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U N IT E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R
Frances Perkins, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Isador Lukin, Commissioner (on leave)
A* F. Hinrichs, Acting Commissioner

+

Earnings in Cotton-G oods
M anufacture D uring
the W ar Years

{Reprinted from the M onthly L abor R eview October 1944|

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U . S. Governm ent Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 5 cents




Letter of Transmittal

U nited States D epartment of L abor ,.
B ureau of L abor S tatistics,
Washington, D . C ., October 2 0 , 1944•
L abor :

The Secretary of
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on earnings in cotton-goods
manufacture during the war years. This report was prepared by Clara F. Schloss
of the Bureau’s Division of Employment Statistics, Alexander Sturges, Acting
Chief, and Toivo P. Kanninen of the Bureau’s Division of Wage Analysis, Robert
J. Myers, Chief.
A. F. Hinrichs ,
Acting Com m issioner.

Hon. F rances P erkins,
Secretary of Labor .

Contents

Page

Summary---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Scope of the industry----------------------------------------------------------------------------Employment in the industry-----------------------------------------------------------------Shift operation and incentive pay----------------------------------------------------------Wartime wage trends----------------------------------------------------------------------------Variation in average hourly earnings within regions.____________________
Occupational wage rates------------------------------------------------------------------------Occupational variations____________________________________________
Occupational rates, by wage area--------------------------




(n)

1
1
2
2
3
6
8
10
12

B ulletin J\[o. 79*8 o f the
U n ited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the M onthly L abor Review, October 1944]

Earnings in Cotton-Goods Manufacture During the
W ar Years
Sum m ary

TH E cotton-textile worker is still among the lower-paid American
factory workers, in spite of substantial wage increases in cotton mills
since the outbreak of the war. Hourly earnings, which averaged
38.4 cents in April 1939, rose to 62.3 cents in April 1944, an increase of
62.2 percent. Straight-time average hourly earnings, that is, earn­
ings after eliminating extra pay for overtime worked, increased from
38.4 cents to 59.9 cents during the same period, or by 56.0 percent.
Average hourly earnings in northern mills exceeded those in south­
ern mills by 21 percent in April 1939, and 20 percent in April 1944.
Since March 1944, a slight narrowing of this difference has occurred,
caused in part by wage orders permitting wage increases in the South.
The extent of the recent wage changes has varied from area to area
within regions, as well as between the North and South, because of
varying hours of work, products manufactured, bidding for workers
by other industries, and other economic pressures. Increases in aver­
age hourly earnings in 18 wage areas in the North ranged from 0.6
cents to 7.1 cents; in 48 southern wage areas the changes ranged from
a decrease of 0.5 cents per hour to an increase of 7.9 cents per hour.
Of 20 key occupational groups studied by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics in certain selected areas in the North and South, in the
spring and summer of 1943, class-A maintenance electricians, the
highest-paid group, averaged 99 cents per hour in the North and 79
cents in the South. Janitors and janitresses each averaged 52 cents
per hour in the North and 44 and 43 cents respectively in the South.
Among jobs that are particularly representative of the industry, the
respective northern and southern averages were as follows: Loom
fixers, other than Jacquard, 98 and 75 cents; male weavers, other than
Jacquard, 80 and 64 cents; female weavers, other than Jacquard,
75 and 62 cents; female spinners, 63 and 52 cents; and female yam
winders, 63 and 52 cents.
Scope o f the Industry

The cotton-goods industry is composed of establishinents primarily
engaged in manufacturing cotton yam and thread, and woven goods
over 12 inches in width. Cotton woven goods include a variety of
fabrics such as duck, sheeting, print cloth, colored cotton goods, towel-




(l)

2
ing, upholstered and drapery materials, and pile fabrics. Establish­
ments primarily engaged in dyeing or finishing cotton yam or fabrics,
or in manufacturing cotton woven goods 12 inches or less in width,
are considered to be in separate industries.
Broad woven goods are produced in integrated spinning and weav­
ing mills which carry on all the operations necessary to transform
ginned cotton into cotton fabric, and in independent weaving mills
which are generally engaged in producing specialty fabrics; the latter
account for only a minor part of cotton-goods production. Cotton
thread and yam are produced for sale as such in independent spinning
mills, in thread-finishing mills, in yarn-winding and yam -twisting
mills which prepare specialty yams from purchased yam s, and to a
minor extent as a part of the operations of integrated spinning and
weaving mills.
E m ploym ent in the In du stry

Establishments engaged in the manufacture of cotton textiles
(except cotton small wares) employed about 450,000 wage earners in
the early months of 1944, or approximately 3% percent of all manu­
facturing wage earners in the United States. Only the m ajor metal­
working industries, such as the airframe, shipbuilding, automobile,
machinery, and electrical-equipment manufacturing industries, em­
ployed a larger number of workers. The cotton-textile industry
employs at least a seventh of the manufacturing wage earners in the
South Atlantic and South Central States.
In response to expanded consumer demand and the need of the
armed forces for cotton fabrics, the number of wage earners in the
cotton-goods industry rose during the early years of the war to a level
in excess of previous peak employment. The increase between June
1939 and December 1942, the lowest and highest months in recent
years, amounted to 36.6 percent, or from 373,400 to 510,300 employees.
In 1943, however, the number of wage earners in the industry began
to decline, as a result of losses to the armed forces and to other indus­
tries. B y April 1944, despite continuing urgent need for textiles,
employment was only 445, 300, or 65,000 below the earlier peak le v e l.1
The proportion of women working in the industry increased from 38
per 100 in October 1939 to 47 per 100 in April 1944, largely as a
result of this increased demand and the loss of male employees.
Shift Operation and Incentive P a y

Tw o- and three-shift operation is now common in the cotton-textile
industry. Over three-quarters of the mills surveyed by the Bureau in
the spring and summer of 1943 were operating more than one shift;
about three-fifths were working three shifts. Only about one-fifth of
the mills operating more than one shift reported premium rates of
pay for work on the late shifts.
Incentive pay, which is prevalent in the manufacture of cotton
goods, is found somewhat more commonly in the North than in the
South. Incentive workers constitute over three-quarters of the
weavers, yam winders, spinners, and doffers in the North, and about
two-thirds of all workers in these occupations in the South.
A further decrease of 9.500 employees occurred between April and June 1944.




3
W artim e W age Trends

Average hourly earnings of workers in the cotton-goods industry
amounted to 62.3 cents in April 1944— an increase of 62.2 percent
over April 1939, when wages averaged 38.4 cents per hour. Eliminat­
ing from these averages the extra pay received for overtime worked,
the increase was 56.0 percent, or from 38.4 cents per hour in April
1939 to 59.9 cents in April 1944. This latter increase may be con­
trasted with an estimated increase of 38.6 percent for all manufactur­
ing industries in straight-time hourly earnings, from 62.2 cents in
April 1939 to 86.2 cents in April 1944, after correction for overtime
pay and interindustry shifts of employment.
Among the manufacturing industries for which the Bureau of Labor
Statistics regularly collects wage data, only a few, such as the workshirt and handkerchief industries, report lower average hourly earnings
than are found in the manufacture of cotton textiles. The relatively
low level of wages in cotton mills is accentuated somewhat by the
location of a large part of the industry in lower-wage sections of the
country, by the relatively low proportion of skilled workers employed,
and by the large proportion of women workers in the industry.
Because of the competitive nature of the cotton-textile industry
and the importance of wage differences in explaining the industry’s
southward trend, the relative level of wages in northern and southern
mills is a matter of particular interest. Wage rates in the North have
consistently exceeded southern rates, although the amount of difference
has varied.
Between April 1939 and April 1944 average hourly earnings, includ­
ing premium pay for overtime and work on extra shifts, increased
from 44.4 cents to 72.0 cents in the North and from 36.7 cents to 60.1
cents in the South (table 1). This increase amounted to 62.2 percent
in the North and 63.8 percent in the South. At the same time, the
pay margin between the two regions increased from 7.7 to 11.9 cents
per hour.2
The difference in average hourly earnings as between the North and
South is influenced not only by differences in wage rates but also by
differences in the type of products manufactured. Product differences
influence the proportion of workers employed at the various levels of
skill. Hence, it is probable that the absolute amount of the regional
difference in wages, in the case of a given type of goods, might vary
considerably from the gross difference that has been indicated.
In each of the two broad regions the increase in earnings reflects,
among other things, the competition with the war industries for work­
ers, and the various rulings or wage orders issued by Governmental
agencies. An example of this latter type of increase was the estab­
lishment of the 32^-cent minimum under the Fair Labor Standards
A ct; this action was followed by increases of 2.5 cents per hour in
the North and 2.6 cents per hour in the South, between October and
December 1939. Subsequent orders were issued under the Fair
Labor Standards A ct, and by the National Defense Mediation Board.
B y the end of 1941, average hourly earnings had increased to 57.9
cents in the North and 48.3 cents in the South.
2 Average hourly earnings for cotton-textile manufacturing are calculated for both the North and the
South each month by the Division of Employment Statistics, and are available upon request.




4
T able 1.— Average H ou rly Earnings 1 in the Cotton-Goods Industry, 1 9 3 9 -4 4
Average hourly earnings (in cents)
1939

Month

1941

1940

1942

1944

1943

North South North South North South North South North South North South
January_____
February.......
March............
April...............
M ay...............
Jnnp.

44.4
44.4
44.6
44.4
44.8
44.7
44.6
44.7
44.6
44.7
46.8
47.2

_ _

July_________
August

September___
Ontohpr

November___
December___

36.6
36.6
36.7
36.7
36.8
36.4
36.2
36.2
36.3
36.3
38.9
38.9

47.1
47.1
47.1
47.3
47.3
47.6
47.6
47.7
47.5
47.6
47.3
47.4

39.2
39.2
39.2
39.2
39.4
39.3
39.4
39.6
40.0
39.6
39.6
39.9

47.5
47.6
48.1
51.8
52.3
52.6
53.2
53.0
57.1
58.0
58.1
57.9

40.3
40.2
40.6
42.6
43.1
43.1
45.4
45.6
45.8
48.2
48.1
48.3

58.4
58.8
59.0
59.1
59.9
60.1
60.1
60.7
67.3
67.7
67.8
67.9

48.4
48.7
48.9
49.2
50.9
50.9
50.8
53.4
55.1
55.1
55.2
55.4

68.4
68.6
68.8
69.4
69.7
70.3
70.1
70.3
71.1
70.8
71.1
71.0

71.2
55.9
71.8
55.8
56.0
71.9
56.2
72.0
56.6 2 72.5
56.2
56.4
56.0
57.3
56.6
56.7
57.1 ...........

57.3
57.2
57.8
60.1
2 61.4

—

1 Including premium pay for overtime and work on late Shifts.
2 Preliminary.

The next m ajor increase, amounting to 7.6 cents^per hour in the
North and 4.3 cents per hour in the South, occurred between July
and September of 1942, following a National W ar Labor Board order
for a 7K-cent increase in hourly wage rates for certain specific mills.
In M arch 1944 the Atlanta Regional War Labor Board gave
southern mills permission to make application for a 50-cent minimum
wage, with additional adjustments permitted in wage rates above the
minimum level. Although the effect of this latter increase is prob­
ably not fully reflected by the most recently collected wage-rate data,
preliminary figures for M ay 1944 indicate that average hourly
earnings in the Southern States amounted to 61.4 cents, an increase
of 3.6 cents over the average for March 1944.
In June 1944, bracket rates for key textile occupations were estab­
lished for New England by the Boston Regional War Labor Board.
The stabilized rate for common labor was determined to be 52 cents
per hour. M ills paying less than the stabilized rates may, upon proper
application, receive permission to increase their wage rates to the
permitted levels. Wage data are not yet available, to measure the
effect of this order.
T able 2.— Average W eekly H ours in the Cotton-Goods Industry, 1 9 3 9 -4 4
1939

1941

1940

1942

1943

1944

Month
North South North South North South North South North South North South
January_____
February........
March............
April...............
M ay................
June________
July_________
August...........
September___
October..........
November___
December___
1Preliminary.




37.8
38.0
37.7
37.0
35.9
36.6
37.6
37.3
38.5
37.8
38.3
38.5

36.1
36.0
36.1
35.2
35.6
35.5
35.7
36.4
37.5
38.1
37.1
37.4

37.6
36.4
36.1
35.3
34.9
33.7
36.4
36.6
37.3
38.1
36.3
39.0

36.5
36.2
35.4
35.0
34.4
34.0
34.6
35.2
36.2
36.9
37.1
37.8

38.2
39.0
39.6
39.3
40.1
40.0
39.6
40.0
39.9
39.0
37.8
40.4

37.0
38.2
38.6
39.3
39.4
39.5
38.5
39.2
39.6
39.5
39.5
40.2

41.3
41.6
41.9
41.6
42.1
41.6
41.9
42.0
40.6
42.0
41.6
42.5

40.1
40.7
40.8
40.9
40.8
40.8
40.1
40.5
40.2
40.3
40.8
41.1

42.7
42.7
42.9
43.2
43.2
43.4
42.8
43.4
43.1
43.4
43.1
42.6

41.0
43.2
41.2
43.4
41.3
43.6
43.1
41.5
41.7 M3.3
40.9
40.5
40.5
40.6 ___
41.1 ___
41.5 ___
41.5

41.0
41.4
41.4
40.9
M l. 2

5
The average hourly earnings shown in table 1 are gross averages—
that is, they include earnings from overtime pay. These comparisons
have a tendency to exaggerate the difference in the average between
the regions, since mills in the North averaged somewhat longer hours
than mills in the South. Iff April 1944, northern mills averaged 2.2
hours more work per employee per week than southern mills (table 2).
A refinement of the measure of regional differences can be obtained
by eliminating premium payments for overtime work. The results
oi this elimination are shown in table 3, which gives the actual dif­
ference (in cents) in average hourly earnings between the N orth and
South. The greatest differences between the gross and the straighttime averages will be found in the more recent months, after the
amount of overtime worked had increased. Before 1942, the amount
of extra pay resulting from overtime work was negligible.
T able 3.— Straight-Tim e Average H ou rly E a rn in gs 1 in the Cotton-Goods Industry,

1939-44
Month

North

South

North
minus
South

1939:
January_________
February_______
March__________
April.....................
M ay
June
July
August__________
September______
October_________
November______
December.............
1940:
January_________
February_______
March____ ______
April.....................
M ay . _
_ _
_
_ ___
June_
July......................
August__________
September
October
___
November
. . ...
December _
_ ..
1941:
January_________
February
March _
April.....................
M ay _____
June ______ _ .
July____________
August______ ’___
September............

Cents

Cents

Cents

43.7
43.7
43.9
43.8
44.8
44.2
43.9
44.1
43.8
44.0
46.0
46.4

36.2
36.2
36.3
36.7
36.8
36.4
36.2
35.8
35.8
35.7
38.4
38.4

7.5
7.5
7.6
7.1
8.0
7.8
7.7
8.3
8.0
8.3
7.6
8.0

46.4
46.5
46.6
47.3
47.3
47.6
47.0
47.1
46.8
46.8
46.8
46.5

38.7
38.8
39.2
39.2
39.4
39.3
39.4
39.6
39.6
39.1
39.1
39.3

7.7
7.7
7.4
8.1
7.9
8.3
7.6
7.5
7.2
7.7
7.7
7.2

46.7
46.5
46.9
50.6
50.8
51.1
51.8
51.5
55.6

39.8
39.5
39.8
41.6
42.0
42.0
44.5
44.5
44.6

6.9
7.0
7.1
9.0
8.8
9.1
7.3
7.0
11.0

Month

1941—Continued.
October............. .
November_______
December
1942:
January____ _ _
February _ __ _
March _ _ _ _ _
April
M ay
.. . .
June
July
August__________
September............
October
November
December_______
1943:
January. ___ - February,
March April___________
M ay _
June____________
July
August__ _____ _
September............
October
_ ____
November
December
1944:
January. ________
February
March
April
M ay......................

North

South

North
minus
South

Cents

Cents

Cents

56.3
56.4
56.5
56.7
57.3
57.7
57.5
58.1
65.1
64.8
65.1
64.6

47.0
47.1
47.3
47.5
49.2
49.2
49.4
51.7
53.5
53.4
53.4
53.4

9.2
9.3
9.2
9.2
&1
8.5
8.1
6.4
11.6
11.4
11.7
11.2

65.0
65.2
65.3
65.7
65.9
66.4
66.6
66.4
67.3
66.9
67.3
67.6

53.9
53.7
53.9
54.0
54.3
54.3
54.7
54.3
55.5
54.6
54.5
54.9

11.1
11.5
11.4
11.7
11.6
12.1
11.9
12.1
11.8
12.3
12.8
12.7

67.4
67.9
67.9
68.2
*68.5

55.3
55.0
55.5
58.1
*59.1

12.1
12.9
12.4
10.1
*9.4

56.7
57.2
56.2

47.0
46.9
46.9

9.7
10.3
9.3

i Excluding premium pay for overtime.
* Preliminary.

Straight-time average hourly earnings increased from 43.8 cents
to 68.2 cents, or 65.7 percent, in the North, and from 36.7 cents to
58.1 cents, or 58.3 percent, in the South, between April 1939 and
the same month o f 1944. Nearly half (48.6 percent) o f the increase
in the North, and 45.8 percent of the increase in the South, occurred
prior to October 1942 when the National War Labor Board was given




6
legal responsibility for wage stabilization. Since the summer of
1943, the time of the Bureau’s study of occupational wage rates which
is discussed later in this article, straight-time hourly earnings have
risen 5 percent. M ost of this increase occurred in the South during
the early months of 1944, following the previously mentioned decision
of the War Labor Board.
Weekly earnings in the cotton-goods industry averaged $26.34 in
M ay 1944. This is considerably below the all-manufacturing average
o f $46.13 and below the $37.04 average for the nondurable-goods
group of industries. In spite of the relatively low level of earnings
in the cotton-goods industry in 1944, the M ay figure represents a
doubling of the prevailing earnings in 1939.
The average weekly earnings in the cotton-goods industry as a
whole tend to conceal the wide difference in earnings between the
North and South. For example, in M ay 1944 the earnings in the
Northern States averaged $31.39, and in the Southern States, $25.30
(table 4). As has been indicated, in each of these regions the weekly
earnings reflect the increased hourly earnings necessitated by com­
petition with the war industries in order to attract or retain labor.
T able 4 .— Average W eekly E arn in gs 1 in the Cotton-Goods Industry, 1 9 3 9 -4 4
1939
Month

January..........
February____
March............
April...............
M ay...............
June
July_________
August..........
September___
October.—___
November___
December___

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

North South North South North South North South North South North South
$16.78 $13.21 $17.71 $14.31 $18.15 $14.91 $24.12 $19.41 $29.21 $22.92 $30.76 $23.44
16.87 13.18 17.14 14.19 18.56 15.36 24.46 19.82 29.29 22.99 31.16
23.68
16.81 13.26 17.00 13.88 19.05 15.67 24.72 19.95 29.52 23.13 31.35
23.93
16.43 12.92 16.70 13.72 20.36 16.74 24.59 20.12 29.98 23.32 31.03
24.58
16.08 13.10 16.61 13.66 20.97 16.98 25.22 20.77 30.11 23.60 231.39 » 25.30
16.36 12.92 16.04 13.36 21.04 17.02 25.00 20.77 30.51 22.99
16.77 12.92 17.33 13.63 21.07 17.48 25.18 20.37 30.00 22.84
16.67 13.18 17.46 13.94 21.20 17.88 25.49 21.63 30.51 22.68
17.17 13.61 17.72 14.48 22.78 18.14 27.32 22.15 30.64 23.26
16.90 13.83 18.14 14.61 22.62 19.04 28.43 22.21 30.73 23.26
17.92 14.43 17.17 14.69 21.96 19.00 28.20 22.52 30.64 23.53
18.17 14.65 18.49 15.08 23.39 19.42 28.86 22.77 30.25 23.70 ........... —

i Including premium pay for overtime and work on late shifts.
* Preliminary.

Variation in Average H ou rly Earnings W ithin Regions

The general averages of hourly earnings for the North and South,
just cited, fail to reveal the wide variations in the averages for the
several areas included in each region. A special study of .12 Southern
States shows that Mississippi had the lowest average hourly earnings,
49.4 cents, in M ay 1944, while South Carolina, Kentucky, and Ten­
nessee headed the list with 64.5 cents, 62.5 cents, and 61.6 cents,
respectively. These State averages do not necessarily indicate com­
parable differences in wages paid for specific occupations. For
example the presence of a large proportion of yam mills within a
given area may reduce the average of hourly earnings solely because
of differences in the composition of the labor force.




7
The Bureau has just completed an analysis of 66 separate areas
important in the cotton-textile manufacturing industry. Eighteen
o f these areas are in the North and 48 in the South. The results of a
part of this analysis are shown in tables 5 and 6. In order to de­
termine the extent of recent wage increases, a comparison of average
hourly earnings for identical establishments has been made for the
months of April 1943 and April 1944.
T able 5.— Average H ou rly Earnings and Em ploym ent in 18 Northern Areas o f the
Cotton-Textile Industry , in Identical M ills , A p ril 1943 and A p ril 1944 1
Average hourly
earnings3
Area
April
1943

Pennsylvania (except Philadelphia)............................
New Jersey, State.........................................................
Baltimore, M d .................................................... .........
Illinois, State.................................................................
Massachusetts3.......................................— ................
Lowell-Lawrence, Mass.-Manchester N. H ...............
Worcester, Mass........................... ..............................
Boston-Salem-Newton, Mass.......................................
Maine, State 4...............................................................
New Y o rk 4...................................................................
New Bedford, Mass.4................................. _................
Holyoke, Mass........................- ....................................
Fartl River-Taunton, Mass.4.........................................
Fitchburg-Winchendon Springs, Mass— ...................
Norwich-Grosvenor Dale, Conn.4 .............................
.
Rhode Island4 ........................................................ .
....
New York, N. Y .................................. ........................
Philadelphia, Pa...........................................................

58.5
61.5
62.4
63.1
65.8
66.4
66.7
68.0
68.3
68.8
70.0
70.4
70.7
70.7
72.2
72.7
74.5
77.5

April
1944

62.8
67.2
64.9
70.9
67.6
68.7
73.7
69.8
71.0
70.4
72.2
72.9
72.4
72.2
73.0
77.1
77.5
82.3

Increase
in
average
hourly
earnings
Cents

4.3
5.7
2.5
7.8
1.8
2.3
7.0
1.8
2.7
1.6
2.2
2.5
1.7
1.5
.8
4.4
3.0
4.8

Employment (in
thousands)
April
1943

0.9
.8
2.9
.2
2.5
7.6
1.0
4.9
9.5
2.2
13.5
1.5
11.0
1.2
5.8
9.3
3.8
1.2

April
1944

0.7
.6
2.4
.2
2.3
6.5
.9
3.9
8.1
1.9
11.4
1.3
9.5
1.1
5.1
7.6
3.0
1.1

i Data are from the Bureau's report, Employment, Hours, and Earnings, and Turnover Rates in Cotton
Goods, b y Areas, January 1942-April 1944.
3 Including overtime pay at premium rates and shift differentials.
* Covers areas not elsewhere listed.
4 Denotes an area covered in the study based upon occupational wage rates, to be found in the following

Increases in average hourly earnings ranged from 0.8 cents to 7.8
cents per hour in the northern areas represented, the smallest increase
occurring in Connecticut, and the greatest in the case of a limited
number of workers in Illinois.
The areas in the South showed increases in average hourly earnings
ranging from 0.1 cents to 8.5 cents. As is the case in the broader
areas previously discussed, the difference between areas is caused by
variation in the number of hours worked, the type of product manu­
factured, and local competition for labor by other industries.

<616410°—44-----2




8
T able 6.— Average H ou rly Earnings and Em ploym ent in 48 Southern Areas o f the
Cotton-Textile Indu stry, in Identical M iU s , A p ril 1943 and A p ril 1 9 4 4 1
Average hourly earn­
Increase
ings (in cents)3
in
average
hourly
April
April
earnings
1943
1944

Area

Newnan, Ga.......................................
Mississippi, State. - ...........................
Arkansas, State. ...................... .........
Dallas, Tex............... ..........................
Albemarle-Troy, N. 0_......................
Granite Falls-Lenoir, N. C.3__.........
Virginia4
.............................................
Georgia4. ................. ..........................
Laurinburg, N. C .-Dillon, S. C ........
Fayetteville, N. C........ ___................
Lanett, Ala.-LaGrange, Ga...............
Rockingham, N. C ........................
Macon-Forsyth, Ga.3.........................
Athens-Gainesville, Ga......................
Texas4................... .............................
Monroe, Ga.................... ...................
Gaffney, S. O.-Shelby, N. C _______
. Winston-Salem-Lexington, N. CA__
North Carolina 4_...............................
Columbus, Ga....................................
Alabama4
............... ..........................
Lincolnton-Newton N. C. 3................
Gastonia, N. C.3........... .....................
Sylacauga-Talladega, Ala..................
Statesville-Salisbury, N. C.3
....... ......
Rome-Cartersville-Cedartown, G a...
Roanoke Rapids-Warrenton, N. C.3.
Atlanta, Ga.3_________ ___________
Rock Hill-Chester, S. C ....... .............
Tennessee4
______ _______ _________
Lancaster, S. C.-Monroe, N. C .........
Huntsville, Ala.3__________________
Anderson, S. C ___________________
Walhalla-Pickens, S. C_.....................
Anniston-Gadsden, Ala........ .............
Griffin-Thomaston, Ga................. .
Greenwood-Newberry, S. C ..............
South Carolina4
........ ........................
Chattanooga, Tenn...........................
Charlotte, N. C.3
....... .............. .........
Burlington-Hillsboro-Durham, N. C
Augusta, Ga.-Graniteville, S. C ____
Reidsville, N. C.-Danville, Va.4.......
Columbia, S. C _________ __________
Greenville, S. C.3................................
Spartanburg, S. C.3__........................
Greensboro, N. C.3.............................
Concord, N. C.3..............................

48.9
49.8
49.8
51.0
51.6
51.7
51.9
52.5
52.5
52.6
52.8
52.9
53.0
53.0
53.2
53.7
54.2
54.4
54.4
54.7
55.1
55.1
55.2
55.3
55.4
55.5
55.6
56.2
56.4
56.5
56.6
57.1
57.4
57.5
57.6
57.6
57.8
57.9
58.0
58.3
58.4
58.8
59.6
59.9
60.1
60.2
61.4
61.7

49.6
50.4
50.9
56.9
59.4
54.6
57.0
53.0
53.1
52.8
58.1
56.3
53.6
56.5
55.4
55.2
55.1
59.3
56.4
55.9
56.2
58.6
61.7
55.5
62.1
62.5
58.7
62.9
59.7
60.4
61.0
57.2
62.4
60.6
58.3
64.3
62.5
58.3
60.8
63.6
60.7
60.7
63.9
64.5
64.7
62.3
69.3
70.2

Cents

0.7
.6
1.1
5.9
7.8
2.9
5.1
.5
.6
.2
5.3
3.4
.6
3.5
2.2
1.5
.9
4.9
2.0
1.2
1.1
3.5
6.5
.2
6.7
7.0
3.1
6.7
3.3
3.9
4.4
.1
5.0
3.1
.7
6.7
4.7
.4
2.8
5.3
2.3
1.9
4.3
4.6
4.6
2.1
7.9
8.5

Employment (in
thousands)
April
1943

3.2
2.0
.9
2.0
4.8
3.6
2.1
4.6
4.1
1.1
19.2
3.6
3.5
4.8
3.0
3.4
8.5
2.6
8.6
12.6
18.9
2.6
18.3
7.8
4.8
14.9
4.6
7.2
5.6
6.8
11.0
3.0
9.7
4.3
5.8
10.0
10.5
1.6
5.3
4.4
9.4
6.7
17.7
7.5
8.0
15.0
7.1
22.1

April
1944

2.9
1.9
.7
1.3
4.6
3.5
2.2
4.0
3.8
1.0
17.7
3.2
3.2
4.9
2.7

3. a

8.5
2.2
8.1
10.3
17.8
2.5
16.8
6.8
4.5
13.9
4.1
5.8
5.2
5.4
10.1
2.6
9.4
4.3
5.4
9.0
10.0
1.6
4.9
3.9
8.0
5.8
14.3
6.8
7.5
13.8
6.4
19.0

i Data are from the Bureau’s report, Employment, Hours and Earnings, and Turnover Rates in Cotton
Goods, by Areas, January 1942-April 1944.
3 Including overtime pay at punitive rates, and shift differentials.
3 Denotes an area covered in the study based upon occupational wage rates, to be found in the following
pages.
4 Covers areas not elsewhere listed.

Occupational W age Rates

Method o f study.— In the summer of 1943, as part o f the
Bureau’s nation-wide study of occupational wage rates, hourly rates
and straight-time hourly earnings in the cotton-goods industry
were obtained for 6 northern and 10 southern areas. The study
covered the various types of mills engaged in the manufacture o f
cotton broad woven goods 3 and cotton yarn. Thread mills, situated
principally in the northern States, were excluded.
The wage data were compiled from pay rolls of 233 mills by field
representatives of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who visited the
3 Except in one northern and two southern areas the survey excluded establishments primarily engaged
in the manufacture of pile fabrics. Wages in mills manufacturing this product in these areas did not diner
appreciably from those in other mills in the same area.




9
individual establishments and classified the workers in accordance
with the Bureau's standard job descriptions.
The occupational data relate to a July 1943 pay-roll period in the
case of two northern areas (Maine, and Utica-Gloversville, N. Y .)
and all of the southern areas except Atlanta, Ga. The latter city and
the remainder of the northern areas were surveyed in April 1943.
The information obtained consisted of average hourly earnings
including incentive payments but excluding premium payments for
overtime or late-shift work. Average hourly earnings were obtained
for 20 selected key occupational classifications, including half of the
wage earners in the mills. Because of the greater concentration
of workers in relatively few occupations in yam mills, the proportion
of workers covered in such establishments was somewhat greater
than in broad-goods mills.
Representativeness of areas studied.— The information on occupa­
tional wage rates presented at this time is limited primarily to cities
of 25,000 or more and to their immediately surrounding communities;
Since this particular field study was intended mainly to provide in­
formation on a wage-area (community) basis, it is emphasized that
the data do not represent those segments of the industry that are
in relatively isolated, small communities. The survey provides a
somewhat poorer representation of southern than of northern textile
mills. Thus, in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, where much
of the industry is scattered in communities of less than 25,000, the
coverage of the study is less adequate than that obtained in North
Carolina or Virginia.
Comparison of the average hourly earnings of wage earners in the
areas surveyed with the level of earnings for wage earners in the
entire industry reveals that wage levels in the communities studied
were somewhat higher than in the industry as a whole (tables 5 and 6).
Since the overstatement of wage levels was slightly greater in the
South than in the North, the data also understate slightly the differ­
ences in wage levels between northern and southern communities.
W ithin each region the variations in wage levels were also less pro­
nounced among the areas surveyed than those which would be found
in a survey covering all wage areas in the industry.
In July 1943, the straight-time earnings of the workers in the six
selected northern areas averaged 67.7 cents, or 1.1 cents more than
the average wage for all northern cotton-textile wage earners as a
group. The cotton-textile workers in the selected southern areas
averaged 56.9 cents, or 2.2 cents above the corresponding figure for
all wage earners in the cotton-textile industry in the South. Recent
wage increases which have taken place would tend to make the occu­
pational averages more representative of the entire South, although
somewhat below those now found in the specific areas covered.
Unionization in plants studied.— One-fourth of the mills included in
the Bureau's study of wage rates were operating under the terms o f
union agreements. Unionization was much more extensive in the
North than in the South; 43 of the 58 mills surveyed in the New
England-New York State region had entered into agreements with
unions, whereas only 17 of the 175 southern mills had done so.
Unionization in the South had made greater progress among the
integrated mills than among the independent weaving and independent
yarn mills. Since the former are typically larger, the proportion o f




10
wage earners covered by union agreements, 1 out of 5, was considerably
greater than would be indicated by the number o f mills with such
contracts. Although one or more unionized mills were found in 6
of the 10 southern wage areas studied, the workers covered by agree­
ments in the mills studied in that region were largely concentrated in
three areas: Danville, V a.; Greenville and Spartanburg, S. C .; and
the Tennessee Valley area of northern Alabama. Of 118 mills studied
in North Carolina, only 4 had union contracts. All of the 15 mills
surveyed in the 3 Georgia areas were nonunion.
OCCUPATIONAL VARIATIONS

A summary of the occupational wage-rate study is presented in
table 7. These data, as has been mentioned, represent wage levels
during the spring and summer of 1943, and do not reflect subsequent
upward adjustments which have been of importance primarily in
the South. The figures presented for the northern and southern
regions represent weighted averages of the data for only the individual
areas studied.
T able 7.— Average H ou rly Earnings 1 in Selected Occupations in Cotton-Goods M anu­
facture in Northern and Southern W age Areas , Spring and Summer, 1943
6 northern areas
Sex and occupation of worker

Male workers:
Card grinders_________________ ____
Card tenders and strippers.......... ........
Carpenters, class A _________________
Carpenters, class B _________________
Doffers, spinning frame........................
Electricians, class A _____ ____ _____ _
Electricians, class B___............ .............
Inspectors, cloth, hand________ _____
Inspectors, cloth, machine...................
Janitors4______________ _______ ____
Loom fixers, other than Jacquard____
Machinists, class A ....... .............. ........
Machinists, class B ______ _______
Second hands........ ..............................
Spinners, ring frame____ _____ ______
Stock clerks. ................... .....................
Truckers, hand....................................
Watchmen________ ______________
Weavers, other than Jacquard_______
Winders, yam ....... ...............................
Female workers:
Doffers, spinning frame........................
Inspectors, cloth, h a n d .......................
Inspectors, cloth, machine__________
Janitresses4__________ _____ _____ ___
Spinners, ring frame....... ............ ........
Stock clerks________________________
Truckers, hand____________________
Weavers, other than Jacquard............
Winders, yam _____________________

Excess of North
over South

10 southern areas

Number Average Number Average
hourly
hourly
of
of
workersi earnings workers2 earnings
2

Amount

Percent

263
775
49
110
805
48
39
(3
)
(3
)
* 358
1,694
104
98
590
413
130
624
229
2,648
107

$0.75
.63
.93
.82
.74
.99
.88
(3
)
(3
)
.52
.98
.95
.81
.97
.67
.59
.55
.58
.80
.66

1,119
3,717
109
350
6,868
79
142
246
205
2,241
3,796
239
348
3.000
187
569
2,133
981
4,292
207

$0.65
.51
.70
.60
.57
.79
.67
.52
.50
.44
.75
.79
.65
.73
.53
.52
.45
.47
.64
.51

$0.10
.12
.23
.22
.17
.20
.21

15
24
33
37
30
25
31

.08
.23
.16
.16
.24
.14
.07
.10
.11
.16
.15

18
31
20
25
33
26
13
22
23
25
29

525
992
577
76
3,294
21
48
2,790
3,006

.64
.53
.52
.52
.63
.54
.54
.75
.63

431
1,347
1,650
423
16,886
77
(3
)
6,372
10,435

.49
.49
.56
.43
.52
.49
(3
)
.62
.52

.15
.04
« .04
.09
.11
.05

31
' 8
57
21
21
10

.13
.11

21
21

i Excluding premium payments for overtime and for work on second or third shifts.
* Represents estimated total employment in all mills in areas covered by survey.
8 Number of establishments and/or workerstoo small to justify presentation of data.
4 Including cleaners and sweepers.
5 Excess of South over North.

It is of interest that none of the key occupations covered in this
survey paid an average wage as high as $1 per hour. The highest
wages were paid to maintenance workers. Class A maintenance
electricians averaged 99 cents in the North and 79 cents in the South.
Class A maintenance machinists in the South also averaged 79 cents.



11
The lowest-paid workers were janitors and janitresses, each of whom
earned 52 cents in the North and 44 and 43 cents, respectively, in
the South. Loom fixers and second hands were the highest-paid
workers whose jobs are characteristic of the industry. Watchmen
and hand truckers received a few cents more on the average than did
janitors. Among the numerically most important occupational
classifications, male weavers showed earnings of 80 cents in the
N orth and 64 cents in the South, female weavers averaged 75 cents
in the North and 62 cents in the South, and female spinners earned
63 cents in the North and 52 cents in the South. All occupations
in the N orth and all male occupational categories in the South,
except janitors, watchmen, and hand truckers, averaged more than
50 cents an hour.
Although wages in the North were higher than those in the South
in every category, the difference varied by occupation. The smaUest
differences were found in the occupations of female cloth inspectors
and stock clerks, while the largest were found among carpenters,
second hands, Class B electricians, loom fixers, and aoffers. The
differential was, in general, larger among the skilled jobs than among
the unskilled. The median difference (unweighted) was about 23.5
percent.4
T able 8.— Indexes o f H ourly Earnings 1 in Selected Occupations in Cotton-Goods M anu­
facture in Northern and Southern W age Areas , Spring and Sum m er o f 1943
Relative earn­
ings (male hand
trackers=100)
Sex and occupation of worker

Males:
Loom fixers, other than
Janqiiftrri
Second hands..........................
Weavers, other than Jac­
quard
__
Card grindArs
_ ...
Cnfffirs, spinning frame
Card tenders and strippers.. _
Stock clerks............................
Watchmen..............................

Six
north­
ern
areas

Ten
south­
ern
areas

178
176

167
162

146
136
135
115
107
105

142
144
127
113
116
104

Relative earn­
ings (male hand
truckers=100)
Sex and occupation of worker

Six
north­
ern
areas

Males—Continued.
Janitors. ..................................
Tninkers, hand .
_ _ _ _
Females:
Weavers, other than Jac­
quard...... .............. ...............
Simmers, ring frame________
Winders, yam—............ ..........
inspectors, cloth, hand...........
Inspectors, cloth, machine___

Ten
south­
ern
areas

95
100

98
100

136
115
115
96
95

138
116
116
109
124

* Earnings exclude premium payments for overtime or for work on second or third shifts.

The variation in earnings among the numerically most important
occupations is shown in relative form in table 8, which expresses the
average wage rate for each job in terms of the earnings for male hand
truckers. This occupation was selected as the base because of its
wage stability and because it is one of the lower-paid occupations in
the industry, which employs relatively large numbers of workers.
Analysis of table 8 indicates that the variation in earnings among
these important occupational classifications was relatively consistent
* Part of the variation in hourly earnings between the North and South may be attributed to the concern
tration of cotton-yam mills in southern textile areas. Wage materials collected in this and previous studies
of the wage structure of the cotton-goods industry indicate that wage rates for a given occupation are gen­
erally lower in independent yarn mills than in integrated mills. In the Bureau’s mimeographed release
entitled “ Cotton Broad Woven Goods and Yam Mills: Five Southeastern States, Straight-Time Average
Hourly Earnings, Selected Occupations. July 1943,” occupational earnings are presented separately for
integrated and for yam mills. These differences are also discussed in the earlier report on the industry,
Wages in Cotton-Goods Manufacturing (Bulletin 663), and in Hours and Earnings in Manufacture of Cot­
ton Goods, September 1940 and April 1941 (Serial No. R. 1414).




12
in the N orth and South among most of the lower-paid job categories,
female cloth inspectors being a notable exception to this statement.
There was somewhat less consistency in the case of the higher-paid
occupations. The relative earnings of the two highest-paid m ajor
jobs— those o f loom fixers and second hands—were distinctly higher
in the North than in the South, the relatives being 178 and 176,
respectively, in the North, as compared with 167 and 162 in the
South. D off ers also had somewhat higher relative earnings in the
North, resulting in part from the greater importance of incentive pay
for this occupation in the North. The rates paid to card grinders in
the North appear to have been relatively low.
OCCUPATIONAL RATES, B Y W AGE AREA

Occupational averages for the individual wage areas are presented
in table 9. It is apparent from this table that the variations among
the individual areas surveyed within the same region are in general
less pronounced than the North-South wage differences noted above.
Somewhat greater differences between the wage levels within each of
the two m ajor regions might have been shown if the survey had included
cotton mills located in relatively isolated small communities.
T able 9 .— Average H ou rly Earnings 1 in Selected Occupations in Cotton-Goods M an u ­
facture in 16 W age Areas , Spring and Summer o f 1943
Northern areas

Sex and occupation of worker

New
NorFall
wichBed­
River
Daniel- Maine (Mass.) ford
area
son
(Mass.)
area
(Conn.)
area
area

Southern areas

Utica- Provi­
Gloversville dence
(N .Y .) (R. I.)
area2 area

Ten­
nessee
Valley Atlanta
area of (Ga.)
north­
area
ern
Ala­
bama

M ales

Card grinders.....................................
Card tenders and strippers................
Carpenters, maintenance, class A ___
Carpenters, maintenance, class B ___
Doffers, spinning frame........ .............
Electricians, maintenance, class A ...
Electricians, maintenance, class B__.
Inspectors, cloth, hand____________
Inspectors, cloth, machine_________
Janitors4- ............................................
Loom fixers, other than Jacquard—
Machinists, maintenance, class A ___
Machinists, maintenance, class B—
Second hands. ....................................
Spinners, ring frame_______________
Stock clerks........................................
Truckers, hand............T
.....................
Watchmen..........................................
Weavers, other than Jacquard..........
Winders, yarn____________________

$0.72
.62
.86
.81
.61
1.04
.86
.63

$0.77
.59
.98
.87
.65
1.01
.88

.62
.92
.91
.77
.98
.62
.60
.65
.57
.81
.61

.69
.96
.99
.88
1.02
.72
.63
.52
.62
.78

.60
.51
.52

.65
.53
.52
(8)
;64

$0.79
$0.73
.65
.63
1.01
.94
.78
.90
.76
.76
1.12
.97
.92
"””(3)
(3
)
. 54
.50
.53
.98
.98
.95
.78
.88
1.00
.92
.61
.76
.56
.58
.54
.51
.60
.54
.79
.79
.65
.68

$0.70
.59
(3
)
.88
.78
1.03

.67
.54
.52
.53
.66
.55
.54
.76
.67

$0.74
$0.63
.67
.56
.94
.77
.74
.58
.94
.84
(3
)
■” c T '

.51
1.05
1.08
.86
(3
)

.56
1. C
O
.93
.79
.94

.58
.55
.56
.81

.62
.59
.59
.83
(3
)

.60
.52
.66

.68
.51
.52
.52
.67

.77
.62

.53
.75
.68

.46
.69
.84
.49
.49
,48
.48
.60
.54

$0.62
.48
.57
.64
.64
.48
.47
.43
.67
.89
.64
.74
(3
)
.45
.45
.45
.53
.58

Fem ales

Doffers, spinning frame...
-Inspectors, cloth, hand____________
Inspectors, cloth, machine Janitresses4 _ ___________________
Spinners, ring frame...........................
Stock clerks - ___________________
Truckers, h a n d ._________________
Weavers, other than Jacquard..........
Winders, yarn.....................................
See footnotes at end of table.




.61
.52
.60
.76
.60

.73
.59

.52
.52
.58
.72
.56

(3
)

(3
)

.48
.53
.47

.50
<)
3

.55
.55

.50
.49

13
T able 9. — Average H ourly Earnings 1 in Selected Occupations in Cotton-Goods M an u ­
facture in 16 W age Areas , Spring and Summer o f 1943 — Continued
Southern areas—Continued

■Sex and occupation of worker

BurGreenDan­
Augus­ Macon lington- Char­ Bocky States­ villeWinta
lotte Mount ville
ville
Spar(Ga.)
ton*
(Ga.)
Salem (N. C.) (N. C.) (N. C.) tanburg (Va.)
area
area
area
area3 area (8. C.)
area
(N .O .)
area3
area

M ales

•Card grinders.....................................
Card tenders and strippers. ..............
CarpAntftrfi, maint^r*RTU»e, ftlflK A
S
Carpenters! maintenance! class B—
Doffers, spinning frame.....................
Electricians, maintenance, class A __
Electricians, maintenance, class B _..
Inspectors, cloth, hand____________
Inspectors, cloth, machine_________
Janitors *.............................................
Loom fixers, other than Jacquard___
Machinists, maintenance, class A
Machinists, maintenance, class B ___
Second hands.....................................
Ppiuners, Png ff^TTiA
Stock clerks......................................
Truckers, hand...................................
Watchmen..........................................
Weavers, other than Jacquard...........
Winders, y a r n .__________________

$0.67
.51

$0.58
.49

.70
.59

.48

.80
(3
)
.41
.75
.75
.86

.40
.63
1.25
.65
.65
.46
.44
.42

$0.66
.53
.67
.57
.62
.73
.59
.59
.50
.47
.77
.76
.58
.78

.59
.42
.51
.62

.53
.47
.49
.65
.48

____

.50
.48

___

.47

.56
.48
.49

.53

.52

.54

.61
.49

.e i
.53

.62
.54

$0.64
.49
.66
.54
.54
.80
.62
.52
.65
.42
.79
.77
.62
.66
.50
.58
.43
.43
.68

$0.66
.47
(3)
.64
.57
(3
)
'.68
(3)
U 43
.71
.76
.63
.70
.55
.42
.46
.61
.52

$0.59
.49
.85
.55
.55
.63
.47
.51
.45
.77
.86
.61
.66
.57
.49
.45
.44
.66
.50

$0.69
.50
.70
.60
.59
.82
.65
.51
.50
.45
.74
.76
.68
.83

$0.65
.54
.75
.70
.57
.94
.72
.59
.48
.45
.77
.83
.76
.78

.53
.46
.49
.66

.52
.46
.49
.60

.49
.51
.45
.52
.52

.42
.52
.53
.42
.54
.50

.63
.51

.58
.55

Females

Dnffers, spinning frame _____ _____
Inspectors, cloth, hand......................
Inspectors, cloth, machine.................
Janitresses < ___________________
Spinners, ring frame...........................
Stock clerks _____________________
Truckers, hand _________________
Weavers, other than Jacquard..........
Winders, yarn.....................................

.52
.47
.66
.43
.51
.50

(3
)
.46
.40
.49
.54

.67
.52

.58
.47

.51
.45
.52
.43
.49
.44
.42
.64
.48

1 Excluding premium payments for overtime and for work on second or third shifts.
2 Includes establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing pile fabrics. Data for other areas do not
cover such establishments.
* Number of establishments and/or workers too small to justify the computation of an average.
* Including cleaners and sweepers.

N o one area either in the North or in the South consistently paid
the lowest or highest rates in its region. In general, however, wage
rates in the North appear to have been highest in the Providence area
and lowest in the Norwich-Dacielson and Fall River areas. In the
South the highest general levels prevailed in the Burlington-WinstonSalem area and the lowest in the Atlanta and R ocky M ount Areas.
W eighted averages based on 11 occupational categories common to all
areas are presented below:
Average i

North:
South— Continued.
Norwich-Danielson, Conn. _ $0. 65
Augusta, Ga_______________$0.
Macon, G a________________
Maine_____________________
.66
Burlington-Winston-Salem,
.6 5
Fall River, Mass__________
. 70
N. C________
New Bedford, Mass_______
.6 9
Charlotte, N. C ___________
Utica-Gloversville, N. Y ___
Rocky Mount, N. C _______
Providence, R. I ___________
. 71
South:
Statesville, N. C ___________
Tennessee Valley of Ala­
Greenville - Spartanburg,
bama___________________
55
S. C ________________
,52
Atlanta, Ga_______________
Danville, Va_______________

55
.5 3
.5 7
.5 5
.5 2
.5 3
55
.5 6

1 Weighted averages, based on rates in the following occupational categories: Card grinders, male; card
tenders and strippers, male; doffers, spinning frame, male; janitors, male; loom fixers, other than Jacquard,
male; stock clerks, male; truckers, hand, male; watchmen; spinners, ring frame, female; weavers, other than
Jacquard, female; and winders, yarn, female. Uniform occupational weights were used in all areas.




U. S . GOVERNMENT PRINTING OF FICE : 1944

FQRyiCTORY




BUY
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STATES

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BONDS
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