high and stable level of employment and income, the Govern­
ment is not selecting a lower target than ‘full employment’ .” Mem­
bers of the Governments of the four United Nations in the British



17
Commonwealth have also indicated that the maintenance of conditions
conducive to high employment is a public responsibility.8 In the
Soviet Union, measures to provide full employment are an integral
part of the planned economic system and there is no reason to assume
that there will be any change in that policy. The same view is
inherent in the 1944 report of the Swedish Postwar Economic
Planning Commission and the Social Democratic-Labor program for
postwar economic policy in that country states as one of its aims that
“ full employment [is] to be reached under the economic leadership of
the Government.” 9
The position of the Swiss Government, as expressed by the Employ­
ment Commissioner in September 1942 and in the decree of July 1942,
was that the Confederation should cooperate with the Cantons and pri­
vate enterprise in preventing unemployment, insofar as private enter­
prise is unable to do so. The conclusion was that full employment has
been provided successfully by the State only in countries in which the
whole economy was centrally controlled, and such a system is incom­
patible with the principle of the Swiss Federal structure.
Great Britain omitted reference to public or private ownership in
the document on employment, as being outside the scope of the report.
Canada stated that the economy would continue to be based on
private ownership of industry. The Australian report maintained
that the Commonwealth and States are responsible for providing the
general framework within which individuals and businesses can operate.
The Australian Prime Minister stated, after VJ-day, that the Govern­
ment did not propose to take over control of industrial enterprise
but that it was unwilling to see production potentials unused. For
some time (under the Industrial Efficiency Act of 1936) New Zealand
has been empowered to achieve a planned economy through rational­
ization and control of industry (including licensing). As is well known,
the Soviet system is based on a planned socialized economy. The
Swedish Social Democratic-Labor program calls for socialized insur­
ance and centralized banking, and the Swiss view is explained in the
opposition to State control.
All the countries covered, except the Soviet Union, are committed
to a program whereby public expenditures will be increased when it
seems likely that private expenditures may decline, thereby adversely
affecting the volume of employment and reducing purchasing power.
In the British Government White Paper of 1944, responsibility was
assumed for encouraging privately owned enterprises to plan their
own expenditures in conformity with a general stabilization policy,
and it was stated that public investment can be used more directly as
an instrument of employment policy . The Australian report asserted
that to secure the maximum possible stability in private-capital
expenditure, it is essential that public expenditure should be suffi­
ciently high at all times to stimulate private spending; public expendi­
ture should be used also to offset declines. Canadian Government
effort in stimulating private investment is to be directed toward keep-*
•
8 For a summary of the British employment report, see Monthly Labor Review, issue of August 1944
(p. 296), for that of Canada, issue of July 1945 (p. 56), and for that of Australia, issue of August 1945 (p. 257).
No White Paper has been received from New Zealand; on October 24,1945, however, an employment act was
passed, providing for establishment of an employment service to promote and maintain full employment.
• For a summary of above-mentioned documents see Monthly Labor Review, issue of September 1944
<p. 530).




18
ing down production costs; the Canadian White Paper did not propose
large expenditures for public works, but rather to manage public
capital expenditure in such a way as to contribute to the improvement
and stabilization of employment and income. The Swedish Postwar
Economic Planning Commission unanimously agreed that large
public works should be resorted to, if private investment and export
trade fall below the level necessary to full employment. Such public
works should be planned in connection with long-range policy and
should be extended to the production of consumption goods. Switzer­
land’s plans, which have been in operation partially, cover a coordi­
nated and partially subsidized program of foreign trade,'public works,
and a revival of the tourist trade and of agriculture.
Official as well as other opinion in these countries is that the em­
ployment problem is international as well as national and that foreign
trade is essential. Although the British White Paper dealt with
national problems, it was recognized that the level of employment
and the consumption level depend upon international conditions, as
imports and exports are basic to the nation’s economy. Participa­
tion in world trade by Australia was expected to follow the main­
tenance of full employment at home, which would allow the resultant
high level of expenditure to become effective in the country’s demand
for imports to the limit of available overseas funds. Export trade
was named in the Canadian White Paper as the greatest dynamic
force in influencing the level of employment and income, and expan­
sion over the prewar level was urged. The Swedish Social DemocraticLabor program proposed that foreign trade should be brought under
“ Government leadership.” On June 20, 1944, the Swiss Eederal
Assembly adopted an interim report of the Federal Council which
pointed out that an effective attack on unemployment could be made
only through international cooperation; a commission was appointed
to study the possibilities of foreign trade.
Emigration and immigration policy for future years has come up
for discussion also. In spite of the prospect of a dwindling population
(and existing labor shortages) the British Government favors the
encouragement of assisted emigration to the Dominions in the future,
i. e., after the Dominions have resettled their ex-servicemen and
converted their economies to peacetime conditions. The Australian
Government foresees a need for immigration on a selective basis of
roughly 70,000 persons annually, to supplement a natural population
increase of 70,000 in achieving an annual population growth of 2 per­
cent. The general flow would commence after homes and jobs became
available, but immigrants with particular qualifications that are not
available in Australia would be desired sooner. New Zealand has
taken a similar view as to the timing of entry. In the Soviet Union
the urgent need for using labor from other countries is expected to be
temporary and for reconstruction only. On June 14, 1945, it was
stated that Canada was not yet ready to consider what steps would be
taken to facilitate the admittance of persons from other countries.
In the Scandinavian countries, to provide for the movement of laborers
to the places where their services were most needed, the Ministers
of Social Affairs of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
proposed the establishment of a common Nordic labor market, at a
conference held in September 1945, and agreed to place a draft of the




19
convention before their respective Governments. According to the
press, Switzerland’s Federal Council has considered the need for
immigration of persons having certain skills, notably in textile
manufacture.
The interest of the Governments of Australia and New Zealand in
adding to their populations from outside sources is the result of an
expectation that in coming years the position will be one of labor
scarcity and not abundance. In carrying out Australia’s plans for a
comprehensive program of construction, including hospitals, post
offices, and railroad ouilding, the Government anticipates the problem
will be to obtain enough labor. From 1936 onward, New Zealand
experienced labor shortages in several industries, notably of skilled
workers in the building and engineering and certain manufacturing
industries, as well as of professional and technical workers of different
kinds. War accentuated the shortages and they are not likely to
alter. An uncertain factor in determining future labor requirements
is the possible extent to which women may work in industry. Their
participation was on the increase in New Zealand before World War II.




Part 2.— Liberated and Enemy Countries1
In the fall and early winter of 1945, the workers of the liberated
and enemy countries in Europe and Asia were for the most part
occupied in clearing away debris, rebuilding destroyed and damaged
housing and essential public works (power plants, water works,
sewer systems, transportation facilities), mining coal, cutting trees
for fuel, and distributing such food as it had been possible for them
to produce and import. Many people were employed in special
reconstruction services, rehabilitating displaced persons and prisoners
of war, training the large numbers of workers who must acquire the
experience they did not get during the war years, and other special
jobs which are the necessary aftermath of war.
Industrial activities were limited by lack of coal, equipment,
materials, and certain types of skilled workers. Statistics on plant
operation show that with some exceptions industrial plants were being
operated far below capacity. Current reports indicate that varying
proportions of the workers in these countries are not seeking work
either because their health and morale have been seriously under­
mined by their war experiences or because they still have money,
paid to them for war work, and know that it cannot buy them the
goods they want. Many of the workers who were trained in sabotage
during the German occupation find it particularly difficult to develop
regular work habits and to approach prewar efficiency. In none of
these countries has the labor force recovered from the effects of mobi­
lization, displacement of population, or forced labor away from home.
The latest figures on unemployment show that in the autumn of
1945 in the liberated countries of western Europe (Belgium, France,
Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway) the number of registered un­
employed was very much smaller than in the 1930 depression period.
In all these countries, some unemployment existed side by side with
shortages of particular kinds of labor. In the U. S. Zone in Germany,
in December, 22 percent of the labor force registered as unemployed
and it was thought that the actual proportion was somewhat higher.
In Italy and Japan, the number of unemployed estimated in the fall
of 1945 was very large— 2 million in Italy, 4 million in Japan.
The need to provide emergency employment and work incentives
and to obtain labor for work of primary importance has led to direct
control of the employment situation by a number of these governments.
Some have issued decrees forbidding workers to leave their jobs with­
out official authorization from an employment office; a provisional
edict in Norway prohibited the closing of plants without an authoriza­
tion. In some countries, the employers were required to obtain official
permission to lay off workers. In most of these countries, the gov­
ernment is planning to take a more active part in the direction of
industrial production and in provision of employment than in the
period before the war. In some of them, the nationalization of basic
1 The materials for this report were taken from official and other publications of the countries covered, and
from reports of Military Government in Germany and of members of the U . S. Foreign Service.




(20)

21
industries is under way. In others, policy for the government's part
in planning for either production or employment has not been
formulated.
Liberated and E n em y Europe
PREWAR TREND OF EMPLOYMENT

The measures of employment and unemployment available differ
from country to country. None of them include all of those persons
either out of work or having jobs, since they all relate to special
groups.* The series available are useful in showing general trends
2
*
and indicate that between 1935 and 1939 employment levels improved
and unemployment tended to decline in the European countries.
Among these countries, those which were first to experience severe
depression showed greater industrial activity by 1939 than those in
which the trough was reached as late as 1935. Recorded employment
in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Poland reached
the depression low before 1933 and exceeded 1929 levels by 1939.8
The maximum unemployment had apparently been passed in 1934 or
sooner in Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, Ger­
many, and Norway. In France, where the trough of the depression,
as reflected in the available statistics, occurred as late as 1935, the
employment index in 1939 was much lower than in 1929. In the
Netherlands, the index of employment had almost reached the 1929
level by 1939 but the proportion of insured who were unemployed
was still large.
T able 1.—Employment Levels in Specified European Countries, 1929 to 19391
Index of employment (1929=100)2
Country

Low year
1935
Year

DATimftrlr „_r

_ _

_

_ _

"France ■ - - - - Oermauy.. .^ ,
— _
Ttaiy
"NTAthfirlftnds
_ ____
"N nrway ........
T
Poland___________________________________________

1932
1932
1935
1932
1932
1935
1931
1932

1939

Index
8 91.7
76.6
73.5
71.1
78.5
84.2
79.9
62.3

2125.8
105.4
<73.5
<90.6
94.0
<84.2
106.2
77.1

«151.1
122.6
83.4
8116.5
•113.3
<99.0
125.9
«102.0

Percent of
increase,
1935-39
20.1
16.3
13.5
28.6
20.5
17.6
18.5
32.3

1 Source: International Labor Office, Yearbook of Labor Statistics, 1943-44, Montreal, 1945 (pp. 30-351.
2 Indexes cover industry only, unless otherwise specified.
«1931=100.
<Index covers mining, industry, commerce (and in some countries, agriculture).
* January to July 1939. Index covers mining, industry, commerce (and in some countries, agriculture).
«January to June 1939.

Austria and Czechoslovakia had not regained the 1929 level of
employment prior to their absorption into the German Reich in 1938
and early 1939, respectively, although unemployment had been sub­
stantially reduced, particularly in Czechoslovakia, before the German
occupation.
2 They apply to insured unemployed trade-union members, or persons employed in establishments of
given size or in the production of certain kinds of goods and services, for example.
2 While the Danish employment index takes 1931 as a base year, it is probable that the 1939 level of 15J.1
is equal to, if not higher than, the 1929 level.




22
In Poland, striking gains in industrial employment between 1935
and 1939 did not absorb the labor surplus. The increase in industrial
activity continued to bring applicants to the employment offices.
Meanwhile Polish seasonal immigration to Germany had greatly
decreased.
Preparations for war played an important part in the employment
gains which occurred between 1935 and 1939 in Germany, Italy, and
Finland, and after the annexations, in Austria and the SudetenlancL
Other factors were the increase in the Nazi and Fascist Party official­
dom and the administrative bureaucracy. The practice of counting
persons on public relief projects as regulaily employed also contributed
to the nominal decline in unemployment.
T able 2.—Recorded Unemployment in Specified European Countries, 1929 to 19391
Maximum unemploy­
ment in the 1930’s
1935

Country and type of worker
Year

1939

Number

Austria:
1933
405, 740
Registered unemployed.............................. .......
1933
328,844
Insured receiving benefit...................................
Belgium—Insured wholly unemployed:
1934
182,855
Number......................— ................... .................
Percent of insured__________________________ / 1932 & }
19.0
\
1934
Czechoslovakia:
Trade-unionists unemployed, on benefit:
Number..........................................................
1933
247,613
Percent of covered trade-unionists............
1934
17.4
Applications for work.........................................
738,267
1933
Denmark—Unemployed trade-unionists:
1932
99,508
Number.................................................................
1932
Percent of insured trade-unionists...... ............
31.7
Finland— Registered urn mployed_____________
1932
17,351
France—Unemployed on relief...............................
1936
431,897
5, 575,492
Germany—Registered unemployed_____________
1932
Netherlands:
Insured unemployed:
Number..........................................................
1935
173,700
Percent of total insured..............................
1935
36.3
Registered, wholly unemployed____________
414,512
1936
Norway:
Registered unemployed................ ....................
1934
36,876
Unemployed trade-unionists:
Number.........................................................
19,230
1938
33.4
Percent of insured trade-unionists______
1933
Poland—Applications for work:
414,584
1939
Num ber...............................................................
Percent of total social-insurance coverage___
1935
16.7

Percent
of
change,
1935-39

348,675
261,768

2 244,788
a 174,148

- 2 9 .8
-3 3 .5

165,469
17.9

* 156,686
*15.5

- 5 .3
-1 3 .4

235,623
15.9
686,269

4161,391
4 9.1
4 335,518

-3 1 .5
-4 2 .8
-5 1 .1

76,195
19.7
7,163
426,931
2,151,039

88,924
+16.7
18.4
- 6 .6
3,300
-5 3 .9
361,930 - -1 5 .2
118,915
-9 4 .5

173,700
36.3
384,691

112,612
21.7
253,261

36,776

28,251

-2 3 .2

14,783
25.3

16,789
18.3

+13.6
-2 7 .7

381,935
16.7

*414,584
14.7

+ 8 .5
-1 2 .0

-3 5 .2
-4 0 .2
-3 4 .2

1 Source: International Labor Office, Yearbook of Labor Statistics, 1943-44, 1945 (p. 56); and Monthly
Labor Review, Washington, February 1939 (p. 1263).
21938.
4
3
2
1JanUary-August 1938.
3 Computed from monthly Belgian figures.
* January-June 1939.

INTRODUCTION OF LABOR CONTROLS

Enemy Countries and Satellites

Germany inaugurated labor-market controls in 1934. In 1935 work
books were introduced and shortly thereafter measures were adopted
for the conservation, training, and allocation of persons having
scarce skills needed for carrying out the Four-Year Plan, begun at the
end of 1936. Governmental organization was tightened in December
1938 when a Commissioner General for the German Economy was
named, with supervision over the Ministries of Finance, Economics,
Food and Agriculture, and Labor. In May 1939, the independent




23
office which managed Germany's network of public employment ex­
changes was absorbed into the Ministry of Labor.
Short-term compulsory labor was introduced in the summer of 1938
on the work of fortifying the western border; it was extended by de­
cree of February 13, 1939, which laid the groundwork for wartime
mobilization of the actual and potential labor force of the Greater
Reich. Any resident of the Reich might be drafted for indefinite
service on jobs designated as urgent by the Commissioner of the
Four-Year Flan.
With the outbreak of war on September 1,1939, employment offices
in Germany were granted full authority to direct workers and new
entrants into the labor market to specified jobs, to review and approve
or disapprove hirings, dismissals, and transfers, to curtail employment
deemed nonessential, and to “ comb out" workers whom the employ­
ment office had decided to place elsewhere.
In Italy, an improvement in employment in the first years of World
War II led to the relaxation in July 1940 of protective labor devices,,
such as the 40-hour week and restrictions on female employment, and
the suspension in May 1941 of a public-works program. A system for
the mobilization of civilian labor for work in agriculture was estab­
lished in April 1941, under authorization of the act of May 24, 1940r
which set standards for the work of civilians in wartime. Under the
same authorization, civilian labor service was instituted for males
18 to 55 years of age by decree of February 26, 1942.
Finnish legislation of 1939 broadened that of 1930 by providing for
requisitioning of citizens, aged 18 to 60 years, for national defense. A
May 1942 law, superseding these provisions, made labor service com­
pulsory in essential civilian industries. With certain exceptions, all
Finnish citizens and aliens aged 18 to 55 years were liable unless
reciprocal agreements provided for other arrangements. Compulsory
labor in agriculture and forestry continued in Finland until October
31, 1944, and in some branches of forestry until November 30, 1944.
Labor orders on defense work were canceled after September 30, 1944.
Germany's satellite countries—Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria—
had compulsory labor legislation in force during the war. Hungary,,
in 1939, made every able-bodied person, between 14 and 70 years of
age, subject to assignment to industrial or other useful work. Ru­
mania, in 1941, decreed that useful work was the duty of every
Rumanian and ordered all persons to carry work cards. Bulgaria, in
1940, ordered all civilians between 16 and 70 years of age to register
for either agricultural or nonagricultural work and to be ready for
allocation.
Invaded Countries
•

Following annexation of Austria (in March 1938) and the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia (in October 1938), the German manpower
controls were applied therein by successive laws and decrees, and em­
ployment offices in those regions were incorporated into the German
system. Similar controls were introduced gradually under the Ger­
mans in other parts of Czechoslovakia, beginning with compulsory
labor service for youths 16 to 25 years of age in the Protectorate of
Bohemia-Moravia, in July 1939. In Poland, German employment
offices were opened in the wake of the conquering armies, and German
controls were promptly introduced. Compulsory labor service both




24
in Poland and in Germany was instituted, under particularly onerous
conditions for the Polish and Jewish population and, beginning in the
summer of 1940, mass round-ups in the Polish cities supplemented the
more orderly forms of recruiting by employment offices. Yugoslavia
and Greece suffered defeat early in the war, and economic conditions
in those countries became so chaotic that German attempts at man­
power controls were far from effective.
As tension in Europe grew in the late 1930’s, other countries
adopted legislation giving their governments certain authority over
manpower in the event of need. The Belgian mobilization law per­
mitting emergency labor controls was passed on June 16,1937. France
gave similar authorization, including that for requisitioning the
services of labor, in July and November 1938. Like action was taken
in the Netherlands in December 1939 for those parts of the country in
which a state of war was proclaimed.
The immediate effect of the German occupation of Denmark in
April 1940, and of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Northern France in
May, was an increase in unemployment in those countries. The early
controls introduced were for the purpose of reducing unemployment.
Denmark provided for sharing of work by law of May 28, 1940. In
the Netherlands, an order of June 13. 1940, prohibited the dis­
missal of workers, work stoppages, and the reduction of hours to less
than 36 per week
In Norway, controls imposed in October 1940 (6 months after the
invasion) prohibited the transfer of workers from agriculture, forestry,
and shipping to other industry and restricted worker placement to the
employment offices. Termination of employment in 19 groups of trades
and industries was made dependent on labor-office approval in March
1941. Under the direction of the German authorities, centralization
of employment-office services was imposed in France in October 1940
and in the Netherlands in September 1940, and existing centralization
in Belgium was tightened in April 1941. In September 1941, Belgian
coal miners were “ frozen” in their jobs.
Compulsory labor service was first required of youths by the impo­
sition of controls in Norway, the Netherlands, and France in the
spring of 1941. In the Netherlands, compulsory labor service for
adults was also required beginning in March 1941. Requisitioning of
labor in Norway began in 1941 for temporary work in forestry and
agriculture and also temporarily for work of national importance, but
the general system was not introduced until 1942. France intro­
duced requisitioning of labor for agriculture in December 1941.
PERIOD OF EXTENDED GERMAN MANPOWER CONTROL, 1942-44

In March 1942, the Nazi Party took complete control over the
German labor market, and the full force of the Party machine was
used to mobilize the labor force of Europe for the German war effort.
Reorganization of Labor-Market Controls

A Nazi Party official, Fritz Sauckel, became General Commissioner
for Manpower, with the power to draft and allocate labor in all parts
of the Greater Reich and the occupied countries. The employmentservice system was reorganized to make its administrative subdivisions




25
correspond geographically with those covered by the Nazi Party dis­
tricts (Gau), and the offices of regional director of the employment
service and regional labor trustee were merged and subordinated to
the regional chief of the Party (Gauleiter). Those branches of the
Reich Ministry of Labor which had supervised labor supply, wages,
and working conditions were transferred to the jurisdiction of the
General Commissioner for Manpower.
At the same time that the administration was reorganized, industry
was examined to determine which workers could be spared for jobs of
higher priority. Decisions regarding priorities both in war and civilian
industries (in the Reich and elsewhere) were made by the Commissioner
General for Manpower in consultation with the Ministers of Muni­
tions, Economics, Food and Agriculture, and the Army High Com­
mand. Requisitions for stated numbers of workers of specified skills
which were to be supplied within given periods were transmitted by
the commissioner to the district employment offices and apportioned
to local offices according to labor-market conditions. The sources of
labor supply for filling such requirements consisted of foreign workers
and German workers whom employers were compelled to givre up or
who were obtained from among retired persons and women and young
persons not previously employed.
In the occupied territories, the German Commissioner for Man­
power established the following work priorities in September 1942:
(1) The German armed forces; (2) the German occupying authorities;
(3) the German civilian authorities; (4) German armament contracts;
(5) agriculture and food industry; (6) other industrial work for Ger­
many; and (7) industrial work for the respective occupied countries.
Utilization of Foreign Labor

German labor requirements were increasingly met by drawing on
foreign labor, including prisoners of war. Workers were brought
from “ friendly, allied, or neutral countries” through contracts entered
into with their Governments. Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Nether­
lands, Spain, Slovakia, and Hungary undertook to supply agricultural
workers. In eastern Europe— Poland and occupied parts of the Soviet
Union— labor was conscripted by the Germans for work both at home
and in Germany, at times by means of mass levies, round-ups, and
deportations. German employment offices were established under
the German military and civil authorities. In western Europe, re­
cruitment methods were at first somewhat more indirect. Unem­
ployment was created through closing plants regarded as nonessential,,
lengthening hours, and denial of unemployment compensation and
sometimes ration cards to those made jobless, if they refused to accept
directed employment. Increased rations were offered as an induce­
ment to accept German employment.
In the Netherlands, Belgium, Northern France, Vichy France, and
Norway, orders concerning labor were issued by the German military
commanders to the various national labor department officials, and
the local employment offices were utilized to the extent that coopera­
tion could be obtained. Side by side with the local offices, however,
the Germans operated their own recruiting agencies; in Belgium the
local offices were required to refer applicants to the German offices.
Mixed committees of Vichy French and German officials in France




26
supervised the recruiting of French labor for Germany to fill quotas
set by the Germans. When this system failed to produce the desired
results, teams of workers and supervisors were designated, by the
German labor allocation officials, to be transferred to Germany, some­
times along with their machines and equipment. To release man­
power, orders were issued to close industries not essential to the war
effort in Belgium in March 1942 and in Norway in December 1942.
The Netherlands Government was empowered by the Nazis to take
such action in 1940, but did not do so until March 15, 1943. A
concentration of French industry was attempted in 1942, and authori­
zation to close commercial enterprises was given in May 1943.
Fined Stages of Mobilization

The losses of the prolonged Russian campaign forced an intensifica­
tion of manpower-control measures both in Germany and in the
countries under her domination, during the winter of 1942-43. Meas­
ures providing for compulsory labor service by the able-bodied male
and female adult population were effected in Vichy France, Belgium,
Norway, and Germany, and were extended in the Netherlands,
between late summer of 1942 and early spring of 1943. These
measures were applied with increasing vigor, being translated into
the calling up of young men by age classes for examination and assign­
ment, both within the native country and to fill the quotas for foreign
labor established by the German Commissioner General of Man­
power. At the same time, the mobility of labor and the employer's
freedom to dismiss workers were curtailed in France by acts of Sep­
tember 19, 1942, and March 27, 1943. In Norway, dismissals were
further curtailed during the period of registration, to prevent evasion.
As an aid to enforcement, work books were required in specified
occupations in Norway by act of November 27, 1942, and in France
after June 7, 1943, for all those liable for labor service. The concen­
tration of enterprises in France in industry, and later in commerce
yielded additional labor both to fill the German quotas directly and
to replace workers who had been drafted from industry.
Like the occupied countries, Italy was subjected to pressure from
Germany during this period. To make Italian labor available for
removal to Germany, the metal industries were authorized to reduce
the number of workers and to extend hours of work; the number of
women employed at Turin, and no doubt also in other manufacturing
centers, increased. At the time of Mussolini's fall, in July 1943,
Italians working in less essential occupations in Germany were being
exchanged for skilled Italian labor from the northern factories. In
the spring of 1944, a general strike affecting some 4 million workers
in the Neo-Fascist Republic, and the Allies' advance up the peninsula,
caused the Germans to abandon Italy as a source of war materials
and instead to intensify efforts to transport labor and industrial
equipment to Germany. Up to July 1944, a cumulative total of 1.2
million Italian workers had gone to Germany.
Opposition to German Controls

Opposition to the German measures for the control of labor in
invaded countries took various forms. Absenteeism and slow-downs
were resorted to; in the Netherlands this situation became so
acute that in September 1943 heavy fines were fixed for such conduct.



27
Rather than perform compulsory labor for Germany, workers resisted
registration, shunned employment offices, joined the underground,
and fled abroad. In France and Belgium, large numbers of young men
went into hiding, joined the resistance movement, or escaped to
neutral countries in order to evade the labor draft for Germany. In
Denmark, the work sharing provided by law of May 1940 was used
to conceal an average of 50,000 unemployed workers, to prevent
recruitment for German projects. In Norway, when stocks of raw
materials dwindled in 1942, workers were retained in industry on
short time and at reduced wages, to avoid working for the Germans;
attempted conscription of workers resulted in a large exodus to
Sweden.
WARTIME DISPOSITION OF LABOR FORCE

Germany and Occupied Europe

Germany’s wartime labor and economic controls were intended to
mobilize the resources of practically the entire European continent
for the German war effort. The workers of occupied and annexed terri­
tories were employed on tasks for the German military or civilian
economy, either in their own countries or on German farms and in
factories. Disruption of the labor force necessarily followed in all of
these countries. The wide extent of German military operations and
occupation of foreign territory also necessitated the transfer of German
labor and supervisory personnel to perform many administrative,
police, and industrial tasks outside German boundaries. For example,
the Todt organization charged with constructing highways and forti­
fications in occupied countries was staffed by Germans and employed
many skilled German workers, in addition to labor locally recruited
or drafted.
In 1939, a high proportion of the German population (51 percent)
was already classed as gainfully employed in the Greater Reich
(including the Saar, Austria, and Sudetenland). Half of the gainfully
occupied population consisted of wage earners; almost 20 percent
were salaried employees; 16 percent were family workers; and 14
percent were employers and independent workers.
During World War II, Germany increased her armed forces from
1.37 million at the beginning of 1939 to 9.1 million 5 years later.
Losses in killed and wounded exceeded 4.0 million. This meant a
cumulative draft (according to German sources) of about 12 million.
These withdrawals from the civilian labor force were compensated
only in part by drawing in women, older persons, and young people
of school age. Women wage and salary workers in the old Reich
increased from 5.7 million in 1937 to 7.1 million in 1940 (a gain of
24.5 percent) and the number employed in the Greater Reich rose
from 8.3 million in 1940 to 9.5 million in 1942 (a 14.2-percent gain).
As is shown in table 3, the number of foreign workers employed in
Germany increased from an insignificant number in 1939 to more
than 7 million in 1944, at which time the foreign workers constituted
nearly 20 percent of the labor force of the Greater Reich (including
the Saar, Sudetenland, Austria, but not including eastern annexations).
The proportion of foreign workers was highest in industry, 29.3
percent, followed by 22.2 percent in agriculture.




28
Assuming that the figures given in the table for the armed forces
do not to any substantial extent include duplication of those employed
in civilian capacities, it appears that, in 1944, 23.9 percent of the
native labor force, military plus civilian,* and 20.2 percent of the
4
combined native plus foreign labor force was under arms.6
T able 3.—Distribution of Manpower in Germany (Boundaries as of September 1,1939),
by Origin and Occupation, 1939, 1942, and 1944 1
1939

1942

Total

Number (in
thousands)

Total

Gainfully occupied
Num­
ber (in
thou­
sands)

All industries

39,416
Agriculture.................................. .......................... 11,225
Industry and transport...........- .......................... 18,638
Industry.......................................................... 10,946
5,336
Handicrafts........................ ...........................
Transport............................. .......... ............... 2,125
231
Power......................... ....................................
4,603
Distribution______ _______ _________________
Administration and services............................... 2,677
691
Armed services administration_______ ______
Domestic _ _
1,582
1,366
Armed forces (January 1)_______________________

Per­
cent

Num­
ber (in
thou­
sands)

Per­
cent

Native

For­
eign3

100.0
28.5
47.3
27.8
13.5
5.4
.6
11.7
6.8
1.7
4.0

35,294
11,230
15,714
9,771
3,503
2,235
205
3,219
2,421
1,244
1,466
8,635

100.0
31.8
44.6
27.7
9.9
6.4
.6
9.1
6.9
3.5
4.1

31,157
9,252
13,836
8,370
3,207
2,064
195
3,124
2,373
1,184
1,388

4,137
1,978
1,878
1,401
296
171
10
95
48
60
78

Per­
cent
for­
eign

11.7
17.6
12.0
14.3
8.4
7.7
4.9
3.0
2.0
4.8
5.3

1944
Number (in
thousands)

Total
Gainfully occupied

Percent
foreign

Number
(in
thou­
sands)

All industries
. _ _
_ _ _ _ _
..........._
Agriculture
Industry and transport _
_ _ _
Industry
.......... . .............
Handicrafts _
_ T
_ ..... _
. .
Transport__________________________________

Power r
Distribution

__

.

_ _ _

Administration and services____________________
Armed services administration_________________

Domestic
Homework
. . . .
Armed forces (January 1) ... __ __ ... .

__ _.

Percent

36,112
11,186
16,621
10,802
3,282
2,334
203
2,867
2,322
1,457
1,379
280
9,125

100.0
31.0
46.0
29.9
9.1
6.5
.5
8.0
6.4
4.0
3.8
.8

Native

1 German official statistics compiled by U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey.
Reich, Austria, Sudetenland and Saar, but not the Eastern annexations.
2 Includes prisoners of war and Jews.

28,984
8,708
12,489
7,640
2,745
1,927
177
2,679
2,228
1,294
1,307
279

Foreign3

7,128
2,478
4,132
3,162
537
407
26
188
94
163
72
1

19.8
22.2
24.9
29.3
16.4
17.4
12.8

6.6

4 .6
11.2
5.2
.4

Territory includes prewar

Estimates of the distribution of foreign workers in Germany are
shown in table 4, by nationality groups, for 1942 and 1944. The data
include prisoner-of-war labor, the largest groups of which were trom
the U.S.S.R., Poland, and France.
In addition to the drain on labor in western Europe caused by the
withdrawal of workers for employment in Germany, reductions in the
41, e., 9,900,000 of 38,884,000 (native labor force 28,984,000, plus armed forces 9,900,000).
41. e., 9,900,000 of 46,012,000 (native labor force 28,984,000. plus foreign labor force 7,128,000, plus 9,900,000).




29
T able 4.— Estimated Number of Foreign Workers Employed in " Greater Germany”
in October 1942 and January 1944 1
Estimated
number (in
thousands)

Estimated
number (in
thousands)
Type of worker

Type of worker
Octo­ Janu­
ber
ary
1942
1944

All countries...................................
Civilian workers..... ...............
Employed prisoners of war..

5,209 8,671
3,579 6,450
1,629 2,221

Poland____ __________ .................
Civilian workers___________
Employed prisoners of war
Netherlands: Civilian workers__
Belgium....... ........ ... ......................
Civilian workers.....................
Employed prisoners of war..

1,156 1,456
1,122 1,400
34
56
139
350
178
530
123
500
556
30

Octo­ Janu­
ber
ary
1942 1944
France........................................ ......
Civilian workers..... ...............
Employed prisoners of war a..

U .S.S.R.s_____ __________ _____

Civilian workers......................
Employed prisoners of w ar...
Italy------------------------------------------Civilian workers.......... ............
Employed prisoners of w ar...
Other countries..................... ..........
Civilian workers____________
Employed prisoners of w ar...

1,028
93
935
1,648
1,193
455

1,970

10
,1 0
8703.000

2.000
1,000

350
180
170
709 1,015
704
920
95
149

205

» Source: 1942, Germany, General Commissioner of Manpower, Arbeitseinsatz, November 20, 1942; 1944,
International Labor Office, The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, Montreal, 1945, Appendix IV.
* Some prisoners of war were released for work in Germany as civilians and are included under civilian;
workers.
* Includes certain groups of persons who were living in Poland before 1939.

work force occurred owing to the number of persons taken prisoner
and because many persons avoided any employment that might benefit
Germany. This cumulative reduction in the labor force was offset in
part by entrants into paid employment and by persons sent out from
Germany to work in conquered countries. Statistics on the wartime
labor force are lacking for most of the countries covered; however, a
few statistics showing employment trends are available for Denmark,
Norway, and Finland.
Denmark.— In Denmark, farm employment decreased during the
German occupation by 30,000 (10 percent) from the prewar total, but
no material changes occurred in the number of fishermen. Employ­
ment in local transportation increased as a result of the requirements
of the German army. The total reported manufacturing employment
rose between 1939 and 1945, although the index of production dropped,
as shown in table 5. This may have resulted from less efficient
work, the greater time consumed in producing wartime substitute
goods, and the sharing of work already mentioned.i
T able 5.— Index of Production and Number of Workers Employed in Denmark in 1939
and 1943, by Industry
Index of production
(1935=100)

Number of workers
employed

Industry
1939

1943

1939

1943

All industries...........................................................................

117

96

188,434

196,975

Food and beverage industry................................................
Textile mdustry____ ____________ _______________ ____
Confectionery industry.................. .......................................
Leather and shoe industry........................................ ..........
Wood manufacturing.............................................................
Stone, clay, sand, cement, and ceramic industry_____
Iron and metal industry1.............................................. .......
Chemicals........................... ...................................................

111
117
117
113
109
99
134
111

95
62
74
116
138
96
105
92

33,247
18,349
24,871
6,986
9,161
12,179
57,681
25,960

33,863
17,232
23,068
8,811
12,872
13,765
59,487
27,877

i This group includes shipyards, machine manufacturing, electrotechnical plants, motor, radio, and tele*
phone manufacturing, and other factories using iron and metals as the most important raw materials.




30
Norway.—Although unemployment rose in Norway during the
winter of 1940-41, only a few hundred workers utilized the agreement
of December 1940 authorizing them fco take work in Germany. (The
number of Norwegian workers in Germany in January 1944 was
estimated at less than 2,000.) Unemployment reached its maximum
in Norway in the spring of 1941 but by the autumn of that year
shortages of labor were noted in forestry and other essential work
because of the large number of workers engaged in construction for
the German occupation forces and in the production of goods sub­
stituted for imports. Employment in manufacturing remained
fairly constant in Norway throughout the war; decreases in commercial
employment were offset by an increase in land transport. Em­
ployment in agriculture and fishing dropped by about 30,000 workers.
The annual increase in the labor force during 1939-45 averaged about
two-fifths that in 1935-39.
Finland.— In Finland the wartime disposition of labor in various
industrial branches was as follows:
Workers
at be­
ginning
of war

Mining and ore dressing____________________
Foundries__________________________________ 1,
Engineering_________________________________ 41,
Stove, clay, glassware, and peat____________ 13,
Chemicals__________________________________ 2,
Leather, rubber, etc_________________________ 11,
Textiles and clothing_______________________ 35,
Paper, pulp, and timber____________________ 44,
Food, drinks, tobacco, etc____________________13,
Lighting and power transmission____________ 3,
Printing____________________________________ 6,

600
900
000
500
900
800
000
000
900
100
300

Workers
at end
of war

2, 600
3, 700
53, 000
9, 900
5, 800
9, 200
26, 500
33, 000
14, 700
3, 400

6,000

THE SITUATION IN 1945

The end of war found the belligerent countries in varying stages
o f economic collapse; every country was faced with an abnormal and
dislocated labor force which was heavily taxed by the burden of
reconstruction and the resumption of its customary peacetime employ­
ment. Unemployment existed side by side with shortages of par­
ticular kinds of labor; efficiency and productivity of labor had been
reduced by malnutrition, demoralization, the failure of money incen­
tives, and lack of equipment. The German system of employment
controls was abandoned in some countries upon liberation, out in
others some of its features were retained and adapted to existing needs.
Western Countries

Belgium.— On the return of the Belgian Government at the time of
liberation in September 1944, Belgium faced a problem of recon­
struction not only for civilian production but also for supplying the
Allied forces which were operating through Belgium to the east.
Employment provided by the Allied military authorities, partially
through the reconstituted Belgian employment-office system, rose to
more than 140,000 by June 1945. Meanwhile, the Belgian Army was
reorganized and more than 250,000 Belgian prisoners and deportees,
of whom possibly 140,000 were industrial workers, were being repa­
triated. B y November, 72,000 of the latter had reentered regular
employment. The Government prepared for possible unemployment
by establishing a broadened unemployment-compensation system and




31
a retraining program.

The reported number of wholly and partially

lation b e lo w .
Number

Number

January______
February____
March_______
April________
May_________
June_________

185, 092
July........... ..
A ugu st______ 175, 036
September____ 171, 720
October______ 142, 776
November___ 136, 517

3 7 9 ,2 6 6
325, 191
221, 992
191, 546
183, 644
174, 233

In the summer and autumn of 1944, the Belgian Government
ordered the liquidation of various economic control organizations
established under the German rule and the de-nazification of the
National Placement and Unemployment Office. Although plans to
mobilize essential industries and freeze all civilian workers to their
jobs were authorized in April 1945, they had not been carried out by
September. At that time, power plants were running at 80 percent
of normal; coal mines, inland waterways, and textile mills at almost
60 percent; and railways and heavy industry at 30 to 40 percent.
This was a considerable improvement over January 1945.
France.-^-The resumption of civilian employment in France involved
the repair of vast material damages and the readjustment of a labor
force which had been dislocated by forced migration, unemployment,
and loss of skills. To deal with essential phases of national recon­
struction, government ministries were created for reconstruction,
industrial production, national economy, agriculture and food supply,
and population. Most of the displaced workers had been repatriated
by early autumn 1945, but few could be expected to work efficiently
for some time. Training courses for the building and other industries
with acute shortages were instituted. By November 1944, some
50.000 prisoners of war had been put to work. By September 1945,
more than 570,000 prisoners were distributed as follows: Some 150,000
in agriculture; 50,000 each in stone breaking and clearance work;
30.000 in mining; and the remainder in the transport, the chemical,
and iron and metal industries. In coal mining, employment increased
from 35,000 in the first quarter of 1945 to 177,000 in the third quarter.
Some improvement in employment conditions in France during
1945 is reflected in recorded unemployment under the unemployment
funds and special wage-compensation legislation of January 8 and
May 20, 1944. This special legislation provided compensation based
on wages lost by workers who were partially or wholly unemployed
because of war destruction in late 1943 and early 1944. As possi­
bilities of employment were developed early in 1945, the wage-loss
benefits were withdrawn from workers in various regions and various
industries.
Number of unemployed receiving benefits from—
Unemployment funds
Wage-loss legislation

1 944 ;

October______________________
November____________________
December____________________
1945:
January______________________
February.________ ____________
March____________
April______ _____
M a y .....................
June_________________________
August_______________________




1 of month.
End

______
19,400
24,000

564,900
495,650
444,400

30, 000
26, 000
10,865
16,304
13,668
11,879
‘ 8,281

1388, 000
1379, 700
‘ 259,350
‘ 156,750
‘ 15,390
*14,020
_

* 15th of month.

32
B y December 1945, French coal mines were operating at 95 percent
of prewar capacity, but the coal shortage was still serious because of
the low level of imports. The general index of industrial production
was placed by a report of the Ministry of Information at 13 percent
of prewar in September 1944, at 35 percent in January 1945,42 percent
in May, and 45 percent in June 1945. Shortages of raw materials
and deterioration in industrial plant during the war, as well as coal
shortages, have continued to retard production.
Certain controls over industry and employment instituted by the
Vichy Government were removed after liberation, among them the
Labor Charter Law of October 1941, with its compulsory syndicalism,
and part of the legislation of August 16, 1941, on industrial production
(by ordinances of the Provisional Government of July 27 and Septem­
ber 26, 1944). Because manpower needs for reconstruction were
great, the act of 1938 for control of labor in wartime was not repealed.
An ordinance of July 3, 1944, retained the general structure of labor
inspection and manpower services developed since 1940 and established
regional and departmental labor offices, with directors of manpower
to coordinate the work of the offices. Under this and a later ordinance
(M ay 24, 1945), all workers and employers were required to notify
their local offices regarding employment needs and positions available,
respectively. In November 1944, measures were approved to permit
governmental use of workers unemployed because of immobilization
of industry by the war (then numbering some 600,000) in the repair
of communications, clearing away debris, etc., and an order of Feb­
ruary 2 provided for the transfer of unemployed male workers. In
an ordinance of M ay 1, 1945, the Provisional Government required
former employers to reengage returned prisoners, demobilized soldiers,
political prisoners, deportees, and members of the resistance move­
ment, and other specified workers, and guaranteed wages during 6
months either from the employer or the State.
Netherlands.— The Netherlands Government issued decrees in
August and September 1944 before its return from exile, providing
for the abolition of the Nazi-inspired labor service and labor front.
Provision was also made for public projects to furnish employment,
for wage subsidy in projects tending to increase employment, and for
a broadened unemployment-benefit system.6 A coordinating com­
mittee in the liberated areas of the Netherlands prevented widespread
unemployment by forbidding the dismissal of workers; by “ freezing”
workers to their jobs; and by placing workers on part-time employment.
When it appeared that a shortage of labor in several industries
resulted in part from a lack of incentives, registration was instituted
in the autumn of 1945, and unemployment benefits were to be with­
drawn if the worker or any member of his household was not registered
and willing to accept suitable work. Withdrawal of the currency in
circulation and the blocking of bank accounts in September 1945
resulted in the registration for employment of approximately 15,000
black-market operators. Total unemployment dropped from 112,622
(excluding the “ black marketeers” ) on June 30, 1945, to 80,000
(including them) in September, but on September 30, 98,000 were
employed part time, receiving “ waiting pay.” Former Dutch Nazis
interned in prison camps were employed by private enterprises, and•
•See Monthly Labor Review, issue of June 1945 (p. 1214).




33
their wages were turned over to the State. By decree of October 5,
1945, termination of employment was forbidden without the consent
of the director of the district labor bureau; some exceptions were
allowed.
Denmark.— Employment in Denmark in early 1945 was restricted
by a greater scarcity of raw materials than at any other time during
the 5-year period of occupation. The number of workers sharing
work increased from an average of 50,000 during 1942-44 to 101,400
in April 1945.7 The discontinuance of Wehrmacht construction in
Denmark and the cancellation of industrial orders for delivery to
Germanv also adversely affected industrial employment in Denmark
before the German collapse. At the time of liberation, the number
of Danish workers employed on Wehrmacht fortification works had
dropped to about .10,000 and the number of Danish workers employed
in Germany and Norway had decreased to about 5,000. The majority
of the workers affected by the war conditions were absorbed into
agriculture, fuel production, and other seasonal enterprises. Stocks
of raw materials which had been held for German account were re­
leased for other purposes after the liberation and helped to maintain
Danish industry during the first months of the transition period.
Only a limited number of requests had been made, at latest report,
for assistance under the extraordinary unemployment-relief measures
which became effective on April 1, 1945.
Norway.— A Labor Directorate was established in Norway,
following liberation, to coordinate the use of manpower through
temporary management of the employment offices and the execution
of measures to forestall and remedy unemployment. A provisional
edict required the authorization of the Labor Directorate, in order
to quit work or close an enterprise. The Directorate first attempted
to stimulate employment in agriculture, forestry, and other industries
which could give immediate employment, and 25 million kroner was
appropriated for clearing, repair, and road work to employ those
persons who previously had done work for the Germans which did
not in itself bar them from employment after liberation. About 90,000
persons were engaged directly in German work at the time of liberation
in 1945. A considerable number of workers returned from hiding to
their former employment. Others were not yet seeking work because
they wanted protracted vacations, or because of their distrust of labor
offices which had been Nazi-controlled, or their unwillingness to work
for pay in a currency in which they had little faith.8 Others were
suspended from the labor force as former Nazi collaborators. Begin­
ning with July, the monthly employment increase rose from 1,800 to
11,600 in October.
Other Invaded Countries

Unemployment was being held at a minimum in Czechoslovakia
toward the end of 1945. Compulsory labor service was introduced
into that country in September and October 1945, through two decrees.
The first decree affected all able-bodied men from 14 to 60 years of age
and women from 15 to 50, of German and Hungarian origin who had
lost their Czechoslovak citizenship, and of Slavic nationality who had
7 Thus, partial employment was provided for the equivalent of 15,000 full-time unemployed workers
during 1942-44 and of 31,300 in April 1945. This reduced the number of unemployed recorded.
8 The Norwegian Government on September 8,1945 inaugurated a monetary and financialreconstrucUon
program which included the exchange of old bank notes for new currency.




34
applied for German or Hungarian citizenship during the occupation.
The second decree affected Czechoslovak nationals (men from 16 to 55
and women from 18 to 45) and was declared to be a temporary measure.
Several factors accounted for the absence of unemployment in
Poland in late 1945; these were the high wartime mortality, the large
number of Polish nationals remaining in other countries, and the
current transfer of 3.5 million Germans from Poland to Germany.
In the second week of October 1945, the Polish Government, in
order to utilize the available manpower most advantageously for re­
construction, promulgated its most sweeping decree providing for the
registration for compulsory labor of all Polish nationals (men 18 t.o 55
years of age and women 18 to 45). The decree exempted from com­
pulsory registration at Government employment offices persons in
military service, State and local officials, professional persons, the
clergy, and persons working in agricultural, forest, and stock-breeding
establishments.
Registered persons may be assigned by the employment offices to
suitable jobs anywhere in the country for a period not exceeding 2
years. Registrants are to be offered jobs in their specialties and to be
allowed to select one of several localities where they might be sent.
In October 1945, the following registrants were exempt from induction
for labor: Students in high schools and universities; the physically
disabled; expectant mothers and mothers with at least one child under
14; owners and employees of industrial, commercial, and cooperative
establishments useful to local and national economy; and teachers in
private schools. Exempt also are the wives of men not subject to labor
draft.
Enemy Countries and Satellites

In the months preceding the collapse, German industry was unable
to utilize fully the labor force at its disposal. Following the surrender
of Germany, industry, transportation, and distribution were brought
almost to a standstill. Foreign laborers, who constituted 20 percent of
the labor force, quit work.
Efforts by the Allied occupying forces to reestablish economic
activity in Germany during the first 6 months of the occupation cen­
tered upon measures necessary for military security, for the rehabilita­
tion of the liberated areas, and the displaced nationals of those areas.
Forty-four percent of the manufacturing plants (representing 10 to 12
percent of the plant capacity in the United States Zone) were operating
in December 1945. Figures are not available for the other zones.
German wartime manpower controls were continued in effect with
certain important modifications; foreign workers were relieved of the
compulsion to work and were repatriated as fast as possible. Dis­
crimination because of race or national origin was ordered abolished;
in some places discrimination was reversed and N^zis were required
to report for the most disagreeable jobs. General registrations of the
adult population were ordered in all zones, coordinated with the
monthly issuance of ration cards. Compulsory labor may be ordered
on any project deemed necessary either for military or civilian pur­
poses, military needs receiving the first priority. Half a million exGerman soldiers organized in German service units have been em­
ployed in the United States Zone to perform necessary tasks connected




35
with building, road repair, and woodcutting. Labor controls for "all
zones were codified and promulgated by the Allied Control Council
on January 17, 1946.
Discussions held by the four occupying powers in September 1945
stressed the need for uniform statistics on employment and unem­
ployment and for uniform methods of registering, allocating, and
controlling labor.
War and defeat left a highly abnormal German labor force, illadapted to the tasks on hand, as it contained a high proportion of
women, old people, and white-collar workers (particularly in the cities).
Consequently, critical labor shortages in essential industries existed
side by side with unemployment. Prisoners of war and disarmed
enemy forces having the necessary skills for building trades, coal
mining, and agriculture were given priority releases by the British
and American armies of occupation. To increase the output of
coal, badly needed for the European economy, the rations of coal
miners were increased, feeding on the job was undertaken, and
recruitment for coal-mine work among displaced persons was insti­
tuted. In some places, training courses for the building trades were
started.
The September unemployment rate was 20.3 percent in the Ameri­
can Zone— 13 percent among males and 28 percent among females.
In December it was 10 percent higher. The results of the registration,
however, are believed to understate the situation. The employment
figures are believed to be padded by employers reporting excess
workers because they were hoarding workers for future employment,
or to assist workers to obtain higher rations or to escape compulsory
labor. All those employed on public work-relief projects were also
included. Considerable numbers failed to register because of trans­
portation difficulties and because of the low purchasing power of
wages and their dependence on home-grown foods owing to the
general food shortages.
In Italy, extraordinary industrial damage and inactivity and un­
employment resulted from the use of the peninsula as a base of
supplies and a battleground from the summer of 1943 to the German
surrender in the spring of 1945. In southern Italy, a survey showed
that employment in industrial establishments having more than 10
workers each dropped more than one-half between 1939 and September
1944; of those listed as employed 42.3 percent were working full time,
47.9 percent were partially employed, and 9.8 percent were totally
inactive (although their names were carried on the pay rolls).
After the German collapse in northern Italy in the spring of 1945,
comparatively little damage of industrial plants was found. Unem­
ployment was estimated later in the year as totaling one million or
more. A plan adopted in June 1945 in northern Italy forbade the
dismissal of workers in industry and required part payment for idle
time of those partially employed. The plan provided that the Govern­
ment would assume part of the cost of payments for idle time. It was
continued, with modifications, until October 15, 1945, when legislation
was pending for further continuance through December 31, 1945.
The number of officially registered unemployed under the general
Italian unemployment-compensation system exceeded 700,000 in




36
September 1945. Total unemployment in November was estimated
at 2 million.
As the Allies advanced up the Italian peninsula in 1944 and 1945,
the Allied Military Government and subsequently the Allied Control
Commission handled various manpower problems, including employ­
ment and the abolition of Fascist labor organization and controls.
An adequate supply of labor was furnished to the Allied Forces, and
regional and Provincial labor offices were established to perform various
functions, including those of employment. The Italian Government
at Kome abolished the Fascist corporations and established freedom
for labor to organize and seek employment.
In Finland, fear of unemployment following the armistice in
September 1944 proved unfounded. The metal and engineering
industries were able to utilize all available skilled labor during the
reconversion, and the greater part of the half-million men de­
mobilized from war service returned to farming. During the first
quarter of 1945, 77,492 workers were employed in industry, 3,518
in construction, 37,068 in State employment, and 11,947 in munic­
ipal employment. A shortage of labor was noted in industries
producing for reparations deliveries, export, and the supply of fuel
and semifabricated materials. Skilled and semiskilled workers
returned only slowly to their previous types of work, and the abolition
of the national-service regulation left no means of directing the transfer
of labor. A measure authorizing the Government to recruit idle labor
for work in factories and forests and on farms was under preparation
early in 1946.
POSTWAR PROBLEMS AND PLANS

Postwar planning for the employment and the full utilization of the
labor force in the liberated and enemy countries is complicated by
uncertainty as to the composition and size of the labor force that will
be seeking work. There has not yet been time to calculate the effect
of such factors as war casualties, population shifts, and changes in
territorial limits, or to work out ways of attracting needed foreign
labor and of shifting surplus workers to other nations.
Certain European countries anticipated a need for immigrant labor,
while others had surpluses for emigration. Belgium had a plan to
obtain needed skilled labor by importing foreign workers, especially
in the coal industry, but it had not developed very fully up to Septem­
ber 1945.9 In France, negotiations were under way in the autumn of
1945 for the importation of Italian workers, and in November the
Minister of Population described a policy which would not only
encourage an increased birth rate but also permit immigration and
a speedier naturalization of foreign workers. In Italy, the employ­
ment of prisoners of war has been opposed by the Government and the
General Confederation of Labor because of unemployment. When
Italian emigration to France was being discussed in the autumn of
1945, the C. G. I. L. agreed to it on the ground of necessity, pro­
vided, however, that the emigrants were guaranteed the same treat­
ment as French workers and would receive social benefits as from the
Italian system. Ministers of Social Affairs of Denmark, Finland, Ice­
land, Norway, and Sweden, at a conference held in September 1945,
• At the end of July 1945, the total number of foreign workers registered in Belgian coal mines was 20,01^
including German prisoners of war, some Poles, Italians, French, and Czechoslovakians.




37
agreed to draft a convention to establish a common labor market, for
ratification by their Governments. About 2.5 million Germans were
to be moved out of Czechoslovakia by August 1,1946, and the Govern­
ment was making every effort to find Czechoslovak nationals to fill
in the gaps in the national economy. Poland similarly was under­
taking to move out 3.5 million Germans.
Training and retraining form another paramount problem. The
Belgian authorities foresaw the need for planning for the rehabili­
tation of workers, and a retraining program and unemploymentcompensation system were implemented in legislation of December 28,
1944, and May 26,1945. France intended to train 200,000 apprentices
for work on construction in connection with the broad national
building program described below. The Norwegian Government has
subsidized necessary training. Training schemes were being fostered
in Italy, e. g., that for the building trades in Milan. The Finnish
Government has planned a training program estimated to cost 58
million marks.
Plans for public works in the liberated countries ,which would aid
in providing not only a guaranty against unemployment but also
the material reconstruction required in postwar years, were developed
during World War II. In 1945, steps were taken to perfect these
plans in the light of the current situation and to put them into effect
as far as shortages of raw materials, industrial equipment, and o f
trained workers would permit. Some of the published plans make
provision for stated public works; others outline theories as to the
government’s part in insuring a high employment level over the long
term, as outlined below.
In Belgium a decree of August 31, 1945, outlined a plan for the
extension and contraction of investment in public works both national
and local in scope. Specifications for public works to be undertaken
immediately and others to be held in reserve (for emergency) were
to be prepared by local governments and submitted annually to an
interministerial committee presided over by the Minister of Public
Works. Provision was made for technical advice in planning and for
determining the amount of national and local subsidy by decree.
The French Government authorized a military census of men 18
to 48 years of age by decree of January 10, 1945, and these men were
to be required to report upon their employment and occupational
qualifications. The Government also required all enterprises to
prepare lists of employees, showing the technical qualifications of
each individual. A plan for reconstruction of housing and industrial
buildings, including water supply, etc., was placed before the Finance
Minister in the fall of 1945. It would require a labor force of 1.7
million persons by the end of 1947, of whom 1 million would be
prisoners of war and other foreign workers. Of the remaining 700,000
possibly 500,000 would be French workmen and artisans and 200,000
qualified French apprentices. Total manpower needs to carry out
the reconstruction plan were estimated at 13.9 billion man-hours
and would require, in addition to France’s prewar 500,000 construction
workers, 1 million foreign workers for 10 years. The creation of a
French Planning Council for Modernization and Reequipment,
composed of Ministers and representatives of civil service, private




38
industry, and the trade-unions was announced in December 1945,
to increase the productive capacity of the national economy.
A Netherlands Government statement submitted to the Lower
House of Parliament late in 1945 proposed Government subsidy and
extension of credit for reconstruction and the rebuilding of industry,
and the reeducation of “ political delinquents” into useful members
of society.
The Danish Government presented a plan to Parliament on its
opening day following liberation (May 9, 1945), providing for State
subsidy of national and municipal works to a total of 600 million
kroner. The money would be used to furnish direct employment to
60.000 to 65,000 persons during a whole year. Production would be
promoted through resumption of Denmark's foreign trade and recon­
struction of the merchant fleet. Late in September 1945, about
14.000 workers were employed on public-wrorks projects under the
emergency legislation.
The Labor Government in Norway is committed to a program of
State planning for the maintenance of full employment, to be assured
by maintaining the level of consumption and by developing private
and public investments. The program also calls for Government
supervision of exports and control of imports through the license
system, for extension of Government control over transportation and
communication, and for possible control by the Government of the
banking and insurance systems.
The Government of Czechoslovakia is extending its control over
the national economy through the nationalization of all key industries,
banks, and insurance companies and is thus becoming the country's
chief employer. The Czechoslovak Government, moreover, has
announced its policy of gradually raising the level of living of the
entire population, and to that end intends to dispose of the country's
manpower in such a way as to meet the needs of the country's planned
economy.
Poland is apparently planning to solve its reconstruction and em­
ployment problems through the nationalization of its basic industries
and the introduction of compulsory registration of labor, described
above.
In Yugoslavia, where about 80 percent of the population is agri­
cultural, the Government has assumed supervision over virtually
the whole of the country's industrial production and distribution,
and is planning to revive war-torn industries and to promote indus­
trialization so as to provide employment for the country's small
industrial working class and for surplus agricultural labor.
Greece is the only country in southeastern Europe in which Govern­
ment control over the national economy is comparatively absent.
The Government, however, has taken several measures to prevent
unemployment. Besides planning a large program of highway and
port works, the Government has authorized the Ministry of Labor
to introduce a share-the-work system of employment in any under­
taking unable to provide full-time work for all of its employees.
Moreover/ the discharge of workers is forbidden except for mis­
conduct or incompetence.
The postwar German labor force will differ materially from that in
prewar years both in size and composition, as a result of several




39
factors: Casualties are estimated at over 4 million, not including
wounded and captured. Losses of territory, chiefly in the east, are
likely to reduce the prewar German working population by 10 percent;
there is, however, an offsetting repatriation of Germans from neighbor­
ing territory to the east and south.
Postwar plans for the employment of this labor force cannot be
made by the Germans, in the absence of a central government, but are
necessarily dependent upon the economic plans of the four occupying
powers. Economic controls devised by the Allies are designed primari­
ly to collect reparations, to disarm Germany, and to prevent a resur­
gence of the German war potential. The Allied Governments indi­
cated at Potsdam, however, that they would make possible the
“ production and maintenance of goods and services required to meet
the needs of the occupying forces and displaced persons in Germany
and essential to maintain in Germany average living standards not
exceeding the average of the standards of living of European countries.
[The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union are excluded.]” Al­
though the tasks of reconstruction and reparations might well require
the full employment of every German able to work— though not
necessarily at a high standard of compensation— this cannot be
attained for some time, owing to the disorganization and dismember­
ment of the country’s economy.
The Italian Government has endeavored to reduce unemployment
by developing coordinated reconstruction plans, including an economic
plan and an import program for 1946. Output of important commod­
ities planned by the Government for 1946 would reach 50 to 80 percent
of prewar production for aluminum, zinc, and lead; from 100 to 170
percent of prewar for precision tools, motor cars, railway rolling stock,
electrical equipment, and agricultural machinery; and 75 percent for
the building industry. Such production, however, would depend on
imports of coal and raw materials, and industry was reported in
November 1945 to be working at 25 percent of capacity. A publicworks program was described in October 1945 as a means of employing
650,000 men. A decree of August 21, 1945, required State and semi­
public and private organizations to reserve 50 percent of their employ­
ment for the following 2 years for ex-prisoners of war, deportees,
partisans, and widows and orphans of soldiers killed in war.
In Finland, a public program for reconstruction is expected to take
15 years, even under the best circumstances. By July 1945, 260
million marks had been granted for repair of roads, railways, bridges,
etc., expected to total an expenditure of 2.4 billion marks. Private
repair of building damage, estimated at 2.8 billion marks, is subsidized
by the State.
A siatic Countries
ASIATIC MAINLAND

Trend oj employment.—The great majority of the people in China
(including the northeastern Provinces of Manchuria) and in Korea,
French Indo-China, and Thailand are dependent upon agriculture for
their livelihood, as shown in table 6. Even in Manchuria,1 probably
0
the most industrialized area, 75 percent of the gainfully occupied
1 Statistical data for Manchuria in this article apply to the Japanese puppet State of Manchukuo, whose
9
boundaries differ slightly from those of Manchuria.




40
population was dependent upon agriculture, fo re stry , and fishing in
1936, while many of those classified as employed in mining, manu­
facturing, or commerce were handicraft workers or workers in very
small establishments with little mechanical equipment. They would
hardly be considered industrial workers in the western sense of the
word.
T

able

6.—Population and Distribution of Gainfully Occupied Persons in Five Asiatic
Countries

Korea,
1930

Item

Manchu­
ria,^ 1936
(official
estimates)

China,
1930-1940
(estimates)

FrenchIndo
China,
1936
(estimates)

Thailand.
1937

Number of persons (in thousands)
Population............................... .........................
Gainfully occupied, total
_ _
Agriculture, fishing, and forestry_________
Manufacturing.................................................

Other__ ____

___

21,058
9,766
7,787
586
1,393

35,803
13,013
9,709
927
2,377

450,000

23,030

*2,000

14,464
6,824
6,04ft
130
645

* 1,570

1 Covers territory in Manchukuo and South Manchuria Railway Zone.
* Factory employment. The total number of handicraft and manufacturing employees is placed at
4,500,000 in some estimates.
* Persons completely dependent upon handicraft were estimated at 1,350,000 in 1938 and all wage-paid
employees numbered 220,000 in 1929.

Since most of prewar Chinese industry was in the occupied areas
along the coast, after the Japanese invasion the Chinese Government
made great efforts to move factories to the interior. By 1940, 12,000
skilled workers, constituting a small but important portion of all
skilled workers, had been moved to the interior, with 116,000 tons of
equipment and materials. The Japanese also removed some textile
equipment from the China coast to Japan.
Wartime conditions brought unemployment in consumer-gooda
industries, particularly textiles, in Occupied China, Korea, and Man­
churia, but in the last two countries the Japanese promoted the
development of heavy industry. Table 7 shows the effect of indus­
trialization in Manchuria up to August 1939.
T able 7.— Factories and Mines in Manchuria, and Their Employment at Specified
Periods, 1935-39 1
Factories

Mines

Date
Number

December 1935________________________________________
December 1936........ .......- ______________________________
December 1937_______________ ______ _______ _________
December 1938____ ____________________ ____ _____ ___
August 1939..............................................................................

179
214
226
319
344

Number of
workers
55,021
71,387
99.112
153,732
180,860

Number

26
36
50
76
92

Number of
workers
58,500
74,403
115,206
182,794
223,913

i Data relate to Japanese-owned, power-equipped factories employing 50 or more persons in Manchukuo,.
South Manchuria Railway Zone, and Kwantung.

Wartime employment controls.— In Free China and also in Japanesecontrolled areas, government manpower programs initially stressed
the recruitment and training of factory workers. Where necessary,,




41
such workers were registered, frozen to their jobs, and in Japanesecontrolled areas, they were virtually conscripted. They were also
given food rations sometimes twice those of ordinary civilians. In
some cases, special housing was provided for factory workers on war
contracts. Male labor for public construction projects was obtained
under a compulsory-labor-service law in Free China, and by similar
but frequently cruder and more drastic measures, in Japanese-con­
trolled areas.
Long-term planning.— For China, Chiang Kai-shek stated on Sep­
tember 7, 1945, that “ only when rural living conditions have been
improved can the industrial and commercial centers have a solid
foundation for rehabilitation.” Plans are being made for extensive
industrial development in China. The Kuomintang and other
Chinese agencies have recommended State ownership of basic indus­
tries, and development of other industries with Government assistance
when the necessary capital cannot be obtained otherwise. Such
State aid will be of particular importance in those industries previously
supported by large Japanese or puppet-government subsidies. Cur­
rent conditions in French Indo-China, Thailand, and Korea have not
made possible the development of specific postwar employment plans;
JAPAN

Introduction of employment controls.—Japan was able to increase
industrial employment in support of the Manchuria incident in 1931
and the China war, beginning in 1937, with relatively little Govern­
ment control. The estimated civilian labor force was increased to
32.3 million persons in 1937 from 29.4 million in 1931, in spite of
some growth in the size of the armed forces. General wartime powers
for the allocation and control of the civilian labor force were granted
in the National General Mobilization Act of 1938 (revised in 1941),
and the terms of this and later laws were made effective through
ordinances from 1939 to the end of the war.
Labor was registered under five orders between July 1938 and
February 1939; the most important registration (January 1939)
covered skilled and technical persons. The first general registration
of November 1941 covered all civilian men between the ages of 16
and 40 years and unmarried women aged 16 to 25. By 1944, 6 million
persons were registered. Registration records or work books were
retained by employers and were withheld from employees who at­
tempted to leave their jobs without proper authorization. Other
measures passed from 1938 to the fall of 1941 gave essential industries
priority in the employment of skilled workers, restricted nonessential
industries in the employment of persons in certain age groups, limited
the movement of designated skilled groups of workers, and provided
for labor conscription.
Employment controls, 1941-45.u —The system of controls established
during 1941 continued without much legal change until mid-1943
when men aged 14 to 40 years were prohibited from holding employ­
ment in 17 specified nonessential occupations. Registration was ex­
panded early in 1944, and in February 1944 men aged 14 to 60 and
unmarried women aged 14 to 40 were made subject to conscription;
u Owing to the war, all statements are necessarily based upon incomplete evidence; they do represent the
latest information on the Japanese manpower situation available in the United States.




42
this power was used extensively as regards men during 1943 and was
applied to women in November 1944. By late 1944, these age groups
had to obtain approval from employment offices before accepting
a job. By the end of the war in 1945, the Japanese stated that 6 million
workers had been conscripted. In addition, the Womens Volunteer
Labor Corps mobilized nearly a half-million women for part-time
work and, in March 1945, schools suspended all class work above the
elementary grades, providing a reported 1,927,000 workers.
Disposition of labor force.—Estimates of population and labor
force distribution in Japan are shown in table 8 for selected years
from 1930 to 1944. The civilian labor and the armed forces formed
46 percent of the total population in 1930 and 51.9 percent in 1944.1
2
The employed women represented 33 percent of the work force
in 1930 and 36.1 percent in 1944. The most marked change in the
structure of the labor force from 1930 to 1944, according to the esti­
mates, was the rise in industrial employment, amounting to 59 percent.
Volume of agricultural employment dropped about 1 percent but, in
relation to the increased labor force, its relative importance was con­
siderably reduced during these 15 years. Insofar as the estimates
of the Japanese labor force are reliable, they indicate that most of the
great increase in industrial unemployment had occurred by 1941,
prior to the inauguration of extensive manpower controls. These
measures were, however, probably largely responsible for increases in
the total military and civilian labor supply after 1941 and were also
important in moving workers from civilian to war industries.
T

able

8.—Estimated Population and Distribution of Labor Force in Japan, by Principal

ActivityJ 1930,1937,1941, and 19U
Number of persons (in millions)
UU J
T UJ
1930
Population
Estimatad civilian labor force _
.
Agriculture
.
..
.
___ _____ _____ ____ ___________
Eishing
Mining
Mannfactnring and construction
Commerce___________ ____ _______________________________
Transportation and cornmnniratinn.
__ .
Government and professional
__ _
Domastio
Miscellaneous.
_ _
Arm^d forces 2
.

64.5
29.4
14.1

.6

.3
5.9
4.9
.9

1.8
.8
.1
.2

1937
71.3
32.3
13.7
.7
.4
7.6
5.7
.9
1.9

1.0
.4

1941
73.9
31.9
13.2
.7
.5
8.5
4.8
.9

2.1
.8
.4

1944
75.0
32.7
13.9
.5

.6

9.4
3.9

1.1

2.4

.6

.3
*6.2

1 The industrial distribution for 1930 is taken from the 1930 Census of Japan, Final Report, table 46,
Industrial Distribution. All other data are estimated by United States Government agencies.
2Estimates for the armed forces are not available for 1937 and 1941; the number given for 1944 is the number
in the armed forces in August 1945, according to the United States War and Navy Departments.

Situation in 1945.—Japanese radio broadcasts between August 14
and November 15,1945, were the main source of information available
in the United States on the postwar relaxation of employment controls.
They state that the ban on employment of males aged 14 to 40 years
in the 17 nonessential wartime occupations was removed, that the
national patriotic labor-service organizations were disbanded, that
registration for work was discontinued, and that anyone was free to
seek employment at will.
1 This percentage was obtained by adding to the civilian labor force of 32,700,000 in 1944, the estimated
2
figure of 6,200,000 men in the armed forces at the time of surrender in 1945, and dividing by the total popu­
lation (estimated at 75 million).




43
In November, measures were under consideration to alleviate labor
shortages existing in coal mining, shipbuilding and repair, and
agriculture, although the general outlook was cne of widespread
unemployment. Japanese estimates placed the number of unem­
ployed at 4 million on November 16, 1945. Reports indicate that
large numbers of former city dwellers had gone to live with relatives
on farms and that many Japanese have been engaged in rebuilding
their homes, living meanwhile on savings accumulated while doing
war work.
The Japanese Government hoped that reconstruction and agricul­
tural development could absorb the unemployed. By December
1945, the Ministry of Agriculture had formulated plans to resettle
100,000 families, by April 1946, on land formerly under army or
private ownership. In addition, adult males were to have job
preference over students, old people, women, and Koreans, and 3
million women were expected to withdraw from industrial occupations.
Most Koreans in Japan and Japanese in Korea will probably [return
to their respective countries of origin. Under the Allied occupation
policy and the economic disarmament program, the Japanese Govern­
ment is responsible for measures for the relief of unemployment and
the development of peaceful civilian industries.

Curtailment of British Employment Controls1
A FURTHER sharp curtailment in the groups of workers still sub­
ject to the wartime Control of Engagement Order was made effec­
tive in Great Britain on December 20, 1945.i With certain excep­
2
tions indicated below, men aged 31 and over, and all women regard­
less of age, were freed from the obligation of obtaining work through
the Ministry of Labor and from direction into employment.
Directions to employment under the order were to be used in
future only for a few industries and services, or, in exceptional cases,
when needed for the administration of the Essential Work Orders and
similar orders that remained operative and coveied men and worrier
of all ages. The main exceptions follow:
(i) Nurses and midwives up to and including the age of 40 for women (50 for
male nurses) will be subject to existing control for 6 months.
(ii) Men up to and including the age of 50 in the building and civil engineer­
ing industries will be subject to existing controls. This means that men and
women covered by exceptions (i) and (ii) must still get their jobs through the
Ministry of Labor and may be directed to the most important jobs.
(iii) Male agricultural workers up to and including age 50 will be subject to
existing controls. This means that such workers who want to work outside
agriculture can only do so if they obtain the permission of the Ministry of Labor
and must get such jobs through a local office of the Ministry.

Employers were to be free to advertise for workers subject to the
Control of Engagement Order.
The upper age limit for control, namely, up to and including the
age of 30 years, coincides with the age for military draft, and further
reductions in the age limit for military service were to result in cor­
responding reductions in the age limit for civilian control.
i Information is from Great Britain. Ministry of Labor and National Service. Ministry of Labor
Gazette, December 1945 (p. 217).
* See Monthly Labor Review, issue of September 1945 (p. 437) for a summary of the amendments to the
Control of Engagement Order effective June 4, 1945. See also Monthly Labor Review for January 1946
(pp. 6-24) for relaxation of wartime labor controls




II. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I94C