What Were the Popular Jobs in 1920?
The 1920s were an era of prosperity and economic boom. Manufacturing jobs were popular, especially in the automotive industry. The advancement of the automobile industry spurred growth in other industries, such as steel production, highway building, motels and gas stations. In addition, women held jobs as teachers, nurses, librarians and maids. Men commonly worked as farmers, doctors, lawyers and bankers.
In the beginning of the 1920s, many people worked as farmers and in the service industry. As the 1920s continued, manufacturing jobs became increasingly common to meet the demand for electrical appliances. Radio sales went from $60 million in 1922 to $843 million in 1929. Refrigerators, washing machines, vacuums and telephones also sold in large numbers. Many companies hired new workers to help manufacture, sell and distribute the appliances. Most notably, the automotive industry employed many workers. The three main companies were Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
In addition to creating new jobs, the motor industry also changed the way people worked. In the 1910s, Ford created an assembly-line production model that became the industry standard. Ford's model enabled companies to hire cheap, unskilled laborers to save money. Thus, many companies hired women who worked at cheaper rates. For the first time in history, women were being hired in large numbers to do jobs that were traditionally male jobs. The manufacturing boom of the 1920s helped to redefine work for the modern era.