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EARNINGS OF WOMEN
i -

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IN SELECTED

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MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES, 1946

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GR1NNELL COLLEGE

-

LIBRARY

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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
l.^~ WOMEN’S BUREAU
BULLETIN 219

n5




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

Washington, December 22, 194-7.
Sir: I have the honor to present a report on the earnings of women
factory workers, a subject of widespread interest, both current and
continuing. This report is a compilation and interpretation of the
most comprehensive data that ever have been available at a single
period of time to show certain important details as to the earnings of
women employed on manufacturing processes in selected industries.
The basic material used here was secured from Bureau of Labor
Statistics Industry Wage Structure Bulletins and from wage tabu­
lations for individual localities. Women constitute from 40 to over
75 percent of the work force in almost every industry included here.
Taken together these industries employ over a sixth of all women
manufacturing production workers.
>
The statistical tables on women’s earnings used as a basis for this
analysis were prepared by Helen H. Hassell under the direction of
Isadore Spring, Chief of the Bureau’s Statistical Section, and the
interpretation was made and the report written by Mary Elizabeth
Pidgeon, Chief of the Bureau’s Economic Studies Section.

Respectfully submitted.
Frieda S. Miller, Director.

Hon. L. B.

SCHWELLENBACH,

Secretary of Labor.

CONTENTS
Page

Letter of transmittal
Foreword
Character and Source of Data---------------------------------------------------------------Industry Variations in Women’s Earnings-------------------------------------Industry Variations in Women’s Earnings Among Chief Geographical
Regions
Industry Variations in Women’s Earnings Among Individual Localities.Occupational Variations in Women’s Earnings----------------------------------------

u
1
1
-3

Minimum Entrance Rates and Minimum Job Rates------------------Earnings in Union and Nonunion Plants-------------------------------------------------

10
12

ii




4
6
■7

EARNINGS OF WOMEN IN SELECTED MANU­
FACTURING INDUSTRIES, 1946
FOREWORD

The amount of money that can be earned to meet the expenses of
daily living is a first consideration with the worker. Hence repeated
requests come to the Women’s Bureau for information on women’s
wages, both as to their earnings in general and also as to the amounts
they receive in particular industries and localities. This type of
information has special significance, for example, to minimum-wage
administrators, to women in unions and union wage negotiators, to
women’s organizations furthering programs relating to women’s
wages, and to others. Furthermore, a knowledge of such earnings
is of primary importance in the work the Women’s Bureau is legally
directed to perform—“to formulate standards and policies for the
welfare of wage-earning women.”
Many of the persons asking for information on women’s wages do
not have a general understanding of the marked extent to which the
contents of the worker’s pay envelope varies, for example, by indus­
try, occupation, locality, and period of time—often even from week
to week. Moreover, these are only the more obvious factors that
influence wages; the over-all volume of economic activity and the
relative importance of different types of activity determine to a
considerable extent the levels and the general patterns of wages.
CHARACTER AND SOURCE OF DATA

The data on women’s earnings shown in this report afford a good
general picture of what women factory workers in certain industries
were receiving within the 2- to 10-month period immediately follow­
ing the war. They give information on the variations in women’s
earnings by industry, skill of occupation, and section of the country
in which they work. Earnings in union and nonunion plants are
also discussed.
This is the first time available wage data by sex have been of such
scope, including as they do detailed occupational and other break­
downs, covering a considerable number of important industries and
a wide geographical area, and confined, furthermore, to a brief span
of time. The Women’s Bureau is fortunate in having access to this
772324°—48




1

2

WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

material, which was prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
from wage data collected directly by representatives in its various
regional offices from the records of individual companies.1
Naturally, those who need to use wage data want them to refer
to a very recent period. It would be immensely helpful to all agencies
requiring them to have women’s earnings reported for a large number
of industries and occupations over a wide geographical area and at
frequent intervals, say every 6 months, or even annually. To achieve
this wTould require a very considerable statistical staff in continuous
operation—a much larger staff than any government agency ever
has had or is likely to have in the near future for this special purpose.2
Taken together, the industries included in this report employ over
a sixth of all women production workers. The industries reported
here are those for which data on postwar earnings were available from
the Bureau of Labor Statistics in preliminary form in February 1947
and in which the employment of women is important.3
The number of women plant workers in these industries, as esti­
mated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, totals 543,600. For the
most part, the earnings shown in this study are those reported for
these women in Bureau of Labor Statistics Industry Wage Structure
Bulletins. These were supplemented, for the discussion of earnings
differences among individual localities (pp. 6-7), by information
secured from Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on earnings tabulated
by individual locality. These locality tabulations included 215,000
women in 29 States of chief industrial importance. Table 1 shows for
each industry the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates both of the
total number of women plant workers and of the proportion the
women constituted of the industry’s plant force.
Women constituted more than 40 percent of the estimated plant
work force in almost every industry reported here, most of which
are long-time employers of many women. In 8 of the 12 industry
groups shown on table 1, from one-half to more than three-fourths
of the work force were women.
1 Only establishments with eight or more employees are included. The Wage Analysis Branch of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics shows these wage data separately for various industries in its mimeographed
industry Wage Studies Bulletins, Series 2—Wage Structure, Reports for individual industries.
2 The Women’s Bureau has concentrated the wage studies of its small field and research staffs on: (1) con­
ditions in some particular industry which employs many women, or pays them low wages, or presents
special wage problems for them; and (2) certain special problems arising in connection with women’s wages.
See, for example, current Women’s Bureau report on Women Workers in Power Laundries and releases on
equal-pay legislation. Earlier reports also give analyses that still are useful in relation to particular problems
connected with women’s wages, for example Bulletin 196, “Equal Pay” for Women in War Industries, and
Bulletins 166 and 191 showing minimum-wage laws and orders and their influence on women’s wages.
3 These industries are limited to those for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics obtained pay-roll data
representing the months October 1945-June 1946.




WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

3

Table 1.—Number of Women Plant Workers in Selected Manufacturing Industries

Industry

All industries included in report_______
Textile mill products:
Cotton_____ _____ ______
Southern mills. ...
Northern mills____
Hosiery.
______
Seamless_________
Full-fashioned____________
Woolen and worsted______
Rayon and silk________
Footwear 2_________
Tobacco...............................
Cigar------------------------------- ------ ----------------Cigarette_________________
Paper container________ _.
Set-up box __
_____
I olding box_____________
Corrugated, fiber box........................
Costume jewelry_________

Month and year reported

Estimated
number of
women
plant
workers 1

Percent
women
were of
all plant
workers

543, 599
175, 945
144,657
31,288
69, 325
37, 225
32,100
67,975
39, 800
92, 600
3 54, 304

41

33’ 850

45

8^ 600
9,800

56

64
43
50
56
66

1 As reported in Bureau of Labor Statistics Industry Wage Structure Bulletins.
2 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.
3 Total exceeds details as details not shown for a small number of women in tobacco plants other than those
making cigars and cigarettes.

The earnings reported were received in the early postwar period—
largely in early 1946, a few in late 1945, as indicated in table 1. They
consist of straight-time average hourly earnings, including earnings
by piece work and under incentive systems, but excluding premium
overtime and special bonuses such as Christmas and profit-sharing
payments. General wage raises given after these reports were
secured are not shown here.
INDUSTRY VARIATIONS IN WOMEN’S EARNINGS

A brief over-all summary serves to show the general relationships
of these industries to one another in respect to levels of women’s wages.
Among the industries and industry groups analyzed (see table 2),
average hourly earnings for women plant workers were highest in
woolen and worsted mills—86 cents an hour. Earnings in these plants
averaged 85 cents or more for over 40 percent of the women and less
than 65 cents for only a very small proportion. Nearly half of the
women had averages of 75 to 90 cents an hour, and a small propor­
tion (nearly 2 percent), representing the highest skills, averaged $1.40
an hour or more (as is shown in fuller data not published here).
At the other end of the scale were the seamless hosiery plants and
the plants making paper containers. Averages for the women plant
workers reported in these industries were 58 to 65 cents an hour. In
these industries few women received average pay as high as 85 cents
an hour; well over half had averages below 65 cents an hour; and the
more complete data show that some of the women had averages




WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

4

below 50 cents.4 A brief summary of the distribution of these aver­
ages is presented in table 2.
Table 2.—Average Earnings of Women Plant Workers in Selected Manufacturing
Industries, All Areas Reported
Percent of women
whose average hour­
ly earnings were—

Average
hourly
earnings

Industry

Less than
65 cents

$0. 86
.78
.75
.74
.72
.69
.69
.68
.65
.62
.61
.58

7
34
24
17
15
55
45
44
53
61
66
71

85 cents
or over

Weekly
average,
if a 40hour week

41
34
29
19
11
20
18
12
6
4
5
4

$34.40
31.20
30.00
29. 60
28.80
27. 60
27. 60
27. 20
26. 00
24.80
24. 40
23.20

i Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.

INDUSTRY VARIATIONS IN WOMEN'S EARNINGS AMONG
CHIEF GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS

Average hourly earnings in the same industry varied markedly
from one geographical region to another, as table 3 shows.
Table 3.—Average Hourly Earnings of Women Plant Workers in Selected Manufacturing
Industries, by Region 1
Industry
Textile mill products:
Hosiery:

Tobacco:
Paper container:

United
States

$0.72

New
England

$0.77

.58
.78
.86
.74
.69

«
(2)

.69
.75

p)
p)

.61
.62
.65
.68

p)

.90
.77
.77

Middle
Atlantic

South­
east

$0.71

p)
$0.63
.86
.84
.72
.69

p)
p)

.66

.64
.62
.67
.75

.73
.69
.75

.71
p)
.55
.60

.57
.71

p)
pj
p)
p)

Great
Lakes

p)
p)
$0.82
m
p>
.64
p)
p>

p)

.60
.63
.66

1 Earnings for each industry are shown only for regions where more than 10 percent of the women were
emuiujcu.

No women or less than 10 percent of all women reported m the industry.
3 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear. In the Middle West region, where 15 percent of the
women were employed, earnings averaged 58 cents.
.
,
4 In the Border region, where 46 percent of the women were employed, earnings averaged 75 cents.
2

4 No attempt is made in this bulletin to discuss the factors which enter into estimates of minimum cost-ofiving budgets. It may be noted, however, that in the 7 minimum-wage States for which cost-of-living bud­
gets were prepared in 1946, estimates of the minimum amounts needed weekly to enable a single woman
without dependents to be self-supporting ranged from $28 to $39. These estimates allow for the purchase of
food, shelter, clothing, and other commodities and services and for the payment of social security, Federal,
and State income taxes where required.




WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

5

In the cotton textile1 industry, which employed more women than any
other single industry included in this report, the average hourly earn­
ings of women in the Southeast region were 6 cents less than in the New
England region. The widest regional spread in earnings was reported
in footwear, where there was a difference of 19 cents in the average
hourly earnings of women between the New England and the Middle
West regions.
Difference in Average Earnings Between Highest-Paying and Lowest-Paying Region,
for Each Industry 1
Regional difference
in—
Industry

Highest-paying region

Lowest-paying region
Hourly
average

Footwear2

____ __________ _____

Set-up paper box_____ _____ _____
Cotton textile___

-

Middle Atlantic. ___

_______
Middle Atlantic. ___

Cigar

___________________

_
(3)-

(3)

Weekly
average,
if a 40hour week

$0.19
.15
.09
.09
.06
.06
.06
.05
.03
.02
.01
.00

$7.60
6.00
3. 60
3.60
2.40
2.40
2.40
2.00
1.20
.80
.40
.00

1 Derived from data shown in table 3.
2 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.
3 This industry was represented in only two regions, Southeast and Border, and in each region earnings
averaged 75 cents.

There also was wide variation in the earnings among different
industries in any one region. The greatest difference—35 cents per
hour—between the highest-paying and lowest-paying industry in any
one region occurred in New England. The least difference in average
earnings among the various industries was in the Southeastern region,
though even there the highest hourly average was 18 cents above the
lowest. See the following summary.
Difference in Average Earnings Between Highest-Paying and Lowest-Paying
Industry, for Four Regions 1
Industry difference
in—
Region

Highest-paying industry

Lowest-paying industry
Hourly
average

New England_______
Middle Atlantic............
Great Lakes__________ ____do..._____ _____ _______
Southeast..................... .
1 Derived from data shown in table 3.




$0.35
.24
.22
.18

Weekly
average,
if a 40hour
week
$14.00
9.60
8.80
7. 20

6

WOMEN'S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

INDUSTRY VARIATIONS IN WOMEN'S EARNINGS AMONG
INDIVIDUAL LOCALITIES5

Up to this point the discussion has dealt with average earnings in
broad geographical regions. The pages that follow consider average
earnings of women plant workers as between individual localities. It
is not surprising that these frequently vary more markedly than the
over-all averages for broader areas, since an average for a broader
area will tend to cancel out some of the more extreme differences
between individual localities.
Average hourly earnings paid in the highest-paying localities for the
individual industries analyzed ranged from 65 cents in the seamless
hosiery industry to $1.06 in the footwear industry. Average hourly
earnings in the lowest-paying localities for the different industries
analyzed varied from 49 cents in the set-up box industry to 72 cents
in the woolen and worsted industry. The highest and lowest average
earnings reported by individual localities, for the industries covered,
are shown in table 4.
Table 4.—Average Earnings of Women Plant Workers in Selected Manufacturing Industries,
by Highest-Paying and Lowest-Paying Locality 1
Average weekly earn­
ings, if a 40-hour
week

Average hourly
earnings
Industry

Number of
localities
reported

Highestpaying
locality

Textile mill products:

Lowestpaying
locality

Highestpaying
locality

Lowestpaying
locality

26
Hosiery:

Tobacco:
Paper container:

$0.87

$0.67

$34.80

$26. 80

13
11
16
16
18

.65
.89
.96
.94
1.06

.50
.65
.72
.69
.55

26.00
35. 60
38. 40
37. 60
42. 40

20. 00
26. 00
28.80
27. 60
22.00

12
3

.84
.78

.60
.68

33.60
31.20

24.00
27.20

12
12
11
4

.78
.83
.81
.87

.49
.50
.55
.66

31.20
33.20
32.40
34. 80

19. 60
20. 00
22.00
26. 40

i There may be a lower or higher average for a locality for which data were not available.
3 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.

In most industries, women in the highest-paying locality reported
for an industry had an hourly average more than 20 cents higher than
6 Locality (or wage area), as used here, corresponds with the definition of a wage area as defined by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Wage Structure Bulletins—“a wage area * * * consists of a city and such
surrounding territory as constitutes a relatively homogeneous area with respect to wage structure. In
general, each wage area consists of a single county, although some cover a smaller or larger territory.’'




7

WOMEN'S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

those in the lowest-paying locality for the same industry. The
greatest locality difference in earnings was in footwear, where women
in the highest-paying locality had an average of 51 cents an hour more
than those in the lowest. For a 40-hour week this difference would
amount to $20.40. Only in 2 of 12 individual industries was the
difference in hourly averages from highest- to lowest-paying locality
as little as 15 cents or less. The following summary shows how much
less, on the average, women earned in the lowest-paying locality of
each industry compared with the highest-paying.
Difference in Average Earnings Between Highest-Paying and Lowest-Paying
Locality, for Each Industry1
Locality difference in—
Industry
Hourly aver­
age

$0.51
.33
.29
.26
.25
.24
.24
.24
.21
.20
.15
. 10

Weekly
average, if
a 40-hour
week
$20. 40
13.20
11.60
10. 40
10.00
9.60
9.60
8. 40
8.40
8.00
6.00
4.00

Derived from data shown in table 4.

OCCUPATIONAL VARIATIONS IN WOMEN’S EARNINGS

It is to be expected that there are great variations in the earnings
of women in different occupations, even within the same industry.
Some occupations are considerably more skilled than others and
therefore require more training and experience before proficiency
is gained. Some industries or plants may have a more carefully
studied wage structure than others. Some may have a more fully
developed system of collective bargaining for a wage scale than others.
These and other circumstances tend to influence differences in occupa­
tional pay, from industry to industry, and even within the same
industry.
From 10 of the industries included in this report, 63 characteristic
occupations (see p. 9) that employ large numbers of women have
been selected for analysis. The range in average hourly earnings
within each industry in the occupations selected for that industry
is as follows:




8

WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

Occupational Difference in Average Hourly Earnings of Women Plant Workers1
Average hourly earnings
Industry 1

Number of
plant occu­
pations
included 1

6
4
8
6
9
5
9
4
4
8

Highestpaying
occupation

Lowestpaying
occupation

$1.09
. 93
. 85
.85
. 94
.92
.87
. 69
. 72
.64

$0.74
. 58
. 60
. 72
. 71
. 67
.55
. 59
.57

Difference
between
highest and
lowest
$0.35
.32
. 22
. 14
. 13
.07

1 Limited to industries for which more than one occupation was reported and to occupations which re­
ported 1,000 or more women. This basis of selection resulted in the omission of all occupations in the folding
paper box and corrugated, fiber box industries.

The foregoing summary shows that in each of these individual
industries the average hourly earnings of the women engaged in the
highest-paying occupation were from 7 to 35 cents more than the
average of those at work in the lowest-paying job in the same industry.
A glance at the list of occupations on page 9 will show the detail for
each individual industry.
In 21 of the 63 occupations included here, women’s earnings averaged
80 cents or more an hour. These 21 were in cotton textile, fullfashioned hosiery, woolen and worsted, rayon and silk, footwear,
cigar, and cigarette plants, most of them industries that have long
traditions both of requiring considerable skill in some operations and
of well-organized unions that bargain collectively for a wage scale.
Some types of weaving occupations in cotton, in woolen and worsted,
and in rayon and silk mills, boarder and pairer occupations in fullfashioned hosiery mills, and the occupation of machine packer of
cigarettes paid averages higher than any other of all the 63 occupations
included here. Following these closely were the earnings of fancy
stitchers in footwear factories, of hand bunchmakers for cigars, and
of ring-frame spinners in woolen and worsted mills. All the foregoing
had averages of at least 85 cents an hour. In none of the characteristic
occupations in full-fashioned hosiery listed here did women’s earnings
average less than 72 cents, and, in woolen and worsted mills, less than
74 cents.
At the other end of the scale, averages were less than 65 cents in
all the seamless hosiery occupations reported here; and were 60 cents
or less in four occupations in this industry, in two occupations each
in footwear and in set-up paper box plants, and in one each in cos­
tume jewelry and in cigar factories. Lowest hourly averages of all
were 55 cents for bundlers of boxes in set-up paper box plants and 57
cents for hand menders of seamless hosiery.




9

WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

The following summary lists the earnings in the 63 occupations
discussed here.
Average Hourly Earnings of Women Plant Workers in Chief Occupations of Women
in Selected Manufacturing Industries, 1946 1
Average hourly earnings of
women in—
Industry and occupation 1

United
States3

$0. 87
. 83
. 74
.73
. 72
.71
.70
. 69
.67

Cotton textile:
Weaver, dobby__________
Weaver, plain automatic.
Doffer, spinning frame_
_
Spinner, ring frame_____
Twister tender__________
Winder, yarn___________
Inspector, cloth, hand___
Inspector, cloth, machine.
Battery hand___________
Industry and occupation 1

Average
hourly
earnings
of women

Seamless hosiery:
Knitter, automatic$0.
Looper 3
Boarder, machine_________
Pairer-----------Knitter, transfer___________
Folder and boxer__________
Inspector-_________________
Mender, hand_____________
Full-fashioned hosiery:
Boarder, machine_________
Pairer___ ______________ ___
Seamer..._________________
Topper•
Looper:3
Toe only______________
Toe and heel__________
Mender, hand___ _________
Folder and boxer__________
Inspector______________
Woolen and worsted:
Weaver (except Jacquard)—
Spinner, ring frame________
Twister tender____________
Winder, yarn______________
Inspector, cloth, hand_____
Doffer, spinning frame_____
Rayon and silk:
Weaver, box_______________
Weaver, plain, automatic-Weaver, dobby____________
Twister tender and spinnerWinder, yarn______________

64
. 62
. 61
. 61
.60
.60
. 58
. 57
.
.
.
.

94
87
83
83

. 82
. 81
. 78
.76
. 72
1. 09
. 85
.83
. 83
-. 77
. 74
.92
. 92
. 91
. 71
. 71

New
England

(!)
$0. 88
(0
.79
0)
.80
.72
C)
.68

Industry and occupation i

Footwear: 4

Southeast

$0. 86
. 83
.72
.72
.73
.70
.69
.69
.67
Average
hourly
earnings
of women

Fancy stitcher$0. 85
Vamper
_________._____
. 80
Skiver
.74
Treer_ . 74
Shoe cleaner-______________
. 62
Inspector
. 61
Paster, backer, fitter_______
.60
Floor girl
. 58
Cigar:
Bunchmaker, hand________
.85
Roller, hand_______________
. 83
Wrapper layer, long-fillermachine_________________
.70
Bunchmaker, shredded-filler
machine_________________
. 67
Stripper, machine_________
. 62
Stripper, hand_____________
. 60
Cigarette:
Packer, machine___________
. 93
Catcher, machine__________
. 82
Picker (searcher)__________
. 67
Stemming-machine feeder __
. 61
Set-up paper box:
Wrapping-machine
opera­
tor, automatic__________
. 69
Stripping-machine
opera­
tor
. 67
Box-maker, hand__________
. 59
Bundler, box_______________
.55
Costume jewelry:
Punch-press operator,
class B
. 72
Assembler, class C_________
. 70
Bench hand, class B_______
.65
Carder, wrapper and packer.
. 59

1 Limited to industries for which more than one occupation was reported and to occupations which
reported 1,000 or more women. This basis of selection resulted in the omission of all occupations in the
folding paper box and corrugated, fiber box industries.
2 Includes data for other regions in addition to those shown separately.
3 With more than 1 year’s experience.
* Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.




10

WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

MINIMUM ENTRANCE RATES AND MINIMUM JOB RATES

Minimum entrance rates for women plant workers were as high
as 75 cents in only 3 percent of the total number of manufacturing
plants reported in this study; they were less than 50 cents in about
one-third of these plants. These figures are shown in table 5.
Table 5.—Minimum Entrance Rates and Minimum Job Rates for Women Plant Workers
in Plants in Selected Manufacturing Industries
Plants having minimum hourly rates for women ofTotal
number
of plants Less than 50, less
55, less
65,less
75 cents No estab­
reported 50 cents than 55
than 65
than 75 and over
lished
cents
minimum
cents
cents
Minimum entrance rates:
Number of plants
Percent distribution
...
Minimum job rates:
Number of plants.
Percent distribution._ .. .

2, 546
100

822
32

517
20

579
23

395
16

84
3

149
6

2, 555
100

619
24

431
17

646
25

479
19

184
7

196
8

Table 5 also shows that minimum job rates for women plant
workers were as high as 75 cents in only 7 percent of the plants
studied; in almost one-fourth of these plants, minimum job rates
were below 50 cents.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE RATES IN INDIVIDUAL INDUSTRIES

Of the plants with minimum entrance rates for women plant
workers as high as 75 cents an hour, 70 percent were woolen and
worsted mills. Twenty-two percent of all woolen and worsted mills
had these higher minimum entrance rates, but this was true of only
7 percent of the northern cotton mills, 3 percent of the rayon and
silk mills, and 4 percent of the costume jewelry plants. In the other
industries reported here not one plant, or only a negligible percent,
had minimum entrance rates as high as 75 cents.
Of those at the lower end of the scale, having a minimum entrance
rate of less than 50 cents, two-thirds were footwear, seamless hosiery,
and paper container factories. Detailed data show that over 80
percent of the seamless hosiery plants and practically half of the
footwear and of the cigar factories had an entrance minimum this low.
Further details on the industry distribution of plants having
various minimum entrance rates are given in table 6.
MINIMUM JOB RATES IN INDIVIDUAL INDUSTRIES

Of the 184 plants with the higher minimum job rates for women plant
workers (75 cents or more) over two-thirds were textile mills, though
textile mills were less than half of all plants reported. Detailed data




11

WOMEN'S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

Table 6.—Minimum Entrance Rates for Women Plant Workers in Plants in Selected
Manufacturing Industries, by Industry
Plants having minimum hourly entrance rates for women of—
number
of plants Less than 50, less
reported 50 cents than 55
cents

Industry

Total 1_____

_________

Textile mill products:
Cotton
Northern mills........... .
Hosiery:
Woolen and worsted _____
Rayon and silk_________
Footwear 2
Tobacco:
Cigar. --------------- -- -------

55,less
than 65
cents

65, less
than 75
cents

2, 546

822

517

579

395

84

149

343
222
121

30
23
7

26
20
6

123
87
36

147
91
56

8
8

9
1
8

205
184
265
236
346

166
74
19
27
183

18
68
27
32
102

10
15
76
69
37

1
3
83
93
2

59
8
1

10
24
1
7
21

196
18

92
1

42
1

16
14

8
2

2

36

285
181
165
92

134
45
26
13

61
63
57
16

65
41
64
38

9
23
12
10

1
1
4

16
8
5
11

Paper container:
Folding box
Corrugated, fiber box.
..
Costume jewelry--------------------

No estab­
75 cents
lished
and over minimum

r Total exceeds details as details not shown for a few tobacco plants other than those making cigars and
cigarettes.
2 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.

show that 34 percent of the woolen and worsted mills, only 8 percent
of the rayon and silk and of the northern cotton mills, and none of the
southern cotton mills had minimum job rates as high as 75 cents an
hour. (See table 7.)
Table 7.—Minimum Job Rates for Women Plant Workers in Plants in Selected
Manufacturing Industries, by Industry
Plants having minimum hourly job rates for women of—
Total
number
55,less
65,less
of plants Less than 50, less
75 cents No estab­
than 75 and over
lished
than 55
than 65
reported
50 cents
minimum
cents
cents
cents

Industry

Total C . ..

________

Textile mill products:
Cotton
Northern mills
Hosiery:
Full-fashioned
Woolen and worsted
Footwear 2____
Tobacco:
Cigar
Paper container:
Set-up box
Folding box..
Corrugated, fiber box
Costume jewelry... --------------

2, 555

619

431

646

479

184

196

343
222
121

13
8
5

13
10
3

117
95
22

180
109
71

10

10

10

205
182
277
236
346

149
56
8
5
135

23
39
14
19
92

10
43
59
73
67

3
4
88
120
14

1
95
19
7

196
18

87
1

40
1

22
12

8
4

5

34

285
181
164
92

98
33
16
6

77
56
41
13

72
52
75
33

13
14
15
14

7
19
8
12

18
7
9
14

10
20
39
13
31

1 Total exceeds details as details not shown for a few tobacco plants other than those making cigars and
cigarettes.
2 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.




12

WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

At the lower end of the scale, of the plants with minimum job rates
of less than 50 cents, about 70 percent were footwear, seamless hosiery,
or paper container factories, though less than half of all plants reported
were in these industries. Detailed data show that more than 70 per­
cent of the seamless hosiery mills, nearly half the cigar factories, 30 to
40 percent of the footwear and of the full-fashioned hosiery mills, and
over 20 percent of the paper container plants had minimum job rates
below 50 cents. Table 7 gives further detail on minimum job rates
in tlie various industries.
EARNINGS IN UNION AND NONUNION PLANTS
EARNINGS IN INDIVIDUAL OCCUPATIONS

In some cases sufficient data were reported to enable a comparison
of women’s average earnings in occupations in union and nonunion
plants. Pay in these individual occupations almost always averaged
somewhat higher in all the union plants taken together than in all the
nonunion plants together. The differences in women’s occupational
averages from union to nonunion plants usually were greater—some­
times considerably greater—in the more skilled than in the less skilled
occupations.
In eight of the nine reported occupations in cotton textile plants,
women’s hourly averages in the total of union plants were from 1 to 6
cents above those in the nonunion plants.
In seven of eight occupations in seamless hosiery manufacture,
women’s averages were from 2 to 11 cents more in the total of union
than of nonunion plants. In nine occupations in full-fashioned
hosiery manufacture, women’s averages were from 3 to 23 cents more
in the total of union than of nonunion plants, the difference being
12 cents or over in four of these occupations.
In five of six reported occupations in woolen and worsted mills the
union plants averaged from 4 to 10 cents higher than the nonunion
plants.
In all five occupations reported in rayon and silk mills the averages
were higher in union than in nonunion plants.
In six occupations in the making of footwear, women’s hourly
averages were from 3 to 8 cents higher in all union plants together
than in the total of nonunion plants, and in the two other occupations
hourly averages were 11 cents higher.
In three out of the six reported occupations in cigar factories, and
in tlie four occupations reported in set-up paper box plants, women’s
hourly averages in the total of union plants were 10 cents or more
above those in nonunion plants.




WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

13

- In costume jewelry two occupations averaged 13 and 14 cents higher
in the union plants, and the two other occupations were 6 and 7 cents
above the nonunion plants.
The summary following shows in detail the data on average hourly
earnings of women in individual occupations in union and nonunion
plants.
EARNINGS IN ALL REPORTED OCCUPATIONS COMBINED

Where averages are taken for the total number of workers in all
occupations in union plants, and in all those reported in nonunion
plants in the same industry and wage area, the higher averages were
found sometimes in union, sometimes in nonunion plants. Moreover,
these differences between averages of union and of nonunion plants
were small—in the great majority of cases less than 5 cents. Such
over-all averages reflect differences among plants in the proportions
of workers in the various occupations, as well as differences in the rates
on particular jobs. It already has been pointed out that, at least so
far as women are concerned, differences in averages between union
and nonunion plants usually are greater for the more skilled than the
less skilled occupations.
Average Hourly Earnings of Women Plant Workers in Chief Occupations of Women
in Union and Nonunion Plants 1
Average hourly earnings of
women in—
Industry and occupation1
Union plants

Nonunion
plants

Cotton textile:

__

_

Seamless hosiery:

Folder and boxer ______________________________________ ___________
Full-fashioned hosiery:

Seamer____

_____________________________________________________

Inspector___ _____
Footnotes at end of table.




$0.88
. 82
. 72
. 71
.70
. 72
.67
. 69
.66

.67
.66
. 66
. 64

Spinner, ring frame_____

$0. 86
.85
. 76
. 76
. 75
. 73
. 73
. 70
.69

. 56
.61

.63
.62
. 61

.61
.59
.65
.60
.56

1. 06
.92
.91
.90
.86
.86
.83
.79
.75

.83
.73
.83
.78
.76
.71
.80
.73
.71

14

WOMEN’S EARNINGS IN MANUFACTURING

Average Hourly Earnings of Women Plant Workers in Chief Occupations of Women
in Union and Nonunion Plants 1—Continued
Average hourly earnings of
women in—
Industry and occupation 1
Union plants
Woolen and worsted:
Weaver (except Jacquard)------------------Twister tender_______________________
Spinner, ring frame___________________
Winder, yarn------------ -------- ---------------Inspector, cloth, hand________________
Doner, spinning frame________________
Rayon and silk:
Weaver, plain, automatic----------- --------Weaver, box_________________________
Weaver, dobby_______________________
Winder, yarn________________________
Twister tender and spinner____________
Footwear:
Fancy stitcher-----------------------------------Vamper__ ____ ______________________
Treer...............................................................
Skiver-------------- ----------------------- --------Shoe cleaner__________________________
Inspector_____________________ _______
Paster, backer, fitter...----------------------Floor girl____________________________
Cigar:
Bunchmaker, hand___________________
Roller, hand______________ __________
Bunchmaker, shredded-filler machine...
Wrapper layer, long-filler machine-------Stripper, hand___________________ ____
Stripper, machine------------------------------Set-up paper box:
Wrapping- machine operator, automatic.
Stripping-machine operator-----------------Box-maker, hand...__________________
Bundler, box_________________________
Costume jewelry:
Punch-press operator, class B__________
Assembler, class C.................. ......................
Bench hand, class B__________________
Carder, wrapper and packer-----------------

Nonunion
plants

$1.14
.87
.86
.86
.82
.74
.

$1.04
.79
.82
.80
.74
.74

.95
.94
.93
.77
.76

.91
.91
.91
.69
.70

.86
.83
.79
.77
.68
.62
.61
.59

.83
.76
.68
.69
.57
.59
.57
.56

.92
.90
.72
.68
.65
.62

.78
.73
.65
.71
.51
.62

.78
.76
.68
.62

.63
.59
.55
.52

.84
.75
.72
.71

.70
.69
.65
.58

1 Limited to industries and occupations listed on p. 9, with the exception that data were not available on
occupations in the cigarette industry.
2 With more than 1 year’s experience.
3 Excludes house slippers and rubber footwear.

U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1948

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.
Price 10 cents