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Work Unemployment And Poverty sample essay


The decline of the traditional industries and the emerging of new industries brought changes which resulted in unemployment and poverty. The world wide slump also contributed to the problems of unemployment to the working class individuals. The national government responded to unemployment in positive and negative ways. The growth of poverty had social and political impacts on the individuals. The essay will conclude on the government’s attempts, churches, organisations and other individual’s ways to alleviate the problems associated with poverty. Analyse the occupations and industries of the 1930’s in Britain The occupation and industries of Britain in the 1930’s was heavily industrialised and traditional industries that were available in the 1930s were iron, coal and steel industries. These industries were the most important source of employment for the individual especially in South Wales and Northern England.

These industries provided jobs for individuals( individuals were employed as coal miners, peddlers’, iron workers, labours, ship builders etc,) and created the working class and this enabled them to earn incomes to buy goods and pay bills like rent , and a better standard of living. (Tiratsoo, 1997) Upper class and middle class people also invested money and started new businesses and this boosted the economy and increase the number of working class people. At the end of the 19th century the industries started to decline for a number of reasons. Ross 1995 points that the worldwide slump was one of the reason industries closed, wages were cut and millions of individuals were made redundant. Minchton (1969) points that the welsh economy suffered because of the lack of demand for iron and coal because the wars had ended and there was less demand for coal to smelt iron and iron to make iron ammunitions.

This resulted in industries getting less orders for exports, making less profit and in addition, coal miners, puddlers, iron workers were made redundant and their wages were reduced . The coal fields and iron ore deposits of South Wales and Northern England were no longer the main source of employment for the individuals. According to Williams (1988), Wales overspecialised and heavily relied with the manufacture of primary industry and this lead to the welsh economy to its decline. Baber and Williams (1986) supports that the regions primary industry had over –concentrated on coal, steel tin plate and iron and has lead to the downturn of the business cycle. The closure of Dowlais Company in 1931 and the collapse of Palmer’s shipyard in 1931 and the emerging of public services or( white –collar jobs) and electric industries saw the beginning of structural unemployment. (Smith, 1998, 31) Evaluate the changes in industry and their effects upon the individual.

However this had negative effects to the individual s during the decline period workers were made redundant and this resulted in high employment rates, their wages were lowered and all this resulted in workers struggling and unable to pay their bills and buying other commodities especially food. Since most of the people had no wage and could not afford to buy things, this resulted in most businesses to go bankrupt and creation of continuous unemployment. (Egan 1987: 15, 20, 26)

The emerging of new industries meant that the workforce no longer possessed the skills needed to work in these new industries. The new industries The coal miners from the declined industries were faced with an effect of being unable to get employment in the new industries because their skills were not matching with the new technology skills needed in the new industries e.g. as electric technicians , nursing , teaching and administration. Smith 1998 supports this by pointing out that there was a problem in matching the new jobs to the jobless in the consumer industries and public services .

The changes of the old industries to new industries came with more unemployment because the majority of the workforce jobless and could not easily transfer skills, e.g coal miner could not easily adapt to the work of an electrical engineer. Summarise the problems of unemployment and implications for the individual(Lower class, middle class and upper class) In summary the problems of unemployment and implications it had on individuals they were problems associated with unemployment and implications it had on the individuals. The problems of unemployment during the 1930’s were that individuals or the working class were not earning a wage to be able to maintain a good standard of living. This resulted in the unemployed not able to pay their rent and a a result they were evicted from their homes leading homelessness The working class fell on the lower class category . According to Ross 1995, the lower class was 68 per cent of the population and had to do manual labouring jobs and earned between £50 to £150 a year and did not own their own homes and they lived in homes that were small poorly built , crowded no bathrooms or electricity.

The problems the working class was that there were unemployed and could not get jobs in the new industries because they were unskilled. (Smith 1998) The working class was not able to buy food and this resulted in them eating unhealthy diets and leading to malnutrition. ) . The other problem was that the unemployed the new industries were not located in areas where there was high unemployment for example in old traditional industries, industries like in Methyr Tydfil were located close to raw materials whereas the new industries were located in London, south east and West midlands and they were powered by electricity not coal and goods were transported by road not rail. (Rowe 2004) But however Smith 1998 pointed that most unemployed individuals found themselves better off on the dole than earning a wage. Because, the dole was given , taking the family size into consideration whereas, the wage did not consider the size of the family. The upper and middle classes did not have the same problems and implications compared to the working class (lower class).

According to Ross 1995, the upper class did not have to work to earn a living they had enough money to live on and were about seven percent of population. The middle classes were about twenty-five percent in population and were the individuals who got employed and had the skills to work in the new industries and they were educated and did not have to manual labouring work. The types of jobs they worked were doctors, lawyers , nurses electricians, brigadier general shop assistants’ administrators and teachers just to mention a few the jobs that the lower class were unskilled in. The middle classes, owned homes, bought cars, new technological goods, such as washing machines, irons and had some savings. However even though some of them lost their jobs during the slump but they were able to survive. (Rowe, 2004) (Ced , 1985) points a good comparison between the lower class and upper class that .

A retired Brigadier general who had inherited an ancestral home five years before had already sold half his land , he was also earning £800 per annum in pension . he owned properties which he collected rent from even though he had lost half of his land he lost £6000 on Haltry crash and his wife had an income as well. Whereas there was lower class individual who lost his job as a labourer and with twenty children living in a three bed rented house. This two scenario’s points that it was an unjust society and there was a huge difference between the middle classes and the poor. Even though the rich lost some of their wealth during the slump but they were able to continue with their normal life ate well and lived in a good home and even had extra but for the labourer he lost his job , had twenty children a a wife to feed.

He also needed money for rent otherwise him and his family face eviction and homelessness. Explain the impact of unemployment and briefly evaluate the national Government‘s response to unemployment Unemployment caused further implications; the more the workers stayed at home unemployed the more they lost their skills. Also the fact that most women continued in employment after men came back from war meant that some of the jobs that were available to men before war were taken by women. (Smith, 1998)

This increase in unemployment led The National Government to respond to unemployment by introducing The Unemployment Act of 1934 which gave family means tested benefits for unemployed individuals. It also helped the unemployed workers to retrain this was good because the individuals however had a basic standard of living however some of the unemployed coal miners and steel workers were no longer interested in looking for work to relying on benefits this resulted in government spending more on benefits . (Smith, 1998) The National Government also introduced the Industrial Transference scheme which meant to that workers were being moved from areas without employment to areas where there was employment. This left older people and young children in areas where there was no employment leaving the areas under populated and areas of employment populated Minchiton (1969) The government also introduced the Special areas act of 1935 which attracted new industries to invest in areas where there was no employment.

This was beneficial to South Wales and parts of Scotland (Rowe 2004) The national government also came off the gold standard and the effect of this was that it devalued the pound against the US dollar and resulted in boosting the British economy. The National Government did cut unemployment benefits by ten percent and this lasted till 1934 had an impact on the individual it meant that they had to cut back on things including food.( Rowe 2004) However , Rowe (2004), points that the unemployed benefited during this period the managed to earn a suburban life, managed to buy car , the new technological gadgets including washing machines, electric cookers irons etc. Explain the growth of poverty and assess its social and political impact. The growth of poverty during this period had social and political impacts. The poverty was caused by unemployment and low wages due to the closure of the old traditional industries, the world wide slump (great Depression), and benefit cuts.

The working class (lower class) suffer poverty because the Socially the unemployed were not able to earn a good standard of living. They had no money to pay rent and they lived in appalling conditions, and they were not able to buy the new technological gadgets that had just entered the market. This resulted in some of the unemployed being evicted from their homes or having to rely on family means tested benefits. It also resulted in some of them being opting to relocate to areas where there was employment leaving their families and children behind. According to Tiratsoo (1997), the growth of poverty socially had an impact to the unemployed that were unable to eat a healthy diet and they lacked food and this resulted in malnutrition and physical stresses. Smith 1998 points that, The wives of the unemployed men fund themselves constantly cutting their own diets, medical needs, and clothing in order to keep men in the family ‘ready for work’

Source: Democracy in a depression

According to Tiratsoo (1997), the middle classes had bags of disposable incomes; they had private health care, pensions, private education for their children, and lots of leisure time. Whereas the lower classes had no disposable incomes instead there were on benefits. The impact of poverty was that the working classes organised a general strikes of 1926 and it was unsuccessful the government said it was illegal and the middle classes opposed it saying that violence frightened them .The Jarrow crusade of 1936 was sparked by mass unemployment and poverty the march was not successful the government dismissed the marchers and there was no success on this march. (Ross , 1995) Evaluate the attempts at solving the problems associated with poverty The government, charities, churches and other individual tried to solve the problems associated with poverty. The government introduced benefits the mean tested to the unemployed.

Charities like Joseph Rowntree Trust they helped with their writing and research with the wage increases and a pension scheme for the poor. (Ross, 1995) , According to Smith ( 1998) other individuals helped with food parcels and clothes for the poor . The government’s welfare system during the 1930’s was helpful because it brought a relief to the unemployed and reduced poverty even though it was not enough.

This essay concludes that the disappearance of the traditional industries and the emerging of new industries brought changes which resulted in unemployment and poverty. The world wide slump also contributed to the problems of unemployment to the working class individuals. The national government responded to unemployment in positive and negative ways. The growth of poverty had social and political impacts on the individuals. The government, churches, organisations and other individuals attempted to alleviate the problems associated with poverty.

Baber, Colin& Williams L, J , ( 1986)- modern South Wales, Cardiff University of Wales Press. Ced , N Gray (1985) ,The worst times: An oral History of the Great Depression in Britain, Scholar Press. Egan, David, ( 1987)- People Protest and Politics: Case Studies in Nineteenth Century Wales (Paperback) , Gomer press Minchinton, W, E (1969), – Industrial south Wales 1750 -1914, Frank Cass and Company Limited, London. Rowe, C, (2004), Britain 1929- 1998, Harcourt Education, Oxford. Ross, S (1995), Britain through the Ages. Britain Since 1930, Evans Brothers limited, London Smith , M, (1998) Democracy and Depression , University of Wales press. Tiratsoo,N (1997),Blitz to Blair , A new History of Britain since 1939, London .

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