The Transportation Industries, 1889-1946: A Study of Output, Employment, and Productivity

The Transportation Industries, 1889-1946: A Study of Output, Employment, and Productivity

The Transportation Industries, 1889-1946: A Study of Output, Employment, and Productivity

The Transportation Industries, 1889-1946: A Study of Output, Employment, and Productivity

Excerpt

As its subtitle indicates, this book deals with the output of transportation services, with the draft upon the labor force required to produce this output, and with the changing relationship between traffic and employment. Like others issued by the National Bureau, the volume reviews a segment of the American economy and reports upon the progress that has been made in physical efficiency since the end of last century. Concerned with global magnitudes and long-range tendencies, it complements an earlier volume focused on cyclical fluctuations, Thor Hultgren American Transportation in Prosperity and Depression (NBER, 1948).

My desire has been to play no favorites, yet in the outcome the attention given to different kinds of transportation varies greatly. To some readers the choice of topics for discussion may seem arbitrary. A few words of explanation are in place.

The three chapters in Part One profess to cover the entire field of commercial or for-hire transportation, excluding only the operations of the private passenger car and the privately owned truck. Yet data for taxicabs, local trucking, and contract air carriers are not included. Failure to cover these activities, which undoubtedly fall within the scope of the study, is due simply and solely to lack of data.

In Part Two, five industries are chosen for individual consideration. The principle of selection was to treat in the body of the text only those industries for which both output and employment indexes could be constructed, so that trends in productivity might be assessed. Because no employment indexes could be constructed for buslines or for motor trucking, these two industries do not . . .

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