Current issue: 56(4)
The investigation is based mainly on the material collected for Finnish rural labour force study in connection with the 1950 Population Census. A total of 44,667 men, aged 15-64, were interviewed in connection of the census, and a sub-group consisting of a sample of the forest and floating labour, 28,850 men, was formed for this study. Finnish rural population typically cultivates the land, tends cattle, works in the forest, builds roads and houses and floats timber without specializing in any of these jobs. The work done in the own farms is called unpaid work in this study in contrast to paid work outside the farm.
The paid forest and floating labour force (308,600 men) includes all forest and floating workers who reported that they have worked for a minimum of one day. Forest work is heavily winter-dominated. Only in the floating work there was a declining trend in the time series of 1933-1934 and 1942-1955. The average forest and floating labour input per man was small, 40-70 days depending on the occupational group. Only 13,000 workers worked over 200 days, and 32,000 worked 150 days. 44% of the paid forest and floating workers were members of families cultivating small farms, 26% had larger farms, and the remaining 30% were farmless or members of a family holding a building lot.
The main difficulty in finding manpower for summertime forest work seems not to be the lack of time for paid work because of the men’s unpaid work. They seem to prefer other, more attractive paid work.
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