Seasonal Trades by Various Writers (Classic Reprint)

Seasonal Trades by Various Writers (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Seasonal Trades by Various Writers

The "Seasonal Trades," in which several millions of our fellow citizens find their livelihood periodically interrupted from no fault of their own, have, in the last decade, often been referred to. But they seem never to have been made the subject of detailed study. The nineteenth century economists, as appears from the first of the following chapters, scarcely deigned to notice the seasonal tides upon the industrial ocean; and practically no attempt seems to have been made to ascertain, by specific investigation of facts, how far the current generalisations as to rates of wages and conditions of employment were borne out by the actual phenomena. The bibliographical information in the present volume indicates how scanty is our stock of knowledge on the subject. From philanthropic motives, during the past two decades, special attention has been paid to dock and wharf labour, and to the building trades; but the problem of their "seasonality" has not been specifically studied in connection with that of other industries.

The present volume is the outcome of a Seminar at the London School of Economics and Political Science during the session 1910, in which Mr. Arnold Freeman, to whom the putting together of the book is almost wholly due, acted as my assistant. Prepared amid examination and other pressure, in competition with other studies, and necessarily under stress of time, these chapters of "students' work" inevitably fall short of the highest standards of scientific investigation or economic scholarship.

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