Ben Schneider, Oslo Metropolitan University, will present: “Work and the 1918–20 Influenza Pandemic in the US” on October 27 at 1600 CET. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a link.
Work is increasingly recognized as an important part of human wellbeing (Ahmed 2003, Green 2006) and present-day researchers have evaluated changes in work-related wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic (CIPD 2021). This paper uses the first historical measure of job quality (Schneider 2022) to structure analysis of how labor and working conditions changed during the 1918–20 influenza pandemic in the United States. Contemporary reports suggest that in addition to the direct disease impacts of the pandemic, the Spanish flu also disrupted earnings and may have increased workplace accidents. This research contributes to scholarship on pandemic impacts and provides a comparison point for present-day work and wellbeing studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ben Schneider is a historical social scientist of work and wellbeing and a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Research on Pandemics and Society, Oslo Metropolitan University. His research examines how the quality of jobs has changed in the past, focusing on the effects of disease outbreaks and technological change. His previous work analyzed technological unemployment and the incentives for innovation in the British Industrial Revolution. He has a PhD in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford.