FMC Home Link PBS Program LinkFMC Book LinkViewer's Voices LinkInteractivity LinkTeacher's Guide
  Book Intro LinkBook Authors LinkBook Download LinkCredits Link
FMC Logo 1
  < Back to Contents
  Chapter Two:

  Men's Occupations
  Farm Operators
  Employee Fatalities
  Men's Working Lives
  Work Hours
  Daily Housework
  Working Women
  Women at Work: Values
  Women's Occupations
  Minority Professionals
  Labor Unions



FMC Logo 2  



chart link spacer



Propelled by advances in technology, the ratio of engineers to population increased steadily. The comparable ratio for lawyers and physicians, however, remained largely unchanged until 1970, when it began to rise markedly.
The supply of engineers per thousand population increased in every decade, driven by technological progress and increasingly complex production processes. Most engineers were middle-level employees of large enterprises. At the end of the century, a bachelorís degree was still sufficient for licensing in many engineering specialties. 

The relative supply of lawyers was more responsive to trends in social policy than to technological progress. Because requirements for entry were raised during the first half of the century and the size of law schools was effectively restricted, the ratio of lawyers to population was slightly lower in 1970 than in 1900. The number of lawyers per thousand population nearly tripled between 1970 and 1998, however, largely in response to the widening role of governments and a boom in litigation. 

The relative supply of physicians declined early in the century, primarily as a con-sequence of the 1910 Flexner Report, which brought reform to the standards and curricula of U.S. medical schools and closed marginal schools. As a result, the number of physicians per thousand population remained almost unchanged from 1920 to 1970. Licensing requirements continued to be raised until certification in some specialties involved eight or more years of formal training. Most physicians were independent practitioners. The restriction of supply in the face of increasing demand gave physicians the highest average incomes of any occupational group. Such restrictive policies were largely abandoned after 1970 in response to public pressure, as well as massive new funding from the Medicare and Medicaid programs (see page 152).

Chapter 2 chart 4

Source Notes
Source Abbreviations

HS series D 255, D 267, and D 275; SA 1991, table 652; SA 1996, table 637; SA 1997, table 645; SA 1998, table 672; and SA 1999, table 675.


<<Previous      Next>>  


PBS Program | Trends of the Century | Viewer's Voices | Interactivity | Teacher's Guide