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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles containing the keyword 'workforce'.

Category: Article

article id 7460, category Article
Lauri Heikinheimo, Toini Ristimäki. (1956). Metsä- ja uittotyövoiman määrä ja rakenne. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 7 article id 7460. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7460
English title: Size and structure of forest and log-floating labour force in Finland.
Original keywords: metsätyö; uitto; työvoima; maataloustyö

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.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Heikinheimo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Ristimäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7459, category Article
Toini Ristimäki, Sulo Väänänen, Lauri Heikinheimo. (1956). Maaseudun elinkeino- ja työttömyysalueet miestyövoiman ajankäytön perusteella. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 6 article id 7459. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7459
English title: Distribution by industry and unemployment of the manpower in rural districts in Finland.

In Finland the workers engaged in forestry and, in the rural districts, also in construction are seldom occupied with the work throughout the year or even for greater part of the year. Due to this, these industries seem disproportionally small in the statistics of census. The aim of this study was to gain figures that describe better the significance of these industries. Therefore, data was collected by replacing the man unit by a time unit, a day. The results are raised estimates of the activity by the men interviewed in 1950 Census of Finland, aged 15-64, living in rural communes.

In four areas of Finland, namely South-West Finland, Ostrobothnia, South Savo and Savo-Karelia, the male labour input to agriculture as a proportion of the total activity of the male labour was greater than in other parts of the country. In the western part of the country, the conditions of agriculture are favourable and the farms larger than in average in the country and the intensity of farming is greater. In South Savo and Savo-Karelia the conditions are poorer, consequently, the male labour input to agriculture per hectare under plough is greater than in the western areas.

In Finland, forest work is an occupation supplementary to work in agriculture, but the agriculture, based on predominantly small farms, is unable to utilize the entire work potential of the farming population. In Central and Eastern Finland, the forestry districts often coincide with the agricultural districts. In the coastal areas, where agriculture was relatively intense, the labour input to forestry remained small. The best forests are situated in Southern, Central and Eastern Finland, and the labour demand is, therefore, larger. Unemployment was heaviest in Southern Finland in certain densely populated districts with high proportion of urban occupations. It concerned mainly building workers, general labourers and harbour workers. In Northern Finland there was structural unemployment independent of business cycles.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Ristimäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Väänänen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Heikinheimo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7458, category Article
Sulo Väänänen. (1955). Ammattimaisten metsätyömiesten asunto-olot. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 5 article id 7458. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7458
English title: Housing conditions of professional forest workers in Finland.

The data on housing conditions presented in this study derives from the general population census of Finland of 1950. The sub-sample of professional forest workers was taken from the sample collected for the larger investigation of rural labour force. The housing density of professional forest workers was considerably higher than the average for the population in general. The total population of the country, according to the 1950 Census, showed a ratio of 154 persons to 100 rooms, while the average weighted with the number of rooms for forest workers was 237:100, and the unweighted 340:100. If three per room is taken as the limit of crowded housing, nearly half of the professional forest workers lived in crowded conditions. Over two-thirds of them owned their dwellings, and only 2% of them lived in dwellings owned by the employer. Three quarters of all the men belonged to the holder-family of small farms. About three quarters of them lived in dwellings of one or two rooms. Also, the size of the family and household affected the housing density. The housing density exceeds the average in the youngest age classes. This is probably because the sons of families with poor economic standing must start work young in forestry, and those families have a high housing density. A quarter of the families had electricity in their dwellings. Few had running water or sewage in their houses.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Väänänen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7457, category Article
Toini Ristimäki. (1955). Kääpiöviljelmien miestyövoiman käyttö. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 4 article id 7457. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7457
English title: Use of workforce of small farms.

The investigation into the manpower of small farms is a part of the 1950 rural labour force survey. The purpose of this work was to study the use of manpower of small farms, that have 0.25-0.499 ha under plough. The manpower of the farms refers to men of 15-64 years of age, members of the family, whose input of unpaid labour to farming was not less than 21 days in 1950. The aim was to find out the extent to which the labour input was to farming and to what extent to paid work outside the farm. The data was collected in connection to the census of Finland as a sample.

The men of small farms are primarily temporal workers in the different occupations. Their labour input in the own farms per hectare under plough increased as the size of the farms decreased. This seemingly contradictory result is due to a low decree of mechanization, the organization of work, the quality of the labour force and the great relative importance of maintenance work in small farms. Also, especially in the remote areas there is not available enough paid work for the men living in small farms. Farms in Lapland and the county of Oulu had most forest land, which increased the unpaid work on forestry. Forestry in small farms tends to require more unpaid work, because they use less hired labour and make less sales of standing timber.

This is the workforce in forest and construction industry, that are sensitive to business cycles, and draw additional manpower during boom of trends without affecting unemployment figures. Agricultural income of the men of small farms was estimated by comparing it with wages of a worker. Their income per day for unpaid labour was lower than the daily wage of a farm worker. High number of small farms is a result of agricultural policy in Finland. The aim has been to keep the proportion of agricultural population high since it is considered to be best able to provide work and a decent living. The farms, established in connection with the abolition of tenant farming and through colonization, were mostly small.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Ristimäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7456, category Article
Toini Ristimäki. (1955). Nuorukaisten ja täysi-ikäisten miesten arkiajan käyttö. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 3 article id 7456. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7456
English title: Annual round of activity of youths and adult men.

The study is a part of the investigation of the rural labour force in Finland in 1950. The data was collected in the form of a sample in connection with the census of Finland, and covers the rural male population of the age of 15-64. In this study the men in the age group of 15-19 are classified as youths and the 20-64 as adult men.

Youths in rural districts participated in production, calculated in man-days, to almost at the same extent as adult men. The total labour input of the youths was 78% of the total activity, and that of adult men 85%. About 75% of the men or their families owned a farm. The main activity, 151 days a year, of 47% of the youths and 51% of the adult men was in work on their own family farms. The input of paid labour of youths was smaller than that of adult men.

In rural districts 37% of the youths and 47% of the adult men spent the main part of the annual round of activity in paid work. However, in Lapland only quarter of the youths and half of the adult men was in paid work. Forest and agricultural work seem to have a greater meaning for youths, and construction of houses and industrial work for adult men. Only 12% of the youths and 13% of the men were employed principally as professional workers in forestry, agriculture or construction of houses. Jobs in industry, commerce, transport and communication had little significance.

About 36% of the youths had no permanent occupation. This figure includes, however, also those who were studying, or were at home at least for the greater part of the year. About 12% of the total activity of the youths was studying.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Ristimäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7455, category Article
Lauri Heikinheimo. (1955). Maaseudun miestyövoiman arkiajan käyttö. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 2 article id 7455. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7455
English title: Use of rural workforce in Finland.

The article comprises some of the principal results of the labour force material collected in connection with the 1950 census of Finland. It includes the basic tables in which are listed the calculated estimates of total number of rural male forest and floating labour force, their labour input to agriculture, forestry and floating in 1950. In addition, division of the labour force into farmers and not-farmers and by districts are presented. The unemployment time and relief work input of the rural population was also calculated.

Finland’s economic situation in 1950 was characterized by a slow recovery from depression of the previous year. The situation had not yet improved in such measure that would have relieved appreciably the rural unemployment that arose from shortage of work available in the forest.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Heikinheimo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7454, category Article
Lauri Heikinheimo. (1954). Metsätyövoiman tutkimusmenetelmä. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 63 no. 1 article id 7454. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7454
English title: Method of surveying forest labour.

In Finland the general shortage of labour during the Second World War called attention to employment problems in forestry. After the war the scope widened to include sociological and human maters. The Finnish Rural Labour Force Study deals with the whole rural labour force, not only forest work. Due to the scale of the subject, pilot studies were started by the Institute of Forest Economics at the University of Helsinki and the Central Statistical Office and the Board of Agriculture in 1950. This article describes in detail the methods used in the pilot studies the and main survey.

The aim of the survey was to obtain a reliable picture of three subjects. 1) The labour input of the male rural population during the observation year, its distribution and the seasonal fluctuations in the structure of labour input. 2) The unemployment time of the rural population, the periods underemployment and its seasonal variation. 3) The number of male workers engaged for a shorter or longer period during the year in certain occupation. The paper discusses the different data sources and ways to collect the data either from enterprises or workers. One of the obstacles is the large number of enterprises in agriculture and forestry. Consequently, the total number of people employed in a particular industry, its distribution and the duration of the working season can be estimated only from a sample selected from the population.

The data of the survey is based on a systematic sample, collected by interviews, of the annual round of activity in 1950 of 44,667 men of 15-64 years of age living in Finnish rural communes. The interviews were made in connection with the 1950 census of Finland. The results of the survey are presented in the other articles of Acta Forestalia Fennica issue 63.

The PDF includes a comprehensive summary in English.

  • Heikinheimo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7326, category Article
V. Pöntynen. (1936). Metsän hakkuun ja ajon sekä puutavaran uiton työn kysynnästä. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 42 no. 9 article id 7326. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7326
English title: The demand of forest work and floating work in Finland.

Forestry has been almost the sole source of employment during winter in the forested areas of Finland. The aim of this study was to investigate the number of men and horses working in logging and haulage in different times of year in 1933‒1934. The felling and haulage of household timber was not included in the study. The amount of work days was calculated using the statistics of wood consumption. The work days in logging was 10.0 million days in 1933 and 11.9 million days in 1934. Accordingly, approximately 3.6 million work days was done in horse-haulage in 1933 and 4.3 million in 1934. The forest companies and Metsähallitus (Forest Service) employed most employees in wood harvesting in January‒March, in average 14,300‒25,700 men and 3,300‒9,300 horses per month. The number of employees was lowest in August.

In floating, 1 million work days was done in 1934 and 1,1 million in 1934. Most employees were hired in April‒June. Floating is an important source of employment for the landless people when the fellings stop in the spring. The farmers working in wood harvesting can move to work in their farms.

  • Pöntynen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4686, category Article
Kalle Putkisto. (1959). Puutavaran valmistus- ja metsäkuljetustöiden koneellistumisen vaikutus metsätalouden työvoiman tarpeeseen : ennuste vuoteen 1972. Silva Fennica no. 101 article id 4686. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9127
English title: Effect of the mechanization of timber preparation and forest transport on the need of labour force in forestry. Prognosis up to 1972.

In 1957 the annual cuttings in Finland were 40.2 million m3 without bark. The aim of the study was to estimate the rate of mechanization of harvesting of timber in Finland, and make a prediction of the state of mechanization by 1972. According to the study, harvesting and transportation of the felling volume in 1957 would have required about 25.5 million working hours. Mechanization of forest work has decreased it only by 0.32 million working hours. The profitability of forest work has improved in 1950s, which is mainly due to changes in harvesting, such as shifting to longer lengths of pulpwood and props and cutting unbarked timber.
The study predicts that in 1972 it will take 14.8 million working hours to harvest and 5.4 million working hours to transport a corresponding felling volume as in 1957. However, a new way of producing timber or a working method of wood may change the picture completely. Reduction in harvesting expenses through mechanization may lead to diminishing the minimum diameter of logs, which affects profitability of work. It is also probable that mechanization of wood transportation will lead to working sites with longer distances of forest transportation. Also, industry using wood as raw material will also obviously expand.

The article includes a summary in English.

  • Putkisto, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4476, category Article
P. J. Pelttari. (1935). Yksityismetsien työtarjonnasta. Silva Fennica no. 35 article id 4476. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9062
English title: Supply of work in private forests in Finland.

A review on the availability of forest work in the private forests in Finland was compiled on the request of the Unemployment Council. Private forests, and forests of municipalities and parishes covered 52.7% of the forest lands in Finland, according to the forest inventory made in 1922-1924. The proportion of private lands were estimated to increase in the future when state lands were parceled out to private land owners. Shifting cultivation, forest fires and selective fellings have influenced condition of the private forests. The interest to improve productivity of the forests has, however increased in 1920s and 1930s, which increases work opportunities.

The work opportunities in private forests is estimated to be 27.6 million man-days and 5.4 million horse-days annually.  Wood harvesting and hauling are the main source of employment with 20.3 million man-days. The workforce is estimated to be 75,920 men and 16,200 horses, but more intensive forest management could increase the numbers to 91,900 and 18,100, respectively. To improve the condition of private forests, it should be obligatory to mark the trees for cutting before the fellings. One means to improve forest management would be cooperation between the forest owners.

The PDF includes a summary in German.

  • Pelttari, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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