Unemployed Girls (17 September 1914)

In September, the Provincial Industrial Association convened in Toronto to discuss the recurrent issue of unemployed women. The Berlin Daily Telegraph reported that hundreds of women had been pushed out of factory work over the last several years. Mr. McNaught, head of the committee, was concerned over the possibility of women being forced to walk the streets, begging for employment.

The possibility of reducing minimum wage was also discussed during this meeting. A member of Toronto city council feared that this would only stir up “class antagonism.” Ontario’s concern over unemployment was a crucial issue for industrial centers at the outbreak of the war. The agricultural sector had the opposite problem, as it lacked manpower to bring in the crops and feared that there would be a crop failure in 1915.

(“Unemployed Girls Need Protection,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 17 September 1914)