Magazine article Workforce Management

Then & Now: There's Work to Be Done

Magazine article Workforce Management

Then & Now: There's Work to Be Done

Article excerpt

To celebrate Workforce Management's 90th anniversary, each month we've been running stories looking at important workforce-related issues with a then-and-now theme. Here are some snapshots of those articles from the 1920s to 1970s. In the coming months, we will showcase the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as well as what the future might hold. The stories were written by Lisa Beyer, Samuel Greengard, Susan G. Hauser and Todd Henneman. To read these articles in their entirety, go to

1950s Generational Workforce

IN 1958, MEL BLOOM STARTED WORKING for the CBS owned-and-operated television station in Chicago. The young journalist was eager to work in the fast-growing medium. After all, almost 90 percent of U.S. households owned a television by then, a tenfold increase since the decade's dawn.

Bloom and others his age became known as the conformist "company men." Bloom's peers have largely left the workforce by now. But their experience is a reminder of the way each American generation finds its way into the world of work.

Dubbed the "Silent Generation" by Time magazine, those born between 1925 and 1942 had their entrance into careers eased by a thriving economy. Consumers were not only buying televisions but also cars and other big-ticket items unavailable during wartime shortages. Fueling spending, the postwar population was growing at a historic pace." Builders raced to meet the demand for houses as new parents left cities for the plush parks and new schools of suburbs.

Some of the older workers in Bloom's office grumbled about the new guys. After all, many of them weren't old enough to remember the Great Depression and hadn't fought in World War II.

"They talked about our generation not knowing what it was like to fight and struggle," Bloom says. They were critical that "we never seemed to get excited or upset. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.