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1 ’

| c £ - c UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
1 1

* ^

FRANCES PERKINS, Secretary

WOMEN’S BUREAU

~

MARY ANDERSON, Director

OFFICE WORK IN PHILADELPHIA
1940

f

Bulletin

of the

Women’s Bureau, No. 188—5

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1942

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




Price IS cents

r




CONTENTS
.

Page

IntroductionI
Types of business that employ office workers_________________________
Demand for office workers
Beginners
Extra and part-time workers
Character of office occupations
Occupational distribution
Description of office \Vork in certain outstanding industries____________
Insurance
15
Banks___'-_____________________
Telephone and telegraph__ ___________________________________
Retail trade—department stores
29
Printing and publishing___________________________________
Education and experience of office workers
44
Educational status____________________
Education and occupation__ _
Education and type of office
46
Place of education
46
Experience _______________________________________________
Age factor_____________________________________ ____________
Experience and occupation
47
Personnel turn-over_____________________
Turn-over and type of office
49
Earnings in 1940----------------------------------------------------------------------Method of pay
Monthly salary rates by type of office
Women
Men
Distribution by rate
Monthly salary rates by occupation____________
Stenographic group
58
Accounting group__________
Machine operators ______________________________________
Other clerks
64
Clerks not elsewhere classified ___________________
Special office workers________________________
Administrative, supervisory, clerical-professional______________
Distribution by rate
__________________________________
Weekly earnings___________________________________
Hours of work
74
Overtime work and pay______________________________
Effects of experience and other factors on rates of pay_________________
Monthly rates paid beginners
76
Advancing rates with experience;_______________________________
Occupational experience and salary advancement. .............
Type of office and salary advancement___
Average salary according to number of positions held_________
Education and salary advancement_____________________________
Age and salary_______________________________
Annual earnings ________________________________________________
Regularity of employment
87
Annual earnings by type of office
87
Annual earnings by occupation________________________________




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87
89

CONTENTS
Personnel policies____ _____________________________
Sex preference________________________________
Marital status------------ -----------------------------------Hiring and dismissal policies-----------------------------Vacation and sick-leave procedure----------------------Salary increases and promotional policies-------------Insurance welfare plans and labor organization-----Source of applicants----------------------------------------Philadelphia’s school facilities for training office workers.
Public schools------------ -----------------------------------Parochial schools------------------------------------ '-------Private commercial business schools-------------------Private nonprofit business schools----------------------Placement___________________________________
TABLES

I Number of offices scheduled, number of men and women they em­
'
ployed, and number of records secured, 1940, by type of office—
Philadelphia- - —- - — -----­
II. Distribution by occupation of all employees reported, and predomi­
nance of men or women in each occupation—Philadelphia,.---III Number of women and of men regular employees in the various
types of office, by occupational group—Philadelphia...------- ...
IV Total office experience of employees, by occupation—Philadelphia.
V. Percent distribution of employees according to length of experience
with present employer, by type of office—Philadelphia------------VI Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees
’
in offices, 1940, by type of office—Philadelphia----------------------VII. Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in offices
according to monthly salary rate, 1940, by type of office—Phila•
delphia------ -------------------- ----------- ----------------- --------- ------VIII. Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees
in offices, 1940, by occupation—Philadelphia------------------------IX. Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in offices
according to monthly salary rate, 1940, by occupation—Philadel­
phia------------------------------------------- ------------ ----------- -------- .­
X. Average monthly salary of employees with over-all years of experi­
ence reported, by occupation—Philadelphia-------------- ----------- - XI. Changes in rates of employees whose total experience has been with
same firm, by years with firm—Philadelphia----- .----- .-----------XII. Average monthly salary according to length of service with present
firm, by type of office—Philadelphia----------- --------------------- •-­
XIII. Average monthly salary of employees in the various age groups, by
type of office—Philadelphia------------------- ■------------- -------------XIV. Average monthly salary of employees of various ages, by occupa­
tion—Philadelphia------------------------------------------ -------- — - - XV Percent distribution of employees according to annual earnings for
work in 48 weeks or more of 1939, by type of office—Philadelphia.
XVI. Average annual earnings of employees who worked 48 weeks or more
in 1939, by occupation—Philadelphia-----------------------------------CHARTS

I. Proportion of women and of men in each of the chief occupations—
Philadelphia-------------------------------------------------------- - - Facing
II. Distribution of women and of men according to monthly salary
rates, by occupation—Philadelphia---------------------- ------- ---------




Chart I.—PROPORTION OF WOMEN AND OF MEN IN EACH OF THE
CHIEF OCCUPATIONS—PHILADELPHIA.
[Each complete figure=5 percent]
STENOGRAPHIC GROUP
Typist

.

I MliiMtMiiMM

Stenographer

Secretary
accounting group

Cashier, teller

Accounting cleric

Bookkeeper, hand

Bookkeeping clerk
LIACHINE OPERATORS
Calculating

Bookkeeping
OTHER CLERKS
Cost and production

Stock

ilflfjMMMMMttffl

Claims examiner and adjuster

UMMIMMMMMMl1
Statistical

Bill, statement, collection

Order and shipping

Pay roll and timekeeper

Record

File

Telephona




OFFICE WORK IN PHILADELPHIA
INTRODUCTION
Philadelphia, with a population of nearly two million, is the third
largest city in the United States. It is known also as the third richest
city and is third in the value of its manufactured products.
Manufacturing is the backbone of Philadelphia’s economic life.
Nearly 200,000 wage earners were employed in Philadelphia’s manu­
facturing concerns in 1939 in a striking variety of industries. Among
the most important of the city’s manufactures, marketed throughout
this country and abroad, are textiles and textile products, iron and
steel and their products, chemicals and allied manufactures, machinery,
foods, and printed and published matter. Philadelphia is an especially
important center for the manufacture of transportation equipment for
public service and National defense.
Distributing the city’s many products as well as the products of
numerous outside firms are more than 4,000 wholesale houses. In 1939
these concerns sold over one and a half billion dollars’ worth of mer­
chandise and carried on 48 percent of the wholesale business of the
State. Though the retail trade of the city is not so important as its
wholesale trade, retail establishments in 1939 employed 91,000 people,
more than twice as many as the wholesale houses. Furthermore, the
retail outlets served a trade area comprising well over 3,000,000 in­
habitants, all within 40 miles of downtown Philadelphia. This is
especially true of the city’s large department stores, whose importance
in Philadelphia’s retailing is a striking feature of the city’s economy.
They far outsell their nearest competitors outside of the department
store group and have as habitual customers many people living as far
as an hour’s travel from the city.
A vast network of transportation facilities serves Philadelphia’s
large population and complex industrial life by air, land, and water.
Five major airline companies have offices in the city and operate
through 16 airports in its metropolitan area. Three great trunk-line
systems of railroads provide fast transportation by land. The large
general offices of two of these are in Philadelphia, while nearly 100
additional major and minor roads have branch offices there. The
port of Philadelphia, at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill
Rivers 88 nautical miles from the Atlantic Ocean, is the second seaport
in the United States in tonnage of export and import trade. At the
city wharves are busy private shipbuilding yards and a large United
States Navy Yard.
Philadelphia operates its shipping piers as a public-service enter­
prise. Other public-service enterprises of the city consist of an air­
port, a public market, and the sewage disposal and waterworks systems.
The communications, electric, gas, and street-railway utilities are pri­
vately operated.
As the seat of the Third Federal Reserve District, Philadelphia is
an active securities trading center and supports more than 60 banks.
Its Federal Reserve Bank alone employed about 750 people in 1939.
1



2

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

1940

A large percentage of the building and loan associations in the country
are in Philadelphia, as are 3,000 home and agency offices of insurance
and real-estate concerns and a wide variety of other financial
establishments.
...
Noted as an educational and medical center, Philadelphia is the
home of several leading colleges, universities, and medical schools, as
well as many other professional, artistic, religious, and technical in­
stitutions of learning.
_
Many agencies of the Federal Government maintain offices there,
some of them exceedingly important. Among the most active of these
are the United States Navy Yard, the Frankford Arsenal, the Bureau
of Internal Revenue, and the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation.
The Philadelphia population is served by a great many city and
State government workers, by a variety of professional people, service
establishments, construction companies, nonprofit agencies, and nu­
merous other specialized types of enterprise, all of which contribute
to the complexity of Philadelphia’s economic life.
In almost all the types of business mentioned, part, and in some
instances the greater part, of each organization’s activities is concerned
with keeping records or performing office work. This has become true
to an extraordinary degree since the accelerated enactment in the past
decade of Federal social and tax legislation that requires concerns to
keep detailed records. Many small business owners in the past have
carried on few if any accounting operations and what clerical work
was required was done by themselves or their families. In recent
years some of these have found it necessary to employ full-time office
workers, while larger concerns have been forced to increase their staffs
to meet the new conditions. The field offices of the Federal Govern­
ment also have been greatly expanded to shoulder the added respon­
sibilities of administration and inspection.
_
It is estimated by the Women’s Bureau from field information and
United States Census and other published data that in 1939 Philadel­
phia’s enterprises employed roughly 85jOO0 office workers. With the
speeding up of defense production in Philadelphia and the correspond­
ing expansion of all business activity in 1940 and 1941, this figure
undoubtedly has increased considerably, and it is reasonable to esti­
mate that Philadelphia’s economic structure at tune of writing sup­
ports an office force of somewhere around 100,000. The Women’s
Bureau in the spring of 1940 scheduled 20,477, or roughly one-fourth,
of the city’s office workers.
. .
This office population, according to the Women’s Bureau definition,
includes not only those who unquestionably are clerical, such as secre­
taries, stenographers, typists, file clerks, machine operators, account­
ing clerks, and record clerks of various kinds, but many employees
whose work may be largely nonclerical. For example, the survey in
Philadelphia covered the occupations of appraiser, interviewer, cashierwrapper in stores, claims examiner, credit man, and purchasing agent,
each of which is in few respects a clerical job. Such professionalclerical people as legal clerks, attorneys, auditors, accountants, and
draftsmen also are included, except those whose duties are not per­
formed in the office headquarters—traveling auditors, for example.
Furthermore, the study covers supervisors of office workers, including
those whose sole function is the efficient administration of their depart­
ment as well as those who must perform some of the routine duties of



INTRODUCTION----PHILADELPHIA

3

the clerks who work under them. The supervisors may be office man­
agers, head tellers, and supervisors of underwriting, tabulating, and
outgoing mail, to name only a few possibilities. In addition to these,
(lie Bureau scheduled, personnel who have responsibility of an adminis­
trative and even an executive order. All these, from'the receptionist
to the administrative assistant, are employees who work in offices or
have duties commonly designated as “office” or “clerical,” and as such
come within the purview of this study. The exceptions to this are
salespeople on the one hand and nonclerical professional people on
the other.




TYPES OF BUSINESS THAT EMPLOY OFFICE
WORKERS
The livelihood of a considerable proportion of Philadelphia’s work­
ers depends directly or indirectly on its extensive and diversified opera­
tions m manufacturing and distributing goods. There are approxi­
mately 5,000 factories and 4,000 manufacturers’ distributing outlets
in Philadelphia alone, employing about 20,000 office workers.1 * Many
such establishments employ no paid office personnel, and though a large
proportion of those with paid workers find one or two sufficient for
their needs, there are numerous plants in Philadelphia, especially in
textiles, machinery, chemicals, and printing and publishing, that in
the carrying on of large-scale operations require an office force of great
size and complexity. It should be emphasized here that corporation
officers and salespeople who work in offices were not included in the
Women’s Bureau estimates. If firm officials and sales force are added
to the office employees counted by the Bureau in manufacturing and
distributing, the estimated office personnel for this group would be
greater.3 4
Printing and publishing employs nearly two-fifths of the office work­
ers in Philadelphia’s manufacturing firms. This is because they must
operate with a much larger proportion of clerical as compared with
plant personnel than any other single industry in the manufacturing
group. For the country as a whole in 1939, “clerks” as defined in the
16th Census3 comprised nearly 22 percent of all workers in printing
and publishing, but only approximately 9 percent of those in machinery
(excluding electrical), 7 percent of those in chemicals, 5 percent of all
in iron and steel and in food, and 2 percent of all in textiles and textile
products. However, fully one-third of the office workers in Philadel­
phia’s printing and publishing industry were in only about 2 percent
of the firms, since few of the approximately 1,000 small establishments
employ more than 1 paid office worker, while of the comparatively
small number of book, periodical, and newspaper houses several employ
more than 75.
...
Seven of the approximately 60 banks in Philadelphia and 6 of the
insurance home offices together had over 5,000 office workers in 1940.
Insurance agencies, real estate, brokerage, building and loan, and other
financial houses are very much smaller, few of them affording more
than 10 office positions. Together the approximately 4,700 real estate,
insurance, finance, and banking establishments in Philadelphia had
roughly 17,000 office workers in 1939, and in this respect ranked second
only to the manufacturing and distributing concerns.
1 Estimates of the number of office workers in Philadelphia's enterprises are based on
data of the 15th and 16th Population Census, the Census of Jiusiness of 1935, the Ordimances for Adoption of a Financial Program for the City of Philadelphia for 1940, the
Directory of Federal and State Departments and Agencies in Pennsylvania compiled by
the Office of Government Reports as of October 15, 1939, the Philadelphia Telephone Direc­
tory issued in July 1939 and 1941, and information secured through field investigation.
“The Research and Information Bureau of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce re­
ports a total of 46,131 salaried persons and office force in Philadelphia’s manufacturing
and distributing industries for 1938.
8 Clerks, stenographers, and other clerical employees.

4




TYPES OF BUSINESS---- PHILADELPHIA

5

The public utilities of Philadelphia have the tremendous responsi­
bility of providing electric, gas, transportation, and communication
facilities t;o a population of well over 2,000,000. Furthermore, they
operate virtually without competition, and a few companies carry the
burden. These concerns have grown large as the metropolitan com­
munity of Philadelphia has expanded. Consequently in 1940 the gas,
electric, and street-railway companies alone employed approximately
3,000 office workers, and the telephone and telegraph companies about
In contrast, transportation facilities by sea, rail, and air that con­
nect the industries and population of the Philadelphia area with the
rest of the country are provided by numerous concerns with between
200 and 300 branch, ticket, or information offices in the city. Most of
these companies or agencies employ comparatively few office workers.
Two major railroads, however, whose headquarters offices are in Phil­
adelphia, employ together over 7,000.
There are more retail establishments in Philadelphia than concerns
of any other kind, but most of them are small and the proprietors them­
selves keep what accounts are necessary. In over 30,000 firms reported
in the 1939 Census of Business, office workers were estimated to number
less than 10,000. About one-third are employed in the city’s 5 largest
department stores.
There are many government offices in Philadelphia. Less than half
of them, however, are concerned with city and State administration,
in connection with which nearly 3,000 office workers are employed.
The remainder are Federal offices, employing almost as many office
workers as city and State departments together. In this 1941 defense
period, furthermore, additional Federal offices are being established,
while others are expanding rapidly. By 1940, the Philadelphia Navy
Yard alone afforded jobs to over 800 office workers. Other government
agencies in Philadelphia that are important in the number of office
positions they offer are the State Department of Public Assistance, also
with more than 800, and the Federal Bureau of Internal Revenue, the
Frankford Arsenal, the Department of City Commissioners of Phila­
delphia, and the State Employment Service and Unemployment Com­
pensation Commission, each with between two and three hundred office
employees.
Hotels, restaurants, dry-cleaning plants, laundries, beauty parlors,
repair shops of various kinds, and other service establishments employ
very few office workers in comparison with their number. There are
however, more than 10,000 firms in Philadelphia that can be classed
among the service industries and their employment of office workers
probably aggregates several thousand.
There are comparatively few nonprofit organizations in Phila­
delphia. Though most of them do not employ office workers, the 75
scheduled by the Women’s Bureau in connection with this survey show
an average of about 8 per office, or 600. The establishments repre­
sented include private social agencies, hospitals, and clubs. There are,
m addition, fraternal orders, church organizations, labor, trade, and
other associations, some of which have office personnel.
Philadelphia has a large public-school enrollment, for which approx­
imately 500 office workers are employed to keep records and accounts.
The numerous institutions of higher learning for which Philadelphia
is well known also afford some office positions. However, whereas 3



6

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

of these alone employed not far from 500 office workers in 1940, all the
others and in addition the approximately 450 private schools of various
kinds in the city, i. e., preparatory schools, schools of business, art,
dramatics, music, engineering, aeronautics, photography, and others,
probably do not provide more than an average of one office position
each. The total office employment in the education field in Phila­
delphia, therefore, may not exceed 1,500.
The construction industry is booming and probably shows many
more workers today than the 24,000 reported by the census as employed
in Philadelphia in 1939. But only about 2 percent of the total em­
ployees are office workers. Other types of office to be found in Phila­
delphia are chiefly those in which self-employed professional people
offer services of one kind or another. Together there are more than
10,000 of these, including offices of physicians, dentists, accountants,
engineers, architects, and many others. A significant proportion of
these require the services of at least one office worker to make appoint­
ments, act as receptionist, and do simple bookkeeping.
It is apparent tliat the ordinary office is small and that, a considerable
proportion of the office workers are scattered by ones and twos through­
out the many and complex business and social enterprises of the city.
There are only a few provinces in which office workers as a usual thing
are concentrated. They are the central offices of transportation and
other public-utility concerns, insurance home offices, certain govern­
ment offices, and large banks, department stores, publishing houses, and
manufacturing firms. Philadelphia has a considerable share of such
places, yet the numerous office workers to be found in them probably
do not fill more than half of the office jobs in the city.
DEMAND FOR OFFICE WORKERS
In the two decades between 1910 and 1930 clerical workers in
Philadelphia showed a larger absolute increase than any other occupa­
tional group, but the introduction of office machines slowed down the
rate of growth in opportunities for their employment. By 1933, at
the depth of the depression, office workers were the fourth largest group
registered at the State employment office in the city, and even through
1936 they continued to be one of the most numerous classes on the rolls.4
This situation was primarily the result of general business condi­
tions. A large labor reserve was created as business declined to an
all-time low in 1932 and 1933, and though considerable improvement
occurred in the years from 1933 to 1936 the employment slack was not
taken up. In 1936, 30 percent of all employable individuals in Phila­
delphia were unemployed, and even in 1937, the best recovery year in
Philadelphia since 1932, 25 percent of the employables were idle.
However, by 1937 the rate of unemployment among the clerical workers
had been reduced somewhat more than that of most of the other occu­
pational groups, with the incidence for men higher than that for
women. In that year also the hard core of unemployed is reported to
4 Palmer, Gladys L., Thirty Thousand in Search of Work. Pennsylvania Department of
Labor and Industry, State Employment Commission, 1933, p. 13 ; and same author, Recent
Trends in Employment and Unemployment in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Labor Market
Study No. P-1 of the National Research Project of the Work Projects Administration in
cooperation with the Industrial Research Department of the University of Pennsylvania,




TYPES OF BUSINESS—PHILADELPHIA

7

have had fewer clerical workers proportionately than workers in other
occupations.5
After the 1938 recession, business, and with it income, employment,
and pay rolls, showed a general tendency to rise in Philadelphia as
everywhere else in the country, until in 1940, in response to the defense
program, the peak of 1937 had virtually been reached. In 1941 this
peak was overtaken and passed by a soaring business index. To what
degree the demand for office workers in particular is increasing because
of the vital part Philadelphia industry is playing in shipbuilding,
ordnance, arms, and related or dependent work cannot be determined,
since dislocations in consumer-goods plants caused by silk and metal
shortages, Government priorities, and the like may be serving as a
counterbalance.
The Women’s Bureau in this survey studied the question of turn-over
in the employment of office workers in Philadelphia in 1939 and the
first 6 months of 1940, but the data secured did not indicate to what
extent absolutely new openings were being created. Of the total num­
ber of 6,302 men and 10,968 women for whom applicable data were
reported, approximately 14 in every 100 had been hired for the first
time by the office where scheduled in 1939 or the first half of 1940.
Women were taken on in slightly greater proportion than their num­
ber m the sample warranted. The entire group of “new” employees,
2,349, included not only those who were filling newly created positions
because of firm expansion, but those who were merely replacing employ­
ees who had left. The last named may have taken another office job,
enteied another occupational field, or left the labor market temporarily
or permanently. It was impossible to determine, from the data avail­
able, the increased demand as compared with the turn-over in the
period studied.
Beginners.
A measure was secured of the rate at which newly trained office
workers ]ust out of the public schools or colleges were fed into the labor
market ; this sheds some light on the question of relative demand from
the point of view of the placement rate of the newest supply. It is sio-nificant, for example, that over 8 in 10 of those office workers scheduled
by the Women’s Bureau in Philadelphia who began their office work in
the period 1935 to June 1940 had secured their jobs within a year after
leaving school; approximately 7 in 10 had found a position within 6
months. These figures compare with those published by the Philadel­
phia Junior Employment Service in 1939 concerning the employment
status of Philadelphia public-school graduates of 1935 and 1936 on
April 1,1937, and May 1,1938, respectively.6
The Employment Service reported that in spite of the recession the
average duration of unemployment among the senior-high-school grad­
uates of the classes of 1935 and 1936 who sought work was respectivelv
7 and 5 months. Most of the graduates of the business curriculum
8 in 10 of both classes, were found to have used some part of their

vSTf* Decembe?193L pp.




PhiladelpWa ^lie'

sMK,

8

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN' 1940

vocational training since graduation; their average length of unem­
ployment was about 7 months.
Of the 1936 senior-high-school graduates from whom information
was received by the Junior Employment Service, 35 percent had taken
the business curriculum, but of those working on May 1, 1938, 58 per­
cent were employed in office positions. This is a reflection of the fact
that half of those who had enrolled in day schools after graduation
to take such courses as stenography, typing, office-machine operation,
and the like, were graduates of the academic curriculum.
Of the class of 1935 for whom the Junior Employment Service had
data, about 1 in 5 of those who had taken the business curriculum were
unemployed and seeking employment in April of 1937; about 1 in 4
of the business students who graduated in 1936 were unemployed and
looking for work in May of 1938. This indicates high turn-over and
the possibility of oversupply at least in 1937 and 1938.
What difficulty the young graduates had in securing office jobs was
reported to have been correlated more specifically on the one hand
with their standing in school and intelligence as measured by the I. Q,.,
and more generally on the other hand with their youth and inexperi­
ence. In times of a depression such as that of 1938, Philadelphia
employers are said to be especially exacting in setting up their em­
ployment qualifications, making it difficult sometimes even for wellqualified workers, much more the inexperienced beginner, to find a
job. There tends to be a higher incidence of unemployment among
the inexperienced as compared with the experienced at any time, but
this is much less marked in periods of recovery or business activity.
Among the office workers scheduled by the Women’s Bureau who
were hired by their firms in 1939 or the first half of 1940, 4 in 10 were
beginners. It is interesting that proportionately more men than
women beginners were taken on.
Inexperienced workers in most cases were hired as messengers, file
clerks, typists, stenographers, and general office cler ks. Printing and
publishing houses and other manufacturing and distributing firms,
insurance companies, banks, and department and apparel stores em­
ployed more beginners than the other types of office visited.
Extra and part-time workers.
One of the Philadelphia Labor Market Studies made by the National
Research Project of the Work Projects Administration in collabora­
tion with the Industrial Research Department of the University of
Pennsylvania reports that part-time employment appears in Phila­
delphia to be. primarily a device used by management to prevent drop­
ping personnel in dull times. Business recovery, therefore, is accom­
panied by an increase of full-time employment coinciding with a
decrease in part-time employment.7
Even in the best of times, however, industry is not yet equipped
to overcome seasonal fluctuations sufficiently to do without extra em­
ployees in peak periods, and even some regular part-time personnel is
retained. For example, the Philadelphia department and apparel
stores employ thousands of extra office workers before the Christmas
and Easter holidays. They employ a great many part-time workers
also, not only during busy seasons but sometimes on a regular basis to
7 Palmer, Gladys L. Recent Trends in Employment and Unemployment in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Labor Market Study No. P-1, December 1937. p. 10.




TYPES OF BUSINESS----PHILADElLPHIA

9

take care of monthly and weekly peaks. Over half of the extra and
part-time workers scheduled in Philadelphia offices by the Women’s
Bureau were employed in the department and apparel stores, and it
is significant that the pay rolls secured in this type of office did not
coincide with a peak season.
Periodical-publishing houses are very busy in the late fall months,
before Christmas, and during that time they use many extra subscrip­
tion and circulation clerks. Some offices put on part-time or full­
time extra workers to help with their fiscal closings and many use
extra help for short periods to take the place of employees on vacation.
Most of those employed as extra or part-time workers on the records
transcribed in the Women’s Bureau survey were stenographic per­
sonnel, machine operators, general clerks, and file clerks, and such
department and apparel store clerks as cashier-wrappers and tube
clerks. These occupational groups account for over 6 in 10 of the
extra or part-time workers scheduled.




CHARACTER OF OFFICE OCCUPATIONS
In addition to securing data concerning the demand for and dis­
tribution of office workers in the various phases of Philadelphia’s
industrial life in the spring and summer of 1940, Women’s Bureau
agents visited a sample of 334 offices in that city, representing almost
every field of activity in which office help is employed. For a total
of 20,477 men and women in these offices, the agents investigated sal­
aries, hours, general conditions of work, education, and occupational
Table I.-—Number

of offices scheduled, number of men and women they em­
ployed, and number of records secured, 1940, by type of office—PHILADEL­
PHIA
Number of men and
women employed

Employee records secured

Num­
ber of
offices
sched­
uled

Total

Men

334

26,969

10,826

16,143

20,477

7,988

12,489

61.0

Insurance.................................................

18
18

2,702
3, 559

1,522
1,516

1,180
2,043

2,702
3,029

1,522
1, 273

1,180
1,756

43.7
58.0

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

3
3
2
3

2,553
1,936
509
2,960

2,189
446
165
1,797

364
1,490
344
1,163

1,097
1,080
509
1,393

911
267
165
842

186
813
344
551

17.0
75.3
67.6
39.6

Printing and publishing---------------Other manufacturing............................

15
80

2,355
3,731

429
1,622

1,926
2,109

1,500
3,731

330
1,622

1,170
2,109

78.0
66.5

Department and apparel stores------

12

3,407

467

2,940

2,179

383

1,796

82.4

265
268

240
778

47.5
74.4

60
56

863
541

93.5
90.6

Type of office

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

Women
W omen Total

Federal Government.......... -................
State government------------------------ -

6
2

505
1,046

265
268

240
778

505
1,046

Nonprofit organizations.................... .
Miscellaneous small offices.—........—

4
75
93

923
597
186

60
56
24

863
541
162

Men

923
597
1S6

Num­ Percent
ber
of total

and work history. This information was in most cases transcribed
from actual personnel and pay-roll records and supplemented by
personal interviews with firm officials.
The study was further carried into the many public and private
schools in Philadelphia in an effort to discover the kind of training
that was being offered to prepare students for office work and how
many students were availing themselves of such training. In this
way some conclusion could be reached concerning the number and
quality of office workers who attempt to enter the office labor market
and the relation of this labor supply to the demand.
OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION
Philadelphia, with its many diversified industrial activities, afforded
an excellent medium in which to find examples of the widest variety
of office workers. With this variety, however, there appears also some
striking concentration of office personnel in a few occupational fields.

19



CHARACTER O'F OCCUPATIONS—PHILADELPHIA

11

For example, more than one-fourth of the workers scheduled in Phila­
delphia are typists, stenographers, or secretaries, operate transcribing
machines, or act as correspondents. These belong to the stenographic
group of occupations as defined in this survey and are ahnost entirely
women. It is of interest, however, that half of the stenographic
group in railroad offices are men, as are a third of those in the Federal
offices scheduled.
In contrast to the stenographic group, men predominate in hand
accounting and bookkeeping jobs, in which such workers as accounting
and audit clerks, hand bookkeepers, and cashiers and tellers are em­
ployed. Bookkeeping clerks who merely post or enter are in most
cases women. About 10 in every 100 office workers in the Women’s
Bureau sample are in the accounting group of occupations. The same
proportion are operators of office appliances such as addressing, bill­
ing, bookkeeping, calculating, duplicating, key-punch, and tabulating
machines. A good many more women than men are employed on
all but duplicating and tabulating machines. About as many men
as women operate those last named.
Unlike the large groups mentioned above, a wide variety of clerical
employees were encountered who did not fall into well-defined major
groups. Of these, such comparable workers as timekeeper and pay­
roll clerks, cost and production clerks, bond, security, and draft clerks
are tabulated together, and all such occupations as employed 50 or
more people are listed as “other clerks” in table II. Clerks in less
common jobs are grouped by type of office under the caption “clerks
not elsewhere classified.” Together these two classes account for about
44 in 100 of all the workers scheduled.
Workers who attend the tubes, sit at service desks, and act as cashiers
in the selling departments of retail stores, grouped as “service desk”
under “other clerks” in table II, were found in the offices scheduled
to be exclusively women, as were telephone clerks and receptionists.
Draftsmen, and rate, cost, and production clerks, were predominantly
men.
Another miscellaneous group has been classed as “special office
workers.” These hold positions of considerable responsibility that
are not always clerical in nature. They comprise a very small group,
only 2 in every 100 of the persons scheduled, and nearly 90 percent
are men, with such titles as legal clerk, purchasing agent, interviewer,
appraiser, mortgage clerk, real-estate analyst, and paymaster. Among
the 44 women classed as “special office workers” are several under­
writers, a few purchasing agents and interviewers, personnel assist­
ants, and clipping and file clerks in newspaper reference rooms or
“morgues.”
Another small category of office personnel scheduled in Philadelphia
hold administrative, executive, and clerical-professional positions.
The entire class comprises only 8 in 100 of the workers whose records
were secured. More than two-thirds of these are called supervisors
(tables VI and VII of this report) and include such workers as
section chiefs or other supervising heads of clerical departments, found
in the larger offices. A few are high-salaried executive personnel with
jurisdiction over important departments of the firms in which em­
ployed. Some of their titles are junior executive, personnel manager,
administrative assistant, and assistant to the treasurer. Included
466454°—42------2




'

12

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

among the clerical-professional personnel are accountants, auditors,
analysts, statisticians, and actuaries. Professional people s .ich as
physicians, architects, metallurgists, and the like, though employed
by some of the offices scheduled, obviously are not engaged in clerical
work and were not included in this survey. Of the administrative,
executive, and clerical-professional office workers scheduled, a consid­
erably larger proportion were men than women.
Almost 9 in 10 of the extra or part-time office workers for whom
records were secured were women. More than half of these women
were in department and women’s apparel stores in a variety of common
clerical occupations, chiefly as typists, stenographers, and calculatingmachine operators.
Administrative, executive, clerical-professional, and extra workers
will be discussed separately in this report, since their special conditions
of employment and unusual wage levels would tend to distort the
general picture for the great majority of office workers in the city.
In the accompanying table III the distribution of women and men
in these same occupational groups is shown by typ' of office in which
employed.
There are almost twice as many women as men regular employees in
the offices scheduled. Three facts are at once clear: (1) That the largest
number of women are in the stenographic group of occupations; (2)
that more women are in manufacturing than in any other type of
office; and (3) that the State government averages the largest number
per office (374).
More than half of the men scheduled are in the miscellaneous occu­
pations classed as “other clerks;”8 the next largest number are in the
accounting group.
Manufacturing also claims more men than any other type of office.
The fewest men, and the smallest average number per office, are in the
miscellaneous group of small offices, in nonprofit organizations, and in
education offices, where it is customary to employ largely women.
Railroads and the electric, gas, and street-railway companies average
by far the largest numbers of men per office visited.
All told, the Bureau secured schedules for workers in almost every
type of office with the exception of the service industries and construc­
tion companies. However, though the data are spread in this manner,
a somewhat disproportionate number of individual records were se­
cured in concerns where office personnel is concentrated. Small offices
and stores may or may not have office employees; consequently, many
visits are required to yield even a limited number of individual records.
In the retail trade group, for example, the department and women’s
apparel stores, which employ two-fifths of all office workers in retail
trade, were sampled adequately, but food, drug, and other stores in
which office workers are found only occasionally have little represen­
tation. The major omission is of city offices; this was because lack of
records, and constantly changing duties, make an analysis of city office
work impracticable.
8 For definition see p. 11.




13

CHARACTER O'F OCCUPATIONS"—PHILADELPHIA

II.—Distribution by occupation of all employees reported, and pre­
dominance of men or women in each occupation—PHILADELPHIA

Table

Total
Occupation

Women

Men

Num­
ber

Percent
of grand
total

Num­
ber

Percent
of group
total

Num­
ber

All occupations•----------------------------------- 20.477
Administrative, executive, clerical-professional
1,683
Extra and part-time workers _______________
288
Regular office workers...................................... ....... 18,506

100.00
8.2
1.4
90.4

12, 489
407
251
11,831

61.0
24.2
87.2
63.9

7,988
1,276
37
6,675

5,226

25.5

4, 811

92.1

415

7.9

1,323
1,830
1,717
195
161

6.5
8.9
8.4
1.0
.8

1. 265
1,721
1,534
195
96

95.6
94.0
89.3
100.0
59.6

58
109
183

4.4
6.0
10.7

65

40.4

Accounting group................................................

1,937

9.5

763

39.4

1,174

60.6

Accounting clerk
Audit clerk. __
____ _
Bookkeeping clerk----------------------------Bookkeeper, hand--------------------- -------Cashier, teller____________ __________

523
260
419
301
434

2.6
1.3
2.0
1.5
2.1

211
48
239
125
140

40.3
18.5
57.0
41.5
32.3

312
212
180
176
294

59.7
81.5
43.0
58.5
67.7

Machine operators . ------------------------------

1,948

9.5

1,519

78.0

429

22.0

Addressing.____ _________ ________
Billing..... ............................. .........................
Bookkeeping_______ ____ ______ ____
Calculating__________________ _______
Duplicating
Key punch--------------------------------------Tabulating__________ _____ _________

146
191
520
648
121
182
140

.7
.9
2.5
3.2
.6
.9
.7

114
169
430
534
60
155
57

78.1
88.5
82.7
82.4
49.6
85.2
40.7

32
22
90
114
61
27
83

21.9
11.5
17.3
17.6
50.4
14.8
59.3

6,890

33.6

3,471

50.4

3, 419

49.6

.4
1.6
1.0
.8
.7
1.3
.4
1.7
.9
.5
3.8
1.0
2.4
1.8
1.5
.7
.5
2.3
.3
.4
.6
.6
2.0
2.2
1. 7
1.5
1.2

54
152
34
89
153
86
50
34
112

60.7
46.9
15.8
55.6
100.0
32.1
58.1
9.7
63.6

35
172
181
71

39.3
53.1
84.2
44.4

182
36
317
64

67.9
41.9
90.3
36.4

606
122
111
170
174
4
95
287
20
18
122
108
178
117
356
99
120

78.1
62.2
22.4
47.4
57.4
2.9
100. 0
62.3
30.8
22.5
100. 0
93.1
44.1
26.5
100.0
31.7
49.2

170
74
385
189
129
134

21.9
37.8
77.6
52.6
42.6
97.1

174
45
62

37.7
69.2
77.5

8
226
324

6.9
55.9
73.5

Transit_____ __________ _____ _______
Trouble dispatcher___ _________ ____

89
324
215
160
153
268
86
351
176
104
776
196
496
359
303
138
95
461
65
80
122
116
404
441
356
312
244

213
124

68.3
50.8

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

2, 098

10. 2

1,223

58.3

875

41.7

Finance and insurance
Public utilities______________ _________
Manufacturing______ ______ _____
Government. ____ ..
_ _ .................
Other types of office______________ ___

489
322
396
570
321

2.4
1.6
1.9
2.8
1.6

206
208
209
340
260

42.1
64.6
52.8
59.6
81.0

283
114
187
230
61

57.9
35.4
47.2
40.4
19.0

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

407

2.0

44

10.8

363

89.2

Regular:
Stenographic group............................ ............. .
Secretary--------------- ------ ------ -----------Stenographer________ _______________
Typist
_______________
Correspondent___________ ____ _

Other clerks________

..

_________

Actuarial........ ...........
...... ....................
Bill, statement, and collection.......... .......
Bond, security, draft_________ _____
Checker. _ ___________ ____ _____
_
Circulation and subscription
Claims examiner and adjuster
Coin counter
_________
______
Cost and production.._______________
Credit__________________ ___________
File______ ______ ___________________
Mail
Messenger_____________
_ . ...
Order and shipping.
Pay roll and timekeeper...
Rate ... ______________
_____ ...
Record ._
Renewal________________
Route
Sorter_______ ________ __________ .
Statistical______ _____ ______________
Stock




Percent
of group
total
39.0
75.8
12.8
36.1

14

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

Table

III.—Number of women and of men regular employees in the various
types of office, by occupational group—PHILADELPHIA

Clerks
Other
not else­
clerks
Steno­ Account­ Machine (see table where
classified Special
graphic
ing
II for
office
(duties
operators specific
group
group
depend workers
occupa­ on type
tions)
of office)

Women

a
o

s

Men

Women

a
S

Men

c

o
%

Women

Women

Women

Women

M en

Men

Women

,

Total

|

Type of office

Num ber of offices reporting

Number of regular employees

All types........... ......... 334 11,831 6, 675 4,811 415 763 1,174 1,519 429 3,471 3,419 1,223 875
Banks and other finance. -.
Insurance ... __________

18 1,124 1,207
18 1, 722 1,033

44 363

432
802

25 71
39 130

303
196

246
182

95
92

297
463

624
356

74 113
132 170

786
164
144
699

50
124
176
183

35
29

13
40
35
51

245
26
9
155

57
102
3
101

72
2
1
37

63
314
108
161

385
80
87
435

2
151

31
51

3

3
5

41

20

—

23

Printing and publishing. _.
Other manufacturing.........

15 1,116 275
80 2, 058 1,449

354
786

19 70
83 131

32
147

122
412

13
92

466
612

152
942

97 47
112 140

7
5

12
45

Department and apparel
stores________ ____ ____

12 1,595

Railroads. ______ _____
Telephone._____________
Other public utilities

3
3
2
3

185
734
336
537

50

4 47
13 180

314

293

27 139

22

251

7

740

211

169

45

3

2

Federal Government..........

6
2

221
748

236
260

149
384

51
43

12

23

18

11

33
31

69
28

7
333

41

2

41

Education
Nonprofit organizations___
Miscellaneous small offices.

4
75
93

791
505
159

45
39
24

701
251
126

9
3
2

18
44
9

2
11
3

13
12

2
5

32
138
13

24
17
9

21
59
11

7
3
6

....




6
1

1
4

DESCRIPTION OF OFFICE WORK IN CERTAIN
OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES
In the office-work study by the Women’s Bureau, a city of the size
and importance of Philadelphia naturally outranked the four other
cities surveyed in number of establishments scheduled and number
of employees for whom records were secured. Because of this fact,
several types of office common to most communities are given their
occupational analysis in the Philadelphia section of the report. In
the case of insurance offices, for example, those in Philadelphia had
more than four-fifths as many women as were in the four other cities
combined; in the case of printing and publishing offices, those in Phila­
delphia had more than twice as many women as were in the three other
cities in which this industry was reported.
In the pages following are presented brief analyses of the office
set-ups in insurance, banking, telephone and telegraph, retail trade
(department stores), and printing and publishing. A description of
the occupations in outstanding types of office in Houston (oil produc­
ing, refining, and distributing), Kansas City (meat packing and mail­
order distributing), and Richmond (State government and tobacco
manufacturing) will be found in the sections of this report devoted
to those cities.
INSURANCE
Clerks, stenographers and typists, bookkeepers and cashiers form
the majority of workers in the insurance field. Their duties, generally
speaking, are the basic ones performed by workers in such occupations
everywhere, though employment by insurance companies naturally
introduces certain specialized duties pertaining only to insurance
work. The size of the office and the type of insurance the company
writes also make differences in the variety of duties.
In Philadelphia at the time of the Women’s Bureau study 58 percent
of the office workers in the insurance firms surveyed were women but
in the four other cities such proportion ranged from 62 to 72 percent.
The work to be done in insurance offices may be described under eight
broad classifications: (1) Actuarial, (2) underwriting, (3) agencies,
(4) policies, (5) claims, (6) accounting and statistical, (7) investments,
and (8) administrative and miscellaneous. Actuarial work, though
carried on for various types of insurance, applies mainly to life insur­
ance, while underwriting is most important in fire and casualty insur­
ance where risks cannot be so readily graded and classified. As in
other industries, the division of work is by no means standardized and
the classifications used here are chiefly for the convenience of
description.
^ In the Dictionary of Occupational Titles compiled by the United
States Employment Service, there are 231 job titles applying specifi­
cally to work in insurance companies, and 126 of them use the word
“clerk” preceded by a defining word or phrase. The remainder com-




15

16

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

1940

prise jobs of a professional nature, duplicate titles, and many jobs
obviously clerical, for example, correspondent, reviewer, checker.
Actuarial.
Actuarial work deals primarily with the determination of rates to be
charged for different types of insurance, and involves research into
mortality and accident rates and causes of lapsed policies, as well as
calculation of dividends to be paid to policyholders and evaluation
of the assets and liabilities of the company in order to determine
proper reserves. The actuarial work of an insurance company is
carried on in the home office, though some phases of it may be done
in the larger district offices.
Aside from professional (actuary and actuary assistant) and general
clerical occupations, there are in this division certain specialized jobs
which require training in mathematics and the use of calculating
machines. The duties of the actuarial clerks include computing rates,
dividends^ commissions, and so forth. These clerks make the various
computations from basic tables relating to mortality, accidents, policy
valuations, and dividends prepared by the professional employees.
Underwriting.
Underwriting is determining the nature and classification of risks in
order to prevent an adverse selection of risks against the company
and to secure an adequate distribution of each class of risk so that the
liability of the company does not become concentrated. To prevent
an unsafe concentration of risks, the firms reinsure part of their busi­
ness with other companies. Each company may have its own under­
writing division but a central board or office of underwriters usually is
maintained in a city or district which does this work for firms in the
fire and casualty insurance field.
The term underwriter is very loosely used and may designate anyone
who secures and develops insurance up to the actual issuance of the
policy. However, as used here the term applies to the employees who
examine and check applications for insurance to determine whether
the applicant is a good risk, accept or reject the business, and apply
the rate for it. Underwriters may be specifically designated by the
type of business they handle, as bond underwriter, liability under­
writer, fire underwriter, inland-ma/rime examiner, medical-statement
approver, and so forth.
underwriter clerks assist the underwriters by looking up rates, keep­
ing files, assembling data, writing letters, checking applications for
errors or omissions, operating calculating machines, and other related
duties.
Other specialized workers may include: A special-certificate dicta­
tor who drafts agreements when requests are made for special methods
of making payments to beneficiaries insofar as such methods are per­
mitted by company rules and State laws; a keep-off girl who keeps a
card file of suspicious losses culled from reports sent out by a national
agency which lists losses resulting from fire, accident, shipwreck, and
other causes, so that applications may be checked against the “keep-olf”
file; a registry-division data clerk who keeps a record of applications
for additional insurance so that insurance may not be written in
amounts beyond the company rules; a brokerage clerk who writes
special risk insurance such as riot, explosion, or earthquake; a reinsur­




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

17

ance clerk or treaty writer who keeps information regarding the busi­
ness, as losses, amount of insurance in force, and cancellations, and
submits such data to firm officials when the company desires to have
some of their business reinsured by another insurance company; and a
mapper or map clerk who keeps a map showing the location of build­
ings on which the company has written insurance (generally fire
insurance), the amount of risk taken, and the number and expiration
date of the policy, so that a check may be kept of the amount of
insurance written on buildings in any particular district.
Agencies.
Management of the selling end of the insurance business is accom­
plished by maintaining close contact with agents and agency offices.
The appointment, training, and supervision of agents fall in this divi­
sion, as does the handling of regular business between agents and the
company, and work connected with advertising and educational cam­
paigns. Specific job titles are less varied than in some of the divisions;
to mention a few, there are:
Agent-contract clerk.—Draws up and keeps a record of all contracts
between company and agents; fills in contract form from application
sent in by agency; sends application, with fee, to Insurance Commis­
sion for license; sends commission notice of revocation when agent
leaves company.
Agency-report clerk (or subagent-production-record clerk).—A
clerk, general office (clerical), who records reports sent in by agents
and keeps a file showing business transacted by each agent, how
premiums were paid, and what policies were canceled; computes on a
calculating machine percentage of premium paid.
Agent-daily-report checker (or agent-daily-report clerk; agentreport auditor; agent-report checker; report checker; report clerk;
report worker; scheduler).—A checker (clerical) who checks agent's
reports with office record of cash policy in force, for such items as
premiums paid, interest, and dividends due.
Death-claim examiner.—Examines death claims sent in by agents;
checks all death proofs of physician and undertaker; checks type of
benefit and name of beneficiary; approves or disapproves claim.
In fire and casualty insurance there is a special agent who works in
the field to establish and maintain contact between agents and home
office; he drafts the contracts between the company and the. agents and
advises the agents on matters pertaining to the business. He also
assists in adjusting complaints and losses and solicits business front
other insurance firms and brokers. The agency service clerk has simi­
lar contact duties with agents, but works in the office rather than in
the field.
Policies.
Applications for new policies, changes in the policies, loans on poli­
cies, termination of policies, or reinstatement of dropped policies all
are handled under this division, and all necessary records relating
to policy registers, premium notices and payments, and so forth are
kept in this division.
After applications for insurance have been checked and accepted
the information contained in them is recorded on registers or work
sheets, and on correct blank policies to be issued to applicants, by




18

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

1940

typists who may be designated as application-register clerk, mastersheet or work-sheet clerk, filing writer and policy writer, and their
work is checked for errors by filing checkers. In some firms there
may be a rate inserter who looks up the premium rate in a rate book
so that it can be typed in the policy. A numbering clerk, who may be
known by at least five other titles—policy clerk, valuation clerk, and
so forth—operates a duplicating machine, imprints the value of poli­
cies on their face, and uses a hand stamp to number the policies.
After a policy has been written, check clerks, known as reviewer,
undemoriter checker, rate checker, and policy checker, compare the
premiums on the policy with the rates set in the manual and the data
on age, principal sum, beneficiary, and so forth, on the application with
the written policy.
Once a policy is in force, current records must be kept of premium
due dates, premium payments, dividends, loans made on policies,
addresses of policy holders, and so forth. Such records are kept by
file clerks who may have titles as premium-card-file clerk, premium­
accounting clerk, premium-data clerk, premium-record-card puller,
quotation-entry clerk, loan-card-file clerk, policy-and-note-file clerk,
case-record-file clerk, policy-register clerk, annuity-record clerk, im­
pairment-file clerk, and address-change clerk.
When an insured person desires to make a change in his policy his
request is handled by a policy-change clerk who may also be known
by various titles as adjustment clerk, alteration clerk, or change-entry
clerk.
A cancelation clerk cancels policies as requested, checking the num­
ber of the policy, computing the refund, typing the cancelation notice,
forwarding it to the accounting division, and returning the canceled
policy to the policy holder.
Applications for policy reinstatements are examined by a revival
clerk who fills in a revival record sheet and turns it over to the policy
writing, checking, and recording procedure.
All records, changes, notices, receipts, and so forth, are checked for
errors or omissions by clerks known as policy-change checker, newbusiness checker, old-business-change checker, renewal or bill checker,
premium-note-and-notice checker, quotation (dividends) checker, reg­
ister checker, receipt and renewal-receipt checker and return-note
clerk, and notice-writing-machine operator.
A statistical clerk—a policy-issue-report clerk—makes daily and
monthly reports showing the number of policies issued.
Claims.
The investigation and settlement of all claims against the company
in conformity with its contracts usually are handled by a separate
claim department or division.
A claim attorney supervises the work of this division, deciding the
legality of claims filed against the company, studying court deci­
sions and the wording of policies, and drawing up various legal
documents.
Claim examiners check settled or questioned claims to see if the
company has been protected, confer with the claim attorney on claims
requiring litigation, and supervise the claim adjusters. These latter
employees, who may be known likewise as examiners, investigators, or
loss clerks, may spend much of their time in the field investigating




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

19

claims, but a considerable part of their work consists in assembling
data in the office, corresponding with agents, doctors, hospitals, claim­
ants, and witnesses.
In district or agency offices a report clerk types reports to the home
office of claims filed by policy holders and forwards checks to the
insured persons when a settlement is paid, keeping a record of all
claims paid.
A make-wp clerk, also known as a claim clerk, prepares data on
claims for investigation and adjustment, checks daily against endorse­
ments for discrepancies, keeps a card file of claims paid and unpaid,
makes periodic reports of payments made, and supervises several
typists.
Accounting and statistical.
In this classification falls all the work of keeping accounting rec­
ords as well as the assembling of data and the preparation of reports
on the operations of the company.
Under a chief accountant, whose job of supervising bookkeepers,
compiling reports, and overseeing the disbursements of funds re­
quires pi'ofessional training, there are junior accountants, hand and
machine bookkeepers, accounting and posting clerks, audit clerks,
tabulating-machine operators, and so forth. Such clerks frequently
are designated by the particular work they handle. Examples are
periodic-disbursement clerk, mortgage-loam-computation clerk, note
clerk, or medical-voucher clerk. These are bookkeeping clerks who
keep one particular set of records, make computations, post journal
and ledger entries, keep balance sheets, check and approve vouchers.
Audit clerks who check and verify the figures, calculations, and
postings pertaining to various transactions that have been recorded
by other clerical workers have titles as audit-expense-voucher clerk,
remittance auditor, treasurer-checks or bank-reconciliation clerk, divi­
dend-deposit checker, and dividend-deposit voucher checker.
Accounting clerks who perform rather routine calculating, posting,
and report-making duties may have titles as rent and miscellaneousremittance clerk, summary-journal-balancing clerk, mcome-tax data
oamc-teager event,, recu,-estate-expense-vostvna clerk, revol/mna- fnm/l
clerk, and unnalysis-record clerk.
Dividend-disbursement clerk, mortgage-loan disbursement and rec­
ord clerk, and partial-disbursement clerk on mortgage loans are some
of the specific titles given to cashiers who make disbursements and
keep records of such transactions.
Investments.
rI he investment of the company’s funds and the general supervision
of its financial well-being are handled by this division.
Funds are invested in a variety of securities, in public, private, and
government bonds, both foreign and domestic, in policy loans, mort­
gage loans, and real-estate loans. The executives of a company con­
trol its investment policy.
_ Corporate-bond trader and analyst or security analyst may be the
title applied to the employee who collects information on bonds and
the financial status of the businesses offering bonds which the com­
pany may buy for investment.




20

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

Applications for policy loans may be first examined by an assembly
clerk whose job it is to determine what papers will be needed to make,
decisions and calculations concerning the loan and to assemble the
necessary information for the investment or loan committee. A cor­
respondence and report entry-clerk may handle correspondence with
agents concerning loans that need correction or that have been rejected,
and keep a record of loans.
Some of an insurance company’s funds usually are invested in real
estate. A clerk, who may be known as gas, oil, and mineral develop­
ment clerk or as correspondent on development of natural resources,
collects data on property having gas, oil, or minerals and transmits
such data to agents. A closing-sale-paper examiner or a pendingsale-assembly clerk examines papers connected with the sale of real
estate to the company to see if abstract, surveys, and recordings are
correct, authorizes payment of fees and purchase price, and submits
insurance policies to cover the property if it is not covered.
A property-repair-authorization clerk handles and keeps a record
of all matters concerning repairs on property owned by the company.
When property is to be sold a sales-puper-drafting clerk or a salesadjustment and conversion clerk examines all records pertinent to the
sale and draws up the deed. A sales-agreement analysis and entry
clerk or sales-agreement auditor checks all documents' of real estate
sales to see that company rules have been followed. A statistical
clerk, sometimes designated as pending-sales-recapitulation clerk or
pending-sales-classification clerk, keeps a record of and makes a
monthly report on real estate sales.
Mortgage loans form a substantial part of insurance assets. Ap­
praisers, part of whose work is in the field examining real estate to
determine whether the company is justified in taking it as a risk for
a loan, report to the investment committee recommending the accep­
tance or rejection of loans. Abstract approvers examine, check, and
approve papers relating to the property offered as security, and for­
ward them to the disbursing division.’ Loan applications are care­
fully checked against reports of appraisers and approvers by mortgageloan-paper examiners or mortgage-loan-application-paper checkers.
Applications for extension on delinquent loan accounts are handled
by a correspondent, on real estate sold.
The duties of seeing that property in which the company is inter­
ested is covered by insurance for fire or tornado are assigned to a
bordereau clerk or fire-and-tornado-insurance-policy examiner, and a
record of this insurance is kept by a certificate-of-insurance checker.
A tax-receipt clerk keeps records of taxes or fire insurance premiums
paid on property held as collateral. An expiration clerk notifies
mortgaged-property owners that insurance on that property is about
to expire and must be renewed.
A farm property lease and advance clerk keeps records concerning
farm properties, and makes suggestions to local agents for leasing idle
farms or for lending or making advances to tenants.
When requests are received for release of a mortgage loan a releaseclerk on mortgage loans checks the request against the mortgage-loan
file to see if all information is complete, draws up the release, secures
approval of it, and forwards it with the mortgage to the agent.
When requests are received for lease, easement, or deed to land held




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

21

by the company a lease and easement clerk checks all data, computes
the acreage and footage involved, determines the price, provides all in­
formation for preparation of the legal instrument, and keeps records
of all these matters, including the money credited to the mortgagor.
A real-estate-location writer writes abbreviated legal descriptions of
property under mortgage.
Specialized file clerks who keep card records of loans and trans­
actions and who may answer requests concerning the data in the files
may have titles as premium-note-card filer, application-account clerk,
mortgage-loan-paper dispatcher, mortgage-accowit-adjustment clerk,
sale-file-stripping clerk, and loan-interest-file clerk. Typists may also
have special titles acording to the work they do; for example, a mortgage-papers-assignment-and-assembly clerk who transcribes informa­
tion from card file to correct form for agencies.
Accounting and audit clerks also may be found in this division and
these compute interest payments, revise records when borrower fails
to pay interest due, check calculations as to interest and principal pay­
ments, rent remittances, and expenditures for repairs on property.
Some titles, for these jobs include amortization-schedule clerk, premium-note-interest-calmlator clerk, capitalization clerk, loan auditor,
remittance auditor, pending-sales-remittance auditor, and propertyrehabilitation clerk. When property on which the company has a loan
changes hands a data-change clerk enters all necessary information
on mortgage ledger cards.
A^real-estate-statistical clerk, also called monthly-statement clerk or
closing-sale-journal-entry clerk, keeps records concerning property
held by the company and compiles monthly reports showing the status
of real estate holdings.
Administrative and miscellaneous.
Under this heading falls all the work of staffing, housing, servicing,
and maintaining the company organization. This includes all per­
sonnel work, the provision of office supplies and machinery, including
sometimes a printing division. The correct routing of work and the
mechanics of its circulation may be a function of this division. Some
firms also have an engineering staff to render service to clients in pre­
venting accidents.
The administrative work is no different from that in other types of
offices and the occupations in this division are very little affected by
the distinctive type of work done in insurance companies. An excep­
tion may include the data clerk, the dispatcher, the correspondencesuspense clerk, the clearing-correspondence clerk, or other clerks whose
jobs require routing of mail, correspondence, and routine office data
to and from the various departments.
BANKS
Introduction.
The functions performed by a bank vary according to its size and
type, and so do the duties of bank employees. Banks usually are
classified under four types as: Commercial banks, savings banks, in­
vestment banks, and trust companies, but there is great overlapping of
functions among them and lines cannot be drawn with exactness.
Commercial banks receive deposits from individuals, firms, and cor­
porations. Their assets are mainly liquid, being invested chiefly in




22

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

194 0

short-time loans for commercial purposes. Large commercial banks
may perform practically all the functions of the other types of banks,
as many of them have savings, investment, and trust departments.
The chief purpose of savings banks is to promote thrift, catering espe­
cially to the small investor. Investment banks provide long-term
credit by underwriting and distributing investment securities. Trust
companies serve individuals, firms, or corporations in a fiduciary
capacity, and in the case of large companies may also do commercial
banking and act as an investment agency. Banks of certain types
may be members of the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Re­
serve banks are service agencies for member banks and act as clearing
houses, issue currency and control the amount of it in circulation,
and rediscount papers held by member banks.
Because of the general overlapping of functions from one type
of bank to another the work done in such institutions will be described
in terms broad enough to cover large and diversified banks as well
as small ones. Obviously, in large banks or trust companies the vol­
ume of work may require specialization in one line of activity on the
part of many employees, while in a small bank one employee may
handle a wide variety of tasks.
.
Banking is still primarily a man’s field of work, but women in con­
siderable numbers have entered it in the past 25 years. In Philadel­
phia at the time of the study women comprised less than two-fifths
of the office employees of banks, as they did in Los Angeles and Kansas
City. In Houston and Richmond their proportions were somewhat
greater though still less than those of men.
The work in banks may be classed in six general divisions, as: Bank­
ing operations, investment or securities, trust, safe deposit, auditing,
and administrative. Many banks perform additional services and
have divisions such as real estate, insurance, industrial, new business,
publicity, and so forth in which the functions of bank employees are
no different from the functions of employees in any organization
dealing with these matters.
Banking operations division.
In this division come the handling of customers’ funds, clearing and
collecting checks; the provision of credit instruments, foreign and
domestic; the granting of loans and credit; the collection of notes and
other instruments.
The bank cashier is the executive officer of the bank, and usually
he has charge of this division. He administers the policies formu­
lated by the board of directors, representing it in transacting the
bank’s business, such as approving loans, collecting debts, buying and
selling collateral and appraising business enterprises, land, and other
kinds of property, and supervises the subordinate officers.
A head teller, m charge either of all tellers or of the tellers in a spe­
cific unit such as foreign exchange or savings department, makes up
reports and balance sheets for the cashier or other bank executives,
issues bank drafts, certifies checks, and is responsible for the money
charged to the various units. Tellers may perform a wide variety of
duties or only a few specific ones, depending on the size and organiza­
tion of the bank. The general duties of a teller are accepting deposits,
making change, cashing checks and coupons, verifying signatures, and
receiving bond deposits, forwarding items for collection from corre­




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

23

spondent banks to transit section. In large banks where the division of
work is highly specialized, tellers may have titles that are fairly selfexplanatory, such as paying teller, receiving teller, draft teller, mailcredit teller? and pay-roll teller. Other clerks under the cashier’s
supervision include a check clerk, who prepares deposits and checks
for transit and lists them on a settlement sheet, recordaks checks, han­
dles charges on drafts, and sorts and counts stock certificates; a wirestrcmsfer clerk, who operates a teletypewriter, wires transfer of funds
to other banks, and keeps a record of such transfers; and note and
money counters and coin wrappers.
In the finance department employees may include: New-business
man, new-business clerk, and solicitor to work in or out of the bank in
getting new business and dealing with customers on all legal technicali­
ties; a dividend-computation clerk who uses a calculator machine to
compute dividends on stocks and trustee fees and verifies settlement
proof sheets; or bookkeeper to maintain records of trustee fees earned,
insurance, investments, and so forth of this section.
Some tellers are employed in the deposits and collections section as
collection tellers, who handle notes, drafts, checks, bonds, coupons, and
trade acceptances for settlement and collection purposes. These com­
pute and deduct collection costs and miscellaneous charges (telegrams,
insurance, postage), type collection number, name of payer and date
due, send items through transit section when payable through a clear­
ing house, and prepare debits and credits on items paid. These may be
known as city-collection tellers, country-collection tellers, and settle­
ment tellers.
In this section are also various clerks: A remittance-account clerk
checks incoming remittances to determine which collection items are
unpaid and prepares a statement of collections and charges made; a
retumed-item clerk maintains a file of instructions for return items and
makes out necessary forms for returning items to depositors; a stoppayment clerk receives, verifies, and places stop-payment orders before
items are returned for payment; a coupon clerk and a coupon-collec­
tion clerk prepare matured bond coupons and government coupons and
bonds for collection and make debits and credits to the proper ac­
counts; a coupon-ticketing clerk keeps records of bonds and coupon
tickets to be sent out for collection; and bookkeepers, with various
titles, post debits and credits in general ledger, run and settle trial
balances, and keep detailed ledger records of all accounts held with and
for other banks.
In the transit section checks and other financial instruments are
made ready for clearing and collection and numerous clerks with a
wide variety of titles and skills are employed to do this work.
In large banks there may be transit listers and transit and in-mail
clerks who operate sorter, recordak, endorser, and adding machines in
sorting checks according to State and bank payable, listing checks for
each bank on cash letter sheets, and recording the amount and destina­
tion of cash letter sheets in a special ledger. In large banks there may
be clerks with very specialized functions in regard to typing, checking,
and sorting tickets and other records of bank collection items so that
they may be transmitted to bookkeepers; some titles of these clerks
are ticketing clerk, transit-draft clerk, batch clerk, in-clearing clerk,
and wires-transfer clerk.




24

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

19 40

The number and particular functions of bookkeepers or bookkeep­
ing clerks in this section depend, of course, on the size of the institution.
However, these are engaged in keeping accurate detailed records of
various types of accounts and charges by debiting withdrawals and
crediting deposits. Titles include individual bookkeeper, commercial
bookkeeper, bank-ledger bookkeeper, exchange clerk, account analyst,
and country bookkeeper and out-clearing clerk.
Since one of the main functions of a bank is to provide short-term
loans and credit, the loan section is an important part of the bankingoperations division. This department receives applications for loans
and credit, handles all the technical details when loans are granted,
keeps records, figures discount and interest, and has charge of the col­
lateral securing loans, receives notes submitted for discount, collects
information relating to borrowers and their businesses both individ­
ually and in general.
_
The senior analyst or chief credit analyst, an employee with pro­
fessional training, studies securities for investments, analyzes cor­
poration statements and balance sheets, and verifies reserves and
probable earning power, and writes reports and makes recommenda­
tions as to retention of investments made by the bank or its customers.
Large banks have specialized analysts who are responsible for pre­
paring information regarding specific fields, such as auto-loans credit
man, merchandise-pwrchase-loans credit man, foreign-securities ana­
lyst, and traction specialist.
Clerks handling small loans, assisting the professional workers and
keeping records of the various loan transactions may be designated
as junior analyst, bond statistician, loan reviewer, credit checker, loanapplication clerk, commercial-note teller, real-estate-note teller, collateral-and-safekeeping clerk, and commodity-loan clerk. Other
clerks in this section who keep detailed records of specialized trans­
actions or loans are known by such self-explanatory titles as mort­
gage clerk, tax clerk, insurance clerk, outlaw-loan-record clerk, de­
linquent-loan clerk, and interest clerk.
Most large banks handle foreign-exchange business in a special de­
partment in the operations division. Under the supervision of the
foreign-exchange manager, workers in this section interview cus­
tomers relative to foreign-exchange matters; buy and sell foreign
drafts and currency; issue drafts, letters of credit, travelers’ checks
and money orders; and give information on travel in foreign lands.
Employees include foreign-exchange teller or clerk or trader, who
controls the volume of foreign exchange in the bank’s inventory, sells
and buys foreign-exchange items, and keeps a record of the bank’s
balance in foreign countries. The foreign-exchange bookkeeper makes
hand postings of all transactions of the department.
Investment or securities division.
This division buys and sells securities for customers of the bank,
invests the bank’s funds in long-term securities, cooperates with the
loan department, and advises the trust division in the purchase and
sale of securities. In some banks this department may originate se­
curities, though investment banks usually perform this function.
An executive officer whose title may be bond cashier or stock cashier
“supervises all stock and bond transactions to make sure they are
correctly handled and properly cleared.”




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

25

In this division there may be a securities salesman, also known as
investment counselor or securities adviser, who “gives information re­
garding stocks, bonds, market conditions, and history and prospects
of various corporations to prospective customers; transmits buy or
sell orders to trading division in accordance with customer’s wishes;
calls on officers of county banks and advises them regarding their
investment holdings.”
A bond trader “buys and sells bonds for the bank, its branch banks,
and customers; keeps bank officials informed of value, price, and
financial background of bonds; keeps informed as to future sale
dates of bond issues, and keeps detailed records of all bond transac­
tions.” A stock trader performs similar functions in regard to stocks.
Bookkeepers who keep detailed records of bonds and securities and
of the transactions of such items are known variously as investmentbonds bookkeeper, trading-bond-controls bookkeeper, and security
bookkeeper.
There may be in this division checkers such as checking clerk and
coupon-manifest clerk who compare stocks, bonds, and coupons with
duplicate tickets for accuracy, and check matured bonds and bond
coupons, department registers, and lists for correct series numbers
and maturity dates.
Margin clerk, settlement clerk, and advice clerk may all be found
in this division, each with rather specialized functions. The margin
clerk “compares daily stock quotations with customers’ margin cards
in order to determine trend of market and note fluctuations on the
cards; may type duplicate copies of discount slips.” The settlement
clerk or cash clerk “makes up checks to pay bills in settlement of
securities transactions, keeps record of checks drawn and paid.” The
advice clerk “types, on cash letters and envelopes, for distribution to
other departments or for mailing, the customers’ name, and amount
and issue of bonds or coupons deposited by customer; adds amount
and proves totals on cash letters, using adding machine; sorts bonds,
coupons, and ownership certificates for distribution to other depart­
ments; and may be required to take and transcribe dictation.”
Trust division.
This division administers trusts and handles all matters relative
to individual and corporate trust accounts, acts as executor of wills,
administrator of estates, and in other fiduciary capacities.
One of the bank executives, possibly a vice president, whose title is
trust officer, has charge of this division. He “supervises and directs
the realization of assets, liquidation of liabilities, payment of bills,
and collections of earnings from assets of trust accounts, wills, or
estates for which he as trustee, administrator, or executor is respon­
sible.”
_
_
_ _
The trust-securities clerk “receives securities from customers and
writes receipt for same; writes withdrawal orders at customers’ re­
quests so that securities may be withdrawn from vault; checks vault
receipts against his own records to verify accuracy; dictates letters to
customers, answering inquiries on security transactions.” The cor­
porate-trust, clerk “accepts and transfers stock certificates from one
account to another * * *; receives cash in payment of interest or
tax on certificates and pays out cash dividends and interests as de­
clared ; issues necessary receipts and keeps records of all transactions.”




26

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

A trust-remittance cleric, a clerk-typist who “keeps daily records of
customer security transactions,” does work similar to that of a trustinvestment clerk, who “posts daily investment transactions of individ­
ual customers; copies investment debits and credits transacted daily
from ledger sheets to individual record cards and files cards alphabet­
ically according to customer’s name; totals amount of business
transacted daily; records and files cards which show the opening of
new accounts and types list of weekly purchases made by customers
as shown on cards.”
A trust bookkeeper keeps accurate records of debit and credit trans­
actions in the trust department, while a corporate-trust bookkeeper,
a bookkeeping-machine operator, posts stock certificates transferred
and received on individual customer’s ledger cards.
A trust-collection clerk “checks matured and called securities, and
sends letters to customers in an attempt to collect amount due on same,
crediting customer’s accounts with amount paid.”
There may be in this division a trust teller who receives and issues
receipt for the payment of promissory notes.
There are, of course, file clerks and checkers in this division, among
whom are a security-index clerk and an asset-card clerk. The first
named is “a clerk-typist who keeps an index card file to facilitate work
of trust accounting department; types records of bonds and securities
received by bank or taken from vault; verifies accuracy of newly
addressed index cards by checking them against typed lists”; the
second “checks accuracy of entries on customer asset cards against
incoming and outgoing security lists; posts interest dividends or
principal payments on asset cards and files them alphabetically;
checks trust debits and credits tickets against proof sheets, and keeps
record of proof sheets.”
A trust-vault clerk or trust-vault custodian “receives and delivers
securities into and from the trust vault; opens and closes combinations
on all cabinets in vault; receives, verifies descriptions of, and files
securities according to customers’ names and account numbers; re­
leases securities from vault upon presentation of properly written
and signed request; acts as bank’s agent in observing bank auditors
when checking securities in vault.”
There may be “interior service” employees assigned specifically to
this division, such as a trust-mail clerk to handle incoming and out­
going mail, or a corporate messenger to render general messenger
service to the corporate trust department and its customers.
Safe-deposit division.
The safe-deposit division provides safekeeping facilities for valu­
ables of all kinds. The manager of the division “rents safety-deposit
boxes to the public, and supervises activity of subordinates engaged
in receiving and disbursing items from vault so as to insure box holders
the maximum protection for items left under such custody.”
A safe-deposit attendant or clerk, who may also he called access
clerk,, “verifies signatures of customers seeking admittance to safedeposit boxes by comparing them with signatures in the card file;
admits properly accredited persons to vault and keeps records of each
entry; may receive cash payment for rental of safe-deposit box.”
A vault attendant may be provided to assist customers in the opening
and closing of boxes, to carry boxes to enclosed booths if requested, to




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

27

collect the access slips from customers and return them to safe-deposit
attendant for filing.
A bookkeeping clerk called safe-deposit-box bookkeeper keeps rec­
ords of safe-deposit rentals and surrenders, and keeps reference files
in order.
Auditing division.
The work of every division and department is checked against that
of every other division and then against the general ledger in the
auditing division.
An auditor or resident auditor may directly represent the board of
directors of the bank and be responsible to them; he is usually the
accounting head of the bank and may be an officer such as vice presi­
dent or controller. The resident, auditor “audits general ledger, stock
and bond purchases, customer accounts, payment of bank expenses,
and checks branch bank audits submitted by traveling auditor.”
The traveling auditor audits the cash, securities, loans, records, and
ledgers at branch banks.
In this division may be an adjustment teller who “makes certain that
figures posted to the ledgers are correct by cross-checking and verify­
ing the work of tellers who handle money and authorizations for
money; examines summary sheets of all departments to locate and
adjust conflicting entries; prepares a master summary sheet which
represents all daily activity; maintains a record of departmental
differences, such as overages and shortages.”
An audit clerk who may be designated as reconcilement clerk “recon­
ciles balances appearing in customer’s ledger with ledger balances
shown on bank statements and verifies all exceptions that are noted;
receives and sorts batches of reconcilement forms; verifies the signa­
tures from memory or by referring to the signature file; reads reconcile­
ment form, seeing that balances agree, noting and verifying excep­
tions, and comparing balances on forms with balance on ledger.”
A sorting clerk proves daily transactions of individual divisions or
departments.
An audit-file clerk wraps and labels batch sheets and work sheets
by department and date received, and files the bundles in vault.
Administrative division.
In this division falls all personnel work, which resembles such work
in any type of business, and all interior service activity, which includes
the service rendered by telephone operators, information clerks, mes­
sengers, such as the bell hop who serves as inside messenger to bank
departments and officials, or mail clerks such as the registered-mail
clerk “who receives, sends, and keeps accurate records of registered
mail either received or sent from bank; verifies, by count, mail received
against post office list; opens, sorts, and records registered enclosures
and distributes items among various departments; receives or collects
mail to be registered and verifies contents; delivers accumulated out­
going mail to post office and obtains receipt.” All functions connected
with housing and equipping the organization, providing supplies and
office machines and supervising their upkeep, likewise may be classed
here, including the insuring of bank property, the payment of work­
men’s compensation and public liability insurance, and so forth.
466454“—42-------3




28

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH
Telephone and telegraph companies are an outstanding branch of
the public-utility field, which includes also transportation, electric,
gas, water, and sewer industries. Clerical workers in telephone and
telegraph companies are predominantly women, their proportions in
the three cities with figures available being from about TO to just over
80 percent. Broadly speaking, the work may be described under five
headings:
Engineering division—responsible for planning new lines, obtaining
rights of way, planning building lay-outs, central offices, and so forth,
to meet the requirements for telephone and telegraph service. Clerical
employees in this division, besides stenographers, typists, and file
clerks, may include junior draftsmen.
Operating division.-—This division may include two departments:
The plant department which is responsible for the installation and
maintenance of equipment, and the traffic department which takes
care of all work relating to the operation of the lines, establishment of'
connections, decisions concerning the right-of-way. In the plant de­
partment there may be clerical jobs requiring special technical knowl­
edge, such as that of dispatcher—classed as “special office worker” in
the Women’s Bureau survey—who dispatches men to jobs, keeps a
record of these jobs and the time spent on them, follows up on installa­
tions, tests lines, and has other mechanical duties. In the traffic
department, in which are found the telephone, telegraph, and tele­
type operators, a staff assistant—classed as “special office worker” in the
survey—must have some technical knowledge in order to help to
develop rules for handling calls and assist in setting up an adminis­
trative technique. A staff engineer—classed as “statistical clerk”—
supervises traffic records, studies them, and renders an interpretation.
Also there are telephone-directory clerks who check, make changes in,
and proofread new directories.
Commercial division—carries on business relations with customers.
This requires the maintenance of business offices, sales department, and
collection activities. Clerical employees who require special training
and experience in this division are service representatives and service
observers, also known as “trouble dispatchers'’ The former deaf di­
rectly with customers, keep records concerning these contracts, settle
complaints, adjust accounts, attend to the collection of slow and delin­
quent accounts, handle orders for service, sell service to the public, and
answer inquiries. They must have “a wide knowledge of the com­
pany’s organization, policies and practices, rate and tariff matters,
service and equipment features, and the operations of other depart­
ments, as well as the ability to handle dealings with customers.”9
Service observers appraise the work of service representatives and
also of tellers who receive mail and window payments. These ob­
servers evaluate the work on the basis of a standardized scale. The
work of the observers is checked by a supervising observer who takes
simultaneous observations.
Accounting division—responsible for keeping accounts, figuring
costs, billing customers, and maintaining books—may have many sub­
divisions or departments, depending on the size of the company. In
0 Training Wbifp Collar Employees.
Policy Study 36, May 1941, pp. 4-14,




National Industrial Conference Board.

Personnel

WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

29

the revenue or accounts-receivable section, where monthly bills are
prepared and mailed to customers, the clerical occupations may include
calculating-machine operators, typists, record clerks, sorting clerks,
hilling clerks, hilling-machine operators, and accounting clerks, who
must have various degrees of special work information including “a
knowledge of the administrative practices relating to toll, local service
and advertising rates and technical auditing and accounting pro­
cedures.”10 _ Calculating-machine operators include toll-records clerks,
toll statistical clerks, measured-service clerks, and toll-rating clerks,
who use calculating machines and rate or toll charts to compute
regular charges and excess charges on toll calls and who must have
detailed knowledge of basic tariffs, overtime rates, duration of initial
periods for varying localities, and must be able to compute elapsed
time rapidly and handle toll tickets with speed. Toll hilling clerks
are typists who may use an electric typewriter especially designed to
save time in posting the detail of toll calls to toll statements. Toll
adding clerks use calculating machines to add the toll statements pre­
pared by the toll billing clerks. Record clerks include toll order
clerks who make up basic records for new accounts, local ticket clerks
who post number of local tickets to each account number, and stationrecords clerks who keep a record of the number of stations and lines
to service orders.
Financial and legal division—responsible for the issuance of stock,
securing of loans, payments on stocks and bonds, receiving revenue
from customers, and attending to all tax matters. Maintains a legal
staff to protect the company in dealings with the government or public
concerning taxes, rights of way, construction of lines, and so forth.
Some, of the stenographers or secretaries in this division must be
familiar with legal terms and phrases. General clerks perform du' ies
such as sorting coupons, posting to ledger records, reviewing owner­
ship certificates, making up government reports, transferring pre­
ferred stock. There are also cashiers and checkwriting clerks whose
duties are indicated by the job titles.
RETAIL TRADE—DEPARTMENT STORES
Clerical work in retail trade may be described under the four main
divisions in which store work in many cases is classified. These divi-.
sions are: Merchandising, Advertising and Display, Store Manage­
ment, and Finance and Control. The number of subdivisions under
each heading, the number and functions of employees, obviously will
vary widely according to the size and type of store and the kinds of
articles for sale. In the stores surveyed in the Women’s Bureau
study—department and apparel—the office force was very largely
female, the proportion of women ranging in the various cities from
82 percent of the office workers in Philadelphia stores to 92 percent
of those in Richmond stores.
The following description of office occupations is as broad as pos­
sible and based on department-store functions.
Merchandising division.
This division has the responsibility of “buving the right merchan­
dise in the right amounts at the right time, so that it will sell readily
10 Idem.




30

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

and produce a fair profit.”11 Buyers and heads of stock for the various
selling departments work closely with this division. Receptionists
in the division receive outside salesmen and arrange appointments
with buyers. The division keeps a daily control record for each selling
department of merchandise on order, sold, and on hand. Control
clerks or stock tellers (classified in the Women’s Bureau tables as stock
clerks) and statistical clerks prepare and analyze lists of sizes, price
ranges, colors, weights, units, and so forth of merchandise on hand
in the various departments. Supervisors in this office may give pre­
liminary authorizations for the amount of money buyers want to spend
on the basis of these control figures and analyses. General clerks,
some of whom may be called buyers’ clerks, do filing, posting, typing;
calculating-machine operators aid in the computing of statistics and
the figuring of mark-ups or mark-downs of merchandise. Checking of
bills, confirmation forms, price-change forms, may be part of the
duties of general clerks. One of the functions of this division is to
keep abreast of developments in the merchandising field. To aid in
this, comparison shoppers may be employed to compare merchandise
as to quality, quantity, style, and price with that of competing stores.
Advertising and display division.
.
This division publicizes and promotes the merchandise and services
offered by the store. It employs professional as well as clerical work­
ers for the writing and designing of advertising copy for newspapers,
magazines, and fliers and the designing and arranging of window or
store displays. The clerical employees include copy writers (classed
by the Women’s Bureau as special office workers or as supervisors,
depending on the responsibility they carry) ; general clerks who type
copy, keep files, make requisitions for and keep records of supplies for
store decorations or window displays, keep schedules of decorators’
hours and whereabouts, type listings of window changes, and send
out special advertising matter; and messengers.
Store-management division.
Store management comprises the entire selling organization; cus­
tomer services such as information bureau, shopping service and mail­
order department; alterations and repairs; service desk and adjust­
ment bureau; the receiving, storing, and delivery of merchandise; the
maintenance and protection of building, equipment, and merchandise;
and the personnel department.
All selling departments require clerical help such as cashiering and
inspecting (to which may be added the function of wrapping), done
on the floor or in a central tube room, some messenger service, ex­
change-desk service, and adjustment service. Heads of stock in the
selling departments perform clerical as well as supervisory duties in
keeping records and filling out requisition slips. Some selling de­
partments may require special clerical help; for example, a book de­
partment’s subscription clerk, who keeps records of subscriptions,
writes to publishers, writes follow-ups to customers as well as giving
them information concerning new publications; or the curtain and up­
holstery or carpet and linoleum departments, which require an esti­
mator to figure costs on the basis of measurements and keep records
” Crawford, A. B., and S. T. Clement (eds.).
versity. 1032. p. 475.




The Choice of an Occupation.

Yale Uni­

WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

31

from which estimates may be made. Tearooms or restaurants may
require general clerical help for typing menus, tabulating expense
records, and so forth; beauty or hairdressing parlors require an
appointment clerk to schedule and keep records of appointments as
well as to file records and notes on service rendered and to act as
cashier; storage departments for rugs, coats, or furs may require a
general clerk to receive or give out goods, make and file records, make
out receipts, handle correspondence. Alteration and repair depart­
ments require a general clerk to keep records of alterations, the time
they come in, when they are to be finished, and the time they leave the
department.
In the mail-order and shopping service of a large store, which
handles orders and inquiries coming in by mail or telephone, general
clerks read, sort, and type orders on schedule forms to be distributed
to personal shoppers or individual departments and keep records
of all sales made through this department. Some of these clerks
may do some personal shopping as part of their duties. Correspond­
ents answer inquiries concerning merchandise, requests for samples,
or exchange of merchandise bought through the department, write
instructions concerning exchanges, keep a file of orders and corre­
spondence. A dispatcher sees that mail bags are filled and sent out
to the post office, attends to the weighing and correct stamping of mail.
The cashier for this department has the additional task of filling in
form letters to accompany any necessary cash refunds.
The adjustment bureau may require a number of clerical employees
in addition to the supervisor or head of the bureau on whom rests
the final responsibility in settling complaints and claims. General'
clerks may interview customers and make the less difficult adjustments
and open all packages returned by customers to see if they should be
credited, while adjustment clerks■ may trace all the facts and data and
make the more difficult adjustments. Correspondents handle all letters
concerning adjustments, and stenographers or typists make reports
of cases and their settlement and file these. Any of these clerks may
make out credit and refund slips, or slips for merchandise returned or
to be called for by the delivery department.
The receiving department receives and unpacks merchandise, checks
it against the invoice, inspects it for damage, puts price markers on
it or sends it to the correct stockroom where it is marked. Workers
in this department may have duties both clerical and nonclerical but
those employees whose duties are mainly or solely the handling of
stock were omitted from the Women’s Bureau survey. Department
stores with a variety of bulky merchandise have a warehouse section,
which both stores and delivers or ships merchandise. Clerical em­
ployees may have duties that include the keeping of shipping records,
and the tracing of goods not received or the handling of goods re­
turned. The warehouse may need a clerical employee who can operate
a telautograph or teletype machine by which messages and orders con­
cerning merchandise can be transmitted to and from the store. Gen­
eral clerks in this office may make out, sign, and file requisition slips,
file merchandise invoices, send records concerning merchandise re­
ceived to the merchandising division. Stock tellers keep records for
different selling departments, make out slips for returns of merchan­
dise, sign in stock, may take inventory, may sort marking tickets.




32

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKER'S IN 194 0

Clerical employees in the delivery department may include route
clerks or dispatchers, record clerks,. shipping clerks, sorting clerks,
adjustment clerks or claim correspondents,
clerks, and file clerks.
Examples of their many duties are: To sort and route packages and
mark each with a route number; to handle packages requiring special
attention or packages that have been returned or that drivers have
been unable to deliver, and to make records of the disposition of such
items; to handle packages that are to be weighed and shipped by mail
or express and notify the sales department of shipping costs; to sort
and file delivery records; to dispatch rush or special-delivery pack­
ages; to handle and keep records of claims resulting from damaged
or lost goods or of transportation overcharges; to quote shipping
rates for various types of merchandise, consolidate less than carload
lots into pool cars, compile rate information for railroad and Inter­
state Commerce Commission hearings, and to audit transportation
expense bills.
_
The supply and maintenance department has responsibility for
purchasing supplies other than merchandise—office supplies of all
kinds, supplies for rest rooms, for store decorations, and so forth—
and for the care and maintenance of the store, store offices, customer
facilities, and services. Clerical workers in this department include
stock clerks, or stock tellers or supplies clerks, who keep records of
office and store supplies and are responsible for replenishing supplies
or bringing to the attention of the department head the need for sup­
plies. The telephone operators serving the entire store may be con­
sidered part of the clerical employees of this department.
The personnel department, which has charge of employing and
training the entire working force, is an important part of the storemanagement division. Clerical workers in this department are classed
mainly as general clerks, as they may.handle a variety of jobs—taking
telephone calls from different departments for extra personnel, inter­
viewing applicants, filing applications, notifying extras to come in to
work, typing and filing employees’ service records, opening and dis­
tributing mail of the department, typing form letters, assigning lockers
and keys to employees. The time office may be part of this depart­
ment, with a timekeeper as well as general record clerks who distribute
and collect time cards and may compute time worked of employees
before sending the time cards to the pay office.
Finance and control division.
The finance and control division is responsible for the financing of
the business as well as all accounting and auditing, the handling of
credit to customers, and the collection of outstanding accounts. Most
of the office jobs in retail trade are in this division. The work car­
ried on may be described under six headings or departments:
Cashier’s department—In retail trade there are numerous clerical
employees who receive cash payments from customers, make change,
inspect and check merchandise against the sales slip, and in many
cases wrap the merchandise. Such clerks working on the sales floor
are usually called cashier-wrappers, but others who receive cash pay­
ments, change money, and return cash and receipted bills by a pneu­
matic tube system are designated as tube-room cashiers. Some cash­
iers may prepare and distribute money to floor and tube-room cashiers
in the morning and collect it during or at the close of day and count




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

33

And balance it. Service-clerk cashiers issue money orders, gift cer­
tificates, and credit stamps, cash travelers checks, issue credits and
refunds, and sell change to floor cashiers.
Credit office—This office handles the opening of charge accounts
keeps records of accounts, decides on extension of credit, and attends
to the collection of delinquent accounts. Credit managers, inter­
viewers, credit clerks, and bookkeepers receive applications for credit
investigate references and financial status of applicants or refer to
history cards of accounts in extending credit to regular customers
hll out contract forms when goods are sold under contract, and keep
records of dates when payments are due. Statement or collection
clerks send out statements when accounts are overdue- delinquent
accounts may be handled by a debt collector (who visits the custom­
ers) or may be turned over to a collection agency. Collection clerks
also record monthly reports on accounts, audit monthly settlements
and check reports and bank checks. Complaint or adjustment clerks
adjust complaints about bills, trace errors, and change the bill when
necessary. Record clerks keep a record of the numbers on identify­
ing coins issued to charge customers.
J
Accounts-receivable department—This department issues custom­
ers bills monthly. The majority of employees in this department
ar% billing clerks, or billing-machine operators. There are also hand
and machine bookkeepers, entry clerks, and bookkeeping clerks to
keep the individual customer’s monthly accounts up-to-date
Accounts-payahle department—This department pays hills owing
by the store and keeps records of disbursements by departments’
Bookkeeping clerks check, add, post, and file bills, and- compute dis­
counts; individual clerks may be responsible for maintaining a specibed ledger, posting and balancing individual accounts. The work of
tabulating bills, computing departmental costs, or carrying on re­
search to reduce costs may be done in whole or in part by accountants,
accounting clerks, computing-machine operators, or statistical clerks.
Pay-roll department—Here pay-roll clerks or paymasters calculate
wages and salaries, compute commissions, keep Social Security and
other tax records relating to employees, post ledgers or pay-roll
cards, fill pay envelopes, and keep a record of signatures for receipt
of pay.
1
Aiiditing department—This department examines, checks, and veri­
fies records of all transactions. Sorting clerks sort cash checks
sales slips, and vouchers; checkers check vouchers with salespersons’
tallies; charge clerks or preaudit clerks get daily C. O. I). or charge
totals from vouchers; audit clerks keep daily and weekly records of
cash, charge, or C. O. D. sales, add and audit sales checks, balance
audit sheets, deduct credits from salespersons’ records; statistical
clerks compute time spent by specific salespersons in various depart­
ments, tabulate costs by department, and compile statistics for pur­
poses of comparison and analysis.
1
PRINTING AND PUBLISHING
Sr0ups for which statistical summaries are published in
the 1939 Census of Manufactures, the group “printing, publishing,
and allied industries” shows by far the highest proportion of clerical
as compared to managerial and wage-earning employees and by itself




34

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

accounts for nearly one-fifth of the clerks in all manufacturing indus­
tries combined. The office employees in the industry are predomi­
nantly women. In Philadelphia in the present study women’s propor­
tion was 78 percent of the total, and in the three other cities with
figures available it was from 60 to 77 percent.
_
Because of its significance in the employment of clerical workers
and its outstanding place in the industrial life of Philadelphia, an
analysis of the printing and publishing business with reference to the
duties of the office workers employed is presented in the followingpages.
...
Production in the industry is concentrated heavily in the news­
paper and periodical branches and a few of the larger book and job
printing plants, but general commercial job printing claims the larg­
est number of establishments. The organization for office work dif­
fers with each branch. The office occupations in three of them—
general commercial job printing, newspaper publishing, and period­
ical publishing—will be discussed here.
GENERAL COMMERCIAL JOB PRINTING

Job printing is, for the most part, made up of small firms, but
it is one of the most important small-unit manufacturing industries
in the United States. Many of the concerns specialize in one or
two different types of printing, such as labels, catalogs, direct mail
advertising, and the like. Though most of them are small, job­
printing plants may vary in size from the one-man shop equipped
with a press and a few cases of type, to huge establishments using
batteries of typesetting machines and presses costing hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
In 1939, general commercial job printing claimed nearly twofifths of the printing and publishing establishments in the United
States with products valued at $5,000 _ or more, but the value
of its products amounted to only one-fifth of the total value for
the group as a whole. In Philadelphia in 1939 nearly half of the
printing and publishing establishments with products valued at
$5,000 or more were in the general commercial job printing field,
but the value of their products amounted to not quite one-sixth of
the total for the industry.
_
Most printing is sold on credit in a largely local market. Fur­
ther, printing usually is done to order, and like most nondurable
goods it is consumed within a short time after manufacture and
fs of value only to the person for whom it is intended. Add to this
the fact that the printing industry, with its many small units, is
subject to intense competition, and it becomes clear that each estab­
lishment, in order to prosper, must keep careful accounts, especially
in regard to costs, must employ a competent estwyitor, and must
maintain complete and accurate credit data with an efficient
follow-up system.
.
For many years the United Typothetae of America, the large and
active master-printers’ trade association, has been studying the
estimating and cost-finding problems of the industry, and its mem­
bership has been using the association’s Standard Uniform Cost­
Finding System for Printers originally approved and accepted in
1910. For this reason, in printing offices of fair size there is at least




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES—PHILADELPHIA

35

one cost clerk, who, according to the outline of the cost-finding sys­
tem, ascertains hourly costs of each department’s hand and machine
operations, records the amount of time on each order and on each
operation, shows the number of productive and of nonproductive
hours by department, and indicates total and average output. Such
figures allow periodic analysis of where factory operations are in­
creasing or decreasing in cost, whether there is a profit or loss on any
order, and where efficiency is low. Many of these cost clerks take
the United Typothetae’s cost-finding course; in any case they are
skilled in the cost-finding operations peculiar to the printing trade.
In addition to other accounting or bookkeeping duties, in many
cases they have the responsibility of estimating the price to be
charged for each order. Estimating and cost clerks must know
the quality and prices of supplies, especially ink and paper, and
must have a thorough grasp of plant operations.
Some printing firms, laboring under severe competitive conditions,
go even farther in their effort to cut and evaluate costs by employing
production planners and methods clerks. The former usually organ­
ize and follow the procedure of work through the factory and keep
records concerning the time it takes for each job to be completed
in each department (as described for cost clerks, above) ; the latter
may take care of routing work also, but specialize in making time
studies. This requires a good deal of training and experience with
printing methods and machines, for it is based on a technical
knowledge of such things as the speed of the presses.
Timekeeping and pay-roll work often are performed by the same
person, and in printing plants of any size the timekeeping especially
is important, since not only the pay roll but the accurate analysis
of labor and production costs depends on it.
The remaining jobs in the business office are similar to those in any
small manufacturing concern. Hand billing clerks and more infre­
quently billing-machine operators or billing typists prepare and send
out customers’ statements. Hand or machine bookkeepers keep the
general books and may, in some offices, prepare the pay roll and
monthly bills. Both billing and bookkeeping clerks may perform
other clerical duties, such as filing, checking, and even stenography
and typing.
In the larger companies there are likely to be several secretaries,
stenographers, and messengers, a PBX operator who may also have
the duties of receptionist, order entry clerks who may correspond
with customers, invoice checkers, mail clerks, and a credit and office
manager. The last named sometimes does the firm’s accounting.
Especially in those companies governed by the cost-finding system
of the United Typothetae, stock handling is kept as a separate
department, and its total expense is prorated to each job or depart­
ment in proportion to the cost of materials used. The stock records
therefore are kept carefully by a stock clerk or clerks who also keep
the purchasing agent posted concerning the status of the firm^
inventory.
In small concerns the officials of the company usually do the pur­
chasing, though in some small shops a clerk may have the responsi­
bility of ordering part of the supplies. When purchasing agents are
employed they assume complete responsibility for buying, on the basis
of a knowledge of qualities and prices. The purchasing agent must




36

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

keep a record of stocks with, the aid of stock clerks, and from time
to time must check the average stock needs with inventory.
Shipping, like stock keeping, often is in a separate department,
following the recommendations of the standard cost-finding system.
Some firms employ shipping clerks, who may be designated as office
rather than labor force, since an important part of their work con­
sists of keeping records. The largest printing plants use office
workers in the composing rooms as copy holders and proofreaders.
The copy holder reads aloud to a proofreader from the original
manuscript, citing all punctuation. The proofreader corrects the
proof as the copy holder reads to him, using proofreader’s marks
to indicate the errors that must be corrected. In small shops, when
proofs are pulled, the compositor often reads proof, assisted by a
printer’s helper or one of the other workers. The especially em­
ployed copy holder and proofreader in printing plants, unlike those
in publishing houses, are not required to have more than a highschool education and intelligent alertness. The proofreader is the
more skilled and responsible of the two. He must learn the proof­
reader’s symbols and possess a reasonable knowledge of language
and of printing. Neither copy holder nor proofreader in the print­
ing plant is in any way responsible for the subject matter printed.
Their job is merely to see that no printer’s errors have crept into the
Few printing plants have all the office workers mentioned here, but
some have an even greater variety. The office force of one plant
visited by a Women’s Bureau agent consisted of a hand bookkeeper
who also ran the billing machine, a stenographer who had many
miscellaneous clerical duties as well, and the usual cost clerk. An­
other firm, however, was found to employ 8 cost clerks, 8 stenog­
raphers, 3 pay-roll clerks, 5 secretaries, 2 junior methods clerks, 2
hand billing clerks, 1 hand bookkeeper, 1 bookkeeping-machine op­
erator, a computing-machine operator, a receptionist, and a telephone
operator.

NEWSPAPER PUBLISHING

Newspaper publishing, with less than three-tenths of all the plants
in printing and publishing in the United States, nevertheless em­
ployed well over half the clerks, according to the 1939 Census of
Manufactures. Philadelphia supports over 30 newspaper-publishing
plants, of which 5 represent the city’s large metropolitan daily Eng­
lish press and 6 the daily foreign-language press.
The largest newspapers usually are printed where they are pub­
lished, comprising two highly technical industries under one roof.
A few daily papers, however, are printed in the plants of rival
publications, and recently the trend has been for two newspapers in
a city, usually a morning and an evening paper, to print in a single
plant. At any rate, the printing of the ordinary daily paper is
closely connected with its publication.
The entire process involves several departments, m each of which
may be found representatives of the numerous office workers in the
industry. In 1939 one-third of the employees in newspaper-pub­
lishing plants in the United States were clerks, in spite of the fact
that large-scale printing operations with many mechanical workers
are included in the total group employed,




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

37

In the news department, material for each day’s paper is gath­
ered and prepared for publication. The editorial department is
devoted to the interpretation of the facts in daily happenings. The
business department usually administers the paper’s promotion and
distribution, solicits and prepares local and national advertising,
and attends to the many details of accounting, financing, and pur­
chasing. The mechanical department handles the myriad of details
connected with the actual physical making of the paper, and there
is often a separate executive office that carries on over-all super­
vision of the paper’s operations.
Business department.
. Circulation division.—The larger the newspaper the more complex
its business organization. As a paper grows, the number of
its business and mechanical employees far exceeds that of the news
and editorial departments. On even the smallest newspapers the
business department has at least three principal divisions, and on the
largest newspapers there may be six or more. The most important
of these, from the point of view of the newspaper’s continued exist­
ence as well as the size of clerical staff, is the circulation division.
A daily newspaper, especially of the size to be found in Philadelphia
and even in much smaller cities, is organized to serve three distinct
groups of readers: (1) Those residing in the city of publication, (2)
those who live in the nearby trade areas, (3) those wTho, though
living at a distance, are interested in the paper because of former
residence or for other reasons.
In serving the first two circulation media account clerks or circulalation bookkeepers in the department keep a record of all papers sent
to and returned by street carriers and drivers and by county sales­
men or agents; and, perhaps with additional personnel, they may
record the payments received and perform the necessary follow-up
work. In some instances there are pay-roll clerks in the circulation
department who keep a record of sales agents’ commissions and are
responsible for their pay roll. City subscription clerks or telephone
clerks take orders for the regular delivery of the newspaper to home
or office. Their work consists of making the necessary number of
copies of each subscription order and turning them over to carrier,
collector, and so forth. They may also answer questions about sub­
scriptions and take complaints concerning the delivery of the paper,
referring these complaints to the proper persons.
Newspapers mailed to subscribers require the services of a much
larger office force per paper sold than those delivered by carrier,
street salesman, or county sales agent. First of all, several copies
must be made of the subscription order, checked with the subscrib­
er’s letter for spelling of name and address.
With the use of the order slips, circulation clerks keep current the
daily and weekly mailing lists of subscribers and, as they are in­
formed of changes of address or of subscription status, they must
make the necessary changes in the lists. The lists of addresses often
are m the form of plates, filed by application date so that renewal
notices and promotion literature may be mailed promptly, sometimes
by special renewal cTerks. _ In smaller establishments the circulation
clerks are charged with this duty.
Certain operators run a machine that records the impression of




38

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

each subscriber’s name, address, and subscription expiration date on
plates for use in the addressing machine. Others run off the names
and addresses of subscribers onto the papers to be mailed each day
or week by feeding the metal plates and the newspapers into the
addressing machine. A mail clerk routes and disposes of the news­
papers and of all other outgoing mail when addressing has been
completed. These groups of office workers in what is often called
the mail or list room—order and circulation clerks and the various
machine operators—ordinarily require special supervision by mail
subscription managers.
Entry clerks record the money received from subscribers, and rate
clerks verify the amounts of the bills to be sent, prepare credits on
them, and route them to billers.
There may be clerks in the circulation department who prepare
route reports for the drivers’ distribution sheets and calculate for the
pressmen, from information provided by the circulation manager, the
number of papers needed each day.
A special clerk and typist sometimes is given the responsibility of
getting orders ready and sending for garment or needlework patterns
requested by subscribers, a common city newspaper service and one
of the most popular woman’s page features.
Advertising division.—Advertising, especially in this country, has
become vital to the prosperity of the average daily newspaper and an
indispensable means of maintaining and increasing the distribution
of all types of goods and services. There are several kinds of news­
paper advertising, of which the most important are the national
and local display and classified types. Some newspapers carry pro­
motional advertising also, calling readers’ attention to their own
offerings and merits in order to increase circulation and consequently
their value to advertisers. Still another division of the advertising
department often found in local newspapers is advertising sales pro­
motion, through which various devices such as cooking schools, food
shows, and the like are organized to stimulate advertising and then
make that advertising more effective.
National, sometimes called foreign, advertising usually is placed
through advertising agencies or directly by the manufacturers and
distributors of the products. It is concerned with nationally handled
goods or services marketed or distributed through local outlets.
When an order for national display advertising is received, the
procedure for filling it involves, in general, the following office
operations: Typists or order clerks prepare several order forms with
full instructions, copies of which are sent to the advertising director
of the composing room and to the accounting department; one copy
is retained by the advertising department itself. A correspondent
and stenographer attend to the acknowledgment of orders and any
other correspondence with advertising agencies and national adver­
tisers. Clerks type records concerning the kinds of ads requested,
their lineage, and the like, and keep current files of this material!
An additional person may head this group and prepare statistical
reports with the data compiled. There is often a special scheduledesk man who receives all mats and cuts for advertising, writes the
display tickets for them, and sends the material to the composing
room.




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

39

The local display advertising is placed by the department stores
and other retailers operating in the area of the newspaper’s greatest
circulation. The growth of department and specialty stores has
paralleled that of the newspapers. As the stores have prospered,
the newspapers have profited extensively by their advertising. This
local advertising requires the services of many office employees.
Order clerks take the advertising orders over the phone, forward
them to the advertising detail clerks, and dispatch copy boys to
pick up advertising copy at various points in the city. The ad
clerks write up the advertising orders and schedule clerks assemble
all the information required by these orders and prepare them for
the composing room. The schedule clerks may take proof correc­
tions by telephone and keep a record of the ads in preparation at
any given time. Sometimes there are special ad and schedule clerks
for the engraving work ordered, and there is at times an additional
clerk who has the job of keeping track of the lineage that adver­
tising solicitors send in. Copy hoys or -file clerks keep the file of
advertising cuts and mats and pull these when needed by the com­
posing room, and there are the usual stenographers, typists, book­
keepers, and so forth.
Classified advertising also is an important source of income to the
daily newspapers. Much of it is handled by telephone by ad takers,
trained not only in salesmanship but in the ability to help the cus­
tomer word his advertisement in the most efficient, effective, and
economical way. A good deal of classified advertising is sold over
the counter, where counter clerks quote rates, write orders, and keep
a file of accounts, making collections when necessary. There may be
special' counter clerks who, in addition to this work, keep individuals’
collection records. Sometimes there is a counter cashier who is re­
sponsible for the cash received at the counter and for the daily cash
report. Other clerks write orders for ads that come through the
mail.
Schedule clerks prepare the order slips for the composing room,
scanning them for proper classification and specifying their length
and position in the paper. They may also beep the order files. Ad­
ditional clerks receive the ads that are returned from the composing
room and check them off to make certain that all the original ad copy
comes back.
There are often separate credit clerks who check the ads against
credit lists, approve them, and then number and price them. Line­
age-record clerks keep a running record of lineage used by adver­
tisers, while billers, usually typists, make out bills for ads sold on
credit and bookkeepers keep the classified monthly ad accounts.
Some newspapers employ a statistical cl'erk, who measures the inches
of advertising in each of the city’s newspapers and makes a daily
comparison report, using also data from the same day in the previous
year. The same clerk may compute the proportion of advertising
as compared with news in the paper for a report required by the
Government.
Some of the larger papers support a research division, in many
cases connected with the advertising department. Its object is to
survey the market area of the newspaper, compile facts about it for
publication, and use these facts in presenting the case of the news­




40

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

paper before display advertisers and advertising agencies. A special
effort to attract advertisers is often made through contests of various
kinds, the sponsorship of cooking schools, and the like.
Promotion work is carried on to advertise the newspaper itself
in the interest of increased circulation. Some of the ways in which
this is done include, for example, offering reliable insurance at bar­
gain rates; operating a radio station or using a radio station exten­
sively for presenting news; adding editorial features and playing
up new and old editorial features by means of advertisements, post­
ers, and so forth; running popularity and other kinds of contests;
and interesting those newsboys with regular routes in the circulation
boosting program by means of honors, prizes, and trips.
All these promotion plans, whether concerned with attracting
advertisers or attracting subscribers, require office staff, ranging from
supervisors to messengers.
_
_
General business office.—The general business office is responsible
for keeping financial records and accounts and in this capacity may
take over most of the record and bookkeeping activities described
in the foregoing in connection with circulation and advertising. It
makes collections, passes on credit, distributes the mail, makes the
necessary purchase of supplies, materials, and services, prepares the
pay roll, receives and pays out money, and keeps the individual
departments and divisions within their budgets.
Besides an office manager and the usual clerks and messengers,
special assistants are required for this office. Cashiers record the
money coming in over the counter, by mail, from carriers, and
from collectors. Cash accounting clerks may be employed who
hand-post ledger accounts and operate a general cash drawer. A
special paymaster may have charge of disbursing accounts payable
and pay checks, while the cashier’s division may include also the
clerks who perform the pay-roll detail work and keep the Social
Security records.
.
Some papers have special credit or collections divisions in which
a credit manager supervises all such matters, and clerks keep the
credit accounts and type collection letters. Rate clerks rate adver­
tising for the typist billers or billing-machine operators. Often rate
scales or cards are provided to help these clerks, but such aids seldom
cover all the many variations the clerks may encounter. The matters
of line, position, class of advertising, whether color or any special
service is involved, whether the advertiser is a regular or intermittent
user of space, and many other factors must be taken into account
in setting rates.
,
The paper’s own purchasing often is supervised by a purchasing
agent. Stock clerks keep a record of all materials received and an
inventory that shows the amounts consumed daily. This work is
particularly important for the analysis of costs.
Hand and machine bookkeepers and audit clerks, under the direc­
tion of an auditor and comptroller or an accountant, keep the general
and special ledgers. Since the emphasis of the cost system in news­
paper management is on the control of production rather than the
determination of price as in printing, there may be a production
manager, who, from the information provided by the accounting
procedures, checks production costs and assumes the responsibility
of all production activities.




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES—PHILADELPHIA

41

Other departments.
Many newspapers have their own PBX boards, which require the
services of one or more special operators. Since the telephone is an
important medium through which the newspaper meets its public, and
new advertising and subscriptions are amassed each day, it is impor­
tant that the operators be well trained and efficient.
In the executive, news, and editorial departments, the editorial and
copy writers, and the copy readers, rewrite men, and so forth, are
professional, and unlike professional-clerical workers such as ac­
countants they do Dot hold a clerical type of job common to many
kinds of office. Often connected with the editorial department, how­
ever, are the morgue and library, in which clipping and -file clerks,
classed m this survey as “special office workers, clip and file articles
on celebi lties, events, and the like, for the use of the news and edi­
torial writers.
Office workers are employed in only one division on the mechanical
side of newspaper publishing, and that is the composing room, where
copy holders read the original copy to compositors or proofreaders
as noted tor print shops in earlier pages of this analysis.
though most of the functions described here are necessary for
small as well as large daily papers and even for weeklies, they usually
are handled by a much smaller staff. Executive and professional
personnel may perform many of the clerical duties, and the office
workers take care of a variety of special tasks.
PERIODICAL PUBLISHING

The office occupations in periodical publishing resemble those in
newspaper printing and publishing. The two industries differ most
the relative need for office personnel in different departments
this discussion is concerned primarily with periodical publishing
carried on for profit rather than to publicize some special idea, atti­
tude, or program.
Circulation department.
The modern magazine, like the modern newspaper, depends on two
sources for its profit: Circulation and advertising. Among the mag­
azines most widely distributed the retail price does not cover the
manufacturing cost even when circulation reaches millions, but large
circulation is important for drawing advertisers, who in most cases
actually control the volume of profit earned.
Unlike the local daily newspaper, most periodical sales occur at
a distance from the place where the product is published, so that more
extensive office activity usually is necessary to promote and keep track
of the sales of wholesalers, individual agents, and street carriers, and
especially to maintain an up-to-date subscription file. For this
reason, periodical-publishing plants often have several circulationdepartment divisions, of which the largest is the subscription division.
1 his is composed of the routine clerks mentioned in connection with
newspaper publishing, that is, subscription or circulation and renewal
clerks who keep the subscription files, order writers or typists and
machine operators who prepare the address mats and use them for
each mailing. The work of the subscription clerk, however, may be
considerably broken down in the larger plants. For instance, there
may be change clerks who record subscription and address changes;




42

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

look-up clerks who check for duplication, expiration, and the like
before journals are sent out or new subscriptions are entered; list
clerks who put together and arrange the lists of subscribers for each
mailing; and clearing-desk clerks .who examine these lists for errors
of legibility and completeness. Adjustment clerks find the answer
to claims or questions mailed in by subscribers and advise corre­
spondents as to reply. Telephone clerks take and answer calls con­
cerning subscription problems. Supervisors, typists, stenographers,
file clerks, and messengers obviously are among the variety of people
who are a part of this large army of subscription workers. The en­
tire subscription department is subject to considerable seasonal fluc­
tuation in employment before Christmas when many extras are taken
on for about two months.
Another group connected with circulation work keeps track of
street and other sales and services of the various agents. Corre­
spondents answer agents’ questions and send them general informa­
tion. Control or credit clerks examine their accounts to determine
their credit status with the company, and, on the basis of this, whether
to hold or send periodicals. Record clerks see that agents have filled
out the necessary bond forms and that these are clear and on file.
Prize clerks check, compute, and keep track of the commissions and
prizes of regional salesmen. Others provide new agents with mate­
rials and information concerning subscription terms.
Unsold-copy or return clerks count the magazine headings that are
returned and classify them by issue and place from which received,
while statistical clerks, on the basis of these and other data, are able
to compute daily how many copies have been sold in widely separated
localities. This audit makes possible the prediction of the volume of
sale of the following issue and its print order, through analysis
of the daily rate of sale of the current issue. This estimate, that
usually can be computed within a surprisingly small margin of error,
is made possible only by the complete return privilege of unsold
copies extended to all sales outlets. In the smnmer of each year
extra clerks often are employed to add these sales figures to the
subscription count, that a systematic report may be made of the
quantity, quality, and distribution of the circulation. This informa­
tion is compiled for the Audit Bureau of Circulation, a voluntary
cooperative organization of publishers, advertisers, and advertising
agencies, organized to protect publishers from unscrupulous competi­
tion for advertising and advertisers from publishers misrepresenting
the quality and quantity of their circulation and distribution.
Completing the personnel in the circulation department are occa­
sional hilling- and bookkeeping-machine operators and the usual
supervisors and typists, stenographers, and so forth.
In the smaller companies, some of the activities described are car­
ried on by a less varied staff and others are not necessary. Sub-'
scription clerks, for example, may operate the various machines and
take care of inquiries relating to subscriptions, in addition to their
regular work of keeping the subscription files up to date and mailing
renewal notices.
Advertising department.
Few periodical-publishing firms issue the classified or purely local
advertising that is so important to the daily newspaper. For the




WORK IN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIES---- PHILADELPHIA

43

most, part their advertising is national and demands a good deal more
of engraving, lithographing, and other special services. The clerical
personnel required to service national advertising, however, is sub­
stantially the same. Hie larger the circulation and more extensive
the advertising, the more numerous are the office workers employed.
Circulation and advertising promotion of various kinds is carried
on by some periodical publishers as well as by newspapers. Expen­
sive promotion work, however, is not usually considered expedient
in the light of results. The activities on the circulation side consist
mostly of mailing circular letters to former subscribers or those whose
subscriptions will expire soon. On the advertising side are the re­
search departments—fairly common—in which statistical and anal­
ysis clerks* assisted bv the usual clerical personnel, compile, record,
and analyze data, and draftsmen express these data in chart form.
Business and accounting department.
In most important respects, the general business and accounting
office in the periodical-publishing industry have the same functions
as those in the newspaper field, but in the larger publishing houses
many supervisors of various kinds are required to direct and check
the work of the numerous clerks.
It is significant that credit-authorizing functions are not so exten­
sive in periodical as in newspaper publishing. Most advertising is
placed by large agencies or companies whose credit is unquestioned,
and subscriptions ordinarily are prepaid. Only agents’ accounts re­
quire consistent checking. Because many more subscriptions are sent
through the mail from a distance, however, periodical in comparison
with newspaper publishing supports milch larger mail-opening-anddistributing departments, with their sorting, marking, messenger, and
other clerical personnel, and more correspondents and cleiks who
address, stuff, and stamp envelopes.
Other departments.
Most periodical-publishing plants, unlike the newspapers, do not
print their own journals, though the larger plants tend to do so. In
the latter, as in the large newspaper units, paper and ink are the
most important items for which careful purchasing and cost analysis
are necessary. Consequently, in some plants separate control depart­
ments are in operation in which the ordering and cost work on these
materials is performed. A few plants also support time-study and
other production standardization surveys for which statistical clerks
especially are needed. The mechanical divisions engaged in the
printing of the periodicals employ record clerks, messengers and
stenographic personnel. The composing room, which is one of these,
requires a special copy and galley clerk, who is in charge of keeping
an accurate account of the whereabouts of all manuscripts and <mh
leys, and copy holders who assist the proofreaders. The proof­
readers in periodical-publishing houses, unlike those in the ordinary
job-printing plant, usually are of professional caliber, for which
reason they were not scheduled as office workers in the Women’s
Bureau study.
The editorial office workers are largely in the stenographic class
except for occasional receptionists, clerks, and messengers.
The larger periodical-publishing houses may support, in addition
a central personnel department.
4G64540—42____ 4




EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE OF OFFICE
WORKERS
Educational status.
More than two-thirds of the 217 firms that specified certain edu­
cational standards in hiring office workers expressed a preference
for high-school-trained personnel. Very few require college back­
ground, and these only in the case of employees who are expected
soon to assume positions of administrative or other special responsi­
bility. About half the offices reporting prefer that their beginners
have had a business course. This obviously is necessary for typists,
stenographers, and machine operators, whose work requires specific
skills.
From the actual data transcribed by Women’s Bureau agents it
is found that nearly 8 in 10 of the women and 7 in 10 of the men
for whom education is reported have some high-school training but
have not been to college. Three-fifths of the women who did not go
beyond high school, but only about one-half of such men, were
graduated. On the other hand, a larger proportion of men than of
women have a college degree or some college training; 15 percent
of the men as against 9 percent of the women have college work to
their credit, 6 as against 4 percent were graduated. In contrast, 11
in 100 of the women, and 16 in 100 of the men, chiefly older workers
who have been with their firms many years, have no schooling beyond
the grammar grades.
Though data on special training could not be secured in all cases,
it is significant that at least 3 in i0 women and almost 2 in 10 men
have taken some business courses.
For a group of 2,157 employees who took additional school work,
such as a correspondence course, amount of such schooling has been
tabulated by type of office in which the workers are employed. The
data indicate that finance and insurance and manufacturing are far
ahead in the proportion of workers reporting additional education.
Education and occupation.
Women.—Women in the stenographic group show a higher propor­
tion graduated from high school, about 2 in 3, than those in any other
general occupational class. Secretaries have the most schooling; only
4 in 100 stopped with grammar school, and five times that many went
to college. In the stenographic group as a whole, 7 in 100 left school
after the grammar grades and 11 in 100 went to college.
Nearly a fifth of the women in the accounting group went only to
grammar school. About three-fourths went beyond grammar school
but not to college; over two-fifths of those who went to high school
did not graduate. In this group of accounting, audit, and bookkeep­
ing clerks, hand bookkeepers, and cashiers or tellers, the accounting
clerks have the least schooling; one-fourth have only grammar-school
training and more than half of those who went as far as high school
were not graduated.
,

44




EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE----PHILADELPHIA

45

Women machine operators have the smallest proportion with college
training, only 3 in every 100, but more than 80 in every 100 went to
high school. A higher proportion of key-punch operators than of
those operating other machines were graduated from high school.
In the group “other clerks,” 15 percent have only elementary schoolmg, 78 percent went to high school, and the remainder took some
college work. For individual occupations these proportions are quite
different. Among order and shipping clerks, telephone operators,
and tube, cash, and service-desk clerks in retail stores, from 23 to 35
m every 100 have no high-school training. On the other hand, about
95 percent of the women messengers or office girls went to high school,
nearly 80 peicent being graduates. A larger proportion of women
receptionists than of any other occupation went to college, 27 in every
100; only 4 in 100 receptionists went no farther than elementary
school. Other jobs m which women with higher education are found
most frequently are the positions of actuarial clerk, statistical clerk,
and trouble dispatcher (sometimes called “service-desk clerk”) in
public-utility companies. The receptionist and trouble dispatcher
are required to meet the public, and responsible actuarial and statis­
tical clerks must have mathematical background and ability. In
spite of the relatively large proportions who attended college, leaving
high school without graduating was reported by nearly two-fifths of
the women and half of the men trouble dispatchers, and by about
half of the women and well over two-fifths of the men statistical
clerks.
Men.—In each of the larger general occupational groups, steno­
graphic, accounting, machine operators, and “other clerks,” a greater
proportion of men than of women—considerably greater except in the
stenographic group—attended college. On the other hand, in every
group but bookkeeping and accounting a larger proportion of the men
than of the women have no schooling beyond the elementary level
In the stenographic group, 10 in 100 of the men have only a
grammar-school education, 15 in 100 went to college, the laro-er re­
mainder not beyond high school. Whereas only 11 in 100 women
correspondents went to college, as many as 37 in 100 men
correspondents did so.
Eighteen in 100 men in the accounting group have no high-school
training, about 15 in 100 went to college, and only a little over half
of the two-tlnrds whose maximum education is high school were
graduated. Nearly one-third of the men audit clerks reported no
high-school training.
Of the men machine operators, 16 percent have no high-school edu­
cation, 10 percent took some college work. The billing- and bookkeepmg-machine operators average somewhat higher in education
than others in this group; only 7i/2 percent failed to go beyond
grammar school.
J
The two classes in the group of “other clerks” in which the men
show the least schooling are the highly specialized and responsible
rate clerks and the fairly unspecialized billing, statement, and collectmn clerks. More than two-fifths of the former and almost one-third
of the latter have no high-school education. Almost 28 in every 100
of the credit men went to college; only 7 in 100 did not go beyond
grammar school, but nearly two-fifths did not complete high school
Among the draftsmen four-fifths are at least graduates of high



46

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

19 40

school and one-fourth went to college. All but 9 percent of the
messengers have at least been to high school.
Well over one-fourth of the special office workers attended college.
Though fewer underwriters, the largest group, are college men, almost
half completed high school.
Among both women and men a larger proportion in the steno­
graphic than in any other large group report having taken business
courses.
Education and type of office.
Smaller proportions of employees—women as well as men—in pub­
lic utilities and in retail stores than in other types of office went
beyond grammar school, and much larger proportions in education
and State government than elsewhere went to college, very few show­
ing grammar-school training alone. This situation is related not
only to office standards and job requirements, but to the workers’ age
and service with the firm. Nearly three-fourths of the men and over
one-half, of the women in the public-utility group as a whole have
been in the present office at least 10 years; in fact, well over one-half
and three-tenths, respectively, have been there as long as 15 years.
On the other hand, nearly seven-eighths of the men and more than
three-fifths of the women in the State offices have worked there less
than 3 years. Many of the public-utility employees were taken on
at a time when it was customary for students to leave school after
completing the grammar grades. Today high-school education is
almost universal in urban areas, and college training is not uncom­
mon. In retail stores the office employees are both younger and of
shorter service than average, and the relatively high proportion with
only grammar-school education, 18 percent, is a reflection of the
compensation and requirements for the job.
Place of education.
Of the more than 20,000 office workers in Philadelphia scheduled
by the Women’s Bureau, the place where they attended grammar or
high school was reported for 13,591. As would be expected, 85 in 100
of these went to school in the city or its metropolitan area. A
larger proportion of the men than of the women were educated in
other places.
Experience.
Roughly G in every 100 of the men and women scheduled have been
working in offices less than a year and a similar proportion are under
20 years of age. Just over 20 percent of the women and 17 percent
of the men have 1 and under 5 years of office experience and about
this many are 20 and under 25 years old. More are in the age group
25 and under 30 years than have 5 and under 10 years of experience,
and fewer are in the age group 30 years and more than have been
in office work at least 10 years. About 13 in every 100 women and
10 in every 100 men have had 5 and under 10 years of experience;
50 in 100 women and 66 in 100 men have been working in offices
10 or more years.
Age factor.
About two-thirds of the 334 offices surveyed answered the question
as to the age below or above which employees will not be hired.




EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE—PHILADELPHIA

47

About half the private firms reporting on minimum age said they
had no definite policy. Eighteen is the minimum age in three-fourths
ot the offices reporting, but one-seventh mentioned minimum ages
of 20 to 25. About 1 in 9 of the offices with specific standards reg­
ularly or occasionally employ workers who are less than 18. Only
1 in 6 of all offices reporting have a specific policy with regard to
the maximum age over which they will not engage workers. Six are
Federal offices regulated by Civil Service standards which vary from
position to position and from time to time. Twenty-nine set their
limit anywhere from 22 to 50 years, 3 from 50 to 60.
• ^’OUl ^ 111
workers for whom data were secured
in Philadelphia are under 20 years of age. The women are younger
than the men. Less than two-thirds of the men, but three-fourths^of
the women, are 20 and under 40 years old. About 20 in 100 women
but 30 in 100 men, are 40 years or more.
The railroad and Federal Government offices have considerably
larger proportions of older workers than other offices have. Over
half of the Federal Government workers are 40 years old or more
and men and women are distributed in the various age groups in
about the same proportions. Less than 1 percent are under 20. In
the railroad offices the men are considerably older than the women,
with 70 percent of the men as against 35 percent of the women at
least 40 years of age. There is an even larger proportion, 41 percent,
of women under 25, and less than 10 percent are in the middle groups
of 25 and under 35. This seems to indicate that whereas men have
traditionally been preferred in railroad offices, young women have
recently been taken on, supplementing the group engaged during
the first World War.
Young workers especially are employed in the printing and pub­
lishing houses, the department and apparel stores, and the State
offices. In the first and second of these the men are considerably
younger than the women, 46 and 51 percent of the men, respectively,
compared to 41 and 36 percent of the women, being less than 25.
In all three types of office about 6 in 10 are less than 30.
Women file clerks and typists tend to be young, while women
supervisors, telephone operators, secretaries, and those in the account­
ing group of occupations are considerably above average age. Among
the men the messengers are a very youthful group; more than three^
fourths are less than 25 and over two-fifths are less than 20. Men
stock clerks also are young. Naturally, men wdio are administrative
executive, and clerical-professional employees, special office workers’
statistical clerks, or members of the accounting group are in the’
older classes.
Experience and occupation.
Among the women, file clerks have the least office experience and
secretaries, hand bookkeepers, cashiers, telephone operators, and super­
visors have the most. Less than 4 in 10 of the file clerks but as many
as 9 in 10 of the supervisors and 8 in 10 of the others have been in
office work 10 or more years. Almost 1 in 5 file clerks are beginners
with office experience of under 1 year; less than half have been in’
office work 5 years or more.
In contrast to only 14y2 in 100 in the case of all men reported,




OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

48

19 40

nearly 70 in 100 of the male messengers and 25 in 100 of the stock
clerks have been in office work less than 3 years. More than 9 in 10 of
the administrative and clerical-professional men, nearly 9 in 10 of
the men special office workers, more than 8 in 10 of those in the
accounting group, and between 7 and 8 in 10 of the male statistical
and transit clerks have worked in offices at least 10 years.
In general, except for file clerks among the women and messengers
among the men, the major proportion of both men and women in all
occupations have been in office work at least 5 years. This is true
even of the women typists, who ordinarily are young people.
Table IV.—Total

office experience of employees, by occupation—
PHILADELPHIA
Number
of em­
ployees
reported

Occupation

Percent with total experience of—
Under 1
year

1
3, under 5, under 10 years
5 years 10 years and ovei

1, under
3 years

WOMEN

Other clerks:

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—

Other manufacturing-----

-- ------

5.8

10.6

11.4

13.4

58.7

.6
4.7
7.1

3.3
9.5
13.5

4.5
13.7
15.7

10.9
19.2
14.3

80.7
52.9
49.4

451
241

2.2
.4

5.5
3.3

7.3
5.4

11.1
10.4

73.8
80.5

541
490
340

2.8
3.6
7.9

6.7
8.5
11.2

10.4
13.3
16.8

12.6
17.5
13.2

67.7
57.1
50.9

555
257
272

Accounting group:
Accounting, audit, bookkeeping clerks
Hand bookkeeper; cashier —........... Machine operators:

10,127
1,170
1,491
1,404

Total_________ __________________
Stenographic group:

19.5
6.6
1.5

21.8
13.6
4.8

12.8
12.5
5.1

8.5
14.0
8.8

37.5
53.3
79.8

619
543
410
397
88
811
41

5.0
8.7
9.3
13.6

10.7
12.2
22.0
13.9
6.8
12.8

8.1
10.5
13.4
14.4
11.4
13.2

9.5
6.3
10.7
12.6
40.9
16.5

66.7
62.4
44.6
45.6
40.9
51.9

5.5

MEN

Other clerks:

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—

Government, Federal and State--------

5,806

6.4

8.1

9.1

10.0

66.4

323
1,103
390

Total-----------------------------------------

5.3
.9
2.8

9.9
2.6
7.9

13.9
4.5
9.2

15.2
8.3
11.8

55.7
83.7
68.2

262
317
217
280
212

6.1
45.7
1.8
11.4
3.8

10.3
23.7
4.6
14.3
7.5

13.4
13.9
5.1
16.1
5.7

14.1
4.4
10.1
15.0
9.0

56.1
12.3
78.3
43.2
74.1

801
751
572
108
141
329

3.2
1.3
13.5
.9
8.5
.3

10.1
3.3
14.2
1.9
12.8
1.2

11.9
3.3
16.3
5.6
20.6
1.2

11.1
6. 0
12.2
15.7
9.2
8.5

63.7
8U. 0
43.9
75.9
48.9
88.8

Personnel turn-over.
Experience data secured for approximately two-thirds of the
women and men scheduled indicate that office workers are an extraor­




EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE----PHILADELPHIA

49

dinarily stable group from the point of view of labor turn-over.
More than half of the men and two-fifths of the women for whom
data were available have been with the same firm since they entered
office work. Naturally, most of the beginners are in this grouja,
but 38 in 100 of the women and 47 in 100 of the men vTho have worked
for only one employer have been in office work for an average of 10
years or more. Of those who have worked for more than one com­
pany, almost half have made only one change.
Turn-over and type of office.
There is considerable variation in rate of turn-over in the different
types of office. For example, among the women, fewer than 2 per­
cent in the telegraph companies, but 19 and 24 percent, respectively,
in the manufacturing and miscellaneous small offices, have been with
the firm less than a year. The manufacturing offices (including print­
ing and publishing), the miscellaneous small offices, and the nonprofit
organizations show larger than average proportions of women with
histories of less than 3 years with the firm.
The State government offices, out of all proportion to the rest, report
over 6 in 10 women and nearly 9 in 10 men with service records of
less than 3 years, coupled with an insignificant number employed in
the same office less than 1 year. This is explained by the recent
reorganization of the agencies, in which tremendous turn-over took
place in 1937 and especially in 1938, when most of the present per­
sonnel was engaged, while few additions were made in 1939 or 1940.
Women in the telegraph and education offices have vmrk histories
considerably longer than average, with 70 and 65 percent, respectively,
10 years or more in one office. Besides these, the electric, gas, and
street-railway utilities and the Federal Government report more
than 70 percent of their women employees with service records of at
least 5 years.
Turn-over among the men appears to be greatest in manufacturing,
department and apparel stores, the Federal Government, and the
State offices mentioned above. Men remain longest, on the average,
with the railroad and telephone companies; in fact, 95 percent cf
the men in the railroad offices and 75 percent of those in the tele­
phone companies have worked for the concern 10 years or longer.
This is a reflection of r;gid personnel policies regarding seniority
and advancement.
In genera], women tend to change employment more often than
men do and have shorter work histories. More than half of the
women and nearly two-thirds of the men have been with the same
firm at least 5 years; 31 in 100 women and 25 in 100 men have work
histories of less than 3 years.




50

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKER'S IX

1040

Table V.—Percent

distribution of employees according to length of experience
with present employer, by type of office—PIULADETjPU 1A

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 ami over

WOMEN
11,496

12.2

18.5

13.8

14. 2

41.3

Banks and other finance --------------------Insurance ________ ____ _________
-

1,112
1,715

10.5
13.7

12. 6
16.0

13. 1
11.3

13.5
15.4

f0. 3
43.7

Railroads ----------------- --------- ------------Telephone _
Telegraph
_ - ____________Other public utilities. ________ _______

184
680
231
533

17.4
11.8
1.7
7.3

1.6
20. 0
2.6
10.7

22.3
9. 1
If.. 0
8.8

2.7
8.7
9. 5
14.3

56.0
50.4
70.1
58.9

Printing and publishing---------------------Other manufacturing---------- ----------------

1,106
2. 022

15.9
19. 3

20.3
18.6

15.8
17.5

12.9
16.3

35.0
28.3

Department and apparel stores------------

1,516

7.9

14. 1

18.5

17.7

41.8

Federal Government
State government_______ _____________

219
748

14.2
.8

10. 0
61.4

4.1
11.2

19. 2
10.8

52.5
15.8

Education
------------------------Nonprofit organizations
--------------Miscellaneous small offices--------------------

7S7
4 5
157

6. 1
17.3
23. 6

8.4
22.4
22.3

11.3
10. 5
15.3

9.4
18.7
15.9

64.8
31.1
22.9

10.4

12.5

51.9

All typos............. .......................... .......

MEN
All types ----------------------------------

6. 368

10. 6

14.7

1, 193
1,031

8.5
5.8

7.2
13.1

8.8
9.8

15.4
14.0

60.1
57.3

----------- ------ -------------- - _____________________ - .
.
.. ...........
—
utilities
-------- -------------

738
153
84
650

.7
5.2
2.4
3.8

.9
7.8
8. 0

2.0
7.8
17.9
6.3

1.4
4.6
10.7
14.8

95.0
74. 5
69. 0
67. 1

Printing and publishing---------------------Other manufacturing---- -------------------

260
1,364

19.2
21.2

24.2
17.3

14.2
16.4

15. 0
14.3

27.3
30. 8

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

299

, 18.4

21.4

21.1

13.0

26.1

Federal Government_____________
State government.. --------------------------

231
259

21.6
1. 2

13.4
85.3

10.8
3.5

19.0
3.9

35.1
6. 2

Banks and other finance ............. .............
Insurance____________________________
Railroads
Telephone _
Telegraph
Other public

Education ------------------------- -------Nonprofit- organizations
-----------------Micella neons small offices .......................... 1
1 Not computed; base too small.




43
39
24

v

«
0)
(0

0)
(■>
w

(>)
0)
«

0)
(')
(i>

(!)
0)
(l)

EARNINGS IN 1940
This section of the study of office workers in Philadelphia is based
on records of method and rate of pay, actual earnings, occupation,
and experience and education secured for 20,189 regular employees
and 288 extra and part-time workers in Philadelphia offices. About
8 percent of the regular workers are administrative, executive, and
clerical-professional personnel and, like extra and part-time workers,
will be discussed apart from the other employees. Average salary
rates of supervisors, the greatest part of the administrative, executive,
and clerical-professional group, are shown in tables VI and VII, but
they are not included in the totals.
METHOD OF PAY
Most of the employees scheduled in Philadelphia, 54 percent of the
women and 70 percent of the men, are paid on a yearly or monthly
basis. All in the Federal Government and in the electric, gas,
and street-railway utilities are paid on this basis, as are almost all
in the State government, in the banks and other financial firms, in­
surance, and railroad companies. The following table shows the
percent of women and men in each type of office paid yearly or
monthly rates of pay.

Type of office

Percent of employ­
ees with monthly
or yearly rates of
pay
.
Women

Banks and other finance----Insurance.
Railroads
Telegraph.
----------Other public utilities (light,
gas, street railways)
.
Pr in ting and publishing
Other manufacturing -

Type of office

Men

98.2
94. 7
99.fi
64.3

99.9
96.3
95. 4
70. 1

100.0
6.3
21. 4

100. 0
4. 0
25.0

Percent of employ­
ees with monthly
or yearly rates of
pay
Women

Department and apparel
stores .
______
Federal Government...............
State government___ ______
Education
________
Nonprofit organizations
Miscellaneous small offices__

Men

0.1
100. 0
99.9
98.6
84.5
11.9

100. 0
100.0
91. 1
97.4
8.3

Many more women than men, proportionally, are paid weekly rates,
since the weekly method of pay is characteristic of the telephone firms,
manufacturing companies (especially printing and publishing houses),
miscellaneous small offices, and department and apparel stores, in which
women generally are employed in greater numbers than men. A
negligible number of the office workers scheduled are paid a daily
rate; the few paid by the hour are in department and apparel stores,
manufacturing concerns, and education offices.
Of the 283 part-time and extra employees for whom method of pay
was reported, about seven-tenths are paid by the week or hour.
In this report all salary rates have been converted to a monthly
basis so that comparisons may be made. Such comparisons show varia­
tions in rates between workers in different types of office and occupa­




51

52

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

194 0

tions and according to sex, age, education, and experience. These
variations will be taken up in detail in the following discussion.
MONTHLY SALARY RATES BY TYPE OF OFFICE
Women.
The average (mean) salary rate of the regular women office workers
in Philadelphia in 1940 was $97; for the men it was $137, or $40 more
than for women.
Of all the types of office visited, the Federal Government pays women
office workers the most, the average monthly rate being $129, or $32
above the average for all offices combined. The department and
apparel stores pay the least, the rate of $76 being $53 less than that
of the Federal Government. The averages in the nonprofit and print­
ing and publishing offices are almost as low, while insurance, State
government, and “other manufacturing” pay only slightly less than
the figure for all offices together. The miscellaneous small offices,
telegraph concerns, banks and other financial institutions, and the
telephone firms pay rates just a little above the average. Railroad
and education offices and the electric, gas, and street-railway firms are
only a little behind the Federal offices in the salaries paid women.
Women earn less than men in almost every type of office. Telegraph
companies pay women and men the same rate and in education and
nonprofit establishments very few men are employed. The greatest
variation between the sexes is in the telephone and railroad offices,
where the average rates of men are respectively $71 and $57 above
those of women. The variation in the remaining types of office ranges
from $40 in insurance to $5 in State government.
These differences between types of office in the rates paid men and
women are found to be more fundamentally the result of varying wage
standards than of important differences in the occupational distribu­
tion of the two sexes, just as the differences between types of office
in the average rates of all workers combined depend more on wage
standards than on general occupational distribution. In some cases,
however, numerous employees in jobs commanding the higher salaries
will raise the office average.
For example, nearly three-fifths of the women in the Federal offices
are stenographers and typists earning about $123 a month. Most of
the other positions in which women are engaged in this type of office,
however, especially secretaries, correspondents, and claims examiners,
involve greater responsibility and command higher salaries, raising
the average for the type of office to $129. It should be noted, never­
theless, that even the typists and stenographers in the Federal offices
earn respectively $40 and $23 more than the average for typists and
stenographers in all offices combined.
Just as a few workers in highly paid occupations raise the average,
so it may be reduced when there are some whose rates are very low.
More than a fourth of the women in the railroad offices are sorters who
earn $68 monthly, materially below the average for any other occupa­
tion in this type of office and less than the average for the job. With­
out this group of sorters, the average for women in the railroad offices
would be higher than that in the Federal Government. In every other
job the railroads pay women considerably above the average. °




EARNINGS IN

19 4 0----PHILADELPHIA

53

In contrast, the department and apparel stores and printing and
publishing houses pay below the average in almost all occupations.
In addition, they have proportionately more workers than have other
types of office in the group “other clerks,” in which are many of the
lower-paid jobs, such as mail clerks, messengers, and record, file, and
stock clerks. In the group of “other clerks” are also the sorters and
the service-desk clerks (tube clerks, cashier-wrappers, and will-call)
in retail stores, and the circulation and subscription clerks in printing
and publishing, earning the low monthly rates of $70, $72, and $76,
respectively.
Nonprofit organizations and manufacturing other than printing
and publishing also are among the types of office paying women low
monthly wages. In general, of the salary rates for the 20 or more
occupations recorded for the former, about half of them occupations
in the group “other clerks,” few exceed $90 and several are less than
$80. The average for this type of office is $86. Nearly a fourth of
the women in nonprofit offices are secretaries, who average $97, less
by $31 than the average for the job.
Women in only 6 occupations (secretaries, correspondents, hand
bookkeepers, cashiers and tellers, statistical clerks, and special office
workers) earn more than $100 monthly in the “other manufacturing”
offices scheduled. They constitute less than 10 percent of all the
women in this type of office. The numerous typists and most of the
“other clerks” such as billers, file, record, and cost clerks, comprising
nearly three-tenths of all the women employed, and certain machine
operators and the clerks not elsewhere classified, comprising another
tenth, earn less than $90.
In State and insurance offices, where women’s average is just below
the average for all offices combined, the numerous typists (1 in 5
women employees in insurance offices and 1 in 3 in State offices) earn
less than the average for the job and are below the average for the
type of office by more than $10. In the State offices clerks not else­
where classified, and in insurance offices the secretaries and statistical
clerks and the few special office workers, earning relatively high sal­
aries, keep the average for these types of office from being reduced
further.
In the miscellaneous small offices, in which women average only $3
more than the average for all offices, over half of those scheduled
are secretaries earning $14 more than such average. The typists, re­
ceptionists, file clerks, telephone clerks, and others earn enough less
lo reduce the figure for the total. Likewise, whereas 71 in 100 women
in telegraph offices are typists and telephone clerks with averages
above $101, most of the other jobs are paid much less, lowering the
general average for telegraph to that figure.
Financial and telephone offices are in an intermediate position in
regard to salaries paid women. In banks, the secretaries, cashiers
and tellers, and statistical clerks, among the more common occupa­
tions, help to raise the average rate, but the typists, dictatingmachine transcribers, and bookkeeping-machine operators reduce the
average. The file and record clerks, typists, and calculating-machine
operators in the telephone offices, comprising three-tenths of the
women employed, average less than $100 a month, but accounting
and statistical clerks, timekeepers, and pay-roll clerks, average more




54

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

194 0

than $120, and with less numerous but even better-paid personnel
help to raise the average for the telephone industry to $110.
The fairly high average of women in electric, gas, and street­
railway companies, $115, is a reflection of the generally high level
in this type of office. More than 1 in 3 workers are statistical clerks,
addressing- and bookkeeping-machine operators, stenographers and
secretaries, who earn from $13 to $57 more than the average for
these occupations in all offices combined.
The picture in the education offices is significant in connection with
the relatively high average of $119 for women, as nearly threefourths of the women are secretaries who average $130 monthly,
while in all other occupations the averages are considerably less; in
fact, the stenographers and typists average respectively $16 and $12
less than the average in all offices for women on these -jobs.
Table VI shows the average and quartile salaries paid women and
men in the various types of office surveyed in Philadelphia.
Table

VI.—Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees
in offices, 101/0. hy type of office—PHILADELPHIA
Women

Type ol office

Men

A verage ssilary rates 1
Average salary rates 1
Total
Total
number
num her
Quart iles
Quartiles
of
of
Mean
men
women Mean
First Median Third
First Median Third

\ 11 types..... ................

11.831

$97

$75

$90

$115

6. 675

$137

$96

$130

$173

Banks and other finance
Insurance

1, 124
1,722

106
96

86
76

104
91

121
110

1,207
1,033

142
136

111
92

140
123

170
161

Railroads......... .................
Telephone..... .............. .......
Telegraph_____ ________
Other public utilities

185
734
336
537

123
110
101
115

85
79
74
100

126
109
104
114

155
139
125
130

786
164
144
699

180
181
101
152

160
127
75
126

200
208
103
150

201
225
120
176

Printing and publishing..
Other manufacturing . . _

1,116
2.058

87
92

70
75

80
88

100
105

275
1,449

107
123

69
88

88
114

130
151

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

1,595

76

69

74

82

314

96

70

88

109

Federal Government___
State government. ... ..

221
748

129
96

120
85

126
85

145
96

236
260

159
101

121
85

136
86

193
115

Education_____________
Nonprofit organizations..
Miscellaneous
small
offices___ ____ _______

791
505

119
86

98
70

126
83

129
100

45
39

105
77

159

100

74

95

118

24

379

$148

$117

$147

$168

805

$176

$221

$260

Supervisory
(not in­
cluded above):
All types .....................

$226

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.

Men.
The men scheduled in Philadelphia offices in 1940 have higher
average monthly rates of pay in telephone and railroad companies,
respectively $181 and $180, than in any other type of office. Non­
profit organizations and department and apparel stores pay men the
least, and State, telegraph, education, and printing and publishing
offices have only slightly higher averages. There is a significant dif­
ference between the average of men in printing and publishing and




EARNINGS IN 194 0----PHILADELPHIA

55

that in other manufacturing, these being respectively $107 and $123.
In the remaining types of office, comprising insurance, banks and
other finance, electric, gas, and street-railway utilities, and the Fed­
eral Government, the average for men is higher than women’s aver­
age in any type of office, ranging from $136 in insurance firms to
$159 in Federal offices.
The range in average salary between the lowest-paying and the high­
est-paying type of office is much greater in the case of men than of
women.
As many as one-fourth of the men scheduled in the telephone offices
are employed as cost and production clerks and trouble dispatchers,
two well-paid occupations. Further, their average earnings are re­
spectively $76 and $46 above the average for these occupations in all
offices combined. In railroads, the other type of office paying men’s
highest salaries, about one-fourth of the men are rate and statistical
clerks, occupations with high averages. Further, 3 in 10 men in the
railroad offices are in the accounting group, ordinarily paying more
than any other major group with the exception of “special office
workers.” The men in accounting occupations average from $21 to
$43 more in the railroad offices than in all offices combined.
In contrast, a large proportion of men in department and apparel
stores, telegraph, and printing and publishing are in occupations
with low salaries, such as messengers, route, stock, record, and file
clerks, and generally their pay is even less than the average for these
jobs.
.
.
The men office workers in “other manufacturing” industries are
well distributed as to high and low salaries, but in only 4 occupations
do they earn as much or more than the general average for the job
in all offices together. In most occupations insurance also pays men
less than the average, but it employs a proportionately large number
of highly paid special workers, most of them underwriters, and a
number of renewal and bond and security clerks who keep the rate
for men in this type of office very near the mean of $137 for men in
all offices together.
In the gas, electric, and street-railway utilities, draftsmen, claims
examiners, statistical clerks, and trouble dispatchers, in addition to
the larger than average number in the accounting group, have an
influence in maintaining the hi Hi average of $152 for men in this
type of office. The average of $±*2 in banks and other financial firms
also is maintained in large part by the numerous workers in the
accounting group, but is influenced.also by the billing and statistical
clerks, earning $160 and $15G, and the special office workers earning
more than $220. Special office workers considerably influence the
average of men in Federal offices also; they comprise 17 percent of
all scheduled and average $239.
Distribution by rate.
Table VII. another analysis of the salary rates of women and men
by type of office, gives the percent distribution of the two sexes
within and beyond certain specified salary groups. Though the con­
clusions to be drawn from this table of actual earnings are much
the same as those already discussed under average monthly salary,
information as to the range and concentration of salaries may be
secured from the percent distribution.




Table

VII.

Percent distribution of men and women re°ular

according to monthly salary rate, 1940, by type of office-

Crt

O
Women

All types

Total
number
of
women

Percent1 of women with monthly
salary rate of—
Under
$75

11,831

$75,
under
$100

$100,

under
$125

36.1

$125,
under
$150

Percent 1 of men with monthly salary rate of—

Total

$150
and
over

13.0

$75,
umler
$100

$100,
under
$125

$125,
under
$150

$150,
under
$200

$200
and
over

$150
over

6, 675

10.5

16.6

17.8

16.9

21.5

16.7

38.2

1,124
1,722

7.7
19.1

32.8
41.1

37. 5
26.3

14.9
9.1

6.9
4.4

1, 207
1,033

7.3
11.1

9.3
18.1

20.0
21.4

21.5
15.9

29.7
19.4

12.3
14.1

41.9
33.5

185
734
336
537

18.9
18.3
27.1
5.4

16.2
24.5
18.5
18.8

9.2
17.6
28. 6
45.8

23.2
26.8
20.5

32.4

21.6

5.4
8.4

786
164
144
699

.5
6.7
24.3
3.3

Printing and publishing.
Other manufacturing___

2.4
9.8
20.8
4.1

2.4
7.3
32.6
15.5

15.1
4.9
18.7
26.0

21.9
15.9
2.1
38.9

57.6
55.5
1. 4
12.2

79.5
71.3
3. 5
51.1

l, 116
2,058

37.9
26.1

36.6
40.5

16.8
22.4

5.8
7.6

3.0
3.4

275
1, 449

31.3
13.7

Department and apparel stores.

26.9
22.3

13.5
22.5

10.9
15.3

11.6
18.8

5.8
7.5

17.5
26.2

1,595

56.9

314

30.9

32.8

17.8

10.8

5.4

2.2

7.6

.5
78.2

44.3
11.5

39.4
8.7

15.8

236
260

.8

.8
71.5

33.1
10.0

17.8
10.8

23.7
7.3

23.7
.4

47.5
7.7

19.3
41.0
28.9

15.7
18.8
23.3

45.5
5.5
10.7

13.1

0.9

1.6

6.5

25.1

66.0

91.1

Banks and other finance_
Insurance_____________
Railroads______ ____
Telephone__________
Telegraph__ _______
Other public utilities.

Federal Government_________
State government____________
Education_______________
Nonprofit organizations . _
Miscellaneous small offices
Supervisory (not included above):
All types.._________________
’Percents not computed on very small bases.




221

748
791
505
151

379

6.3
32.9
26.4

19.5

12.8

1.6

10.7

45
39
24

48.5

805

1.8

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

Tyre of office

Men

EARNINGS IN 194 0---- PHILADELPHIA

57

Table VI shows that the department and apparel stores pay their
women office workers less than do the other types of office visited in
the survey. It is clear from table VII that more than 9 in 10 women
in the department and apparel stores earn less than $100 a month,
and nearly 6 in 10 earn even less than $75. In contrast, nearly all the
women in Federal Government offices earn at least $100. Though the
distribution of the salary rates of women in railroad offices is wide,
with 19 percent of the women earning less than $75, nearly a third,
in contrast to only a sixth in the Federal offices, are paid $150 or
more. Neither Federal nor State government pays women less than
$75. However, almost four-fifths of the women in State offices earn
less than $100 and fewer than 2 percent earn as much as $150.
The two types of office that have the highest average for men,
the telephone and railroad companies, pay respectively 7 in 10 and
8 in 10 at least $150 a month, and well over half of all are paid $200
or more. The department and apparel stores, on the other hand, pay
as much as $150 to fewer than 10 in 100; almost two-thirds of the
men earn less than $100, and 3 in 10 of the total earn less than $75.
Though the State offices have a slightly higher average, an even
greater proportion of the men earn less than $100. None, however,
are paid less than $75.
MONTHLY SALARY RATES BY OCCUPATION
Reference has been made to differences in rate of pay in different
occupations and variations for the same occupation in different types
of office. In discussing these in detail it is helpful to have in mind
the general rank of the various jobs according to salary. Table VIII
shows the average and quartile salaries paid women and men in the
various occupations.
Messengers, both men and women, earn the least, $69 and $64
respectively, and among men this is the only occupation averaging­
less than $100. Among women, the service-desk or will-call, tube
and cash clerks in department and apparel stores, sorters, mail clerks,
circulation and subscription clerks, and credit clerks, all of them
occupations in the group “other clerks,” earn little more than mes­
sengers, from $72 to $79. The lowest averages for men, in addition
to those of messengers, range from $101 to $107 and are those of
route clerks, insurance actuarial clerks, duplicating-machine opera­
tors, typists, and file and mail clerks.
The women commanding the highest rates are special office work­
ers, secretaries, hand bookkeepers, trouble dispatchers or servicedesk clerks in public utility firms, bond, security, or draft clerks in
finance, and cashiers and tellers. These positions pay from $115 for
the last named to $128 for secretaries and $168 for special office
workers. Usually such jobs require experienced workers qualified to
assume considerable responsibility.
Men receiving the highest salaries are special office workers, rate
clerks, cashiers and tellers, key-punch operators, and audit clerks, all
averaging more than $170 monthly. Most of the key-punch operators
scheduled are in railroads, in which all jobs but messengers command
a salary of at least $125 and most of them $150 or more. Occupations
in which men earn $150 to $170 are hand bookkeepers, secretaries,
statistical clerks, trouble dispatchers or service-desk clerks in public




58

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

1940

utilities, clerks not elsewhere classified in public utilities, claims exam­
iners and adjusters, renewal clerks in insurance, and draftsmen.
Among all women regular employees, only the special office workers
average $150 or more, though approximately 1 in 5 of the secretaries
and cashiers and tellers earn this much.
The tabular summaries that follow correlate occupation and type of
office, showing average salaries for women and for men where as many
as 25 are reported.
Stenographic group.
Approximately 4 in 10 of the women scheduled in Philadelphia
offices are in the stenographic group, and together their average salary
is $103, or $6 above the rate for all women in the survey. Secretaries,
who comprise one-fourth of the group, have the highest average, rang­
ing from $97 in nonprofit organizations to as much as $185 in the
electric, gas, and street-railway utilities. More than half of the cor­
respondents scheduled are in the department and apparel stores, with
an average monthly salary of $91; the few in printing and publishing
and other manufacturing, insurance, and Federal offices earn much
higher salaries, raising the average for this job to $104.
About 7 in 10 of the women in the stenographic group are stenog­
raphers, typists, and dictating-machine transcribers. Of these the
typists earn the least, averaging only $87.' In most types of office they
earn less than $100, their rates ranging from $72 in the retail stores and
$78 in printing and publishing to $127 in Federal offices and $140 in
railroads. The stenographers average $99, but have a wide range from
the $83 in education, nonprofit, and department and apparel store
offices to the $138 in railroads. There are few types of office in which
dictating-machine transcribers average $100 or more.
The stenographic group includes only C percent of the men scheduled
in Philadelphia offices. The group’s average salary is $123, less than
that of any other major occupational class. Approximately 2 in 5 are
typists and dictating-machine transcribers, more than 1 in 4 are
stenographers, and the remainder are correspondents and secretaries,
the last named having the highest average rates. The typists earn the
least, $107. This amount, though $20 above the average for women
typists, nevertheless is $30 below the average for all the men surveyed.
The railroads’ average for men typists is as much as $159; this is $43
above the average in the Federal Government, which ranks next. Men
stenographers average $118, $11 more than typists, and are most numer­
ous in “other manufacturing” and Federal Government offices, where
they earn respectively $108 and $127. The railroad, manufacturing,
education, and electric, gas, and street-railway offices employ nearly
three-fifths of the male secretaries, the group as a whole averaging $26
more than the general average for all men. In most types of office
secretaries earn at least $125, and in some they earn more than $200.
About three-fourths of the men correspondents are in department and
apparel stores, “other manufacturing,” and insurance, where they earn
respectively $122, $144, and $147. Together, all the men correspondents
average only $3 above the general average of $137 for all the men
surveyed. Few types of office reported as many as 25 men in any one
stenographic occupation.




59

EARNINGS IN 1940—PHILADELPHIA

Chart II—DISTRIBUTION OF WOMEN AND OF MEN ACCORDING TO
MONTHLY SALARY RATES, BY OCCUPATION—PHILADELPHIA.
*100,

Under

Typist

8150

$150

$125
■

stenographic group

*125,

under

*100
□

over

under

and

100 percent -

mmm
YMWZM/Awm

Women
Ken

HU

Women
Stenographer

Hi

Ken

Secretary

ACCOUNTIWO GROUP
Women
Cashier, teller

Ken

■

Women
Accounting clerk

Men
Women

Bookkeeper, hand

Men

\y//////x//jmm.m
wrnmMm

1

liMM

Women
Bookkeeping clerk

Men

MACHINE OPERATORS

\y/////////mm

Women
Calculating

Bookkeeping

Ken
Women |

Y/SAY/S/A

V/////ZV/Am

OTHER CLERKS
Women
Statistical

V//////////MM

lien
Women
Order and shipping

Y/SSS/M

Men
Women
Pay roll and timekeeper

Men
Women

Record

Men
Women

File

Telephone

466454*—42------0




Men
Women

V/////z

60

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

Table

VIII.

Average monthly salary rates of men and women regular employees
in offices, 19-kO, by occupation—PHILADELPHIA
Women

Men

Average salary rates *
Occupation

All occupationsStenographic group:
Secretary
Stenographer
Typist________
Distating-machine transcriber.
Correspondent....

Total
num­
ber of
women Mean

First

$97

$75

$90

$115

6,675

$137

$96

1,265
1.721
1,534
195

128
99
87
95
104

108
80
74
80
84

128
96
85
93

139
115
95
109
116

58
109
183

163
118
107

111

65

140

100
111

79

117

312

140
173
124
165
182

48
239
125
140

Machine operators:
Addressing____
Billing.. _____
Bookkeeping___
Calculating____
Duplicating___
Key punch____
Tabulating____

114
169
430
534
60
155
57

Clerks not elsewhere classified in—
Finance and insurance.
....
Public utilities____
___
Manufacturing _ _.................
Government, Federal, and
State---------------- ----------------

Me­
First dian Third

Quartiles

11.831

Accounting group:
Accounting clerk...
Audit clerk___ ..
Bookkeeping clerk.
Bookkeeper, hand..
Cashier, teller____

Other clerks:
Actuarial
Bill, statement, and collection
Bond, security, draft
Checker ___________________
Circulation and subscription .
Claims examiner and adjuster
Coin counter _________ _____
Cost and Production
Credit
Draftsman_______ ^..................
File__________ __________
Mail............. ................... ............
Messenger. ... .
Order and shipping . _
Pay roll and timekeeper_
_
Rate_____________
______
Receptionist_______________
Record_____ _____ _________
Renewal___________________
Route_______ ______________
Service desk........ .................... ..
Sorter
Statistical
Stock______________________
Telephone__ _______ ________
Transit______ ______________
Trouble dispatcher

Quartiles

A verage salary rates 1
Total
num­
ber of
men Mena

211

54
152
34
89
153
86

101

212

95
117
115

92
116
109

81
97
94
95
83
91

no
135
140
88

113
108
111

94
101

100

111
117
115

93
116
92
76
99

81
71

88

50
34

111
86

115

112

79

106
80
116
116

75

606

122

111

170
174

81
76
61
87
102

95
287
122

108
178
117
356
99
120

100
101

72
73

70
66

111

109
75
91

78
76
134

180
176
294
32
3 112

123
106
173
125

35
172
181
71
182
36
317
64
104
170
74
385
189
129
134

117

213
124

119
162

no
81

95
113
76

118
136
92

98

145

121

1.57
166

101

200
121

201

136
151

166
180

200
210

120
101

151

87

143

118

135
140
125

122

110

120

91

140
128
142
106
109
65
121

114
200

168
160
200

174
153
201

126
136
78
144
160
201

147

101

no
140

100

113
146

157

163

88

109

193
133

121

121

226
324

81
94
97
116

139
103
140

159
131
147
133
155
107
107
69
125
125
185

174
45

$173

102

142
140
136

$130

114
129

114
61
27
83

95
85

Me­
dian Third

125
137
79

174
105

200

100

120

140

156

136
177

283
116
187

81
125
80

105
158
108

140
208
151
136

111

138

103

95

116

230

86

96

Other types of office.

77

74

87

67

70

87

105

Special office workers___

168

173

218

256

Supervisors 3______ ____

$148

$176

$221

$260

$117

$147

$168

805

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.
0 Includes bookkeeping-machine operators.
3 Not included in total.




61

EARNING'S IN 1940---- PHILADELPHIA

Men

Women
Occupation and type of office (stenographic group)
Number 1

Stenographic group—Total-----------------------------Secretary------------------------------------Banks and other finance----------Insurance_____________________
Printing and publishing________
Other manufacturing__________
Department and apparel stores..
Education--------- ------ ------------- ,
Nonprofit organizations________
Miscellaneous small offices_____
Stenographer-------------------------------Banks and other finance_______
Insurance______________ ____
Telephone----------------------------Other public utilities 2------------Printing and publishing_______
Other manufacturing__________
Department and apparel stores
Education-----------------------------Federal Government__________
State government-------------------Nonprofit organizations........ .......
Miscellaneous small offices------Typist__________________________
Banks and other finance_______
Insurance---------- ------- -----------Railroads---------- -------------------Telephone________________ ...
Telegraph------------ . ------------Other public utilities 2 ----------Printing and publishing----------Other manufacturing ___.. ..
Department and apparel stores .
Federal Government--------------State government------------------Dictating-machine transcriber_____
Insurance---------- -------------------Other manufacturing 3.................
Correspondent...-------------------- ...
Department and apparel stores

4,811

Average
monthly
salary
$103

1,265 |
88

108
112

78
39
580
116
83
1. 721

Number 1

415

Average
monthly
salary
$123

128
145
136
123
133
109
130
97
111

286
52

99
107
97
113

112

118

121

139
398
76

90
98
83
83

201

101

96
108
99
38
1, 534
119
336
33
56
171
44
72
252
112

34
260
195
68

50
96
55

122

97
83
84
87
90
83
140
91
102

94
78
81
72
127
85
95
99
96
104
91

159
104

116
85

i Subtotals include some types of office with very small numbers reported,
a Electric, gas, and street railway.
3 Other than printing and publishing

Accounting group.
The accounting group commands higher salaries than any other
major division except the special office workers. Only 6 percent of
the women, but 18 percent of the men, are in this group.
Among the women nearly 6 in 10 in the accounting group are book­
keeping and accounting clerks, averaging respectively $95 and $100.
Most of the bookkeeping clerks are in insurance, finance, department
and apparel stores, printing and publishing, and other manufacturing,
earning from $77 in the stores to $104 in financial concerns. In the
utilities, railroads, and Federal offices, where the bookkeeping clerks
are not so numerous, their average salaries are considerably higher.
About 6 in 10 women accounting clerks are in insurance, telegraph,
store, and electric, gas, and street-railway offices. The store group
pays them least, averaging $78; in every other type of office women
accounting clerks average $91 or more.
_
Not quite 1 in 5 women in the accounting group are cashiers and
tellers. The tellers are commonly employed only in bank, telephone,
and other utility firms and it is in these types of office that the average
salary for women cashiers and tellers together is highest, in each case




62

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKER’S IN 19 40

more than $135. In all other types of office only cashiers are employed
and the monthly averages range from $79 in department and apparel
stores to $128 in manufacturing.
I ew women are employed as hand bookkeepers except in “other
manufacturing,” nonprofit organizations, department and apparel
stoi es, insurance, and education offices, in which average salaries range
from $101 in the stores to $140 in insurance companies. Most of the
women audit clerks are in the stores, insurance offices, and railroads,
where they average $74, $103 and $185, respectively, an amazing salary
spread.
More than four-fifths of the men bookkeeping clerks are in only 4
types of office, insurance, finance, the electric, gas, and street-railway
utilities and manufacturing other than printing and publishing, in
which the average salaries range from $113 in manufacturing to $140
m the utilities. The general average of $124 for the job is $13 lower
than the average for all men surveyed, though every other occupation
m the accounting group ranks above such total.
Public utilities, insurance, railroads, and “other manufacturing”
employ three-fourths of the men accounting clerks scheduled. In
these types of office their averages vary from $109 in manufacturing
to $183 m railroads.
b
Almost all the men audit clerks are in railroads, finance, insurance
and the utilities group. Of these, insurance pays the least, $123, or
$14 less than the average for all men together. The railroads employ
‘ w10 °* a11 audit clerks and pay them salaries that average $194
Men cashiers and tellers seldom average less than $172 in any type
of office. Taken all together they average $182, more than any other
occupation in the accounting group. Nearly two-thirds are in banks
and other financial offices, averaging $187.
Women
Occupation and type of office (accounting group)

Men

Number >
Accounting group—Total .
Accounting clerk__________
Insurance. _ .
Telegraph_______
Railroads________.
Other public utilities 2..........
Printing and publishing___
Department and apparel stores .
Audit clerk____
Banks and other finance
Railroads__________
Bookkeeping clerk_______
Banks and other finance
Insurance
Other manufacturing 3.
Department and apparel stores __
Bookkeeper, hand.
Banks and other finance____
Insurance. __ ______
Railroads__________
Other manufacturing 3...
Nonprofit organizations. ..
Cashier, teller________
Banks and other finance
Insurance___
. _
Other public utilities 2_____
Department and apparel stores_
_

Average
monthly
salary

Number 1

763

$105

1,174

$158

. 211
36
33

100
104
92

312
51

140
135

29
25

113
91

40
93

183
154

32
48

78
111

239
28
56
61
34
125

95
104
98
95
77
117

32
26
140
34

114
110
115
137

37

79

’ Subtotals include some types of office with very small numbers reported.
2 Electric, gas, and street railway.
3 Other than printing and publishing.




Average
monthly
salary

50

109

212
31
148
180
28
64
34

173
125
194
124
134
116
113

176
34
38
29
45

165
180
159
200
148

294
191
29
27

182
187
175
174

EARNINGS IN 19 40—PHILADELPHIA

63

Approximately 9 in 10 of the men hand bookkeepers are in insurance,
finance, r ailroads, printing and publishing, and other manufacturing,
where they average from $148 in printing and publishing and in other
manufacturing to $200 in the railroad offices. The general average
for the group is $165, a figure $28 above the average for all the men
surveyed.
Machine operators.
Machine operators in general are paid salaries below the average.
The rates for men and women in this group are respectively $12 and
$4 less than the averages for all men and all women scheduled.
More than one-third of the women machine operators surveyed work
calculating machines and average about $95. Their salary range is
wide, for they average as little as $74 in department and apparel stores
and as much as $136 in railroads. Almost 7 in every 10 are employed
in “other manufacturing” ($92), the stores (average just cited), and
telephone offices ($99).
Over one-fourth of the women machine operators spend the major
part of their time operating bookkeeping machines. They average
$94, practically the same as the calculating-machine operators. More
than half are in banks and financial offices and in “other manufactur­
ing,” where they earn $99, but nearly 4 in 10 are in department and
apparel stores, nonprofit organizations, printing and publishing, and
insurance, where the averages are from only $73 to $94. Women book­
keeping-machine operators earn about as much as bookkeeping clerks,
but the amount is $23 below that of hand bookkeepers.
Women billing-machine operators average $3 more than bookkeep­
ing-machine operators. About 6 in 10 are in department and apparel
stores, printing and publishing, and other manufacturing, where their
averages, from $81 to $90, are below the general average. Their
averages in financial offices, telephone, and other utilities range from
$109 to $126.
The railroad offices pay women key-punch operators salaries that
average $132. In all other types of office their average is $100 or less,
and it is only $91 for all offices combined. About 6 in 10 are in insur­
ance and “other manufacturing,” where they earn only $88 and $82,
respectively.
Women addressing-machine operators average the least ($81) of all
groups of machine operators, and this is $16 less than the average for
all women in the survey. About three-fourths of them are in depart­
ment and apparel stores, printing and publishing, and other manufac­
turing, where they average $75, $80, and $76, respectively. The few
in public utilities, banks, and insurance help to raise the figure for the
group.
Only 60 women duplicating-machine operators were scheduled.
Half of them are in “other manufacturing” offices, with an average of
$84. Of the 57 women tabulating-machine operators, 35 are in insur­
ance and “other manufacturing,” where they average respectively $103
and $99.
Men machine operators earn from $23 to $82 more than women,
depending on the specific occupation in which employed. The men
key-punch operators earn more than other machine operators, and
$82 more than women who do the same work. This is because nearly




64

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

all of them are in railroads, where on almost every job the average
salary is much higher than the average in all industries combined.
Among the men the bookkeeping- and billing-machine operators
show the next highest average in this general group, $129. About 9
in 10 are in “other manufacturing,” finance, and the public utilities,
where they average $122, $131, and $138, respectively.
Men calculating-machine operators average $123, just a little less
than those who operate the bookkeeping and billing machines. Man­
ufacturing, insurance, and electric, gas, and street-railway offices em­
ploy more than half of them, but their averages are below $120. The
railroads employ well over a fourth of them and average $156, thus
raising the general average for the group.
Most of the men addressing-machine operators are in banks and
other financial establishments, insurance firms, the electric, gas, and
street-railway utilities, and “other manufacturing” concerns. Their
highest average is in finance, $143, or $29 more than the average for
the occupation.
Men duplicating-machine operators ($106) and tabulating-machine
operators ($125) are concentrated in insurance and “other manufac­
turing.” Manufacturing pays considerably less than the average for
these jobs and insurance pays a little above the average.
Women
Occupation and type of office (machine-operator group)

Men

Number 1

Banks and other finance

___

_____ _

________

Printing and publishing

Railroads

_________________ _ -------------- ----___

Other public utilities _
Duplicating___________
Keypunch_____

___

________ ______
_______________

_______
________

Tabulating_____________________ __________

Number 1

1.519

Machine operators—Total____
Addressing_________________ ______________________
Printing and publishing
Billing_____
Banks and other finance_________ _______ _
Other manufacturing 3
Department and apparel stores
_ __

A verage
monthly
salary
$93

429

$125

114
54
169
28
46
35
430
171
49
25
72
82
534
40
36
75
47
190
107
60

81
80
97
109
90
81
94
99
94
89
99
73
95
99
136
99
112
92
74
83

32

114

3112
62

129
131

114

123

31

156

61

31
155
52
47
57

84
91
88
82
100

106
108

27

173

83
35

125
131

Average
monthly
salary

i Subtotals include some types of office with very small numbers reported.
3 Includes bookkeeping-machine operators.
3 Other than printing and publishing.
4 Electric, gas, and street railway.

Other clerks.
It will be recalled that under “other clerks” are listed all ordinary
clerical occupations, except those already discussed, in which 25 or
more men or women office workers are employed.12 Any in which
See p. 11.




EARNINGS IN 194 0—PHILADELPHIA

65

fewer than 25 were scheduled are in the group “clerks not elsewhere
classified.” Thus the “other clerks” include not only occupations that
are common to many offices, but some, such as transit clerks, coin
counters, bond and securities clerks, and actuarial clerks, that are
found in only one or two types of office.
Among the women, most of these clerks have salaries that are
lower than the average of $97 for all the women surveyed. The occu­
pational groups earning as much or more than $97 are the trouble
dispatchers in telephone,'electric, gas, and street-railway companies,
the bond and securities clerks, coin counters, and transit clerks in
banks, the actuarial clerks in insurance firms, and statistical clerks,
timekeepers and pay-roll clerks, and claims examiners and adjusters.
The trouble dispatchers and bond and securities clerks have the high­
est average, $116, or $19 more than the average for all the women
surveyed. The coin counters and statistical clerks average $111.
Statistical clerks average $90 in printing and publishing, $111 in
insurance, and $142 in telephone companies; 6 in 10 are employed
in these three types of office. Nearly three-fourths of the women
timekeepers and pay-roll clerks are in department and apparel stores,
manufacturing, and telephone offices, where their averages are $87,
$93, and $122, respectively. In all offices combined they average $102.
Two-thirds of the women claims examiners and adjusters are in the
department and apparel stores and insurance firms, where they have
a lower average than the $97 for all women surveyed. Those in
Federal and public-utility offices, though a negligible number, help
to raise the average for the job to $99, since they average about $150.
Among the “other clerks,” women messengers or office girls, servicedesk clerks in department and apparel stores (i. e., tube, cash, and
will-call clerks), and sorters earn the least, $64, $72, and $73, re­
spectively. Most of the messengers are in retail, insurance, printing
and publishing, and telegraph offices. The department and apparel
stores and the railroads claim 9 in 10 of the sorters; average salaries
here are respectively $70 and $68. Women mail clerks, circulation
and subscription clerks in printing and publishing, and credit clerks
also average less than $80 monthly. Most of the mail clerks are
in printing and publishing, other manufacturing, and the retail stores.
The credit clerks are concentrated in stores and finance, where their
salaries average respectively $74 and $87.
Women stock and file clerks average $81. File clerks are the most
numerous of the women listed as “other clerks,” but more than
half are in only two types of office, insurance and manufacturing,
where they average respectively $79 and $80. Those in retail stores
average $70, but in financial establishments and the electric, gas,
and street-railway utilities the averages are $100 and $110. Most of
the women stock clerks are in stores, printing and publishing, and
other manufacturing, where they earn $71 in the first named and
$86 in the two other types of office.
In an intermediate position with respect to salaries in this group
of clerks are the women cost and production clerks, order and ship­
ping clerics, receptionists (including information clerks), record,
checker, billing, and telephone clerks, with averages ranging from
$86 to $94. The most numerous of these are the telephone, record,
order and shipping, and billing clerks, in order of numbers, aver­
aging $94, $88, $87, and $93, respectively. Telephone and record



66

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

clerks are well scattered throughout almost every type of office. In
few do they average more than $110. Nearly one-half of the tele­
phone clerks are in stores, nonprofit organizations, printing and pub­
lishing, and other manufacturing, where they average $95 or less.
Nearly 7 in 10 of the record clerks are in telephone, printing and
publishing, other manufacturing, retail, and nonprofit offices, averag­
ing $88 or less, though their average in the electric, gas, and street­
railway utilities is $109. About 9 in 10 of the order and shipping
clerks were scheduled in “other manufacturing” and department and
apparel stores, where they average respectively $91 and $74. The
women billing, statement, and collection clerks in this survey have
a high average salary in telephone offices ($119); their lowest average
is in the retail stores ($73).
W omen
Occupation and type of office (“other clerks” group i)

Men

Number 2
Actuarial—Insurance_____

_

Banks and other finance. -........ .
Telephone_________________
Othex public utilities 3_____
Other manufacturing 4
Department and apparel stores______
Bond, security, draft . „
Banks and other finance
Insurance_________
Checker______________ .
Insurance______
Department and apparel stores .
Circulation and subscription...
Printing and publishing
Claims examiner and adjuster
Insurance_______
Railroads_______
Other public utilities 3_____
Department and apparel stores
Coin counter______
Banks and other finance..........
Cost and production___________
Other manufacturing 4__ ____
Credit____________
Banks and other finance
Department and apparel stores______
Draftsman______
Other manufacturing 4___
File____________
Banks and other finance...........
Insurance... . _
Railroads....................
Telephone________
Printing and publishing......... .
Department and apparel stores _
Mail
Banks and other finance.
Printing and publishing .. ..
Messenger_____________ _ .
Banks and other finance.. ______
Insurance.........
Printing and publishing_________
Other manufacturing
Department and apparel stores_____
Order and shipping. _
Other manufacturing 4
Department and apparel stores_
_
Pay roll and timekeeper
Railroads....................
Telephone_____
Other manufacturing 4 .
Rate_____________
Railroads................... .
See footnotes at end of table.




Average
monthly
salary

54
152

$99
93

43

119

33
41
31

86
73
116
112

27
27
153
149
86
27

92
109
75
76
76
99
95

30
50
49
34
32
112

111
86
85
79

80

74

606
46
194

8*100
79

57
45
152
66
122

71
79
80
70
76

65
111

69

Number 2

$102

118
181
152

140
138
136

159
101

76
36

64

42
174

62
87
91
74
102

48
56

131
131
147
139
133

107
88

25

90

74

107

46

53
170

Average
monthly
salary'

69

73
90

122
93

128

125
128
125

121

loO
191

67

EARNINGS IN 1940—PHILADELPHIA

Women
Occupation and type of office (“other clerks” group *)
Number2

Record___

_

_____

..

_____

Other public utilities 3

Statistical
Insurance............................................................................

Men

Average
monthly
salary

95
47
287
38
26
33
39
48
67

87
84
88
91
88
109
79
86
78

122
108
50
48
178

72
73
68
70
111

34

111

Number 2

Average
monthly
salary

52

39
58
356
27
68
27
28
65
43
40
99
120
93
27

86
71
94
104
109
102
87
95
74
77
97
116
116
116

42

146

63

116
157
164
101
96

226
46
28
86

163
150
144
183

28
324
56
106
86

129
111
139
116
77

213
124

119
162

101

156

90
81

121
99

45
34
62
55

117

174
34

1 All ordinary occupations, except the stenographic and accounting groups and machine operators, in
which 25 or more workers of either sex are employed.
2 Subtotals include some types of office with very small numbers reported.
3 Electric, gas, and street railway.
4 Other than printing and publishing.

Half the men, in contrast to only 29 percent of the women, are in
the group “other clerks.” Finance, railroads, other public utilities,
insurance offices, and “other manufacturing” employ 8 in 10 of the
men scheduled in occupations in this class.
The male messengers earn the least, averaging $69. In the non­
profit organizations they earn as little as $46, and no type of office
pays them so much as $100. All other occupations classed as “other
clerks” average more than $100 for men. Route clerks (almost all in
telegraph offices), actuarial clerks (all in insurance), and file and mail
clerks (well distributed) average from $101 to $107. The average
salaries of file clerks are highest in railroads ($151) and in no type
of office are they less than $75. Most of the mail clerks are in banks
and other finance, insurance, and “other manufacturing,” with the
wide range of $130 to $67.
Men stock clerks, transit clerks (all in banks), and record clerks
average from $111 to $121, or much less than the average for all the
men surveyed. The stock clerks are chiefly in manufacturing other
than printing and publishing, “other public utilities,” and the stores
surveyed, where they average $116, $139, and $77, respectively. Al­
most 9 in 10 of the men record clerks are in the stores, insurance,




68

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

10 40

manufacturing, and the “other public utilities,” their salaries ranging
from $86 in the first named to $146 in the last.
Averages of $125 to $136 are reported for men pay-roll and time­
keeper clerks, order and shipping clerks, coin-counter clerks in banks,
credit men and checkers. More than 7 in 10 of the pay-roll and time­
keeper clerks are in the manufacturing and railroad offices, where they
average $98 and $172. Manufacturing offices alone employ two-thirds
of the men order and shipping clerks, and pay them salaries that aver­
age $128. Other types of office pay less, reducing the average for the
job to $125. The department and apparel stores, manufacturing firms,
and financial establishments employ most of the credit men, with
averages of $125, $127, and $140, respectively. Men checkers in gen­
eral earn $116 or less, but those in railroad offices, about 3 in 10,
average $193, materially raising the figure for the job.
All other occupations in the group “other clerks” have averages
higher than the general average for men. Rate clerks average the
most, $185, due directly to the large concentration of rate clerks in
railroads, where practically all occupations command salaries higher
than the average. The statistical clerks, with an average $22 below
that of the rate clerks, are nevertheless next in rank. They are em­
ployed in most of the types of office visited, their averages varying
a good deal by industry. The trouble dispatchers (including servicedesk clerks, service representatives, and the like in “other public utili­
ties”) average $162, almost as much as statistical clerks and more than
claims examiners and adjusters, most of whom are in insurance, rail­
roads, and the public-utilities group, averaging respectively $101,
$193, and $194.
A large proportion of the draftsmen and cost and production clerks
are in manufacturing, where they average $139. The public-utility
residual group averages $218 for draftsmen and the telephone firms
pay cost and production clerks $223, helping considerably to raise
the averages for these positions to $155 and $147, respectively. The
averages of men billing, statement, and collection clerks vary widely,
from $100 in department and apparel stores to about $200 in the tele­
phone and railroad offices combined.
Clerks not elsewhere classified.
This group includes, among the women, search and renewal clerks
in insurance, route and delivery clerks in “other public utilities,”
draftsmen, and rate clerks; there are fewer than 25 women in each
of these. In addition, there are numerous general clerks in this class,
for whom no definite title could be given. Together the women “clerks
not elsewhere classified” are about 1 in 10 of all the women surveyed
and their average salaries vary in the types of office where a significant
number are employed from $116 in telephone firms to $74 in the stores
scheduled.
In the case of men the group includes, besides the general clerks,
such jobs as estimator in manufacturing, sorter, vault clerk in banks,
ticket seller in railroads. Their average salaries have a range of more
than $100, those in stores averaging $93 and those in telephone offices
$194.
Special office workers.
Special office workers usually hold positions of considerable respon­
sibility and command salaries above the average. Their duties ordi­




69

EARNINGS IN 1940—PHILADELPHIA

narily are not entirely clerical and may be wholly nonclerical. Less
than 1 percent of the women scheduled in Philadelphia are in this
group. Several women are underwriters, and there are a few pur­
chasing agents, interviewers, and personnel assistants. Combined
these average $168 a month, $71 more than the average for all the
women surveyed.
About 5 percent of the men scheduled are special office workers.
Some of their positions have such titles as legal clerk, appraiser, mort­
gage clerk, real-estate analyst, paymaster, purchasing agent, and in­
terviewer. Nearly half of them are in insurance offices, where they
average about $220. Over two-fifths are in printing and publishing,
other manufacturing, finance, “other public utilities;” and Federal
Government, where they average from $218 to $268. The average
salary of the group as a whole is $226, or $89 above the average for
all men in the study.
Administrative, supervisory, clerical-professional.
This group includes supervisors over clerical divisions, administra­
tive and executive employees, and such clerical-professional workers
as accountants, auditors, statisticians, analysts, and actuaries.
The 379 women supervisors scheduled average $148, or $51 more
than the general average for women. By type qf office their salaries
range roughly from $116 in the stores to $190 in State government
offices. More than two-fifths of the women supervisors are in store,
telephone, and finance offices. Nearly 8 in 10 of the men supervisors
are in “other manufacturing,” finance, railroads, insurance, and the
electric, gas, and street-railway utilities, averaging from $217 in the
first named to $259 in the last. The average for this group of men
as a whole is $226, $78 more than that for the women.
Very few women in the Philadelphia offices scheduled are adminis­
trative and executive or clerical-professional workers. Those reported
average from $175 to $273. Among the men, almost 7 in 10 of the
administrative and executive personnel are in the insurance, financial,
and telephone offices, where they average respectively $429, $325, and
$312. In no type of office is their average less than $200; their highest
figure is $461, in the gas, electric, and street-railway utilities.
Most of the men accountants and auditors are in finance, insurance,
“other manufacturing,” the electric, gas, and street-railway utilities,
and the telephone offices, averaging from $188 in the first to $251 in
the last. Their general average is $223. About 6 in 10 men statis­
ticians, analysts, and actuaries are in insurance and finance, where
they average $305 and $245, respectively, as against the average of
$264 for all surveyed.
Sex and occupation

Supervisor
Men—total.............................................
Supervisor______ ____ _________________

Number
of
workers

Average monthly salary rates
Quar tiles

Mean
First

Median

• 407
379

$119
117

$150
147

$173
168

1. 27A

249
364
232
226

1*>9
287
181
176

234
337
221
221

287
419
261
260

275
805

1 Includes 11 administrative workers, 12 accountants, and 5 statisticians, not shown separately.
* Also auditor, analyst, actuary.




Third

$152
148

Table

IX.—Percent distribution of men and women regular employees in offices according to monthly salary rate, 19S0, by occupation—
PHILADELPHIA
■
Women

Men
•

Occupation

All occupations 2. _............ .

Percent1 of women with monthly salary
rate of—

Total
number of
women Under
$75

$75,
under
$100

$100,
under
$125

$125,
under
$150

$150
and
over

Percent1 of men with monthly salary rate of—
Total
number
of men

Under
$75

$75,
under
$100

$100,
under
$125

$125,
under
$150

$150,
under
$200

$200
and
over

11,831

23.9

36.1

21.4

13.0

5.6

6,675

10.5

16.6

17.8

16.9

21.5

16.7

Stenographic group:
Secretary_________ _______ _
Stenographer........................ .
Typist
Dictating-machine transcriber
Correspondent______ ______

1,265
1,721
1,534
195
96

3.2
12.9
28.5
10.8
12.5

13.7
40.6
49.2
49.2
36.5

23.3
30.3
14.4
32.3
28.1

38.5
12.8
6.0
6.7
14.6

21.3
3.4
2.0
1.0
8.3

58
109
183

1.7
4.6
10.9

15.5
27.5
37.7

17.2
23.9
30.6

24.1
29.4
11.5

19.0
11.0
3.8

22.4
3.7
5.5

65

1.5

7.7

23.1

33.8

32.3

1.5

Accounting group:
Accounting clerk _______.
Audit clerk____ _ .
_
Bookkeeping clerk_________
Bookkeepre, hand ________
Cashier, teller....... ..................

211
48
239
125
140

13.3

37.0

29.4

16.1

4.3

8.0

18.9

18.3

40.7

8.0

36.4
24.8
30.0

28.0
28.0
17.1

11.3
23.2
20.7

2. 1
18.4
19.3

312
212
180
176
294

6.1

22.2
5.6
12.9

5.0
.6
.3

17.8
5.1
2.0

32.2
9.7
4.8

23.9
17.6
15.6

17.8
38. 1
41.5

3.3
29.0
35.7

Machine operators:
Addressing...............................
Billing______ ____ ___ •____
Bookkeeping______________
Calculating
____________
Duplicating___________
Key punch____ ___________
Tabulating____________ ___

114
169
430
534
60
155
57

44.7
16.6
19.8
21.9
35.0
18.7
' 12.3

43.9
41.4
41.2
39.3
46.7
52.3
45.6

16.6 ,
10.9
6.9
1.7
3.9
14.0

1.8
.6
.5
4. 1
1.7
3.9
7.0

3.6

11.6

37.5

25.9

17.9

3.6

8.8
16.4

19.3
26.2

26.3
32.8

18.4
19.7

20.2
4.9

7.0

9.6

24.1

25.3

9.6

16.9

14.5




9.6
24.9

27.7

27.7
15.0
21.3
21.1

32
112
114
61
27
83

-<i
o

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

Distribution by rate.
.
...
I able VIII on page 60 has given some indication of the extent to which men receive higher salaries than women
for the same general type of office work. Table IX shows even more strikingly the wage difference between the sexes
by a percent distribution of workers according to amounts actually received by occupational groups in which at least
50 men or women were scheduled.

Clerks not elsewhere specified in—
Finance and insurance-------- Public utilities------- -------- -----Manufacturing---------------------Government, Federal and State
Other types of office---------------

54
152
34
89
153
86

50
34

1.9
32.2
27.0
60.1
27.9

53.7
37.5

33.3

39.3
33.3
33.7

18.0

11.2

4.6
18.6

11.1
11.8

14.6
1.3

7.2
1.1

.7

35
172
181
71

86.0

11.6
6.0

33.0

9.8

2.7

25.6
28.7
9.9

15.1
7.2
26.8

29.5

10.7

3.3

37.6
33.9

21.8

14.7

5.3
19.5

4.7
6.3

8.8

11.5

10.4

28.0

24.9
25.0
19.2
24.7

27.4
23.4

17.6

21.6

12.3
25.0
15.4
22.9
17.6.

4.2

18.0
33.3
3.0

31.2
17.8
3.0

24.3
13.2
9.7

2L

3
24.2

21.8
22.6

23.0~ ~20T
22.6
4.8

19.1

8.4
25.6

18.8

21.0

13.6

32.7
1.9

213
124

4.2

17.8

38.0
8.9

25.4
27.4

14.6
48.4

15.3

15.9
7.1
17.9

23.7
14.2
23.5
53.9
40.3

21.9

17.3
17.7
13.0

17.0

4.2
26.2

.9

170
174

49.5
56.6
37! 6
18.4

95
287

27~ 4 ’
32.8

47.4
40.4

17^9
18.8

5.3
5.9

2.1
2.1

68.5

25.0
25.3
29.1
31.5

.9
30.3

20.2

3.7

1.9
12.4

53.8
28.1

12.8

4.3

25.8

12.1

2.5

120

5.0

30.8

19.2

30.8

14.2

226
228

20.6

19.5

26.1
25.0
15.0
7.7

15.0
28.9
3.3
17.6
1.5

3.1
9.2
.5
3.5
.8

283
141
162
230
67

19.5

21.6

48.5

805

122
11.8

1. 2

211

45.5

340
260

56.5

36.3
16.2
37.9
63.8
33.5

.3

10.0

1.8

12.8

1 Percents not computed on very small bases.
.
2 Total exceeds details due to the omission of occupations having as many as 50 for neither sex.
* Not included in total.




27.9
31.5
15.5

15.8
12.5
12.5

6.2

174 ”16^3’
25.8
62
226
324

Special office workers------- ------ ----Supervisors 3---------- --------------------

17.4
18.8
19.7

1.9
4.7
5.8
22.4
25.7

606

108
178
117
356
99

13.3
25.4

7.7

182
36
317
64
104
170
74
385
189
129
134

54.5

111

12.8

.6

8.1

8.0

112

122

1.2
.6
2.8

2.2

26.9

20.6

8.8

12.8

11.5

21.2

2.9
13.5
16.9
20.2

28.4

22.0

17.7
9.4
26.0
6. 5
4.1
5.3
9.3
56.0
2.9

11.1

7.5

17.9
17.8
3.0

1.9

5.5

29.5

62.5

1.6

6.5

25.1

66.0

16.7
10.9
20.9

12.6

4.8
1.5

EARNING'S IN 1940 --- PHILADELPHIA

Other clerks.
Actuarial------------------------------Bill, statement, and collection...
B ond, security .draft-------Checker--------------------------------Circulation and subscription----Claims examiner and adjuster
Coin counter______________
Cost and production---------------Credit-------- --------------------------Draftsman----------------------------File--..----------------- ---------- — Mail---------------------------- --------Messenger--------------- ----------Order and shipping -------- -----Pay roll and timekeeper----------Rate--....................... -.......... —
Receptionist--------------------------Record-------------- -------------------Route__________ _____________
Service desk---- ------------- —
Sorter------------ ------------ -----Statistical--------------- -----------Stock----- -----------------------------Telephone--------------- ------ ------Transit_______ __________ —
Trouble dispatcher-----------------

72

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

The table shows, for example, that whereas 13 percent of the
women accounting clerks earn less than $75 and only 4 percent earn
$150 or more, only 6 percent of the men earn less than $75 and 49
percent earn at least $150. The greatest difference in salaries earned
by men and women occurs among the credit clerks, claims examiners
and adjusters, and cashiers and tellers. Over half the women credit
clerks, but only 5 percent of the men, earn less than $75; none of
the women, but one-third of the men. earn $150 or more. Among
the women claims examiners and adjusters, 28 in 100 earn less than
$75, while only 8 in 100 men are paid so little; only 8 in 100 of the
women as against 62 in 100 of the men earn so much as $150. Less
than 1 percent of the men as compared with 13 percent of the women
cashiers and tellers are in the group earning under $75, while 77
percent of the men in contrast to 19 percent of the women receive
$150 or more.
The least difference in the actual salaries of men and women in
the same general occupation occurs in the case of messengers and
stenographers. These ordinarily are low-paid groups. No messen­
gers at all earn so much as $150 and only 3 percent of the men
messengers earn $125 and more. As many as 9 in 10 women and 7
in 10 men who are messengers earn less than $75.
There are several occupational groups with 50 or more of each
sex in which from three-fifths to three-fourths of the men scheduled
earn $150 or more. These are the rate clerks, audit clerks, cashiers
and tellers, statistical clerks,_ hand bookkeepers, trouble dispatchers,
and claims examiners and adjusters. In none of these do so many as
one-fifth of the women earn $150; in fact, only the women secre­
taries (among the nonsupervisory and nonprofessional personnel)
show so many as one-fifth earning that much. Of the supervisors,
less than half the women, in contrast to nine-tenths of the men’
earn $150 or more.
It is interesting that hardly any women, but 17 in every 100 of
the men, earn at least $200. Among these men are more than 6 in
10 of the supervisors and special office workers, more than half the
audit and rate clerks, about one-third of the cashiers and tellers
claims examiners, and statistical clerks, 3 in 10 of the hand book­
keepers, and about one-fourth of the checkers and draftsmen.
WEEKLY EARNINGS
In addition to basic rates of pay, actual earnings for one current
pay period in 1940 were reported for the majority of office workers
scheduled m Philadelphia. When converted to a weekly basis, it is
possible to compare the rates and actual earnings for the amount
if any, of overtime or undertime compensation.
The data indicate that earnings are almost identical with rates in
most types of office, both for women and for men. The oreatest
variations among the men are in railroads, nonprofit organizations
printing and publishing, and other manufacturing, in which earn­
ings exceed rates by as much as 91 cents in railroads and as little
as 61 cents m printing and publishing. Among the women the
greatest difference between rates and earnings is in education of­
fices, where earnings fall below the average rate by 36 cents and in
manufacturing, where earnings are in excess of the rate by 32 cents




73

EARNINGS IN 19 40—PHILADELPHIA

Whereas for all types of office and for all women together average
week’s earnings exceed the average rate by only 2 cents, in the case
of the men the earnings exceed the rate by 83 cents.
The following is a summary of the data on average week’s earn­
ings and the amounts by which they differ from average rates for
men and women in each type of office.
Average of week’s rates and of week’s earnings
Women

Men

Type of office
A verage
rate

Average
earnings

Earnings
exceed
rate (+) Average
rate
or fall
below (—)

Average
earnings

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

All types______________

$22.38

$22.40*

$+0.02

$31.62

$32.45

$+0.83

Banks and other finance____
Insurance__________________

22.46
22.15

24. 50
22.10

+.04
-.05

32. 77
31.38

32. 80
31. 45

+. 03
+. 07

Railroads___________________
Telephone_________________ _
Telegraph_______
______
Other public utilities ______

28.38
25. 38
23.31
26. 54

28. 20
25. 50
V)

-.18
+.12
-.09

42.45
41.85
0)
35.15

+.91
+.08

26. 45

41.54
41. 77
23.31
35.08

Printing and publishing______
Other manufacturing...... _

20.08
21. 23

20.05
21.55

-.03
+.32

24.69
28. 38

25. 30
29.15

+.61
+.77

+.07

Department and apparel stores.

17.54

17. 55

+.01

22.15

22. 25

+.10

Federal Government_________
State government___________

29.77
22.15

29.80
0)

+.03

36. 69
23.31

36. 70
0)

+.01

Education.-________________
Nonprofit organizations_____
Miscellaneous small offices

27.46
19. 85
23.08

27.10
19. 80
23.05

-.36
-.05
-.03

24. 23
17. 77
(!)

24.20
18. 65
21.40

-.03
+.88

1 Insufficient data on week’s earnings.
2 Not computed; base too small.




HOURS OF WORK
In 1940, when Women’s Bureau agents scheduled office workers in
Philadelphia, more than half the employees and 60 percent of the
offices surveyed were on a work schedule of less than 40 hours a week;
of these, more than half did not exceed 38 hours. The mode, however,
was a week of 39 to 40 hours, affecting about one-third of the offices
and one-third of the employees. Only 12 percent of the workers, and
these chiefly in the railroads and the stores, were on a schedule of
more than 42 hours, while 9 percent, most of them in insurance offices,
worked 35 hours or less.
All the office employees in the telephone firms scheduled worked
less than 38 hours; all in education and Federal Government offices
worked less than 40 hours. A schedule below 40 hours was charac­
teristic of the insurance, financial, and nonprofit offices also, while
a week in excess of 42 hours was the rule in railroads alone. No
office was reported as having a workweek longer than 45 hours.
Nearly half of the 249 firms that reported regularly scheduled
daily hours were working a 7-hour day or less. One-third worked
over 7 to 7% hours daily, and only one-fifth worked over 714 to 8'14
hours a day. The 7-hour schedule was characteristic of insurance,
Federal Government, education, and the miscellaneous small offices.
The 714-to-814-houi' day was the rule only in “other manufacturing”
and in telephone and telegraph and “other public utilities.” Few
offices worked 6 full days a week, and these only in the stores and the
miscellaneous small offices. Two-thirds were on a 514-day week,
while nearly 3 in 10 were scheduled to work only 5 days, the most
usual schedule in telephone, “other public utilities,” printing and
publishing, and other manufacturing.
The pattern of hours and days worked by office personnel in Phila­
delphia doubtless has changed materially in some types of office
since the United States went to war following Pearl Harbor. Almost
all office workers in the Federal Government, for example, are now,
in the winter of 1941-42, working 8 hours daily and 44 hours weekly;
some are on even longer schedules.
Overtime work and pay.
Of the 239 offices that reported in 1940 whether or not overtime was
ever required of their personnel and specified their practices with
regard to overtime pay, 157, or nearly two-thirds, worked only the
regularly scheduled hours. These offices include all the Federal
offices and most of the manufacturing, education, nonprofit, and mis­
cellaneous small offices that gave the necessary information. In only
about one-fourth of the offices in which overtime was reported was
time and a half paid, and then not before 40, 42, or sometimes 48 hours
had been worked. Another fourth paid for overtime at the same
rate as the workers’ regular rate; one-fourth paid supper money only.
Fifteen offices did not compensate employees for overtime in any
way, while 9 reported that compensatory time off was given. In
74




HOURS OF WORK----PHILADELPHIA

75

some instances two methods of compensation were employed; for ex­
ample, in one office a meal allowance was granted for work np to 42
hours, but time and a half was paid for work in excess of this.
The current pay rolls transcribed in 1940 by Women’s Bureau agents
indicated in most cases when overtime had been compensated. Of all
the employees, 573 women (about 5 percent) and 465 men (about 7
percent) worked and were paid for overtime in the pay period re­
corded. About seven-tenths of the women are in department and
apparel stores and telegraph offices and a similar proportion of the
men are in manufacturing, telegraph, and railroad offices. No esti­
mate can be made of the number who worked more than scheduled
hours but were not paid for overtime.
The number of hours for which overtime pay was received was
recorded for 545 women and 417 men. Nearly three-fourths of the
women but only about one-fourth of the men were paid for less than
4 hours of overtime. Approximately one-fourth of the women and
one-fifth of the men were compensated for 4 to 6 hours. Very few
women, but nearly one-third of the men, were paid for 10 hours or
more. Most of those in the last group are in telegraph, railroad,
and manufacturing offices. Approximately half the women and 8
in 10 of the men in the telegraph offices worked and were paid for
time over their regular scheduled workweek of 42 hours.

466454”—42------6




EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND OTHER
FACTORS ON RATES OF PAY
The degree to which increased experience affects rates of pay is
clearly indicated from the pay-roll and personnel data secured in
the Philadelphia offices. An analysis of the salaries paid beginners
is presented first, followed by a discussion of the relation of salary
rise to years of experience.
Monthly rates paid beginners.
The beginning salaries for full-time workers who entered office
employment in 1939 or 1940 were secured for 427 women and 312
men. More than half the beginners reported were in the insurance
and manufacturing firms surveyed.
The women averaged only $63. As many as 6 in 10 earned from
$60 to $70; about 8 in 10 averaged $65 or less. Only 1 earned as
much as $100. More than half of the women beginners were file
clerks, typists, stenographers, messengers, and sorters.
The men who had just begun office work in 1939 and 1940 had a
beginning average salary of $67, only $4 above that of women. More
men than women—43 percent in contrast to 28 percent—had salaries
below $60; but this was more than offset by the greater proportion
of men—30 percent as compared to only 12 percent of the women—
who earned $70 or more. Eight percent of the men earned $100 or
more. Messengers, only 4 of whom earned more than $65, comprised
44 percent of the men beginners.
Percent with a beginning monthly rate of—
Num­ Average
ber of monthly
begin­
Under
salary
ners
$40

Sex

Women
Men___________

427
312

$63
67

0.2
1.3

$40,
under
$50

$50,
under
$60

$60,
under
$70

$70.
under
$80

$80,
under
$90

$90,
under
$100

3.5
4.5

23.9
37.2

60.0
27.2

8.9
7.1

2.6
9.6

0.7
5.4

$100
and
over
0.2
7.7

ADVANCING RATES WITH EXPERIENCE
Rise in salary rates is correlated directly with advancing experi­
ence. This is clear from the scheduled data when all office workers
are grouped by sex and current salaries are compared with total years
of experience. (See totals on table X.) Among the women, those
who had been in office work 1 and under 2 years when surveyed in
1940 had earnings 4y2 percent above those of women who had been
in office work less than a year. With another year of experience
there is a 7-percent increase over that, and the average salary advances
76




EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND OTHER FACTORS—PHILADELPHIA

77

by 5 percent with each succeeding year up to 5. The women who
have been in office work 5 and under 10 years average 10 percent
more than those with 4 and under 5 years of experience; and those
in office work 10 years and more average 23 percent more than the
5-and-under-10-year group, or $111. This amounts to $45, or 68
percent, more than the average for beginners in office work less than
a year.
With each year of experience (except the 3-and-under-4-year
group), the percent of salary increase is higher for men than for
women. For example, men with 1 and under 2 years of experience
earn 10 percent more, in contrast to women’s 4y2 percent, than
those in office work less than a year; and men in office work 10 and
more years average 39 percent more, in contrast to women’s 23 per­
cent, than those in office work 5 and under 10 years. Men with 10
or more years of experience average $92, or 130 percent, more than
the men beginners, or practically double women’s actual and per­
centage increase.
Salary advancement with experience is even more apparent when
beginning and current rates are compared in the case of those work­
ers, 2,599 women and 1,935 men, whose total experience has been with
one firm. (See table XI.) Further, the difference between the sexes
in salary increase with years of experience becomes more evident in
this comparison.
Very few women and men with all their experience in one office
have had decreases in salary since entering as beginners, and only 11
percent of the men and 13 percent of the women still earn their
beginning rate. All the remainder have been advanced in salary.
The men who have been in their present office, and in office work,
less than a year have been increased from $66 to $71, or 8 percent;
for the women such increase has been only from $63 to $66, or 5
percent. The men with 1 and under 3 years in the same office have
advanced by 22 percent in salary as against the women’s 19 percent.
After 3 to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, and 10 years and more in one firm,
the men are earning respectively 46, 75, and 198 percent more than
they did as beginners, but the women are earning only 37, 49, and
891/2 percent more than when they began.
In general, men with 10 or more years in the same office average
$158, or 123 percent more than men in their first year of office em­
ployment ; the women average $108 after 10 years, or 64 percent more
than when they began.




Table

X.—Average monthly salary 1 of employees with over-all years of experience reported, by occupation—PHILADELPHIA

<1

Number and average salary 1 of employees whose experience since first office job was—
3, under 4
years

Under 3 years
Under 1 year

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

i, under 2
years

2, under 3
years

Total under 3
years

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Average
ber
salary

4, under 5
years

5, under 10
years

10 years and
over

Num­ Aver- Num­ Aver- Num­ Aver
age
age
age
ber
ber
ber
salary
salary
salary

WOMEN
10,127

$98

592

$66

453

$69

623

$74

1,668

$70

639

*78

517

$82

1,358

$90

5,945

$111

1,170
1,491
1,404

129
100
90

7
70
100

70
66

15
62
71

71
70

24
79
119

79
75

46
211
290

85
74
71

21
94
127

80
79

32
110
93

94
88
81

127
287
201

106
95
86

944
789
693

136
114
102

451
241

100
118

10
1

35
9

68

14
7

50
25

85
93

333
194

108
125

541
496
340

96
96
89

15
18
27

51
60
65

74
74
69

37
40
33

78
81
76

19
26
24

68
87
45

90
89
87

366
283
173

102
106
101

555
257
272

81
89
92

108
17
4

64

60
18
5

74

23
15
9

47
36
24

81
83

208
137
217

99
102
96

619
543
410
397

101
110
78
88

31
47
38
54

68
65
62
64

19
27
41
21

74

59
34
44
50

94
101
81
84

413
339
183
181

111
128
89
105

88
811

111
75

45

63

60

72

36
134

105
77

36
421

127
79

41

166

35

175

Stenographic group.

Accounting group:
Accounting, audit, bookkeepHand bookkeeper; cashier ...
Machine operators:

Other clerks:
File....................................... .
Clerks not elsewhere classified in—

Government,

Federal and

Other types of office




y
4

67

16
4

16
12
12

20
30
26

1

78
69

19
6

61
17
8

70

229
52
17

67
68

48
17
5

73
67

47
39
49
34

74
77
66
68

97
113
128
109

72
71
65
66

23
40
30
41

79
69
76

27
17
25
16

65

6
44

67

6
149

65

8
53

67

2
54

68

1

1

84

84

4

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

Occupation

Employees
with over-all
experience
reported

MEN
$140

370

127
159
127

17
10
11

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

All occupations..............

329

1 Not computed for groups of less than 25.

190

$78

12
58
110

72

124
163
120

26
10
77

148
101

1

225

1

68
83

3
18
7
30
5
29

281

65

73
85

15
32
7
22
9
51
20
52

$89

227

582

$117

3,853

$163

105

21
21
17

49
91
46

118
118
108

180
923
266

149
170
144

17
14
6
21
3

37
14
22
42
19

131

147
39
170
121
157

174
109
178
136
129

510
646
251

145
172
151

82
69

161
119

292

231

$100

66

84
87

841

*78

303

49
39
42

$87

18
19
22

14
10
9

85
83
76

24
29
19

43
220
14
72
24

104
61

18
30
5
24
9

107
35
158

77
105
85

57
15
52

74

1
19

5
10

17
13

1

3

28

9

2
9

3
30

1

3

5

74

68

83
92

38
10
41

96
103

89
45
70

114
104
115
118

184

79




$71

EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND OTHER FACTORS--- PHILADELPHIA

5,806

323
Stenographic group....................
1,103
Accounting group.....................
Machine operators__________
390
Other clerks:
Cost and production_____
2G2
Messenger.........................
317
217
Statistical................. .............
280
Stock.......................................
212
Transit____________ ____
Clerks not elsewhere classified in—
Finance and insurance
801
Public utilities____________
751
Manufacturing___ _
572
Government, Federal and
108
State............... .......................
Other types of office............... .
141

80

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

Table

XI.—Changes in rates of employees whose total experience has been with
same firm, by years with firm—PHILADELPHIA
Employees
reported

Time with present firm
Total

Group averages of
monthly rates—

Number
reporting
first and
present
rates

Number of employees
whose present rate
first rate—

In
first
job

In
Percent
present
of
job
increase

Has
Has
Is
de­
in­
same creased creased

WOMEN
All experience with same firm___
Total with time reported____
Under 1 year....................................
1, under 3 years.................................
3, under 5 years.............
..............
5, under 10 years.............. .........
10 years and over
____________
Time with firm not reported...

3,196

2,599

$60

$89

48.3

344

12

2,243

3,134

2,592

60

89

48.3

343

10

2, 239

462
545
497
433
1, 197

382
464
423
377
946

63

66

4.8

258

1

123

60
61
57

82
91
108

36. 7
49. 2
89.5

11
5
9

1
3
5

411
369
932

62

7

73

93

1

2

4

MEN

•
All experience with same firm_____

2,451

1,935

$61

$122

100.0

217

5

1,713

Total with time reported____

2, 397

1,929

61

122

100.0

217

5

1, 707

325
328
325
293
1,126

268
276
263
257
865

69
65
69
53

95
121
158

46.2
75.4
198.1

4
1
1

1
2
2

258
254
862

54

6

64

97

Under 1 year.
_______
3
1, under ’ years..................... ........
3, under 5 years_____________
5, under 10 years______ ______
10 years and over________
Time with firm not reported____

6

Occupational experience and salary advancement.
Data concerning total experience in office work by occupation are
reported for 10,127 women and 5,806 men, or 86 percent of the regu­
lar workers scheduled. (See table X.) Because of small numbers,
fewer occupations can be discussed here than are listed in table II
on page 13. Positions in which the workers have similar tasks or
earn about the same rate have in some cases been combined into one
occupational group. Jobs in the division “other clerks” in which
the workers are too few for averages have been thrown together under
the title “clerks not elsewhere classified” and listed by type of office.
Among the men, for example, none of the jobs in the stenographic
group can be shown separately, whereas many hundreds of women
are secretaries or stenographers. Likewise, though the accounting
and machine-operating groups are listed without occupational detail
for the men, there are sufficient numbers of women to mention ac­
counting, audit, and bookkeeping clerks separately from the hand
bookkeepers and cashiers in the accounting group and bookkeepingand billing-machine operators and calculating-machine operators
separately from the others in the machine operators’ group. Only
file, record, and telephone clerks can be listed separately among the
women in the “other clerks” group, whereas cost and production
clerks, messengers, statistical, stock, and transit clerks can be shown
for men; the others in the group are distributed by type of office
in the class “clerks not elsewhere classified.” In the latter, the public




EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND OTHER FACTORS---- PHILADELPHIA

81

utilities mentioned include, besides the electric, gas, and street-rail­
way companies, railroads, and the telephone and telegraph companies.
Special office workers are listed for both men and women.
The occupations differ considerably in the degree of salary ad­
vancement between those having least and those having most experi­
ence. Among the women with numbers large enough for the
computing of averages, secretaries show the greatest difference in
salary, 60 percent, between that earned by women less than 3 years
in office work ($85) and that earned by women who have worked in
offices 10 years or more ($136). The least percent of difference is
shown in the case of the bookkeeping- and billing-machine operators
(88 percent). It is interesting that whereas these machine operators
enter office work at the same average salary as stenographers ($74),
with 10 years or more of experience the stenographers earn $12 more
than the machine operators.
The percent of difference between the salary earned by all the men
with less than 3 years of experience and that earned by men who
have been in office work 10 years or more is 109, as compared with
only 59 for the women. The smallest percentage of difference among
the occupations listed separately for men is for cost and production
clerks, 67 percent, higher than the greatest degree of difference in the
case of the women. The greatest percentage of difference between the
average salary of men with under 3 years of experience and those
with 10 years or more occurs in the case of the accounting group. It
is notable in this connection that whereas among the men with less
than 3 years of experience the stenographers earn $2 more than the
accounting group, with 10 years of experience or more the latter
outstrip the stenographers on the same experience level by $21.
Type of office and salary advancement.
The number of years each employee has been with the firm where
he was scheduled was recorded for almost all the office workers sur­
veyed. As would be expected, length of service is closely correlated
with salary rate. Further, there are variations by type of office in the
rapidity and extent of the rise in rates. Table XII gives the average
monthly salary by type of office and length of service with the firm.
It is apparent from this table that men with service records of
20 years or more earn $100 (or 111 percent) more than men who have
worked in the same office less than 3 years, but that women with such
long work histories earn only $51 (or 65 percent) more than women
who have been with the firm under 3 years. Further, the increase
in average salary is proportionately greater for men than for women
at each service level.
Concerning the difference in salary of workers at the extremes in
length of service, in types of office where there are sufficient numbers
at such extremes, it will be seen that women who have served one
firm 20 years or more, as compared with those who have worked less
than 3 years, have average salaries of $99 more in railroads but of
only $20 more in department and apparel stores. The salaries of
men in a corresponding comparison differ by $155 in insurance and
by $68 in stores. The difference of only $36 in the Federal Govern­
ment offices is hardly comparable, as its chief cause is the high
entrance rate.




Table

XII.—Average monthly salary 1 according to length of service with present firm, by type of office—PHILADELPHIA

00

to

Number and average salary» of employees who had been with present firm—
All employees
reported

Under 3 years

3, under 5 years 5, under 10 years 10 years and over 10, under 15 years 15, under 20 years 20 years and over

Type of office
Aver­
age
salary

Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

11,496

$97

3,522

$78

1,591

$86

1,631

$97

1,112
1.715
184
680
231
533
1,106
2,022
1, 516
219
748
787
486
157

106
96
122
108
93
115
87
92
76
129
96
119
86
99

257
509
35
216
10
96
401
767
334
53
465
114
193
72

82
73
62
76

93
85
91
86
68
98
82
89
73

150
264
5
59

110
97

85
74
75
67
111
93
83
76
81

146
193
41
62
37
47
175
353
280
9
84
89
51
24

76
143
330
269
42

6,368

$137

1,607

$90

665

1,193
1,031
738
153
84
650
260
1,364
299
231
259
43
39
24

142
136
181
179
96
153
106
121
95
159
101
104
77

187
195
12
20
2
77
113
525
119
81
224
19
22
11

89
83

105
101
15
12
15
41
37
224
63
25
9
3
6
9

Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

Aver­
age
salary

Aver­
age
salary

Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

Num­
ber

4,752

$114

2,283

$104

1,168

$117

1,301

$129

120
114

251
400
7
164

114
105

136
209

122
116

172
140

127
138

106

559
749
103
343

125

88

137

91

145

112
92
100
79
120

314
387
572
633
115

126
102
112
81
141

126
171
324
358

121
94
107
79

88
103
142
136

128
108
117
82

100
113
106
139

131
107
123
87
142

74
91
25

109
86
117

510
151
36

133

201

122

121

144

24

133
107

188

125

$106

794

$131

3, 302

$167

1,250

$143

743

$169

1,309

$190

110
101

184
144.

133
126

717
591

163
162

285
343

145
136

191
165

163
178

241
83

185
238

58
436
71
420
78
81
16
12
6
1

105
168

33
203

152

124

175

109

190

165
128
172

189
32

153
115

112
17

168

119
29

181
143
171

Num­
ber

Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

WOMEN
Total........ ..................... .................. .
Banks and other finance............................
Insurance_________ ________ _
Railroads__________ __________________
Telephone ________ __________ ______
Telegraph
Other public utilities....................... ............
Printing and publishing
Other manufacturing
Department and apparel stores..................
Federal Government
Education
Nonprofit organizations
Miscellaneous small offices

94
80

133

7

5

MEN
Total___________
Banks and other finance______ ____ ___
Insurance_____ ____ _ ____
_
Telephone__________ ____
Telegraph____________ _____ _________
Other public utilities
Printing and publishing____________
Other manufacturing.___ ______ ______ _
Department and apparel stores..................
State government— ---------- ---------------Education ______________
Nonprofit organizations..............................
Miscellaneous small offices ............. ..........

> Not computed for groups of less than 25.




101
73
89
75
135
97

124
96
109
90
140

7
9
96
39
195
39
44
10
9
5
3

136
121
130
101
187

11
6

220

226

181
1
1

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE

Num­
ber

EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND OTHER FACTORS---- PHILADELPHIA

83

Average salary according to number of positions held.
With one or two exceptions salaries tend to be slightly higher
among those who have worked always for one firm than for those
who have had several positions.
More than half of the men but only two-fifths of the women had
been employed only in the office where scheduled.
Employees reported

Years of experience
Average
salary

Number

Average salary according to variety of experience
All experience
with present firm
Number
of em­
ployees

Average
salary

One job elsewhere
Number
of em­
ployees

Two or more jobs
elsewhere

Average
salary

Number
of em­
ployees

Average
salary

WOMEN
Total

7,733

Under 3
3, under 5_________
5, under 10
10 and over

$95

3,134

$89

2,070

$98

2,529

$100

1, 529
1,050
1, 171
3,983

70
80
91
110

1. 007
497
433
1,197

70
81
91
109

325
272
286
1,187

69
79
91
111

197
281
452
1,599

70
79
91
103

.
Total

MEN

4, 493

Under 3
3, under 5_ _................
5, under 10" __ ____
10 and over

$134

2,397

$125

1, 023

$141

1,073

$150

791
500
520
2,682

77
94
117
162

653
325
293
1,126

78
96
121
161

111
106
104
702

74
87
114
164

27
69
123
854

79
89
108
163

EDUCATION AND SALARY ADVANCEMENT
Of all the factors influencing salary advancement among office
workers in Philadelphia, amount of education appears to be the least
significant. In the first place, in its effect on salaries education is
without any importance considered apart from length of experience,
age, and even occupation. Young college graduates with no ex­
perience earn little compared with older and more experienced
workers who have had no schooling beyond the grammar grades.
Likewise, college graduates working as messengers and file clerks
have average salaries considerably below those with grammar-school
training alone who are working as cashiers and hand bookkeepers.
This is true in the younger as well as the older groups.
With a comparison of the salaries of office workers at the same age
or experience level but with different educational background, some
valid analysis of the effect of education may be made. For example,
in almost every age group, from under 25 years up to 40 years and
over, there is a slight increase in salary as the educational level
rises. The largest salary differences occur in the case of men who
only attended college as compared with those who were graduated,
and between those whose maximum education was grammar school
and those who went to high school. In any case the difference in the
average salaries of workers in the same age or experience groups
but at the extremes of education reported (grammar school and col­
lege) is never more than $18 among the women and $43 among the




84

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 194 0

men. In various occupations, workers on the same experience level
who have attended business school are earning somewhat more than
those who have not been to such schools.
AGE AND SALARY
As expected, the average salary of office workers in Philadelphia
rises with advancing age, the men’s more steeply than the women’s.
Though men and women under 20 years begin at about the same rate,
$65 and $66 respectively, at the ages of 20 to 25 years men are earn­
ing $87 and women $78, while men of 40 and more are earning $179
in contrast to women’s $122.
It is evident from table XIII that the various types of office differ
considerably in the salaries paid young people and the rate with which
office workers advance in salary with increasing age. Of all types,
telegraph offices and department and apparel stores pay women of
20 and under 25 the least, only $66 and $72 respectively; State offices
pay them the most, $88. Women of 40 and over earn most in rail­
road and telephone offices ($161 and $144) and least in the retail
stores ($83). It is not surprising, therefore, that the difference in
salary between women of 20 and under 25 and the middle-aged should
be greatest for women in railroad and telephone offices, $78 and $67
respectively, and least in the stores, only $11.
In insurance offices men of 40 years and more average as much as
$124 above the average for men of 20 and under 25. In contrast,
the older men in State offices average only $20 more than the young
group. Men of 20 and under 25 earn less in insurance offices ($70)
than anywhere else and earn most in the electric, gas, and street-rail­
way firms ($97) and the railroads ($93). The State offices pay the
middle-aged men least ($108), while the telephone and insurance
offices pay them the most, $222 and $194, respectively.
The various occupations also differ in the rate at which salaries rise
with the workers’ age. Women of 40 and over average $56 more than
those of 20 and under 25 as hand bookkeepers and cashiers, but only
$29 more as bookkeeping- and billing-machine operators. Men of 40
and over average more than those of 20 and under 25 by $94 in cost
and production work and $92 in the accounting group, but by only
$46 as transit clerks.




Table

XIII.—Average monthly salary 1 of employees in the various age groups, by type of office—PHILADELPIIIA

U nder 20 years

Type of office
Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

20, under 25
years

25, under 30
years

30, under 35
years

35, under 40
years

40 years and
over

Under 25 years

35 years and
over

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

Num­ Aver­
age
ber
salary

WOMEN
$118

Other public utilities
Printing and publishing.------Other manufacturing.
Department and apparel stores.

Miscellaneous small offices

$97

746

$66

2,839

$78

2,324

$91

2,069

$103

1,522

$112

2,237

$122

3, 585

$76

3,759

1,119
1,719
185
729
332
534
1,105
2,047
1,570
221
748
780
491
157

106
96
123
111
101
115
87
92
76
129
96
119
86
99

39
142
21
45
1
26
93
191
109
1
30
17
22
9

69
68

215
437
54
185
35
73
359
578
451
21
193
87
111
40

84
76
83
77
66
86
75
78
72

160
330
6
133
46
71
183
452
371
31
252
127
125
37

97
92

223
302
9
125
70
114
166
362
254
30
128
182
83
21

107
100

190
215
30
77
88
103
113
228
164
24
82
127
59
22

117
110
150
140
112
127
104
112
81

292
293
65
164
92
147
191
236
221
114
63
240
91
28

125
128
161
144
122
130
105
117
83
139
107
142
98
113

254
579
75
230
36
99
452
769
560
22
223
104
133
49

82
74
77
75
66
81
73
75
70
88
79
71
77

482
508
95
241
180
250
304
464
385
138
145
367
150
50

837

$163

2,040

$179

1,571

$82

2,877

$174

223
217
30
25
18
71
126
537
158
22
95
17
19
13

83
69
92
80

566
340
691
102
35
392
61
393
.70
144
55
16
10
2

169
185
188
216
120
170
170
167
125
181
112

65
67
63
66
62
85

88
82
73
80

100
75
107
86
90
77
116
97
105
85
101

125
94
118
96
103
80
119
101
119
91

99
124
97

\h
}^0
loa

Iff
<

S

13;

lot
136
98

U84

MEN
All types ..

---------------

Banks and other finance

Other manufacturing. .' _____
Department and apparel stores.

Miscellaneous small offices___

6,648

$137

1,201
1,031
786
164
694
272
1,442
311
236
260
45
24

1 Not computed for groups of less than 25.



142
137
180
181
101
152
107
123
96
159
101
105
76

386
66
41
1
13

$65

15
10

157
176
29
12
18
59
88
412
105
22
80
7

4

9

12
38
125
’ 53

63
65

1,185

60
67
62

$87
91
70
93
97
79
90
82
88

1,097
167
248
22
18
41
87
57
283
48
40
66
7
8
5

$115
125
112
82
126
100
118
110
122
103

1,103
245
226
43
19
50
144
28
229
35
30
44
5
1
4

$142
145
147
139
111
150
138
143
114
142
112

162
134
137
48
15
123
14
136
16
17
23
5
6

1

158
172
171
210
162
157

404
206
554
54
20
269
47
257
54
127
32
11
4
1

174
194
192
222
174
174
173
122
182
108

92
73
85
75
88

85

11,737

All types
Banks and other finance

EFFECTS OF EXPERIENCE AND OTHER FACTORS--- PHILADELPHIA

Number and average salary 1 of employees whose age wasTotal
employees

86

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN
Table

194 0

XIV.—Average monthly salary of employees of various ages, by
occupation-—PHILADELPHIA
Employees
reported

Average monthly salary of employees whose
age was—

Occupation
Num­
ber

Aver­
age
salary

Under 20, un­ 25, un­ 30, un­ 35, un­ 40 year'
der 25 der 30 der 35 der 40
20
and
years
years
years
years
years
over
WOMEN

All occupations............................
Stenographic group:
Secretary___________ ____ _____
Stenographer ________________
Other. ___________ _____ _ ___
Accounting group:
Accounting, audit, bookkeeping
clerks. _ _ _
Hand bookkeeper; cashier
Machine operators:
Bookkeeping and billing...........
Calculating
Other
Other clerks:
File.................................................
Record_______ ____ __________
Telephone_____________ ______
Clerks not elsewhere classified in—
Finance and insurance
Public utilities_____ ________
Printing and publishing
Other manufacturing _.
Government, Federal and State.
Other types of office
Special office workers..........................

11, 737

$97

1, 260
1, 703
1,817

128
99
89

495
262

99
117

597
529
383

95
96
88

602
283
352

80
88
94

634
608
449
456
376
887
44

101
110
78
88
106
75
168

$66

$78

$91

$103

$112

$122

92
83
79

109
97

85

127
109
95

135
116
104

147
125
116

ra

(>)

75
82

87
91

99
109

109
117

116
138

to
(')

79
80
76

91
91
87

98
99
92

106
107
105

108
124
115

71
72
74

81
84
84

90
98
87

100
100
97

107
112
109

78
76
70
75
91
70

94
99
80
86
103
76

101
118
87
101
108
77

110
131
93
111
105
83

120
139
88
109
124
83
181

p)

69
70

67
65

(9
(9
67
63
62
64

(9

62

(9

(9

(9

(9

*87

$115

$142

$163

$179

91
94
87

116
121
111

128
149
128

152
162
157

180
186
160

177

192
105
192
138
137

MEN
All occupations._____________

6, 648

$137

Stenographic group................................
Accounting group._____
M achine operators. _______ ______
Other clerks:
Cost and production
Messenger___________ ____ ____
Statistical__________ ______ ___
Stock
Transit_________ __________
Clerks not elsewhere classified in—
Finance and insurance
Public utilities_____________ _
Manufacturing ______________
Government, Federal and State.
Other types of office.................. .
Special office workers________ _____

412
1. 172
428

123
158
125

(9
(9
(9

316
379
225
324
212

147
70
163
111
119

(9

838
849
683
290
158
362

124
160
118
121
100
226

* Not computed; number too small.




$65

(9
(9

58
63

(9

(9
(9

131

(9

71

(9

83
91

136
106
110

86
89
90
93
86

66

(9

98
66

110
111
112
110
98
152

152

(9

151
130
125

140
141
137
117

(9

196

(9

178
141
138

149
168
159
121

(9

220

156
183
165
154
117
262

ANNUAL EARNINGS
Regularity of employment.
Weekly or monthly earnings have special significance when they are
accompanied by figures that show the number of weekly or monthly
periods in which workers have been employed and their year’s earn­
ings. For this reason there were transcribed from the firms’ records
not only the employees’ salaries for one current pay period in 1940
but the total earnings of each employee and the number of periods he
or she worked in the year 1939. The 1939 data have been analyzed
for all those who were employed in Janury in 1939 in the office where
scheduled. Their number is approximately three-fourths of the total.
The figures show beyond question that office work provides regular
employment throughout the year. Counting the 10-month school
period of office workers in education as a full calendar year, 93 percent
of all women and 96 percent of all men were employed throughout
1939. Practically all the others worked at least 39 weeks. Most of
the women employed less than 52 weeks are in the retail stores, non­
profit organizations, printing and publishing and other manufactur­
ing, and telegraph offices; most of the men are in manufacturing, the
railroads, and retail stores.
Annual earnings by type of office.
Annual earnings are discussed here only for those employed 48
weeks or more in 1939 in the office where scheduled. These comprise
about 73 percent of the regular but nonprofessional and nonadministrative workers surveyed.
•
The women’s average earnings in 1939 were $1,194, the men’s $1,744.
The various types of office have much the same general rank with
regard to annual as to monthly salaries. Railroads and the Federal
Government rank first and second in the payment of women, with
averages of $1,992 and $1,576, respectively. It is interesting, however,
that whereas the railroads pay women a slightly lower monthly rate
than Federal offices, the average annual salary of those in railroads
is $416 above that in Federal offices. Doubtless this is because lowpaid women employees recently taken on in the railroads worked less
than 48 weeks in 1939 and so are not included in the annual-earnings
table. The men had their highest 1939 salaries, like their highest
monthly rates, in the railroad and telephone offices. Both women and
men had their lowest annual salaries in the retail stores scheduled, $884
and $1,162, respectively, and in telegraph offices, $1,032 and $1,264.
Though 82 in 100 of all the women for whom 1939 data were analyzed
earned less than $1,500 and 35 in 100 earned less than $1,000, only
4 in 100 had earnings below $750. In contrast with the total for all
industries combined, 86 in 100 women in the department and apparel
stores, 57 in 100 in telegraph offices, and 52 in 100 in printing and pub­
lishing earned less than $1,000, and as many as 13, 10, and 9 percent,
respectively, earned less than $750. On the other hand, almost 100




87

Table

XV.—Percent distribution 1 of employees according to annual earnings for work in A8 weeks or more of 1989, by type of office—
PHILADELPHIA

Type of office

Percent of employees who worked 48 weeks or more in 1939 and earned—
Un­
der
$750

$750, $800, $850, $900, $950, $1,000, $1,100, $1,200, $1,300, $1,400, $1,500, $1,600, $1,700, $1,800, $1,900, $2,000
under under under under under under under under under under under under under under under and
$800
$850
$900
$950 $1,000 $1,100 $1,200 $1,300 $1,400 $1,500 $1,600 $1,700 $1,800 $1,900 $2,000 over
WOMEN

All types_________ _____ _
Banks and other finance--.........
Insurance.-.
Telephone_____ _____ ____ ____
Other public utilities.................. .
Printing and publishing. _____
Other manufacturing__________
Department and apparel stores..
Education________ __________
Nonprofit organizations ___ _
Miscellaneous small offices_____

8, 461

$1,194

3.9

5.1

7.2

5.6

7.4

6.1

11.9

8.7

11.1

8.3

6.4

5.6

4.0

2.6

2.2

0.9

3.2

979
1,443
58
570
198
478
864
1,450
931
176
149
705
354
106

1,331
1,194
1, 992
1, 349
1,032
1,402
1,062
1,152
884
1, 576
1,191
1,336
1,041
1, 337

.1
.4

.4
3.3

2.5
6.0

3.4
4.6

3.2
10.3

6.6
7.1

11.7
14.9

12.8
12.3

2.8
13.6
2.3
6.6
2.7
20.0

1.8
13.6
1.5
10.3
5.4
25.4

9.8
6.6
.4
9.5
5.9
11.3

7.7
3.5
1.7
10.3
9.2
12.2

6.8
5.8
1.7
11.9
5.1
10.3
4.1
4.8
.4
17.0

3.3
1.4
25.9
3.9

.6
1.0
6 9
1.8

4.6
2.7
46 6
3.9
4.6
1.3
1.8
.9
3.4

1.1

1.4
5.,4
3.8

2.4
8.2
6.6

35.3
13.0
1.9

16.8

3.1
7.6

5.2
3.4
7.6

2.1
.9
1.5
.1
12. 5
3.4
2.3
.6
7.6

2.5
.7
.6
.1
2. 8

9.9
2.8

12.6
2.0
7.3
1.5
2.6
.1
17.6
4.0
1.0
1.1
2.8

2.5
1.8
12.1
7.7
.5
4.0
1.5
1.9
.1
11.9

1.8
6.5
7.6

7.2
7.1
6.1
13.5
15.4
6.0
.6
34.9
9.4
18.4
8.5

10.9
6.6
1.7
6.8
5.1
15.9
3.2
4.6
.2
11.9

1.2
8.1
3.7

4.2
9.1
1.9
7.2
8.6
4.0
.6
.7
5.3
8.8
2.8

14.7
9.4
1.7
6.1
7.1
17.2
6.4
7.5
1.4
12.5
21.5
4.0
4.2
13.2

8.1
3.0

.5
10.1
.8
8.7
4.1
12.7

7.9
9.4
3.4
6.1
9.1
9.4
8.4
13.1
3.2
.6
36.9
5.7
7.3
10.4

.9
.8
2.8

7.1
.3
9.4

5.1
7.6
12.1
5.9
10.3
1.8
8.5

5.0
.8
.9

MEN
All types.........................
Banks and other finance
Insurance____ ________________

Other public utilities. .
Printing and publishing
Other manufacturing___ _____
Department and apparel stores.

5,099

$1, 744

2.3

1.5

2.0

1.7

2.8

2.1

4.8

4.8

5.1

6.1

6.3

6.9

6.1

4.5

6.7

4.1

32.2

1,092
955
515
143
75
648
201
995
205
162
38
33
20
17

1,799
1,674
2,299
2, 156
1, 264
l' 837
1,407
1, 580
1,162
2,017
1,342
1,359
(2)
(2)

1.8
1.2

1.0
1.6

.4
2.3

1.6
4.4

.7
3.1

3.8
6.6

3.5
9.3
.3
2.5
2.4
6.8
.6

4.9
8.0
1.1
6.5
2.0
11.7

2.8
8.0
1.7
11.9
4.8
14.6

7.2
6.2
.4
1.4
6.7
6.9
4.4
8.9
3.9
14.2

6.7
7.9
1.7
1.4
8.0
9.6
7.5
7.7
4.4
14. 2

7.6
4.6
2.9
2.1
8.0
11.4
3.0
5.5
2.4
8.6

10.0
6.7
1.9
1.4
4.0
8.6
4.4
6.5
1.5
6. 2

6.0
3.9
.8

8.0
.5
5.0
3.3
6.3

7.6
6.4
1.0
3.5
6.7
5.4
8.4
7.6
6.8
1.2

6.0
4.0
2.9
2.1

31.6
24.0
87. 6
69.9

.8
5.0
2.3
4.9

3.0
6.2
.2
2.8
13.3
2.8
3.5
8.2
9.8
.6

4.2
7.2

1.3
.5
9.0
2.7
10.3

.6
3.8
.6
2.1
8.0
.5
5.0
1.9
3.9
.6

4 0
8.5
3.0
3.7
.5
1 2

29.9
15.9
19.5
5.4
46 9

* Percent not computed where base less than 50.
2
 Not computed; number too small.


2.1
2.7
4.0
4.0
8.4
4.9
4.3

7.6
1.0
4.7
2.0
1.2

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

Num­ Aver­
ber of age an­
nual
em­
ploy­
earn­
ings
ees re­
ported (mean)

ANNUAL EARNINGS—PHILADELPHIA

89

percent of the women in railroads and in the Federal and State offices
earned $1,000 or more.
Though 39 in 100 of the men earned less than $1,500 in 1939, only
12 in 100 earned less than $1,000 and only 2 in 100 had earnings below
$750. It is interesting, however, that as many as 44 in 100 in the retail
stores, and about one-third each in printing and publishing and tele­
graph offices, had earnings below $1,000. About 10 and 9 percent of
the men in the first two types of office just mentioned earned less than
$750.
In contrast, almost 9 in 10 men in the railroads and 7 in 10 in tele­
phone offices earned at least $2,000 in 1939, though the average number
earning so much among all the men surveyed is only about 3 in 10.
Every type of office but the railroads paid at least 9 in 10 of the women
they employed less than $2,000; not far from half of the women
in the railroad offices earned $2,000 or more.
Annual earnings by occupation.
When the women and men are tabulated by occupation and the occu­
pations are arranged in order of average annual earnings in 1939, as
in table XVI, special office workers head the list for each sex. The
women special office workers averaged $2,010, or $816 more than the
average for all women and $541 more than the average for secretaries,
next in rank. The men special office workers averaged $2,704, which
is $960 more than the average for all men, $424 more than that for rate
clerks who rank second, and practically $700 above the women’s
average.
Only 8 occupational groups among the men failed to average at least
$1,400 and only the messengers earned less than $1,000. In contrast,
among the women only the 7 most highly paid occupations commanded
as much as $1,400. Several groups on the women’s list earned less
than $1,000, messengers, service-desk clerks in the stores, and the circu­
lation and subscription clerks in printing and publishing earning less




90
Table

OFFICE WORK AJSfD OFFICE WORKERS IN 19 40

XVI.-—Average annual earnings of employees who worked 48 weeks or
more in 1989, by occupation—PHILADELPHIA
Men

Women

Occupation

Special office workers
Secretaries------------------- --------------------Bookkeepers, hand----------------------------Audit clerks
Cashiers, tellers....................................... --­
Trouble dispatchers
Bond, security, and draft clerks................
Correspondents_____________________
Clerks not elsewhere classified, public
utilities......... ...............................................
Coin counters................................-............ Statistical clerks
Pay-roll clerks and timekeepers.. _____
Clerks not elsewhere classified, finance
and insurance--------------------------------Stenographers............... .................. ..............
Accounting clerks
Clerks not elsewhere classified, Federal
and State Government
Transit clerks
Claims examiners and adjusters................
Billing-machine operators____ _________
Actuarial clerks
Bookkeeping clerks
Billing, statement, and collection clerks.
Bookkeeping-machine operators----------Tabulating-machine operators
Calculating-machine operators............. ..
Dictating-machine transcribers................
Order and shipping clerks...... ................ .
Key-punch operators------ •_...... .................
Checkers.......... ................................................
Telephone operators_______ ______ ____
Record clerks....... ............... .........................
Receptionists______________ ____ _____
Duplicating-machine operators
Typists...................................... ...................
File clerks^____________ ____
Stock clerks_______ ____ ________ _____
Clerks not elsewhere classified, manufac­
turing....................... ...................... ...........
Sorters_______________ _______ ________
Mail clerks__________________________Addressing-machine operators
Clerks not elsewhere classified, other
types of office
Credit clerks________
___
Circulation and subscription clerks------Service-desk clerks.......................................
Messengers—........ ....................................-




Average
year's
earmngs
$2, 010
1, 469
1, 446
1, 413
1, 412
1,409
1, 404
1,364
1, 360
1, 351
1,332
1, 227
1, 225
1,223
1, 213
1,202

1,191
1,190
1,183
1,181
1,171
1,169
1,169
1,161
1,151
1,147
1,144
1,106
1,103
1, 095

1
1. 060
1,056
, 088
1,061

1,054
995

994
971
958
956
933
925
897
799
737

4

Occupation

Special office workers
Rate clerks_____________________ .
Cashiers, tellers______ ____ .-.........
Audit clerks____ _____________________
Bookkeepers, hand-------- -------- ----------Statistical clerks
Clerks not elsewhere classified, public
utilities____________
____________
Claims examiners and adjusters. .......... .
Renewal clerks_______________________
Secretaries____________________ _____ —
Trouble dispatchers
Draftsmen
_
_
Clerks not elsewhere classified, Federal
and State Government ...
Cost and production clerks
Correspondents______________ ____ ___
Bond, security, and draft clerks.......... _
Billing, statement, and collection clerks.
Accounting clerks_____ _______________
Checkers________ ____________________
Coin counters____ ___________________
Credit clerks_______________ _____ ____
Order and shipping clerks
Billing-machine operators
Pay-roll clerks and timekeepers
Tabulating-machine operators
Clerks not elsewhere classified, manufac­
turing_________ ____ _____ _______
Calculating-machine operators.................
Transit clerks___________ _____ _______
Record clerks______ ____ _____________
Mail clerks_______ ______ ____________
Bookkeeping clerks_____ _____________
Stenographers
Addressing-machine operators___
Clerks not elsewhere classified, finance
and insurance
Typists.......................................... ..................
Route clerks....................................................
Stock clerks........ ................. ......................
File clerks
Duplicating-machine operators.......... .......
Actuarial clerks
Clerks not elsewhere classified, other
types of office.............................................
Messengers.....................................................

Average
year's
earnings
$2, 704
2, 280
2,231
2,099
2, 016
1, 989
1, 948
1,931
1,926
1,920
1,908
1,893
1,838
1, 791
1, 785
1,716
1, 701
1,667
1, 629
1,624
1, 612
1, 585
1, 583
1,561
1, 552
1, 522
1,508
1,498
1,483
1, 476
1, 467
1,463
1, 431
1, 415
1, 384
1,379
1, 376
1, 355
1, 290
1,209
1,104
950

PERSONNEL POLICIES
Sex preference.
Table I (p. 10) shows that in the 334 offices scheduled in Phila­
delphia, three-fifths of the employees are women and two-fifths are
men. Such proportions differ considerably, however, by type of office.
Women comprise more than four-fifths of the office personnel in educa­
tion, nonprofit organizations, miscellaneous small offices, and the retail
stores surveyed, and almost four-fifths in printing and publishing, but
they comprise considerably less than one-fifth m the railroad com­
panies. The electric, gas, and street-railway utilities, banks, and other
finance, and the Federal Government also employ more men than
women.
>
Inquiry was made of all but the Government offices as to what occu­
pations are considered men’s work and what are considered women’s.
Some conclusions from the information received are as follows: Secre­
tarial, stenographic, and typist jobs are commonly regarded as women’s
province, as is the operation of the usual office equipment such as the
telephone switchboard and addressing, dictating, calculating, book­
keeping, and billing machines. A number of offices reported that most
or all of the detail, routine, or general clerical work ordinarily is given
to women.
In few offices are most or all of the ordinary office jobs considered
men’s work. This is the case, however, in 1 railroad, 1 investment
house, and 2 small offices. In 3 manufacturing firms men were hired
for all but stenographic positions. Men appear definitely to be pre­
ferred as accountants, bookkeepers, and heads of accounting and book­
keeping departments. They are commonly chosen as division heads
and to hold the executive, supervisory, and administrative jobs. Where
stock, shipping, or receiving clerks must work in warehouses, lift or
handle large and heavy parcels, men are employed exclusively, and
they are hired in preference to women as messengers and mail clerks,
in at least 3 cases such jobs being considered as the training ground
for staff positions.
The preferences expressed are borne out in the occupational distri­
bution found among the office workers shown in table II on page 13.
Marital status.
Among those office workers surveyed in Philadelphia, roughly threefourths of the women and not far from half the men were reported as
single. The education and telegraph offices have the highest propor­
tions of married women, respectively 32 and 29 in 100; the railroads
have the highest proportion of single women, 92 in 100. In contrast,
the railroads have the highest proportion of married men, 82 percent,
and the retail stores and State offices the highest proportions of single
men, respectively 73 and 70 percent.
In the case of men, marital status is in large part merely a reflection
of age; proportionately more men under 25 are found in the retail
offices than in any other; more men 40 and over are in railroads.
466454°—42------7




91

92

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

Among the women, however, the incidence of married or single women
is more the result of economic conditions and of prejudices. Some
firms will not employ married women and some will not allow women
who marry while in their service to remain. About two-thirds of the
offices surveyed reported their policies in regard to marital status. Of
these firms, two-fifths (86 offices) will hire only single women; these
include more than half the manufacturing offices, 2 of the 3 publicutility firms, all the telephone and railroad companies, and 12 of the
18 insurance offices. Only about one-sixth (36 firms), however, require
those who marry while in their service to resign. Most of these are
manufacturing, insurance, and miscellaneous small offices. On the
other hand, no office in retail stores, the Federal Government, nonprofit
organizations, education, nor telegraph considers marital status at all
in its employment policies.
Hiring and dismissal policies.
Of the 294 firms for which data are available, about two-thirds have
some centralized authority or organization for hiring office personnel,
either through one or two officers, the office manager, the proprietor,
or civil service, and personnel departments. In the remainder of the
offices, several units or individuals in the same concern, such as depart­
ment heads, have the power to hire and dismiss.
Most of the offices with a definite policy in regard to dismissal
grant at least 1 week either of notice or of dismissal pay; more
than half grant 2 weeks. Only 18 offices that reported give neither
pay nor notice. These 18 are in miscellaneous small offices, manu­
facturing, printing and publishing, railroads, telephone, insurance,
and finance. A number of firms that ordinarily give notice or a
dismissal wage grant neither of these when an employee is dismissed
for cause.
Vacation and sick-leave procedure.
In general, it appears customary in Philadelphia to grant office
workers at least 2 weeks of vacation with pay for 1 year of service,
and sometimes for shorter service. In less than one-fifth of the 236
firms reporting, chiefly manufacturing and miscellaneous small offices,
is the maximum vacation with pay only 1 week. In 5 offices no
paid vacations are granted; 4 of these are in the group of small
offices. In practically all other cases at least 2 weeks with pay are
allowed. In some 10 or 12 of these firms service histories of 10
to 25 years are rewarded with longer vacations. In the 6 Federal
Government offices civil service regulations provide for 2% days of
leave a month, amounting to 26 days in the year.
There are few firms scheduled in'Philadelphia, only 7 in 239 of those
reporting, that do not grant office employees sick leave with pay.
Policies with regard to sick leave, however, vary a good deal more
than those affecting vacations, and the amount of sick leave granted
is less often fixed. It may depend not only on length of service, but
on status in the firm and frequency of illness. The practices reported
vary all the way from the granting of only 4 hours at a time to pro­
duction workers in a factory office, less generous than usual, to the
granting of 1 year in 2 telephone offices for employees who have had 25
or more years of service. In several of the department and apparel
store offices employees subscribe to a benefit association to which they




PERSONNEL POLICIES---- PHILADELPHIA

93

alone contribute and through which they receive sick benefits. In
1 firm the benefit is payable for 13 weeks after 3 months of service
and for as much as 52 weeks after 25 years of service. In such cases
the store itself usually does not pay for sick leave.
Salary increases and promotional policies.
In few offices among those scheduled in Philadelphia are regular
promotional policies in effect. In most instances a promotion takes
place only as a vacancy occurs, and where this is true the eligible
employees generally are considered first.
Most of the advancement policies reported are concerned only with
review of personnel for salary increases. Such review is a periodic
occurrence, usually annual or semiannual, in about one-fourth of the
offices reporting. In some instances salary increases are made regu­
larly but they may not exceed the established limit of the position’s
grade, advancement to another position being recommended only on
the basis of special individual merit or the occurrence of a vacancy.
Definite policies with regard to salary increases, including regular
review of employees’ merits, were reported in all the Federal and
telephone offices visited, three of the four education offices, two of the
three public utilities, over half the financial offices, and more than
two-fifths of the insurance firms.
Insurance, welfare plans, and labor organization.
Insurance and welfare plans of various kinds are found more gen­
erally in large than in small offices and therefore are seldom reported
in the nonprofit organizations and miscellaneous small offices included
in this survey. Most popular are the employee insurance plans,
the workers in about 100 of the 236 firms reporting having some kind
of group life or annuity plan. In two-thirds of these the employing
office contributes part or all of the policy premiums.
In nearly one-fourth of the reporting firms the employees have
group hospitalization, but in only four companies do the employers
contribute. Definite retirement plans are common in railroads, tele­
phone firms, and other public utilities, and of course in the Federal
offices. A number of financial and insurance firms also have such
plans, and in at least five of the former the employers pay the entire
cost. A few of the companies visited subsidize group recreational
activities, foster savings and credit-union plans, or provide first aid
and emergency medical attention.
Except for the brotherhood of clerks in the railroad offices and
the various unions of Federal employees, labor organization among
the office workers of the firms scheduled in Philadelphia is negligible.
Source of applicants.
The 334 offices scheduled use the facilities of public and private
employment agencies more often than any other source of personnel.
Further, such agencies are, more than other sources, the sole outside
means made use of by individual concerns for securing new workers,
though most offices generally employ more than one source. The
department and apparel stores appear to use the public Employment
Service more than do other types of office. The informal means of
securing personnel through the recommendation of friends, employees,
business associates, and the church is next only to the employment




94

OFFICE WORK. AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

offices in popularity. Only a little less frequently resorted to are
the employment services of public and private schools and colleges.
In some firms, especially those with office staffs of 50 or more,
personal applications made at the firm’s door, or the company’s files
of such applicants, are used, though generally among other sources.
Newspaper or periodical advertising appears to be employed but
seldom. In Government offices, including the board of public educa­
tion, the civil service registers are used exclusively.




PHILADELPHIA’S SCHOOL FACILITIES FOR
TRAINING OFFICE WORKERS
The Women’s Bureau, in the course of its survey of office workers
in Philadelphia, inquired not only into the many aspects of office
workers’ employment but into the matter of the number who were
trained and placed in 1940, and the availability, character, and dura­
tion of the courses they took. To secure this information, field agents
visited the Board of Public Education and all private schools in the
city offering a business curriculum.
Public schools.
There are 14 senior day high schools, 4 vocational schools, and
13 evening schools in which commercial subjects are taught voca­
tionally in the Philadelphia public school system. The city’s junior
high schools offer only 1 course in business training, which is merely
exploratory and does not equip the students taking it to enter any
specialized phase of office work.
The curriculum in the senior day high schools includes, besides the
required academic subjects, 2 years or 4 semesters of typing and
stenography, 3 full years of bookkeeping, and 1 year each of com­
mercial geography, commercial arithmetic, and junior business train­
ing. A 1-semester course is offered in business elements, business
economics, commercial law, and office practice. More than 4,000
students were enrolled in June of 1939 in the first semester of book­
keeping, usually taken in the sophomore year. The total enrollment
in the bookkeeping courses, probably indicative of the enrollment
in the business curriculum as a whole in the public day high schools,
was approximately 14,000 at that time. In comparison, only 9,000
were enrolled in typing and 5,600 in stenography. About 4,550 were
taking commercial arithmetic in June of 1939 and 4,000 were carrying
business elements. Approximately 2,150 students were graduated
from the commercial course of the senior day high schools in the
slimmer of 1939, and 1,800 in the following January.
Evening school classes in commercial subjects are carried on in
eight of the senior high schools, in the Standard Evening High
School, and in the four vocational schools of the city. The courses
consist of bookkeeping, accounting, and building and loan practice,
stenography, typewriting, mimeographing, machine calculating, office
practice, business law, and the combination courses of commercial
correspondence and typewriting and filing and typewriting. All the
schools offer stenography, typewriting, and bookkeeping. Most give
commercial correspondence and typewriting and office practice also,
but the machine courses are concentrated in the vocational schools,
where the equipment consists of batteries of calculating, bookkeeping,
dictating, and mimeographing and other duplicating machines.
Nearly 3,400 students attended the evening classes m shorthand and
typewriting in 1939. About 1,400 took the commercial correspond­
ed




96

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKER'S IN

19 40

ence and typewriting course, and 1,040 took bookkeeping. The other
commercial studies in the evening curriculum were much less popular.
The total evening school attendance in business classes for the year
probably was in the neighborhood of 5,000. Many of those taking
shorthand and typewriting had been graduated from the day high
schools and were merely practicing each week to help them to retain
their skill. A great many of these were unemployed and seeking
office jobs.
Certificates of proficiency are awarded evening school students in
commercial subjects on completion of a year’s course, extending from
September to March. At the end of the 1939 school year 53 certifi­
cates were issued, more than half of them to students who had com­
pleted bookkeeping. The ordinary evening school does not offer a
curriculum extensive enough to warrant giving a high school diploma.
A diploma may be secured, however, from the Standard Evening
High School. This school offers a standard high school course
accredited by the Pennsylvania State Department of Public Instruc­
tion and having the same rating as that of the regular day high
schools of the city. The school is in session 4 evenings each week
from September through June and there are 2 periods an evening,
each lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes. The usual roster is 2 or 3 courses
per term. The business subjects offered include office practice, com­
mercial arithmetic, junior business training, and commercial law, as
well as the usual bookkeeping, typewriting, and stenography. In the
school year 1938-39, as many as 186 students were attending the book­
keeping classes, 147 were in attendance in the typewriting and 99 in
the shorthand course. Only 62 took commercial arithmetic, 41 junior
business training, 19 commercial law, and 17 office practice. The total
enrollment ordinarily exceeds the average attendance. The latter
probably did not fall below 200 in the 1938-39 school year. In
February of 1939 only 21 students were graduated from the com­
mercial course, and 26 more received their diplomas in June.
Of the vocational high schools, only the Mastbaum Vocational
School offers full-time day classes in commercial subjects. The others
provide only brush-up or part-time work in stenography, typewriting,
and machine operation. This serves the important purpose, however,
of helping students to keep in practice or even to acquire new skills
during periods of unemployment, often between their graduation or
leaving school and their first job. The Mastbaum Vocational School
is coeducational and since 1938 has been offering a 3-year commercial
course leading to a diploma. The curriculum includes—besides type­
writing, shorthand, and bookkeeping—business arithmetic, filing and
office practice, business fundamentals, calculating-machine operation,
and duplicating. About 400 full-time day students were enrolled in
these classes alone in 1939. Some 500 were engaged in part-time study
of commercial subjects in the other 3 schools. Since its business
curriculum had been changed from a 2- to a 3-year course in the
previous year, a very small group, probably not exceeding 25, were
graduated from the Mastbaum Vocational School in the commercial
course in 1939.
In all the public schools together, as the foregoing data show,
approximately 4,000 certificates or graduation diplomas were issued
for the completion of a part or all of a commercial course in the




SCHOOL FACILITIES—PHILADELPHIA

97

summer of 1939 or winter of 1940. Enrollment in 1939 in public school
business courses, excluding the junior high schools, probably reached
20,000, this figure including several thousand students who were
merely taking Drush-up work in evening or vocational schools.
Placement of the many each year who leave school or graduate and
are anxious to find office employment has been a serious problem,
especially in the case of the very young. The schools themselves do
no active placement work. Instead, the Philadelphia Junior Employ­
ment Service, now operated by the United States Employment Service
of the Federal Social Security Board, assumes the responsibility for
vocational counseling, placement, employment certification, and follow­
up service for all boys and girls in the city between the ages of 16
and 21, the limits within which fall most of the business students
graduating from the public and parochial schools. To be sure, not
all the young people who want jobs avail themselves of the facilities
of the Employment Service. A recent survey18 of the employment
status of former pupils in the Philadelphia public school system who
left school at 16 and 17 years of age in the period between January
1937 and June 1938 shows that just slightly more than half of the
group of 9,457 boys and girls in the study had registered with that
agency for placement. Many were unaware of its existence though
they were unemployed and anxious to find work. This kind of situa­
tion may arise from inadequate vocational guidance within the
schools themselves.
In this connection, the Junior Employment Service recommends in
the study cited that more effective educational and vocational direc­
tion be given as a part of the students’ schooling so that they may
be apprised before it is too late of the most suitable curriculum for
their needs, possible fields of work, general economic conditions, local
employment opportunities, and finally how and where to look for
work. Not only are high school students unadvised generally con­
cerning the placement service available to them free of charge, but
many are encouraged to take, or are not discouraged from taking,
courses that are opposed to their practical interests. For example, a
significant proportion of the student body take the academic curric­
ulum in the high schools, though they cannot afford to continue
their education. These students, after graduation, often attempt to
secure office work in competition with those who have specialized
training, or they enter private business schools at considerable un­
necessary expenditure of time and money. The Junior Employment
Service records for 1940 and 1941 show that roughly two-thirds of
those placed in clerical jobs had taken the business course; about onefifth were graduated from the academic course.
Parochial schools.
The Catholic schools are an important part of the Philadelphia
educational system. There are 4 major groups of Catholic parochial
schools in the city, in which 10 high schools with a regular 4-year
course, 17 2-year commercial schools, 4 academies and preparatory
schools, and 3 colleges give business training. The 2-year commer*a‘Pennsylvania State Employment Service. Junior Employment Service of the Srhnnl
District of Philadelphia. When Philadelphia Youth Leave School at 16 and 17 (1937—1939).




98

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKER'S IN

1940

cial schools provide only a commercial course, usually on the high
school level. One industrial girls’ school has a 3-year commercial
course. The curriculum of the colleges will be discussed with the other
schools of higher education on page 100.
In the spring of 1940 between 4 and 5 thousand students were en­
rolled in business courses in Philadelphia’s parochial secondary
schools. There were more than 3,500 in the high schools alone, about
500 in the commercial schools, and something less than 100 in the
academies and preparatory schools. Their ages averaged from 14 to
19. In all the schools but 2 of the academies the standard course
consists fundamentally of typing, shorthand, and bookeeping, ordi­
narily requiring 2 years of study. Supplementing this basic curric­
ulum is any combination of the following: Business English, business
mathematics, office practice, economic geography, business law, busi­
ness spelling, letter writing or business correspondence, secretarial
studies, filing, penmanship, and occasionally economics. In the 2year commercial schools especially, some of the latter are part of the
curriculum for both years, but ordinarily they require only one year
of study. The academies and preparatory schools usually do not pro­
vide more than the fundamental courses in typewriting, shorthand,
and bookkeeping, and in only one of the 4 schools were these consid­
ered an integral part of the curriculum. In the others they were of­
fered as electives or they were available only for guidance purposes.
As the roster of courses indicates, little instruction is given in the
Catholic parochial schools in the operation of business machines other
than the typewriter. Though more than half the schools own mimeo­
graph or other duplicating devices and adding machines, few possess
calculating, bookkeeping, addressing, dictating, or filing equipment
and none at all have billing machines. However, 4 of the 10 high
schools, 2 of the 17 commercial schools, and 1 of the academies are
fairly well equipped, having at least 4 types of business machines
by means of which instruction may be given commercial students.
Instead of entering the labor market immediately, many who com­
plete the course given in the 2-year commercial schools go on to high
school to finish their secondary education or continue their studies
in one of the city’s vocational schools. Therefore, though the data
show that between 250 and 275 commercial school students completed
their course in 1940, it is not possible to say how many intended then
to enter office work. Only about 30 to 50 students finished the busi­
ness course of the 4 academies. In contrast, approximately 1,500
commercial students were graduated from the city’s 10 parochial high
schools and presumably a large proportion wanted to be placed in
offices. It is interesting in this connection that a few of the schools
make an effort themselves to find positions for their students. In
one school employment agency, representatives carry on student tests
preparatory to attempting their placement, The facilities of the
Junior Employment Service, however, are available to the parochial
as well as to the public school students. To what extent these facili­
ties are utilized cannot be estimated.
Private commercial business schools.
There are 26 active private commercial business schools in Phila­
delphia. In all but about 2, most of the students are graduated from
high school or have had office experience before entrance. The usual




SCHOOL FACILITIES—PHILADELPHIA

99

age at matriculation is 17 and ordinarily the students are a youthful
group; few are in the late 20’s and only in the more specialized
schools of banking or accounting do students of 30 years or more
attend. In one school pupils as young as 14 are enrolled. This
school meets Board of Education requirements for secondary school
work and accepts boys and girls before they have completed their
high school course. On the other hand, 7 of the schools have an
appreciable number of college-trained students. One school gives a
thorough medical-secretarial course and draws students from 7
States. Five of the others are the schools of largest enrollment.
Three-fifths of Philadelphia’s private commercial business schools
had a student enrollment m day and evening classes of 100 or more
in the spring of 1940. Six of the schools had 300 or more students
and 2 reported as many as 900 or more. The total enrollment in all
the schools together, counting both day and evening classes, was be­
tween 5 and 6 thousand, drawn for the most part from metropolitan
Philadelphia.
The courses available to this large student body vary according to
the kind of school attended. There are 18 schools giving the standard
business course of stenography, typing, and usually bookkeeping. In
most of these a variety of other studies also are offered; for example,
accounting, business English, business administration, secretarial prac­
tice or executive-secretarial work, and filing and indexing, to mention
the more common courses. At least 4 of these 18 schools offer medicallegal or medical-secretarial work. About 4 have a special course in
spelling or vocabulary and at least 3 teach business arithmetic, busi­
ness law, and a general class in office practice. Though most of the
schools do not offer more than 4 or 5 subjects, there are 2 with more
than 15 courses, including such advanced studies as economics, market­
ing, credit and collections, and foreign trade.
Only a few of the 18 schools give instruction in office machines other
than the typewriter. These are among the schools of largest enroll­
ment. One specializes in training key-punch operators and 3 empha­
size stenotypy. The machines most commonly part of the equipment
of the commercial business schools discussed here are calculating
machines and mimeograph or other duplicating machines. Six schools
had no machines other than the typewriter, but 2 had 5 or 6 varieties.
The courses in the 18 commercial business schools vary in length
from 1 or 2 months necessary to learn the operation of selected office
machines to as much as 2 years to complete a secretarial or business
administration course. Most of the courses are of one year’s duration
or less, but the time necessary to complete them at night school usually
is double that required if one attends school during the day. At
least 14 of the 18 schools operate an evening as well as a day school.
Another type of private commercial business school is that main­
tained by business-machine companies to teach customers’ employees
and others how to operate the machines they rent or sell and service.
Five of these are active; 1 has an enrollment of more than 200. The
courses taught are confined to the operation of calculating, dictating
bookkeeping, billing, adding, key-punch, verifying and sorting equip­
ment, and take from a minimum of 2 davs to learn dictating-machine
transcription to 3 or 4 months for a full course in calculating- or
billing- and bookkeeping-machine operation.




100

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN

1940

Besides the general business school and the machine schools, Phila­
delphia supports 3 commercial business schools. These emphasize ac­
counting, auditing, and finance. One is a correspondence school and
concentrates almost exclusively on accountancy. The others give in­
struction also in such subjects as commercial law, economics, negotia­
ble instruments, business administration, professional auditing, and
business English. Together the enrollment in all 3 schools comes to
about 1,000 and their courses require from about 3 months for a bank­
ing class to 3 years to complete a full public accounting or business
administration course. Two of the schools operate in the evening
and all 3 cater to older students who are employed already in office
work but are seeking better positions or more rapid advancement.
An estimate from the data available to the Women’s Bureau shows
that in the school year 1939-40 roughly 4,000 students completed their
business course in the 26 private commercial business schools operating
in Philadelphia. Of these, at least 2,500 were evening school students,
a large proportion of whom were already working m offices, leaving
more than 1,500 to provide a new supply of office workers.
Except for the accounting schools, a large proportion of whose
students are already employed, most of the private commercial business
schools make an effort to place their students. Many maintain a free
lifetime employment service for graduates, several having a permanent
personnel department devoted to this purpose. Four of the latter are
approved by the State Committee on Standards for Business Schools
and 3 belong to the National Association of Commercial Accredited
Schools that maintains a Nation-wide placement service. It is inter­
esting that a few of the schools, besides securing positions for their
own graduates, are equipped to place nongraduates. Some of the
schools that do not maintain a lifetime service will nevertheless carry
on some replacement work after graduates have left their first job.
In at least 3 of the schools employers are regularly circularized to keep
them apprised of the school’s placement facilities and in at least 3
others the employment status of graduates is regularly checked. Two
of the schools feature part-time field work for students as part of their
course, and report that the contacts made in this way often lead to
permanent positions after graduation. Some of the schools carry on
only the most informal kind of placement service, depending on their
prestige to draw requests for office help.
According to the reports of the private commercial business schools,
about 3,500 of their students had been placed in permanent positions,
mostly through the schools’ efforts, in the 1939-40 season. This figure,
however, includes many replacements and therefore it is not possible to
tell from the data available what proportion of the students who were
graduated from these schools in 1939-40 had been placed by the date
of this survey.
Private nonprofit business schools.
One private secondary school and 6 colleges and universities in
Philadelphia offer vocational business courses. The enrollment in such
courses in the spring of 1940, however, cannot be estimated. In the
secondary school the course is of 2 years’ duration and consists of
typewriting and shorthand, economic geography, office practice, and
commercial law. Often instruction in business mathematics, business
organization, and office appliances is substituted for shorthand. The




SCHOOL FACILITIES'—PHILADELPHIA

101

courses offered in the schools of higher learning are much more varied
and advanced; their emphasis, for the most part, is in the fields of
accounting, money, credit and banking, economics, auditing, market­
ing, and the like. Most of the students in these courses do not ordi­
narily enter the same labor market as those who complete only the
secondary school or short private business school curriculum, since
the college training, usually requiring 4 years of study, is meant to
prepare students for administrative work or for executive participa­
tion in business. Two of the schools, however, offer a shorter evening
school course in accounting and 2 award a certificate or diploma for
the completion of a 2-year secretarial course. One of them gives an
intensive secretarial course of 10 months’ duration. Students in these
classes are more likely to enter the local office workers’ labor market.
In 1940 approximately 450 had completed their course, but of these
about 300 were evening school students, a large proportion of whom
usually are already employed in offices and seeking advancement. No
information was secured regarding the services offered the approxi­
mately 150 students requiring initial placement.
Placement.
Each year by far the largest proportion of the business students
who complete their course or leave school are still in their teens. Most
of those newly entering office work are public or parochial school
students who must look either to the Junior Employment Service or
private means to secure their first job. What are their opportunities?
The proportion of unemployment even in normal times is highest
among those who are not yet 20. The situation is even more grave
in the case of workers under 18. Of 5,783 young people placed
by the Junior Employment Service in 1940, 7 in 8 were at least
18 years of age. Further, in the summer of 1938 one-third of the
entire unemployed population in the city, which amounted to almost
one-third of the employable population, were in just 10 occupational
groups, of which that of general clerical work was one. Finally,
there is a greater demand for boys than for girls; yet more girls
register for office jobs.
Though each of these conditions that emphasizes the relatively weak
bargaining power of the young person looking for office work does
not disappear entirely in periods of greater industrial activity, in
1941 it was obvious that the acceleration along all economic fronts
in Philadelphia as a direct consequence of the war effort was having
a telling effect on the demand for young office workers.
Between December of 1940 and December of 1941, the active appli­
cations for placement in the files of the Junior Employment Service
had decreased by 46 percent. In 1940 and 1941, respectively 7,043
and 8,238 of the new registrants were seeking clerical jobs and 1,697
and 3,358 were placed. In other words, twice as many clerical open­
ings were filled in 1941 as in 1940, though the number of new appli­
cants seeking clerical work had increased by materially less than this.
Furthermore, the proportion of all those placed in 1941 who were less
than 18 years of age had increased to 1 in 5, in contrast to only 1 in 14
in 1940. In the latter year only 1 in 6 of all who were registered
with the Junior Employment Service secured jobs, as against 1 in
every 3 y2 in 1941, when 9 in 10 of the placements made, as com­




102

OFFICE WORK AND OFFICE WORKERS IN 1940

pared with 3 in 4 of the placements made in 1940, were not tem­
porary but of regular duration.
All the available data point to constantly increasing employment
opportunities for young people for the duration of the war. The
greatest need for personnel, to be sure, is in the factories, where an
increasing proportion of those registered with the Junior Employ­
ment Service are being placed. As production jobs increase, how­
ever, new clerical jobs also are opening, and in addition the greater
opportunities and higher wages paid in war occupations are attracting
office workers from already existing positions. As early as April
of 1941 the Junior Employment Service reported that “it has been
difficult to find qualified boys for available clerical positions.” In
1941 less than half of the young people who had taken the business
course in high school and secured jobs through the Junior Employ­
ment Service were placed in clerical work, while fully 36 percent took
production jobs. In 1940, in contrast, 54 percent were placed in
offices and 2t percent on the production line.
The opportunities for employment in factories or in offices have
not increased so rapidly for girls as for boys, but it is notable that
65 percent of the workers for whom clerical jobs were secured by
the Junior Employment Service in 1941 were girls, as compared to
54 percent in 1940 who were girls. In addition, with the increased
demand for boys and young men in a wide variety of production
and other positions which older men have left to join the armed
forces, young women will increasingly be called upon to fill developing
vacancies.
It is perhaps safe to say, therefore, that whereas but a few years
ago the schools were training many more potential clerical workers
than could possibly find employment in their chosen field, today there
are not enough men to meet the demand and even the large numbers
of women who prepare themselves to enter offices are much more
quickly successful than formerly in finding the work for which they
have been trained.
Tliis picture, however, is not a normal one. How long it may last
and what changes it may undergo several years hence are difficult
to foresee. It is certain that in slack times the situation is very
different and even in so-called normal times the youthful beginner
in office work, and there are thousands of new ones each year, finds
it difficult to become established. The difficulty is greater, moreover,
if he, and especially she, is not yet 18 years of age. Remaining longer
in school, and more practical and thorough educational and vocational
direction, have been proposed as possible remedies. Especially today,
when opportunities have multiplied for the young as well as the older
worker, such direction would be an important step not only in helping
workers to find more suitable employment, but in increasing the
smoothness with which employment and industrial mechanisms
operate.




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