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Comparative Job
Performance by Age:




Office Workers

Bulletin No. 1273
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
James P. Mitchell, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner




Comparative Job
Performance by Age:

Office Workers

Bulletin No. 1273
February 1960

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
James P. Mitchell, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, W ashington 25, D.C. - Price 30 cents







Preface
The U.S. Department o f Labor has been deeply concerned with the problem
o f the employment of older-workers and has inaugurated several programs
dealing with various facets o f this problem. Among these are studies designed
primarily to compare the relative work performance o f older workers with that
o f other workers in sim ilar occupations. Other studies conducted by the
Department have considered the older worker in relation to pension costs,
insurance plans, counseling and placement service, and other employment
problems. 1./
This study was conducted in the Bureau o f Labor S ta tis tics' Division of
Productivity and Technological Developments under the direction o f James F.
Walker, assisted by Stanley F. M iller and Ronald E. Kutscher. The s ta tis tic a l
procedures used were those developed by Jerome A. Mark in an e a rlier study o f
factory workers.
The Bureau wishes to express it s appreciation to the organizations which
cooperated in the study. The O ffice Executives Association o f N York was
ew
also helpful in locatin g companies having work measurement systems.

1/

For a l i s t o f the studies made by the Department see the back cover.







C NE T
O T NS
Page
In trod u ction ......................
General Findings....................................................................................................
Scope o f Survey .........................................................
Concepts and D e fin itio n s ....................................................................................
Limitations o f the D a t a ....................................................................................
Comparisons Within Groups ................................................................................
Differences by Sex ............................................................................................
Private and Government Employees .................................................................
Effects o f Incentive Payments .....................................................................
Occupational and S k ill Differences .............................................................
Individual Worker Variation .............................................................................
Consistency and Accuracy of P erform ance......................................................
O ffice Jobs Versus Plant J o b s ........................................................................

1
2
5
6
7
8
8
8
9
10
13
15
16

TABLES
1.
2.
3.
1.
*
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
ill.

Indexes of output per man-hour of o f fic e workers, by age group and
experience on job ........................................................................................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o ffic e workers, by age
group and experience on j o b .....................................................................
Indexes of output per man-hour o f men o ffic e workers, by age group
and experience on j o b ................................................................................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o ffic e workers in Govern­
ment agencies, by age group and experience on j o b ...........................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o ffic e workers in Government
agencies, by age group and experience on j o b ......................................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o ffic e workers in private
industry, by age group and experience on j o b ......................................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o ffic e workers in private
industry, by age group and experience on j o b ......................................
Indexes of output per man-hour of women o ffic e workers paid on a
time-rate basis, by age group and experience on j o b ............... ... .
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o ffic e workers paid on an
incentive basis, by age group and experience on j o b .......................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o ffic e workers paid on a
time-rate basis, by age group and experience on j o b .......................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o ffic e workers, by age
group, occupational group, and experience on j o b ...............................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o ffic e workers, by age
group and s k ill l e v e l ................................................................................
Indexes o f output per man-hour of women o ffic e workers with 18 or
more months' service with the com pany..................................................
Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o ffic e workers with 18 or
more months' service with the com pany..................................................




- iii -

18
19
20
21
22
23
2+
1
25
26
27
28
29

3
0
3
0

CN N
O TE TS—Continued
Page
CAT
HRS
1.
2.
3.

Relative output per man-hour of women o ffic e workers, by age group
and experience on j o b ....................................................................................
1
+
E ffect o f experience on o u t p u t ................................................................. 12
Percent of women o ffic e workers having indexes o f output above
average a fter 9 months or more experience on j o b ...............................llj.
APPENDIX

Scope and Method o f S u r v e y ........................................................
Concepts and Methods ..........................................................................................
31
Derivation o f Formula............................................................................................. 33




- iv -

- 1 -

CM
O PARATIVE JOB PE FO M N E BY AGE:
R R AC

OFFICE W R E S
OKR

Currently, almost 1 0 percent of the workers in the labor force are U5 years
|
old or over. When these workers become unemployed, for any reason, they often
meet resistance when seeking a new job, as evidenced by the fa ct that long­
term unemployment is proportionately greater among those 1 years of age or
*5
older.
Many firms, either through p olicy or practice, re s trict the hiring of
older workers, frequently setting age lim its below U5. This practice is
esp ecially prevalent in the hiring of o ffic e workers. 2 /
One o f the most frequently cited reasons fo r refusal to hire workers over
Individual
output per man-hour, therefore, is one of the most important factors affecting
a worker's a b ility to find and hold a job. Studies on the work performance o f
o ffic e workers by age groups have generally been limited to opinion surveys.
This study, based on actual records o f work performed on the job, attempts to
show how the output o f o ffic e workers aged h or over compares with the output
$
o f other age groups, k/ The workers covered in the study were o ffic e cle rica l
workers for whom production records were maintained. The great majority of
them were in routine jobs such as typing, filin g , posting, sorting, and card
punching.

h$ is that they are less productive than younger workers. 3 /

Earlier studies made by both government agencies and ty private organi­
zations have shown that older workers have records o f attendance, safety, and
turnover equal or superior to those o f younger age groups. 5/ This study did
not include such records.

2 / See Counseling and Placement Services for Older Workers (BES No. E
1^2, 1956).
3 / The reasons most frequently given by employers for not hiring older
workers were "in a b ility to meet production standards," "in a b ility to meet
physical requirements," "lack o f fle x ib ilit y to meet changing conditions,"
"pension and insurance costs," and "too close to retirement age." See a rticle
by Abraham Stahler, The Older Worker, Job Problems and Their Solution (in
Monthly Labor Review, January 1957, pp. 22-26); also see the a rticle The Older
Worker (in Factory Management and Maintenance, New York, March 1958, pp. 8596).
h/ Previous studies by the BLS covered factory workers. For example, see
Comparative Job Performance by Age (BLS Bull. 1223, 1957).
5 / For example, see Absenteeism and Injury Experience o f Older Workers
(in Monthly Labor Review, July 191:8, pp. 16-19) and James H Mullen, Proceed­
.
ings o f Second Conference on the Problems o f Making a Living While Growing Old,
Commonwealth o f Pennsylvania and Temple University, September 1953, PP. 183-20U.




-

2

-

General Findings
Three important findings emerge from this study. First, the differences
in the output per man-hour among age groups of the o ffic e workers within the
scope o f the survey were for the most part insignificant. Second, there was
considerable variation among workers within age groups, so that large propor­
tions of workers in the older age groups exceeded the average performance o f
younger groups. Third, workers in the older age groups had a steadier rate of
output, with considerably less variation from week to week, than workers in
the younger age groups. Thus, arbitrary barriers to the hiring of older
workers which are related to output seem unwarranted. The findings substanti­
ate the need fo r individual evaluation o f workers.
The average output per man-hour o f workers in the group aged 35 to U was
U
used as a base and assigned the value o f 100 fo r purposes of comparison. The
average fo r each o f the other age groups was within 5 percent o f the base
group, except for the youngest group, which was greatly affected by lack of
experience. Workers in the higher age groups not only maintained output equal
on the average to younger groups but also maintained an equal degree of
accuracy.
Experience appeared to be the major factor where differences in average
performance occurred among the various age groups. "W only the more experi­
hen
enced workers on the j ob were considered, a ll age groups studied had similar
average rates o f output. 6/ The e ffe c t o f experience on average output was
also indicated when workers with less than 18 months' service in the company
were excluded, and the variation between groups was reduced.
Similarly, when workers were divided into smaller comparison groups, such
as time and incentive workers, higher and lower sk illed jobs. Government and
private employment, and into different occupations, no major differences in
work performance that can be attributed to age appeared.
Although there were p ra ctica lly no differences in averages between age
groups among experienced workers, there was considerable variation in output
among workers within the groups. Frequently, an individual worker produced
at least twice as much as some o f the other workers in the same group.
Generally, however, the great majority o f the workers within a group produced
within 20 percent of the average output fo r a ll workers in that group. About
I4 percent o f workers aged U or over produced at a higher rate than the
.5
5
average o f workers in the 35 to U age group (tables 1, 2, and 3).
U

6 / Information was obtained fo r trainees, but they were omitted from a ll
tabulations because their work standards were not considered comparable to
experienced workers.




- 3 Workers 65 or over generally averaged as high as any other group-and
many o f the individual workers had very high rates of output. This relatively
high rate o f output may have been the result o f retirement plans which were
in e ffe ct in the establishments studied. 7/ With adequate retirement plans,
the less e ffic ie n t older workers could be encouraged to retire, with the
result that those who remained would tend to be the more able and productive.

7 / Supplementing socia l security in the private companies. In the case
of Government workers, most are covered by a retirement plan that generally
provides greater benefits than social security.







Chart 1 RELATIVE OUTPUT PER M A N -H O U R OF W O M E N OFFICE W O RKERS
.
By A ge Group and Experience on Job
( A G E G R O U P 3 5 -4 4 = 1 0 0 )
INDEX

TOTAL, WOMEN
UNITED STATES D E P A R T M E N T OF
B U R E A U OF L A B O R S T A T I S T I C S

LABOR

WOMEN
OR

OFFICE

MORE

OFFICE

WORKERS

WORKERS

WITH

M O N TH S’ EXPERIENCE.

9

Scope o f Survey 8 /
Data for the survey were collected in the winter of 1958-59 for about
6,000 workers whose employment was almost equally divided between 5 Federal
Government agencies and 21 companies in private industry. The companies
included mail-order houses, insurance companies, a ircra ft manufacturers,
machinery manufacturers, refin eries, public u t ilit ie s , banks, publishing
companies, and re ta il stores. A ll o f the establishments studied were located
in the eastern half o f the country and were large employers in their indus­
t r ia l categories. Almost half o f the workers studied were employed under
some type o f incentive pay system.
Many additional establishments were asked to cooperate in the survey but
they had inadequate data; e. g ., their records were on a group basis or output
could not be associated with hours worked.
The occupations covered included the usual cle rica l functions, such as
typing, secretarial work, and filin g , maintaining, sorting, or classifying of
records. To those occupations were added keypunch and business- and dupli­
cating-machine operations.

8 / A detailed report on the procedures employed in the survey is given
in the appendix.




Concepts and D e fin iti ons

In evaluating a w orker's performance, many fa c to rs are important.
Among
these are h is output per man-hour, the accuracy o f h is work, the con sisten cy
o f h is performance, h is absenteeism, h is con tin u ity o f s e r v ic e , h is adapta­
b i l i t y , and h is a b i l i t y to get along with others.
Some fa c to rs cannot rea d ily
be measured.
As mentioned e a r lie r , many have alreatfy been stu d ied and the
o ld e r w orker's r e la tiv e p o sitio n has i_een assessed.
This study was designed
p rim arily to compare work performance o f in d iv id u a l workers by age group.
Information on two other fa c to r s, accuracy and consistency o f performance, was
obtained as a byproduct o f the study.
The o f f ic e workers stud ied in each establishm ent were c l a s s i f i e d by sex
and occupation.
Within these c la s s if ic a t io n s , they were divided in to s ix age
groups.
An index o f output was obtained fo r each worker by d ivid in g h is
output per man-hour by the average output per man-hour o f workers aged 35 to
I U years in h is same c la s s if ic a t io n .
jJ
The indexes fo r in d ivid u al workers from
the various establishm ents were combined in to age-group indexes with r e l i a ­
b i l i t y weights based on the number o f workers in the base group.
In order to
hold constant, or to keep to a minimum, the in flu en ce o f fa c to r s other than
age which might a f f e c t worker performance, comparisons were r e s tr ic te d to
workers in d iffe r e n t age groups w ithin the same major c la s s if ic a t io n .
Some fa c to rs th at could a f f e c t output, such as education, m a rita l sta tu s,
and previous experience, were not studied because they were considered too
d i f f i c u l t to measure, or were o f r e la t iv e ly minor importance, o r randomly
d istrib u te d .
The v a ria tio n o f a w orker's output per man-hour from week to week i s a lso
important in evaluating h is o v e r a ll performance.
Output data were c o lle c te d
fo r periods covering from U to 13 weeks fo r each employee in the study, and
fo r those workers fo r whom information was obtained on a weekly b a s is , i t was
p o s s ib le to measure consistency o f performance, through measuring the v ariatio n
o f a worker's weekly average output per man-hour from h is own average output.
Accuracy o f work, another important c r i t e r i a o f performance, was a lso
measured whenever the employer kept records o f in d ivid u al errors.
Data were c o lle c te d on the length o f time each worker had been employed
in the s p e c ific job on which he was being measured, and on the t o t a l length
o f time that he had been employed in the establishm ent studied.
Experience
obtained in sim ila r work, in the same or d iffe r e n t establishm ent, was not
recorded.




- 7 -

Lim itations o f the Data

In considering the re su lts o f the survey, some q u a lific a tio n s and lim i­
ta tio n s o f the data should be noted.
Information was c o lle c te d only from
o f f ic e s which kept production records fo r in d ivid u al workers.
Therefore, the
data cover only a small proportion o f t o t a l o ffic e workers in the se le c te d
establishm ents and do not represent a cross section o f various o f f i c e s k i l l s .
For example, production measures generally were lim ite d to the more routine
types o f work and included only a few h igh ly s k ille d occupations.
Moreover, a high proportion o f the workers studied were on in c e n tiv e work,
and those on time work were aware th at th e ir work was being measured by the
company.
I t i s not known whether these employees would work at the same or
d iffe r e n t rates i f they were not receivin g a pay in cen tive or i f they knew
th e ir production was not being measured.
Consequently, the workers covered
were p o s s ib ly operating under d iffe r e n t m otivations from most o f f i c e workers.
I t i s p o ssib le th at the older workers studied were not representative o f
a l l older workers since only employed persons were included in the study and
they mifcht. th erefore, have been a s e le c t group.
On the other hand, i t may
also be assumed that superior workers have gone on to b e tte r paying job s,
where production i s rarely measured.
Thus the older w orker's average output
rate was undoubtedly influenced by the omission o f these two extremes.
'Porkers Ii5 and over represented about 27 percent o f a l l those included in
the study.
Information on the age d istr ib u tio n o f a l l o f f i c e workers i s not
a v a ila b le .
Since current population reports in d icate workers
or over repre­
4
sent about I O percent o f t o t a l ncnagricultural employment, i t would appear
that the age d istr ib u tio n o f the workers studied might have been somewhat
d iffe r e n t from the age d is tr ib u tio n o f a l l o f f ic e workers.




Comparisons Within Groups

In order to evaluate the e f f e c t o f some o f these other fa c to rs on the
re la tio n sh ip o f ape to work performance, tabu lation s were prepared comparing
indexes o f output per man-hour w ithin lim ited groups.
Although the various
d iv isio n s o f the data revealed some v ariation s in the average indexes o f
output none o f the d ifferen ces could be a ttrib u te d to age.
Differences by Sex
Among women, l i t t l e v a ria tio n was found in the average output per man-hour,
among the d iffe r e n t age groups except that output was s ig n ific a n t ly below
average fo r the youngest, where lack o f experience was apparently an important
fa c to r.
Wien workers with le s s than 9 months' experience on the job measured
were excluded from each o f the age groups, average indexes generally rose and
the average fo r the youngest group rose su b sta n tia lly , 9 /
There was somewhat greater variation in the average performance, by age
group, among experienced men, although the differences were still not large.
In addition, both the younger and older age groups (except for the youngest
group of all men) showed a higher average than the base group aged 35 to I4
U,
although this was probably a reflection of the higher sampling error for the
relatively small sample.
Since men were seldom found in measured o f f i c e a c t i v i t i e s they represented
only 15 percent of the workers included in the study.
Therefore, i t was
necessary to r e s t r i c t to women most o f the d e ta ile d observations and a n a ly sis
o f the e f f e c t o f various fa c to r s.
Private and Government Employees
A few small d ifferen ces appeared in the rela tio n sh ip o f output per man­
hour to age when output o f workers in Government agencies was compared with
that o f workers in p rivate industry. (See ta b le s U, 5, 6, and 7. ) The average
performance o f women in Government showed a s lig h t drop in the 55 to 6ig group,
but n early h a lf o f the drop was wiped out when only those workers with 9 or
more months' experience on the job were considered.
Women 65 and over in p rivate industry had a much lower average perform­
ance index ( 9 3 .7 ) than other age groups, but the sample fo r th is group was
very sm all.

9 / In considering experience, only the time spent on the s p e c ific job
measured was counted.
Experience on s im ila r jobs in the same establishm ent or
in other establishm ents was not studied.




- 9 -

In the other age groups, from under 29 through age 9U, the relation sh ip
o f the indexes fo r women in Government and in p riv a te employment was s tr ik in g ly
sim ila r.
Another d ifferen ce between the two groups was in the v a ria tio n in output
between in d iv id u a ls, which was greater among the Government workers in each
age group.
A higher proportion o f women Government workers had output indexes
e ith e r exceedingly high (over 130) or low (under 7 0 ).
The d ifferen ce in age d istr ib u tio n i s a ls o o f some in te r e s t.
The Govern­
ment agencies studied employed a much higher proportion o f workers 99 years or
over in the jobs studied than did the p rivate companies. 1 0 / In contrast, in
the p rivate companies a much higher proportion o f workers under 29 were found.
E ffe c ts o f I ncentive Payments
I t has been estimated th at no more than 3 percent o f a l l o f f i c e workers
are employed under incentive plans.
A much higher proportion o f the workers
in th is study were employed under an in cen tive system and records kept under
such plans were the b est source o f inform ation on in d ivid u al output. 1 1 /
However, about h a l f o f the workers studied were not employed under an incentive
plan, so that comparison o f r e la tiv e performance by age among workers having
d ir e c t wage in cen tives and those workers p aid on a time b a sis could be made.
The study revealed
groups, whether workers
and 1 0 ).
Women and men
output index o f a l l age
over averaged 9 percent

only minor d ifferen ces in the rela tio n sh ip between age
were paid on a time or an incentive b a sis (ta b le 8, 9,
aged 69 or over, paid on a time b a s is , had the highest
groups.
In cen tive-p aid , experienced women aged 69 or
le s s output than comparable workers in the base group.

In p riv ate industry establishm ents, where in cen tives are s u b sta n tia lly
higher, there was some evidence th at younger workers were r e la t iv e ly more
productive when d ir e c t pay in cen tives were o ffe r e d .
Workers who were U9 or
over in both the in c e n tiv e and nonincentive groups, on the other hand, had
about the same r e la tiv e output index.
The r e la tiv e production e ffic ie n c y o f
experienced women o f f ic e workers in p riv a te establishm ents, c l a s s i f i e d by
method o f wage payment, i s shown in the tabulation on the fo llo w in g page.

1 0 / Some o f the establishm ents studied had mandatory retirement p o lic ie s .
1 1 / In contrast to fa c to r y worker in cen tive p lan s, which are most
frequently based on a s tr a ig h t piecework system, most o f f i c e in cen tive plans
are bonus-type payments given in addition to regular weekly salary.




-

10

-

Workers 1 / paid on a—
Age group
Under
25-3U
35-iiU
U5-5U
55-6U

Time b a sis

Incentive basis

9 3 .8
9 8 .5
1 0 0 .0
9 9 .1
9 8 .6

9 7 .6
1 0 1 .2
1 0 0 .0
9 9 .0
9 9 .7

25 y e a r s ............
y e a r s ...................
y e a r s ...................
y e a r s ...................
years .........

1 / Excludes workers with le s s than 9 months' experience
on the jo b studied.
I n s u ffic ie n t data were a v a ila b le fo r
workers 65 and over to warrant presentation.

Incentive and time workers in Government agencies had approximately the
same age-performance re la tio n sh ip s.
The in cen tive systems in the Government
agencies are lim ite d and provide fo r very sm all production bonuses, amounting
g en erally to no more than 5 percent above b asic rates p aid to timeworkers and
they may be in s u ffic ie n t to a lt e r the age-performance re la tio n sh ip s.
In examining the time and in c en tiv e tab u lation s, as in the case o f other
comparisons, i t should be kept in mind that the indexes do not r e f l e c t actu al
le v e ls o f output, enabling d ir e c t comparisons between the groups. Rather,
they r e f l e c t only the r e la tiv e output per man-hour w ithin a group.
Incentive
plans ev id e n tly reduce the proportion o f workers doing substandard work in a l l
age groups.
The proportion o f women workers with 9 or more months' experience
and with output indexes o f le s s than 70 was a t l e a s t twice as large fo r tim eworkers as i t was fo r in cen tive workers.
(See ta b le s 8 and 9 . )
Furthermore,
the proportion o f workers with r e la t iv e ly high production rates was greater
among the group o f in cen tive workers studied.
Since a l l tim e-rated workers were on work measurement programs, th e ir
performance may not be in d ic a tiv e o f a l l tim e-rated workers in the occupations
studied.
I t i s generally agreed that the presence o f a work measurement pro­
gram has an e f f e c t on the workers, a t l e a s t tem porarily, very sim ila r to an
in cen tive plan.
Occupational a nd S k i l l D iffe ren c es
Workers studied were divided in to 10 occupational categories fo r purposes
o f comparison, but some o f the groups were too small to warrant separate
a n a ly sis.
The la r g e s t group represented those workers c l a s s i f i e d as general
c le rk s, who did p ostin g, checking, and general maintenance o f records.
Other
c la s s if ic a t io n s for which data could be-published were ty p is t s , keypunch
operators, sorters and c l a s s i f i e r s , and f i l i n g clerks (ta b le 1 1 ).




-

11

-

None o f the occupational categories studied showed s u b sta n tia lly d iffe r e n t
age-performance re la tio n sh ip s, except that keypunch operators under 35 years
o f age had much lower average indexes than other age groups.
Older workers,
p a r tic u la r ly those 55 or over, had higher than average indexes o f output in
routine jobs, such as typing, so rtin g , and f i l i n g .
The ro le o f experience was fu rth er illu s t r a t e d when occupational com­
parisons were lim ite d to workers having 9 months' or more experience on the
job.
In th e ir case, n early a l l o f the d iffe re n c e s in the keypunch operator
c la s s if ic a t io n disappeared and other d ifferen c es between age groups generally
narrowed.
Almost a l l workers studied, as mentioned e a r lie r , were in routine types
o f jobs where performance i s more r e a d ily measurable (ta b le 1 2 ).
One out o f
12 o f the women studied was in a job that required higher s k i l l s . 1 2 / When
workers in these jobs were compared by age group, the average performance o f
workers in the age groups between 25 and 6U showed very sm all d iffe re n c e s.
The average f o r those under 25 was much higher (1 1 1 .5 ) but v e r y few workers
were in th is category and they were probably very s e le c t.

1 2 / Workers c l a s s i f i e d in the "h ig h e r " jobs were expected to exercise
some independent judgment.
These jobs could not be considered "h ig h e r" jobs
in the o f f i c e as a whole, but on ly the higher among the jobs studied.
Typical
o f the jobs c l a s s i f i e d as higher was th at o f correspondence cle rk s.







Chart 2. EFFECT OF EXPERIENCE ON OUTPUT
Percentage Distribution of Women Under Age 25, by Relative Output

Under

70

7 0 -7 9 .9

8 0 -8 9 .9

9 0 -9 9 .9

100-109.9

U N I T E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T OF LAB O R

120-120.9

INDEXES OF OUTPUT
I'

B U R E A U OF LABOR STATISTICS

II 0-119.9
| ALL WOMEN

fcXXl W EN W
OM
ITH 9 O M
R ORE
IX/Vi MONTHS’ EXPERIENCE.

130

and Over

- 13 -

Individual Worker Variation

The great m ajority o f workers in each age group, both men and women, had
production indexes in the range between 80 and 120.
This concentration around
the average was p a r tic u la r ly n oticeable in the o ld e r groups.
In each age
group, there were small proportions o f workers w ith average output considera­
bly above or below the average fo r the group. Only a veiy few workers 55 or
over had r a te -o f-o u tp u t indexes below 60 and younger workers with indexes
below 60 were generally those with l e s s than 9 months' experience on the job.
The proportion o f women o f f i c e workers with indexes o f output over 100
was g rea test fo r the 25 to 3U age group and decreased gradually in each higher
ace group.
(See chart 3. ) Among experienced workers, the proportion of
-workers in the youngest age group with indexes o f output over 100 was the same
as fo r those 65 and over.
A su b sta n tia l proportion o f workers aged
and over had higher than aver­
age output per man-hour.
About U7 percent o f those U5 to 5U, Ui percent o f
those 55 to 6h} and Ii2 percent o f those 65 and over had scores greater than 100.
The l a t t e r group had about the same proportion as found in the youngest group,
under 25.
Workers U5 or over ty p ic a lly had a lower modal group than did groups
under U5. even though as a group they averaged as high or higher than the
younger groups.
The percent o f workers 1+5 and over with production indexes o f
le s s than 80 was about the same as fo r most of the younger groups, but the
lack of extremely low producers among the workers k$ years and over balanced
the higher modal groups’ among the younger workers.







- 13 -

Consistency and Accuracy o f Performance

T
,,here four or more in d ivid u al weekly production fig u r e s were a v a ila b le ,
i t was p o s s ib le to examine the week-to-week variation in production among
women workers.
An "in d ex o f con sistency" 1 3 / was derived fo r each age group
by comparing the in d ivid u al weekly output per man-hour o f each woman worker
with her average output over the period o f study.
The fo llo w in g indexes o f
consistency fo r women were found:
Age group 1 /
Under 23 years
23-3U y e a r s .................
35-UU y e a r s .................
h5-5h y e a r s .................
33-6ij y e a r s .................

Number o f workers
U5l
U68
3U6
2lj.l
61

Index o f consistency
8 3 .8
9 8 .9
1 0 0 ,0
1 0 7 .0
1 2 3 .8

1/ I n s u ffic ie n t data were a v a ila b le fo r workers aged 63 and
over to warrant p resentation.
Thus, the index o f 1 2 3 .8 fo r the 33-6U year age group showed that they
were 23. 8 percent more c o n sisten t in th e ir week-to-week performance than the
base group.
The tendency toward con sisten t performance in th is group was
noted in nearly a l l o f the establishm ents fo r which data were a v a ila b le .
In the younger age groups, output per man-hour varied from week to week,
re s u ltin g in lower indexes o f consistency.
The low rate fo r the youngest
group may be p a r tly a ttrib u ta b le to the r e la t iv e ly la r g e r number o f le s s
experienced workers in th a t group.

1 3 / A con sistency index fo r each ind ivid u al was found by comparing the
average percent d eviation about h is own average over the t o t a l period with
the average o f t h is d eviation fo r the base group (3 3 -lUt y e a r s).
The in d iv id u a l
indexes were combined to form average indexes fo r each age group by using the
same method as fo r the output indexes.
The recip ro ca ls o f these indexes were
used to measure consistency.
Comparisons were lim ite d to women because o f the
sm all number o f reports obtained fo r men.




-

16

-

Although the major o b je c tiv e o f t h is study was to compare the r e la tio n ­
ship o f output per man-hour to age, some comparison o f the q u a lity (accuracy)
o f work among the age groups was a lso p o ssib le in some of the cooperating
establishm ents where a record was maintained o f the errors made by each in d i­
vidual on measured work. 1 h/
The r e s u lts , presented in the follow in g tabu lation , while not conclusive
because o f the sm all number o f workers covered, show no appreciable d ifferen c e s
in accuracy o f output between age groups:
Age group
Under 25 y e a r s ...................
25-3^ years ..........................
35-U i years .........................
1*5-51* years ..........................
55-61* years ...........
65 years and o v e r ...........

Accuracy index
1 0 0 .2
99. 7
1 0 0 .0
99. 7
100.0
9 8 .0

l l * / This comparison was made by c a lc u la tin g an index o f r e la tiv e
accuracy.
Each worker’ s accuracy percentage was obtained by subtracting h is
error percentage from 100.
The average accuracy ra tin g fo r the base group
was then determined and an accuracy index f o r each in d iv id u a l ca lcu la ted
r e la tiv e to the base group average.
These data were then combined in the same
manner as the output data to get an average accuracy ratin g for each age group.




- 17 -

O ffic e Jobs Versus Plant Jobs

Two e a r lie r stu d ies o f the Bureau o f Labor S t a t i s t i c s on job performance
by age were confined to fa c to ry workers in the men's footwear, men's c lo th in g ,
and household furniture in d u strie s. 1 5 / A l l workers included in those stu d ies
were on jobs with in cen tiv e systems o f payment.
The r e s u lts fo r o f f i c e workers and fa c to r y workers were very sim ila r.
For
both groups there was r e la t iv e ly l i t t l e v a ria tio n in average performance among
age groups, but considerable v a ria tio n among in d ivid u als w ithin age groups; a
large proportion o f workers in the higher age groups exceeded the performance
o f the base group average.
There were, however, a few d iffe re n c e s.
The study
o f o f f i c e workers showed l i t t l e or no v a r ia tio n among age groups; in most
cases, the youngest group (under 25) had a lower average, but t h is was prima­
r i l y because o f l e s s experience.
Among fa c to ry workers, performance tended to
be hig h est fo r the 25 to 3k year group.
The old er workers in the fa c to ry study
had somewhat lower average performance ra tes than the base group, 35 to UU,
while the averages fo r o ld e r o f f i c e workers were about the same as the base
group.
A ll o f the stu d ies showed th a t nearly h a lf o f the workers aged 1;5 to
3k had output per man-hour indexes greater than the average in the worker age
group 35 to I44
J..
On the other hand, only a sm all number o f o f f i c e workers k3
years o ld and over had very low scores,* whereas the proportion was higher
among the fa c to ry workers k3 and over.
Another d iffe re n c e in the findin gs o f the stu d ies was rela ted to the
in d iv id u a l performance o f workers 55 and over.
The proportion o f o f f ic e
workers 55 and over who.had output indexes greater than 100 was almost the
same as the proportion fo r the 1+5 to 3k age group.
In the case o f factory
workers, the proportion was lower.
This d ifferen c e might be a r e fle c tio n o f
the greater p h ysical demands which fa c to r y jobs make on persons in the old er
age groups.

1 5 / Comparative Job Performance by Age, op.
and Age (BLS B u ll. 1203, 1956).




c i t . ; and Job Performance

-

Table 1.

18

-

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f o f f i c e workers by age group and
experience on job
^Age group 35-1*1**1007

Pge
group

Number Average
of
index
workers

Percentage d istrib u tio n o f workers
with indexes o f
Under
70

70
to
7 9 .9

90
80
to
to
8 9 .9 9 9 .9

100
to
1 0 9.9

110
to
1 1 9.9

120
to
1 2 9 .9

130
and
over

A l l workers
Under 25 . .
25-31* ..........
35-1*1*..........
1*5-51*.........
55-61* ..........
65 and over

1,081*
1 ,5 0 6
1,1*66
1 ,0 2 3
1*29
86

92.1*
99.1*
1 0 0 .0
1 0 0 .1
9 8 .6
1 0 1 .2

15
7
6
6
7
7

13
9
6
8
6
1
*

17
15
11*
15
18
21*

20
21
21*
23
21*
19

18
21
25
19
18
17

8
13
11*
13
12
11*

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job
Under 25 . .
25-31* ..........
3 5 -1 4 * ..........
1*5-51*.........
5 5 -6 1 * ..........
65 and over

582
1,071*
1 ,1 8 9
877
371
71*

9 8 .7
1 0 1 .9
1 0 0 .8
1 0 0 .8
9 9 .5
1 0 1 .1

7
5
5
5
6
7

9
7
5
7
6
3

17
11*
13
17
18
25

23
22
25
21*
25
21

22
23
26
21
19
16

9
H*
11*
13
13
12

5
7
6
6
8
1
*

1
*
7
5
8
6
10

6
7
6
5
8
5

6
8
5
9
5
ll

1/

1 / Does not include data for about 1*50 workers for whom data on length
o f experience were not a v a ila b le .
Previous experience in sim ila r or id e n t i­
c a l work was not considered.
NOTE;




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

- 19 -

Table 2.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f i c e workers, by age group
and experience on job

[fge group 35>-Ui=1007

Age
group

Number
Average
of
index
workers

Percentage d istrib u tio n o f workers
with indexes of.
Under
70

70
to
7 9 .9

80
90
to
to
8 9 .9 9 9 .9

100
to
1 0 9 .9

110
to
1 1 9 .9

120
to
1 2 9.9

130
and
oyer

A ll workers
Under 25 . .
25-3U ..........
3 5 -iU t..........
U 5-51i..........
55-6U .........
65 and over

1 ,0 5 5
1 ,2 7 1
1 ,198
832
351
67

9 2 .1
9 9 .2
1 0 0 .0
9 9 .2
9 8 .1
1 0 0 .9

15
7
5
6
7
8

1U
8
6
8
6
5

17
15
13
16
18
2U

21
21
25
2U
27
17

17
22
26
20

18
111

8
13
111
13
11
17

ii
7
6
6
7

h

li
6
5
7
6
10

6
7
6
5
7
5

6
7
5
7
6
10

Workers with 9 months’ or more experience on job 1 /
Under 25 . .
2 5 - 3 l i .........
3 5 - U i ..........
U5-5U ..........
55-6U ..........
65 and over

568
871
955
700
301
60

9 7 .8
1 0 1 .5
1 0 0 .9
1 0 0 .0
9 9 .2
9 9 .9

8
5

k
h
5
9

9
6
5
7
5
U

17
111
13
17
18
25

23
21
26
2li
28
19

21
25
28
22
19
12

9
111
1U
13
12
15

1 / Does not include data fo r about liOO workers fo r whom data on length
o f experience were not a v a ila b le .
Previous experience in sim ila r or id e n t i­
c a l work was not considered.
NOTE:




Because of rounding,

the percentages may not equal 100.

-

Table 3.

20

-

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o f f i c e workers, by age group
and experience on job
/Age group 35-kkm
100/

■ ge
A
group

Number Average
of
index
workers

Percentage distribution of workers
with indexes of-

8
0

70
Under to
70
79.9

90
to
to
89.9 99.9

100
to
109.9

110
to
119.9

120
to
129.9

130
and
over

12
5
8
5
11
(1 /)

12
6
16
6

A ll workers
Under 25 . .
25-3U ........
3 5 -U i........
b$-$h ........
55-61:........
65 and over

29
235
268
191
78
19

98.6
103.0
100.0
103-5
100.3
101.9

16
5
7
9
7

10
5
8
9

<3/> <3/>

15
5
2h
13
21
17
23
13
20
1U
(1 /) (1 /)

29
17
21
16
18
(1 /)

20
Hi
15
10
15

<3/)

2

(3/)

Workers with 9 months’ or more experience on job 2 /
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-lUi........
U5-5U ........
55-6U ........
65 and over

1U
203
231:
177
70

1U

107.9
103.7
100.2
103.7
100. h
105.9

(1 /)

~h

7
9
6
(1 /)

(V) (V) (3/)
Tl
23
15
16
21
5
7
25
iu 13
10
20
<3/> (1/) (3/)

(1 /)
T5
21
15
18
(1 /)

(i/)
IU
15
10
17

(1 /)
"5
8
5
ll

(1/) (3/)

(1 /)
13
6
15
5
(1 /)

1 / Data were considered in su fficien t to present distribution.
5 / Does not include data fo r about $0 workers fo r whom data on length
o f experience were not available. Previous experience in sim ilar or id e n ti­
ca l work was not considered.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

-

Table ii.

21

-

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f i c e workers in
Government agencies, by age group and experience on job
/Age group 35-UU=100^

Age
group

Number Average
of
index
workers

Percentage distribution of workers
with indexes of
120
100
110
90
80
70
Under to
to
to
to
to
to
70
79.9 89.9 99.9 109.9 119.9 129.9

130
and
over

A ll workers
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-UU ........
U5-51i . . . . .
55-6H........
65 and over

197
U0
8
593
368
210
57

91.9
99.6
100.0
99.0
96. U
102.6

17
10
6
8
9
7

1U
7
6
8
6

h

lit
13
13
17
21
21

22
21
25
22
23
18

Hi
20
26
16
19
15

9
lli
Hi

13
7
19

ii
7
ii
8
10
5

5
8
6
8
5
11

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job 1 /
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
3 5 -U i........
U5-5U ........
5 5 -6 ii........
65 and over

61
311

h66
289
173
50

97.8
101.6
100.6
99.7
98.5
101.6

12
6
5
6
7
8

10
5
5
8
5
3

12
13
13
19
22
22

25

2k

26
20
22
22

16
21
28
19
20
13

10
15

5
6

Hi

ii

12
7
17

6
10
6

9
9
6
9
6
10

1 / Does not include data fo r about U O workers fo r whom data on length
O
o f experience were not available. Previous experience in sim ilar or id e n ti­
ca l work was not considered.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

-

Table 5.

22

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o f f ic e workers in Government
agencies, by age group and experience on job
/Age group 35“ kk’B
100f

Age
group

Number
Average
of
index
workers

Percentage distribution : o f workers
with indexes of
120
110
100
90
80
70
Under to
to
to
to
to
to
70
79.9 89.9 99.9 109.9 119.9 129.9

130
and
over

A ll workers
Under 25 ..
25-3h ........
35-14*........
1*5-51*........
55-61*........
65 and over

11*
172
229
153
57
11

96.1
101*. 3
100.0
10l*.l*
100.5
101.5

(1 /) (1 /)
6 To
6
5
8
8
8
7
(1 /) (1 /)

(1 /) (1 /)
?2
12
18
20
22
15
18
15
(1 /) ( ] / )

(V)
17
22
1*
1
17
(2 /)

(1 /)
“5
15
11
18
<2/>

(1 /)
“6
8
5
ll
(l/)

(1 /)
13
6
16
5
(2 /)

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job 2 /
Under 25 ..
25-31*........
35-14*........
1*5-51*........
55-61*........
65 and over

5
11*6
195
139
19
*
6

(V)

105.2
100.2
101*. 8
100.8
(3 /)

(1 /) (1 /)
Tl
"5
6
5
6
9
8
8
(1 /) (1 /)

a

(1 /) (1 /)
11*
21
17
16
23
17
11*
(1 /) (1 /)

(1 /)
T5
22
1*
1
18
(2 /)

(1 /)
T5
15
11
21
<2/>

(1 /)
“6
8
6
10
(2 /)

Tl*
6

(i/)

15
1
*
(!/)

1 / Data were considered in su fficien t to present distribution.
2 / Does not include data fo r about 50 workers fo r whom data on length
o f experience were not available. Previous experience in sim ilar or id e n ti­
c a l work was not considered.
3 / An age group containing fewer than 10 workers was considered too
small fo r presentation o f an index.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100,

- 23 -

Table 6.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f i c e workers in private
industry, by age group and experience on job

/Age group 3$-Uhs100/
Number
Average
of
index
workers

Age
group

Percentage distribution o f workers
with indexes o f
Under 70
to
70
79.9

80
90
to
to
89.9 99.9

100
to
109.9

110
to
119.9

120
to
129.9

130
and
over

All workers
Under 25 . .
2$-3k ........
35-UU........
U5-5U ........
55-6U ........
65 and over

858
791
605
U
6U
1U1
10

92.1
98.8
100.0
99.5
100. U
93.7

1U
5
$

13
10
6
k
9
6
$
(1 /) (1 /)

18
17
13
15
12
(1 /)

20
20
25
25
33

(3/)

25

8
12
13

18
(1 /)

17
<2/)

18

2k
2k

Ik

k

k

7
7

5
5
6
6

k

u
(3/) (3/)

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job
Under 25 ..
25-3it........
3 $ -W ........
U5-5U........
$5-6h ........
65 and over
1/

507
560
U89
Ull
128
10

97.8
101. h
101.2
100.2
100.2
93.7

7
9
8
3
3
7
3
U
(1 /) (1 /)

$
$

18
23
19
15
26
13
26
15
13
35
(1 /) (1 /)

23
28
28
25
18
(1 /)

9
13
13

Ik

17
(l/>

Bata were considered in s u ffic ie n t — present distribu tion .
to

NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

6
8
7
3

k
(1 /)

5
6
U
5
5
(l/)

-

Table 7.

2h

-

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o ffic e workers in private
industry, by age group and experience on job
/Age group 35-UU=1007

Age
group

Number
Average
of
index
workers

Percentage d istribu tion o f workers
with indexes o f
Under
70

70
to
79.9

80
90
to
to
89.9 99.9

100
to
109.9

110
to
119.9

(1 /)
18
18
21
18
(1 /)

120

(1 /)

130

to

and
over

129.9

A ll workers
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-UU ........
U5-5U ........
55-6U ........
65 and over

15
63
39
38
21
8

102.7
98.3
100.0
99.1*

99.h
(2 /)

(1 /) (1 /)
9
3
10
5
10
10
0
16
(1 /) (1 /)

(1 /) (1 /)
T8
31
13
23
30
5
28
10
(1 /) (1 /)

9
15
5
6
(3 /)

(1 /)
2
8
5
15
(1 /)

( 1 /)

9
8
13
6
(1 /)

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-UU ........
U5-5U ........
55-6U ........
65 and over

9
57
39
38
21
8

(2 /)
9H. u

100.0
99. k
99.h
(2 /)

(1 /) (1 /)
El
~k
10
5
10
10
16
0
(1 /)
( a /)

(1 /) (1 /)
18
29
23
13
5 30
28
10
( 1 /) (1 /)

(1 /)
16
18
21
18
(1 /)

(1 /)
11
15

(1 /)
2
8

6

15
(1/ )

5

( a /)

5

1 / Data were considered in s u ffic ie n t to present d istrib u tion .
? / An age group containing fewer than 10 workers was considered too
small fo r presentation o f an average index.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

ca/>
9

8
13
6

( a /)

- 25 Table 8.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f fic e workers paid on a
time-rate basis, by age group and experience on job

/Age group 35-kka
100/

Age
group

Number
Average
of
index
workers

Percentage distribution o f workers
with indexes o f—
70
Under to
70
79.9

80
90
to
to
89.9 99.9

100
to
109.9

110
to
119.9

120
to
129.9

130
and
over

A ll workers
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-14: ........
45-5U ........
55-6U ........
65 and over

302
572
712
423
147
24

92.8
99.0
100.0
99.6
97.5
103.7

13
7
5
7
9
18

15
7
6
7
6
0

16
14
12
16
17
8

21
21
25
22
21:
19

17

2k
29
22
22
16

8
ia

5
5

13
13

k

17

k

n

5
5

5
6
5
8
6
17

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job
Under 25 ..
25-34 ........
35-14:........
45-54 ........
55-64 ........
65 and over
NOTE:




157
1:67

636

383
134

2k

95.7
100.6
100.5
99.8
97.7
103.7

9
6
5
6
9
18

11
6
6
7
6
0

17
14
11
16
17
8

2k

22
25
23
23
19

19
25
30
22
23
16

7
15
lU

13

11
17

Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

6
6
U
5
6

k

6
7
5
8
5
17

-

Table 9.

26

-

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f i c e workers paid on an
incentive basis, try age group and experience on job

/Age group 3$-ljl*“ 1007

Age
group

Number Average
of
index
workers

Percentage distribution o f workers
with indexes o f —
70
Under to
70
79.9

8
0

90
to
to
89.9 99.9

100
to
109.9

110
to
119.9

120
to
129.9

18
21
21
19
11*
13

8
12
1*
1
li*
11
17

1
*
8
8
7
9
1
*

1
*
7
5
5
6
6

6
9
8
5
9
5

6
8
5
5
6
3

130
aid
over

A ll workers
Under 25 ..
2$-3l* ........
35 - 1 * ........
i*$-$i*........
$5-61*........
65 and over

753
699
1*86
1*09
20l*
1
*3

91.6
99.1*
100.0
98.8
98.8
99.0

15
7
5
5
6
0

13
10
6
10
5
9

18
16
15
16
18
36

21
20
2*
1
25
30
15

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job 1 /
Under 25 ..
25-31* ........
35-10*........
1*5-51*........
55-61*........
65 and over

1*11
10 *
*1
319
317
167
36

99.2
102.9
101.6
100.1*
101.1
96.5

6
3
2
2
2
0
j_____

8
7
3
8
3
8

17
15
15
18
19
1
*2

23
21
28
25
3*
1
19

23
2*
1
2*
1
23
11*
9

10
13
13
11*
13
1*
1

1 / Does not include data fo r about 1*00 workers fo r idiom data on length
o f experience were not available. Previous experience in sim ilar or id e n ti­
ca l work was not considered.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

- 27 -

Table 10.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o f f ic e woricers paid on a
tim e-rate basis, by age group and experience on job

/Kge group 35-l*H=1007

Age
group

Percentage distribution of workers
with indexes o f —
Number
Average
120
no
70
100
8
0 90
of
index Under to
to
to
to
to
to
workers
70
79.9 89.9 99.9 109.9 119.9 129.9

130
and
over

A ll workers
Under 25 ..
25-3*4........
35-1*1*........
U5-514........
55-614 . . . . .
65 and over

16
203
21*0
181*

64
*
15

91.1
103.5
100.0
103.5
100.9

106.6

(V ) (1/)
5 10
7
5
7
9
6 10
(1 /) (V )

<3/) (1 /)
23
15
20
17
1
*4 23
17
lU
<3/> <2/>

(V )
16
21
16
18
(l/>

<Y>
11*
15

10

18
(1 /)

(1 /)
5
8
5
12
(1 /)

(1 /)
13
6
15
5
<3/>

(1 /)
"5
8
6
12
<2/>

(l/)
11*
6
15
5
(l/)

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job
Under 25 . .
25-3*4........
35-*4*4........
*45-5*4........
55-61*.......
65 and over

9
19U
231
176
63
lU

(2 /)
103.9
100.2
103.8
101.0
105.9

(1 /) (1 /)
Tl
14
7
5
7
9
6 10
(V ) (1 /)

(V ) (1 /)
T5 ?2
16 21
1
1 4 2*
1
17
13
(1 /) (V )

(1 /)
T5

21

15
18
(1 /)

(1 /)
11*
16
10
18
(3 /)

1 / Data were considered in s u ffic ie n t to present distribu tion.
? / An ape group containing fewer than 10 workers was considered too
small fo r presentation o f an average index.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

Table 11.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f ic e workers, by age group, occupational
group, and experience on job

/J-ge group 35-iiU=1007

Age group

Under 25 . . . .
25-31* ............
35-1*1*...........
U5-5U ............
55-61* ............
65 and over .

General
Typists
clerks
Number
Number
Average
Average
of
of
index workers index
workers

3U7
573
575
387
165
1
*2

93.0
100.3
100.0
98.6
98.1
98.5

168
119
91
135
38
3

9U.0
102.2
100.0
100.1
100.7
(1 /)

Keypunch
Sorters,
operators
cla s sifie rs
Number
Number
Average
Average
of
of
index workers index
workers
A ll workers
80
78
61
39
21
5

85. k
86.6
100.0
97.5
97.0
(1 /)

90
138
120
61
18
2

99.1*
100.8
100.0
103.1
103.6
< 1 0

File clerks
Number
Average
of
workers index

171*
128
107
58
38
6

88.1*
96.0
100.0
91*. 9
102.3
(1 /)

96
71
8*
1
1
*5
32
5

96.1*
99.5
102.1
96.5
102.1*

Workers with 9 months' or more experience on job 2 /
Under 25 . . . .
25-3U ............
35-1*1*............
1*5-51*...........
55-61* ............
65 and over .

199
1*60
510
3U8
15U
38

95.5
101.3
100.1
98.7
97.9
96.6

92
81
71
*
120
35
3

99. U
105. U
100. k
101.7
102.1*
<*/>

28
25
30
19
16
5

100.0
99.6
98.1*
100.6
96.3
<

2

/>

1*5
91*
88
60
16
2

10i*.i*

103.0
103.9
103.1*
101*. 1
< !/)

( V )

1 / An age group containing fewer than 10 workers was considered too small fo r presentation
o f an average index.
21 Does not include data fo r some workers f o r whom data on length o f experience were not
available. Previous experience in sim ilar or id e n tica l work was not considered.




- 29 -

Table 12.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f i c e workers, by age
group and s k i ll le v e l 1 /
/Age group 3%-kha100/

Age
group

Under 25 ..
25-3U .......
35 - U i........
U5-5U........
55-6U ........
65 and over

Number
Average
of
index
workers

16

111.5
99.7

177
125
U
2
7

1 0 0 .0

10
8

98.2
96.0
(3 /)

Percentage d istrib u tion o f workers
with indexes o f
Under
70

70
8
0 90
100
to
to
to
to
79.9 89.9 99.9 109.9
Higher le v e l jobs

(2 /) (2 /)
12
~6
9
9
16
9
18
8
(2 /) (2 /)

(2 /) (2 /)
9
12
2ii
12
19
12
17
(2 /) (2 /)

110
to
119.9

120
to
129.9

130
and
over

( 2 /) T8
21
15
22
(2 /)

(2 /)
12
11
9
8
(2 /)

(2 /)
9
5
7
5
(2 /)

(2 /)
9
9
13
10
( £ /)

18
23
27
21
18
16

8
13

U
6
6
6
8
5

U
6
U
6
5
12

Lower le v e l jobs
Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-W i........
U5-5U ........
55-6U ........
65 and over

1,036
1 ,15U

1,006
705
309
60

91.6
99.0
100.0
99.9
98. U
101.9

15
6
h
h
6
li

111

9
5
8
5
6

18

20
20
25
2h
30

27

16

17
16
1U

17

111
1U
11

13

1 / Higher le v e l jobs were those in which workers were expected to
exercise some independent judgment.
2 / Data were considered in s u ffic ie n t to present 'U stribution.
J / An age group containing fewer than 10 workers was considered too
small fo r presentation o f an average index.
NOTE:




Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

30
Table 13.

-

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f women o f f i c e workers with 18 or
more months' serv ice with the company
/Age group 35-itU=100/

Number
Average
of
workers index

Age
group

Under 25 ..
25-3U ........
35-JU ........
JU
U5-5U ........
5 5 -6 ii........
65 and over
NOTE:

Table lU.

U09
928

i,ohk
786

33k
67

99. li
101.7
100.9
99.5
98.7
100.9

Percentage distribution of workers
with indexes o f —
70
Under to
70
79.9
6
5
li
6
7
8

6
6
6
8
6
5

8
0

90
to
to
89.9 99.9
17
lit
13
16
17

2h

25
21
25
23
27
17

100
to
109.9
22
25
26
20
19
lli

110
to
119.9

120
to
129.9

12
lli
lli
13
11
17

6
8
6
6
7

h

130
and
over
6
7
6
7
6
10

Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

Indexes o f output per man-hour o f men o f f i c e workers with 18 or
more months' service with the company
/Age group 35-lili®1007

Number
Average
of
index
workers

Age
group

Under 25 ..
25-3U ........

35-lili.......
Ii5-51i........
55-6U ........
65 and over
1/

15
217
260
187
75
17

9U.5
102.7
99.8
103.8
100.5
10U.2

Percentage distribu tion o f workers
with indexes o f
120
100
110
90
80
Under 70
to
to
to
to
to
to
70
79.9 89.9 99.9 109.9 119.9 129.9

lo

(1 /) ( 1 /)
"5
7
5
8
9
7
9
(1 /) (1 /)

Si

(1 /) (1 /)
11;
21
17
lli
23
19
13
(1 /) (1 /)

(1 /)
17
22
15
18
(1 /)

(V)
12
15
10
16

<3/> (3/)

Data were considered in s u ffic ie n t to present d istrib u tio n .

NOTE:




(1 /)
5
8
5
12

Because o f rounding, the percentages may not equal 100.

130
and
over
(1 /)
12
5
16
6
(1 /)

- 31 APPENDIX.

Scope and Method o f Survey

Only companies or governmental agencies which had a work measurement
system for individual c le r ic a l employees and employed both younger and older
workers on comparable work were included in the survey. Twenty-one companies
were found that met these crite ria and data were collected covering 3,OU3 o f
their c le r ic a l employees. The fiv e cooperating governmental agencies supplied
data on 2, 891 workers. Only a few o ffic e s from any one company or agency
having a number o f d is tr ic t o ffic e s were included, in order to lim it the e ffe c t
any one establishment would have on the fin a l results.
Typing and secretarial work, keypunch operation, tabulating, computing
and bookkeeping machine operation, operation o f duplicating machines, and
filin g , sorting and routing and assembling records were considered to be o ffic e
or c le r ic a l functions.
The geographic scope o f the study was nationwide; however, no companies
from the fa r western region met the necessary criteria . Many companies in i­
t ia lly contacted could not be included in the study because they met only a
portion o f the necessary criteria , such as having group rather than individual
measurement programs or employing only younger workers on measured a ctiv itie s
during the period covered by the survey.
Concepts and Methods
For the purpose o f this study produ ctivity was defined as an in d iv id u a l's
physical volume o f production per hour worked—his output per man-hour. To
derive th is measure i t was necessary, therefore, to obtain data on an employee's
output in measurable units and to relate that output to the corresponding hours
spent in i t s production.
For the most part, companies maintained records o f the ph ysical production
which could be related to time on the job. In some cases, however, an in d i­
v id u a l's output per man-hour was measured in terms o f the standard performance
fo r his job. In such establishments, the company maintained a record o f the
ra tio o f each in d iv id u a l's actual output per man-hour to the standard hourly
output fo r his job. These standards were usually obtained by measuring the
production o f a l l individuals over a period o f time to determine the average
or expected performance. In eith er case, a single output per man-hour figure
was obtained, whether output was recorded d ir e c tly or whether the ra tio o f
actual to standard performance was taken. The observation period fo r the
output per man-hour data ranged from 1 to 12 weeks in the various companies.
|
This was a compromise between a very long period which would tend to even out
atypical influences of a temporary nature, and a very short period which
would permit the in clu sion o f a larger number o f individuals.




- 32 In order to is o la te the influence o f age from the many other factors
which a ffe c t output per man-hour and at the same time to combine measures
drawn from, small groups o f persons into larger aggregates, certain s t a t is t ic a l
procedures were applied to the orig in a l data.
F irst, each individual employee was c la s s ifie d by age, into 1 o f 6 age
groups; namely, under 25, 25 to 3U, 35 to Ui, 1 to 5U, 55 to 6U and 65 years
*5
,
and over. The employees were then further c la s s ifie d into groups by selected
ch a ra cteristics which might a ffe c t work performance, such as sex, s p e c ific
occupation, length o f serv ice, and method o f payment. The purpose o f th is
c la s s ific a t io n was to insure that age-performance observations were made only
among individuals having in common those ch a ra cteristics which migjit have an
important bearing on produ ctivity.
This basic comparison group varied somewhat according to the method used
fo r deriving an in d iv id u a l's output figu re. Where records were maintained as
an actual count o f production, the comparison group was lim ited to individuals
o f the same sex and occupation within a company. In companies maintaining
records o f p rod u ctivity as a percent o f standard performance, the basic com­
parison group was broadened to include a l l measured workers o f the same sex.
The purpose was to enlarge the sample o f individuals to secure greater r e lia ­
b i l i t y in the basic measures. This procedure was adopted only where company
o f f i c i a l s were s a t is fie d that th e ir standards had the same chance o f achieve­
ment among the d iffe re n t jobs. In cases where the standards were not consid­
ered en tirely comparable between occupations, the basic comparison group was
lim ited to the same occupation within a company.
Within each basic comparison group, the average produ ctivity fo r the age
group 35 to Ui was determined. This group was designated as the base group
and the r a tio o f output o f each individual within the basic comparison group
to the average fo r the base group was computed.
Through the use o f these indexes and the c la s s ific a tio n system, the
influence o f other than age fa ctors was la rg e ly eliminated, since each in d i­
vidual was being compared only with other individuals having most factors in
common. The individual indexes were then comparable from one comparison group
to another and combined to derive average indexes fo r each age group. The




- 33 -

combinations were made using weights based on the r e lia b ility o f the individual
indexes. This weight was a reflection of the number o f people in the age group
and the number in the base group within each comparison group, 16/ and was
applied to the individual output indexes, which were combined to derive
average indexes o f output fo r each o f the six age groups. 17/
Derivation o f Formula
The basic age group index fo r each comparison group takes the form:
X
ci

V
Where X . i s the average performance rate o f individuals within a s p e c ific
ci

age group

(c )

within the basic comparison group ( i ) , and Xb i

i s the

average performance rate o f workers in the base group ( 35>-UU) within the same
basic comparison group.
The performance rate represents output per man-hour and, as indicated
elsewhere, the basic comparison group varies with type o f records used.

In

aggregating these o rig in a l indexes so that they w ill represent la rger groupings,
i t i s desirable that the aggregate indexes should have the minimum p ossib le
variance.

Therefore, each component index i s weighted according to it s r e lia ­

b i l i t y ; i. e . , according to the recip roca l o f i t s squared standard error.

16/ For formula used, see derivation o f formula below.
IT / In the e a r lie r study o f fa ctory workers' job performance by age, the
combinations were made by s ig n ifica n t groups, using constant weights in order
to minimize the e ffe c t s o f other factors on the data. This method was not
considered necessary in th is study and in order to obtain the d istrib u tion
o f indexes the data were combined as described above. A comparison o f both
methods showed the resu lts to be sim ilar.




- 3k I f the numerator and denom inator samples are u n co rre la te d , then th e r e l v a ria n ce o f each group in d ex f o r a d i r e c t com parison group i s

V2d c i) = vc2 + vb2
N
.
bi

Nc i

2

where VQ and Vb

2

are the p o p u la tio n r e l-v a r ia n c e s o f the in d iv id u a l s c o r e s

and Nc j_ and N
bj_ are number o f in d iv id u a ls in the age group and base group,
r e s p e c t iv e ly .

Another form o f V ^ I i )

IS

v2d C )
i
N i Nc i
b

» b i» ,c x

S e t t in g

W
i
N

c i + Nbi

V,

then

V2 ( l c i )

= _ !_ j

bu t

V2 ( I c i ) = <r 2 ( I c l )

w.c i

Ic2

where I c i s th e p o p u la tio n in d ex f o r age group c and <r 2 ( I c i ) i s the v a ria n ce
o f the sample index.
Using th e r e c ip r o c a l o f each d ir e c t com parison group sample in d ex as the
w eigh t, then th e a g gregate in d ex i s
w.
x
Cl

LC 1

2( Ic i)

V =^=

2 _




<- 2 ( I c i )
3

z

V 2 I c2
vc
wi

I v .
A
C

-

S ince Vc

2

and I c

2

35

-

are con sta n t w ith r e s p e c t t o th e summation,

NbiVci

X ^ i^ c i

Ni
c

/ V~ N i
^
+

Nb i /

y

Ife -

Nc i

+

Nb i

I f the assumption i s made th a t the r e l-v a r ia n c e o f the age groups are the
same, i . e.

then,

N i Nc i
b

W
jL

Nbi + Nc i
I f th ese w eigh ts were to be a p p lie d to in d iv id u a ls w ith in each group, th e
w eigh t f o r any in d iv id u a l in age group c and com parison group i would be found
by. d iv id in g th e above form ula by the number o f in d iv id u a ls in group c to g e t
W4




Jk___

H, . + W .
wb i
”ci

- 36 -

The b a s ic form used in c o l l e c t i n g the data i s reproduced below .




* U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1960 0 — 540764