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GRINNELL COL'
ubrary

»
OF LABOR
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
FRANCES PERKINS, Secretary
WOMEN’S BUREAU
MARY ANDERSON, Director

■4

OFFICE WORK IN LOS ANGELES
1940

Bulletin of the Women’s Bureau,

.

UNITED STATES

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1942

U>c3

HO-

No. 188-2

5For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.




Price 10 cents




i - f A

-

' '

’

CONTENTS
Page

Oi




hi

1
C
O

Introduction;
Types of business that employ office workers.
Demands for new office workers_______
Numbers hired in 1939___________
Character of office occupations_____________
Education and experience of office workers
17
Education._____________
Schooling and occupation
17
Location of school attended...:
Amount of schooling
17
Time elapsing between finishing school and first office job______
Experience
Over-all time in office work
Time with present employer, by type of office_____________________
Earnings in 1940_____________________________ ______________________
Method of pay
23
Monthly salary rates by type of office
23
Monthly salary rates by occupation______________________ ________
Stenographic group
25
Accounting group
27
Calculating-machine operators;______________________________
Other clerical occupations
28
Administrative, supervisory, clerical-professional1
Weekly earnings compared with salary rates
Hours of work
Overtime.___________________________________________
Effect of experience and education on rates of pay_______________________
Over-all time in office work_____________________ ___________________
Time with present employer
38
Salary progression within the same firm
39
Experience, schooling, and salary
41
Rates paid beginners_____________________ ___________________ _____
Part-time and extra employees__________________________________
Education and salary
Age of workers
Age and salary..________________________________________ _________
Annual earnings
Regularity of employment
Ampunt.of earnings......._______ ___________________ _____________
Annual earnings by type of office
52
Annual earnings by occupation
53
Personnel policies
'57
Restriction on account of marital status
57
Hiring practices and source of new employees
57
Salary increases and promotions
58
Other welfare_______________________________

17
17
19
19
19
20
23

25'

27
28
34
35
37
37

41
42
42
45
45
49
49
49

rv

CONTENTS

Personal policies—Continued.
Labor organizations_________________
Vacations._____________________________________ __________
Time allowance for illness
59
School facilities for training office workers________________________ ____

Page
58
59
61

TABLES
I. Number of offices scheduled, number of men and women they
employed, and number of records secured, 1940, by type of
office—Los Angeles__ ______________
II. Distribution by occupation of all employees reported, and pre­
dominance of men or of women in each occupation—Los
Angeles____________
III. Number of women and of men regular employees in the various
types of office, by occupational group—Los Angeles__________
IV. Maximum education of employees by type of office—Los Angeles.
V. Total office experience of employees, by occupational group—Los
Angeles______________ _______ _____________________________ .'
VI. Percent distribution of employees according to length of experi­
ence with present employer, by type of office—Los Angeles___
VII. Average monthly salary and percents of employees at certain
salary levels, by type of office—Los Angeles____________:____
VIII. Percent that stenographic employees comprise of all women in
specified types of office and their average salaries, by selected
occupation—Los Angeles
26
IX. Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees
in offices, 1940, by type of office—Los Angeles_______________
X. Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in
’ offices according to monthly salary rate, 1940, by type of
office—Los Angeles
30
XI. Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees
in offices, 1940, by occupation—Los Angeles_________________
XII. Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in offices
according to monthly salary rate, 1940, by occupation—Los
Angeles_
_
XIII. Average monthly salary according to length of service with present
firm, by type of office—LosAngeles
40
XIV. Average monthly salary, by age and maximum education—Los
Angeles____
XV. Percent distribution of employees according to age, by type of
office—Los Angeles_____________
XVI. Average monthly salary of employees in the various age groups,
by type of office—Los Angeles.____________________
XVII. Percent distribution of employees according to annual earnings
for work in 48 weeks or more of 1939, by type of office—Los
Angeles
50
XVIII. Percent distribution of employees according to annual earnings
for work in 48 weeks or more of 1939, by occupation—Los
Angeles
54

2

10
11
18
20
21
24

29

31

32

43
47
48

CHART
Average monthly salary rate according to over-all time since first office
job—Los Angeles*________________________________________________




38

OFFICE WORK IN LOS ANGELES, 1940
INTRODUCTION
Los Angeles, as the largest city in the Southwest, is a commercial,
financial, and industrial center. In 1930 the census reported about
75,000 office workers within the corporate limits of the city. Census
data for 1940 are not yet available for clerical workers but the popu­
lation of the city has increased by more than 20 percent, with a larger
increase reported by most of the surrounding towns in the metropolitan
area of Los Angeles. Many of the office workers live in these suburban
towns. The local estimate of office workers in the Los Angeles
metropolitan area is about 100,000, an estimate undoubtedly indica­
tive of the demand for office workers.
Industries of first rank and local importance in the Los Angeles
area are motion pictures, aircraft, citrus fruits, and oil. In addition,
the city has much diversified manufacturing, financial agencies of all
kinds, many retail and wholesale outlets, public utilities, and govern­
mental, educational, professional, real estate, and other offices that
cater to the economic life and social needs of a large city.
Office workers are employed today in every type of business. They
are essential also in social and political activities, educational institu­
tions, churches, hospitals, social service, and municipal, county, State,
and National Governments. The demand for office workers has
swelled with the expansion of banking, financial services for security
and bond transactions, credit, loans, risk bearing and insurance.
Production control, cost accounting, planning, and record keeping are
important in manufacturing and require an underpinning of clerical
workers. Advertising, sales promotion, and the distribution of goods
in a highly competitive business economy create clerical demand.
The. spread and growth of governmental activity, of schools, recrea­
tion, personal, social service, and professional groups, also have
required a marked increase in office workers. An office is primarily a
facilitating service for coordinating activities such as production,
selling, finance, accounting, administration, and public relations.
The stenographic, bookkeeping or general accounting, credit, collec­
tion, order and billing, pay roll, mailing, filing, and general record­
keeping functions are definitely classed as office work, and usually in
addition the services rendered by messengers, telephone operators,
and receptionists.
1



OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

2

The Women’s Bureau survey of office workers hi Los Angeles was
made in the first half of 1940. Representative firms of all types were
included. More than 26,000 office workers were employed in the 257
offices covered. Individual records as to monthly and annual salary,
occupation, office experience, and personal data as to age, marital
status, and schooling, and office policies and practices as to hours,
vacations, and personnel management, were compiled for approxi­
mately 18,500 office workers. In the larger banks, oil companies,
public utilities (other than railroads), aircraft companies, and govern­
mental and school offices individual records were not obtained for
every worker, but a representative sample of all occupational groups
of men and of women was selected. Women were 57 percent of the
total. They outnumbered men as office workers in all but aircraft,
banks, investment, oil, railroad, city, and title guarantee insurance.
All sizes of offices were scheduled, from some with 1 employee to others
that employed more than 1,000; four-fifths had less than 100 employees.
Table I gives the scope of the survey as to the types of offices covered
and the numbers employed.
I.—Number of offices scheduled, number of men and women they employed,
and number of records secured, 194-0, by type of office—LOS ANGELES

Table

Number of men and
women employed

Employee records secured

Total

Men

257

26,395

12,543

13,852

18,496

7,930

10,566

5
10
10
5
4
10

4,319
373
245
112
1,122
704

3,040
196
104
47
381
414

1,279
177
141
65
741
290

1,594
373
245
112
1,122
704

1,050
196
104
47
381
414

644
177
141
65
741
290

34.1
47.5
67.6
58.0
66.0
41.2

3
6

Type of office

Num­
ber of
offices
sched­
uled

816
2,649

591
621

225
2,028

816
1,455

591
459

225
993

27.6
68.5
42.6

Women

Oil producing, refining, and distrib-

Women Total

Men
Num­ Percent
of total
ber
o

8

1,685

946

739

1, 259

723

536

3

2,971

2, 290

681

912

606

306

38

1,912

908

1,004

1,912

908

1,004

52.5

13

926

107

819

926

107

819

88.4

7
1
4
2

672
1,562
1,148
1,192

209
1,008
257
260

463
554
891
932

672
1,049
639
1,192

209
614
145
260

463
435
494
932

68.9
41.5
77.3
78.2

3
3

1,825
1,256
160

862
166
19

963
1,090
141

1, 825
783
160

862
118
19

963
665
141

52.8
84.9
88.1

115
8
60
5
13
29

746
104
156
158
280
48

117
19
24
34
40

629
85
132
124
240
48

746
104
156
158
280
48

117
19
24
34
40

629
85
132
124
240
48

84.3
81.7
84.6
78.5
85.7
100.0

Other manufacturing and wholesale

i Not obtainable; data for men not reported by one firm.




(■)

TYPES OF BUSINESS THAT EMPLOY OFFICE
WORKERS
Financial.

Commercial branch banking, with a small number of large banks and
many branches, is characteristic of Los Angeles. More than 200
branch banks are listed in the telephone directory; but actually there
are only 7 major commercial banks that employ as many as 25 office
employees. Two of the seven with their branch organizations employ
three-fourths of all the bank clerks. An estimate of the total number
of men and women employed as office workers in banks in 1940 is
7,000. Four commercial banks and the Federal Reserve Bank, whose
combined clerical employees numbered 4,300, were scheduled. Men
constitute about two-thirds, women one-third, of the clerical force.
Security and bond dealers, firms engaged primarily in the flotation,
purchase, sale, and brokerage of stocks and bonds, have been classed
as Investment. There are about 130 stock and bond houses in Los
Angeles and their employment of clerical workers is about 3,000. The
majority of the offices are small, that is, less than 25 office employees.
Ten, with 373 employees, were scheduled; 7 of them had less than
25 office workers. Men slightly outnumber women in this type of
establishment. In addition to office workers the security and bond
houses employ an appreciable group of “customers’ men,” who are
more professional than clerical. Some of their duties are clerical but
their job responsibility is chiefly giving advice, servicing customers’
accounts, and putting through orders for purchases and sales. These
men are not included with the office workers.
Los Angeles has a large number of Personal and chattel loan comallies such as installment, personal finance, and remedial loan
rokers. These are characteristically small offices and together
probably do not employ more than 500. Ten, with 245 office workers,
are included in the survey and only 3 have 25 and more employees.
Many of the credit and loan companies have only 1 or 2 office workers.
Women outnumber men.
Building and loan and Mortgage companies are fewer in number than
the personal and chattel loan companies. Many had been closed
during the current year and in the 25 or 30 companies of this kind in
operation the total office employment was under 500. Five of the
type were scheduled; these have 112 office employees, of whom 58
percent are women. In size these offices range from 4 to 34 employees.
Office workers in Insurance companies may be employed in a home
office, a regional departmental or branch office, or in an agency or in­
surance brokerage office. Home offices for insurance tend to con­
centrate in certain States, of which California is not one, but there are
a number of large regional and branch offices. The agency offices
tend to be small—one general office worker—and often are combined
with some other selling service, as real estate. In this study small

E




3

4

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

offices that also sell or service real estate are classed with real estate.
No satisfactory estimate of the number of insurance offices is available,
but the total number of clerical employees in such places is estimated
as close to 5,000. In this survey 4 offices, with a total of about 1,100
employees, were scheduled; 2 had 500 and more and the other 2 less
than 50 employees. Women comprise about two-thirds of the office
workers. Young inexperienced workers are given preference by
insurance companies.
Title guaranty and insurance companies employ about 750 office
workers in Los Angeles. All the large companies—10, with 704 such
employees—were scheduled. Men comprise almost 60 percent of the
force. Though classed as clerical workers by their employers, many
of these men have a knowledge of real-estate titles secured by ex­
perience as real-estate salemen or as legal clerks, and they offer more
than clerical techniques and abilities for their jobs.
Public utilities.

The data presented for the Railroad group include three transpor­
tation offices, employing 816 persons, whose promotional and retire­
ment policies are set by the policies and standards of the Railroad
Retirement Act. Three-fourths to four-fifths of the office workers in
railroads are covered by the survey. Offices of other interstate trans­
portation systems, such as bus companies, center in San Francisco
and none were scheduled in Los Angeles. Men predominate as office
workers in the railroads, being almost three-fourths of the total.
The sample of Public utilities other than railroads, 6 offices, includes
telephone, telegraph, radiogram, electric companies, and the city
street-car system. Office workers in these types of business are esti­
mated at about 3,500. In the 6 firms, records for about 1,450 office
workers of their total t>f approximately 2,650 were secured.
Oil; Aircraft; Motion pictures.

A basic industry in southern California is the Producting, refining,
and distributing of oil.1 Thirty-two oil companies were canvassed to
ascertain the number of office employees, which totaled about 3,300,
ranging by office from 1 clerk to more than 600. Eight companies
employing almost 1,700, or about one-half of the total, were sched­
uled. Four were large offices having more than 100 clerks; 2 had less
than 25 clerks; one 25 and less than 50; and one 50 and less than 100.
The booming industry of southern California at present is Aircraft.
Expansion of this industry for the defense program was only in its
primary stage in the spring of 1940. Four of the country’s largest
plane producers have their home offices in the Los Angeles metro­
politan area. Office workers in these plants, who comprised more
than 3,000 in 1940, by 1941 probably have passed 5,000. Due to the
frenzied production tempo, it was difficult to get complete records for
office workers in this industry. A sample in each of three firms, aggre­
gating 900 of their total employment of practically 3,000, was obtained.
Women in 1940 were a comparatively small part of the office force, as
aircraft has been a man’s industry. Further, it is a new industry, so
most of the workers are young people and have short employment
histories.
1 For a detailed description of the office organization in the oil industry see the Houston (Tex.) section of
this study.




TYPES OF BUSINESS----LOS ANGELES

5

Los Angeles County ranks first in the production of Motion pictures.
The producing studios offer employment to 3,000 to 3,500 office
workers, depending on the cyclical conditions of the industry. The
major studios have a large force of office workers throughout the year,
while the minor ones, which produce pictures intermittently, have
marked fluctuations in their numbers and employ workers for short
and irregular periods. The four largest studios employ at least onelialf of the clerks. Because of the importance of this industry in Los
Angeles, it seemed worth while to give special emphasis to securing a
well-rounded sample. A 1939 directory of Los Angeles industries
listed 21 studios with more than 50 employees each. Seven studios
with about 1,800 office workers were scheduled in their entirety. Three
of the studios had 300 and more clerks, 2 had 100 and under 200, and
2 had 50 and under 100. Men and women are clerks in fairly equal
numbers, with women slightly in the lead (53 percent women).
Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors.

Oil, aircraft, and motion pictures are the basic production industries
of the Los Angeles area but in addition there is widely diversified
Manufacturing. The 1937 Census of Manufactures reports 4,504
establishments in the Los Angeles industrial area. Almost 200
nationally known concerns have bona fide factories—not branch sales
offices—within the city. There are many small factories in the needle
trades, food, and novelty lines. These have small offices with one or
two general office workers. Among the more significant types of
manufacture, judged by size of establishment, are motor vehicles,
tires, meat packing, publishing, foundry and metal products, and
furniture. Many of the manufacturers have their sales organization
and distributive organization in the same office, which makes it
difficult to separate clerical personnel into the two activities. Whole­
sale [distributors in the sense of jobbers—other than manufacturers—
in general have small offices. The 1935 Census of Business reports
approximately 3,000 wholesalers in Los Angeles, with a total office
force of approximately 6,700, an average of only just over 2 to an
office.
In the present study, offices of manufacturers and of wholesale
distributors are tabulated together. Though the 2 . combined are
estimated to employ in the neighborhood of 22,000 to 25,000 clerical
workers, the 38 offices scheduled, employing 1,912 office workers, are
considered representative. The proportion of women is 52}( percent.
Retail trade.

Department and apparel stores represent retail distribution in this
survey. Unfortunately, a group of six of the largest stores refused to
cooperate with the Women’s Bureau.
The Census of Business for 1935 reports for Los Angeles 23,471
stores with approximately 80,000 employees. Nearby towns in the
metropolitan area of Los Angeles, such as Pasadena, Glendale, Beverly
Hills, Alhambra, Huntington Park, Santa Monica, and others, have
another 7,000 stores and 20,000 employees. Since clerical workers are
reported by the same census as comprising just over 7 percent, there
must be clerical jobs in connection with retail distribution totaling
more than 7,000 in the metropolitan area of Los Angeles. Women
425710°—42------ 2




6

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

make up practically 90 percent of the office workers in the establish- *
ments covered.
Government offices.

Governmental agencies, Federal, State, county, and city, have been
expanding fields of clerical employment for both men and women.
All departments of the Federal Government are represented in Los
Angeles; these have clerical staffs estimated roughly as about 5,000
inside office workers. Estimates for State, city, and county workers
are respectively 1,200, 3,100, and 3,600. Difficulty was met in getting
accurate numbers as to office workers because white-collar workers
were not separated into clerical and other groups. Fourteen govern­
mental agencies were scheduled, with a total of over 4,500 clerks.
Except in the city offices, there are more women than men.
Education; Membership organizations.

School offices, tabulated as Education in the discussions that
follow, include the office workers in the University of California at
Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, and a representa­
tion of one-half of the clerks in the city school system. These three
cover most of the office employment if. the school field. Office clerks
in business schools generally are pupils, and the number of clerks in
the small private schools and colleges probably does not exceed 100.
The total number of office workers in schools is about 1,500. Women
predominate as clerks in school offices and constitute about 85 percent
of those for whom data were collected.
Trade associations and professional organizations as listed in the
telephone directory of Los Angeles total several hundred, but many
have small offices, with only a single worker, others with two or three,
which are classed in the small-office group. Some of the trade asso­
ciations, such as fruit, nut, and avocado growers, are actually market­
ing and distributing organizations and have been classed with distrib­
utors. Trade associations and professional organizations in the city
were estimated as employing not over 1,000 office workers. Three
membership associations with a total of 160 office workers have been
tabulated as such. Women make up 88 percent of these workers.
Too few men clerks were reported for separate tabulation.
Other types of office.

Every city has a multitude of small offices that provide professional
and other services to the community. Advertising, real estate,
broadcasting, hospital and clinic, doctors’ and dentists’ offices are
types scheduled in Los Angeles. A total of 115 offices with 746 em­
ployees are included. Almost 85 percent of the group are women; the
small professional offices are exclusively women. Estimates of the
total number of workers employed in the small miscellaneous offices
exceed 10,000.
_
_
.
A large number of Advertising agencies—about 150—are listed in
the Los Angeles directories. Most of these have no clerical em­
ployees, merely a representative in the main office. Seventeen offices
were visited for the number of office workers, and their total office
employment was 137. Eight of these, with 104 employees, 85 women
and 19 men, were scheduled. The largest offices were covered and
it is doubtful if all the advertising agencies in the city have as many as
200 office workers.



TYPES OF BUSINESS----LOS ANGELES

7

Los Angeles abounds in Beal estate offices. The telephone book
lists approximately 1,800. Real estate offices are predominantly
small. In 150 offices visited in different sections throughout the city,
the total number of employees is approximately 450. Of the 150
offices, 59 have no regular office employees, the owner and salesmen
doing their own clerical work. Occasionally there is an office in which
a public-stenographer notary is given desk space to carry on her com­
mercial work in exchange for some clerical service to a realtor. Fortyfour have 1 person employed in the office and only 15 have 6 and more.
The larger offices often combine insurance, and sometimes trust, mort­
gage, and management functions, with those of real estate.
While no authentic information is available on the number of
employees in the real estate offices, if approximately 40 percent of
the offices visited have no employees and the average for the others
is a little less than 3, the total probably does not exceed 3,000. Wage
and personnel data are presented for 60 real-estate firms, with 156
office employees; only 10 of these have so many as 5 employees.
Office work in Broadcasting stations is one of the newer fields of
clerical employment, but it is a relatively narrow one even in large
cities. Inquiry was made as to the size of the office force in 9 broad­
casting stations, all the important commercial stations, and the total
number of office jobs was 175. Five stations with 158 employees
were scheduled.
Hospitals, clinics, and medical associations employ about 500 office
workers. Most of the large hospitals (10) were included in the survey,
and in addition 2 clinics and a medical association. Of 280 clerical
employees in these offices, seven-eighths are women. Office workers
in hospitals, like those in doctors’ and dentists’ offices, may be divided
into 2 groups, first the strictly clerical, and second the office nurse who
has a combination of professional and clerical duties.
Small professional offices represent doctors’ and dentists’ offices.
Most of these have one or two office workers. All are women. Some
of the clerks in doctors’ offices have had nurses’ training; and in
dentists’ offices some have had training as dental hygienists.
DEMAND FOR NEW OFFICE WORKERS
Numbers hired in 1939.

Some firms had neither records nor definite ideas of the number of
workers added to the staff either for new jobs or as replacements in
the calendar year 1939. Aircraft had taken on more employees than
any other type of office but no information was available as to the
number of new employees, experienced or inexperienced, taken on
during the year. Statements as to numbers hired by 162 of the other
firms, covering the majority of the employees in all types of office,
indicate that the number hired in the year averaged about 12 percent
of the present office force, 5 percent being inexperienced and 7 percent
experienced. In the terms of job opportunities, insurance, financial
offices other than banks, motion pictures, retail stores, manufacturing
and distributing, Federal offices, and the small employers grouped as
“other types of office” had taken on proportions above 12 percent.
Banks, title guaranty and insurance, railroads, other public utilities,
oil, education, and State, city, and county offices had hired relatively
few. All but banks and title guaranty offices had hired more experi­
enced workers than beginners.






CHARACTER OF OFFICE OCCUPATIONS
The word clerical is a reminder that the first of this occupation
were the clerics, the monks who copied manuscripts and kept the
records of the church in the Middle Ages. Through most of the nine­
teenth century the clerical activities of an office were largely con­
cerned with hand bookkeeping and letter writing, but the large office
of the present day is a complex and mechanized organization whose*
functions are to make and keep the records and coordinate the ad­
ministration of the enterprise it serves. Office management and
occupational terminology are not standardized and vary with size,
policies, and type of business. In most business offices the steno­
graphic work, handling of correspondence, ordering and billing,
financial recording and analysis, budgeting, and general record keep­
ing, with the services of messengers, telephone operators, and recep­
tionists, are considered office functions.
Some office jobs, such as those that involve a knowledge of short­
hand, ability to operate typewriters, dictating machines, bookkeeping
machines, calculators, and other mechanical devices, bookkeeping and
other statistical recording, require special training for these skills.
Many others, such as record clerks, order clerks, mail clerks, file
clerks, duplicating-machine operators, telephone operators, reception­
ists, messengers, office boys and office girls, require little special
training. In large numbers of offices, however, the type of business
determines the work of the various employees, and transfer to another
type of business involves retraining. (See p. 14.) Further, there
are certain techniques, attributes of judgment and responsibility,
acquired by experience on particular jobs that cannot be evaluated in
any formal job terminology.
The office workers in the stenographic group, the bookkeepers,
cashiers (nonexecutive) and tellers, machine operators, messengers,
telephone operators, receptionists, file clerks, carry on certain clerical
duties that are comparable from offie to office. All other specialized
and general clerks are combined in the present study as “clerks not
elsewhere classified” and are shown by their respective types of office.
The occupational distribution of total employees, and whether men
or women predominate in the various occupations, may be seen in
table II.




9

10

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

Table

II.—Distribution by occupation of all employees reported, and predominance
of men or of women in each occupation—LOS ANGELES
Total
Occupation

Men

W omen

Percent
of group
total

N umber

Percent
of grand
total

Number

Percent
of group
total

Number

All occupations-...................................

18,387

100.0

10,545

57.4

' 7,842

42.6

Administrative, executive, clericalprofessional------------------------------ -.........
Extra and part-time workers........................
Regular office workers.............. -.................

1,615
374
16,398

8.8
2.0
89.2

270
294
9,981

16.7
78.6
60.9

1,345
80
6,417

83.3
21.4
39.1

Regular:
Stenographic group..................................

4,665

25.4

4,354

93.3

311

6.7

963
2, 215
1,227
200
60

5.2
12.0
6.7
1.1
.3

901
2, 085
1,108
200
60

93.6
94.1
90.3
100.0
100.0

62
130
119

6.4
5.9
9.7

Accounting group --................................

986

5.4

393

39.9

593

60.1

Bookkeeper, hand..........................
Cashier, teller.-................................

342
644

1.9
3.5

183
210

53.5
32.6

159
434

46.5
67.4

Machine operators....................................

1,534

8.3

1,172

76.4

362

23.6

Bookkeeping---..................................
Calculating................... ......................
Duplicating and other.....................
Key punch...... ..................................
Tabulating..........................................

115
295
556
168
198
202

.6
1.6
3.0
.9
1.1
1.1

105
187
544
84
190
62

91.3
63.4
97.8
50.0
96.0
30.7

10
108
12
84
8
140

8.7
36.6
2.2
50.5
4.0
69.3

Other clerks..............................................

1,301

7.1

690

53.0

611

47.0

File.......................................................
Messenger................................ ...........
Telephone...........................................
Timekeeper........................................
Receptionist ............. —....................

252
381
408
181
79

1.4
2.1
2.2
1.1
.4

164
46
399
16
65

65.1
12.1
97.8
8.8
82.3

8.8
335
9
165
14

34.9
87.9
2.2
91.2
17.7

Clerks not elsewhere classified.............

7, 474

40.6

3,313

44.3

4,161

55.7

Finance and insurance......... _.........
Education...............
....................
Aircraft.._____ - -------------------Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors............................
Government:
State, city, county.................. .
Federal---------- -----------------Oil producing, refining, distributing-------------------------------------Railroads_____ . -----------------Other public utilities
Department and apparel stores. _.
Motion pictures......................... .......
Other types of office.........................

1,746
481
482
759

9.5
2.6
2.6
4.1

706
412
60
259

40.4
85.7
12.4
34.1

1,040
69
422
500

59.6
14.3
87.6
65.9

1,186
248

6.5
1.3

567
154

47.8
62.1

619
94

52.2
37.9

450
337
660
399
486
240

2.4
1.8
3.6
2.2
2.6
1.3

76
51
382
328
116
202

16.9
15.1
57.9
82.2
23.9
84.2

374
286
278
71
370
38

83.1
84.9
42.1
17.8
76.1
15.8

Special office workers...... ........................

438

2.4

59

13.5

379

86.5

Secretary............................................
Stenographer.................................... Dictating-machine transcriber___

The occupational distribution of men and women regular office
employees is shown by type of office in table III.




Table

III.—Number of women

and of men regular employees in the various types of office, by occupational group—LOS ANGELES
Number of regular employees

Type of office

Other clerks
(see table II
for specific
occupations)

Machine
operators

Accounting
group

Stenographic
group

Total

611
9.5

3,313
33.2

4,161
64.9

59
0.6

379
5.9

31
38
4
12

56
14
5
22

122
120
419
45

380
143
223
294

1
3
7

47
50
17
26

3
7

26
134

51
16

51
382

286
278

4

111

22

45

54

76

374

68

69
267

20
39

22
74

70
42

60
259

422
500

81

3

129

5

77

328

71

4
40

7
19

22
158

3
95

7
16

19
31

154
567

14
7
4
60

28
4
1
11

59
20
1
21

59
2

85
7
10
102

206
4
2
19

116
412
78
124

Men

Women

Men

257

9,981
100.0

6,417
100.0

4,354
43.6

311
4.8

393
3.9

593
9.2

1,172
11.7

362
5.6

690
6.9

535
367
696
278

924
246
283
347

335
152
221
198

3
2

8
30
11
8

358
33
16
5

38
24
34
15

80
6
20

3
6

208
950

462
344

86
201

65
7

70

7
10

45
159

8




Women

470

537

236

33

2

23

3
38

295
989

560
746

141
333

28
56

54

13

789

85

174

6

7
7

426
1,722

144
834

237
937

8
57

7
3
3

919
604
133
600

738
86
19
62

638
153
40
272

43
3

115

Men

Men

Men

5
25
4
10

Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors.—

Special office
workers

Women

Women

Men

Women
All types:

Clerks not else­
where classified
(duties depend
on type of office)

Women

1

Men

Women

50
26
31

3
2

20
41

94
619

2
4

13
13

370
69
15
23

7
5

32
4
1
8

21

CHARACTER OF OCCUPATIONS----LOS ANGELES

Num­
ber of
offices
report­
ing

12

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

Stenographic group.

About 2 in every 5 women office workers in the Los Angeles survey,
but only about 1 in every 20 men, are in the stenographic group.
Strict and uniform classification of the employees in this group involves
difficulties. Some workers who are rated as stenographers do little
shorthand transcription, but the ability to do it on occasion is required.
In many offices, the border line between secretaries and stenographers
is somewhat vague. For the purpose of the present study, to be
classed as a secretary a worker has to have a wider range of duties
and more responsibility than a stenographer. In addition to taking
and transcribing dictation, a secretary meets callers, gives information
by telephone, writes some original letters, reads and sorts mail,
keeps personal and confidential records, makes appointments, does
reference work, handles follow-up items, and generally relieves her
employer of routine tasks. Usually she knows more than her employer
does about the ordinary procedures, routine tasks, and general infor­
mation concerning his business. About 30 percent of the women in
the Los Angeles survey are secretaries and stenographers. To be
classed as a dictating-machine operator, at least one-half of the
employee’s time is spent on machine transcription. Secretaries and
stenographers frequently transcribe from a dictating machine but this
work is only an incidental part of their job. Workers tabulated as
typists spend at least 50 percent of their time typing; clerks who type
only occasionally are not classed as typists. Correspondents who
answer routine letters are a small group and are found almost entirely
in retail distribution—stores and mail-order houses; they depend
largely on form letters in composing replies.
Of the women in the stenographic group about one-fifth are secre­
taries, a little less than one-half are stenographers, one-fourth are
typists, and the small remaining fraction are operators of transcrib­
ing machines and correspondents; there are only 60 of the last named
and they are chiefly in the mercantile field.
Women in the stenographic group comprise 14 times the number of
men in such work, men making up less than 7 percent of the total.
Of the 311 men in this group 62 are secretaries, 130 stenographers,
and 119 typists. The highest proportion are in the railroad offices,
where more than two-fifths of the stenographic employees are men.
Accounting group.

Men comprise three-fifths of the employees in the accounting
group, most of them being in the financial offices.
Bookkeeping in the sense of hand bookkeepers who keep systematic
records of business transactions, take trial balances, and draw up
periodic bookkeeping reports gives employment to only a small
proportion of office workers. Much of the work in the bookkeeping
or accounting departments of largo firms is specialized or mechanical,
and all-round bookkeepers are not so much in demand as good calculat­
ing-machine operators. The accounting function requires many
clerical employees, but when the accounting activities are minutely
divided and subdivided, with installations of a variety of accounting
machines and special ledger systems, the differentiation between
accounting clerks and other record clerks seems of little value. There
are many jobs connected with bookkeeping, such as work on accounts
receivable and accounts payable, cash vouchers and cash books,




CHARACTER OF OCCUPATIONS—LOS ANGELES

13

sales ledgers and records, check registers, discounts, budget work,
and so forth, where a knowledge of bookkeeping principles is a desir­
able background but not a requisite. The accountant who compiles
the final control accounts, the cost sheets, and the statements is a
trained professional employee; but the underpinning is the work of
clerks who do not need to be bookkeepers, and these clerks in the
Los Angeles tables are included with clerks not elsewhere classified.
Some of the clerical jobs in connection with factory cost accounting
and factory record keeping require a knowledge of production methods
and practices as much as of accounting, and since men are more
familiar with productive processes they usually are given preference
for clerical work in cost-accounting divisions.
Of all the clerical workers included, 2% percent of the men and just
under 2 percent of the women are hand bookkeepers, and less than 2
percent of either sex are machine bookkeepers.
Cashiers and tellers, office jobs that involve the receiving or paying
of money to customers (7 percent of the men and 2 percent of the
women), are important only in banks, other financial, public utilities,
manufacturing, and retail distribution. More than one-third, 36
percent, of the men included in banks are tellers or assistant tellers.
Machine operators.

The machine-operator group as a whole comprises 12 percent of the
women employees and 6 percent of the men. Numerous machines
and appliances are operated in the course of duty that require too
little skill, or the number affected is too small, to consider separately.
Some of these machines are the various duplicating devices, such as
mimeographs and multigraphs, check writers and protectors, mailing
and stamping machines.
Other clerks.

Quite often clerks, stenographers, typists, and others do filing as a
minor part of their routine duties. It is only in the fairly large offices
that a centralized filing division exists or that there are specially
designated file clerks. Filing is often a beginning job and only occa­
sionally are trained expert filing clerks reported. Altogether, in all
types of offices covered, less than 2 percent of the women, and an
even smaller proportion of the men, are file clerks.
Messenger service usually is a beginning job for boys anxious to
become familiar from the ground up with the general business organi­
zation of their employer by sorting and delivering mail, carrying
messages and packages to outside organizations, helping with simple
records, mimeographing, and being generally useful until the em­
ployer decides that they have served their apprenticeship and are
ready for a more responsible assignment. About 5 percent of the men
are messengers.
_
_
Receptionists who direct and give information to callers are found
in most of the large offices. The group is a small one;—less than 1
percent of the women. In many offices the receptionist is a PBX
operator in addition to her other functions. The job, to be efficiently
done, requires a resourceful person and one with knowledge of the
company’s personnel and activities. Almost all telephone operators
in offices are women, and about 400 women in this study, or 4 percent
of the total, are so classed. Security and bond houses, railroads, other
425716°—42------3




14

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

utilities, motion pictures, hospitals, advertising, broadcasting, and
real-estate offices have higher than average proportions of telephone
operators.
Clerks not elsewhere classified.

The largest group among the men (almost two-thirds) and the second
largest among the women (one-third, outranked only by the steno­
graphic group) is the one designated as “clerks not elsewhere classified.”
This includes a multitude of job designations, and the terminology
depends not alone on type of office but is affected by the size, manage­
ment, and organization of each particular office surveyed. Designa­
tions of junior and senior clerk mean little and are related largely to
salary structure, which varies materially from firm to firm as well as
from one type of office to another.
The specious job designations covered in this group are legion. A
few of the special clerical designations by type of office will suggest
the coverage of this group. In financial institutions some of the job
designations are collateral, collection, exchange, safe-deposit, vault,
trust, margin, discount, draft, transit, and brokerage clerks, loan
reviewers, board boys, and analysts. In insurance there are special­
ized actuarial, underwriting, policy, and map clerks. In public
utilities, rate clerks, estimators, checkers, and service clerks of all
kinds. In the retail and wholesale trade offices there are large num­
bers of credit, collection, adjustment, stock, price, returned-goods,
collection, and statistical clerks, and sales analysts. In manufac­
turing there are order, production, planning, time-study, drafting,
and engineering clerks. Government and school offices have another
set of clerical jobs, as tax, information, health, departmental, and
attendance clerks. Mail, stock, shipping, pay-roll, cost, audit,
budget clerks, and so forth are found in many offices but their duties
are not standardized.
Since the group of unclassified workers is large in all types of office,
varying for the women from 16 percent in oil and title guaranty and
insurance to 68 percent in education, and for the men from 41 percent
in banks to 85 percent in title guaranty, the averages and distribu­
tion are given by type of office in tables XI and XII.
Special office workers.

Office workers in the tabulation comprise workers whose duties
and services rendered are somewhat out of the ordinary field of office
work, such as library clerks, personnel clerks, appraisers and inside
agents, traffic clerks, publicity assistants, and technical clerks in
professional offices. They comprise about 6 percent of the men and
less than 1 percent of the women. In financial offices about 20 per­
cent, in railroads about 11 percent, and in other places about 13 per­
cent of the men fall in the “special office workers” category.
Executive, administrative, clerical-professional, and supervisory.

Employees with executive, administrative, professional, and super­
visory duties are not tabulated as clerical workers. The officials
interviewed were asked to define executive and administrative workers
in their organization. Very few make a clear distinction between the
terms administrative and executive; department heads, superin­
tendents, auditors, controllers, are considered either or both. Super­
visors usually are considered to be those iesponsible for an office




CHARACTER OF OCCUPATIONS----LOS ANGELES

15

division and there was less difficulty in segregating these. Profes­
sional office workers usually are considered to be the accountants,
actuaries, counselors and attorneys, writers, statisticians, planning
engineers, and architects.
.
Some information for 1,615 executive, administrative, professional,
and supervisory workers was obtained, and about one-sixth of these
are women. Of the 1,615 jobs, 711 are supervisory. Though women
comprise more than half of the total office employees, they constitute
only about one-fourth of the supervisory force.







EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE OF OFFICE
WORKERS
EDUCATION

The possibilities of securing an office job in Los Angeles without a
high-school education are slight. Though not much over one-fourth
(69 of 252) of the offices reported that high-school training is a mini­
mum requirement, high-school graduation is taken for granted as a
prerequisite to employment in most offices. All the banks require
high-school graduation or its equivalent in formal schooling; several
review the list of high-school graduates each year for likely applicants.
Only three offices mentioned college training as a requirement, and in
two of these it is for only a part of the office force. Seventeen stated
that they require business-school training for their employees. Em­
ployment policies are flexible in most offices and the selection of
applicants depends largely on the supply of candidates available
when the vacancy occurs. The greater the supply, the more the
requirements and care expressed in the hiring process.
Schooling and occupation.

Of the women secretaries a little more than one-third (36% percent)
have attended college. In aircraft, an industry with an expanding
force and many young people, almost 40 percent of the women clerks
have been to college. Almost half of the women clerks in the offices of
schools have college training. Of the women employed as special
office workers, 56 percent have attended college and 21 percent are
graduates. The largest proportions attending business school are
among the calculating-machine operators and in the stenographic
group.
Location of school attended.

Where was high school attended by the Los Angeles office worker?
The majority both of men and of women—about 60 percent—attended
high school elsewhere than within the metropolitan area of Los Angeles.
Since this area is a tourist goal, a large proportion of “outsiders” is to
be expected.
Amount of schooling.

How much of a background of formal schooling was offered as train­
ing by the Los Angeles office worker? What is the bearing of schooling
on salaries?
High-school graduation is the education norm. High school has
been completed by at least four of every five workers. For only about
3 percent both of women and of men was grammar school reported as
maximum schooling, and only 16 percent of the women and 15 percent
of the men have attended high school but not been graduated. In
railroads and other public utilities approximately one-third, in con­
trast to less than one-tenth in insurance and aircraft, have not com­
pleted high school. The types of office last mentioned have large
proportions of young workers.
17



18

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

About 40 percent of the men have attended college and a little more
than one-fourth of these were graduated. About 28 percent of the
women have attended college, and about one-fourth of these completed
the course. Among the women the highest proportions of college
■graduates are in education, insurance, and the miscellaneous small
offices; among men, the offices of educational, insurance, oil, title
guaranty and insurance, and aircraft companies have more than aver­
age numbers of college graduates.
Table

IV.—Maximum education of employees by type of office—LOS ANGELES
Num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees re­
ported

Type of office

Percent1 whose maximum education was— Atten­
dance
at busi­
High school
College
ness
Gram­
school
report­
mar
school Incom­ Com­ Incom­ Com­ ed (perplete
plete
plete
plete
cent)
WOMEN

All types......................................................

8,370

2.7

15.9

53.5

21.1

6.8

48.9

Bants............ .............. ........................................ .
Other finance..........................................................
Insurance. _________ __ ............. .................
Title guaranty and insurance_____ _________

526
255
676
135

1.3
2.7
2.2
2.2

15.2
13.3
6.2
20.0

53.2
56.9
57.1
53.3

26.8
20.0
20.4
21.5

3.4
7.1
14.1
3.0

35.0
52.9
37.4
49.6

Railroads...
_____________________ _
Other public utilities....................................... . .

172
919

7.0
5.7

27.3
26.2

48.8
49.7

14.5
14.5

2.3
3.9

54.1
31.7
55.0

Oil producing, refining, and distributing____

431

2.6

18.8

53.8

20.2

4.6

Aircraft_____
Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors.....................................................................

284

.4

3.2

58.8

31.0

6.7

56.7

800

2.5

17.4

60.3

15.8

4.1

59.4

Department and apparel stores

690

3.5

15.8

61.4

17.7

1.6

43.9

416
1,367

3.1
2.6

20.0
18.9

50.7
53.2

22.4
20.0

3.8
5.3

60.8
57.3

565
555
91
488

1.1
.7
3.3
2.3

11.7
10.6
14. 3
7.8

48.8
42.5
59. 3
51.0

29.2
25.0
23.1
28.1

9.2
21.1

45.5
52.3

10.9

53.5

Federal Government___ _ __ ......................
State, city, and county governments........ .......
Motion pictures.......................... .
Education____

................. .

Other types" of office.........................................

.

MEN
All types.................... ............. ................. .

5,143

3.3

15.1

42.0

28.8

10.7

22.9

Banks............................................... ............... . .
Other finance__ ______ _______ ____ _
Insurance___ ____ ________ ____ _____ ___
Title guaranty and insurance.............................

896
180
278
173

1.5
1.7
3.2
4.6

17.2
11.1
7.2
16.8

47.9
33.9
43.5
39.9

27.3
42.2
28.8
24.9

6.1
11.1
17.3
13.9

10.2
21.7
12.6
19.1

Railroads................... ............................................ .
Other public utilities______ ______ ______ _

392
326

7.9
8.9

26.5
21.8

43.6
38.3

19.1
19.3

2.8
11.7

36.5
21.2

Oil producing, refining, and distributing___

506

2.0

12. 5

43.5

25.7

16.4

35.2

Aircraft
Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors__________________ _______ _______

547

2.0

8.6

34.4

41.7

13.3

17.9

614

2.1

13.8

46.7

27.5

9.8

33.2

20.0

49.1

23. 6

7 3

29.1

Federal Government________ _____________
State, city, and county governments............ .

140
531

7.1
2.4

15.7
17.3

37.9
40.5

30.0
29.2

9.3
10.5

31.4
26.4

Motion pictures............. .................. ......................
Education..............................................................

385
73
5
42

3.1
9.6

13.2
11.0

40.5
35.6

32.7
21.9

10.4
21.9

13.0
32.9

55

* Percents not computed where base less than 50.




EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE----LOS ANGELES

19

Attendance at business school was reported by a much larger
proportion of women than of men—49 percent of the women and 23
percent of the men.
The term “business school” signifies attendance at a commercial
school, private or public. It does not include commercial courses in
regular high school curricula, because in many firms personnel records
do not provide definite information on such training.
Maximum schooling, by type of office in which the workers are
employed, is given in table IV.
Time elapsing between finishing school and first office job.

Work-history records for 913 women and 927 men who had begun
office work in the period from 1935 on showed the date of leaving
school, the grade completed, and the period that elapsed before the
first office job was secured. Eighty-two percent of the girls and 75
percent of the boys had found office work within a year of leaving
school and only 4 to 6 percent had waited 2 years and more. A
slightly higher percent of both the men and the women who had
attended business school found work within a year of leaving school.
Men college graduates and women who had attended but not com­
pleted college found office jobs with little delay in slightly larger pro­
portions than those -with less formal schooling. Many of such jobs,
however, were not permanent.
EXPERIENCE
Over-all time in office work.

Employment records showing work experience before employment
with the present office often were incomplete and unreliable, so the
determining of actual time in office work was not possible. In most
cases, however, the date of beginning office work was available, and
this gives indication of the spread of time in which office work had
been carried on either continuously or intermittently. Of about 7,000
women reported, 80 percent had work histories spread over 5 years
and more, and for slightly over 60 percent the spread was 10 years and
more.
Table V shows the surprisingly large proportions of women who
began work as much as 10 years ago, more than 3 in every 5 of the
6,900 women reported having such a record. The receptionists and
file clerks have the largest proportion among beginners, their 16 per­
cent being followed by the 4 percent of machine operators and of
“other clerks,”
With the exception of the bookkeeping group and special office
workers, men have had somewhat shorter experience than women
have had, in some cases due to their youth, for example, messengers.




20

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0
Table V.

Total office experience of employees, by occupational oroup—■
LOS ANGELES

Occupational group

Number
of em­
ployees
reported

Percent with total experience of—
Under
1 year

1, under
3 years

3, under
5 years

5, under 10 years
10 years and over

WOMEN
Total..............................

6,924

3.6

6.5

10.1

18.2

61.5

Stenographic group.............
Accounting group..................
Machine operators________
Receptionists and file clerks.
Telephone operators.......... .
Other........................................

3,030
242
827
202
271
2,352

2.6
1.7
3.9
16.3
1.5
4.2

6.5
3.3
5.9
13.4
5.2
6.6

10.6
7.0
12.5
10.4
8.1
9.2

19.7
12.4
19.7
16.8
15.5
16.8

60.5
75. 6
58.0
43.1
63.2

MEN
Total.................
Stenographic group..
Accounting group_
_
Machine operators...
Messengers________
File clerks.............
Timekeepers________
Special office workers.
Other........................... .

4, 561

9.6

9.7

13.3

15.9

51.6

220
487
266
214
66
106
247
2,955

5.0
.6
7.5
39.3
19.7
17.9
2.8
9.4

15.9
2.7
15.8
31.3
19.7
11.3
3.6
8.5

18.2
6.4
22.2
18.7
13.6
15.1
7.3
13.3

17.7
14.4
21.8
6.1
18.2
24.5
12.6
16.1

43.2
76.0
32 7
4 7
28 8
31.1
73 7
52.7

Time with present employer, by type of office.

There are extremely wide differences in the proportion of experienced
workers in the different types of office. Railroads and other public
utility offices generally have seniority and promotional policies which
offer strong inducement to employees to remain with the firm and
as a result the vast majority of workers in these firms have long service
records. About 70 percent of the women in each of these two types
of office and 71 percent of the men in railroads and 58 percent of the
men in other public utility offices have been employed by the firm
10 years or longer. More than half of the men in banks and over
three-fifths of those in title guaranty and insurance offices also have
been with their present employer 10 or more years.
More than half of the women in the various governmental offices,
banks and title guaranty and insurance offices, and well over half
of both women and men in education and in oil company offices
have employment records in the same firm of 5 or more years.
A striking contrast in the employment experience of workers is
given by the employees of aircraft companies. This industry has
increased production of airplanes and parts tremendously in recent
months in order to meet the demands of the national defense program
of the Federal Government and many new firms have been established
in and near Los Angeles. Approximately nine-tenths of the workers
in these aircraft company offices have been employed for less than 3
years; in fact, 72 percent of the men and 64 percent of the women are
in their first year of employment.
The groups “other types of office,” retail stores, other finance
offices, and membership organizations were generally small firms and
offered very small chance for advancement to higher paid jobs, so it
is natural to expect a relatively large turn-over of workers.




21

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE----LOS ANGELES

In each of these classifications more than half of both the women
and the men had been working for less than 3 years; in some instances
about one-third were employed for less than 1 year.
Table

VI.—Percent distribution of employees according to length of experience with
present employer, by type of office—LOS ANGELES

Type of office

Number
of em­
ployees
reported

Percent employed by present firm—
Under 1
year

1, under
3 years

3, under
5 years

5, under 10 years
10 years and over

WOMEN
All types...............................................-

8,963

15.0

19.8

18.8

19.6

26.8

Banks.. .......................................................
Other finance....................................................
Insurance___ _ .......... ..............................
Title guaranty and insurance................ .

534
321
695
136

10.1
30.5
18.1
15.4

13.1
20.6
18.8
11.0

23.2
16.8
18.1
16.2

14.8
15.6
11.8
16.2

38.8
16.5
33.1
41.2

Railroads___ _. ........................ ............. .
Other public utilities.....................................

203
442

2.5
3.4

8.4
9.5

11.3
8.4

7.4
9.7

70.4
69.0

Oil producing, refining, and distributing..

468

6.8

17.5

20.9

19.7

35.0

291

63.9

24.4

10.0

1.7

Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors____ _______________ ______

861

19.2

21.7

18.7

19.7

Department and apparel stores........ ..........

753

28.0

23.9

22.6

10.4

15.1

420
1,699

6.2
5.8

21.9
17.3

19.5
18.6

23.6
35.0

28.8
23.3

885
566
104
585

11.5
4.4
20.2
27.5

28.9
13.8
30.8
28.4

27.8
13.4
15.4
17.4

23.4
22.8
15.4
12.3

8.4
45.6
18.3
14.4

Federal Government
State, city, and county governments
Motion pictures........... ................. ...........
Education........... ................ .............................
Membership organizations. ___________
Other types of office......................................

20.7

MEN
All types....................... ........................

5,848

18.4

18.0

18.9

14.6

30.0

Banks___________ _________ __________
Other finance......................... ................... .
Insurance.-. . . .. ................................
Title guaranty and insurance.......................

920
211
280
177

7.1
33.2
19.3
6.8

11.0
19.4
20.7
15.3

15.4
24.6
22.9
9.6

14.6
13.3
15.0
7.3

52.0
9.5
22.1
61.0

Railroads......................................................... .
Other public utilities................................. .

454
250

5.3
10.4

8.4
13.6

11.2
12.4

4.4
5.6

70.7
58.0
32.9

Oil produeing, refining, and distributing..
Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors......................................... ..............

529

9.6

19.1

16.4

21.9

542

72.0

17.5

9.0

1.5

607

20.9

20.6

20.3

17.6

Department and apparel stores...................

81

34.6

22.2

22.2

13.6

7.4

Federal Government______________ ____
State, city, and county governments

141
802

14.9
11.1

23.4
16.7

29.8
25.4

15.6
20.6

16.3
26.2

Motion pictures................................ ..............
Education........... ....................................... .
Membership organizations.................. .........
Other types of office_______ ____ __

718
76
8
52

13.6
5.3
o)
26.9

31.1
10.5
p)
32.7

28.1
18.4
p)
21.2

21.0
23.7
p)
7.7

i Not computed; base too small.

425716“—42-




4

20.6

p)

6.1
42.1
11.5




EARNINGS IN 1940
METHOD OF PAY

Salaries of office workers usually are in terms of monthly or annual
rates. More than three-fourths, 76% percent, of the- office workers’
salaries reported in Los Angeles are in terms either of yearly or of
monthly rates, about 13 percent weekly, and just over 10 percent
hourly. Ninety percent and more of the employees in banks, insur­
ance, title guaranty and insurance, other financial offices, public
utilities, railroads, governmental, educational, oil, and membership
organizations are on a monthly basis. Motion-picture employees are
paid largely by hourly rates with a weekly guaranty. Office workers
in stores generally are paid weekly. In aircraft, rates of pay tend to
be hourly, and in other manufacturing and distributing and in small
offices about three-fourths of the rates are monthly and most of the
rest weekly. Monthly salaries are almost always paid semimonthly.
All detailed discussions of office workers’ earnings are on the basis
of monthly rates, since this is the most usual basis and since rates and
earnings for office workers tend to be about the same.
MONTHLY SALARY RATES BY TYPE OF OFFICE

Tabulations of salaries in this survey indicate that though there is
a certain correlation between occupation and education or length of
service, the most marked differences in salaries paid are related to
'the type of office, and, further, that the differences in salary structure
from firm to firm are marked.
What type of office pays the highest salaries to women? What type
the lowest? The highest average monthly salary for women—$14! —
is that of the motion-picture-studio offices, andthe next four in de­
scending scale are railroads $133, oil $132, Federal Government $129,
and city government $127. In the motion-picture offices, half the
women clerical workers earn more than $131 a month and one-fourth
earn more than $162. About 35 percent earn $150 and more. The
motion-picture office is the only type in which more than 5 percent of
the women receive salaries of $200 and more. Railroads, oil, the
Federal Government, and Los Angeles city offices also have from
half to two-thirds of their women office workers on salaries of $125
and more a month, and one-fourth and more of the salaries are $140
and above.
Retail trade (department and apparel stores) and membership
organizations pay the least, an average monthly salary of $86 for
women. Only about 1 woman in every 8 in retail stores earns $100
and more a month, and about 19 percent receive less than $75. The
next four in an ascending scale of low monthly average salaries are
hospitals and clinics $91, personal and chattel loan companies $98,
insurance $101, and small professional offices $102. The average




23

24

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

monthly salary is $55 less in department and apparel stores than in
motion pictures. Aircraft—the most rapidly expanding industry of
Los Angeles—averages only $103 a month in the pay of its women;
this is due in part at least to its high percentage of new employees
with short service records.
Table

VII.-—Average monthly salary and percents of employees at certain salary
levels, by type of office—LOS ANGELES

Type of office

Average
monthly
salary
(mean)

Percent of employees receiving—
$100 and
over

$125 and
over

$150 and
over

WOMEN
Motion pictures____ _____________________________
Railroads__________________ ____________________
Oil producing, refining, and distributing........................
Federal Government—............................. .........................
City government........... ........................................................
Education____________________ _______ _____ _
Building and loan............... ...................................................
Advertising..................................................... .............. .........
Banks________________ ____________ ______ ________
County government....................... ......................................
Public utilities other than railroads.......... .......................
Title guaranty and insurance............. ..............................
Real estate____________________ ________ __________
Broadcasting
Investment...._____________________________ _____
Manufacturing other than aircraft and wholesale dis­
tributors.................... ........................................................
State government...................................................................
Aircraft__________________________
Small professional offices1.—...............................................
Insurance........................................................................... .
Persona] and chattel___________________ ______ ____
Hospitals.__________________ ____ _____ __________
Department and apparel stores__________
Membership organizations..................................................

$141
133
132
129
127
124
113
113
112
112
111
109
108
108
107

93.8
93.8
97.4
98.4
05.0
90.1
71.0
68.3
73.8
96.5
68.3
73.4
53.2
58.8
63.4

57.9
66.3
65.1
52.3
56.4
53.5
32.3
31.7
25.6
17.3
30.6
23.4
29.4
14.3
22.7

34.9
22.6
20.0
18.1
21.7
11.8
8.1
11.0
7.1
5.2
4.5
2.2
15.1
6.7
6.4

107
105
103
102
101
98
91
86
86

63.6
65.6
57.3

19.8
15.0
10.1

4.3
4.8
1.3

47.6
48.1
30.3
12.0
18.1

13.8
13.5
7.8
2.5
3.8

3.5
2.3
1.3
.3
.8
*

MEN
Railroads_________ _______________________________
Title guaranty and insurance__________________ _____
Oil producing, refining, and distributing.........................
Building and loan1....... .........................................................
Public utilities other than railroads_____________ ____
State government_______________ _______ __________
Personal and chattel.......... ................................. ...............
Banks_____________ ______________________________
Education................................................................................. .
Federal Government_________________________
Motion pictures........... .............. .............................................
City government....................................................... ..............
Manufacturing other than aircraft and wholesale dis­
tributors _____________________ ______ _
Department and apparel stores________________ _____
Insurance...................................................................... ...........
Investment.____ _______________ ____ ______ ______
Aircraft_____________ ______________ ______________
County government...............................................................
Other types of office*..............................................................

$162
161
160
158
150
145
142
140
140
139
138
138

92.2
91.6
90.1

84.4
82.1
78.2

70.3
62.0
62.9

84.9
78.5
86.2
82.1
93.0
97.2
76.3
87.9

74.4
58.7
66.2
65.3
68.6
54.9
56.9
76.8

53.8
57.0
43.1
42.3
36.0
29.9
38.2
39.5

132
127
119
115
114
113
102

81.9
81.2
62.9
61.0
73.6
89.6
53. 2

56.0
51.8
36.7
37.7
25.2
25.0
22.6

33.5
22.4
20.5
24.0
7.0
8.9
6.5

1 Percents not computed: base less than 50.
3 Too few men for separate tabulation in advertising, real estate, broadcasting, and hospitals.

Men office workers are paid on a salary level higher than that of
women. Only in motion pictures have women a higher average than
men. The highest average of men—$162—is that of railroads and the
lowest—$102—is that of the residual group, “other types of office.”
The proportion of men with salaries of $150 and more is about four




EARNINGS IN 1940----LOS ANGELES

25

times the proportion of women so paid, and about 8 percent of the
men compared to 1 percent of the women receive $200 and more a
month. Besides railroads, the first five types of office for men, ranked
by salary, include title guaranty and insurance, oil, other public
utilities, and the State government—all of which pay one-fourtli and
more of their office men at least $180 a month.
Table VII lists the various types of office, in descending order
according to average monthly salary rate, for men and women sepa­
rately, and shows the proportions of employees with salaries of $100.
and over, $125 and over, and $150 and over.
MONTHLY SALARY RATES BY OCCUPATION
Stenographic group.

Banks, title guaranty, motion pictures, government offices, and
the oil companies reported 50 percent and more of their women office
workers in the stenographic group. The average monthly salary for
all the women in stenographic work is $118, but the averages by jobs
range from $88 for correspondents to $148 for secretaries, and the
variations by type of office are as marked as the occupational differ­
ences. The highest salaries are paid to secretaries; motion pictures,
with a large proportion of secretaries (38K percent), has the highest
average, $164 a month; retail distribution, with a small proportion
(about 3 percent), has the lowest, $110. It is of interest to note
that typists in motion pictures have an average salary higher than
that of secretaries in retail establishments, the latter industry being
consistently low-salaried for all groups and the only one in which
stenographers average less than $100, namely $87. The stenog­
raphers’ average salary in railroads is the highest, $148, which is due
in large part to automatic salary increases based on seniority. The
range for typists in average monthly salaries is from $76 in depart­
ment stores to $119 in the Federal Government. The average salary
for dictating-machine operators is below that of stenographers but
considerably above that of typists; they are found most frequently
in the city, State, and county offices, where they have an average
of $115.
It is an interesting fact that the average salary of stenographers
in the railroad offices is the same for men and women, $148. This
is the highest average for women stenographers in any type of office.
The demand for men stenographers was reported as in excess of the
supply by several firms scheduled. Railroads, government offices,
motion pictures, manufacturers and manufacturers’ distributors, and
the oil companies are the types of office in which men stenographers
are found most frequently. The average month’s salary for men
in the stenographic group is $133, for women $118. Men’s salaries
are the higher, except that in motion pictures the average salary of
women secretaries is $6 above men’s average. Examples of the dif­
ferences in monthly salary structure for men and women are these:
For stenographers in manufacturing, men $123, women $109, and
in oil companies, men $150, women $134; for typists in city, State,
and county governments, men $105, women $102, and in manufac­
turing, men $104, women $96.




26

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

VIII.—Percent that stenographic employees comprise of all women in specified
types of office and their average salaries,1 by selected occupation—LOS ANGELES

Table

Percent of total women and average salary 1

Type of office

Total steno­
graphic group

Secretary

Stenographer

• Dictatingmachine
transcriber

Typist

Per­
cent

Aver­
age
salary

Per­
cent

Aver­
age
salary

Per­
cent

Aver­
age
salary

Per­
cent

Aver­
age
salary

Per­
cent

Aver­
age
salary

Total...............................

43.6

$118

9.0

$148

20.9

$116

11.1

$100

2.0

$112

114
105
105
108

5.6
7.6
1.6
11.5

159
131

Title guaranty and insurance.

62. 6
41. 4
31.8
71.2

51.6
26.4
16.4
42.8

110
103
115
119

5.2
6. 8
9. 6
16.5

88

.4

Railroads_________ ________
Other public utilities

41.3
21.2

145
119

5.8
2.0

26.0
12.1

148
119

7.2
6.8

109

2. 4
.2

127

Oil producing, refining, and
50.2
Aircraft
Other manufacturing and
wholesale distributors.. ..
Department and apparel
stores...______________ _.

138

10.6

47.8

102

4.7

33.7

112

5.8

159

134

4.7

18.0
143

32. 8

107

25.1

95

21.2

109

6.3

96

2.1

22.1

86

2.9

8.1

87

4.1

76

Federal Government___
_.
State, city, and county governments...............................

55.6

126

3.5

30.0

125

20.9

119

54.4

•110

1.9

128

15.4

122

28.6

102

Motion pictures............ ...........
Education... .
Membership organizations...
Other types of office

69.4
25.3
30.1
45.3

145
134
86
106

38.5
18.2
.8
18.7

164
141

28.4
6.1
4.5
22.0

121
116

2.5
1.0
24.8
4.7

.4

114

118

100

80
91

8.5

115

«

* Not computed for groups of less than 25.

The salaries of men and women in the stenographic group shown
in terms of quartiles indicate that 25 percent of the women are paid
less than $100 a month, 50 percent less than $115, and 75 percent
less than $131. A comparison of the means and quartiles of monthlysalaries for men and women in the stenographic group and its three
major jobs, secretary, stenographer, and typist, follows:
Average

Mean:
Men____________ ______________
Women_______________________
First quartile:
Men________ ______________________
Women
Median:
Men,________ _______________
Women
Third quartile:
Men_________________ _______ _
Women________ ______ ______ _____ _____

Stenographic
group 1

Secretary

Stenographer

Typist

$133
118

$171
148

$137
116

$108
100

101
100

149
120

116
101

91
86

126
115

170
146

136
115

101
100

160
131

200
171

159
128

120
111

1 Includes in addition to the 3 specified groups 200 women dictating-machine transcribers and 60
women form-letter correspondents, employment with no men on comparable jobs.

Almost one-half of the women secretaries have salaries of $150 and
more, and almost tliree-fourths have salaries of $125 and more, a
month. Practically three-fourths of the men secretaries receive $150
and more. About one-third of the women stenographers and two-




27

EARNINGS IN 1940—LOS ANGELES

thirds of the men stenographers receive at least $125. About 40 per­
cent of the women typists and 34 percent of the men typists earn less
than $100. The large proportion of correspondents who earn less
than $100 is due chiefly to their being in the department and apparel
stores group. Most of them use form letters in their work and are
actually little more than typists.
Accounting group.

The average salary of hand bookkeepers is $156 for men and $121
for women; for machine bookkeepers the figures are $111 and $113,
respectively. In banks the average for men hand bookkeepers is $139,
and in manufacturing it is $165. Men operators of bookkeeping
machines in banks—often a beginning job—average $99. Women’s
averages in hand bookkeeping are $119 in “other public utilities”
$121 in manufacturing, and $113 in “other types of office;” in machine
bookkeeping, $104 in banks and $113 in manufacturing. A compari­
son of the means and quartiles for the bookkeepers reported follows:
Hand.

Mean:
bookkeeper
Men....... .............................................
$156
Women_ _.
_
121
First quartile:
Men__________________________
Women 101
Median:
Men................................................
Women*__________________________________
120
Third quartile:
Men...............................................
Women...»
136

Machine
bookkeeper

$111
113
12691
99
151101
113
180121
126

Twenty percent of the women hand bookkeepers earn less than $100
a month and 13 percent earn $150 and more. Slightly more than onehalf of the men hand bookkeepers earn $150 and more. Women
machine bookkeepers are paid slightly more than men. Some of the
women are operators of combination bookkeeping-billing machines
and must have skill in typing as well as in handling the bookkeeping
mechanism. The work of women on bookkeeping machines is more
varied, on the whole, than that of men. Accountants for whom
records were obtained are tabulated with the professional group.
Tellers or assistant tellers in banks have an average monthly salary
of $154. One-fourth of all the men tellers earn less than $136 and
one-fourth earn more than $173. Less than 2 percent of the men
tellers have salaries below $100 and a little over 9 percent earn $200
and more. Women tellers comprise less than 1 percent of the women
in the banks covered but 7 percent of those in other financial offices.
About 4 percent of the women office workers in “other public utilities”
and 8 percent of those in stores are cashiers; in latter monthly
salaries of women cashiers average $84; in the former $122. For
the entire group of women reported as cashiers and tellers, the arith­
metic average (the mean) is $107; half the salaries are spread from $82
to $126, and $105 is the midpoint in the distribution.
Calculating-machine operators.

More women are operating calculating machines than any other
office machine except the typewriter, and efficient machine calcu­
lators seem a conscious need of a number of the employers inter-




28

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

viewed. Running a calculator as a major duty was reported for
almost 18 percent of the women in railroads, 20 percent of those in
manufacturing and distributing, 14% percent in oil, and 11 percent in
aircraft. The average of the monthly salaries of all women calculatingmachine operators is $109, wdth 50 percent of the salaries spread from
$91 to $125; 37 percent are below $100 and 27 percent are above $125
The averages for women calculating-machine operators by type of
office follow: City, State, and county governments $129 oil $128
railroads $126, other utilities $113, aircraft $101, manufacturing $99’
and retail stores at the foot, $85. The number of men reported as
calculating-machine operators in this study is too small for separate
tabulation.
Men operators of tabulating machines have an average salary of
$138 and 30 percent have salaries of $150 and more. The only two
groups of men with numbers large enough for averages are in motion
pictures ($152) and the city, State, and county governments ($136)
Women key punchers in the same types of offices have averages of
$125 and $114, respectively.
Other clerical occupations.

Women file clerks have an average monthly salary of $100, and men
average $107. Fifty-eight percent of the women have salaries under
$100, with 45 percent receiving $75 and under $100.
Messengers and office boys have average earnings of $81 The
range is relatively narrow, with half the salaries spread between the
first quartile of $71 and the third of $87. Almost 11 percent are paid
$ 100 and more. The averages by type of office having appreciable
numbers of men messengers follow: Banks, $75; city, State, and county
governments, $77; manufacturing, $78; motion pictures, $82; and oil
$90 furls as messengers are a much smaller proportion of the office
workers than boys. The few girl messengers have an average of $73
with half earning between $70 and $76.
^Theaverage salaries of women telephone operators and receptionists

Mean _ ______
First quartile_
_
Median _
_
Third quartile. _____

Woman
telephone
operator

Woman
receptionist

cn
120

Among the workers grouped as clerks the highest averages for
women are in motion pictures ($133), Federal Government ($136)
and oil companies ($128); the low points are in insurance ($97) and
stores ($86). _ The averages for men are above $125 in all types of
offices but aircraft and the miscellaneous small offices, the three
highest being title guaranty and insurance ($162), railroads ($162)
and oil ($160). For both men and women the average for special
clerks is the highest of all groups, being $153 for women and $202
for men.
Administrative, supervisory, clerical-professional.

Average salaries for supervisors are $170 for women and $210
for men. Of 904 administrative, executive, and professional office
employees (not shown on tables), only about 9 percent are women
ihe average monthly salary of women in this group is $211, that of
men is ipj 1 /.



29

HOURS OF WORK----LOS ANGELES

The accompanying tables IX to XII show, first by type of office
and then by occupation, the averages and the distribution of the ,
salaries paid to Los Angeles office workers.
Table IX.—Average

monthly salary rales of men and women regular employees
in offices, 194-0, by type of office—LOS ANGELES
Men

Women

Average salary rates 1

Average salary rates 1
Type of office

Total
num­
ber of
women Mean

All types..................................... 9,981

$113

Quartiles
Me­
First dian Third
$95

$110

$126

Total
num­
ber of
men Mean

Quartiles
Me­
First dian Third

6,417

$139

$105

$135

$166

110
90
85
109

140
124
106
141

166
151
141
152

90
126

110
160

141
191
181
181

Banks.......................... —......................
Other finance_____________ ______
Investment----------------- --------Personal and chattel--------------Building and loan........—...........
Insurance.-..........................................
Title guaranty and insurance..........

535
367
172
133
62
696
278

112
105
107
98
113
101
109

96
90
90
85
96
86
96

111
101
101
96
111
101
110

125
116
121
105
126
111
121

924
246
146
65
35
283
347

140
128
115
142
158
119
161

Railroads---------- ------ ----------------Other public utilities.........................

208
950

133
111

121
95

132
111

146
128

462
344

162
150

141
121

163
155

Oil producing, refining, and dis­
tributing.-................. -----------------

470

132

120

125

141

537

160

126

165

181

Aircraft------ ---------- -------------------Other manufacturing and wholesale
distributors____________ _______

295

103

91

100

111

560

114

100

109

125

989

107

91

104

120

746

132

101

126

155

Department and apparel stores------

789

86

78

83

91

85

127

105

126

147

Federal Government
State government-------------------City government ..............................
County government..........................

426
394
420
908

129
105
127
112

120
86
110
101

125
103
126
115

140
120
145
116

144
121
521
192

139
145
138
113

120
110
125
100

126
161
136
101

153
181
160
123

Motion pictures-------------------------Education____________________
Membership organizations...............

919
604
133

141
124

118
110
76

131
125
81

162
133
90

738
86
19

138
140

102
115

131
140

164
157

Other types of office
Advertising
Real estate.....................................
Broadcasting
Hospitals_______________ ___
Small professional offices---------

600
82
126
119
231
42

102
113
108
108
91
102

86
91
85
91
79

98
108
100
101
88

115
130
125
111
101

62
12
9
21
20

102

79

101

120

191

$170

$141

$161

$200

520

$210

$176

$201

$237

Supervisory (not included above):
All types....................................

1 Mean—arithmetic average. First quartile—one-fourth of the rates are below and three-fourths above
the figure given; median—one-half are below and one-half above; third quartile—three-fourths are below and
one-fourth above. Averages not computed on very small bases.

425716°—42—5




CO
Table

X.—Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in offices occording to monthly salary rate, 1960, by type of office—
LOS ANGELES
W omen

Total
number
of
women

Men

Percent1 of women with monthly
salary rate of—
$75,
under

$100,

$125,
under
$150

$150
and
over

Total
number
of
men

535
367
696
278

Railroad*................ ............................. .......................
Other public utilities_______________8_________

208
950

under
$125

$75,
under

924
246
283
347

3.6
5.3

4.5

1.7
2.5
1.6
2.2

24.5
38.4
50.9
24.5

4.5

27.2

6.2

48.2

3a 1

18.5
15.8
10.3

33.8
50.0

21. 2

27.4
37.7

43.7
26. 1

Oil producing, refining, and distributing_______

15.7

21 7

20.7

14.3
23.6
35.3

21. 1

16.9

1.8

.3

8.1

26. 1
9.5

22.9
17.1
16.3

34.1
24.4
15.9
40.6

8.5
4.6
21.3

462
344

1.1

1. 7

6. 7
13.4

7.8
10.5

14. 1
20.6

57.4
41.0

13.0

537

1.3

8.6

11.9

1.3
4.3

560
746

26. 4
15.8

48.4
25.9

18. 2
22. 5

6.4
27.7

.5
5.8

29.4

20.0

2.4

25.0
27.2

19.4
32. 1

10.4
2.9

18. 7

32.6

29.0
29.1

9.2
7.0

22.6

42.7
34.8

18.9

69.1

9.6

2.2

1.6

46.0
60.5

34.3
17. 2

18.1
9. 1

144
834

1.4
1.3

11.8

42.4
24.7

35.9
36.6
14.3
29.2

23.0
41. 7
3.0

34.9

738

3.3

20.5
7. 0

19.4
24.4

10.8

7.2

6.8

24.6

68.6

789
426
1,722

Motion pictures_____________________________
Education____ ____ _____ __________________ _
Membership organizations____________________
Other types of office-.................................................

919
604
133
600

Supervisory (not included above):
All types. ........................................ ..................

191




8.8

2.2

1.6

Department and apparel stores_______________

13.2
6. 1

4.5
7.2

9.9
77.4
45. 7

47. 1
43.8

7.1
5.2
3.5

$100

295
989

Federal Government___________ _____ _______
State, city, and county governments__________

1 Percents not computed on very small bases.

$100,

$125,
under
$a50

9,981

Baokt........................................................................... .
Other finance_____________________________ _
X&suruice _________________________________
Title Guaranty and insurance. ---------------------

$100

Under
$75
2. 1

Under
$75

under
$125

20.0

All types______________________________

Aircraft-___________________________________
Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors

Percent1 of men with monthly salary
rate of—

15.5

18.8

11.8

.8

86

19
62

1.4

20.2

6.7

$150,
under
$200

$200

and
over

8.2

12.8

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

Type of office

o

31

EARNINGS IN 1940----LOS ANGELES

Table XI.—Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees in

offices, 1940, by occupation—LOS ANGELES
Men

Women

Average salary rates 1

Average salary rates 1 2
Occupation

Total
num­
ber of

Quartiles
Me­
First dian Third

Total
num­
ber of
men Mean

Quartiles
Me­
First dian Third

9, 981

Machine operators:

Other clerks:
File
......................................

$110

$126

6,417

$139

$105

$135

$166

901
2,085
1. 108
200
60

148
116
100
112
88

120
101
86
115
77

146
115
100
115
83

171
128
111
116
88

62
130
119

171
137
108

149
116
91

170
136
100

200
169
120

183
210

121
107

101
82

120
105

136
126

159
434

156
157

126
136

151
151

180
173

105
187
544

96
113
109

85
99
91

92
113
108

110
126
125

118

111

91

101

121

62

110

87

109

130

111
118
111

100
91
96

110
121
115

121
136
121

148
34

138
121

1.25

135

151

164
46
399

100
73
105

80

91

121

88
335

107
81

81
71

91

105
78

126
87

105

118

ioi

134

104

131

161

89

120

165

107

706
412
62

101
120
101

86
112
91

100
125
100

111
126
109

1,040
69
424

135
136
113

100
119
100

130
140
109

165
157
125

259

Accounting group:

$95

65

Dicta ting-machine transcriber.

$113

190
62
84

Stenographic group:

104

90

101

118

501

129

103

126

152

567
155

116
136

100
121

no
135

135
150

621
94

136
135

101
120

135
131

165
150

378
286
279
71
380
41

160
162
147
129
143
99

135
145
112
108
119

165
165
150
127
143

180
176
180
148
164

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—

Other manufacturing and wholeGovernment:
Oil producing, refining, and

76

Special office workers-------------------

111

125

136

112
133
96

86

95
78
108
80

116
83
121
91

129
91
156

59

153

121

145

175

379

202

168

196

235

191

Department and apparel stores.

128

385
334
117
256

$170

$141

$161

$200

520

$210

$176

$201

$237

m

1 Mean—arithmetic average. First quartile—one-fourth of the rates are below and three-fourths above
the figure given; median—one-half are below and one-half above; third quartile—three-fourths are below
and one-fourth above. Averages not computed on very small bases.
2 Not included in total.




Table

oo
to

XII —Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in offices according to monthly salary rate, 1940, by occupation—
LOS ANGELES
Men

Women

Total
number
of men

$75,
under
$100

$100,
under
$125

9,981

2.9

27.3

39.8

20. 1

9.9

6,417

901
2,085
1, 108
200
60

.1
1.0
2. 7
1. 5
25.0

7.4
18.7
36. 4
11.5
65.0

19.6
46. 4
50. 5
78.5
1.7

25. 0
25. 9
9. 5
8.0
3.3

47.8
8.0
9
.5
5.0

62
130
119

183
210

1. 1
2.9

19. 1
40.5

37.2
23. 1

29.5
19.5

13. 1
9.0

159
434

105
187
544
84
190
62

10. 5
2. 1
1. 8
2.4
.5
3.2

51. 4
23.5
34. 9
25.0
16. 3
29.0

29.5
44.9
35.8
48.8
66.3
27.4

8.6
21.4
24.3
20.2
14.7
22.6

8.0
3. 1
3.6
2. 1
17.7

118

164
46
399

12. 8

45.1

22.0

14.6

5.5

88
335

3.3

33. 3

49.6

11.3

2.5

65

4.6

35. 4

36.9

15. 4

7. 7

706
412
62
259

1.6

47.5
6.8
46.8
40.5

37. 4
43.0
43.5
36.3

11.0
47.8
9.7
17.0

2.5
2.4

—

number
of women Under
$75

Stenographic group:

Accounting group:

Machine operators:

Other clerks:

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—

Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors............ .......




2.7

^5

U ruler
$75

$75,
under
$100

$100,
under
$125

$125,
under
$150

$150,
under
$200

2. 1

15.7

21.7

20.7

31.4

8.4

3.2
9.2
33. 6

9.7
25. 4
44.5

12.9
26.9
15.1

46.8
35.4
5.9

27.4
3.1

5.0
1.6

15. 7
8.5

23. 9
31. 1

39.6
49.3

15.7
9.4

$200
and
over

|

i

All occupations...................................... —--------- ---------------

$150
and
over

3.5

__
.8

32 2

43. 2

11.0

11.0

.8

96

28. 1

41.7

25.0

4.2

1.0

148

1. 4

18.9

49.3

29.1

1.4

36. 4
63.3

28. 4
9.6

12.5
.9

14.8
.3

20.6

24. 2

15.2

35.8

4.2

20.6
1. 4
22.2
15.4

19.9
26. 1
52. 6
28.1

20.4
37. 7
21.7
24.0

28.2
33.3
l3
28.1

9.0
1.4
.2
3.0

1. 7

8. 0
25.0

165

1.040
69
424
501

1.9
1.4

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

Percent1 of men with monthly
salary rate of—

Percent1 of women with monthly
salary rate of—

Occupation

Government:
State, city, county--------------- __-----Federal__________________________
Oil producing, refining, and distributing.
Railroads____________________________
Other public utilities_________________
Department and apparel stores________
Motion pictures______________________
Other types of office__________ ___ ____

16.2
.6
1.3

567
155
76

47.6
35.5
50.0

22.2
35.5
30.3

13.9
28.4
18.4

38.2
9.0
36.8
27.3

27.0
3.3
19.7

4.9

4.9
18.0
8.6

24.9
69.8
15.4
51.2

Special office workers____________________

59

1.7

5.1

Supervisors *.......... ............................ ................

191

1 Percents not computed on very small bases,
1 Not included in total.

22.0

47.5

379

24.6

68.6

520

.5

26.2
42.6
11.9
6.6
11.1
28.2
22.6

24.3
29.8
16.1
16. 1
21.9
31.0
24.7

37.0
24.5
53.7
62.9
39.8
21.1
35.0

2.3
2.1
12.4
P-4
11.1
2.8
6.0

.3

4.2

6.3

41.2

48.0

.4

6.7

37.9

55.0

1940—
LOS ANGELES




28.2

.4
1.1

10.1
1.1
5.8
4.5
15.1
16.9
10.5

EARNINGS IN

385
334
117
256

621
94
378
286
279
71
380
41

Oo
w

34

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

WEEKLY EARNINGS COMPARED WITH SALARY RATES

To determine the extent to which salary rate and actual earnings
are the same, actual earnings are presented* for a single representative
pay-roll period, usually a half-month for those on a monthly basis and a
week for the others. Actual earnings are tabulated in terms of week's
earnings, semimonthly earnings being reduced to their week’s equiv­
alent. In a few types of office overtime payments increase earnings
somewhat, the greatest amounts of increase being in motion picture's,
aircraft, and “other public utilities.” Time lost for personal reasons’
and less than a full scheduled week for hourly workers in some types
of employment, reduce average earnings slightly.
For all the men included in the survey, the average of the actual
earnings is 55 cents greater than the average of the weekly salary
rates. For all the women, the average of actual earnings is 65 cents
less than the average of regular weekly rates.
. Rates in terms of weekly equivalents are compared to actual earnmgs for a week in the spring of 1940, by type of office, in the following:
Averages of week’s rates and of week’s earnings
Women
Type of office
Average
rate

All types_______________ _______

Average
earnings

Men
Earnings
exceed
rate (+) Average
or fall
rate
below
(-) by-

Average
earnings

Earnings
exceed
rate (+)
or fall
below
(-) by—

$26.00

$25.35

-$0.65

$31.95

$32.50

+$0.55

Banks___ ____
Other finance...............................1111111111
Insurance____________________________ _
Title guaranty and insurance.......................

25.75
24.15
23.35
25.05

25.75
24.20
23. 25
24.95

+.05
-.10
-.10

32.20
29.60
27. 45
37.15

32.20
29.80
27.45
37.15

+.20

Bailroads__________ ______ ____________
Other public utilities.....................................

30.55
25.65

30.50
26.10

-.05
+.45

37.35
34. 55

37.45
36.60

+.10
+2.06

37.00

Oil producing, refining, and distributing._

30.50

30.40

-.10

37.00

Aircraft_____ ________ _______ __________
Other manufacturing and wholesale
distributors................................................. .

23.70

26.15

+2.45

26.35

28.80

+2.45

24.80

24.95

+.15

30.45

30.60

+. 15

Department and apparel stores....................

19. 75

19.65

-.10

29.20

29.20

Federal Government__________________
State, city, and county governments

29.70
26.30

29.70
26. 30

32.10
30; 75

32.10
30.75

Motion pictures.............................................
Education_______________ __________
Membership organizations
Other types of office.......... ............................. 1

32.50
28.70
19.80
23.45

34. 76
28.55
19.15
23.45

31.65
32.35
<■)
23; 45

33. 65
32. 35
0)
23.45

+2.25
-.15
-.65

+2.00

1 Not computed; base too small.

This tabulation indicates that differences between earnings and
rates, due chiefly to overtime or undertime, are slight in most cases,
and the data given as salary rates may be accepted as typical of pre­
vailing salary conditions for full-time work. Overtime and undertime
affect relatively few workers.




HOURS OF WORK
Scheduled weekly hours.

The workweek pattern for office workers, like that of industrial
workers, tends to be about 40 hours. Almost three-fourths of the office
employees had a scheduled week of 40 hours or below and less than
3% percent had hours above 44. The basic, workweek set by the
Fair Labor Standards Act at the time of the survey was 42 hours.
Well over one-half of the workers—57 percent—were scheduled to
work 39 hours, 39 and a fraction, or 40 hours. Three-fourths of the
bank employees in early 1940 were scheduled to work more than 40
hours but not so long as 42. Railroad office workers were all scheduled
to work from 44 to 48 hours. Hospital and clinic office hours tended
to be longer than the usual 40; all but one small clinic had weekly
hours of more than 40, and 39 percent of the hour schedules were in
excess of 44. Hours in small offices and in real estate varied more, and
undoubtedly there was a great deal of irregularity in the actual hours
worked.
Daily hours.

Seven hours a day with a workweek of 5% days is the most usual
arrangement of hours, but the proportions of offices with a 7%- or an
8-hour day are fairly large. A summary of the scheduled daily hours
and the days per week follows:
Daily hours:
Under 7
7______
7 yt.
7H7J4-

8______
Over 8___
Irregular___
Days per week:
5-.
5 %.
6-.
Irregular

Percent oj
offices

.
.
.
.
.
.

3. 1
37.0
6.3
22. 8
4. 7
24. 0
.8
1. 2

.
.
.
.

20. 1
74. 8
3. 9
1. 2

.
.

The 8-hour day was most common in manufacturing, motion pic­
tures, aircraft, and hospitals. In the case of the first three the 8-hour
day usually was tied up with a 5-day week. In addition, one-third
and more of the offices serving public utilities, education, member­
ship organizations, oil companies, advertising, and local govern­
ments had a 5-day week. Six days for office work was unusual and 1
title guaranty and insurance office, 3 stores, and 4 hospitals were the
only offices with a workweek of 6 regular days. A few of the small
offices had irregular hours, working short time on 6 days.




35

36

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

OVERTIME
Overtime policies and practices.

Paid overtime for salaried workers is not a general employment
practice. A few hours of extra work to finish a special task from time
to time generally is disregarded by both worker and employer. Office
employers are not overtime conscious. The most usual reply in an­
swer to questions regarding the extent and payment of overtime was
that there was no overtime for office workers. This was especially
true of the small offices, and more than half of all the offices reported
no overtime for their workers. In many of the larger offices, peak
loads of work are handled by employing temporaries or extras Of 106
offices admitting overtime, 16 said there was no extra payment for
additional hours, 7 paid the regular rate, 50 paid time and a half, 9
gave supper money, and 24 gave compensatory leave. Payment of
time and a half and compensatory time were the most common prac­
tices. Supper money was common in financial offices. Government
offices and schools, if overtime was admitted at all, canceled overtime
with compensatory leave.
The only offices in which overtime affected the earnings of any
appreciable group of workers were “other public utilities,” motion pic­
tures, and aircraft. “Other finance,” railroads, and manufacturing
and distributing had overtime payments for a very limited number of
workers. All told, in the pay period for which earnings were tabu­
lated, 12 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women had over­
time reported in their work hours and much smaller proportions
received cash payments for overtime.




EFFECT OF EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
ON RATES OF PAY
Over-all time in office work.

As has been stated, complete records of employees' earlier work
experience were not available, and for the period from the first to the
present employment only the over-all can be correlated with earnings.
Average monthly salary, by time over which office work was spread,
is shown for all women reported and for the stenographic group, ma­
chine operators, and “other” (three largest occupational groups) in
the summary following:
All women
reported

Over-all time in office
work

6,924

Total................

Stenographic group
$112

3,030

$117

OtI erl

Machine operators
827

$109

$108

2,352

Percent distributon of women and average monthly salary
3.6
3.0
3.5
6.4
4.7
18.2
61.5

5, under 10*years----10 years and over----

$77
85
90
94
99
105
122

2.6
2.9
3.6
5.1
5.5
19.7
60.5

$79
87
93
96
102
109
128

3.9
2.8
3.1
7.9
4.6
19.7
58.0

$78

4.2
2.9
3.7
5.1
4.0
16.8
63.2

(2)
94
95
103
104
117

$77
82
85
93
94
101
117

i Exclusive of the accounting group, receptionists and file clerks, and telephone operators.
i Not computed; number too small.

In all groups almost 80 percent of the women had over-all experience
in clerical employment of at least 5 years. The smallest proportion
in the table is that of the stenographic group with less than 1 year’s
experience—just over 2% percent.
...
,
A similar summary for all men reported and for their three largest
occupational groups follows:
Over-all time in
office work

All men reported
4,561

$137

Machine* operators
266

$121

Other1

Aceomrting rgroup
487

$155

2,955

$135

Percent distribution of men and average monthly salary

1, under 2 years.........
2, under 3 years-----3, under 4 years-----o' under 10 years----10 years and over----

9.6
3.9
5.8
7.6
5.7
15.9
51.6

$95
96
104
114
115
130
160

7.5
5.3
10.5
15.0
7.1
21.8
32.7

(2)
(2)
$104
108
(2)
130
137

0.6
.6
2.1
3.1
3.3
14.4
76.0

(«)
<!)
t!)
m
m
$134
164

9.4
3.6
4.9
7.1
6.1
16.1
52.7

$99
99
107
113
113
128
154

1 Exclusive of stenographic group, messengers, file clerks, timekeepers, and special office workers.
2 Not computed; number too small.

Men clerical workers in Los Angeles had shorter over-all work
histories than women. Many men undoubtedly regard office work




37

38

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

as a, transitory step or training period for promotion to the selling,
buying, professional, and other nonclerical activities of business, and
the turn-over of men on clerical jobs is higher than that of women.
As would be expected by the nature of the jobs, relatively few men
classed as bookkeepers, cashiers, and tellers had had less than 5 years
m office work, but the proportion of machine operators with such short
experience was not far from one-half.
<
•
•
.

AVERAGE MONTHLY SALARY RATE ACCORDING TO OVER-ALL
TIME SINCE FIRST OFFICE JOB—LOS ANGELES
Woaen

Overall time
In office work

lion

1120 0

Under 1 year
1, under 2 years
2, under 3 years
3, under 4 years

4, under 5 years

5, under 10 years

10 years and over

Correlation of over-all time in office work with the number of offices
worked in shows that in general remaining with one firm leads to
slightly higher salaries than does shifting around from one company to
another. Average monthly salaries were lowest for those with the
largest number of jobs in a given period.
Average monthly salary
Women with over-all of—

Number of jobs held

Under 1
year

5, undcr lO
years

Men wijth over-all of—

10 years

Under 1

5, under 10

10 years
and over

_

1 (present firm only)______
2______
3 and more____ ______ _

(0

$78
76

$112
109
104

$122
124
121

$96
(')
«

$146
127
119

$166
159
155

1 Not computed; number too small.

With the single exception of women with experience of 10 years and
more and two jobs, both men and women with but one employer have
the highest group averages.
Time with present employer.

The length of experience with the present employer is indicative of
extent of turn-over, and when cross tabulated with salary implies the
probable worth-whileness of staying on with the same firm.




EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION----LOS ANGELES

39

For all workers with period of employment with the present firm
reported, the average monthly salaries are shown here:
Men

Women
Length of service with the firm
Percent
15.0
9.3
10.5
10.8
7.9
19.6
26.8

10 years and over__________________________-

Average
salary
$90
99
105
110
114
120
130

Percent
18.4
7.8
10.2
12. 1
6.9
14.6
30.0

Average
salary
$102
108
121
129'
136
150
169

Over two-fifths of the workers have been with their present employ­
ers 5 years and more. As the years of service progress after the second
year, the average salaries of men take greater strides than those, of
women. For employees with service records of 10 years and more
with the present firm, the average salaries of men are, 66 percent
greater, and those of women are 44 percent greater, than for employees
with less than a year’s service.
Aircraft as a new and expanding industry has the largest proportion
with less than one year’s service, 64 percent of the women and 72
percent of the men. For both sexes, railroads have the smallest pro­
portion with short service histories, and the largest proportion (slightly
over 70 percent) with service records of 10 years and more. The effect
of their seniority system is seen here.
The similarity in the proportions of men and women with various
service records is interesting: About 45 percent of both sexes have
been 5 years and more with the same office, and 30 percent of the men
and 27 percent of the women have remained 10 years and over.
Salary progression within the same firm.

A group of men and women whose experience in office work has
been wholly with their first employers have been tabulated to indicate
the trend of salary progression within offices. The average salary
reported under “first job” is the average at beginning—inexperienced
entrants—for 5 classes of employees, ranging from those taken on
during the year July 1, 1939, to June 30, 1940 to those who entered
employment 10 or more years ago. The present-job salary, of course,
is based on current rates.
Average monthly salary

First job

1, under 3 years______ ____ _
5, under 10 years.,
10 years and over

Men

Women

Employment with
present firm

$75
75
74
81
75

Present
job
$78
88
100
112
121

Percent of
increase

First job

4.0
17.3
35.1
38.3
61.3

$86
81
78
83
81

Present
job
$93
101
118
147
168

Percent of
increase
8.1
24.7
51. 3
/ /. 1
107.4

Men’s beginning salaries tended to be in the eighties, women’s in
the seventies. There is less difference between their first than between
their current salaries, men’s progress being much more marked than
women’s. For the group of men employed 10 years and more the




40

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

present average salary is more than double the rate paid them when
they began, but salaries for women have increased by only about 60
percent. Considering individual cases, about one-fourth of the women,
in contrast to more than half of the men, have doubled their salaries
after 10 or more years in the firm’s employ. From the first year
onward, the disparity in men’s and women’s salaries increases. The
figures by type of office follow:
Table

XIII.—Average monthly salary 1 according to length of service with present
firm, by type of office—LOS ANGELES
All employees
reported
.

Type of office

Number and average salary 1 of employees who had
been with present firm—
Under 3
years

3, under 5
years

Num- Aver- Num- Aver- Num- Average
ber
salary ber salary ber salary

5, under
10 years

10 years
and over

ber

Average
salary

ber

2,402

$130

Average
salary

WOMEN
8,963

$113

3,125

Title guaranty and insurance.

534
321
695
136

112
103
101
104

124
164
257
36

Railroads__________ _____
Other public utilities______

203
442

133
111

22
57

468

132

291

102

257

861

108

352

753

86

420

129

1, 699

114

885
566
104
585

141

Banks

$97

1,682

$112

1, 754

$120

91
86
85

124
54
126
22

104
107
99

79
50
82
22

116
117
100

97

23
37

102

15
43

125

99

29

122

95

161

105

391

80

170

90

78

118

114

82

123

56

129
121
117
114

106

143
305

136
115

92

131

164

149

170

116

178

130

99

125

121

150

Oil producing, refining, and
Aircraft____________ _______
Other manufacturing and
Department

and

115

apparel

Federal Government
State, city, and county

Membership organizations__

84
102

94

100
358
103
53
327

316

110

595

111

396

135

120

246
76
16
102

140
113

111

74
258
19
84

176
138

107

207
129
16
72

856

$150

1, 754

28
42
13

148

478
20
62
108

153
161

81
91

129

MEN
All types.......................... 5, 848

$137

2,130

$109

1,108

$132

140
122

166

Title guaranty and insurance.

920
211
280
177

144

112
39

87
106
91
108

142
52
64
17

114
124
122

Railroads_____ _____ ______
Other public utilities..............

454
250

162
145

62
60

115
118

51
31

139
120

20
14

321
145

175
163

171

199

149

125

161

131

210

161

44
32

176
154

Banks.......... ......................

Oil producing, refining, and
distributing.................... .
Aircraft... ...
Other manufacturing and
wholesale distributors ...
Department and
stores_______

529

160

152

118

87

148

116

542

113

485

110

49

135

8

607

132

252

110

123

131

107

165

apparel
81

126

46

117

18

Federal Government ._
State, city, and county
governments __

141

139

54

113

42

141

22

802

133

223

112

204

129

165

Motion pictures.........
Education___ _
Membership organizations...
Other types of office .

718
76
8
52

142

321
12
4
31

112

202
14
1
11

142

*18

1

105

1 Not computed for croups of less than 25.




91

11

3

23

6

EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION----LOS ANGELES

41

Experience, schooling, and salary.

Are high-school graduates and college-trained people paid more than
those with less formal schooling but with the same years of experience
in office work? The following summary presents the findings for
Los Angeles:
Average monthly salary
Men

Women
Maximum schooling
Under 1
year at
work

High school, incomplete...........
High school, complete..............
College, incomplete..................
College complete......................-

Under 1
year at
work

5 and under 10 years and
10 years
more at
work
at work

$75
78
83

(i)
$106
104
107
109

$119
120
121
124
130

(i)
$103
92
94
104

(9
$134
126
130
142

$163
163
155
158
165

78
77

106
105

123
120

95
95

126
132

162
158

(9

Business school—
Attendance reported.. ._
Attendance not reported..

5 and under 10 years and
more at
10 years
at work
work

1 Not computed; number too small.

The man who completes college seems to have possibilities of a
better salary break than the one who docs not complete college or who
ends his formal schooling with high-school graduation. The men
high-school graduates, however, for some reason average less than
those who did not complete high school, but the latter group is rela­
tively small and therefore more liable to bias.
Women’s salaries show a continuous slight upward trend with
experience and with schooling except for the group with high school
incomplete, which is small. The women college graduates with 10
years and more of experience have an average salary of $130, which is
$11 above the average for the grammar-school graduates and $9
more than the high-school graduates, but the men with the same
experience but only a grammar-school background have average
earnings $33 higher than those of the college women.
Rates paid beginners.

In the questions on office personnel policies inquiry was made as
to the minimum beginning rates for inexperienced workers. The
statements of managements as to their lowest rates for new employees
show the following:
Percent
Beginning rate:
distribution
Under $65
4. 8
$65, under $70
16. 9
$70, under $75________________________________
18. 0
$75, under $80____________________ _______- - -............ 20. 6
$80, under $90
24. 3
$90, under $100_________________ __________ —............
6. 9
$100 and over:--------------------------------------------------------8.5

Messengers usually were reported as beginning at $65 to $70,
stenographers and typists at $65 to $90, and other clerks at $70 to
$90.




42

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

Supplementing the foregoing summary is actual pay-roll information
for 392 men and 218 women who had been employed in 1939 and 1940
and for whom beginning jobs and the rates paid were shown. All
types of firms are represented. The average entrance salary was
$85 for men and $74 for women. Messengers and general clerks were
the two beginning jobs reported most frequently for men. The
average beginning rate for messengers was $71 and about one-third
had started at less than $/0. Men as general clerks usually were
taken on at from $85 to $95. All beginning jobs for women except
messengers averaged in the seventies; the stenographic group and
general clerks both averaged $75. About one-third of the beginning
rates for women, but only about one-seventh of such rates for men,
were below $70. There is less discrepancy in the beginning rates
•of men and women than in their rates as their work experience
accumulates.
Part-time and extra employees.

Data on current salaries included earnings for 214 women extras
and 80 women part-time workers, and for 54 men extras and 22 men
part-time workers. Since extras and part-time workers usually are
paid either hourly or weekly rates, their average earnings are given
on a week’s basis. Hours worked were not reported for a sufficient
number to correlate with earnings. The week’s average earnings
for this group were—
Women

Part-time workers$12.12
Extra workers 19.73

Men

$12.06
24.44

The largest numbers of extras and part-time workers on pay rolls
transcribed were in local government offices, the oil companies,
schools, and stores.
Inquiry was made as to the total number of extras employed by the
firm in 1939 and estimates were made by the majority of the large
offices. The indications are that extra and part-time work does not
offer extensive employment.
Education and salary.

Schooling appears to have a more direct bearing on women’s than
on men’s salary progression. Each schooling group for women shows
higher earnings as age increases. Such small proportions of women
under 30 have less than high-school education that few averages
have been computed for the grammar-school and high-school-incom­
plete groups. Women under 30 who are college graduates have a
lower average than those with less schooling, due to later entrance
into industry and shorter work histories. Considering the groups
of women of 30 and over, the grammar-school and high-schoolincomplete groups have the lowest average monthly salaries and the
college graduate has a slight margin over those with less schooling.




43

EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION--- LOS ANGELES
Table

XIV.—Average monthly salary, by age and maximum education—LOS
ANGELES
Total reporting

Average salary of workers whose maximum
education was—
College

High school

Age (in years)
Number

A verage Grammar
school
salary

Incom­
plete

Com­
plete

Incom­
plete

Com­
plete

WOMEN
All ages_._............... ..........

8,310

$112

25, under 30...... ......................... .
3!), under 35-------------------------3‘i, under 40....................................
41 and over

212
1,513
1.668
1,640
1,320
1,957

”7
92
107
115
121
127

$119

$117
(0
90
105
112
118
125

(')
117
124

$114

$110

$m

77
93
106
114
122
128

78
94
109
118
123
128

$133

$130

$138

81
103
125
145
162
165

81
97
123
145
163
171

100
128
145
166
166

(0
87
103
123
124
133

MEN
All ages---------- -------------

5,106

20, under 25- _______ _________
25, under 30______________ - 30, under 35--------------------------35, under 40...................................
40 and over_______ ______ ____

168
1.062
1,117
990
674
1,085

$136
81

$159

$153
(0

300
125

o>
0)

145
163
168

0)

b)
167

102
125
145
164
169

1 Not computed; number too small

As far as men are concerned, age and schooling seem to have little
relation to salary. Men’s average salaries increase with experience
and age, but the men over 40 with grammar school only have an aver­
age $1 higher than that of the college graduates and $2 higher than
that of the high-school graduates. For the men of 30 and under 35,
the average month’s salary is the same for the high-school and college
groups.







AGE OF WORKERS
A little more than one-half of the men and women in Los Angeles
offices are 30 years and over. In a survey of women office workers
in 7 cities (New York, Philadelphia, Hartford, Chicago, Atlanta,
St. Louis, and Des Moines) in 1931 and 1932, about two-thirds were
between 20 and 30. More women than men in the Los Angeles
survey are 35 and over. Only 21 percent of the women and 24
percent of the men are under 25. The small proportions under 20—
less than 2 A percent of the women and less than 3 A percent of the
men—suggest the difficulty found by the young high-school graduate
in securing a clerical job. Stores, with their low wage structure,
have 9 percent of their women clerks under 20, and aircraft, a rela­
tively new industry with short employee work histories, has 7 percent
under 20. The largest proportions of men under 20 are 6 percent in
banks, where young men are employed extensively as messengers and
in the transit department, and 7 percent in “other types of office,”
chiefly small establishments. The largest proportions of women of
40 and over are in the Federal offices, 49H percent; railroad offices,
45 percent; and city, State, and county governments, 37 percent.
Large proportions of men of 40 and over were reported as follows:
49 percent in the Federal Government; 41 percent in education and
in railroads; 37 percent in title guaranty and insurance: and 36
percent in public utilities other than railroads.
Age and salary.

Age reflects experience and higher salaries are to be expected for
the older groups. The difference between men’s and women’s salaries
in the young beginning group is small, but the more rapid advance­
ment of men compared with women is marked, as is clear from the
following comparison of average monthly salaries by sex and age. It
should bo remembered that at 40 years and over a goodly number of
the men undoubtedly have been promoted into the administrative
and professional group, with still higher salaries, but only a small
proportion of the women have achieved such status.




Average monthly salary
Age
Women

$78
93
107
115
122
128

Men

$81
100
126
146
164
169

Amount and propor­
tion by which men’s
exceeds women’s

$3
7
19
31
42
41

Percent
3.8
7.5
17.8
27.0
34.4
32.0

45

46

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

The details of age distribution and of average monthly salaries by
type of office show the usual trends. Motion pictures, railroads, oil,
and the Federal Government have the highest averages for the women
from 20 to 25 years, and these four and education have the highest for
those of 40 and over. Stores and membership associations have the
lowest for women of all age groups. Oil offices and railroads have the
highest averages for the men of 40 and over.
Unpublished figures for the various occupational groups show that
women’s average salaries increase with age. Men’s average salaries
progress in all groups except that men of 40 and more classed as ma­
chine operators, as file clerks, and as messengers have lower averages
than in the age group immediately preceding.
The employees age distribution and the average salaries of the
various age groups according to type of office are given in tables XV
and XVI.




47

AGE OF WORKERS----LOS ANGELES

Table XV.—Percent distribution of employees according to age, by type of office—

LOS ANGELES
-

■

■

:V ■

■ • '

Type of office

Num­
ber of
employees
vath Under
20
age
years
re­
ported

Percent distribution by age
20,
under
25
years

25,
under
30
years

30,
under
35
years

35,
under
40
year#

40
years
and
over

WOMEN
9, 490

2.4

18.3

20.2 ■ 19r 8 ■

16.0

23.4

Title guaranty and insurance..........................-

533
364
693
136

4.5
2.2
5.1
2.9

27.4
20.3
26.8
18.4

16.3
26.4
18.8
17.6

12.8
22.8
17.2
16.2

14.8
14.8
12.1
23.5

24.2
13.5
20.021.3

Other public utilities.............................................

208
948

3.0

11.5
18.7

8. 2 •
15.1

16.3
18.0

18.7
18.7

45.2
26.6

Oil producing, refining, and distributing--------

470

8.3

17.9

26.2

21.5

26.2

289

6.9

40.8

32.9

14.2

3.8

1. 4

971

1.0

16.5

22.2

24.5

18.8

16.9

776

All types........................................................

Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors.....................................................................

Motion pictures---------------------------------------Membership organizations------- ----------------Other types of office........................ -....................

9.0

33.1

22.6

18.0

8.5

8.8

422
1,531

Department and apparel stores........................ .

.4

5.2
9.7

11.1
16.9

14.9
17.5

19.2
18.1

49.5
37.4

892
567
103
587

1.6
.2
1.0
1.4

17.8
9.5
28.2
19.8

26.2
22.6
20.4
27.1

25.8
20.5
32.0
21.5

17.0
17.5
11.7
11.4

11.5
29.8
6.8
18.9

MEN
All types.......................................................

5,966

3.3

20.6

22.1

18.4

12.9

22.7

Other finance........................................ ..................
Insurance ________________ ____ _Title guaranty and insurance..............................

923
245
283
177

6.0
2.0
4.2
.6

21.7
21.6
35.7
14.1

16.3
28.6
25.1
11.9

20.3
19.2
15.5
16.4

17.2
13.5
11.3
19.8

18.6
15.1
8.1
37.3

Other public utilities............................................

462
342

1.1
2.9

10.2
12.0

11.7
16.4

21.2
19.3

15.2
13.2

40.7
36.3

Oil producing, refining, and distributing--------

537

3.0

19.0

19.4

16.4

16:2

26.1

Aircraft __________________________ ____ Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors-------------------------------- ----------------- --

550

3.3

37.3

35.1

12.5

4.4

7.5

737

3.9

23.2

23.7

19.9

14.0

15.2

83

3.6

12.0

30.1

25.3

12.0

16.9

Federal Government
State, city, and county governments..............

141
616

1.4
.5

5.0
11.2

17.7
19.8

12.8
18.8

14.2
12.2

48.9
37.5

4.7

23.5
10.5

29.7
14.5

19.0
28.9

9.6
5.3

13.5
40.8

Other types* of office__________________ ____

727
76
18
59

6.8

25.4

40.7

10.2

6.8

10. 2-

Department and apparel stores

i Distribution not computed; base too small.




48

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

Table XVI.

Average monthly salary i of employees in the various age groups by
type of office—LOS ANGELES
W V
V
Employees with
age reported

Average salary i of employees whose age was—

Type of office
Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

Under
20
years

20,
under
25
years

25,
under
30
years

30,
under
35
years

35,
under
40
years

40
years
and
over

WOMEN
All types..

$113

Banks...........................................
Other finance......................
Insurance______ ___________ '
Title guaranty and insurance"

-

136

Railroads______ ____ _
Other public utilities.

112
105
101
104
133
111

Oil producing, refining, and distrib­
uting....................................

$78

$93

$107

$115

$122

$128

77

93
89
85
88

108
97
96

117
108
104

123
124
114

132
122
120

78

91

105

128
114

118

139
126

137

148

126

132

110

122

127

102

97

106

109

Aircraft____________ ______ ___
Other manufacturing and whole
distributors_________________

-

971

108

Department and apparel stores..

-

776

86

Federal Government.. _______

-

422
1,531
892
567
103

Motion pictures...................
Education______ ____ ____
Membership organizations
Other types of office.............

91

103

107

113

81

87

90

93

96

129
113

96

116
107

121
113

125
116

137
118

141
125
83
102

119
102
80
88

135
115

147

152
129

165
136

96

87
105

111

118

71

MEN
All types.

5,966

$137

$81

$100

$126

$146

$164

Banks______________________
Other finance___ _______ ””
Insurance_____ ___________
Title guaranty and insurance""

$169

923
245
283
177

140
128
119
144

76

97
85
90
97

128
116
123

148
137
137
133

170
163
146
154

181
179

Railroads___________
Other public utilities..

169

462
342

162
150

107
102

139
129

156

169
173

185
176

Oil producing, refining, and distrib­
uting...........................
Aircraft____ ____ _____ _____
Other manufacturing and wholesale
distributors......... ................

537

160

108

143

550

114

105

117

120

127

146

737

132

S3

126

141
616

; Motion pictures.......................
Education____________
Membership organizations
Other types of office..............

140
131

120

727
76
8
59

138
142

1 Not computed for group of less than 25.




199
126

115

Department and apparel stores..
Federal Government_________ ____
State, city, and county governments.

185

80

79

101

105

132

155

162

152
141
159

172

174

ANNUAL EARNINGS
Regularity of employment.

One of the primary advantages of a white-collar job is that usually it
affords regular employment through the year. Further, absences due
to illness or emergencies usually are paid for, and temporary lay-offs
are much rarer for office workers than for workers in the industrial
occupations. A tabulation was made of office workers for whom
records of time worked were available, provided they were employed
as regular workers at the beginning of 1939 and were still employed,
and 90 percent of the women and 96 percent of the men had received
their salaries for the full year. In banking, insurance, other financial
offices, city, State, and county governments, Federal Government, oil,
and membership associations, 95 percent or more of both the men and
the women had full year’s earnings. Motion pictures and aircraft
are the only offices where more than 10 percent of the men regularlyemployed, and the title guaranty group, “other public utilities,”
motion pictures, education, stores, and aircraft the only offices where
more than 10 percent of the women regularly employed, had received
less than a full year’s earnings. In the school offices about 30 percent
of the women did not work the full calendar year, usually having a
working year of 9 or 10 months. In stores and in “other public
utilities” about one-fourth of the women, though classed as regular
employees, were reported as not having a full year of work.
Amount of earnings.

Annual earnings have been compiled for all who worked for 48
weeks and more in 1939; this includes 7,769 women and 4,875 men.
The average was $1,395 for women and $1,765 for men. The distri­
bution of Los Angeles office workers in all types of offices according to
annual earnings is as follows:
'D/ivstsi/ni

Annual earnings:
Under $800-----------$800, under $900---$900, under $1,000..
$1,000, under $1,200
$1,200, under $1,400.
$1,400, under $1,600
$1,600, under $1,800
$1,800, under $2,000
$2,000, under $2,200
$2,200, under $2,400
$2,400 and over-----

j'if—

Women

Men

.

0. 7

0. 4

.

2. 1

1. 0

.

21. 1
10. 6

.
.

6. 3
2. 7

.

1. 1

3.
8.
11.
14.
14.
16.
13.
6.

.

1. 6

10. 1

. 6. 5
. 22.3
. 24. 9
.

1
6
5
6
7
0
2
9

Almost 70 percent of the women are concentrated in the three earn­
ings groups of $1,000 and under $1,600, and not much more than a
fifth earned $1,600 and more. Among the men only 35 percent had
earnings of $1,000 and under $1,600, and three-fifths earned at least
$1,600. About 5 percent of the women and 30 percent of the men had
earnings of $2,000 and more. Nine percent of the women, in contrast
to 4% percent of the men, earned less than $1,000.




49

Table

XVII. -Percent distribution1 of employees according to annual earnings for work in 18 weeks or more of 1989 by tvve of ofTirp__

tn

LOS ANGELES
All employees
reported

O

Employees in the various types of office specified who earned—

Type of office
Average
salary

Under
$800

$800,
under
$900

$900,
under
$1,000

$1,000,
under
$1, 200

$1,200,
under
$1,400

$1,400,
under
$1,600

$1,600,
under
$1,800

$1,800,
under
$2,000

$2,000,
under
$2,200

$2,200,
under
$2,400

$2,400
and
over

WOMEN
All types—Number.....................
Percent.............................

7,769
100.0

$1,395

58
0.7

161
2.1

505
6.5

1,730
22.3

1,931
24.9

1,641
21.1

827
10.6

490
6.3

209
2. 7

89
1.1

128
1.6

7.7
14.9
4.7
7.3

3.5
4.0

2.7
1. 2
.2

1.0
.8
.2

0.6
.4
.7

6.7
1.0

1.6
.4

.2

Percent distribution 1 of women
Banks_________
Other finance...............
Insurance___ ____
Title guaranty and insurance

249

Railroads_____________
Other public utilities___

193

Oil producing, refining, and
distributing_______

110

$1,390
1,350
1, 260
1, 325

0.2
.9
.9

1, 575
1, 340

1.4

429

1,605
1,410

4.1
7.6

24.1

28.9

2.7

46.4

1.6
6.0

6.2
23.2

17.6
20.9

31.6
26.2

2.6

16.3

40.3

'

___

26.2
29.4

2.4

22.7

16.8
17. 3

.2

84

1.6
1.6

4.6

1.8

11.7

14.5
4.3

3.7

3.0

1.9

35.7

10.7

1.2

2.4

1.2

1.2

18.9

7.0

3.2

1.3

.4

.8

748

1,315-

.3

Department and apparel stores_______

616

1,060

1.9

8.3

26.7

48.8

382
1,478

1, 555
1, 365

5.9

3.9
22.7

18.3
38.8

15.1

9.1

6.5

3.7
1.2

1.3
.3

617
97
403

1,835
1,410
1, 060
1,280

1.0
6.2
3.0

•*
.3
.8
11.3
5.0

21.8
25.0
6. 2
12.4

18.9

26.8
29.5

11.1
18.8
15.5
25.3

13.1
7.2

12.7
2.9

5.8
1.3

6.0

6.0

1.5

.2

Federal Government___
Motion pictures..............
Education *____________
Membership organizations..............




.1
33.0
9.2

4.5
.2
12.5
.8
1.0
2.0

194 0

Aircraft_____________
Other manufacturing and wholesale distributors____________

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

Number

MEN
4,875
100.0

$1, 765

18
0.4

49
1.0

149
3.1

420
8.6

563
11.5

710
14.6

715
14.7

779
16.0

644
13.2

334
6.9

494
10.1

Percent distr ibution 1 * men
of
0.7
.6
.4

0.9
1.8
2.2
1.2

3.7
9.8
6.2
4.9

9.8
14.0
21.1
4.9

11.8
10.4
18.5
7.4

14.3
13.4
15.4
19.8

12.8
14.6
8.4
11.7

17.1
15.2
12.3
12.4

11.5
9.1
8.4
15.4

8.2
.6
1.8
8.6

9.2
10.4
5. 3
13.6

426
301
Oil producing, refining, and distributing..

$1,750
1,635
1,525
1,825
1,980
1,915

.7
.3

1.9
1.0

3,1
6.7

3.5
7.6

6.8
8.6

12.7
13.6

22.8
18.6

23.2
10.0

12.0
18.9

13.4

.3

471

1, 975

.8

1.1

5.5

7.9

8.1

13.0

16.1

23.1

6.6

17.8

4.2

3.5

7.0

3.0

8.3

142

1,670

Other manufacturing and wholesale dis568
52

1,665

.9

119
659

1, 720
1,670

3.0
5.8

1,625

601
75

State, city, and county governments.........

1,820
1,675
(3)

.5

35.2

25.4

9.7

15.3

18.7

17.1

13.0

10.6

5.8

1L5

38.4

13.5

13.5

5.8

13.4
17.4

5.9
15.5

4.2
5.2

9.2
2.9

14.3
25.3

10.5
8.0

7.3
1.3

14.3
5. 3

4.2

.7
.5

10.6

9.2

.5

1.8

.8
9.4

14.3
17.6

30.3
14.3

21.8
15.0

.7

4.3

9.7
9.3

8.8
14.7

12.6
18.7

17.5
17.3

I
i Percents not computed where base less than 50.
* Includes employees whose full year was the school year, 10 months.
8 Not computed; base too small.




..

5.8

AGE OF W ORKERS ----LOS ANGELES

849
164
227
162

Cn

52

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

Annual earnings by type of office.

^'or
men an^ women, average annual earnings had a range by
type of office of more than $700. Arranged in descending order the
averages for men and for women, from table XVII, are as follow’s:
Type of office

All types........................
Motion pictures_
_
Oil producing, refining, and distrib­
uting.
Railroads...........
Federal Government...
Aircraft................
State, city, and county governments
Finance other than banks..
Public utilities other than railroads..
Title guaranty and insurance_
_
Manufacturing other than aircraft
and wholesale distributors.
Other types of office___
Insurance_
_
Department and apparel stores
Membership organizations..

Average an­
nual earnings
of women
$1,395
1,835
1,605
ly 555
1,410
1,410
1,390
1,365
1,350
1,340
1,325
1,315
1, 280
1,260
1,060
1,060

Type of office

All types...................
Oil producing, refining, and distrib­
uting.
Public utilities ulher than railroads. _
Title guaranty and insurance
Motion pictures____
Banks_________
Federal Government. .
Education_____
State, city, and county governments
Manufacturing other than aircraft
and wholesale distributors.
Finance other than banks
Department and apparel stores
Insurance..........
Other types of office...

Average an­
nual earnings
of men
$1, 765
1, 975
1,915
1,825
1,820
1, 750
1,720
1,675
1, 670
1,670
1,665
1,635
1,625
1,525
1,295

In bank offices 31 percent, in title guaranty and insurance 46 per­
cent, in other finance 29 percent, and in city, State, and county gov­
ernments 39 percent of the women have annual earnings of from $1 200
to $1,400 For 32 percent of those in railroads, 26 percent in other
public utilities, 37 percent in Federal Government, 40 percent in
oil, and 36 percent in aircraft, annual earnings range from $1,400 to
$1,600. Motion-picture offices, with 18% percent, are the only ones
in which 10 percent and more of the women have annual earnings of
as much as $2,000, and the only type where women’s earnings in
office work have a higher average than men’s. Women in depart­
ment and apparel stores, with 37 percent earning below $1,000, and
those in membership organizations with 50% percent so reported
make the poorest showing. The $1,000 to $1,200 earnings group
shows a concentration of 3percent of the women in insurance, 26
percent in education, 49 percent in department and apparel stores
and 29 percent in other offices. Annual earnings by type of office
show the same general trends and differences as do monthlv salarv
rates.
J
J
Men’s annual earnings have less concentration than women’s and
are more evenly spread in the groups above $1,600. One-fourth and
more of the men in banking, title guaranty and insurance, “other
public utilities,” railroads, motion pictures, and oil have annual
earnings of $2,000 and more. The only offices with year’s earnings
under $1,200 for as many as one-fourth of the men are insurance, other
finance, and the small groups of men in membership associations and
m other types of office.”




53

ANNUAL EARNINGS----LOS ANGELES

Annual earnings by occupation.

For all men and women who worked 48 weeks and more in 1939
the average total earnings by occupation are as follows:
Average earnings of—
Occupation
W omen
Stenographic group:

$1,845
1,430
1,240
1,310
1,330
1,455
1,310
0)

1,345

Men

$2, 225
1,755
1,365
1, 430
1,955
1, 925
1,815
1,505
1,055

1, 270
1,370
Clerks not elsewhere classified in—

1,275

(0

1,340
1,730
1,385
1,630
1,315
1,065
1, 580
1,280
1,195
1,815

1,625
1,950
1,885
1,870
1,680
1,640
1,645
1, 635
1,920
1,610
1,620
1,195
2, 430

i Not computed; number too small.

Women’s annual earnings are less than men’s in every group but
clerks in other types of office, a low-paying group with relatively
few men. The most usual range of earnings for women secretaries
is $1,600 to $2,000; for stenographers $1,200 to $1,600 and typists
$1,000 to $1,400. There is a rather even distribution of three-fourths
of the women machine operators and of two-thirds of the hand book­
keepers from $1,000 to $1,600, and of two-thirds of the telephone
operators from $1,000 to $1,400. The annual earnings of other women
workers show much the same picture as the data on earnings by typo
of office. More than one-third of the men and women in the Federal
offices are in the $1,400-$ 1,600 group. As already stated, men’s
earnings generally are spread more evenly, and show less concentra­
tion, in the groups of $1,600 and above. Data on annual earnings,
averages and percent distribution, are given by occupation in table
XVIII.




Table

XVIII.—Percent distribution1 of employees according to annual earnings for work in A8 weeks or more of 1939 bv occuvationLOS ANGELES
All em ployees
repo rted

Cn

Employees in the various occupations specified who earned—

Occupation
Average
salary

Under
$800

$800,
under
$900

$900,
under
$1,000

$1,000,
under
$1,200

$1,200,
under
$1,400

$1,400,
under
$1,600

$1,600,
under
$1,800

$1,800,
under
$2,000

$2,000,
under
$2,200

$2,200,
under
$2,400

$2,400
and
over

WOMEN
All occupations—Number
Percent

7,769
100.0

$1, 395

58
0.7

161
2.1

505
6.5

1. 730
22.3

1,931
24.9

1, 641
21.1

827
10.6

490
6.3

209
2.7

89
1.1

128
1.6

Percent distribution 1 of women
Stenographic group:
Secretary_
_
Stenographer............. .
Typist.......................................................
Other..................... .............................
Bookkeeper, hand____________ _____
Cashier, teller.................
Machine operator_________
File clerk____________
Messenger . .
Telephone operator______
Receptionist......... ..............

Oil producing, refining, and distributing--------------------- ----------------------Aircraft____ ___________
Other manufacturing and wholesale
distributors_______________
Other types of office ...........
Special office workers__________ ______




$1, 845
1, 430
1, 240
1,310

165
178
871
108
20
284
45

1,455
1,310
1,345
1, 330
(2)
1, 270
1, 370

539
346
88
148
521
348
229

1,275
1, 340
1, 730
1, 630
1, 385
i; sis
1,065

69
16

1,580
m

208
185

1, 280
1. 195

55

1, 815

0. 1
.5
.5

0.1
.9
2.2
1.4

0.8
3.4
10.4
6.5

6.1
15.8
32. 1
16.3

11.4
26.9
34.8
63.3

13.9
28.1
14.8
7.9

16.3
14.4
4.0
2.8

19.4
6.8
1.2
1.4

13.2
2.0
.1
.5

6.4
.6

12.3
.5

2.2
.8

1.9
6.7
2.3
9.3

3.2
16.3
5.6
12.0

20.6
14.6
24.7
19.4

23.2
21.9
23.8
15.7

21.3
18.5
28.1
24.1

15.5
9.6
9.0
9.3

8.4
5.6
4.2
7.4

3.2
3.4
1.1
1.9

.6
1.1
.2
.9

1.9

1.8

2.5

6.0

26.8

38.7

16.9

4.9

2.1

.4

.6
.9

1.5
4.0
1.1

8.0
6.6
1.1

32.8
22.3
8.0

29. 7
19.1
17.0

17. 6
31.8
19.3

6. 7
11.0
15.9

3 2
10.2

10.2

.9
7.0

7.7
4.6
25.8

1.4
1.7

8.1

1.8

26.7
5.7

10. 3

1.4

.9

24.6

33.3

14.5

8.7

5.8

7.3

7.3

16.4

20.0

14.5

10.9

10.2

6.'8

.6

-----------

...

5.8

17.3

1.8

21.3
8.7

7.2

4.3

32. 5
51.1

.1

7.3

12.7

1940

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—
Finance and insurance______
Public utilities______________
Motion pictures________ _
_
Federal Government_______
State, city, and county governments. _
Education____________ ___

783
1, 679
779
215

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

Number

MUN
All occupations—Number................

4,875
100.0

$1, 765

18
0.4

49
1.0

149
3.1

420
8.6

563
11.5

710
14.6

715
14.7

779
16.0

644
13.2

334
6.9

494
10.1

Percent distribution 1 of men
Stenographic group:

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—
Finance and insurance..........................
Other public utilities........ .................... .
State, city, and county governments. .
Oil producing, refining, and distributOther manufacturing and wholesale

139
424
288
51
106
135

1, 955
1,925
1,505
1,430
1^ 815
1,055

762
273
242
323
82
513
61
43

1,625
1, 950
1,885
1,870
1. 640
1, 680
1, 645

348
113

1, 920
1,610

395
Special office workers________ _____ ____

1,620

312

2,430

i Percent not computed where base less than 50.
J Not computed; base too small.




1.0
11.5

6.0
9.0

14.0
38.5

11.5
9.0
23.1

7.7
25.0
9.0

15.4
18.0
6.4

17.3
14.0
1.3

11.5
6.0

36.5
7.0

1.3

.4
2.0

1.0
2.0

.7
.7
4.5
7.8

13.7
19.8
15.6
9.8
26.4
1.5

15.8
15.1
5.2
9.8
13.2
.7

20.1
10.6
3.1

27.4

13.7
11.8
22.2
17.6
13.2
4.4

7.9
8.3
1.7
2.0
11.3

8.1

6.5
6.4
21.5
23.5
6.6
8.9

15.1
26.2
10.4
9.8
20.8

5.9

6.5
1.2
14.2
15.7
4.7
43.0

.4
.4

1.6
.4
.4
.3

6.3
1.5
1.2
1.2

14.3
3.3
7.0
3.7

.2

.2

1.4

10.3
4.9

14 3
2.9
8.3
9.0
8.5
16.8
14.8

17.-6
7.7
8.3
13.3
39.0
13.8
23.0

10.5
12.8
15.3
20.4
26.8
13.1
18.0

12.6
23.8
18.2
19.2
14.6
18.1
27.9

9.6
26.4
9.5
12.1
7.3
18.1
9.8

5.9
12.5
18.6
7.1
1.2
5.5

7.0
8.8
12.8
13. 6
2.4
2.5

.9

4.9
5.3

7.2
9.7

9.2
39.8

13.2
26.5

18.4
8.8

26.1
2.7

6. 3
2.7

3.5

$2, 225
' 1, 755
1, 365

*
.9
.3
................-

1.1
1.0
—

1.8

3.8

11.4

17.5

18.5

18.5

12.7

10.9

3.0

4.6

.6

1.3

2.9

6.4

12.8

15.1

14.4

46.5

ANNUAL EARNINGS— LOS ANGELES

Machine operator.____ _______________ _

52
100
78

-




PERSONNEL POLICIES
Restriction on account of marital status.

A prejudice against the employment of married women still is found
in office work, and women who are single, widowed, separated, or
divorced predominate. Of 252 offices reporting a policy in regard to
the initial employment of married women, 42 had taken a stand
against it; and of 251 reporting on the requirement of resignation by
women who marry while in their service, 16 make such requirement.
The proportion of married women in office work, however, may be
increasing slightly, as the census of 1930 reported 27.8 percent of such
women for Los Angeles, while in the present study 30 percent were
married, 55 percent single, and 15 percent widowTed, separated, or
divorced. All the banks scheduled have definite policies restricting
the employment of married women, and only 1 of the 5 banks allows
women to remain in service after marriage. The types of office that
reported no restrictions, either on the first employment of married
women or on [retention after marriage, are “other public utilities,”
motion pictures, local and Federal governments, aircraft, membership
organizations, and broadcasting. Tne types of office with the largest
proportions of married women are the governmental, education, and
membership organizations. Some women may fail to notify employers
of a change in marital status but probably this is not general.
The proportion of married men is almost twice that of women.
Railroads, other public utilities, title guaranty and insurance, oil com­
panies, and Federal offices all showed 65 percent and more of their
office men married.
Hiring practices and source of new employees.

Centralized employment, where a department or individual inter­
views all applicants and makes anfimpersonal selection for the job to be
filled, generally is desirable. Most of the large offices have such a
system, but a considerable number of the Los Angeles offices allowT
executives, administrators, and supervisors to hire and discharge on a
hit-and-miss basis. When vacancies occur the most usual practice is
to call on an employment agency. Files of applicants who have made
direct application are kept in many of the offices and selections are
made from these. Business schools and high schools are called upon
when inexperienced employees are desired. In most cases the govern­
ment offices and city schools obtain their employees from civil service
registers. Most offices employ several means of recruiting new em­
ployees and there is no prevailing practice.
Specific education, training, and experience requirements as pre­
requisites for employment are surprisingly lacking. The majority of
the offices have no formulated policy along these lines. The most
common requirement is high-school graduation; less than 10 percent
make business school a requirement; three prefer to hire office workers
with college training. Selecting the individual of those applying w'ho




57

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OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

apparently is best suited for the job probably is the most practicable
basis and the one to which most employers subscribe. High-school
graduates and college graduates have been available in such large
numbers that, many employers accept such training as a routine require­
ment, taken for granted except for workers who must have special
machine skills. Operators of machines such as calculator, tabulating,
and bookkeeping machines frequently are secured through a school or
a machine agency that gives training for the operation of its own
machines.
Most offices prefer women for stenographic work, for PBX operators,
receptionists, and routine clerks. Men seem to be given preference
for bookkeeping and accounting. Boys are preferred as messengers.
Window jobs in banks, such as tellers, are open to women to only a
slight degree. The railroad offices prefer men in all departments.
Clerical jobs from which outside men such as salesmen, investigators,
and adjusters may be recruited later tend to be filled by men.
Most offices have no definite plan as to their policy in case dis­
missals are necessary for a reduction of force or other discharge. The
practice—where there is any—is to give 2 weeks’ notice or to make a
cash payment of 2 weeks’ wage on separation of an employee.
Retirement plans other than the compulsory social security deduc­
tions are not common. Government offices, schools, railroads, air­
craft, and oil companies are the only types with special retirement
plans in onc-half or more of the offices surveyed.
Salary increases and promotions.

Many of the larger offices have definite job grading, with minimums
and maximums and promotional steps within. The larger banks,
insurance companies, railroads, Government offices, large motionpicture studios, aircraft plants, and a few of the factories have welldefined promotional or salary-increase plans. In these cases pay rolls
are reviewed periodically by department heads and a reviewing com­
mittee which makes recommendations for increases. The majority
of the small and medium-sized offices have no system of regular
salary review or plan of promotion, and changes in rates and jobs
are almost entirely a matter of chance.
Other welfare.

Group insurance is available to employees in most of the larger
offices. In some the firm contributes varying amounts in the pay­
ment of premiums, but most of the plans are financed almost entirely
by the contributions of the employees. Several group hospitalization
and medical care plans are available to office groups, but in the
majority of offices these are not contributed to by the firm except
that it sponsors the plan and allows collections to be made through
salary deductions.
Labor organizations.

The motion-picture studios, railroads, one other public utility,
one aircraft plant, and one factory were the only offices that reported
collective bargaining. Many of the Government employees belong to
one of the various Government labor organizations. Financial offices,
retail distribution, oil companies, and the large group of small offices
reported no organization of a collective bargaining type.




PERSONNEL POLICIES----LOS ANGELES

59

Vacations.

All but four of 251 firms reporting, three real-estate offices and
one hospital, have a paid-vacation plan of some sort for their em­
ployees. The basis on which vacations are granted usually is the
length of employment and there are numerous arrangements. For
example, 1 day may be allowed for each month worked in the preceding
year; 6 days for 1 year’s service, 9 days for 2 years’, and 12 days for
3 years’; 1 year’s service 1 week, more than 1 year’s service 2 weeks;
and so forth. Vacations vary from 3 days for 6 months’ service to 4
weeks after 10 years’ service (in one office) and 26 days a year in the
Federal offices. Two weeks after a year’s service is the most usual
plan.
Time allowance for illness.

Most offices are generous in their allowance of time and payment
for absence due to illness. A few have a specified time allowance,
but in most cases no deductions are made for illness of short duration
and in many offices regular employees with several years of service
are paid through relatively long periods of illness. Where group
sickness-insurance plans are sponsored by the office, the waiting
p eriod usually is paid by the firm and sometimes other cash allowances
are made. The Government offices allowed two weeks, or 15 days
a year. Only 17 firms reported that no payments were made for time
lost in illness and these were chiefly in the group of small establish­
ments classified as “other types of office.”







SCHOOL FACILITIES FOR TRAINING
OFFICE WORKERS
School training for office workers probably is the most widespread
and most developed—if not overdeveloped—field of vocational educa­
tion. Public and private schools from junior high school rank
through college have commercial or business curricula of many varie­
ties. Private business schools, office-appliance distributors, special
public business schools, and public evening schools for adults recruit
trainees for office work. To learn something of the supply of trained
office workers fed into the labor market each year and the kinds of
training given for office work, the public and private commercial
training agencies in Los Angeles were consulted. Data on numbers
trained and courses offered were secured through interviews with
public-school officials and with owners or managers of private schools.
In some instances, undoubtedly, private schools tended to overstate
the number of trainees and their training facilities, and in general the
school survey can hardly be considered more than a cursory one, but
its findings are indicative of the extent of vocational training for office
workers.
The public high-school system of Los Angeles, the public Metropoli­
tan School of Business, the Los Angeles City College, and the adult
education evening courses in 34 schools all offer courses in office work.
High schools.

In the high schools about 33,000 pupils are enrolled in some com­
mercial course. This number includes not only those majoring in
office courses but those whose major is in other fields but who take one
or more commercial courses because of a desire to learn stenography,
typewriting, and bookkeeping for other than strictly vocational
purposes.
The Los Angeles Public High School commercial courses are part of
a 3-year senior high school program. Some business courses such as
typing are begun in the last year of junior high. Girls predominate
in numbers. The courses offered fall into four main classifications:
(1) General office and clerical work, which covers office practice and
methods, training in the use of office appliances and equipment, busi­
ness English and arithmetic, and usually typing; (2) stenography and
typing; (3) bookkeeping; and (4) salesmanship and retailing. Gradu­
ates from the salesmanship courses are not expected to go into office
work, but the courses are included in the commercial curricula and
the data on numbers include this course. Stenography and typing
is the most popular course with those beginning their work in the
first year of senior high; about 70 percent of the commercial students
register for stenography and typing, but when graduation time arrives
only about 25 percent of the commercial graduates are from this
course. On the other hand, only about 10 percent register for general
clerical training but 60 percent finish in that course. Graduates of




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OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

the commercial high school courses in 1939 were reported as approxi­
mately 2,400.
Metropolitan School of Business.

The Metropolitan School of Business is primarily for high-school
graduates who decide to take a business course after completing high
school or who wish to supplement their commercial training with
additional study. Many who have had commercial training in
earlier schooling enroll for brush-up courses. Its courses and organi­
zation are similar to the better commercial business schools. Numer­
ous courses of study and electives are offered, including accounting,
hand and machine bookkeeping, clerical machines, comptometrv!
duplicating machines, stenography, stenotypy, typing, and clericalstenographic work. Individual attention is given to students, and
the length of the course and the training given depend on the needs,
aptitude, and previous training of the student. For those with no
previous training the courses require from 6 months to 10 months, and
for brush-up or special students 2 or 3 months according to their
electives. Attendance at the Metropolitan School of Business was
estimated as about 3,000 for the school year preceding the survey
with about 1,000 to 1,100 in attendance at one time. About 80 per­
cent of the students are women.
Los Angeles City College.

The Los Angeles City College offers a business course in its 2-year
junior college program. It had about 1,000 enrolled, two-thirds of
them girls, at time of survey. Graduates from the business school in
the preceding year were about 200, almost three-fourths of them girls.
Many leave before graduation. General clerical work, stenography,
typing, bookkeeping, and accounting are the vocational or essentially
business courses. The junior college includes more in the way of
general background courses in the elements of finance, management
and economics.
Evening courses in business subjects.

The adult education evening classes offer business courses in 34
schools spread over the city. About 5,200 evening-school students
a year complete one or more commercial courses, and the number
enrolled at the beginning of the school year is many times greater.
The adult evening courses are not primarily for beginners in the
office field but are for those who want to make up for a lack in earlier
training or to gain skills or information that may be helpful in getting
better jobs and promotions.
Placement records and follow-up of students who had taken com­
mercial training were not complete enough for any approximation
of the number of those who, having taken or completed a commercial
course, had succeeded in finding employment in office work.
Los Angeles private business schools.

Twenty-four business schools were visited in Los Angeles in the
effort to learn the types of training offered, how many persons had
been trained, and how many had been placed in office work.
Enrollment in the private schools ranged from 3—a new school—
to 1,400. Twelve of the schools had fewer than 65 pupils; five had




I
SCHOOL FACILITIES----LOS ANGELES

63

100 and more, and these five had about three-fourths of all who were
being trained for office work in private schools.
For 21 schools that reported a break-down by sex for time of enroll­
ment, over 80 percent of the students were women; of those that
reported the sex of their graduates for the preceding year, 90 percent
were women.
The current enrollment at time of visit totaled about 3,600, but
at least twice that number had been graduated or had attended the
schools.
The courses listed in the advertising literature of the schools are
many, the more common being secretarial, stenographic, stenotype,
bookkeeping, computing machines, and a “business course” that
varies from school to school. Stenography, typing, bookkeeping,
office methods and machine appliances, business English, and appli­
cations of arithmetic to the ordinary business needs cover most of
the work offered. Practically all the courses include typewriting.
The duration of courses varies from 1 or 2 months for shorthand
and typing to a year and more. For most schools, however, the
maximum training period is one year.
The available data on placements by the private schools were
incomplete and in many cases unreliable. All schools but one had
a placement service, but for more than a third of them there were no
placement records. Placements reported were high proportionately;
estimates ranged from 50 to 100 percent of those completing courses
and another large proportion of those who take short periods of
training. The private schools exert considerable effort to obtain
positions for their students through personal contacts with employers,
newspaper advertising, and following job clues of all kinds.
Other business training.

Business-machine companies offer short courses for operating their
special machines and equipment. These courses are taken primarily
by people who already have business experience and want to add
another skill to their office training or by those whom the company
expects to place with the sale or rental of their machines. The courses
usually are short and only vague estimates of those trained and placed
were available in the schools visited. Several employers spoke of a
need for well-trained machine operators.
Colleges and universities in Los Angeles have business curricula as
art of their regular 4-year courses. The training in these schools,
owever, is more concerned with, problems of management and organi­
zation than business operative skills and is for those who hope to hold
positions of a professional nature or responsibility in the business
world. Some skills such as stenography and bookeeping are offered
to enable the graduate to get a start in the business world, but the
emphasis is not on turning out stenographers, bookkeepers, and clerks.
The. numbers are relatively small and do not materially affect the
supply of trainees seeking employment as office workers.

E

Conclusion.

It would be impossible in a city so large as Los Angeles to give a
complete picture of the numbers trained and the kinds of training of
prospective office workers without spending much more time than was
available for this survey, but it is evident that many more are being




I
64

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

.
\
.
'
trained than can find employment in office work. Considerably more
than 10,000 a year complete business courses and several times that
number take commercial training of a limited nature. Offices re­
porting on numbers employed indicated that about 5 percent of the
present force were hired as beginners and about 7 percent as experi­
enced workers. If there are in the neighborhood of 100,000 office
workers in Los Angeles, it would appear that there cannot be many
more than 5,000 openings a year for inexperienced workers. Many
more than this number are trained. Large numbers who secure office
work are poorly trained and there is need of closer cooperation of
schools and employers in training programs and placements.
Needless to say, business education has everyday value apart from
its strictly vocational application and can hardly be restricted to
those who are definitely headed for office work. It would seem, how­
ever, that in vocational guidance other industrial and service fields of
employment should be stressed and more general business training
given, with less emphasis vocationally on stenography and book­
keeping.




o


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102