Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/37

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SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

increased population to live, and not the least important consequence of this necessity is the increase of the industrial population.

The figures pertaining to trade and industry are very instructive. In 1855 there were 56,000 male employers and 42,000 employees or wage-earners a proportion of four to three; in 1870 the figures were respectively 67,000 and 48,000 nearly the same proportion. Ten years later the employers were still in the majority; but in 1890 they were considerably outnumbered by the employees, and in 1901 the proportion was nearly two to one (134,000 employees and 69,000 employers). In 1911, while the number of employers had risen to 72,000, the number of workmen and office-workers was about 158,000. Whereas in 1855 trade and industry together (firms or individuals) had employed about 100,000 workers, fifty-six years later they employed about a quarter of a million; and whereas in 1855 the proportion of employers was 57 per cent., in 1911 it was only 31 per cent. This comparatively short period therefore witnessed a complete revolution. A corresponding impression of the movement may be obtained from the three industrial censuses taken between 1897 and 1914.

The circumstances of the town labourer were by no means easy. We have precise information for 1872; and as it has been proved that during the first decade after the abolition of the guild system workmen's wages were not essentially changed, the figures we give may be taken to represent conditions as they were during the whole period from 1860 to 1872. According to the statistics available, the average daily wage in Copenhagen was 2.73 kroner ($0.73) for industrial workmen and 2.38 kroner ($0.64) for artisans. The working day was long ten to eleven hours exclusive of time for meals. The price of food was high, so that a workman, if he had a family to support, could not provide for it even the bare necessities of life. It was thus absolutely necessary for his wife and children, so far as they could, to participate in the earning