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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
FRANCES PERKINS, Secretary

WOMEN’S BUREAU
MARY ANDERSON, Director
'

4-

Earnings and Hours in Hawaii
Woman-Employing
Industries

BY

ETHEL ERICKSON

Bulletin of the Women’s Bureau

No. 177

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1940

*

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




Price 10 cents




4

4

CONTENTS




Page
V

i

—

t
—

I

—

‘ ‘ ‘ H-‘ 0 ^ > O O O O C n O T C n O T ^ C O iD O O O S C L iO i4 i* -C O C O

1

t

Letter of transmittal- _ ________________
Introduction and summary___________
Race____________________________
Earnings_________________________
Hours___________________________
Pineapple canneries___________________
Operations and occupations______
Seasonality______________________
Hours___________________________
Earnings_________________________
Race____________________________
Source of seasonal labor__________
Garment factories____________________
Employment_____________________
Race_____________________________
Hours____________________________
Earnings_________________________
Working conditions___ ___________
Miscellaneous manufacturing_________
Race_____________________________
Earnings_________________________
Mercantile industry__________________
Employment_____________________
Honolulu stores__________________
Race________________________
Hours_______________________
Earnings____________________
Stores outside of Honolulu_______
Race________________________
Earnings____________________
Hours_______________________
Laundries____________________________
Power laundries__________________
Hours_______________________
Earnings____________________
Hand laundries and pressing shops
Restaurants and hotels_______________
Coverage________________________
Restaurants______________ _______
Earnings____________________
Tips_________________________
Hours_______________________
Conditions of work__________
Hotels___________________________
Earnings____________________
Hours_______________________
Provisions of N. R. A. codes _
Women as barbers____________________
Number of shops visited__________
Earnings_________________________
Tips________ ,___________ ________
Apprenticeship___________________
Hours________________________ ...

III

IV

CONTENTS
Page

Women in beauty shops------------------------------------------------------------------------Size and number of shops---------------------------------------------------------Earnings
Race
Commissions
Hours
Apprenticeship and licensing of operators— - ------------------------------Women office workers and telephone operators.
—
----------------Race
Earnings of office workers---------------------------------- ----------------Earnings of telephone operators-----------------------------------------------------Usherettes and others in motion-picture theaters---------------- -........ -.
Women in household employment------------------ -----------------------------------Dressmaking
Dressmaking shops------------------------------------------------------------------------Dressmaking schools-----------------------------------------------------------------------

42
42
42
43
43
44
44
46
46
46
47
48
49
51
51
52

TABLES
1. Number of establishments visited and number of women and men they
employed, by industry----------------------------------------------------------------2. Average hourly earnings and average week’s earnings of women and
men, by industry3. Hourly earnings of workers in four pineapple canneries, by sex and
occupational group----------------------------------------------------------------------4. Week’s earnings of workers in three pineapple canneries, by sex and
occupational group----------------------------------------------------------------------5. Weeks over which year’s work in pineapple canneries was spread and
average earnings for such period, by sex---------------------------------- _—
6. Year’s earnings of employees in pineapple canneries who worked in 8
and under 12 weeks and in 52 weeks, by sex-------------------------------7. Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of women in garment factories-8. Weeks over which work was spread, women in garment factories in
1938, and earnings of those who worked in 40 weeks or more--------9. Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in miscellaneous
manufacturing, by sex-----------------------------------------------------------------10. Week’s earnings of employees in mercantile industry, by sex—Hono­
lulu - 11. Hourly earnings of employees in mercantile industry, by sex—Honolulu
12. Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in laundries, by sex-.
13. Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in restaurants, by
type of restaurant and by sex-----------------------------------------------------14. Week’s earnings of women in beauty shops--------------------------------------15. Month’s earnings of women in office work, by racial group---------------16. Month’s earnings and hourly earnings of women in telephone operat­
ing-------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------

2
4
10

11
12
13
16
17
19
22
23
28
33
42
47
48

GRAPHS
I. Employment trends for men and women in pineapple canneries, 1938_
II. Pay-roll trends for men and women in pineapple canneries, 1938__-_
III. Fluctuation in the average weekly earnings of men and women in
pineapple canneries, 1938------------------------------------------------------------

7
7
®

ILLUSTRATION
Canning pineapple slices.




Frontispiece

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, April 24, 1940.
I have the honor to transmit for publication a report on
earnings and hours in the woman-employing industries of Hawaii in
1939.
The survey on which these findings are based was requested by cer­
tain organizations in the Islands especially interested in working
women. On learning that the Bureau of Labor Statistics was plan­
ning another of its periodic surveys, these organizations asked that an
investigator from the Women’s Bureau gather the information for
the industries in which women are most largely employed. This
request was complied with.
Ethel Erickson, industrial supervisor, represented the Women’s Bu­
reau in the field survey and is the author of this report.
Respectfully submitted.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.
Madam:




*

*

/




'V

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S*'

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CANNING PINEAPPLE SLICES (SEE PAGE 5).

EARNINGS AND HOURS IN HAWAII
WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY
At the request of the Young Women’s Christian Association of
Honolulu and other organizations interested in the problems of wage­
earning women, a representative of the Women’s Bureau was sent to
Hawaii to collect information for the woman-employing industries as
a part of the general survey of the Territory’s labor economy made
by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1939.
The 1930 Census of Occupations reported 17,542 gainfully employed
women in Hawaii. The largest group—more than one-third—were
in domestic and personal service, which includes household employees,
barber girls, beauty-shop operators, laundry workers, and employees
in hotels, restaurants, and institutions whose work is of a domestic or
personal-service nature. Not far from a third of the women were in
the combined professional and clerical groups, and the remaining
third included women in agriculture, manufacturing, and trade, and
in dressmaking and tailoring not in factories.
The Women’s Bureau report covers 195 establishments. In all but
10 of these men’s earnings as well as women’s are included. In order
to get information on women office workers and women in the Hono­
lulu motion-picture theaters, earnings were obtained from 10 firms,
chiefly public utilities, for the women they employed at clerical
occupations, telephone operating, and jobs such as ushering. Here
the earnings of men employees were disregarded. The women in
these 10 firms, with all the office workers and telephone operators in
the factories and stores, have been tabulated as a separate office group.
The numbers of establishments and employees covered in the
survey are shown by industry in table 1.
Three-fourths of the employees included in the study were in the
pineapple canneries, surveyed during the busy season of 8 to 10 weeks.
At other times the cannery employees are only a small part of the
total. Two large canneries on Oahu and two small ones on Maui
comprise the pineapple cannery group. The manufacture of men’s
and women’s garments (largely sportswear) is considered an important
industry in Hawaii, but the individual establishments are small. The
two tuna canneries are tabulated as miscellaneous manufacturing.
They employ considerable numbers of women, but intermittently, as
the work is of an irregular nature.
There are only a few stores employing 50 or more employees on the
islands, but there are innumerable small stores. All but four of the
stores included in the survey are small. All the larger power laun­
dries in the Territory are included in the laundry coverage. The
1



2

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

barber shops included are those in which Japanese women are working
as operators, and at least one-half of the women employed in this
occupation are covered in the study. Beauty shops were visited
only in Honolulu, but the coverage is representative of more than
half of the shops in which women were employed.
Table 1.—Number

of establishments visited and number of women and men they
employed, by industry
Employees in—
Num­
ber of
estab­
lish­
ments

Industry

Total
num­
ber of
em­
ploy­
ees

Occupations other than
office and telephone

Office and telephone
occupations

Total
Total number
Percent distribution 1.

___
_
_

195 216,806
— —

Wom­
en

Men

Total

Wom­ Men
en

16,098
100.0

8,096
50.3

8,002
49.7

3 708
100.0

496
70.1

2212
29.9

Manufacturing.
_______
Pineapple canning ___
.. ...
Garments, men’s and women’s
Other manufacturing____________

23
4
13
46

13, 704
12, 650
277
777

13, 539
12, 506
272
761

6, 744
5, 945
243
556

6, 795
6, 561
29
205

165
144
5
16

39
30
3
6

126
114
2
10

Stores...... . . ______ Honolulu
General merchandise----------1 >rug — ------- ---------------Hilo and other places_____ _____

41
28
23
5
13

969
815
713
102
154

872
729
646
83
143

490
424
403
21
66

382
305
243
62
77

97
86
67
19
11

38
34
28
6
4

59
52
39
13
7

Laundries___ __________ _ ..
Power___ _______________ _____
Hand; pressing shops ...

14
5
9

541
505
36

498
463
35

328
312
16

170
151
19

43
42
1

32
31
1

11
11

25
34

68
93

68
93

68
92

1

Hotels and restaurants---------- ------ Hotels
---------- -----------------

48
4
44
32
12

987
486
501
318
183

953
453
500
318
182

299
48
251
164
87

654
405
249
154
95

34
33
1

18
18

16
15
1

Public utilities, motion pictures, etc...

10

441

75

75

(!>

1 Total includes 2 markets, with 3 women office workers, not shown separately.
lishments each of which reports in 2 industries.
2 Number of men in 10 firms not included.
3 These employees were in 56 firms.
* 2 fish canneries, 2 mattress plants, 1 bakery, 1 can factory.

1

1
366

366

It includes also 2 estab­

Restaurants and bars, like stores, are found in great numbers.
Since there was considerable interest in the employment of women in
places serving liquor, these have been tabulated separately in the
restaurant compilations.
Hotels do not employ women so extensively as is customary on the
mainland; instead of women chambermaids, men, in most cases
Filipinos, are employed as houseboys and roomboys.
Women are employed to a limited extent on the plantations, but
they are not considered an important part of the general economy, and
women in agriculture are not covered in this report.
Household employment is one of the primary fields of work for
women. Data on the wages of women household employees were
obtained from the territorial employment service. Dressmaking offers
gainful employment to many Japanese, and the system of apprentice­
ship gives rise to special problems.




3

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

Most of the workers for whom wage and hour data were obtained
were employed in Honolulu, but also included were the employees of
two pineapple canneries, one tuna cannery, one hotel, and several
stores and restaurants on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.
Racial descent.

The racial descent of the workers covered is shown in the following
summary.
Employees with race reported
Total

Race

Number

Women

Percent

Number

Men

Percent

Number

Percent

Total_

16,549

100.0

8,471

100.0

8,078

100.0

Caucasian______
Chinese.- _____ ____
Filipino _________________ _
Hawaiian
Japanese_______ ___________
Korean___________________ _
Puerto Rican
Other races_____ ____ . .

2,594
2, 591
1.703
1,577
6, 870
463
43
708

15.7
15.7
10.3
9.5
41.5
2.8
.3
4.3

1,402
1,411
171
1,073
3, 701
276
35
402

16.6
16.7
2.0
12. 7
43.7
3.3
.4
4.7

1,192
1,180
1, 532
504
3,169
187
8
306

14.8
14.6
19.0
6.2
39.2
2.3
.1
3.8

Earnings.

Earnings for a period in 1939—a week, a half month, or a month,
depending on the practice of the firm—were obtained in all establish­
ments where records were available. The year’s earnings for all
workers in 1938, by individual plant, were copied. In general,
earnings were higher on the island of Oahu (Honolulu) than on the
other islands.
Wherever possible, week’s earnings were based on a pay roll in
the spring or early summer of 1939. If this was not representative of
operations, due to seasonality of the industry, the most recent repre­
sentative week was chosen. Earnings are reported on a week’s basis
except for hotels, barber shops, office workers, and telephone operators,
which usually were paid on a monthly basis and records neither of
hours worked nor of earnings for a single week were available. Aver­
age week’s earnings were not high. For women the earnings ranged
from $4.40 in miscellaneous manufacturing and $8.70 in restaurants
serving alcoholic drinks to $16.15 in beauty shops. For men the
range was from $12.45 in nonalcoholic restaurants to $21.65 in drug
stores. All the women in garment and miscellaneous manufacturing,
in stores on the islands of Hawaii and Kauai, in all laundries,
and in restaurants had average week’s earnings of under $10. The
beauty shops, with average week’s earnings of $16.15; the Honolulu
stores, with earnings of $14.55; and the pineapple canneries, with
earnings of $13.40, were the three industries ranking highest in
earnings.
The Japanese girls in barber shops averaged $35 a month, and the
women in hotels $23.75 for a half month, $47.50 on a monthly basis.
The month’s earnings of office workers and telephone operators
compared favorably with those of women in the larger cities of the
mainland.
231290"—40-

-2




4

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Because of the lack of time records in the barber shops, the beauty
shops, and the hotels, hourly earnings for women could not be obtained.
Average hourly earnings were low in the restaurants, the laundries,
the stores in Hilo and other places, and the garment, factories and
miscellaneous manufacturing group. Excluding the women paid by
the month, only two industries, the stores in Honolulu and the pine­
apple canneries, had average hourly earnings of more than 30 cents,
the basic minimum at the present time as set for interstate industries
by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
The summary table following gives the median week’s and hourly
earnings.
Table 2.—Average hourly earnings and average week’s earnings of women and m,en}

by industry
Hourly earnings
Women

Week’s earnings

Men

Women

Men

Industry
Number
reported

Manufacturing:
Pineapple canning....
Garments
Other______________
Stores:
Honolulu:
General merchandise____ _________
Drug
Hilo and other places___
Laundries:
Power
Hand; pressing shops___
Barber shops______________
Beauty shops_____________
Hotels and restaurants:
Restaurants
Alcoholic
Nonalcoholic..___
Office4... _____________
Telephone 4
Other 4

5, 975
243
552

403
21
65
311
16

Median
Median
Median
Number Median
earn­ Number earn­ Number
ings
reported ings
reported earn­ reported earn­
ings
ings
(cents)
(cents)

31.6
25. 0
20.0

6,659
25
202

33.1

243
62
76

(>)

16.6

20.4

o)

224
137
87

16.3
14.7
19.5

196
75

46.2
38. 5

93
17

211
117
94

40.2

5,289
243
556

$13.40
9. 65
4.40

6,257
29
205

$18. 00

43.0

40.3
41. 5
29.0

403
21
66

14. 55

243
62
77

20. 20
21. 65
16.30

31.8

312
16
50
64

2 35.00
16.15

251
164
87
252
208
75

9. 15
8. 70
9. 25
2110. 00
2 78. 00
2 40. 00

0)

o

23.1
21.7
24.6

(i)

9. 35
9 60

o

151
19
1
249
154
95

0)

18.20

19. 75

(0

m
12. 80
13. 62
12. 45

1 Not computed; base too small.
2 Median of month’s earnings.
3 Median of semimonthly earnings.
4 Tabulated only for women.

Hours worked.

In most industries hours were long. They were especially long in the
restaurants and bar rooms, the many small stores, the Japanese
barber shops, and the laundries. Most of these had scheduled hours
of 48 or more and actual daily hours worked by most employees in
these industries were over 8. The data on wages and hours show a
need for a minimum-wage standard and a maximum-hour regulation
for women in the Territory of Hawaii. In a few industries there
were numerous examples of good conditions as to both hours and
wages, but low standards were apparent in most of the smaller
woman-employing establishments.




PINEAPPLE CANNERIES
Operations and occupations.

The pineapple industry ranks next to the sugar industry in the sales
value of its products. The average pack in recent years has been 6
million cases. Three of the canneries in Honolulu (Oahu) pack about
80 percent of the output; the four other canneries, on Maui and Kauai,
the remainder. On the plantations women help to prepare the slips,
suckers, and crowns for planting, and during the harvesting some are
engaged in cutting the crowns from the pines before the fruit is sent
to the cannery, but the employment of women in the pineapple fields
is relatively unimportant. In the canneries, however, women are
almost as numerous as men, and the preparation of the fruit and the
packing into cans are primarily women’s work.
The numbers of men and women employed in the four canneries
(two on Oahu and two on Maui) from which records were obtained
are shown here by the general occupational classes used for the tab­
ulation of the data.
Type of work
All types__________

Total

Women

Men

12,650

5,975

6,675

8,861
2, 404
264
556
421
144

5,318
451
149
27

3, 543
1.953
115
529
421
114

30

All occupations concerned with the handling, preparation, and
processing of the fruit are included in cannery labor. Men usually are
employed for the unloading of the fruit, the handling of empty cans,
the operations connected with the ginaca machine, in the processing
and cooking rooms, and as roustabouts in carrying, trucking, and
generally helping to maintain a smooth and steady flow of work. The
canning industry is highly mechanized and there is little heavy work.
Most of the women’s jobs are simple, and dexterity and speed rather
than skill seem to be the prime requisites.
The cannery operations begin on the receiving platform, where the
pineapples are dumped into bins and then fed to the ginaca machines.
Pines are fed singly to these machines, which grip the fruit, force it
against revolving knives that cut away the shell and eyes, hold it while
a rapidly dashing plunger extracts the core, and then dispatch it to a
conveyor as a symmetrical doughnut-like cylinder completely denuded
of its field shape and color. Other mechanical devices strip and sal­
vage all bits of fruit remaining in the shell for the crushed-pineapple,
juice, and byproducts divisions.
Endless belts carry the pineapple cylinders past rows of women
inspectors—white-capped, aproned, and rubber-gloved—who examine
the fruit and cut out with sharp knives all particles of shell or foreign
matter that the ginaca did not reach. In another department the
crushed and broken bits salvaged from the shell are similarly inspected
along belts. Automatic machines cut the cylinders into slices and




5

6

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

these move on to the packing or canning tables, where women select
and pack the slices by hand into trays of “fancy,” “standard,” and
other grades. The trimming and packing operations are the work of
women, but from here on the processing is largely in the care of men.
The trays of cans pass under machines that automatically add the
proper quota of syrup, through exhaust boxes that expel air bubbles,
to covering and seaming machines that seal them, and then through
the steam-pressure cooking equipment. After cooling they are ready
to go to the warehouse. Most of the processing is carried on by
automatic machines and the men who set up and serve these machines
as mechanics are in the higher wage groups.
Cans are stacked in the warehouse and stored until shipment. In
many cases labels and boxes are manufactured in the warehouse.
Labeling is a machine operation and women are employed to a consid­
erable extent tending the machines and packing the cans into the
shipping cases or boxes. Women make up about one-fifth of the em­
ployees in the warehouse. Some of the warehouse jobs, such as
printing, certain box-making operations, and care of the machines,
are. skilled, but much of the work is of an unskilled nature. The
maintenance group includes the janitors, matrons, engineers, firemen,
and general mechanics, responsible for the upkeep of the plant and its
equipment. Only 27 women were reported in this group—too few
for a separate job tabulation of wages, as was true also of the women
who were factory office clerks. The factory clerical group includes
such workers as pay-roll, shipping, and production clerks. The
administrative and soiling offices were not covered. Outside labor
includes chiefly men working in the cannery yard, general employees
on the receiving and loading platforms, truck drivers, and helpers.
A high standard of sanitation and good working conditions seemed
to be generally accepted as a part of the pineapple-cannery morale.
Service facilities in the way of toilets, locker rooms, rest rooms, and
cafeterias are decidedly above the general industrial standards main­
tained by mainland plants.
Seasonality.

In the course of supplying information for the pineapple canneries
a statement was made that no matter when pineapples were planted
they seemed to have a natural tendency to push their growth so as to
be ready for the cannery as near the middle of July as possible.
Employment figures week by week for the year 1938 were available for
two large canneries and on these figures the three accompanying graphs
are based.
There is no period when some pines are not maturing, but for about
8 weeks in midsummer—the end of June to about the middle of
August—the canneries are running at full speed, with two and three
shifts a day and for much of the time 7 days a week. In these two
plants there were more than 6,000 persons employed in 12 weeks, and
more than 9,000 in 8 of these weeks. Taking the peak week, in which
there were 11,613 employed, as 100 percent, an index of employment
for the 52 weeks has been computed. In 37 of the 52 weeks the index
of employment is 35 percent or less of the maximum. This is apparent
from a glance, at the plateau on either side of the peak of graph I.
. Graph II gives a picture of the trend of total earnings. It is sig­
nificant to note that the peak period of earnings rises more sharply



7

PINEAPPLE CANNERIES

Graph I.—Employment Trends for Men and Women in Pineapple Canneries, 1938
(Maximum week=100)

June

Graph II.—Pay-Roll Trends for Men and Women in Pineapple Canneries, 1938
(Maximum week = 100)

Men's earnings




lomen's earnings
l

i

l

l

l

i

i

i

i

i

8

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

and falls more precipitously than employment. For only 1 week
besides the peak were earnings as much as 90 percent of the maximum,
for ] week they were about 85 percent, for 2 weeks about 75 percent,
and for 5 weeks from 50 to 00 percent of the maximum. Thus there
were 42 weeks in which total earnings were less than 50 percent of
the maximum. For 22 weeks the pay roll was less than 20 percent
of the maximum, for 14 weeks it was 20 and under 25 percent, and
for 6 weeks it was 25 to 40 percent.
Hours worked in pay-roll week.

The hours worked and the week’s earnings as tabulated for a 1-week
period are for one of the high-peak weeks of the season and are not rep­
resentative of any season but this. The hourly rates, however, are
typical.
The summary table that follows shows for three canneries the hours
worked by all men and women, by cannery workers, and by ware­
house workers in one peak week.
Women
Hours worked

All
employ­
ees

Cannery
labor

Total—Number.. _________ _____
Percent.____ _______ ______

5,289
100.0

4, 742
100.0

Under 20 hours___ _____ ___ _
20, under 30 hours............................................
30, under 40 hours
40, under 42 hours....... ................................. .
42, under 44 hours ______________
..
44, under 46 hours____________ ______ _
46, under 48 hours______ _____ __________

3.6
4.7
18.6
7.3
40.6
5.2
17.3
1. 5
1.3

3.7
4.9
18.0
4.4
44.8
3.8
18.3
1.5
.6

Men
Ware­
house
labor

All
employ­
ees

Cannery
labor

343
100.0

6,256
100.0

3, 248
100.0

1,893
100.0

3.8
4.4
36.2
47.8
1.5
4.1
2.3

2.6
4.4
14.8
13.3
11.4
11.5
12.3
10.1
19 6

2.3
3.5
12.6
8.1
12.4
11.1
16.6

3.9
7.4
25.2
27.1
12.8
11.1
5.5

19.8

6.1

Ware­
house
labor

In all the canneries the scheduled hour or work plan was an 8-hour
day for 5 days with 4 hours on Saturday, making a 44-hour week.
Time in excess of these limits usually was paid for at time and a half
and double time. In the week for which pay rolls were taken, well
over one-half (57 percent) of the men and about one-fourth (24 percent)
of the women in the cannery departments worked more than scheduled
hours; in the warehouse about 20 percent of the men and 3 percent
of the women worked more than regular hours. It is significant
that even in a peak period large proportions worked less than 44
hours. The percent of women working 48 hours and more in the
canneries was very small.
Women’s earnings and employment fall relatively lower from the
peak than men’s. Men to a much greater degree than women are
employed in the warehouse and the maintenance departments, where
work is less seasonal; this keeps the level of their index slightly above
that of women.
The trend of average week’s earnings through the year is shown in
the third graph. The amounts for this chart were obtained by divid­
ing the numbers of men and women into the total week’s earnings of
each group. Average week’s earnings for the year, represented by
the lines drawn through the graph, were $16.30 for men and $8.50
for women. The peak week’s earnings for men averaged $20.50 and



9

PINEAPPLE CANNERIES

those for women $13.90. Women’s average earnings were above $10
in only 6 weeks of the year; in 7 weeks they were below $5. Men’s
average earnings were above $20 only in the peak week; they were
below $15 in 9 weeks. The decidedly lower wage structure for the
women is strikingly apparent in this graph.
Graph III.—Fluctuation in the Average Weekly Earnings of Men and Women in
Pineapple Canneries, 1938
\ Men's earnings

Women's earnings

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Hov.

Dec.

Short hours for much of the year are at least a partial explanation
of the low averages. In three of the canneries the days on which
canning was done in 1938 were respectively 214, 122, and 69. The
first two were on the island of Oahu and the third was on Maui.
Only one of these did any canning in the late fall from October on.
Warehouse work continues throughout the year and fluctuates much
less.
Hourly earnings.

In the Honolulu canneries the minimum hourly rate was 30 cents
for women and 37.5 cents for men, while in the Maui canneries it
was 26 cents for women and 32.5 cents for men. Hourly rates have
increased materially since the Women’s Bureau survey of 1927,
which showed 44 percent of the women to be receiving 15 cents an
hour. In 1939 as many as 85 percent of the women received at least
30 cents an hour.
For the women as a whole, the median - that is, the midpoint in
a distribution of earnings—is 31.6 cents, following the dominating
group of cannery labor. There is a marked concentration of earnings
at 30 and under 35 cents, a reflection of the 30-cent minimum rate for
women that was the standard in Oahu canneries. Except for women
whose jobs included some type of supervisory activity, the percent
with earnings of as much as 35 cents is decidedly small. An unpub­
lished tabulation of hourly earnings on a racial basis shows only a
slight deviation from the pattern for the group as a whole, as the




10

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

median for each race falls in the 31-and-under-32-cent interval.
Hourly earnings are only a measuring unit in considering the wages
paid, and from the workers’ standpoint weekly and yearly earnings
(see later paragraphs) are much more indicative of what the job
offers.
Table 3 gives the hourly earnings, in 5-cent intervals, of the men
and the women in four canneries, by occupational group.
Table 3.—Hourly earnings of workers in four PINEAPPLE CANNERIES, by

sex and occupational group
WOMEN
Hourly earnings

All women

Number of women reported
Median earnings (cents)

Cannery
labor

1 5, 975
31.6

Under 30 cents--------------------------------------------30, under 35 cents__ _______
_
_____________
35, under 40 cents..
40, under 45 cents______________ ____ _____ .

14.7
79.0
3.8
1.3
1.0
.3

Warehouse
labor

5, 318
31.6

Supervisory

451
30.4

Percent of women
14.2
82.6
1.3
.9
.8
.1

149
36.9

25.9
65.9
6.4
1.8

0.7
16.8
63.8
4.0
8 7
6.0

MEN
Wareho use labor
Hourly earnings

All men

Number
of
men reported
Median earnings (cents)..

Cannery
labor

Time
work

Piece (or
both time
and piece)

Mainte­
nance

Outside

Supervi­
Office
(factory)
sory

6,659

3, 542

1,663

290

525

420

110

109

40.2

39.7

38.4

50.3

47.5

48.0

53.8

46.3

0.1
4.9
43. 4
28.2
9. 5
6. 1
2.9
1.4
3.5

0.1
7.3
49.0
32.5
6.2
3. 1
1.0
.4
.5

0.2
3.5
56.8
23.0
12.7
2.5
.7
.2
.3

0.5
.5
15.0
28. 1
9.0
23.6
9.0
2.6
11.7

l.S
9.1
16.4
30.0
11.8
9. 1
21.8

1.8
4.6
40.4
11.0
22.0
12.8
4.6
2.8

Percent of men
Under 30 cents___ __
35, under 40 cents_
_
40, under 45 cents
45, under 50 cents_
_
50, under 55 cents_
_
55, under 60 cents_
_
60, under 65 cents_
_
65 cents and over. _ .

12.4
22. 1
14. 1
16. 2
13.8
5.2
16. 2

1.3
18.9
20.6
17.7
10.5
7.8
5.7
17.5

1 Total includes 57 women not shown by department, 30 of them factory office workers.

For the men the minimum hourly rate in the two largest canneries in
Honolulu, which had a preponderance in numbers, was 37.5 cents; on
Maui the minimum was 32.5 cents. For all men the median earnings
were 40.2 cents. The largest numbers of men—about 40 percent—
had hourly earnings of 37 and under 40 cents, with the proportion
over 45 percent if only the men in the cannery and warehouse (over
four-fifths of all men employed) are considered. Men in the ware­
house who are on piece work, usually the stacking or breaking of
can piles, had a median of 50.3 cents. In the cannery occupations
only about 11 percent of the men had earnings of as much as 45 cents
an hour.




11

PINEAPPLE CANNERIES

Week’s earnings.

Week’s earnings in a peak week indicate what the industry offers
to its employees in the busiest season of the year. For women in
the Hawaiian pineapple canneries the amounts received in one of the
heaviest production weeks of the year tended to concentrate at $13
and under $14, with about 43 percent of the women in this interval.
Of all the women in the pay-roll week taken, 70 percent had received
$10 and under $15. Only in supervisory jobs were as many as one
woman in every five paid $15 or more for the week; in these jobs
two-thirds of the women earned $15 and under $20 and about onesixth earned $20 or more. The median earnings of women in the
cannery were $13.40 and in the warehouse $12.20. Hours were
shorter in the warehouse, which accounts partly for the lower median.
The busy season of which the week’s earnings are representative
showed a concentration of men’s wages in the intervals from $15 to
$20, more men being in the $15 and $16 groups than any other.
Two-thirds of the men had week’s earnings of less than $20. Earnings
of those in the supervisory, maintenance, outside, and office depart­
ments were decidedly higher than those in the cannery and warehouse.
A distribution by race showed no significant variation from the
general earnings figures.
Table 4.—Week’s earnings of workers in three PINEAPPLE CANNERIES, by

sex and occupational group
WOMEN
Week’s earnings

All women

Number of women reported____
Median earnings_________ ___ ________

Under $5________ ____ _

_

_

... __

i 5, 289
$13. 40

___

2.9
7.1
70.1
18.1
1. 5
.3

$10, under $15
$15, under $20. ____________________________
$20, under $25______________________________

Cannery
labor

Warehouse
labor

4, 742
$13. 40

Supervisory

343
$12. 20

Percent of women
3.1
7.0
71.8
17. 1
1.0
.1

147
$16. 55

2.0
12. 5
78.7
6.1
.6

0.7
17.7
66.0
10.2
5.5

MEN

All men

Cannery
labor

Number of men rexiorted.
Median earnings. ___

6,257
$18. 00

$15, under $20.
$20, under $25__________ _____
$25, under $30 _________ ...
$30, under $35___

1.1
3. 5
12. 3
50. 1
18.6
8.3
2.9
1.6
.9
.4
.4

Ware­
house
labor

3,248
$18.15

1.0
3.0
9.6
58.1
20.0
5.9
1.3
.8
.1

Week’s earnings

$50 and over________ _________

.1

1 Total includes 57 women not shown by department.
231290°—40------- 3




1,893
$15.90

Main­
tenance

Outside

Super­
visory

Office
(factory)

488
$23. 60

415
$23. 60

100
$28. 40

113
$23. 5C

0.2
2. 7
4. 8
24.6
21.9
23.4
9.4
6. 5
5. 8
.2
.5

9.0
26.0
28.0
15.0
15. 0
2. 0
2.0
3.0

Percent of men
1.8
0. 4
5.4
.2
22. 2
2.7
50.7
28.7
13.0
24.8
5.4
16.2
7.6
1.4
6. 1
5. 7
4.7
2.8

3.
3.
31.9
22.
16.
15.9
2
2.
.9

12

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Year’s earnings.

For most of the workers the period over which earnings in the pine­
apple canneries are spread is short, so it is to be expected that the
amounts would be relatively low. The summary table of total earn­
ings shows that almost one-half of the employees had worked for the
firm in less than 12 weeks. Only about one-sixth of the men and
one-tenth of the women had earnings spread over the entire year.
The average earnings of men and of women by number of weeks
over which the work was spread are shown in table 5.
Since the employees were concentrated most heavily at 8 and under
12 weeks, followed by 52 weeks, earnings are shown in greater detail
for these groups in table 6.
The 52-week workers show a much greater discrepancy between the
sexes in the amounts earned than do the groups with less employ­
ment, women’s median earnings being only 42 percent of those of
men. the 8-to-12-week group women who earned as much as $125
In
were few in number, comprising less than 2 percent of all women in
the group. Men had a much wider range of earnings and larger
proportions were in the higher wage intervals. Earnings below $400
as an average for women who had been on the pay roll throughout
the year cannot be considered an adequate income; yet less than threetenths of the women in the all-year group earned as much as $400.
Table 5.—Weeks over which year’s work in PINEAPPLE CANNERIES was

spread and average earnings for such period, by sex
Men

Women
Weeks over which work was spread

Total_______
Under 4 weeks____
4, under 8 weeks...
8, under 12 weeks..
12, under 16 weeks.
16, under 20 weeks.
20 weeks_________
21, under 26 weeks.
26 weeks_________
27, under 33 weeks.
33, under 39 weeks.
39 weeks_________
40, under 46 weeks.
46, under 52 weeks.
52 weeks.. ______
• Not computed; base too small.




Median
earn­
ings

Number
reported

Percent

Median
earn­
ings

Number
reported

Percent

4,142

100.0

$115

5,171

100.0

$169

316
721
1,422
610
179
19
127
33
254
217
37
98
245
893

6.1
13.9
27.5
11.8
3.5
.4
2.5
.6
4.9
4.2
.7
1.9
4.7
17.3

16
67
128
177
248

191
536
1,217
580
142
18
105
23
329
142
20
75
333
431

4.6
12.9
29.4
14.0
3.4
.4
2.5
.6
7.9
3.4
.5
1.8
8.1
10.4

o)
M
(i)

15
51
93
115
137
174
209
254
294
358
370

o
(*)

280
354
440
486
562
586
891

PINEAPPLE CANNERIES
Table 6.—

13

Year’s earnings of employees in PINEAPPLE CANNERIES who
worked in 8 and under IS weeks and in 52 weeks, by sex
Women

Men

Year’s earnings
Number

Percent

Number

Percent

WORK IN 8 AND UNDER 12 W EEKS
Total reported. _
Median earnings.

1,217
$93

1,422
$128

100.0

24
181
572
419
5
5
4
6
1

Under $25_____
$25, under $50...
$50, under $75.. _
$75, under $100
$100, under $125.
$125, under $150.
$150, under $175.
$175, under $200
$200, under $300.
$300, under $400
$400 and over_
_

100.0

2.0
14.9
47.0
34.4
.4
.4
.3
.5
.1

1

0.1

5
60
243
353
434
208
54
55

.4
4.2
17.1
24.8
30.5
14.6
3.8
3.9

8

.6

1

.1

WORK IN 52 WEEKS
Total reported...
Median earnings

431
$370

100.0

893
$891

100.0

Under $300___________
$300, under $400______
$400, under $500______
$500, under $600.. ___
$600, under $700______
$700, under $800______
$800, under $900______
$900, under $1,000_____
$1,000, under $1,500___
$1,500, under $2,000___
$2,000, under $2,500. ..
$2,500 and over_______

1
306
57
19
25
12
4
2
4
1

0.2
71.0
13.2
4.4
5.8
2.8
.9
.5
.9
.2

2
5
35
117
96
93
108
124
234
45
29
5

0.2
.6
3.9
13.1
10.8
10.4
12.1
13.9
26.2
5.0
3.2
.6

Race.

The pineapple canneries recruit tlieir labor supply chiefly from
workers whose racial descent is other than Caucasian. Race was
reported for all workers but about 2 percent, and for the week in the
heavy canning season the distribution of men and women by racial
descent was as follows:
Women reported

Men reported

Race
Number
Total_____________________
Caucasian________________
Chinese.__ ______________
Filipino... ______ ._
Ilawaiian_______ ..
Japanese___________________
Korean _________
Other . _________________




Percent

Number

Percent

5,855

100.0

6,539

100.0

563
1,161
157
816
2,492
246
420

9.6
19.8
2.7
13.9
42.6
4.2
7.2

853
956
1,260
448
2, 543
169
310

13.0
14.6
19. 3
6. 9
38.9
2.6
4.7

14

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

The Japanese were two-fifths of the total. The proportion of
Caucasian men was less than that of the Japanese, Filipino, and
Chinese groups, and that of Caucasian women was less than Jap­
anese, Chinese, and Hawaiian.
Earnings by race, in unpublished figures, indicate that racial equality
where earning opportunity is concerned is a practice as well as a
policy. In the four groups where numbers are large enough to show
a normal distribution—Caucasian, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Japanese—
there is no significant variation. The earnings of the Caucasian
women are a little lower than those of other races, but among the
men a higher proportion of the lunas (foremen) are Caucasian, which
tends to place this group at the top for men, and this is true also of
the mechanics. Except for this occupational difference, the varia­
tions by race in the wage picture in the pineapple canneries are only
minor.
Source of seasonal labor.

When cannery employment skyrockets in midsummer, the extra
seasonal labor is not recruited to any extent from the usual industrial
or agricultural sources. Managers reported that housewives, maids,
and high-school and college girls make up most of the extra female
supply. Maids flock from their regular jobs to the canneries, and
during the canning season many openings for domestics go unfilled.
Wives who do not seek employment outside the home at any other
time report to the cannery year after year for a few weeks of work to
help swell the family budget.
For the extra men, the young Filipinos wdio work at odd jobs in the
towns and have irregular employment on the sugar and pineapple
plantations serve as one important source. Most of the other males
are young men without regular jobs or students who are a part of the
surplus labor supply seeking employment wherever it may be forth­
coming.




GARMENT FACTORIES
Employment.

The manufacture of Aloha shirts, beachwear, slacks, and other
sportswear has been a growing industry in Honolulu and has offered
employment to some of the young girls who have been trained in
dressmaking. In Honolulu, as on the mainland, garment shops come
and go and the number varies more than in most industries. The
equipment, plant, and capital requirements of a small shop are not
elaborate nor expensive; a few sewing machines, cutting tables, and
pressing equipment comprise most of the outfit needed for setting up
in business. In most cases the Honolulu garment factories are small,
but their range in stylo and type of garment is much more varied than
in most mainland factories. In addition to garment shops making
sportswear, there are a number of fairly large tailor shops that cater
chiefly to the custom trade of the Army and Navy service men.
Eight garment manufacturers making sportswear and five tailor
shops are included in the earnings tabulations. One of the manu­
facturers was a contractor, who made garments on order from ma­
terials owned by local retailers and wholesalers. The contractor sells
his own and liis employees’ services on a job-contract basis, and his
production is even more fluctuating than that of a regular manu­
facturer.
The number of employees in the 13 shops 1 ranged from 4 to 111.
In the pay period covered, a representative week of full and steady
operation, only 2 had more than 25 employees. The numbers of
employees in the 13 shops follow: 4, 7 (2), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16 (2),
17, 39, and 111.
The total number of employees in the pay period covered was 272,
excluding 5 office employees who have been tabulated with clerical
workers. Only about 10 percent of all the workers were men; they
were more important in the tailor shops than in the sportswear fac­
tories. In the 8 sportswear plants there were 217 women and 12
men.
Racial descent.

The women employees were chiefly Oriental; 161 were Japanese and
52 Chinese, these two comprising almost 90 percent of the total.
Other racial groups were 15 Caucasians, 9 Hawaiians, and 6 Koreans.
The racial descent of the 29 men was Chinese in 11 cases, Caucasian
in 7, Japanese in 5, Filipino in 4, Korean in 2.
Hours.

A 44-hour week—5 days of 8 hours and a 4-hour day on Saturday—
was the standard hour pattern for the garment shops. One reported
5 days of 8 hours, but all others reported 44 hours. About one-third
of the women—79 of 243—worked 44 hours. Only 14 women worked
over 48 hours. One-half of the women worked less than 44 hours,
? One tailor shop employed four men, no women.




15

16

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

and 87 women, or about 36 percent, worked less than 40 hours, which
is indicative of quite common undertime in the industry. In general,
hours were short for women. Men’s hours were longer, as all but 1
of the men worked 44 hours and more, and 3 worked 60 hours and
more. The most common hours for the men were 48 a week.
Earnings of women.

Women are largely machine operators, with a few cutters, inspec­
tors, pressers, and working foreladies. Week’s earnings of women
were low, with an average of $9.65 for all and more than one-half
earning less than $10.
The most common week’s earnings were $11 and under $12; only 12
women earned as much as $15. Low as these amounts are, they
represent the earnings in some of the best weeks of the year. There
are many weeks when earnings are less than these.
Table 7.

-Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of women in GARMENT
FACTORIES '
Week's earnings

Hourly earnings

Women

W omen
Amount

Amount

Amount

Num- Perber cent
Women reported . 243 100.0
Median earnings,. $9. 65
18

7.4

$5, under $6
$6, under $7___ ___
$7, under $8

Under $5_
_

... .

14
27
25
23
22

5.8
11.1
10.3
9.5
9.1

$10, under $11 - .
$11, under $12

19
52

7.8
21.4

Num- Perber cent
$12, under $13
$13, under $14
$14, under $15

.

$15 and over

15
10
6

6.2
4.1
2.5

12

4.9

18
111
102
7
5

7.4
45. 7
42.0
2.9
2.0

Number reported
Median earnings (cents).

Under 15 cents.....................
15, under 20 cents___
$10, under $15.-$20 and over...

30, under 35 cents________
40 cents and over

Women

243
25.0
Percent
of
women
5.8
19.3
13. 2
49.8
7.4
2.1
2.4

Hourly earnings of women in the garment shops were more fre­
quently 25 cents than any other amount. It will be noted from the
table that not far from two-fifths of the women had earnings below
25 cents, and that less then one-eighth earned as much as 30 cents.
The hourly earnings of women in the garment industry in Hawaii are
decidedly below the average of 38.5 cents an hour reported for 31,000
employees in the manufacture of women’s inexpensive dresses, sports­
wear, house coats, and uniforms on the mainland in the spring of 1939.
Earnings of men.

Only 8 of the 13 shops employed men, and only 29 men in all were
employed. Five of the men had week’s earnings of less than $10, for
3 they were $10 and under $15, for 8 they were $15 and under $20, for
4 they were $20 and under $25, and for 9 they were $25 and over.
Hourly earnings were much higher for men than for women, as the
men are cutters, mechanics, or shipping clerks, jobs that tend to pay
the highest wages in the trade. For 25 men, hours worked were
reported; 4 had hourly earnings of less than 25 cents, 1 was in the
28-and-under-29-cent interval, 1 in the 32-and-under-33-cent interval,




17

GARMENT FACTORIES

and the others earned 35 cents and more. There were 5 with earnings
of 50 and under 55 cents and 5 with earnings of over 65 cents, the
highest being $1.06 an hour.
Year’s earnings.

Turn-over is high in the garment factories. The amounts paid to
346 women and 16 men in the year 1938 were copied from pay rolls.
Work is seasonal, and in most shops the periods of full work were
short. Workers shift around from one plant to another, many having
only a few weeks’ work in any one establishment. The short duration
of employment with any one firm is shown by the following distribu­
tion of women workers by the weeks they worked.
Tabue 8.— Weeks

over which work was spread, women in GARMENT FACTORIES
in 1938, and earnings of those who worked in 40 weeks or more
WEEKS OVER WHICH WORK WAS SPREAD
Women reported

Women reported

Weeks

Weeks
Number

Total___

8, under 12 weeks----------12, under 16 weeks
16, under 20 weeks---------20, under 24 weeks

Percent

Number

346

100.0

99
35
13
10
9
14

28.6
10.1
3.8
2.9
2.6
4.0

Percent

40, under 44 weeks_______
52 weeks.

15
15
15
33

4.3
4 3
9.5

EARNINGS OE WOMEN WHO WORKED IN 40 WEEKS OR MORE
Amount
Total
$200, under $250________ ____ ______
$2.50, under $300$300, under $350

Number of
women
78
$442. 30
1
2
5

Amount
$350, under $400__________
$450, under $500 - . _
$500, under $600.
$600, under $700

_

Number of
women
20
13
7
18
6
6

Almost one-half of the women had worked less than 20 weeks—
many of these short-time weeks—for one employer. Only about 10
percent had been on the pay rolls throughout the year. Seventyeight, or not much more than one-fifth, were on the rolls in 40 or
more weeks. In all probability these had no other employment, so
their earnings may be considered an indication of the year’s income
of women garment makers.
The earnings of 33 of these women fell in the $350 and under $450
groups, and if these amounts are spread over the living needs of a
year their inadequacy is apparent. Only 12 of the 78 women had
earnings of $600 and more in the year.
Of the 16 men with earnings reported for the year 1938, one-half
received $600 and more. Among the 9 men whose work had extended
over 40 or more weeks, the highest earnings were $1,449, followed by
$1,254; 2 of the men whose work covered 52 weeks had received $400
and under $450.




18

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Working conditions.

Standards of working conditions in the garment factories were not
up to those maintained by the majority of manufacturing plants in
the Territory. Most of the workrooms were in old buildings, with
inadequate toilet, washing, and rest-room facilities. Separate toilets
for men and women were not always provided. Housekeeping was
poor: windows were dirty, floors littered with many days’ accumula­
tion of waste cuttings and ends, seating was haphazard, and rooms
were crowded.
Employers complained frequently that operators did not develop
speed that would allow a better return from piece rates, but where a
number of types and styles of garments are made, as in most of these
shops, it is hard to gain automatic dexterity in handling them. In
some of the shops piece rates were low, and unless the work was on a
quantity basis the operator had little chance of making a living wage.
One employer stated his wage policy as “Good workers paid 25 cents
an hour, poor ones paid piece rates.”
Most of the shops preferred not to employ learners and said that
girls with dressmaking training were available in large numbers.
Beginners in the factory were put on piece work or were paid rates
usually below 25 cents an hour. One tailor, who had three shops
and took girls as apprentices, had 11 apprentices in his employ who
received no pay.
The garment industry must be considered a sore spot in the labor
economy of the Territory, and the need of better wage standards and
management is generally known and is apparent from the wage data.
Some of the shops, of course, are better than the average, but the
bad ones are more common than the good.




MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURING
Wage and hour data were secured from a number of factories for
which it was impossible to get enough plants of a comparable type
to treat as an industrial unit. Wages are not shown separately for
individual firms whose identity might be revealed if this were done,
so it was necessary to group for tabulation 2 tuna canneries, a can
factory, a small bakery, and 2 cotton-mattress factories. Since
the wage structure was quite different in these places, the result is
not typical of any of the particular plants but is an indication of the
earnings of 761 employees in 6 miscellaneous establishments. The
tuna canneries and the can factory outstripped the others in number
of employees.
Racial distribution.

About 87 percent of the women were Japanese. Only about 7
percent were Caucasian, with still smaller proportions of Hawaiian,
Chinese, Filipino, and Puerto Rican. Of the men, about 30 percent
were Japanese, 25 percent Filipino, 20 percent Caucasian, 15 percent
Hawaiian, and 8 percent Chinese.
Earnings.

Minimum rates of pay varied in the three largest plants; in one
the basic prevailing minimum for women was 18 cents an hour, in
the second it was 20 cents, and in the third 30 cents. Since the
plants with the lower rates and shorter hours have the largest numbers,
the earnings distribution for the group is determined largely by these.
The distribution of the workers by week’s and hourly earnings is
shown in table 9.
Table 9.

Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in MISCELLANEOUS
MANUFACTURING, by sex
Week’s earnings of women

Number of women reported
Median earnings, _______ _____

Week’s earnings of men
556
$4.40

$6, under $7___
...
_____
$7, under $8_________________________
$8, under $9... ____ ________________
$10 and over . ____________ _________

Percent
2.5
4.9
5.6
25.0
29.0
17. 3
2.5
2.5
1.3
9.5

Under $5
$5, under $10_____ _______ _________
$10, under $15.
$15 and over__________________ ______

Number of men reported
Median earnings.. ___

205
$18. 20

___

66.9
23.6
8.5
1.1

Under $1___
$1, under $2..
$2, under $3___
$3, under $4...

___

$15, under $20___
$25, under $30.

Percent
9. 3
14. 6
43.9
15.1
6. 3
5. 9
4.9

19
231290°—40-------4




20

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Tablk 9.—Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in MISCELLANEOUS

MANUFACTURING, by sex—Continued
Hourly earnings of women
Number of women reported____

Hourly earnings of men
552
20.0
Percent
6.9
60.5
16.8
5.1
.2
4.0
2.4
2.7
.7
.7
6.9
77. 4
5.3
6. 3
3. 4
.7

202
43.0

25, under 30 cents___________________

80, under 90 cents...
90 cents and over_

_____
____

Percent
2.5
2.0
3.0
21. 8
21. 3
22. 3
4.5
5.0
5.0
5.4
3.0
4.5

Two-thirds of the women had hourly earnings of 20 cents or below,
and less than one-sixth earned as much as 25 cents. The week’s
earnings were extremely low, as two-thirds were under $5. While
these very low earnings are representative chiefly of one firm, there
are not many in the other companies with creditable showings.
Short hours with low hourly rates result in very inadequate weekly
earnings.
The median hourly earnings for the men in this mixed group of
industries were 43 cents. Thirty-five and under 50 cents were the
hourly rates paid most frequently, with almost two-thirds of the men
so reported. The week’s earnings were in line with the general
findings of the survey and were only slightly lower than those of men
in laundries and department stores.
Year’s earnings.

The median of the year’s earnings as reported for 259 men in these
industries was $658; for 103 men whose work periods included the
entire year the median was approximately $1,000.
The year’s earnings of the women were very low. In the tuna
canneries there wrere many weeks when only a few hours of work
were available, and this tends to concentrate the year’s earnings in
low amounts. For the 808 women reported the median was $80,
and for those whose work periods were spread over the entire year it
was $187.




MERCANTILE INDUSTRY
Employment in stores.

In the mercantile field the most characteristic unit is the small
establishment owned and operated by either Japanese or Chinese.
There are a few stores with ample and varied assortments of merchan­
dise, but there is an endless array of small specialty shops selling
novelties, clothing, notions, yard goods, hardware—most of them
small and unpretentious, with the owner and members of his family
conducting the business. The 1930 census reported 3,859 men and
828 women as salespeople in stores and almost as many more as retail
dealers. Most of these small retail stores have no employees and so
were outside the scope of the present study.
Forty-one stores were included in this survey; 28, with 815 em­
ployees, were in Honolulu, and 13, with 154 employees, on the islands
of Hawaii and Kauai. These two groups have been tabulated sepa­
rately. Of the 28 stores in Honolulu, 8 had 25 or more employees,
2 having more than 100. Eleven had less than 10.
HONOLULU STORES

The mercantile group in Honolulu includes department stores, dry­
goods stores, women’s ready-to-wear shops, novelty shops, and drug
stores. In the drug stores only the employees engaged in merchan­
dising activities are included, as employees working at the lunch
counter and soda fountain have been tabulated with other restaurant
workers. Further, 86 office employees in stores—52 men and 34
women—have been excluded from the mercantile tables and thrown
with office workers and telephone operators. The tabulations for
stores cover salespeople, assistant buyers, stockroom workers, altera­
tion and workroom employees, wrappers, floor men and women, a few
maintenance people, and delivery men.
Racial distribution.

The number and race of men and women employed in the 28 Hono­
lulu stores follow:
Women

Men

Race
Number
Total______ ____ _______________ _________ ___

Percent

Number

Percent

424

100.0

305

100.0

229
58

54.0
13.7

12
117
4
4

2.8
27.6
.9
1.0

102
67
10
8
114
4

33.4
22.0
3.3
2.6
37.4
1.3

The greater proportion of Caucasian women than of Caucasian men
in the Honolulu stores is due to a preponderant number of white
women as salespeople in two or three of the larger department and
21



22

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

ready-to-wear stores. There are more Japanese inen than Caucasian.
Though the Japanese and Caucasian together comprise over threefourths of all store employees, the Chinese form a considerable group
(17 percent).
Hours.

Most of the stores in Honolulu have a long day. Some open for
business at 7:30 in the morning and the smaller ones do not close till
8 p. m. or later, and in some cases are open on Sunday. This is espe­
cially true of curio shops.
The larger stores open at 8 and close at 4:30 or 5. In the shops
scheduled, hours ranged from 42 a week—six 7-hour days—for one
large store to 60 and more for the workers in several small stores. The
longest week was 63 hours. Most of the small shops had hours in
excess of 48.
Week’s earnings.

Week’s earnings are a representative measuring stick for the wage­
earning opportunities in stores. For all women the median was $14.70.
Unpublished figures show a considerable disparity on a racial basis.
Caucasian women had a median of $17.05, and Japanese and Chinese
women medians of respectively $12.05 and $12.40. Average earnings
of salespeople have been computed separately. Their median is $1
higher than that of all occupations in the case of Caucasian women
but is $1.20 lower than for all in the case of Japanese. Probably this
is because the Japanese in the larger stores with a higher wage
structure under Caucasian management usually were employed in the
stock and alteration rooms, while those who were saleswomen were
chiefly in the smaller Oriental stores that tended to pay much less.
Two-thirds of all the women combined earned $10 and under $20,
one in three of these being in either the $12 or the $15 class.
Table

10.— Week’s earnings of employees in MERCANTI LE INDUSTRY, by
sex—Honolulu
In 1-dollar intervals
Week’s earnings

Number reported

$10, under $11___

_______________

_

Women
424
$14. 70

$17, under $18

Median earnings

In 5-dollar intervals

____ .___

$50 and over.




Week’s earnings
Number reported

Percent
13.2
7.8
5.2
11.6
6.1
8.5
10.1
5.7
4.0
4.5
2.4
20.9

Women
424
$14.70

Men
305
$20.45

Percent
13. 2
39.2
26. 7
11. 1
3.8
2.8
.2
.9
.9
i 1.2

----------- r~-.......... ...........................

302
$15. 40

2.3
20.0
25. 6
14.1
10. 2
9.8
4. 6
6.6
2.6
2.3
.3
1.6

156
$26. 25

23

MERCANTILE INDUSTRY

Men’s earnings in Honolulu stores were decidedly higher than
women’s. Of the 305 men covered, about one-half were salesmen; the
others were stockroom workers, alteration-room tailors, a few were
delivery men, and some were supervisors. The median earnings for
salesmen were $26.25, in contrast to $20.45 for all men. Though the
largest groups of men, as of women, earned $10 and under $20, less
than half of the men had such earnings and 28 percent of them, in
contrast to only 6 percent of the women, earned $30 and more.
Unpublished figures on the basis of race show a median for the Cau­
casian men of $33.50, while for the Japanese it was $17.35 and for the
Chinese $18.25. About 57 of the Caucasian men’s earnings were in
the four groups of $25 and under $45, and 20 percent earned $45 and
more. The greatest concentration was at $30 and under $35. The
earnings of the Caucasian men in the stores of Honolulu are above
the average for many sections of the mainland.
Hourly earnings.

The spread of hourly earnings for women in the stores was from
11.5 cents for a Chinese saleswoman to $1.92 for a Caucasian sales­
woman. Seven Caucasian women had hourly earnings of more than
$1 and none had earnings under 20 cents. Fifty-three of the 165
Japanese and Chinese women had hourly earnings of less than 20
cents. Most of the earnings below 20 cents fell at about 15, 16, or 17
cents. The earnings of the Chinese women, though slightly higher than
those of the Japanese, were about one-fourth less than those of Cau­
casians. It must be remembered that the Caucasian women work
much more generally in the larger stores with higher wage schedules
and shorter hours.
Saleswomen show the same trend in hourly earnings as in weekly.
Those who arc Caucasians earn more than do all the employees as a
group, but the Oriental saleswomen make less than the general average
because of the type of store in which they are employed.
One-third of the women had hourly earnings of 25 and under 35
cents, and one-fourth had earnings below 25 cents.
Table 11.—Hourly earnings of employees in MERCANTILE INDUSTRY, by

sex—Honolulu
Hourly earnings
Number of employees
reported.
Median earnings (cents)

25, under 30 cents
30, under 35 cents_______
40, under 45 cents
45, under 50 cents
50, under 55 cents- _______.




Women

Men

424

305

33.2

40.5

Percent
3.6
12.7
12.3
8. 5
16.5
18.4
16.7
9.2
8.9
12. 5
8.7
8.9
6.1
3.9
3.3
3.3

Hourly earnings
55, under 60 cents 60, under 65 cents _ _
65, under 70 cents
70, under 75 cents___ ._______
75, under 80 cents_________ __
80, under 90 cents

Number of salespersons.

Women

Men

.2
1.4
1.9

5.2
3.6
5.2
6.6
2.3
4.6
3.0
4.9

302
34. 0

156
54.4

3.3
1.4
1.2
1.7

24

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

The average hourly earnings for the men were 40.5 cents. The
only concentration (18 percent) was at 25 and under 30 cents. Thirtynine percent of the men, in contrast to 14 percent of the women, had
earnings of 50 cents and more. The differences by race are marked,
the hourly earnings of Caucasian men being double those of Japanese
and Chinese. The shorter hours of the Caucasian men make a
greater disparity in their hourly than in their weekly earnings, the
former being arrived at by dividing week’s earnings by hours worked.
Year’s earnings.

The turn-over in stores was relatively high. In 1938 only a little
over 30 percent of the women had work spreading over the entire
year with the same employer; only about 45 percent had work spread­
ing over so much as 9 months. The median earnings of women and
the periods over which their work was spread are shown for Honolulu
stores in the following summary.

Weeks over which work was spread

Percent
Number with work
of wom­ spread as
en
specified

59
Over 13, including 26 weeks
Over 26, including 39 weeks
Over 39, including 52 weeks___ ___

39. 9
8.3
7. 1
44.6

52 weeks _________________ _____ ____________

105

31.2

Median
earnings
$500 and
more

17.6

134
28
24
150

Percent with earn­
ings of—
$1,000
and
more

$20
(i)
0)

45
717

0)
84.0

24.7

770

92.4

27.6

1 Not computed: base too small.

Forty percent of the women had worked 3 months or less. Just
over one-sixth had worked less than 4 weeks; this group is largely
made up of extras brought in for sales and holiday periods. About
85 percent of the women who had worked more than 9 months had
earnings of $500 and more. Of those whose work extended over the
entire year, a little less than 20 percent earned as much as $1,200.
Since few of the small stores had records for as much as a year, the
earnings reported are representative of only the larger stores.
Wages paid by the stores to 197 men in the year 1938 showed a
median of $918. Most of the men for whom year’s earnings were
available were Caucasian. Almost three-fourths of the men—71
percent—had worked throughout the year, and for this group the
median was $1,059. The range of the earnings of men with a full
year’s work was from about $450 to $4,500. About 1 in 7 of those
who worked 52 weeks received $2,000 and more, but about 2 in 5
received $800 and less than $1,200.
STORES OUTSIDE OF HONOLULU

Thirteen stores on the islands of Hawaii and Kauai were scheduled.
The towns represented are Hilo, Waimea, and Kauai. Most of the
stores were small and owned by Japanese or Chinese. In the 13
stores there were 154 employees, 84 men and 70 women, including 7




MERCANTILE INDUSTRY

25

men and 4 women office and telephone employees who have been
tabulated with that group. The number in a store varied from 2
to 56; all but 5 stores had less than 10 employees. The 1 store with
more than 50 employees was a general-merchandise plantation store.
Racial distribution.

The races represented in these stores were as follows:
Women

Men

Race
Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Total-

66

100.0

77

100.0

Caucasian.,.
Chinese____
Filipino___
Hawaiian....
Japanese___
Korean____

14
3
1
2
45
1

21.2
4.5
1.5
3.0
68.2
1.5

14
1
4
3
55

18.2
1.3
5.2
3.9
71.4

The Japanese were the most numerous; they comprised 70 percent
of the total.
Earnings.

Week’s earnings of both men and women were lower than in Hono­
lulu, the median for the men ($16.30) being about $4 less and that
for the women ($9.35) about $5 less. Almost two-thirds of all
women, and four-fifths of the Japanese women, had earnings of less
than $10; only about 12 percent of all women earned as much as $15.
The median hourly earnings of women were about one-half those
in the Honolulu stores, being 16.6 cents. Over two-thirds of the
women had earnings below 20 cents. Only 7 earned as much as 30
cents; 4 of the 7 were Caucasian. The earnings of the women in these
stores are extremely low.
The median of the week’s earnings of Japanese men was $16.90,
60 cents above that for all men. Only about 8 percent of all men
earned $25 or more. Hourly earnings were small, since the hours
were long and the week’s rate was low. The median was 29 cents.
Almost one-sixth of the men earned below 20 cents; only one-fourth
earned 40 cents and more.
The midpoint of the year’s earnings of 48 men whose work had
spread over the entire year fell just short of $900. Two men had
earned less than $450 and 18 had earned $1,000 and more.
Hours.

Except in two or three instances, store hours were much too long.
All the women whose records were for a full week had worked at least
48 hours, and most of them had worked longer. All but two stores
had scheduled hours of more than 48; more than half of them had
hours of more than 55.




LAUNDRIES
POWER LAUNDRIES

Laundry work is chiefly a woman’s trade. In commercial laundries
the marking and sorting of soiled linen and clothing, the machine
and hand ironing, and the folding, assembling, and wrapping of the
clean articles are women’s work. The collecting, washing and drying,
and final delivery usually are carried on by men. For the most part
the occupations are relatively unskilled, and the wage structure, es­
pecially for women, has tended to remain in the low levels. On the
mainland many minimum-wage States have set rates for the laundry
industry as one of their first orders, to stabilize competition and bol­
ster up the wage levels of women.
Minimum-wage rates usually are based on hours worked, but in
1938 the New York Minimum Wage Commission provided the first
guaranteed weekly wage in laundries, establishing in two of the three
zones a minimum of $12.80 to $14 a week for 40 hours or less, the rate
varying with size of community. Time worked over 40 hours a week
carries higher hourly rates, and higher rates are provided also for
part-time workers.
In many sections of the mainland wages have risen in laundries
in the last few years due to regulation, organization, and better
managerial policies and practices. Wage data for March 1939 cov­
ering about 22,000 women—about one-seventh of the women laundry
operatives in the United States—showed average week’s earnings of
$14.28 and average hourly earnings of 36 cents, and for men employees
in the same establishments average week’s earnings of $27.06 and
average hourly earnings of 59.2 cents.
Five power laundries and dry-cleaning plants, four in Honolulu
and one in Ililo, are included in this survey. They employed 463
persons. A little more than two-thirds of the employees were women.
The racial descent of the laundry workers was reported as follows.
Race

Number reported

Women

312

Men

151
Percent distribu­
tion

Caucasian _
Chinese___
Filipino___
Hawaiian __
Japanese. .
Other races

43.
3.
1.
26.
23.
1.

9
2
6
3
1
9

47.
4.
22.
4.
19.
2.

7
0
5
0
2
6

The Caucasian group was by far the largest. Many of the Cauca­
sians were of Portuguese extraction. Hawaiian women were a larger
proportion of the work force in laundries than in most of the other
industries.
26




LAUNDRIES

27

Hours of work.

Laundry hours have a decided tendency to be irregular, due in
part to the nature of the service. Household laundry programs still
are based on Monday as washday, and the amount of family service
collected usually is heavier on Monday and Tuesday than on other
days. Long hours the first part of the week and short hours the
last part are quite usual. In Honolulu, linen and laundry service
to steamship lines is a complicating factor, as the boats may allow
only 24 hours or less for servicing and the extra work means long hours
for the operatives.
Hours of work in the Hawaiian laundries were longer than in most
of the other industries. The majority of the employees worked over
44 and including 48 hours in the week scheduled. Twenty percent
of the women had hours of more than 48. On the pay rolls recorded
there was not a great deal of short time, and only 7.1 percent of the
women had hours of less than 40. Men’s hours were longer than
those of women, concentrating at 48, and almost 30 percent of the
men worked more than 48 hours. About 8 percent of the men, in
contrast to 42 percent of the women, worked less than 48 hours in
the pay-roll week.
Laundries offer fairly regular and constant employment throughout
the year. In the heavy tourist season in Honolulu, the increased
volume in the work load is met to a largo extent by increased hours
rather than augmented numbers, and in the slack periods hours are
shorter with but little decrease in the numbers employed.
Week’s earnings.

Earnings for a pay period in the spring of 1939 were obtained for
463 employees (312 women and 151 men) of the 5 power laundries
scheduled. Laundries usually pay weekly; where the pay period
was longer, the hours for 1 week were taken and the wages were reduced
to a weekly basis. The median of the week’s earnings of women was
$9.60; for men it was a little more than twice that, $19.75.
Almost 60 percent of the women earned $5 and under $10, with
marked concentration at $8 and under $10. Only about 8 percent of
all earned as much as $15. Hawaiian women had the. largest propor­
tion with such earnings due to the fact that more of them were markers
and sorters—usually better paid than ironers—and supervisors.
Men’s earnings ranged from less than $5 to almost $90 ($88.97)
for the week’s period. Though the heaviest concentration was at
$10 and under $16, half the men earned at least $20.
There were striking differences in earnings between Caucasians and
men of other races, due chiefly to occupation. The Caucasian men’s
earnings in the higher intervals were representative of the drivers and
supervisory employees, while most men of other races were employed
inside the laundry as wasbmen, extractor operators, and general
labor around the plant. Almost three-fifths of the white men, but
less than one-fifth of the others, had earnings of $25 and more. All
these plants had dry-cleaning units and there is a tendency to pay
workers in that department more than the general laundry worker.




Table
Week’s earnings of women
Number of women reported
Median earnings___

.

Week’s earnings of men
312

$9. 60
Percent
1.2
1.0
3.2
9.0
22.1
23. 1
10.9
12. 2
3. 5
2.6
2.9
5. 1
3.2

Number of men reported..
Median earnings _ ....

Hourly earnings of women
151

__ $19. 75

Percent
7. 3
19.2
23. 8
$20, under $25_________ 13.2
$25, under $30
9.3
$30, under $35_________
11.9
$35, under $40
6.6
$40, under $45 - - -_
_
...
4.0
.7
$50 and over
4.0

Number of women reported.
Median earnings (cents)...

$10, under $15_________ -

19, under 20 cents

25 cents and over

Under 15 cents
15, under 20 cents__
20, under 25 cents__
25, under 30 cents.._
30, under 35 cents...
Percent 35 cents and over___
2.3
1.0
7.7
14. 5
8.0
8.0
21.2
3.9
5.1
3.9
2. 6
21.8
311

20.4

fcO
00
Hourly earnings of men

Percent
2.3
39.2
36.7
12.5
4.5
4.8

Number of men reported

93

Median earnings (cents).

31.8
Percent
6 5

12.9
4 3

75 cents and over

3 2
10 8
4.3

W O M A N -EM PLO Y IN G IN D U STR IES IN H A W A II




__

12.—Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in LAUNDRIES, by sex

29

LAUNDRIES

Hourly earnings.

Hourly earnings were computed for all laundry employees for whom
hours worked were reported. In the case of drivers, who are paid
partly on a commission basis and have irregular hours, with no records
kept of hours, it was impossible to compute representative hourly
earnings; also, some of the men who work as mechanics or on special­
ized jobs in the dry-cleaning departments, paid on a salary basis and
with hours worked not reported, are excluded from the tabulation of
hourly earnings.
The chief concentration of women was in the earnings groups of 17
and under 21 cents, with 52 percent so reported; 22 percent earned 25
cents or more.
There is little variation of women’s earnings by race; they are low
for all, irrespective of racial descent. Only the Hawaiian women had
so many as 10 percent earning 30 cents and more an hour.
The median of the hourly earnings of men was 31.8 cents. About
a third of the men, not including the drivers and supervisors, earned
40 cents or more. Hourly earnings could be computed for only 23
nonsalaried men of the Caucasian race, and the other groups were too
small for detailed subdivision. There were proportionately more
Caucasian men than others in the groups at 50 cents and more an hour.
Year’s earnings.

Though laundries offer employment throughout the year, the turn­
over is fairly high and the proportion of workers who remain on the
pay roll all year is not so great as in stores and some other industries.
The total earnings paid to individuals in 1938 were not available for
all workers, but such records were secured for 268 women and 130
men. Of these women, 150 had earnings reported for every week of
the year, and 194 had worked 40 weeks or more; of the men, 72 had
worked all the year and 88 had worked 40 weeks or more.
The individual earnings reported by the laundries for those of their
employees who had appeared on the pay rolls in at least 40 weeks of
the year 1938 were as follows:
Earnings for 40 to 52 weeks
Number of employees reported
Median earnings____________
Under $250________
$250, under $300___
$300, under $350----$350, under $400___
$400, under $450___
$450, under $500----$500, under $600___
$600, under $700___
$700, under $800----$800, under $900___
$900, under $1,000 .
$1,000, under $1,200.
$1,200, under $1,400.
$1,400, under $1,600.
$1,600, under $1,800.
$1,800, under $2,000.
$2,000 and over-----




Women
194
$495

Men
88
$1,250

Percent distribution
0.5
2.1
2.6

8.2
16.5
22.2

20.6
13.9
4.1
4.1
3. 6
.5
1.0

____ _
_____
_____
_______

1.1

3.4
9.1
8.0
6.8

2.3
10.2
6.8

9.1
11.4
13.6
10.2
8.0

30

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Less than 5 percent of the men who had been on the pay roll at
least 40 weeks had earning's below $500, but more than 50 percent of
the women had earned so little. For the 150 women who had been
on the pay roll 52 weeks of 1938, the median was $515, and 10 of them
had earned as much as $1,000. Men’s laundry earnings on a yearly
basis were on a much higher level than women’s. Nearly two-thirds
of the men who had worked all the year had earned at least $1,000,
and 14 had earned $1,800 or more. Men in the higher-earnings
brackets usually were routemen, engineers, mechanics, head cleaners,
and head washmen.
HAND LAUNDRIES AND PRESSING SHOPS

Nine hand-laundry and cleaning plants were included for wages and
hours. These were, in most cases, family affairs, where the owner
and members of his immediate family were employed, with some paid
help to assist in the work. In all 9 shops there were 35 employees,
19 men and 16 women. In racial descent the group comprised 17
Japanese, 12 Caucasians, 5 Filipinos, and 1 Puerto Rican. Hours
were even longer and earnings even lower than in the power laundries.
One-half of the women had week’s hours of more than 48; one handironer was reported as working 60 hours. Ten of the women had
week’s earnings below $10. Hourly earnings ranged from 8.6 cents
to 31 and under 32 cents; 10 had earnings of less than 18 cents. In
these small shops a few women were employed as hand ironers but
most were menders and store-office girls.
The men in these shops were dry cleaners, machine-press operators,
and hand ironers; a few were drivers. The drivers and spotters had
the highest earnings, two drivers on a commission basis being reported
as earning more than $60 in the week scheduled. Eleven of the 19
men had week’s earnings of less than $16. Hourly earnings were
computed for 17 men and only 10 averaged as much as 25 cents.
In three or four small Japanese shops, the employee lived as a mem­
ber of the family and was given room and board, but there seemed to
be no special wage relation to this practice. Workers who lived away
from the shop were paid no more than those who lived with the pro­
prietor, and all the employees joined the family at one or more meals.




RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS
Hotels and restaurants are service industries, and as such are
characterized by irregularities and special problems of hours and
wages that tend to keep them in many respects from being compar­
able with the more standardized manufacturing and mercantile
establishments. Some restaurants are open at all hours and on all
days; hotel guests may require service at any hour of the day or
night. Managers in this field have a real challenge in planning their
work lay-out so as to maintain service that satisfies the needs of their
clientele and still does not overtax the work force. Wages in food­
serving occupations usually are supplemented by free meals, and
sometimes hotel employees have full maintenance.
Coverage.

Honolulu and Hilo have a large number of restaurants and liquor­
serving establishments. The Japanese Restaurant and Dispensers’
Association reported a membership covering 90 restaurants and bar­
rooms, and about 300 men and almost 400 women were employed in
these places. Though there are many restaurants owned by Cauca­
sians and persons of other races, those owned by Japanese outnumber
them. In this survey 44 restaurants and 4 hotels, with 953 employees,
were covered. Independent restaurants, not in hotels, employed
slightly over one-half of the workers, and they have been classified
for some of the tabulations as “alcoholic” and “nonalcoholic”.
Thirty-two of the 44 establishments served alcoholic beverages.
Some of these were strictly barrooms, but the majority served food
as well as beverages.
Almost nine-tenths of the 453 hotel employees were men, and nearly
three-fourths of the men were Japanese and Filipinos. There were
only 48 women in the hotels covered and three-fifths of these were
Caucasians. In the restaurants the Japanese were the dominant
racial group for both men and women. The proportion of Caucasian
and Chinese women is higher in the non-liquor-serving restaurants
than in those serving liquor, while the proportion of Japanese and
Hawaiian women is higher in the latter than in the former. The
numbers employed in the hotels and restaurants, the racial repre­
sentation, and the type of establishment are shown in the following
summary.




31

32

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Restaurants
Racial descent

Total

Hotels
Total

48
953

Alcoholic

Nonalco­
holic

4
453

44
500

32
318

12
182

48

251

164

87

17.1
4.9
13. 4
62.2
1.2
1.2

29.9
19.5
3.4
47.1

154

95

6.5
24.0
14.3
.6
54.5

11.6
5.3
20.0
1.1
61.1
1. 1

WOMEN
299

Caucasian
Japanese--------- -------------------------------------

27.8
9. 4
8. 4
53.2
.7
.7

Percent distribution
60. 4
21.5
6.2
10.0
10.0
33.3
57.0
.8
.8

MEN
Number reported_
_

654

Caucasian________ ______ _________
Chinese____________________ _______
Filipino____ _____________
_____
Hawaiian_____ -___
------------- - __
Japanese-----------------------------------------------

10.9
13.3
24. 2
.8
49.5
1. 4

405

249

Percent distribution
12.3
8.4
11. 1
16.9
28.9
16.5
.7
.8
44.9
57.0
2.0
.4

RESTAURANTS
Week’s and hourly earnings.

Earnings of restaurant workers may be summarized by saying that
they were exceedingly low though the hours were long. Nearly twothirds of the women had week’s earnings of less than $10 and almost
two-thirds of the men earned less than $15. A summary of the week’s
earnings and the hourly earnings for men and women is shown in table
13.
.
Only about 2 percent of the women in the barrooms and restaurants
serving liquor, and about 8 percent of those in the nonliquor restau­
rants, earned as much as $15 a week. A dollar a day was reported as
the rate for some employees and a $10 weekly rate was considered
above average. The places serving liquor had longer hours and lower
hourly earnings (in the case of women, lower week’s earnings also)
than the nonliquor places, the median hourly earnings of women in
bar restaurants being almost 25 percent below the others. Where
regular meals or food were served, drug stores excepted, the restau­
rant and lunch-counter employees received their meals on duty and no
deductions from wages were made. Wages and hours of work in the
union bars and in the liquor-serving restaurants were better than in
the nonunion establishments, with a minimum—reported to the
Women’s Bureau agent—of $12.50 for women waitresses, of $30 for
men bartenders, and of $15 for bar boys.
Most of the women were employed in the serving of food and drink,
while more than one-half of the men were in kitchen jobs of food prep­




RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS

33

aration and in general kitchen labor. Usually women were not em­
ployed as bartenders, but as waitresses and barmaids, where distilled
liquors, spirits, and mixed drinks were dispensed. However, in beer
parlors, where only light wines and beer were served, women sometimes
tended bar and served drinks at counters and tables. Most of the
liquor-serving places sold food as well as liquor, but some with women
employees were strictly barrooms.
Table

13.— Week’s earnings and hourly earnings of workers in RESTAURANTS,
by type of restaurant and by sex
Women in—
Earnings

All
restau­
rants

Alcoholic
restau­
rants

Men in—
Non­
alcoholic
restau­
rants

All
restau­
rants

Alcoholic
restau­
rants

Non­
alcoholic
restau­
rants

WEEK’S EARNINGS
Number of employees.
Median earnings
__

Under $5____ _
$5, under $10_
_
$10, under $15................... ........
$15. under $20_______ ___ _ _
$20, under $25
$25 and over..___ .

251
$9.15

164
$8. 70

Percent of women
9.1
9. 1
55. 0
59. 1
31. 5
29.3
3.6
1.8
.8
.6

87
$9. 25

249
$12.80

9.2
47.1
35.6
6.9
1.1

2.0
21.7
39.8
23.7
4.0
8.8

154
$13. 62
Percent of men
1.9
22.7
37.7
20.1
5.2
12.2

95
$12.48

2.1
20.0
43.2
29. 5
2. 1
3.3

HOURLY EARNINGS
Number of employees. _
Median earnings
(cents)

Under 10 cents.......................... _
10, under 15 cents___________
15. under 20 cents____ ____
20, under 25 cents.. ____ _.
25, under 30 cents _
30, under 35 cents ... ___ _
35, under 40 cents..
40 cents and over____ ______

224

137

87

211

117

94

16.3

14.7

19.5

23.1

21.7

24.6

5.7
23. 0
24. 1
25.3
12.6
5.7
2.3
1.1

5.7
15.6
14.7
25. 1
15.2
10.9
2.4
10.5

Percent of women
14.7
20.4
28.6
32. 1
26.8
28. 5
14.7
8.0
9.8
8.0
2.7
.7
1.8
1. 5
.8
.7

Percent of men
8.5
19.7
16.2
23.9
6.8
7.7
3.4
13.7

2.1
10.6
12.8
26.6
25.5
14.9
1. 1
6.4

Year’s earnings.

Since most of the restaurants and bars are small, many having less
than 5 employees, it is not surprising that records were incomplete
and that it was unusual to find complete earnings records for the
year 1938. For this reason the group with year’s earnings reported
is small. Records of the amounts earned with the present employer
were reported for 71 women, and for 39 of these the work period cov­
ered the entire year. Twenty-one of the 39 had received less than
$500. The range was from under $250 to $1,227. Only 2 women
earned more than $1,000.
There were 61 men whose employment spread over the whole of
1938, and their median earnings were $732. Two-thirds of them
earned $500 and under $1,000, the remainder being almost evenly
divided between lower and higher amounts.




34

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Tips.

In the service industries tips frequently are considered a substitute
for wages, and in many instances lower rates are paid to employees
who receive tips than to those who do not. Tips are, uncertain,
dependent on the good will of the giver, and should not be regarded
as wages. Further, it is only the workers who serve the public in
some direct personal way who receive tips, and in hotels and res­
taurants the number of employees who do not come in contact with
guests in their service activities, and therefore receive no tips, is as
large as the number who do receive tips. The kitchen help, the
linen-room workers, the general cleaners, the hall boys, and the
('levator operators, for the most part, are groups that rarely receive
gratuities. Then too, small hotels and the ordinary small restau­
rants, with low and moderate rates, are not likely to have a clientele
that tips generously, and a large proportion of the hotel and restaurant
employees are working in places of this type. At best, tips are a
significant earnings factor for only a small part of the force.
Hours.

A majority of both the men and the women in restaurants worked
7 days a week. Daily over-all hours of 10 and above were more
common than hours under 10; more than 40 percent of the women
reported workdays with a spread of 12 hours and more.
The hours in the liquor-serving establishments were considerably
longer than those in the other restaurants. While almost 80 percent
of the women in bar-restaurants had weekly hours of more than 48,
in the nonliquor restaurants—though the group was significant—less
than one-half of the women (46 percent) had such long hours. Usu­
ally the spread of working hours covered three meal periods and often
was 13 to I5}i hours. Liquor service stopped at midnight and many
of the workers in the liquor-service establishments began work at
about noon and continued to the midnight closing hour.
Conditions of work.

Most of the restaurants were small, and little if any attempt was
made to provide facilities for the comfort and convenience of the
workers. Toilet rooms were used by customers as well as workers,
and sometimes by men as well as women. Dressing rooms for
changing to work clothes were rare; most employees reported for duty
in their work clothing. Uniforms other than wash dresses or white
coverall aprons or dresses usually were not required. The provision
and laundering of work clothing was practically always the worker’s
full responsibility. Working conditions in the liquor and nonliquor
restaurants were much alike.
HOTELS

Three hotels in Honolulu and one on the island of Kauai were
surveyed. Women constituted only 11 percent of the employees, as
the larger hotels tend to employ Filipino boys instead of chamber­
maids in the housekeeping departments, and waiters are much more
common than waitresses in the dining rooms. A small number of
women were on a variety of jobs: There were a few waitresses at the
coffee-shop soda fountains; some saleswomen at cigar counters, news­




RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS

35

stands, and candy counters; special parlor maids; dining-room cashiers;
housekeepers; and linen-room attendants. The cooks, the stewards,
the elevator operators, the room attendants or house boys, were almost
exclusively men.
Women’s earnings.

The customary wage rate in hotels is on a monthly basis, with
semimonthly pay days, but since records of time actually worked
were unavailable for most of the workers, the report on earnings is
based entirely on the half-month’s wage. In the restaurants of
hotels, employees usually receive their meals on duty, and on certain
jobs some receive both meals and lodging, but it is difficult to evaluate
a cash equivalent for such perquisites, so earnings as reported are
cash amounts only.
As women hotel employees in Hawaii were a minority group, their
earnings will be referred to only briefly. Earnings reported for tele­
phone operators and office workers are discussed in the clerical section.
The tabulations on hotel earnings cover 48 women, 28 in the lodging
departments and 20 in the restaurants. The women in the lodging
departments were employed as housekeepers, linen-room attendants,
inspectors, and seamstresses. Tn the food-service departments women
were waitresses in the coffee shops, coffee girls, cashiers, and sales­
women selling candy and bakery goods at food counters. There were
women at the cigar counters and newsstands also.
As the women were in such varied occupations, the median of their
earnings is not representative of any group. Housekeepers and
assistant housekeepers had monthly rates of $45 to $110, with board
and room in addition. Seamstresses, linen-room girls, and inspectors
had rates of respectively $45, $60, and $65, with meals; parlor and
other maids, of respectively $40 and $45.
One flower girl in a dining room received $60 a month, three coffee
girls $40, dining-room cashiers $63, $70, or $85, telephone girls for
room service $75, one counter girl in a coffee shop $50, and 12 waitres­
ses $35. One head waitress received $63. Other waitresses received
20 and 25 cents an hour, and butter girls $45.
Earnings of women for the half-month period, without regard to
time worked, ranged from $6 for a hat-check girl to $55 for a house­
keeper. Hourly earnings ranged from 18 cents to 41 cents. Fortyfour of the women had meals, and four had board and room, in addition
to cash earnings. Fourteen women were reported as receiving tips.
Since the women were not interviewed, no information on the amount
of tips was available.
Earnings received during the year 1938 from the employer for whom
they were working at the time of the survey were available for 68
women; the median of the year’s earnings was $364. Thirty of the
women had work spread over the entire year, one-half earning less
than $600 and two earning $1,000 and more.
Men’s earnings.

Earnings data were obtained for 405 men in hotels. The racial
distribution of these is shown in the table on page 36.
The half-month earnings as taken off for men showed a definite
racial pattern. The median for the Caucasians was $51.45, for the
Japanese $28.15, and for the Filipinos $25.05. Some of the better­




36

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

paying jobs, such as room clerk, storekeeper, printer, mechanic,
butcher, and head of department, were held almost exclusively by
Caucasians. The Japanese were employed in all service depart­
ments, in the kitchens, the dining rooms, the house departments, and
as bellboys, elevator operators, and gardeners. The Filipinos were
next to the Japanese in number but had a narrower job distribution.
Most of them were employed as room and hall boys or as helpers in
kitchens.
Number
of men

Racial descent

Total

___

405

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

Median
earnings
(semi­
monthly)

100.0

50
45
117
182
3
8

12.3
11. 1
28.9
44.9
.7
2.0

___________ ____ _________ ____ -.............. -

Filipino--------Japanese...

Percent

___

$27. 50
(i)

51. 45

25. 05
28.15
0)
(!)

i Not computed; base too small.

Average (median) earnings for the half-month period in the lodging
department were $27.95, or about $56 a month. In this department
are included all the employees concerned with the housing of guests
and the maintenance of hotel facilities. Most of these did not receive
tips but many had perquisites in the form of board and room.
Monthly rates of pay for men in the housing or lodging departments,
which were reported as typical of the large hotels in Honolulu in the
summer of 1939, were as follows:
Bellboys_________________________________ _______
$29.00-$45.00
Head bellboys63.00- 80.00
Room boys 30.0052.50
Elevator boys.-------------------------------------------- ----------- 29.00- 71.00

For the most part, the room boys, elevator operators, and yard
men and gardeners were not given meals or lodging. The median of
their cash earnings was lower than that for the employees who re­
ceived meals, lodging, or both.
The median earnings in the dining room ($26.10 for a half-month)
were a little less than in the lodging division. In the. kitchen the
median was $38.75—the highest of all in hotels. Most of the men
serving in the dining room were reported as receiving tips. All in
food service were given meals, and somewhat less than one-tliird
received board and lodging. The monthly rates for chefs, cooks, and
bakers ranged from $52.50 to $230; for porters, kitchen helpers, and
dish and pot washers, from $45 to $65.
.
Dining-room rates for head waiters were $94.50 in one hotel and
$145 and $165 in another. Waiters’ rates ranged from $42 to $60
a month, according to the number of meal periods over which they
wore on duty. The wages of bus boys ranged from $29 to $47, of
fountain boys from $45 to $50. Many of the kitchen and dining­
room employees were members of labor unions, but there were no
closed-union-slvop agreements.




RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS

37

Year’s earnings for 1938 were reported for 476 men, and the median
for the group was $505. About one-half had work periods extending
over the entire year, and the median earnings of these were $702, the
range of earnings being from $250 and under $300 to as much as
$3,130.
Men’s hours.

The main desk where the room and mail clerks work, the elevators,
and the general housekeeping department are expected to give service
both day and night. As a result, the over-all spread of working
hours in hotels often is much too long. Waiters sometimes come on
for breakfast service before 7 o’clock and are still on through the
dinner hour that may last until 9 o’clock at night. Probably they
have time off during the day, hut intermittent and irregular hours of
rest are undesired by most people. Actual hours worked may be 8 or
less, but the spread may be 12 to 15 hours.
Instances of long over-all hours are revealed in the Honolulu
survey. Bellboys whose actual working schedule was 8}i hours
daily had a spread of 17 hours on some days. In the steward’s de­
partment the actual hours were 9 but the possible stretch was 15){;
some of the waiters and bus boys, though their paid working time was
8 or 9 hours, had a spread of 15 hours from the time they first reported
until they were free to leave at the end of their day.
The hotel desk clerks, the elevator operators, and the telephone
operators in some of the Hawaiian hotels worked on what is commonly
called the long and short day. On one day, the long shift, the hour
arrangement often was from 7 a. m. to 12 noon, then off until 6, and
back to work until 11; on the next day, the short shift, the hours were
from noon until 6. In the housekeeping department the work of
room attendants, houseboys, and bellboys usually was in straight
shifts of 8 or 9 hours.
The larger hotels in Honolulu had time arrangements that allowed
l.day off in 7, but in the small hotels the 7-day week still held. Poli­
cies as to payment for overtime were not standardized, often were
vague, and varied with department. Some departments paid double
time, some had a flat rate for extra service, and others allowed com­
pensating time.
Provisions of N. R. A. codes.

Though the daily and weekly hours provided for in the hotel and
restaurant codes of the N. R. A. were long, one very definite principle
was gained: Work was limited to 6 days in the week. A Women’s
Bureau study made earlier in Florida showed that nine-tenths of the
women in hotels and restaurants worked 7 days in the week, and a
survey in Texas showed a 7-day schedule for 60 percent of such
workers.
It is of importance also that a limit (though the long one of 12
hours) was fixed to the over-all day in the N. R. A. codes, and that the
daily shifts in restaurants were limited to two, time out for a meal not
being counted as an interval between shifts.
In restaurants the minimum rates fixed for nonservice employees
(such as cooks and clerical workers) and for service employees (who




38

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

included waiters and waitresses) varied by size of city and by sex, the
latter because they were based on a week of 54 hours for men, 48 for
women.
In the North:
Service employees $9. 50 to $10. 50
Nonservice employees12. 00 to 15. 00

Males

Females
$8. 44 to $9. 33
10. 67 to 13. 34

No deductions for board or lodging were to be made, except by
mutual agreement, and then not over $3 a week for lodging and 25
cents for each meal, total meals not to exceed $3 a week.




WOMEN AS BARBERS
A walk through the downtown section of Honolulu, along such
streets as Beretania and Hotel, carries one past many little barber
shops whose operators are Japanese women. The 1930 Census of
Occupations reported 354 Japanese women who were classed as
barbers and hairdressers, a good proportion of these being barber
girls rather than beauty-shop operators. The Japanese Barbers’
Association estimated that there were about 100 women employed in
barber shops, and a considerable number, especially in the residential
areas of the city, who operated their own shops with no employees.
Some of the small shops have apprentices who are unpaid except for
room and board and occasional allowances of spending money.
Yukiko Kimura, in a special study of Honolulu barber girls,2 gives
an interesting account of the development of this trade for women in
Hawaii in the following excerpt from her report.
The entrance of women into the barber’s trade grew out of a family relation­
ship. * * * When the Japanese men began entering into the commercial
life of the city, the wives of men who owned barber shops began helping their
husbands when the latter found work outside of the shop itself. This arrange­
ment worked very well, and gradually more and more women entered the trade
until it came to be known as “a woman’s trade.” Nowadays no young Japanese
men will enter the field because it is felt that it belongs to women.

Miss Kimura found that 32 of the 38 shops visited were owned and
operated by women. Fifteen of these women were born in Japan
and 17 were born in Hawaii of Japanese parents. In Hawaii barbering is not only a woman’s trade but a woman’s business.
Number of shops visited.

In the course of the Women’s Bureau survey, 25 shops with 53
paid barber girls, 16 apprentices, and 18 proprietors working in their
own shops were visited. The shops were small and only 3 employed
5 or more persons. A few shops in the residential sections, in which
only the owner and members of her immediate family worked or in
which they were joint owners, were visited, but no attempt was made
to determine the income of any persons except regular wage-earning
employees and apprentices.
Earnings.

Money wages in the barber shops quite commonly were supple­
mented by full maintenance—board and room—as many of the girls
come, from the plantation; if room was not provided, meals during
working hours were supplied by the employer. Most of the girls
lived with the owners of the shop either in the rear or in living rooms
above; in many cases, if the living accommodations were not close
by, transportation in the family car was provided. The whole rela­
tionship of the shop owner to the girls was tinged with paternal
1 Kimura, Yukiko. Uonolulu Barber Girls—A Study of Culture Conflict.
partment of Sociology, Social Process in Hawaii. Vol. V, June 1939, p. 22.




University of Hawaii, De­

39

40

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

guardianship, and the owner felt responsible to the parents even to
the point of supervising and advising on outside recreational activities.
In many cases the wages were paid to the parents and the girls were
allowed to keep only tips for spending money.
Month’s wages

Number of
barber girls
50
$35.00

$10.00
$20.00

___________________ _____

$28.00
$30.00
$32 00
$35 00

_______________________
________________

2
4
2
1
15
1
3

Month’s wages
$36.00
$37.50___________ _____ ___________
$38.00
$40.00
$42.50
$45.00_____ ____ ______ _____________
$47.50
$50.00
$55.00
$60.00

Number of
barber girls
1
1
1
6
1
3
2
4
2
1

The most common month’s wage was $30, with 15 of the 50 girls
receiving this amount. Nine had earnings of less than $30 a month,
9 of at least $47.50, and 17 earned from $32 to $45.
Tips.

In the personal-service industries, tips generally are believed to be
a material supplemental source of income, whereas at best they are
uncertain and their amount is overestimated by employers and the
public. In some of the shops patronized by Army and Navy service
men, the barber girls reported that on the 1st and 15th of the month
tips boomed but that the rest of the time they were negligible. Most
of the girls seemed to have only a very vague idea of their total weekly
or monthly receipts from tips, and none reported that they kept
records of the amounts. Their estimates ranged from $1 to $20 a
week, in the majority of cases being from about $1 to $3. Some
reported that they received no tips. Tips often were the only cash
the girls had for incidentals and recreation, but if they had any concrete
ideas of total amounts they were loath to reveal them.
Commissions based on the number of customers and amounts paid
for services were not common. One owner reported that she gave
her employees a commission whenever business was good, but she
had no definite scale of commissions and merely paid an indefinite
bonus as cash receipts warranted. The previous month she had
given one of her employees $2 extra and another $5. One reported
that she gave her employee a 50-percent commission on all service
totaling more than $25 a week, and in this shop the employee had
received $1.80 the previous week.
Apprenticeship.

Training or apprenticeship in the barber shops was tied up with the
general Japanese ideology and “commercial-family” set-up. Most of
the owners said that their apprentices had been placed with them by
friends and that they felt much the same responsibility for these young
girls as for members of their own families. The parents expect their
children to conform without protest to the conditions. The appren­
ticeship period usually was 18 months, though a few instances of
longer or shorter training were noted. Board and lodging almost
always were provided, and after the first few months nominal wages




WOMEN AS BARBEES

41

such as $3, $5, and up to $10 might be paid, though not in all cases.
Fees for training were not required; it is considered that after the
first few months the apprentice pays her way by the services she
renders. Sixteen apprentices were found in 13 shops. Only 3 were
reported as having a definite wage for the month, these wages being
$3, $7.50, and $10, and 1 was reported as having been paid a com­
mission.
Hours of work.

Hours of work were uniformly long in all the Japanese barber shops.
A Honolulu ordinance regulating the hours of barber shops, which
took effect in January 1939, provided that shops may be open from
7 a. m. to 8 p. m. daily, except that the closing hour may be extended
to 9 on Saturday and the day before a holiday. All shops are closed
on Sunday and on 9 legal holidays. Previous to this ordinance there
had been no hour regulation, and often the shops remained open until
10 or later on Saturday and after 8 on other nights. A number of
girls commented on the reduction of hours in the current year. As a
matter of fact, they still had a daily stretch or over-all of 13 hours on
5 days and 14 on Saturday. Time off for meals was indefinite and
irregular, depending on the rush of business. Since the noon and
evening meals usually were eaten on the premises, little time was
allowed if customers were waiting. If an hour a day was considered
as allowed for meals, a half-hour each for the noon and the evening
meal, the weekly hours in every shop were 73. Considering hourly
wages on this basis, they were extremely low, averaging less than 15
cents for most of the girls.
Customers tend to come in greater numbers in the afternoons and
evenings, so often during the morning and early afternoon hours,
after the shop housekeeping has been taken care of, there are intervals
when the girls have little to do but sit and wait for customers. Some
of those observed were reading, embroidering, or sewing on articles
for the owner, but many were just calmly sitting, waiting for a patron.
No study was made of barbers in shops owned and operated by men,
but in the organized shops a 9-hour day Monday to Friday and a 9%liour Saturday was the rule, with a wage of $30 a week out of the first
$42 of service rendered, and a commission of 65 percent on all above
this amount. These conditions were the standard only in the Cau­
casian barber shops. There were a number of shops with Filipino
boys as barbers, and these were said to have lower wages and longer
hours.
The Japanese barber girls maintained clean and attractive shops,
adding a picturesque bit to the commercial life of the community,
but as wage earners their status was of a low order.




WOMEN IN BEAUTY SHOPS
Beauty culture is a trade that has come into commercial significance
largely in the last 2 decades. Like the barber-shop business it is a
small-trade enterprise, and in Honolulu the telephone directory lists
more than 100 beauty shops. Owners, employees, and customers
make it a women’s industry. Most of the owners are women trained
in the trade, and in all but 4 of the 34 shops included in the survey the,
owner held a license as a beautician. Shops were scheduled in the
downtown, beach, and residential sections of Honolulu. In the search
for shops to include, a number were encountered where the owner was
the sole operator; of course these were excluded from the study,
though the owner-operator shop is an important economic factor in
the business and must be considered in standards for prices, shop
hours, and other regulatory provisions. The step from employeeoperator to owner-operator is an easy one, especially if an operator has
acquired a following of satisfied customers. Equipment companies
make the financing of new beauty parlors a relatively simple venture
by encouraging the sale of their wares on various credit plans.
Size and number of shops.

Thirty-four shops were included in the study. The size of the
shops ranged from those with only 1 paid apprentice to 1 with 10
employees; only 4 had as many as 5 employees. Nineteen of the shops
had apprentices in training. Together the 34 shops had 65 regular
paid workers, 64 women and 1 man, and 26 apprentices. Thirteen
women designated as apprentices were being paid for their services
but they had not received their operators’ licenses.
Week’s earnings.

The pay period in beauty shops usually is weekly, and the week’s
earnings as reported for regular employees and apprentices are shown
in table 14.
Table 14.—Week's earnings of women in BEAUTY SHOPS
Number of women
Week’s earnings
Regular
Number of women reported
Median earnings
Under $10
$10, under $11 _
$11, under $12___ _____
$12, under $13
$13, under $14
$14, under $15____ _
._
$15, under $16
$16, under $17.
$17, under $18______ . . ...
$18, under $19___________ _____
i Not computed; base too small.

42




Paid ap­
prentices

Number of
women—
regular

Week’s earnings

$20, under $21
64
$16.15
6
8
3
1
3
3
7
6
1
4

(>)

13
10
1
1
1

$22, under $23_____

6
2
3

$25 and over . ______________

7

$5, under $10.

___...

1
5
18
15
7

WOMEN IN BEAUTY SHOPS

43

More than one-half of the regular workers had earnings of $10 and
under $20, but more, than one-third earned above $20. The highest
week’s earnings reported for a woman beauty operator were $29.75.
The one man scheduled—not included in the table—was termed a
hair stylist and his week’s salary was $40.
The week’s median of $16.15 in Honolulu was higher than the
earnings reported for four cities—Philadelphia, New Orleans, Colum­
bus, and St. Louis—in a study of beauty shops made by the Women’s
Bureau in 1933-34. The medians of the week’s earnings for white
women in those cities ranged from $10.25 in New Orleans to $15 in
Philadelphia, with even lower earnings reported for Negro women.
These amounts probably are lower than present-day earnings, as
there has been a general rise in the wage structure since then. Massa­
chusetts has a beauty-shop order, which became effective September
1, 1939, that establishes minimum wages of from $14.50 to $16.50
for workers with 3 months or more of experience. Hairdressers must
be paid $16.50 a week, and operators, manicurists, maids, and appoint­
ment clerks have a minimum of $14.50. Operators with 1 year or
more of experience must be paid $16.50. Inexperienced workers—
those with less than 3 months’ employment in the industry—have a
minimum of $12.50.
Year’s earnings.

In most places beauty operators tend to shift from one shop to
another and do not stay long with a single employer. Earnings were
reported by 14 shops in Hawaii for 83 women employed by them in
1938. Of these employees only 15 had worked throughout the year;
more than half had worked less than 24 weeks with the employer
reporting. There were 24 women who had work periods spread over
40 or more weeks of the year, and of these only 9 had earnings of
$1,200 or more; 4 earned $900 but under $1,200 and 7 earned $600
but under $900.
Race.

Racial descent, reported for all employees hut 1, was as follows:
Caucasian 38, Japanese 22, Chinese 18, Hawaiian 7, and Korean 5.
For the regular employees the corresponding numbers were 34, 14,
12, 3, and 2. The Caucasian group was the only one with numbers
sufficient to compute a median, and for the regular workers of this
race such midpoint was $20.50; for all other races combined the
median was about $13, a considerable difference in favor of the
Caucasian group.
Commissions.

In some cases tips and commissions augmented the earnings of the
operators and apprentices, but since the operators were not inter­
viewed individually, it was not possible to get worthwhile information
on the amounts. Some shops paid commissions after the operators
had reached a quota of service sold, such as $30 a week guaranteed
with 50 percent commission on work above the quota. In one shop
the three operators were on a commission basis (piece work) entirely,
and their earnings were $17.94, $24.25, and $24.61, respectively.
Often when an operator has a fair-sized following of clients, she pre­
fers a commission basis, as her earnings are increased in direct pro­




44

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

portion to the number of her customers. On the other hand, the lack
of a regular guarantee works a hardship on girls in small shops where
more operators may be employed than are needed except at rush
periods. The owner shifts the risks of business to the workers. In
the present study commissions are included in the week’s earnings
reported.
Hours.

In general, hours in the Honolulu beauty shops were shorter than
those often found in mainland shops. Most of them had a schedule
of an 8-hour day and a 44- or 48-hour week. Night appointments
rarely were made; if they were necessary, hours during the day were
staggered, and the owner herself often took the late appointments
unless an operator-customer preference was involved. Lunch periods
are a problem in the industry because of its personal-service nature;
while lunch hours were reported, in practice they often were disre­
garded. Most of the downtown shops closed at 5 o’clock, but those
in the beach and residential sections remained open until 6. Eight
in the morning was the opening hour for most shops. In many cases
hours were so arranged that a girl who reported at 8 left at 5 or earlier
and a girl who reported at 9 stayed till closing, at 6 or before.
Apprenticeship and licensing of operators.

There are no beauty schools as such in Hawaii. Mainland schools
have tried to establish branches but the shop owners have successfully
resisted their entrance. There is a Territorial board of examiners who
hold examinations for operators twice a year. Candidates for licenses
are examined on the technique of permanent waving and manicuring,
and on sanitary measures necessary for the protection of both operator
and client; they are required also to demonstrate their ability on var­
ious types of service. Sixty to seventy a year are granted operators’
licenses to work as all-round operators, manicurists, and hairdressers.
Almost one-tliird of the shops in the Territory were reported as taking
apprentices and more than one-half of the shops scheduled had girls
in training. Apprentices must have permits, and the number allowed
a shop is controlled by the number of operators. Shops with 3 or
fewer operators are permitted only one apprentice, with 4 to 6 operators
they may have 2, and with 7 or more operators they may have 3. An
apprentice must be at least 16 years old and have completed junior
high school. Some apprentices pay for the privilege of training, but
in most cases the apprentices’ services in the shop for 6 months or a
year with no compensation are regarded as payment. Apprentices’
duties sometimes include those of shop maid, for which they receive
some compensation. In two instances girls with operators’ licenses
were reported to be working without compensation so as to complete
payment for the training they had received in the shop. In Japanese
shops the apprentices often live with the shop owner and receive their
maintenance while in training. Some pay a fee for this, but more often
they work a longer apprenticeship period than is customary in the
white shops and then continue to work for the shop owner at low rates,
after securing a license, to compensate her for the training given.




WOMEN IN BEAUTY SHOPS

45

Since the shops arc small, most of the workers in the shops were all­
round operators rather than manicurists and ha ir specialists. In small
shops, shampooing and finger-waving comprise the hulk of the work,
but an operator must be ready to do manicuring, cut hair, give facial
treatments, and occasionally dye hair. Men tend to be specialists,
but only one male operator was scheduled in the shops covered. Un­
less the shop has several operators and a large clientele, specialization
in services is not practicable.




WOMEN OFFICE WORKERS AND
TELEPHONE OPERATORS
According to the 1930 Census of Occupations, office work offers more
jobs to women in Hawaii than the mercantile industries, more than
the garment industry, more than the laundries, and more than barber
and beauty shops combined.
Banks, insurance offices, professional offices, and the many small
offices of a miscellaneous nature were not covered in this survey, but
records were obtained for women clerical workers in the factories,
stores, laundries, public utilities, and other establishments covered lor
industrial and service workers. From these the earnings of 258 women
in 38 establishments were ascertained.3
Earnings of telephone operators were compiled from all the Terri­
torial exchanges and from stores, laundries, hotels, and public utilities
where women were employed as PBX operators, which gave a coverage
of 208 women in this occupation.
Racial distribution.

Two-thirds of the office women and well over one-third (37 percent)
of the telephone operators were Caucasian. Another large group (36
percent) of the telephone operators were Hawaiians or part Hawaiians.
The racial distribution follows:
Office workers

Telephone operators

Race
Number
All women

Percent

Number

Percent

_________________

258

100.0

208

100.0

Caucasian _ ______________ ______________________
Chinese
Hawaiian______ ____
___________ _________
Japanese
Korean

175
23
25
32
3

67.8
8.9
9.7
12. 4
1. 2

76
14
75
32
7
4

36. 5
6.7
36.1
15.4
3.4
1. 9

Month’s earnings of office workers.

Office workers usually are paid on a monthly basis with 2 pay
days a month. Since salaried workers generally are paid their full
rates, without the close checking of overtime and undertime that is
customary in the manufacturing and mercantile industries, their
earnings are reported in terms of month’s wages and no compilations
of hourly returns have been made. In general, the wage structure
for office workers in Hawaii appears to be higher than that in many
mainland cities. Almost three-fourths of the Caucasian group had
month’s earnings of at least $100. The earnings of non-Caucasian
workers indicate a considerably lower level. The distribution of
3 The 30 women office workers in pineapple canneries are included with the other cannery workers (see
pp. 5 to 14) and are omitted from this office and telephone section of the report.

46




47

WOMEN OFFICE WORKERS AND TELEPHONE OPERATORS

women office workers according to a month’s earnings is shown in
the following table:
Table 15.—Month's earnings of women in OFFICE WORK, by racial group
Month’s earnings

All
Cauca­
women sian

Number of women re­
ported............
i 252
171
Median earnings
$110.00 $125. 00

Under $30. _.
$30, under $40_______
$40, under $50___ ...
$50, under $60______
$60, under $70_________
$70, under $80. _______
$80, under $90_____ .

Other

81
$76.80

Month’s earnings

$90, under $100____
$100, under $110
$110, under $120.
..
$120, under $130.
Pert ent of wo men
$130, under $140
2.4
7.4
$140, under $150 ____
2.4 ”"L2"
4.9 i $150, under $160
4.8
3.5
7.4
$160, under $170
4.8
2.3
9.9
$170, under $180
7.1
6.4
8.6
$180, under $190
...
7.5
2.9
17.3
$190, under $200_____
6.7
5.8
8.6
$200 and over

All
Cauca­
women sian

5.6
8.7
7.9
9.5
4.8
4.8
8.3
5.2
5.6
.4
.8
2.8

Other

5.8
9.4
8.2
11.1
6.4
5.8
10.5
7.6
7.0
.6
1.2
4.2

4.9
7.4
7.4
6.2
1.2
2.5
3.7
2.5

1 Excludes 5 relief cashiers and 1 publicity employee with earnings not reported on a monthly basis.

Twenty percent of the non-Caucasian women, in contrast to less
than 5 percent of the Caucasians, had earnings of below $50, and the
proportion of Caucasians with earnings of $150 or more is five times
that of the non-Caucasians.
Year’s earnings of office workers.

Of those for whom year’s earnings were reported, three-fourths
had worked 52 weeks, indicating a low turn-over on office jobs. The
range in earnings for the women who had been paid throughout the
year was from about $300 to almost $3,500; 73 percent had year’s
earnings of $1,000 and over and 20 percent had earnings of $2,000
and more. For all reported the median earnings were $1,225.
Earnings of telephone operators.

The earnings of telephone operators were considerably lower than
those of office workers, but they compare favorably with those in
other areas of the United States. Six of the women earned at least
$150 a month; the highest amount reported was $208.36. None of
the Caucasians were reported as earning less than $50, but about
23 percent of the Hawaiians and 7 percent of the others had such
earnings. A fairly regular distribution from the $55-$60 to the
$95-$100 group is apparent, with 63 percent of the employees having
such earnings. A decidedly higher proportion of the Caucasians
than of the other races earned $100 and more.
Hours worked in the month for which earnings were obtained
ranged from 56 to 372. Sixty percent of the operators had worked
170 and under 200 hours. Employees in the exchanges were on a
basic 8-hour day and a 40-hour week. The weekly hours were spread
over 5, 6, and occasionally 7 days. In most cases overtime above the
daily and weekly schedule was compensated for at increased rates.
The concentration of hourly earnings falls in the groups of 25 and
under 55 cents, with more than 70 percent of all the operators so
reported. Unpublished figures show that the proportion whose
earnings were below 30 cents an hour was small for the Caucasian
women, less than 8 percent, but was 23 percent for the Hawaiians
and 14 percent for the women of other races. It is significant to note



48

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

that the average hourly earnings of all races combined were 46.2
cents.
Table

16.—Month’s earnings and hourly earnings of women in TELEPHONE
OPERATING
Hourly earnings of women

Month’s earnings of women
Earnings
Number of women
reported.
Median earnings

Wom­
en
208
$78. 00

Petr

$55, under $60 - .

$75' under $80-----------------$90, under $95------------------

Earnings
$95, under $100 - ___
$100, under $110$110, under $120$120, under $130.
$130, under $14d ....
$140, under $150........
$150 and over

cent
1. 9
2. 4
5.8
5.3
8.7
6 2
8.7
5.3
7.2
8. 7
4.8
5.8

Wom­
en
7.2
5.8
3.8
5.3
3.4
1.0
2.9

Wom­
en

Earnings
Number of women
reported.
Median
earnings
(cents).

Under 25 cents.30, under 35 cents

196
46.2

______
_

40, under 45 cents------------

60, under 65 cents.. _____
75 cents and over

Percent
6.1
9.2
11.2
11.2
6.6
18.4
14.8
4.6
7.7
3.6
1.0
5.5

Year’s earnings of telephone operators.

A tendency to stick by their jobs was as evident for the telephone
operators as for the office workers. More than three-fourths (77 per­
cent) of those for whom year’s earnings were reported had been em­
ployed over the full year, and for this group the median earnings were
$1,001. These full-year workers’ earnings ranged from under $300
for two part-time workers to almost $2,500 for one operator. There
were 12 whose earnings were $1,500 and more and 7 whose earnings
were $1,800 and more.
Usherettes and others in motion-picture theaters.

Earnings were reported for 75 women on miscellaneous jobs, in
most cases comparable. Fifty-three of these women were working as
usherettes in the motion-picture theaters. In addition there were
film inspectors, ticket sellers, matrons, janitresses, a receptionist, and
a small number who did not report the nature of their work.
Of the usherettes, 31 were Chinese and 21 Caucasian. The range in
hourly earnings of the Chinese was from 25 to just under 50 cents,
with 10 of them receiving 25 cents, 11 receiving 35 and under 40
cents, and 10 receiving more than 40 cents. For the Caucasians the
range was from 32 cents to 63 and under 64 cents, with 14 of them
receiving more than 50 cents.
Since the group in other jobs than ushering was too small to be
representative, no separate tabulation of their hourly earnings has
been made. For the whole group the median of the month’s earnings
was $40, but 28 of the 75 women earned $60 and more.
Nearly four-fifths of the women with year’s earnings reported had
been employed 52 weeks, and for these the most common earnings
were $800 and under $900. The highest earnings were $1,000 and
under $1,100, reported for two women.



WOMEN IN HOUSEHOLD EMPLOYMENT
As all-year employment, domestic service in Hawaii offers more
opportunities than any other single industry; more than agriculture,
manufacturing, or trade. Some of the women classed as servants by
the Bureau of the Census are employed in hotels, restaurants, boarding
houses, and so forth, but most of them are in private homes. The
proportion of white families with maids probably is higher than in
most mainland communities. This is especially true of the families on
the Army locations and in the university and professional circles.
Japanese are considered the most desirable maids by employers
who seek help in the agencies, and the 1930 census indicated that
over two-tliirds of the women classed as servants were Japanese.
Seeking information about employment in private homes is a time­
consuming venture, so all that was attempted in this survey was to
learn something of the wages paid and of conditions of employment
from interviews with public and private employment agencies and
social agencies that have contacts with household employees.
The Honolulu Territorial Employment Office kindly made available
the most recent files on domestic placements, and a tabulation of 102
of these gives the following data on wages:
Number of women placed
Week’s wages
All
women

Cooking
included
in duties

No
cooking

102

$7.50, under $10________________

61

41

11
54
23
14

4
22
21
14

7
32
2

Unless a prospective employee can qualify with experience or ability
to do cooking as part of her duties, her chance of receiving as much as
$7.50 a week is slight. Of the 41 employees placed who were not
required to cook, 22, or approximately one-half, were reported as
receiving $5 a week, and the 2 with the highest wages were paid only
$7.50 and $8 a week. Of the 61 employees who were expected to
assume responsibility for the preparation of meals, 13 received $10 a
week and 1 received $13. Ten of the cooking group were placed at
$5, 7 at $7, 9 at $7.50, and 7 at $8. More than half of the girls who
cooked received at least $7.50 as a placement wage; of the group as a
whole, however, about two-tliirds were placed at less than $7.50.
Interviews with private agencies and social workers in Honolulu
indicated that a $10-a-week job in domestic service is one that requires
references, and that $12 a week, or about $50 a month, is a high wage,
with only a small proportion of all household employees receiving as




49

50

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

much as this. Inexperienced girls without references, and not
expected to do washing, usually are paid $5 a week or $20 a month.
The maids who go home at night are paid no more than those who
live in; instead, the tendency seems to be for those who are given
board and lodging to have higher cash wages also.
A number of persons commented that Japanese mothers keep in
close touch with the employers of their daughters, and if the living
conditions do not meet with their approval the parents will recall their
daughters. Further, since Japanese girls traditionally expect to turn
over their cash earnings to their parents, the girls themselves are as
much interested in the working and living conditions, the duties, size
of family, and location as they are in the cash returns. In general,
applicants prefer placement on the Army and Navy locations because
wages and living conditions are reported as above average. During
the summer months many maids take leave from household employ­
ment and spend a few weeks in the pineapple canneries, where wages
are higher and there is more opportunity for association with other
workers. All agencies agreed that the demand for trained and
experienced household employees is in excess of the registrants.
They had a considerable number of inexperienced girls listed but
relatively few with training and good references.
Interviews at Hilo, Hawaii, and on Kauai indicated a wage level
even lower than that of Honolulu. Average monthly wages with
board and room were reported as $25 by several agencies. Girls
receiving $20 and more a month are expected to be able to cook and
to serve as all-round houseworkers. Inexperienced girls who do not
cook have monthly wages ranging from $12 to $20. School girls who
work as mothers’ helpers often receive only board and room, though in
some cases cash wages of from $6 to $10 a month are paid.
The picture of household employment in the Territory of Hawaii
seems fairly comparable in most respects to that on the mainland.
The number of jobs in relation to the population seems greater in
Hawaii.




DRESSMAKING
“Dressmaking”—a sign nailed on a fence or the side of a house—
announces to the newcomer in Hawaii that one of woman’s home
industries still flourishes in the islands. The Census of Occupations
for 1930 reported about 600 women in Hawaii engaged in dressmaking
but not employed in factories, and of these three-fourths were Japanese.
Ability to sew for the family needs is regarded by a Japanese house­
hold as a necessary part of the practical culture of every girl, and it
is an essential preparation for marriage. Mothers bom in the Orient
or in Hawaii in the days when Japanese dress and customs had not
been affected materially by western standards learned to make kimonos
and garments in Japanese style, usually by hand, but their daughters
of the present day wear machine-made clothes of a different fashion
and a different technique is required. For this reason the daughters
are sent to commercial dressmakers or schools to be trained in the
new styles and methods of dressmaking. Most of the dressmakers
who offer their services to general custom are assisted by young
apprentices who are unpaid, and this and the competition of many in
the trade make it possible for customers to have their work done at
low prices. In some sections of Honolulu cotton dresses are made for
75 cents, and a price of $3 for a silk street dress is common in beach
and other residential areas.
Dressmaking shops.

A number of dressmaking shops and schools were visited in Honolulu
and Hilo to learn something of the training and occupational oppor­
tunities in this trade. The major purpose of most of the shops is
to serve customers, but by teaching and training apprentices, and
in some instances charging them monthly fees up to $10, the shop’s
income is augmented by the apprentice’s assistance and by her direct
cash payments. Where the apprentice serves only part time, the
fee sometimes is as low as $3 a month, and there are shops where
no fee is paid. Where the higher fees are paid, the apprentices are
reported as spending much of their time on materials that they furnish
and make into garments for themselves and friends, but after the
initial stages of training are over the girls in the small shops undoubt­
edly work mostly on garments for customers. Apprenticeship often
continues as much as 2 years.
Of the apprentices noted in this survey, some who had completed
their training were continuing to work with the shop owner, receiving
more experience and their hoard and room. Actual employees on
a wage basis were few. A small number were reported on a commis­
sion basis, receiving from 40 to 60 percent of the prices charged cus­
tomers. Two or three shops had paid assistants who helped the owner
in an all-round capacity in the training of apprentices and in the serving
of customers. These girls were paid from $20 to $50 a month and
usually had the additional perquisites of board and room.




51

52

WOMAN-EMPLOYING INDUSTRIES IN HAWAII

Excerpts from notes taken while visiting individual shops illustrate
typical conditions:
The shop had five girls who were paying $3 a month for their instruction and
two girls who received instruction but paid no fees. The girls who paid fees
were reported as sewing on their own materials, while the two who did not pay
worked on customers’ orders and had agreed to remain at least 1 year, and pref­
erably 2, to complete their apprenticeship and compensate the owner for their
training.
Three girls in addition to owner were busy with orders. One was considered
an employee and received $30 a month and her meals. The other two had been
with the shop about a year but were still considered apprentices, receiving no
compensation. They had paid fees the first months of their training but now
were compensating with their services. They did not receive board and room.
The shop advertises special embroidery, kimono making, and general dress­
making services. Seven girls were at work; one received $5 a month and the
others nothing. Employer considered all apprentices, but store owners had
reported that they directed customers buying materials from them to this shop for
sewing service of all kinds.
In one shop on a downtown street, the agent talked with a young girl who was
working alone while the proprietor was out of town. She said she had completed
her training several years before and she was now working in the same shop on
a commission basis of 50 percent of the prices charged for the work she was allowed
to have. In the preceding month, she estimated, she had worked at least 20
days and her commissions had amounted to between $14 and $15. She said
she lived outside the city on a plantation and there was no opportunity for her
to start her own shop, so she was glad to have this arrangement and continue to
get experience in the trade.

Quoting from a report by Miss Kimura4—
The system of apprenticeship is taken for granted as a means of securing training
in a trade without expense. According to the traditional conception in Japan,
it is considered a privilege on the part of the trainees, while it is a generous act
of benevolence on the part of the proprietors. Giving them plenty of work is
the proper thing for a proprietor to do. Parents feel quite privileged if the girls
are given plenty of practical experience. In other words, the custom of appren­
ticeship is in the mores. Apprenticeship interpreted as exploitation is hard for
them to understand.

Dressmaking schools.

Schools are scattered in all the larger cities and towns, and usually
they are in the homes of the owners. Most of the schools specialize
in training rather than service to the trade, and there is considerable
standardization of curricula, administration, and fees. Most of the
students in schools do not attend for professional training but for the
practical value that a knowledge of sewing will afford in their own
lives and home economy.
The largest school visited is in Honolulu and has more than 100
girls enrolled. Day classes are conducted from 8 to 4, 6 days a week,
and night classes from 7 to 9, 3 times a week. The night-school
pupils include many who work in stores, factories, and private homes
during the day. Most of the girls enrolled in the day courses take a
general course of 6 months to a year, and on completion may take an
examination for which a primary certificate is given. A smaller num­
ber take the professional course, which on examination gives them
diplomas as teachers and experts in dressmaking. The professional
course in this school usually requires more than a year’s residence.
4 Guidance and advice in finding and visiting dressmakers and dressmaking schools was generously given
by Miss Yukiko Kimura, of the Honolulu Y. W. C. A. staff, and Miss Kimura made available a report
which she was preparing on dressmakers.




DRESSMAKING

53

The tuition is $7.50 a month for day students and from $2.50 to $5 a
month for those on part time. The pupils have their own sewing
machines, usually renting them at about $2 a month, and provide
their own materials and supplies. A full-time teacher assists the owner
of the school in supervising the class and individual work of students.
Fifty girls had been graduated in the spring. For the primary certifi­
cate, a candidate must have had at least 6 months’ training and must
demonstrate before an examining board her ability to cut and sew a
plain street dress in 1 day. For the advanced certificate, the candi­
date must be able to design, draft the pattern, cut, and lit to a model
a dress of fine materials in 1 day, besides answering the questions of
the examining board. Most of the girls in this school were said to be
taking dressmaking for its personal cultural value and only a few were
reported as prospective professional dressmakers. A dormitory in
connection with the school houses 20 or more girls at a cost of $10 a
month for board and room. Household duties and food preparation
are shared cooperatively.
Another school, which has from 30 to 35 pupils, offers three courses.
The general course requires 8 months or more of attendance and the
fee is from $80 to $100, depending on the time. The girls sew on their
own materials and receive instruction in women’s, children’s, and
men’s wear. Advanced courses in tailoring require 3 or 4 months
more. Some of those who take the advanced course work on outside
orders and receive one-third of the price charged the customer. These
advanced pupils pay a fee of $5 a month. A still more advanced
course takes 6 additional months, and is offered the pupils whom the
school owner considers most capable. These pay no fee but help the
owner with other students and with outside work, for which they
receive one-third of the proceeds. This school-shop has a large fol­
lowing of customers and also takes orders for slip covers and the mak­
ing of garments from local stores. There is a dormitory for housing
out-of-town girls at a monthly charge of $12 for board and room.
Four or five other schools in Honolulu and Hilo were visited; con­
ditions were found to be quite similar to those described. Fees tended
to be from $7.50 to $10 a month for full-time instruction and from $3
to $5 for part-time. General courses lasted at least 6 months and
advanced courses might take as long as 2 years. Housing accommo­
dations in a dormitory or the owner’s home were provided at costs
ranging from $6 to $12 a month.
There is a Japanese dressmakers’ association with about 40 members
whose purpose is to interest its members in cooperating to raise stand­
ards and increase the profits of their trade. The association conducts
most of the dressmaking school examinations and awards the diplomas
and certificates. To avoid complaint of unfairness and personal
bias, the examining committees are composed of teachers and dress­
makers who have no candidates for examination.




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