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UN ITED STATES D E P A R TM EN T O F L A B O R BUR EAU O F L A B O R STATISTICS Maurice J. Tobin, Secretary Ewan Clague, Commissioner In cooperation with V E TE R A N S A D M IN IS T R A T IO N OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK SERIES - Bulletin No. 1010 EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK IN MEN'S TAILORED CLOTHING INDUSTRY Bulletin N o . 1 0 1 0 U N IT E D S TA T E S D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R Maurice J. Tobin, S ecreta ry B U R E A U O F L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S Ewan C la g u e , Com m issioner In cooperation with V E T E R A N S A D M IN I S T R A T I O N For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing O ffice, Washington 25, D. C. Price 25 cents Letter of Transmittal U nited States D epartment of L abor, B ureau of L abor Statistics, Washington, D. C., January 10, 1951. The Secretary of L abor: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on the employment outlook in the men’s tailored clothing industry. This is one of a series of occupational studies conducted in the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Branch for use in schools, colleges, offices of the Veterans Administration, local offices of the State employment services affiliated with the United States Employment Service, and other agencies engaged in vocational counseling of veterans, young people in schools, and others interested in choosing a field of work. The study was financed largely by the Veterans Administration, and the report was originally published as a Veterans Administration pamphlet for use in vocational rehabilitation and education activities. The study was prepared by Stuart A. Pettingill with the assistance of Vincent H. Arkell. The Bureau wishes to acknowledge the generous assistance received from unions, trade associa tions, clothing companies, and from other Government agencies. E wan C lague, Commissioner. Hon. M aurice J. T obin, Secretary of Labor. II Contents The industry: Introduction_____________________________________________________________________________ How clothing is m ade____________________________________________________________________ The clothing’workers_____________________________________________________________________ Working conditions and earnings__________________________________________________________ Unionization_________________________________________________________________________ Working conditions and hazards_______________________________________________________ Vacations, pensions, and other employment benefits_____________________________________ H ours and earnings__________________________________________________________________ Em ploym ent outlook_____________________________________________________________________ P ast trends in production and em ploym ent____________________________________________ The dem and for men’s clothing_______________________________________________________ Changes in technology_______________________________________________________________ Seasonality__________________________________________________________________________ Em ploym ent opportunities____________________________________________________________ How to enter the in d u stry ____________________________ Opportunities in individual occupations: A dm inistrative positions__________________________________________________________________ M aterial buyers_____________________________________________________________________ Sales positions--------------------------------------Production jobs______________________________________________________________________ O ther adm inistrative positions________________________________________________________ Clerical and other office workers___________________________________________________________ Designers and patternm akers______________________________________________________________ Designers____________________________________________________________________________ P attern m ak ers_______________________________________________________________________ P atte rn graders______________________________________________________________________ Cloth processing jobs_____________________________________________________________________ Testers or laboratory personnel_______________________________________________________ Cloth examiners_____________________________________________________________________ Spongers____________________________________________________________________________ Cutting room jobs_______________________________________________________________________ Spreaders, markers, and cu tters_______________________________________________________ F itte rs______________________________________________________________________________ Assemblers and ticketers______________________________________________________________ T ailors__________________________________________________________________________________ Sewing jobs______________________________________________________________________________ M achine sewing jobs_________________________________________________________________ H and sewing jobs____________________________________________________________________ Pressing jobs_____________________________________________________________________________ Miscellaneous clothing jobs__________________ M aintenance, shipping and storage, and custodial jo b s______________________________________ M aintenance jobs____________________________________________________________________ Shipping and storage jobs____________________________________________________ Custodial jobs_______________________________________________________________________ Paae 1 2 4 5 5 6 6 7 9 9 9 10 11 11 13 15 15 15 15 16 16 17 17 17 18 18 18 18 19 19 20 21 21 21 23 23 24 25 26 27 27 28 28 III Contents— Continued A P P E N D IX E S Page I. II. Schools offering job train in g ______________________________________________________________ Straight-tim e average hourly earnings in m en’s tailored clothing m anufacturing: August-Septem ber 1948___________________________________________________________________________________ 29 31 CHARTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. M en’s clothing production centers___________________________________________________________ Production flow in m anufacturing m en’s suits________________________________________________ V ariation in piecework hourly earnings______________________________________________________ E m ploym ent in m en’s clothing______________________________________________________________ Seasonal p a tte rn of retail sales of m en’s clothing______________________________________________ Comparison of seasonal variation in production of m en’s clothing by type of establishm ent_______ 2 3 8 9 11 12 TABLES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. IV Machine sewing occupations—average straight-tim e hourly earnings____________________________ H and sewing occupations—average straight-tim e hourly earnings______________________________ Pressing occupations—average straight-tim e hourly earnings___________________________________ Miscellaneous clothing jobs— average straight-tim e hourly earnings____________________________ M aintenance occupations—average straight-tim e hourly earnings______________________________ Shipping and storage occupations—average straight-tim e hourly earnings______________________ 24 25 26 27 27 28 Employment Outlook In Men's Tailored Clothing Industry The Industry In tro d u ctio n The men’s tailored clothing industry produces one of the necessities of life and clothes over 50 million American men and boys. The annual out put of men’s and boys’ suits, sportcoats, topcoats, and overcoats is valued at one and a quarter billion dollars and the industry provides jobs for almost 150,000 workers. Men’s clothing has not always been made in fac tories. Until the Civil War, men’s clothing was largely made to measure in the home or by profes sional tailors. Keady-made clothing grew out of the sale of second-hand clothing to sailors when during slack seasons tailors began making up crude garments which they sold to sailors’ slop shops. The demand for slaves’ clothing and the gold rush o f 1849 slowly nurtured the infant in dustry until the Civil War. However, sewing was still done in the home and largely by hand. This method of manufacture could not meet the demand for soldiers’ uniforms and the factory system emerged during the Civil War. For a long time, ready-made clothing was looked down upon as being fit only for sailors and labor ers. Although the Army had worked out standard sizes which were later applied to civilian clothing, the garments were still crudely made and often illfitting. For many years, sales were largely con fined to the rural West but there was a steady improvement in quality, and public acceptance. In 1890, ready-made clothing had already equaled custom-made in volume and, by the end of World War I, had largely replaced custom-made. The sewing machine came into general use in the industry during the Civil War, and the following decades witnessed increasing mecha nization wuth the introduction of electric cutting knives, steam presses, and other improvements. Along with increased mechanization came indus trial engineering and scientific management which enabled greater output per worker and a better product. But, mechanization of the men’s clothing industry was never carried to the extent achieved in the mass-production industries since the indus try does not lend itself to complete mechanization. Four types of establishments predominate in the men’s tailored clothing industry. Establishments which perform all manufacturing processes on their own premises are known as “ inside shops.” They employ about 60 percent of the industry’s workers. A few of the largest inside shops own chains of retail stores which market their entire output. Although such manufacturers make up a small proportion of the inside shops, they account for a quarter of the industry’s output. Another type of establishment purchases and cuts cloth and delivers it to other firms which make up the gar ments for an agreed price. Since these concerns subcontract most of the manufacturing, they provide few jobs. The establishments which do the manufacturing on contract are known as “contract shops.” Contract shops employ about 30 percent of the industry’s workers and are located chiefly in the New York, Philadelphia, and Balti more areas. Tailor-to-the-trade firms make gar ments to individual order and do not maintain stocks. This part of the industry employs fewer than a tenth of all workers. Men’s tailored clothing is manufactured by medium- and small-sized firms. Almost half of the industry’s workers are in firms employing fewer than 250 workers. There are almost 2,000 firms in the industry and no single company em ploys over 5 percent of the industry’s workers. Manufacturers can enter this industry with very little capital. The equipment required is rela tively inexpensive and a ready supply of raw ma terials can be obtained, often on easy credit terms. As a result, the industry is highly competitive. Employment is heavily concentrated in New York State and, to a lesser extent, in Pennsylvania, 1 Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, and Massa chusetts. These seven States provide employment for more than four out of five workers in the in dustry. Within these States, the industry is fur ther concentrated in metropolitan areas. For ex ample, a quarter o f all the employees are located in the New York City metropolitan area. Other important centers are Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, and Rochester. The relative impor tance of these centers is shown in chart 1. CHART I M e n 's Clothing Production Centers NUMBER OF MEN'S ANO STUDENTS' WOOL GARMENTS CU T, 1947 NEW YORK PHILADELPHIA BALTIMORE CHICAGO ROCHESTER CLEVELAN D BOSTON S T. LOUIS CINCINNATI LOS AN GELES MINNEAPOLISST. PAUL UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS SOURCE: U. S. BUREAU OF CENSUS How C lo t h in g Is M a d e Production methods vary from firm to firm for various reasons. In general, the large plants use a greater proportion of machinery than small ones and higher quality clothing requires more hand work and fewer machine operations. Produc tion is subdivided into many operations or sec tions where workers in factory buildings perform highly specialized tasks with extreme dexterity. Over 200 distinct operations are required in mak ing a suit and some manufacturers carry the divi sion of labor to that extent. Small firms fre quently combine several operations into a single job. Although inside shops make a wide variety of garments, some contract shops specialize on a single garment or even on a single operation. 2 Despite these variations, there is a typical manu facturing process which can be described in gen eral terms for a large plant. Chart 2 illustrates some of the major operations in making a suit. The manufacturing begins with the designer who designs a suit and has a sample garment made. I f the sample garment meets the approval o f the designer and the company’s executives, a pattern is made by a patternmaker. This master pattern is then made into various size patterns by pattern graders and the completed patterns are sent with instructions to the cutting room. Meanwhile, the purchasing department has bought the piece goods and cloth, and samples have been tested in the laboratory. After the cloth has been examined and measured, and all flaws have been marked, it is sent to the sponging room where it is pre-shrunk so that it will not change shape or texture after the garment is made. It is then dried, folded, or rolled, and sent to the cutting room. Small firms often subcontract these operations. The cloth is stretched out on long cutting tables in several layers or “ plies”—the number of plies depending upon the quality and num ber of garments being made. Using patterns as guides, the cloth is marked and cut. Cloth cuttings are then prepared for sewing by fitters who locate the pockets, match the pattern, etc. Then, the garment pieces are sorted into bundles, with identifying tickets attached, and routed to the various sewing sections where the garment is assembled. Here the garment begins to take form as it passes through a succession of highly special ized operations. Coats, pants, and vests are usually assembled in separate departments. Assembly consists of a series of sewing and pressing operations, with each worker assigned a specific task. Some baste linings, others sew tapes around parts which must hold their shape, or join pieces together. Some work by hand but others use a variety of high speed machinery which cuts holes, turns corners, trims edges, adds tapes, etc. During these operations, the garment has fre quent pressings which help in sewing it together and giving it shape. And, from time to time, it is inspected for proper workmanship. A few of the more important operations per formed in the making of a suit coat illustrate the CHART Z Production Flow in Manufacturing M e n 's Suits PURCHASING (Yard a Piece Goods) CLOTH S H IP P E D FROM CLO TH M A N U FA CTU R E R S CLOTH RECEIVJNG TESTING SPONGING EXAMINING SPREADING MARKING CUTTING FITTING ASSEMBLING TICKETING C O A T S -* — BODY FRONTS POCKETS BODY BACKS BODY LIN IN G " r.tO TH PARTS _____ FO R COATS COLLARS (3 L a y e r s ) SLEEVES (Outer) many specialized operations required in manufac turing. To begin with, the pieces which will be come the coat fronts have their interliners stitched and slits are cut and stitched for pockets. Then, the pockets, which have been trimmed and lined in another section, are attached and pressed. Meanwhile, the backs of the coat have been joined and their seams piped to prevent unraveling. The fronts and backs of the coat are now joined, the armholes and shoulders are taped to preserve the garment’s shape, and the side seams are pressed. By this time, the garment can be recognized as a suit coat. The coat front lapels are now pressed back. Then, the facings which form the lapels are re ceived from another section with the coat’s lining, and inside pockets already basted (temporary sewing) to them. The facings are joined to the --------------- -------- C LO TH PAffTo •■OR TR O USER S SLEEVES (L i n in g ) BACKS “ — ► -T R O U S E R S LOOPS POC KET S FLYS FRONTS coat and the lining is permanently sewn in. Meanwhile, in another section the collars have been shaped, trimmed, sewed, and pressed and are now joined to the coat. Still another section has sewed, lined, and pressed the sleeves. Shoulder padding is now added to the coat, the shoulder seams sewed up, and the sleeves sewed in the coat. These are complicated operations involving bast ing, pressing, and sewing. Although the coat appears almost finished, it still must go through several additional opera tions. The felling department sews together all the unjoined parts and removes the basting. But tonholes are made, the coat is cleaned and pressed, and buttons are sewed on. A t this stage, the coat receives its final pressing and is put with the completed pants and vest. A final inspection is made and the suit is readied for shipment. 3 These are the pieces of cloth cut to shape that are a ssem bled into the finished suit. The C lo t h in g W o rk e rs The clothing industry traditionally employed immigrant labor until large-scale immigration ceased. Although some displaced persons are en tering the industry, it is now dependent upon native-born Americans for its labor supply. Men’s clothing manufacturing requires fairly skilled workers. Notwithstanding that a third of all employees are machine operators, some are highly skilled, and many must handle and shape the material as well as sew it. Much of the work is highly specialized and is performed at high speed. Because most skilled workers are paid by piecework, they are reluctant to change their type of job since this causes a loss in earnings during the retraining period. As a result, clothing workers tend to stay at the same type of job al though they may move from plant to plant and from city to city. This occupational immobility reduces the opportunity for advancement and makes it difficult for clothing workers to find em ployment outside the clothing industries. The clothing worker tends to stay in the clothing in dustries through good years and bad. As a result of the low turn-over, the present labor force has grown old on the job. Few man ufacturing industries have as high a proportion of older workers as the men’s clothing industry. 4 In 1916, an estimated 40 percent of all employees were over 50 years of age, which is unusual in an industry where women predominate. . Three out of every five male employees were over 50, and one out of every four women was past 50. On the other hand, only 10 percent of all employees were under 25 years of age, and most of them were women. The unusually high average age of the male workers means that many will retire or die in the next several years. Since men have not entered the industry in any numbers in recent years, women have been increasingly replacing them. Some jobs, however, are traditionally filled by men instead of by women. Women have outnumbered men in the industry for some time. In December 1949 women made up 61 percent of the total employed, and the pro portion is steadily increasing. Over 70 percent of the workers who entered the industry between 1936 and 1946 were women, and a surprising num ber of them were over 40 years of age. There are marked regional differences in the proportion of women employed. In New York, the largest man ufacturing center, there are more men than women workers, but the proportion of women is slowly increasing. In the other eastern cities and in the Middle West, over two-thirds of all workers are women. The proportion of women varies widely among occupations. Cloth processing, designing and patternmaking, cutting and marking, and tailor ing jobs are held almost entirely by men, but women predominate in machine sewing, hand sew ing, and miscellaneous jobs like those of the work distributors and thread trimmers. W o r k in g C o n d itio n s a n d E a r n in g s Unionization Some of the earliest unions in America were in the clothing trades. Sporadic and short-lived associations of tailors were organized in eastern cities before the War of 1812. With the emergence of the men’s tailored clothing industry after the Civil War, loosely knit craft unions appeared under the banner of the Knights of Labor. These unions were soon replaced by the United GarmentWorkers of America organized in 1891 by the American Federation of Labor. In 1914, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was organized and rapidly became the dominant organ ization in the industry—the position it holds today. Union organization was largely stimulated by the deplorable working conditions prevalent in the industry at the turn of the century when successive waves of immigrants were exploited under work ing conditions far below the standard even of that period. The early years of the twentieth century witnessed a series of bitter strikes which reached a climax in Chicago in 1910, and New York in 1912. But out of these struggles emerged a col lective bargaining machinery which developed into one of the most significant experiments in industrial relations in American history and has kept this industry almost free from strikes for many years. The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of Amer ica represents over 95 percent of the workers in the industry and only a few inside shops remain unorganized. The union has always been organ ized on industrial lines and was one of the original founders of the CIO. Locals are established in all o f the principal garment centers. Some locals are organized on occupational lines and contain all of the workers in a single occupation in the area, whereas others include a wide group of occupations. 2 924049°— 51 Se w in g in the shoulder p a dd ing. Under the terms of the contracts between cloth ing manufacturers and the union, the industry operates under a closed-shop agreement with a check-off for dues. This means that employers must hire union members in good standing if any are available and must be responsible for the collection of union dues. The union agrees to furnish the employer with union members. When the union is unable to furnish union workers, employers may hire nonunion workers, provided they will join the union within a reasonable period of time. In some areas clerical workers also are required to join the union after completing their probationary period, although employers may hire them in the open market. Membership in the union is open to everyone, although in some occupations it may be restricted from time to time, depending upon economic con ditions. The union accepts men and women on an equal basis and workers of all races and nation alities. Union dues, which vary from local to local, average about $2 a month. Initiation fees are under $10 and special assessments must be approved by a majority of the union membership. Seniority, or the practice of laying off workers in the reverse order of their length of service in 5 a plant or industry, is not widely used in the men’s clothing industry. However, seniority governs the laying off of clerical personnel, and in severe periods o f business stagnation, the laying off o f all personnel. Unless business conditions become severe enough to require a permanent reduction in the industry’s labor force, work is shared among workers in the same plant or between plants of the same concern. This means that as soon as a new worker completes his 6 weeks’ probationary period, he acquires tenure and has the same rights as any other worker. It also means the number of work ers “ attached” to a plant in relation to its normal needs has a direct effect upon the earnings of all workers. In slack seasons or during business re cessions, workers in the industry work only part time, but as long as their plant operates, they have jobs and some earnings. The men’s clothing industry is noted for its many years o f industrial peace. Workers going into the industry can expect to lose very little time from strikes or other work stoppage. Successful labor-management relations are the result of the willingness of employers and union alike to try to solve their problems together, and o f the devel opment o f compulsory arbitration and industry wide collective bargaining. Industry-wide collec tive bargaining in the men’s clothing industry is a natural outgrowth of an economic structure with many small, competitive producers concentrated in a few major markets. In an industry where capital invested per worker is less than 6 months’ wages, any substantial difference in wage rates causes a flow o f work from one area to another. In the men’s clothing industry, however, the re sulting insecurity to employers and employees has been largely eliminated by adjusting wage rates to equalize the manufacturers’ labor costs insofar as possible throughout the country. In contract shop areas, specifications were established for the four lower grades of clothing and total labor costs were set for each grade. Since the adoption o f this practice, the migration of the industry from the old established clothing centers has almost ceased. There has also been a stabili zation of the amount o f work in each shop and contractors bidding for business no longer forces wage rates down. The union engages in a wide range of educa tional, cultural, banking and credit, and other ac Digitized6 FRASER for tivities. It has prepared correspondence courses to further the education of its members and it owns two banks which make small loans to union members at low rates of interest. The union also has a cooperative housing program which has been greatly expanded since the end o f W orld War II. Working Conditions and Hazards The notorious sweatshops which plagued men’s clothing manufacturing a generation ago have been replaced by working conditions which are among the best in all industry. Clothing manufacturing is essentially a clean trade without the dust, grease, or noise present in many manufacturing occupa tions. Working conditions vary by type o f plant and by occupation. Large integrated manufac turers and “ inside” shops are usually located in modern factory buildings with ample space and good lighting. Some o f these plants have cafe terias and even clinics with trained nurses on duty. But, a large part of the men’s clothing industry is still located in older clothing centers where working conditions are less satisfactory. Smaller plants in these areas are generally more crowded and less attractive than more modern and spacious plants. Because some clothing processes generate considerable heat and humidity, special ventila tion is required to maintain comfortable working conditions. This is often difficult to accomplish in old buildings. As in any piecework industry where workers’ earnings depend upon their speed, the working pace is rapid. In addition to fast tempo, many tasks are extremely monotonous but this is true of almost all manufacturing industries. Fatal injuries are rare in clothing manufactur ing and disabling injuries are less prevalent than in most other industries. Needle punctures and hand injuries are about the only occupational hazards in most machine occupations. Cutting is about the only occupation in which permanently disabling injuries occur, although pressers are sub ject to occasional burns and other hazards. Vacations, Pensions, and Other Benefits Workers in the men’s tailored clothing industry receive a week’s vacation with pay if employed less than 3 years, and 2 weeks with pay when em ployed over 3 years. It is customary to close the plants during vacation, usually during the first 2 weeks in July. In addition to paid vacations, em ployees receive six paid holidays each year. The men’s clothing industry was among the first American industries to adopt social-security benefits such as unemployment compensation and old-age pension programs. With the adoption of State unemployment insurance, these programs w ere converted to provide sickness, accident, ma x ternity, old-age, and death benefits which were extended to the entire industry during World War II. These benefits (except in Chicago, where payments are higher than elsewhere) are entirely supported by employers who contribute 5 percent o f their payroll to a fund established for the pur pose. In Philadelphia, employers contribute an additional three-fourths of 1 percent to maintain a medical clinic for their employees. Chicago and New York employers have agreed to finance simi lar medical centers. The industry’s social-insurance program pro vides the following benefits to its workers with out charge: (1) A $500 life insurance policy. (2) Accident and health insurance which pays workers $15 a week for a maximum of 26 weeks a year when they are urfable to work because of sickness or injury. (3) A hospital plan which pays workers $6 a day for a maximum of 62 days a year when they are hospitalized because of injury or illness. (4) Surgical benefits up to $150 are paid to ward any operation. (5) A pension of $50 a month is paid to workers over 65 who wish to retire. This pension is in addition to the worker’s Federal Social-Security benefits and the maximum total pension which a worker may receive has been set at $116 a month. Any worker who has spent 20 years in the industry and has belonged to the union for 10 years is eligible, provided his last employer contributed to the fund during the last 2 years of his employ ment. Hours and Earnings Hourly earnings in the men’s tailored clothing industry are close to the average for all manu facturing. Although average hourly earnings during the busy 1947-48 season were above the manufacturing average, they fell behind in 1949 and in the first 4 months of 1950 were still slightly below the average. Since men’s clothing workers have a shorter workweek than workers in most other industries, their average weekly earnings are below the average. In the first 4 months of 1950. average weekly earnings in the men’s clothing in dustry were about 11 percent below the manufac turing average and, because this is a seasonal industry, there may be even greater disparity in annual earnings. But the additional benefits which men’s clothing workers receive from their industry or union Should be weighed against those provided by other industries, because they may be worth more to the individual than the difference in earnings. Earnings in this industry vary widely by occu pation (Appendix I I ) . In 1948, average hourly earnings in selected occupations varied between $0.73 and $2.45 an hour. The first increase in wage rates since then became effective November 20, 1950, when pieceworkers were given a 12 cents an hour wage increase and weekly workers a flat weekly increase of $5. Highly skilled craft jobs like cutting, fitting, tailoring, and finish pressing pay well, whereas less skilled machine and hand sewing jobs bring less money. Men generally predominate in the higher paid jobs but there are exceptions. Where men and women do the same job, men have substantially higher earn ings. Since most of these jobs are piecework which pays the same rate to women as to men, the difference is due to the greater speed and endurance of the men. Workers in contract shops earn about the same as those in inside shops but workers in the New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles areas average higher earnings than those in the rest o f the country. In any piecework occupation, employees differ widely in their speeds. Some workers are unable to exceed the minimum wage whereas exceptional workers may earn double the average. Chart 3 illustrates the wide variation in two typical oc cupations. Since the ability to perform satisfac tory work at high speeds has a profound effect on total earnings, persons contemplating entering the men’s clothing industry should not enter piece work occupations unless they have at least average manual dexterity. Persons with exceptional ability to work with their hands, however, should consider this industry, since they may be able to earn more than they could in straight-time indus tries with higher average earnings. y 2 7 CHART 3 Variation in Piece W ork Hourly Earnings NEW YORK C IT Y , 1948 Percent o f W orkers Percent o f Workers Percent of Workers Percent of W orkers A V E R A G E S T R A I G H T -T I M E UNIT ED S T A T ES DEP ARTMENT OF LA BO R BUREAU OF LA BO R S T A T I S T I C S 8 H O U R L Y E A R N IN G S E m p lo y m e n t O u t lo o k Past Trends in Production and Employment Men’s clothing production is greatly influenced by general economic conditions. Despite the growth in population, men bought substantially less clothing during the depression nineteen thirties than during the prosperous twenties. In the prosperous years following World War II, more men’s tailored clothing was purchased than ever before, but production shifted to lighter clothing and sportswear. The output of men’s suits in the best postwar year— 1947—was only 13 percent above 1941. Between 1941 and 1947, how ever, the output of sport coats trebled and separate dress trousers doubled. Men’s clothing firms are shifting production to meet popular demand for these items and the production of sportswear is becoming a substantial portion of the industry’s business. Employment closely parallels production. Men buy more of their clothes in the spring and fall and this results in month-to-month variations in hours of work and in employment. The men’s clothing industry is especially hard hit during pe riods of depression when men put off buying clothing as long as possible. Even those fortunate enough to remain employed work only part time. About the same number of workers are em ployed in the industry today as in 1923. Employ ment declined steadily between 1923 and 1933 and then recovered slowly until higher incomes and large military orders boosted it to an all-time peak in 1941 and 1942. After 1942, employment again declined. (See chart 4.) Notwithstanding that the industry’s 1947 output was considerably greater than in 1941, it was produced by 10 per cent fewer workers. The more stable level of pro duction in 1947 resulted in a greater output per worker, although increased efficiency was a con tributing factor. In the following year, the in dustry returned to more nearly normal conditions with labor shortages easing and seasonal varia tions reappearing. Output declined slightly, but average employment increased. Both employ ment and output declined in 1949, both rose again in 1950. The Demand for Men’s Clothing Although clothing is one of the necessities of life, men’s clothing expenditures may be more sharply expanded or contracted in a given year than almost any other essential. Individuals are equipped with wardrobes of varying sizes, which, being durable, can be “ stretched” when other de mands on the pay check are more pressing. It is only natural that changes in income should limit or expand the amount spent for clothing. During the past 21 years, the American economy has had many ups and downs but national income availa ble for consumption has increased at an average rate of over 6 percent a year. Future variations may be expected but, in the long run, incomes should continue to increase and the demand for men’s clothing should increase with them. The distribution o f national income is almost as important as the amount. Consumer purchase studies have shown that middle-income groups spend a higher proportion of their income on clothing than do other income groups. Although individuals spend an increasing proportion of their total income on clothing as their incomes increase beyond a certain point this proportion tends to decline as they begin to save an increasing proportion o f their income. The present trend toward a more even distribution of the national income among individuals should strengthen the demand for men’s clothing. Urban families spend larger amounts on cloth ing than do rural families. Urban and rural nonCHART 4 Employment in M e n's Clothing 1939 '40 '41 '42 '43 '44 '45 '46 '47 '48 '49 1950 Fs irt § mnh ot s UNI TED S TAT ES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR BUREAU OF LABOR S T A T I S T I C S 9 farm population has been increasing steadily but farm population has actually declined. There is every expectation that this trend will continue. During the past 40 years, there has also been a continuous shift in male workers to occupations and professions which require the wearing of busi ness suits to work. Both of these trends should help keep the demand for men’s clothing at high levels. More important is the increasing number of young men who in a few years will reach the age when they will become customers of the men’s clothing industry. The heavy birth rate of the war years will begin to be felt in another 5 years, with the largest group of male youths in the his tory of the country reaching the age of 15 during the 1955-65 decade. The needs of these new cus tomers in the industry will not be as easily de ferred as those o f older men. Moreover, the majority of young men spend a larger proportion of their incomes on clothing than do older men who have families to support. On the adverse side, there appears to be a slow long-run decline in the per capita purchases of men’s clothing. Men’s clothing offers a wider range o f substitution of lower priced items than almost any other commodity and men can adjust to price increases or reduced clothing budgets without depriving themselves of clothing. Prog ress in clothing manufacturing and merchandising has improved the quality of clothing in the lower priced lines and has enabled more men to appear well dressed. As a result, a declining proportion o f disposable income is being spent on men’s cloth ing and a greater proportion on heavy consumer durable goods and other commodities. Con tinuing competition from automobiles, television sets, and other goods is likely to be intensified. The lack of rapid style changes in men’s cloth ing enables men to wear their clothing longer than women and thus limits demand. Over the past 40 years, there has been a steady trend toward lighter clothing and more informal dress. The latter could reduce the demand for men’s clothing to a considerable extent. Sportswear, which is of fairly recent origin, has begun to replace suits for office and street wear and informal occasions. Consequently, there has been a shift in demand from suits to sportswear rather than any general decline. 10 Greater durability and less frequent style changes make the demand for men’s clothing more sensitive to price changes than does the demand for other apparel. However, the demand for men’s outerwear is less sensitive to price changes than to income changes. Men’s clothing prices generally move fairly closely with the general price level and should have little long-run effect on total demand. The factors tending to increase the demand for men’s clothing will probably be largely offset by increasing competition from other industries for the consumer’s dollar. Demand should remain relatively stable during the next few years and then slowly increase with the increase in the adult male population. Changes in Technology The men’s tailored clothing industry has gone through several periods of mechanization but, for the most part, progress has been slow and gradual. Recent mechanization has been in the form of minor improvements on existing machinery rather than in startling innovations. Although the industry uses a great deal o f specialized machinery, it is still largely a hand industry using skilled labor. Unless a completely new technology is developed, future improvements are likely to be minor. The small size of firms has limited the industry’s research and development. Moreover, manage ment has largely come from the business side of the industry rather than from the engineering profession and has tended to concentrate on such problems as marketing or the buying of materials. But, the chief barrier to further mechanization is the industry itself. Firms are small, raw mate rials are variable, and the final product has end less shapes, shades, designs, and sizes. Such au industry does not readily lend itself to mechani zation with its consequent replacement of skilled labor. Recent technological improvements have been due to improved organization and scientific man agement rather than to mechanical improvements. Since workers spend more time handling mate rials than in operating machines, improvements in organization, specialization, and flow of work offer greater opportunities for reducing costs and increasing productivity than do machine improve ments. During the past 30 years, the hourly output per worker has gradually risen although less than in many mass-production industries. Further in creases in productivity may be expected in the future, but it is doubtful if they will materially reduce the level of employment in the industry. CHART 5 Seasonal Pattern of Retail Sales of M e n ‘s Clothing Avera ge 1940- 41=100 A J INDEX Seasonality Seasonal variations in production and employ ment are more pronounced in this industry than in almost any other manufacturing industry Even in the most prosperous years retail sales of men’s clothing are highly seasonal since men generally buy their clothing in the spring and fall (see chart 5). In bad years, however, when retailers make “ hand-to-mouth” orders, this seasonality is car ried over into manufacturing wdth a vengeance; in good years the seasons spread over each other and the drop in sales is much less pronounced. Although seasonal variations in production and employment are always more marked in poor years than in good business years, they affect some types of manufacturers more than others. ( See chart 6.) Tailor-to-trade establishments always exhibit a wide variation in production because they manu facture to customers’ orders. In prosperous years, “ contract” shops and “ inside” shops have fairly stable production. In bad years, both types o f manufacturers have wide variations in produc tion and unemployment. Contract shops, how ever, are so severely affected that they produce most of their output during a few months and virtually suspend operations for the rest of the year. Integrated manufacturers with greater re sources and assured markets through their own stores are able to maintain more stable produc tion and employment than any other type of cloth ing manufacturer, regardless of business condi tions. Therefore, new workers entering the in dustry will find more stable employment with large integrated manufacturers than with any other type. Since hourly earnings are substantially the same in all types o f shops, workers can expect, over a period of years, to average higher annual earn ings in integrated and inside shops. Neverthe less those who plan careers in the men’s clothing industry must expect periods of unemployment or reduced earnings each year and prolonged periods of unemployment during business recessions. This should be considered when comparing pro J BUREAU F M M OF LA B OR S T A T I S T I C S J A S O N D RE CON VE RS ION spective earnings with those of other industries. Employees must use earnings from busy seasons and prosperous years to tide them over slack seasons and recession years. During the prosperous years following W orld War II, only minor seasonal variations in em ployment were experienced until 1949. Even then, they were less severe than in prewar years. Both industry and labor are attempting to reduce seasonal variations in production. It is doubtful if seasonal variations will ever be as extreme as in the prewar period but it is equally doubtful if they will ever be completely eliminated. Any reduction in seasonal variation will tend to reduce, to some degree, the size of the labor force required by the industry. However, no material effects upon employment are expected from this source in the near future. Employment Opportunities A study o f the factors affecting employment indicates no substantial change. Rather, it sug gests that the number of jobs in this industry will remain relatively stable, fluctuating from an aver age level of about 150,000, depending upon the season of the year and general business conditions. 11 CHART 6 Comparison of Seasonal Variation in Production of Men’s Clothing BY TYP E OF E S T A B L IS H M E N T Average Monthly Production for Each Year and Establishment * 100 IN DEX IN DEX 220 200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 J F M A M J J U N IT E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T OF L A B O R B U R E A U OF L A B O R S T A T I S T I C S 12 A S 0 N D J F So urce: M A O F F IC E M J OF W A R J A S M O B IL IZ A T IO N O N D AND R E C O N V E R S IO N This is the long-run outlook. In the immediate future, employment may rise somewhat as a result of larger defense orders for uniforms. Since total employment is not expected to in crease in the long run, employment opportunities for new workers depend almost entirely on the replacement o f present workers. Turn-over, how ever, is lower in this industry than in industry generally, except during seasonal peaks. Skills acquired in the men’s clothing industry are fre quently of no benefit in other industries, and workers may encounter difficulty in shifting to other apparel industries or even to other firms making widely separated grades of men’s cloth ing. Although skilled workers may change em ployers frequently w ithin the industry, they rarely leave it for other industries. Turn-over is greater among women who drop out (often temporarily) to raise families, or to take jobs for short periods to supplement the family income. This type of turn-over offers greater opportunities for women to enter the industry since men tend to remain in the industry until they retire. Employment opportunities, however, are almost equally good for men and should improve, since, as we have already seen, a large proportion of the clothing workers, both men and women, are well along in years and almost three out of five male workers are over 50 years of age. An increasing number of these workers will vacate their jobs each year through retirements or death which should offer excellent opportunities for both men and women. It is expected that the industry’s pension plan will encourage retirements, since the age requirement has been lowered to 65 years. Retire ments and deaths have already caused labor short ages in some clothing occupations, and may be partially responsible for the gradual replacement of men by women in many sections of the industry. The employment outlook for prospective work ers in the men’s clothing industry is already favor able and may be expected to improve for both men and women. Unless there is a general decline in business activity, which is unlikely with increased defense production, thousands of jobs should become available during the next decade. How to Enter the In d u s try Since the industry practices work sharing dur ing slack seasons, the hiring of additional workers 924049°— 51---------3 beyond the normal needs of the industry affects the earnings of all workers. This tends to restrict entry to periods when business is good, because firms do not hire additional workers when the earnings of their regular employees are affected. The industry operates under a closed-shop agreement, and union agreements usually specify that employers must hire new workers through the union employment offices. In areas where the union does not have employment offices, hiring is done informally by the manager and the union business agent. When there are no qualified unem ployed union members in an area, or the union is unable to provide workers, employers may hire anyone. For new workers, perhaps the best means of entry is through friends and relatives working in the industry who know when vacancies exist and will recommend new workers for trial. Many plants have employment offices where they hire workers by informal arrangements with the union. This is usually a good way to locate jobs and obtain information on local requirements and opportunities. Union business agents also recruit employees when chronic shortages of workers de velop in certain occupations. Where maintained, the union employment offices are good means of entering the industry. In the New York area, the State Employment Services’ Manhattan Needle Trades Office is one of the principal place ment centers. State employment services in other States also attempt to place new workers in the industry. Since experienced unemployed workers have first opportunity at vacancies listed with the service, this method of entry is only prac ticable during periods of high employment. New workers are required to join the union if they remain in the industry, but some locals permit new employees to complete their probationary period before requiring them to join. Apprenticeships remain in only a few craft jobs. They are still the best means of entry for such highly skilled trades as cutting, patternmak ing, and tailoring. Some technical schools train students for the needle trades and make an at tempt to place them. A list of these schools is contained in Appendix I. Although some of these schools give excellent training, graduates still require considerable training on the job and do not have too great an advantage over non graduates in obtaining entry jobs. 13 For many years, the men’s clothing industry obtained most of its workers from newly arrived immigrants who were already skilled. During the late twenties and the depression of the thirties, there were more experienced workers than jobs. Consequently, the industry did not face a serious training problem until W orld War II. As a re sult, it has not had much experience in training workers and some firms are reluctant to train people. The training period varies from locality to lo cality and from firm to firm, depending upon the willingness of the employer to devote time and effort to training, the difficulty of the job, and the aptitude o f the individual workers. When a new worker satisfactorily completes a certain established probationary period (usually 6 weeks by union agreement), he acquires tenure in the industry and can be fired only for cause. Many employers use shorter periods during which they decide whether to continue training a worker. When a worker completes his probationary pe riod and is accepted as a permanent employee, he is entitled to share equally in the work of his sec 14 tion without regard to seniority. Since a per manent excess of workers attached to the industry means lower earnings for everyone, there is a tendency to limit entry in the industry. Some overcrowded occupations have been almost closed to newcomers for extended periods of time. These occupations will offer greater opportunities in the long run since they are now largely staffed with older workers. Some concerns have special training sections where workers are partially trained before being placed in production sections. Others rely on informal coaching by supervisors and fellow em ployees. The length of training required before the new employee can reach his maximum earning speed depends upon the difficulty o f the task and, of course, upon the employee’s aptitude. Appren ticeship schedules indicate that the average worker needs approximately 7,000 hours o f train ing to become a skilled, all-round tailor. An un skilled machine operator can be trained in a couple of weeks. In most jobs, new employees o f average ability reach their maximum speed within rel atively short periods of time. Opportunities in Individual Occupations A d m in is tra tiv e P o sitio n s In any industry, someone must make the basic decisions and coordinate all activities. In small clothing manufacturing concerns, the owner may perform all of these functions himself, whereas large concerns may be highly specialized with ex ecutives directing entire departments of adminis trative and clerical personnel. Administrative positions vary from concern to concern depending upon their size and type of operation. Personnel in this category include material buyers, salesmen, production executives, personnel officers, and in large firms, advertising men, market analysts, pub lic-relations men, and several other types of spe cialized workers. • Material Buyers Buyers purchase fabrics and trimmings used in making men's clothing. Positions range from the head buyer in a large firm with several assist ants, to the owner of a small firm who does his own buying. A buyer must have a thorough knowledge of fabrics and commodity markets. He must have a good color-and-style sense and be able to recognize the quality and value of fabrics. He must be ob servant of style trends and keep in close contact with consumer demands. In addition, he must develop friendly relations with suppliers and keep abreast of the latest changes in the textile fields. Buying requires a broad background in clothing manufacturing. A buyer’s knowledge must come chiefly from experience. Some buyers work their way up from clerical and other occupations where ^hey acquired knowledge of materials and trade “ know-how” whereas others acquire this knowl edge as assistants to buyers. The line of advance ment is to head buyer and then to a similar posi tion in a larger firm or to an executive position. This is a small occupation since even the largest firms have only a few buyers and only a limited number of openings are anticipated. Sales Positions Most concerns maintain a sales staff responsible for marketing their products. A large firm’s sales department may include a sales director, advertis ing manager, salesmen, clerical workers, and mar ket analysts. The proprietors of small firms may do their own selling. Salesmen must have thorough knowledge of their products, of the competition and markets for them, as well as an understanding of advertising, credit, and production. Above all, they must have the ability to understand retailers’ problems and to maintain good relations between their company and its retailers, and ultimate consumers. Prime qualifications are a pleasing personality and a thorough knowledge of the market which can come only from experience. Experience in retail stores selling men’s clothing is a valuable background since it gives salesmen an understand ing of the consumer. Other means of entry are from university merchandising courses or advance ment from sales clerical jobs. Advancement is from junior salesman to salesman and then to sales director. Many large concerns have a train ing program for salesmen in which the trainee ac quires the necessary knowledge by assisting sales men or by working in the sales department. Small concerns may rely on informal training or hire experienced salesmen. Clothing salesmen have interesting and varied jobs. However, they must travel extensively and be away from home for extended periods of time during certain seasons. Although the number of salesmen is limited, employment opportunities for new workers are better than in most administrative positions. The turn-over among salesmen is fairly high and some vacancies occur each year. Production Jobs The majority of administrative positions are in the production department where the manufac turing operations are directed. Positions range 15 from clerical jobs to the position of production manager or director of manufacturing which, in most concerns, is second only to the company president in importance. Large firms have a num ber of production executives assisting the director whereas the owner of the small firm is often his own production manager with only clerical as sistance. The production department is responsible for planning production schedules, issuing work specifications, organizing and maintaining the plant, and supervising the preparation of raw ma terials and their fabrication into finished gar ments. Production executives need a wide ex perience in the clothing business and they are usually persons who have long been in the industry. As in most administrative work, there is a grow ing tendency to hire college graduates in begin ning positions as trainees for executive positions. Section supervisors, inspectors, and quality men are usually recruited from plant workers who have extensive knowledge and judgment derived from many years o f experience. Production positions require extensive clothing manufacturing experience, an educational back ground in business administration, or production engineering training and experience. Advance ment is usually from clerical jobs or. junior posi tions through positions o f varying responsibility up to production director. Section supervisors may also advance along the same promotion path. The production department has the greatest number o f openings for administrative positions but many of them are filled from within. The out look is for a number o f vacancies each year from normal turn-over. Other Administrative Positions Some firms have credit managers, accountants, executive secretaries, comptrollers, advertising men, public relations men, industrial relations per sonnel, and personnel officers. These positions are similar to their counterparts in other industries and require the same general experience and quali fications. Opportunities are very limited. Since only the largest firms employ such specialists, only a limited number of qualified persons will be able to find jobs in these fields each year. 16 Clerica l a n d O t h e r Office W o rk e rs Approximately 1 clothing worker in 10 is in the front office. Besides administrative person nel, there is a wide variety of clerks, bookkeepers, stenographers, and other office workers. A large firm will have purchasing clerks to keep records of purchases and inventories and pay bills; sales clerks who keep track of sales and goods shipped, prepare bills for the company’s customers, and investigate customers’ credit; production depart ment clerks who attend to details of specifications, inventories, routing, and piecework records; per sonnel clerks who take care o f personnel records, payrolls, and other personnel matters; and ship ping and receiving clerks who receive materials and ship finished garments. The large firm will also have cashiers, bookkeepers, stenographers, and other specialized office workers. Most o f these jobs require clerical experience or training. Some require extensive clothing manu facturing experience. Business training in public schools or business colleges will help prepare entrants for most office jobs. Ability to operate office business machines is a necessary qualifica tion for some positions. Employers’ hiring practices vary considerably. The best way to get an office job is through the firm’s personnel office. State employment services and private employment agencies also place workers in the industry. According to union agreements, office workers undergo a 6-week trial period. A fter completing their trial period, they become regular employees and can be discharged only for cause. They are then required to join the union. Office and clerical personnel can advance to more responsible office positions. Working conditions are comparable to those for office workers in other industries. Office person nel are on a 40-hour workweek. When business conditions require a reduction in force, seniority dictates that the newer workers be laid off first and rehired last. Clerical and office workers re ceive the same paid vacations and holidays, insur ance, health, and other benefits as the plant workers. The long run outlook for clerical and office jobs in the industry is only fair. Openings depend, in large part, on turn-over; some qualified en trants will find jobs each year. The short run outlook for these jobs is good, since the high level of defense production will reduce the number of qualified applicants. D e s ig n e r s a n d P a tte rn m a k e rs Designers Designing is a profession which requires talent and a high degree of skill. A designer originates new style ideas and makes sketches or sample garments of his ideas from which master patterns can be made. He must be fully aware of style trends and be able to ^interpret consumer style demands correctly. Designers must be good craftsmen, technically accurate, and able to make sample garments to test their ideas. They should be familiar with even the most minute tailoring operations. Large concerns have several assistant designers who design less important garments, make up sample garments, and assist the designer. Assistant designers require the same qualifications to a less exacting degree. Some firms have style reporters who frequent style centers, observing and interpreting style variations which they re port to the designers. Designing is a small but highly important oc cupation in the men’s clothing industry. De signers usually have years of apprenticeship in designing or tailoring. Journeymen tailors or patternmakers are often promoted to assistant designers or, in small firms, to designers. From there on, promotion is to head designer, and if successful, to larger and larger firms. Some schools prepare students for designing occupations and assist them in entering the preparatory occu pations. Most designers in this industry are men. Designing is a highly interesting occupation and designers are usually left to their own initia tive so long as they produce results. Salaries de pend almost entirely upon the size of the firm and the fame of the designer. Some designers earn fabulous salaries whereas others have only modest earnings. The men’s clothing industry needs designers with imagination and new ideas to replace the famous designers of the past. But the designing profession is a difficult one to enter and is one that requires special abilities besides years of preparation. Although jobs are limited in num ber, men with talent will always be in demand. For others, the outlook is less encouraging. Patternmakers Patternmakers design, draw, and cut out fullsized master patterns for each garment. Pattern making is one of the most highly skilled of all clothing manufacturing occupations. A pattern maker must be able to visualize the size, shape, and number of pattern pieces from a sketch or model furnished by the designer. Moreover, he must have enough knowledge of materials and tailoring to allow for pleats, shrinkage, and sewing. After completing the pattern, he may make up a garment from it and test it on a model to see that it has the correct fit. Patternmaking requires a detailed knowledge of manufacturing processes and a thorough knowl edge of men’s body proportions. Patternmakers must know the characteristics of fabrics and be able to work from sketches and models. Duties of patternmakers vary wuth the size of concern or type of clothes produced. In small shops, designers or journeymen tailors may make patterns or the patternmaker may do the cutting, marking, and pattern grading. Since pattern makers work closely with designers they have an opportunity to learn designing if they have the talent. Pattern graders or cutters are occasionally promoted to patternmakers and these are good entry occupations. The best way, however, for beginners to become patternmakers is through ap prenticeships where they exist. Patternmaking is predominantly a man’s job. Working conditions are among the best o f all clothing occupations. Since the work calls for a high degree of skill and judgment, the pace is not rapid and designing rooms are usually among the best o f the plant’s facilities. Earnings are among the highest of any clothing occupations. The job outlook for patternmakers is good con sidering the small size of the occupation. As in most clothing occupations requiring skill, present workers are advanced in years and many will re tire or die during the next few years. Most of the vacancies will be filled by promoting less skilled workers with the necessary qualifications. 17 Pattern Graders Pattern graders make patterns for different sizes of garments from the master pattern. The grader takes the standard pattern and modifies each dimension according to a chart or table which gives the various sizes which he marks on pattern paper. The various size patterns are then cut and marked. Pattern* graders require a detailed knowledge of the garments their concerns manu facture as well as a thorough knowledge of stand ard garment measurements and proportions. In i sense, a pattern grader is a specialized draftsman R rho makes the designer’s pattern conform to a variety of human figures. With additional train ing, he has an opportunity to advance to pattern maker, since he has already acquired much of the basic information and technical knowledge. Where apprenticeships remain, they are a good means of entering this occupation. As in most dothing occupations, membership in the union is necessary to get a job. Pattern grading is a well-paid occupation which is limited to men. Job opportunities will come as older workers drop out of the industry. The outlook is gen erally favorable, although limited by the size of the occupation. Testing the tensile strength of cloth that w ill go into a suit. C lo th P ro c e s sin g J o b s Cloth processing jobs, performed by testers, cloth examiners, spongers, and helpers, are closely related and may be combined in some concerns. Larger plants maintain laboratories where tex tile chemists and laboratory assistants do the test ing. Although small concerns often subcontract the sponging operations, they usually do some testing and examining of their own. Testers or Laboratory Personnel These workers make visual, physical, and chem ical tests of samples of cloth, thread, buttons, and canvas for such qualities as strength, durability, and fiber content. Depending on the size of the establishment, the tester may do all the testing himself and also examine the yard goods for de fects, or he may supervise the staff of a wellequipped laboratory. In very small firms, experi enced cloth examiners often do the testing almost entirely by rule of thumb. Laboratories are usually responsible for testing raw materials and furnishing information on their quality to the buyers. They also determine the sponging process to be used in preparing the cloth for manufacture. Laboratory personnel make many physical and chemical tests to determine fiber content, length of fiber, quality o f yam and weave, fastness o f dyes, strength of cloth and the extent of its shrinkage, and other qualities. Persons desiring laboratory positions should acquire a broad back ground in chemistry and textile technology and a familiarity with laboratory equipment and techniques. Cloth manufacturing experience is a valuable asset. The outlook for laboratory positions or testing jobs is fairly good, since it is anticipated that modern scientific testing w ill gradually replace T the rule of thumb testing used by some of the smaller concerns. To some extent, this service is already provided by textile consultants. Although textile testing is increasing, it is still a small oc cupation and can absorb only a limited number of trained people. At present men predominate in this occupation but women are being hired as laboratory assistants by some firms. Cloth Examiners Cloth examiners measure cloth and examine it for defects. The width and length of the cloth 18 tained on the job. Working conditions are about average for the industry. Examiners usually stand all day in hot and humid sponging rooms. Earnings in this occupation are above the industry average. The employment outlook is about the same as in other men’s clothing occupations. Spongers Cloth is carefully exam ined for defects before it is m arked and cut. are recorded and any defects in weaving or finish ing, such as holes, knots, poor weave, or irregular design, are noted and marked to guide the cutting department so that none of the defects will be in garment cuttings. The purchasing department is informed of the measure and quality of the cloth so that if it does not meet specifications it may be returned or credit claimed for shortages or defects. These workers should have good eyesight and be familiar with textile fabrics and their defects. They must understand enough of cloth marking and cutting to know the importance of the various defects. Alert and conscientious examiners pre vent waste in cutting and therefore keep costs of materials down. This is almost entirely a man’s occupation. Cloth examiners may be promoted to testing oc cupations or in some instances to buyers’ assist ants or piece goods buyers. Means of entry to cloth examining jobs vary. Promotion from re ceiving clerk is one way—textile manufacturing experience is another. As in most clothing manu facturing jobs, union membership is required. Once a worker acquires the basic knowledge of textile fabrics, the rest of the training can be ob Sponging is a process of shrinking and refinish ing cloth preparatory to cutting. In a large es tablishment, a sponger usually supervises several helpers, whereas in a small establishment he may do the entire operation. A qualified sponger has an extensive knowledge of the reaction of various textile fabrics and weaves to various shrinking and finishing processes, and selects the best proc ess for each fabric. He is also skilled in operating the various shrinking and processing machines. Typical sponging processes pass the cloth through cold water tanks or steam troughs, or through a combination of steam and cold water. The cloth is then dried, finished, and rolled or folded. Most o f these activities are done with semiautomatic machinery tended by relatively unskilled helpers who make up the majority of cloth processing workers. Head spongers, who must know the amount of shrinkage to be expected from each type of cloth and select the best process, are highly skilled. have an opportunity to be promoted to spongers and this is the best way to acquire the experience necessary for the more responsible cloth processing jobs. All spongers and helpers are men. Working conditions are less attractive than in other clothing occupations. Helpers' work is heavy and the atmosphere hot and humid from escaping steam and drying cloth. The machinery is noisy and can be dangerous for careless workers. Escaping steam sometimes causes severe burns. Foremen and spongers are well paid, but un skilled helpers are poorly paid and there is a fairly high turn-over among them. The outlook for employment is about the same as for other clothing occupations. Hlpr e es C u ttin g R o o m Jobs Cutting occupations include the highly skilled crafts of spreading, marking, and cutting and the less skilled work of fitters, assemblers, and tick- 19 Cutting the garm ent parts from m arked plies of cloth is one of the most skilled jobs in garm ent m anufacturing. eters although the latter group are not always located in the cutting room. These jobs generally pay weekly wages rather than incentive rates. One of the few definite promotion patterns in the industry is found in the cutting department. Ticketers can work their way up to cutters or markers by working as assemblers and then as fitters or spreaders. In many factories, these jobs are not clear-cut and may be combined. Cutting occupations are small and are mainly filled by men. Spreaders, Markers, and Cutters In many firms, spreading, marking, and cutting are done by the same man who is called a cutter. When this work is divided into separate jobs, marking is generally considered more skilled than cutting. Spreading takes less skill than the other two and is sometimes done by machine. Spreading consists of spreading out on the cut ting tables bolts of yard goods or piece goods in multiple layers preparatory to marking and cutting. Care must be taken that the defects marked in the cloth by the cloth examiner do not fall into the parts cut for garments. Spreading requires good eyesight, good color discrimination, Digitized for 2 0 FRASER an ability to recognize defects in cloth and place them properly, sufficient cutting-room experience to know where ends of different bolts can be lapped together, and an ability to match shades and pat terns. Sufficient strength is necessary to carry heavy bolts of cloth and spread them out on long, wide tables. Markers trace the outlines of the various patterns onto the top layer of the pile o f cloth with chalk. A marker must know when to work directly on the cloth and when it is more expedient to work on paper, and be able to arrange his various patterns rapidly so as to waste the minimum o f material. Figured cloth must be marked so that figures on adjoining garment parts will match perfectly when the garment is assem bled. Cutting consists of cutting out the various parts of the garment from the marked plies or layers of cloth already spread on the tables. Cut ters have to follow patterns closely and rapidly with either automatic or hand cutting tools. Cut ters may be promoted to head cutters, foremen, patternmakers, or designers. Entry into cutting occupations is either by pro motion from a lower rated occupation or by ap prenticeship. In either case, obtaining member ship in the union is the first step. Since cutting work is highly skilled, interesting, and pays well, the number of people desiring to enter cutting occupations has long been in excess of the needs of the industry. Accordingly, membership in the cutters’ locals has been restricted in the past, and new members admitted only when needed. As a result, the average age o f cutters is very high. New workers will have to be trained to replace them as they retire, although a fair number of cutters were trained under veterans’ training programs. The best method of entry at present is through the apprenticeship programs being initiated by some manufacturers. Working conditions are pleasant. Since accu racy is valued more than speed, the pace of work is less rigid than for most clothing occupations. Cutting rooms are usually separated from the noise and activity of the rest of the plant with ample space and good lighting and ventila tion. The occupations themselves are more inter esting and less monotonous than most clothing occupations. Earnings are high compared to other clothing manufacturing jobs. In the fall of 1948, average straight-time hourly earnings of cutters and mark ers varied between $1.61 and $2.34 an hour, with the average well above $24 Spreaders (a very small occupation since most cutters do their own spreading) earned slightly less than cutters. A l though cutters are usually paid weekly wages, incentive payment is not unknown. These are small occupations: spreaders, mark ers, and cutters combined account for only 1 worker out o f 20 in the industry. The outlook for jobs in cutting occupations is only fair at present because the industry still has a sufficient number o f workers for its needs. Since the ma jority of cutters are men over 55, an increasing number will retire from the industry during the next few years and the chances of getting cutting jobs should improve. Fitters These workers prepare cut-out garment parts for sewing by marking locations for pockets, but tons, buttonholes, and belt loops. In addition, they sort, match, and trim small garment parts and linings which have been previously cut to appro priate size by other workers. Fitters should have a complete knowledge of garment construction and be able to cut garment pieces by hand or machine. These jobs are frequently filled by promoting shap ers or assemblers. In turn, fitters are occasionally promoted to cutters. Earnings in this occupation range widely from city to city and even from factory to factory be cause of variations in the duties assigned and the skill required to perform them. For example, in the latter part of 1948, the average straight-time hourly earnings for fitters in New York City was $2.44, but in Baltimore it was $1,534 Fitters are paid piecework rates or weekly wages depend ing upon the practice of their area. Employment opportunities are about the same as for men’s clothing workers generally. Assemblers and Ticketers After the garment pieces have been cut out, they are gathered together by assemblers into bundles, the necessary accessories are put with them, and the bundles are routed to the various sewing sec tions. Assemblers match parts according to color and pattern, and must be careful not to mix sizes or styles. I f the assembling operation is faulty, 1 Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5-cent hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase of $5 a week. the production routine may be upset in the sewing department. Assemblers should be able to follow many and varied instructions and be good judges^ of color and patterns. They are sometimes pro moted to jobs as spreaders or fitters; ticketers may be promoted to assemblers. Ticketers attach identifying tickets to the gar ment parts before they are routed to the sewing sections. Tickets may also serve as a means of keeping track of piecework for those workers who are paid piece rates. When this system is used, each employee detaches a ticket after he completes work on a garment or a part. These detached tickets serve as a record for determining his pay. The duties of the ticketer are frequently combined with other jobs, such as assembling. Ticketers and assemblers should be adaptable to tedious work since their mistakes can cause con fusion, loss o f time, and loss of earnings to other workers. Ticketing is an unskilled occupation requiring no previous experience. However, in firms where one worker does all the ticketing, he must be well acquainted with the production routine. Since assembling and ticketing are relatively unskilled entry jobs, they usually pay less than other clothing jobs. As a result, turn-over is fairly high and jobs become open frequently. Tailors Tailors are hand sewers able to do all-round tasks requiring considerable skill. Perhaps more than any other craftsmen, tailors must know the detailed processes of clothing manufacturing. As a result, tailoring knowledge is often a prerequi site for more important jobs in the industry. Tailors often have supervisory responsibilities. They have a close relationship with the machine sewers, whose work they may supervise or partic ipate in, and they work closely with designers and patternmakers also. In small tailoring shops, tailors are very important workmen and must be able to do a variety of tasks. Tailoring is pre dominantly a man’s occupation. However, if the present shortage of skilled tailors continues, an increasing number of women may enter the trade. Since the responsibilities of tailors vary widely from shop to shop and from one grade of clothing to another, there are many types of tailors. Among the most common are: head tailors who are 21 responsible for maintaining production stand ards; journeymen tailors who are able to make a garment from start to finish by hand or machine; bushelmen or alteration tailors who repair and alter defective garments; and shop tailors who perform only a few skilled tailoring tasks. All of these are skilled workers but the specialized shop tailor cannot be considered as skilled as the all-round tailor who can perform any tailoring job. Head tailors are often known as “ quality men,” since they are responsible for the quality of the firm’s output in addition to their supervisory duties. In large firms, this job may be almost en tirely administrative. In any event, the head tailor must have a thorough knowledge of all production processes and his firm’s standards in addition to being an experienced and fully qualified tailor. Needless to say, the only way to get this job is to work up from less responsible tailoring jobs. Promotion is to more important administrative jobs in the production department. Journeymen tailors make complete garments or perform the more difficult hand and machine work in their construction. This is one of the more skilled jobs in the industry and it requires an ability to design clothes, make patterns, cut out the material, baste it together, and sew the entire garment by hand or machine. Detailed knowl edge of garment-manufacturing processes and sewing machines, and ability to supervise other workers performing minor tasks also are required. Journeymen tailors also make sample garments by hand for designers. Many journeymen tailors are employed in the tailor-to-trade establishments. Journeymen tailors have the opportunity to be come designers, patternmakers, and foremen and may have the duties of these workers added to their job. Journeymen tailors usually enter by apprenticeship after experience in other phases of garment construction. Even after basic qualify ing experience, considerable training and experi ence are required. As in all tailoring occupations, patience is a prime qualification. Bushelmen or alteration tailors are generally less skilled than journeymen tailors. Their job is to repair and alter garments rejected in the manu facturing process. They must be familiar with the operations of the various sewing machines; in addition, they must have had experience in the construction o f garments they work on. They 22 must also know how to press various garments. Bushelmen have an opportunity to advance to foremen or journeymen tailors. The best way to become a bushelman is through apprenticeship or advancement from shop tailor or hand-sewing jobs. Shop tailors are specialized hand or machine sewers who perform tasks requiring tailoring skill. The duties of this job vary from plant to plant, depending on the size of shop and type of produc tion system used. Shop tailors may perform such tasks as stitching in shoulder padding, sewing in linings, or setting in sleeves by machine. The job requires a detailed and practical knowledge of specialized tailoring tasks and a familiarity with the various sewing machines. Promotion for shop tailors is limited owing to the specialized nature of the job. Some have op portunities to become section foremen or altera tion tailors. Entry into this job is from tailor apprenticeships or basting and finishing jobs. Tailoring is a well-paid trade. Head tailors are paid weekly wages or salaries which depend upon the responsibility of the job. Journeymen tail ors are also paid weekly wages, and although their earnings are less than those of head tailors, they are usually greater than those o f alteration tailors or shop tailors. This is not always true, however, since the type o f plant organization varies and in some plants specialized hand sewers on piece work rates earn more than either journeymen tail ors or bushelmen. In the fall of 1948, average straight-time hourly earnings o f alteration tailors varied between $1.12 and $1.81 an hour, depending on the location and type o f shop, with the average well above $1.50 an hour.1 A t the same time, the average straight-time hourly earnings of machine sleeve sewers varied between $1.62 and $2.42 an hour, depending upon the location and type of shop, with the average well over $2 an hour. Other shop tailoring jobs generally pay less than this highly skilled job. Present employment opportunities for tailors are good, since there is already a shortage of almost all types o f skilled hand sewers. Young people have not entered tailoring occupations in any num ber and appear to have avoided hand-sewing occu pations generally. As a result, tailors currently 1 Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5-cent hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase o f $5 a week. employed are older than those in most clothing occupations and many are retiring from the indus try. Opportunities for tailoring jobs will be greater than in any other men’s clothing occupa tions and are expected to continue to increase. S e w in g Job s Three out of five men’s clothing workers are in some type of sewing job, either hand or machine. Workers are usually separated into sections mak ing a single garment. For example, the actual operations of assembling and sewing suits are gen erally done by three, more or less separate, groups o f workers engaged in coat, trouser, and vest fab rication. Within these sections, work is further sectionalized into individual operations. A l though many of these operations are quite dis tinct, they require similar qualifications and have similar working conditions. Most sewing jobs require individuals capable of doing painstaking, routine work with the fingers and hands, and doing it rapidly. Since almost all o f these jobs are piecework, any handicap involv ing the fingers, hands, or arms, or such handicaps as slow or clumsy fingers will reduce the workers' earnings and their chances of keeping their jobs. These jobs do not require much physical strength, but good eyesight is essential and an ability to read and write is often necessary. Since manu facturing methods differ from plant to plant, the degree o f skill required in any occupation may vary widely, depending on the complexity and number of operations assigned to the job. Entry into beginning sewing jobs is relatively easy since little education is required. Moreover, there are few restricting physical requirements. Most jobs can be filled by either men or women. Usually no previous training is required, although concerns prefer to hire workers with previous ex perience. A number o f private and public trade schools located in clothing manufacturing centers offer training for the needle trades. Training within the industry is generally in formal and received under the supervision of the section foreman. Although some firms have special training sections where new workers receive preliminary training before being placed in the section, the majority of trainees learn by actually working on the job. Experienced workers often assist in training new workers. Some sewing jobs require a high degree of skill and training which can be acquired only by experience in less skilled needle trades. The majority of jobs are quickly learned although it may take a long while for the new worker to reach top speed and earnings. The average sewer has little chance of promotion beyond that of foreman of a section. Promotion is largely from beginning sewing jobs to more skilled and highly paid jobs in the same field. Workers with exceptional ability, however, may rise to management jobs, and many of the people in management did start in modest jobs. Most sewing jobs are performed sitting down. Although the work is done at top speed, it is not strenuous physically. It is extremely monotonous. Working conditions depend largely upon the indi vidual plants. Serious accidents are rare in these occupations, but occasionally a sewer will punc ture a finger. Machine Sewing Jobs Machine sewers comprise more than a third o f the industry’s workers. There is a great deal of specialization and variation in skills in this large occupation. Workers use standard, all-purpose 23 machines or special machines designed to perform a single operation at high speed, or both. A ll round operators who are able to operate any of the standard or special sewing machines replace absent workers or assist sections which are temporarily behind in production. These workers have had extensive experience and are able to perform any operation on any garment. The majority of work ers specialize on a single operation. Some make complete parts such as collars, cuffs, pockets, or sleeves. Others attach collars or sleeves, join shoulders, or join fronts and backs of garments. Some of these jobs require considerable experience and skill. Machine basters put in the long, loose stitches which hold garments together until permanently stitched. Since these operations involve shaping the garment, they require a fair degree of skill. Other machine operators perform dozens of specialized operations such as sewing buttonholes, sewing on pockets, felling the body lining, padding collars and lapels, serging, and piping seams. Most machine operators are paid on piece rates, set by collective bargaining between the union and employers, which conform roughly to the degree o f skill required for each job. Since the majority of machine sew7 ers are only semiskilled, machine sewers as a group are not highly paid. Individual earnings, o f course, depend upon the speed of the individual. Earnings of sewing machine oper ators working on coat fabrics are higher than those making trousers because coat-making re quires greater skill. Average straight-time hourly earnings, during the fall of 1948, for a few of the larger machine sewing occupations were as follow s: T able 1.— Machine sewing occupations— average straighttime hourly earnings 1 Occupation New Balti Chicago York Phila Roch more City delphia ester Joining shoulders, men ..... $1.49 Joining side seams, men. . __ 1.56 Sewing edge tape, men. . . . . 1.51 Sewing in sleeves, men. 1.65 Joining shoulders, women_____ 1.27 Joining side seams, women____ 1.39 Basting edges, women _ 1.32 Jump stitch operator, women__ 1.34 Padding collars and lapels, wom en..___ ____________ * 1.27 Making trouser pockets, women. 1.26 Serging, women______ ____ 1.25 $1.82 1.72 1.59 1.74 1.35 1.65 1.41 1.43 $1.98 1.91 2.10 2.37 1.58 1.97 1.79 1.48 $1.74 1.88 1.85 2.20 1.36 1.40 1.47 1.49 $1.58 1.60 1.65 1.85 1.61 1.44 1.40 1.44 1.39 1.38 1.37 1.80 1.73 1.37 1.43 1. 51 1.24 1.43 1. 31 1.26 1 Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5-cent hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase of $5 a week. 24 The outlook for employment in machine sewing jobs is good. Since women predominate in these occupations, turn-over is greater than in occupa tions with a greater proportion of men although retirements and deaths are fewer. It is antici pated that a fairly large number o f jobs will be come available each year and that the employment outlook will gradually improve during the next few years but not as rapidly as in other occupa tions. Since machine sewing covers a large group of jobs, there will be variations in employment opportunities among individual jobs and among garment centers. In the New York area, machine sewing jobs, including those requiring the more skilled workers, are still largely filled by older men who are expected to retire in increasing num bers. Employment opportunities should be greater in that area than in other sections of the country. Hand Sewing Jobs Some hand sewing and finishing operations are used on all grades of suits and coats. The amount of hand work increases with the quality and work manship put into the garment. In manufacturing Basting canvas and p a d d in g to a coat front. This hand se w in g operation helps give a more perfect fit and drape to the finished suit. high quality clothing, the parts are usually basted together by hand before they are permanently stitched, since this provides a more perfect fit and drape to the garment. Hand sewing occupations include basting, finishing, making buttonholes, and sewing on buttons. Most hand sewers spe cialize in a single operation. Women generally predominate in most of these jobs except in bast ing which is usually a man’s occupation. Hand basters baste body linings, facings, canvas and padding to coat fronts, and baste collars together. Machines are used for some of these operations in manufacturing cheaper clothing. Finishers perform sewing tasks like bar-tacking buttonholes and pockets or sewing loops and hangers. These tasks, which are necessary to complete the gar ment, cannot be done conveniently on machines. This is the largest of hand sewing occupations and is composed mostly of women. Buttons are nearly always sewed by women but buttonholes are made by both men and women. Buttonhole makers out number button sewers in most plants and are more skilled. There are a number of other hand sewing jobs in the fabrication of trousers and other gar ments. About two out of five workers in the men’s cloth ing industry are in hand sewing occupations. As in other large occupations, there is a wide range in skill and earnings between individual jobs. Hand sewers are paid incentive rates. Earnings in some skilled hand sewing jobs are well above the average o f the industry but, as a group, hand sewers have low earnings. Average straight-time hourly earnings, in the fall of 1948, for a few of the larger hand sewing occupations are shown in the following table: result in turn-over that is fairly high for this industry. Moreover, the more highly skilled jobs are held, in large part, by older workers who are leaving the industry in increasing numbers. There is already a shortage of skilled hand fellers, and shortages in other skilled occupations are expected to develop. Job opportunities should increase for several years. P re ss in g J o b s Pressing is one of the most important processes in the manufacture of men’s clothing, since it is required to shape a garment during manufac ture and helps determine its final appearance. This large occupation has nearly one out of every six clothing workers. There are two types of pressers: finish pressers who shape and press com pleted garments prior to shipment, and underpressers who smooth and shape garment parts during the manufacturing process. Pressing is often strenuous work, especially final pressing. As a result, women are rarely em ployed as final pressers, although some work as under-pressers. Pressing rooms are often hot and Final pressing of a coat collar. Finish pressers are am ong the highest p a id of m en’s clothing w orkers. T able 2.— Hand sewing occupations— average straighttime hourly earnings Balti more Chi cago New York City Basters, body lining and facing, $1.40 men. Basters, body lining and facing, 1.39 women. Basters, collar, men . . 1.57 Basters, collar, women. ... . 1.45 Button sewers, women .. .. _ 1.16 Buttonhole makers, women. ... 1.29 Finishers, women_______ ... 1.11 $1.46 $1.80 $1. 76 $1.57 1.34 1.51 1.41 1.45 1.45 1.32 1.21 1.28 1.21 1.84 1. 50 1.40 1.59 1.26 1. 74 1.50 1.24 1.25 1.14 1.64 1.35 1.23 1.33 1.15 Occupation Phila Roches del ter phia Employment opportunities in hand sewing oc cupations are good. The large proportion of women and the low earnings in many of these jobs 25 humid. Final pressing is a particularly hot and sometimes noisy operation. A number of occupa tional hazards are present. Burns from steam or from contact with hot equipment are common. Flat feet may result from continuous standing and the application of pressure to foot pedals. In some cases, health may be impaired from inhaling chemicals and dyes in the vapor coming from fabrics during pressing operations. Under-pressers are less skilled than final pressers. They usually specialize on a particular part; for example, armholes, seams, darts, fronts, lining, pants-tops, and pockets. Final pressers may also specialize on a part of the garment. Under-pressers may be promoted to finish pressers. They are usually trained on the job for simpler pressing tasks and, as they gain experience, moved up to the more skilled and complicated tasks. Finish pressing requires some previous experience either as an under-presser or from the outside. Pressing is one of the few clothing occupations in which wmrkers can find similar jobs outside the industry and there is some transferring back and forth between the industry and outside jobs. M a rk in g a coat lapel before trim m ing is one of the operations performed by shapers. 26 Finish pressers are among the highest paid of men’s clothing workers. Under-pressers earn less but still have higher hourly earnings than the average clothing worker. The following table shows average straight-time hourly earnings in the fall of 1948, for both types of pressing job s: T able 3.— Pressing occupations— average hourly earnings 1 Occupation Finish pressers, hand, coats_ _ Finish pressers, machine, coats. Finish pressers, trousers--------Under-pressers, coats---- -------Under-pressers, trousers______ straight-time New Balti Chicago York Phila Roch more City delphia ester $1.92 1.87 2. 02 1.49 1.49 $1.79 1.82 2.06 1.55 1.64 $2. 01 1.95 1.99 1.81 1. 71 $1. 95 1.94 2.13 1.66 1.58 $1.73 1.88 1.72 1.71 1.61 1Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5-cent hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase of $5 a week. Since pressing is a large occupation, a number of jobs become available each year because of turn over. The outlook for employment is fairly good and may be expected to improve. M is c e lla n e o u s C lo t h in g J o b s A number of fairly large occupations in the men’s clothing industry do not fall into any major section; for example, work distributors, thread trimmers or cleaners, pairers or turners, shapers, and inspectors. perform certain specialized operations on coats. Their duties vary from shop to shop but, in general, they trim and cut various parts of partially completed garments with shears, shape the garments accurately and make them conform to style, or prepare garments for subsequent steps in fabrication. Shaping jobs require skill and ex perience in garment construction. They are gen erally filled by men. Assemblers and basters are sometimes promoted to these jobs. Shapers, in turn, may be promoted to fitters or to foremen. are unskilled workers who are often called floor girls or floor boys. They dis tribute bundles o f garment parts to the various sections and collect the garments or garment parts finished by each section and pass them on to the next section in the production schedule. remove loose threads and basting, brush thread and lint from the garments, and otherwise prepare them for Saes hpr Wr d tr u r ok is ibtos Tra tr ms o c aes he d ime r le nr r final pressing. This is the largest miscellaneous group of workers and is largely composed of women. match cut-out or sewed gar ment parts, such as sleeves, fronts, backs, collars, and lining, according to size, ticket number, color, and kind of fabric. They also prepare parts for other w orkers by turning sleeves or, in some cases, by trimming edges with scissors. There are two types of final inspec tors and inspectors who inspect partially com pleted garments during various stages of manu facture. They determine whether the garments conform to shop standards and mark such defects as dropped stitches or bad seams and, in some cases, perform minor repairs. Both men and women are employed as inspectors, with men pre dominating in final inspection. Other small occupations include who verify the work done by each sewer and record i t ; who remove spots and stains; and who 'repair defects. Shaping and inspecting require skill and ex perience in clothing manufacturing. Shapers’ earnings depend on the skill required for the particular task performed. But earnings in even the less skilled shaping jobs are above the industry average. Inspectors are not so well paid. Final inspectors who have greater experience and skill are usually paid more than other inspectors. As a group, inspectors’ earnings are close to the in dustry average. The unskilled thread trimmers and work distributors earn less than the majority of clothing workers. Average hourly earnings in these occupations during the fall of 1948 were as follow s: Pirr adtunr a es n r es inpc r: s etos c ekr hc es m dr e es n so r pttes T able 4.— Miscellaneous clothing jobs— average straighttime hourly earnings 1 Occupation Coat shapers, edge and bottom, mem Coat shapers, under-collar, men. Coat shapers, under-collar, wo men.. ... ___ _____ ____ Work distributors, women_ _. _ Coat thread trimmers, women... Coat pairers and turners, women. Final inspectors, men_______ Final inspectors, women. ____ New Balti Chicago York Phila Roch more City delphia ester $1.64 1.66 $1.59 1.65 $2. 07 1.96 $1.81 1.93 $1.69 1.87 1.50 .91 1.04 .97 1.45 1.06 (2 ) .86 1.10 1.10 1.45 .95 1.65 1.07 1.00 1.20 1.64 1.31 1.15 (2 ) 1.01 1.10 1.30 1.15 1.54 .97 1.24 1.21 1.54 (2 ) 1 Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5 cent hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase of $5 a week. 2Insufficient number of workers to justify presentation of an average. The chances of finding miscellaneous clothing jobs are about average for the industry. The lower-paid unskilled jobs have a higher turn-over and openings are usually plentiful in good times. Since these are beginning jobs, many of them become vacant as workers gain experience and move up to better jobs. Shapers’ and inspectors’ jobs should also be plentiful. M a in t e n a n c e , S h ip p in g and Sto ra ge, a n d C u s t o d ia l J o b s Maintenance Jobs Maintenance workers fall chiefly into two cate gories: sewing machine repairmen and general utility maintenance men. Sewing machine repair men repair sewing machines and other mechanical equipment and keep them in good working order. Their duties usually include the maintenance of cutting and pressing machines as well as of sewing machines. Repairmen also convert machines from one use to another as needed. Repairmen helpers assist repairmen oil and clean machinery, and make minor repairs. General utility maintenance men maintain and repair factory buildings, bins, furniture, and other plant facilities. These jobs require mechanical aptitude, and some specialized training and experience which is acquired from training courses or from on-the-job training as helpers. Some maintenance men learn their trade in equipment repair shops. Sewing machine repairmen are among the higher paid workers in the industry. The follow ing table contains average straight-time hourly earnings during the fall of 1948 in five selected cities: T able 5.— Maintenance occupations— average time hourly earnings 1 Occupation Sewing machine repairmen____ General utility maintenance men_ straight- New Balti Chicago York Phila Roch more City delphia ester $1. 61 (2 ) $1.77 1.69 $2. 09 1.65 $2.12 1.64 $1.68 (2 ) 1Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5-cent hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase of $5 a week. 2 Insufficient number of workers to justify presentation of an average. A ll maintenance jobs are filled by men. The number required is small and there is little op portunity for advancement. Employment oppor tunities are limited by the size of the occupation. 27 Shipping and Storage Jobs Receiving clerks, stock clerks for completed garments, piece goods men, and packers, do most of the shipping and storage work. These em ployees comprise approximately 2 percent of all men’s clothing workers. Receiving clerks receive, check, and record incoming materials, and in some cases, tag materials. Completed garments are stored by the stock clerks who send the garments to the shipping department as they are called for. Stock clerks may also store cut-out garment parts. Piece goods men store and issue piece goods and accessories like buttons, canvas, thread, pins, and needles. Packers do the actual packing when orders are filled. Most o f these occupations require some clerical aptitude. Promotional opportunities are gener ally limited. Some heavy lifting is required and the majority o f jobs are filled by men. As the following table indicates, average straight-time hourly earnings in the fall of 1948, were below the average for the industry. 28 T able 6.— Shipping and storage occupations— average straight-time hourly earnings 1 Occupation Garment stock clerks_ Piece goods stock clerks. Packers___________ Balti more $1.14 1.15 .92 Chicago New York Philadel Roches City ter phia $1.08 1.12 1.18 $1.25 1.37 1.43 $1.40 1.27 1.29 $1.40 1.41 1.30 1 Since this wage survey was made, in September 1948, workers on piece rates have received a 12.5 cents hourly wage increase and weekly workers a wage increase of $5 a week. Employment opportunities are limited by the size of the occupations. A fair number of jobs are expected to be available to new workers each year. Custodial Jobs Custodial workers include watchmen, guards, janitors, and sweepers. The jobs of these workers are similar to their counterparts in other indus tries. They are very low paid and seldom offer any opportunity for advancement. Since janitors and sweepers form a large group in suit and coat fac tories, their jobs are usually easy to get and no previous experience or training is required. Appendix I Schools Offering Job Training Power Sewing-Machine Operation Power Sewing-Machine Operation— Continued California New Jersey Fremont Senior High School, Los Angeles Wiggins Trade Senior High School, Los Angeles Central Trade School, Oakland D istrict of Columbia M. M. Washington Vocational High School (Negro), Washington Florida Miami Technical High School, Miami Maryland School No. 292, Baltimore School No. 296, Baltimore Massachusetts Boston Trade High School for Girls, Boston Springfield Trade School (Girls), Springfield Arthur A. Hansen School (Girls), Waltham David Hale Fanning Trade School for Girls, Worcester Michigan Girls Junior Trade School, Detroit Thomas A. Edison Vocational & Technical School (Girls), Elizabeth Vocational Technical High School for Girls, Newark Middlesex County Girls Vocational School, Woodbridge & New York Amsterdam Technical High School, Amster dam Dunkirk High School, Dunkirk Kingston Vocational High School, Kingston Brooklyn High School of Womens Garment Trades, New York Central High School of Needle Trades, New York Jane Addams Vocational High School, New York McKee Vocations High School, New York Manhattan High School of Womens Garment Trades, New York Metropolitan Vocational High School, New York New York Needle Trade School, New York Queens Vocational High School, New York Benjamin Franklin High School, Rochester High School of Commerce, Yonkers Minnesota Girls Vocations School, St. Paul Missouri Hadley Technical High School, Kansas City Washington Technical High School (Negro), St. Louis Ohio Hower Vocational High School, Akron East High School, Cincinnati Jane Addams Vocational School, Cleveland Whitney Vocational High School, Toledo Pennsylvania Nebraska Technical High School, Omaha Helen Fleischer Vocational School, Philadel phia 29 Power Sewing-Machine Operation— Continued Men’s Tailoring— Continued Puerto Rico Kentucky Industrial Arts School, Rio Piedras J. Gomez Vocational School, San Juan Virginia Richmond Vocational School, Richmond 'Washington King County School District No. 1, Seattle Wisconsin School of Vocational and Adult Education, Milwaukee West Kentucky Vocational Training School (Negro), Paducah M aryland School School School School No. 292, Baltimore No. 296, Baltimore No. 451, Baltimore No. 454 (Negro), Baltimore Missouri St. Joseph High School, St. Joseph Pennsylvania Men’s Tailoring Alabama State Agricultural & Mechanical Institute (Negro), Normal Edward Bok Vocational School, Philadelphia South Carolina Burke Industrial School (Negro), Charleston Texas Arkansas Dunbar High School (Negro), Little Rock Prairie View College (Negro), Prairie View St. Phillips Junior College (Negro), San Antonio California Wiggins Trade Senior High School, Los Angeles D istrict of Columbia M. M. Washington Vocational High School (Negro), Washington Virginia St. Paul’s Polytechnic Institute (Negro), Lawrenceville Virginia State College (Negro), Petersburg Washington King County School District No. 1, Seattle Florida Florida Agricultural & Mechanical College for Negroes, Tallahassee Illinois Dunbar Vocational High School (Negro), Chicago Taylor’s Trade School, Chicago Washburne Trade School, Chicago 30 Garment Designing and Grading Illinois Charles J. Chicago Stone Foundation Institute, Source: The Merits S u it Industry by L. Neville Rieman Appendix II Straight-time average hourly earnings,1 selected occupations in men’s and boys’ suit and coat manufacturing establish ments in 9 cities, August-Sept ember 19^8 New York Baltimore Occupation Con All Regu tract lar shops shops 2 shops Bos ton Chi cago Cin cin nati Los An geles Philadelphia Roch St. Con Con All Regu tract All Regu tract ester Louis lar lar shops shops 2 shops shops shops 2 shops Plant occupations— en M Cutting: Cutters and markers__ ______ _ . _ Cutters, bodv-lining_______ _______ Coat fabrication: Basters, body-lining and facing, hand__ Basters, canvas, hand___________ Basters, collar, hand____ ________ _ Fitters_________________________ Pressers, finish, hand. __________ Pressers, finish, machine___________ Sewing-machine operators 4 ________ Joining shoulders, cloth_________ Joining side seams, _ _________ Joining under-collar, joining sleeve lining, or piecing pockets______ Jump-stitch operations___ ______ Sewing edge tape ________ . Sewing in sleeve. ____________ Stitching edges _____ ___ ___ Shapers, edge and bottom__________ Shapers, under-collar. ___________ Tailors, all-round. . ____________ Under-pressers_____ ___________ Trousers fabrication: Pressers, finish___________________ Sewing machine operators 4 ____ _____ Attaching waistband. _________ Joining inseams_______________ Joining outseams _ ___________ Joining seat seam s.______ ___ _ Making pockets. ____________ Serging.. ----------------------------Under-pressers___________________ Other selected jobs: Inspectors, final (examiners)________ Janitors________________________ Maintenance men, general utility Packers_____ . . . _ ________ ... Repairmen, sewing machine_______ Stock clerks, garment___________ ... Stock clerks, piece goods __________ Work distributors. _____________ $2.06 1.98 $2.06 1.98 $2. 25 $2.02 $1.80 $2.15 $2.34 $2.34 2. 02 1.81 1.61 2.01 2. 28 2. 28 1.41 00 1.51 1.65 1.42 1.64 1.66 1.68 1.49 00 (3 ) 1.43 $1.36 00 00 1.66 1.51 1.66 1.47 1.96 1.86 2. 01 1.74 1. 56 1.56 1.50 1.49 1.48 00 1.52 1.37 00 00 1.41 1.57 1.69 1.62 1.30 00 1.64 1.64 1.55 1.88 1.59 1.81 1.54 1.44 2.02 1.54 2. 06 1.61 1.44 1. 58 1.42 1.39 1.49 1.92 1.53 (3 ) (3 ) 00 1.76 1.39 (3 ) 1.43 2.16 1.54 (3 ) 1.64 1.29 1.36 1.45 1.17 1.55 00 (3 ) 00 (3 ) 00 00 (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) 1.45 .76 (3 ) .92 1.61 1.14 1.15 1.03 1.29 .76 (3 ) .92 1. 61 1. 14 1.15 1.02 1.68 .76 (3 ) (3 ) 00 (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) 1.39 1.38 1. 45 1.16 1.29 1.11 .97 1.29 1.32 1.19 1.31 1.27 1.39 1. 38 (3 ) 1.46 1.13 1. 24 1.13 .95 1.31 1.45 (3 ) 1.34 (3 ) 1.38 1.23 1.34 1. 27 1.18 1.25 1.37 1.65 1. 25 1.28 1.04 1.34 1.38 1.37 1.16 1.36 1.43 1.72 1.33 1.54 1.05 1.40 (3 ) 1.57 1.53 1.92 1.87 1.56 1.49 1.56 1.69 (3 ) (3 ) 1.62 1.88 1.83 1.78 1.63 1.80 1.46 1.76 1.45 1.86 1.79 1.82 1.67 1.82 1.72 00 00 1.80 1.99 1.66 1.73 1.93 (3 ) 1.64 00 1.42 1.59 1.74 1.64 1.59 1.65 1.58 1.55 00 00 (3) (3 ) 2.01 2.07 1.80 (3) 00 00 00 (3) 2. 03 (3) 1.90 1.56 1.94 (3) 2. 35 2. 09 1.91 1.99 1.76 00 (3) 2. 01 2.00 OO (3) (3 ) $2.11 2.01 (3) (3 ) $2.01 1.87 $1.69 1.86 1.80 1.72 1.84 2.44 2. 01 1.95 2. 02 1.98 1.91 1.82 $1.77 1.69 1.77 1.86 1.82 2. 45 2.44 2. 09 1.90 2.11 1.84 2. 05 1.99 2.02 1.95 1.95 1.87 1.76 1.58 1.74 2.34 1.95 1.94 1.79 1.74 1.88 1.76 1.58 1.74 2.27 1.93 1.97 1.77 1.78 1.85 1.77 1.74 2.44 1.98 1.90 1.80 1.68 1.92 1.57 (3 ) 1.64 1.92 1.73 1.88 1.65 1.58 1.60 1.77 2. 02 2.10 2.37 1.97 2.07 1.96 1.79 1.81 1.65 2.14 2. 02 2. 42 1.84 2.04 2.18 1.80 1.86 1.84 1.86 2.14 2.33 2.03 2.10 1.51 1.79 1.77 1.76 1.63 1.85 2. 20 1.72 1.81 1.93 1.62 1.66 1. 75 1.63 1.95 2.16 1.68 1.78 1.86 1.65 1.70 1.77 1.64 1.73 2. 25 1.75 1.85 2. 05 1.57 1.61 (3 ) 1.45 1.65 1.85 1.67 1.69 1.87 1.64 1.71 2. 25 1.99 1.82 1.84 2.06 2.01 2. 03 2. 08 2.03 1.83 1.68 1.67 1.83 1.80 1.63 1.69 1.65 1. 59 2.13 1.73 1.82 1.80 1.93 1.92 1.66 1.48 1.58 1.94 1.69 1.65 1.83 1.81 1.67 1.70 1.50 1.64 2.23 1.78 2. 01 1.76 2. 06 2.17 1.62 1.44 1.54 1.72 1.48 1.54 (3) 1.09 (3 ) (3 ) (3) 1. 61 2.02 (3 ) (3 ) (3; (3 ) (3) (3 ) (3 ) 1.21 1.30 .82 1.64 1.29 2.12 1.40 1. 27 .79 1.28 .80 1.66 1.30 2. 22 1.40 1.27 .75 1.38 .85 (3 ) (3 ) 1.99 (3 ) (3 ) .80 1.54 1.03 (3 ) 1.30 1.68 1.40 1.41 .98 1.41 .83 1.27 (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) (3) 1. 41 1.48 1.50 1.24 1.25 1.14 1.10 1.38 1. 47 1.32 1.38 1.52 1.55 1. 21 1.24 1.16 1.13 1.39 1.39 (3 ) 1.52 (3 ) 1. 53 1. 49 (3 ) 1.49 1. 27 1.28 1.12 1.04 1.38 1. 57 1.56 1.45 1.30 1. 35 1. 23 1.33 1.15 1. 21 1.40 1. 40 1.55 1.15 (3 ) 1.31 .99 1.04 .99 .91 1.19 1.16 1.24 1.53 1.38 1.33 1.47 1.61 1. 44 1.17 1.22 1.24 1.38 1.54 1.52 1.53 1.35 1.29 1.45 1.35 1.45 1.33 1.42 1.63 1.52 1.35 .93 1.24 1.44 1.43 1. 32 1.42 (3 ) 1.50 (3 ) 1. 49 1.24 1.12 1. 41 1.12 1. 41 (3 ) 1. 21 1.39 1.24 (3 ) .93 1.77 1.41 1.52 1.58 1.93 1.94 1.72 2.03 2.06 1.62 (3 ) 1.54 1.56 00 1.63 00 1.64 1.80 (3 ) 00 00 00 (3 ) 00 (3 ) 1.49 2.42 2. 07 00 2. 00 00 1.89 (3 ) 1.80 1.99 1.79 1.74 1.84 1.91 1.75 1.79 1.83 1.71 1.40 .89 1. 25 1.10 1. 63 (3 ) 1.08 (3 ) 1.45 1.08 1.69 1.18 1. 77 1.08 1.12 .96 1.41 .79 1.39 1.01 (3 ) 1.34 .91 (3 ) 1.93 (3 ) (3 ) 1.32 (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) 1.64 .94 1.65 1. 43 2. 09 1. 25 1.37 1.03 1.65 .93 1.64 1.43 2. 07 1.25 1.37 .98 1.63 .98 (3 ) 1.41 1.40 1.44 1.20 1.37 1.08 1.01 1.26 1.24 1.10 (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) 1.29 1.36 1.19 1. 08 1.30 1.30 1.24 1.34 1.17 1.32 1.21 1.28 1.21 1.14 1. 41 1.41 1.31 1.53 (3 ) 1.68 1.47 1.56 1.23 1.17 1.60 1.82 1.47 1. 40 1,20 1.54 1.56 1.35 1.65 1.61 1.53 1.53 (3 ) 1.43 1.36 1.65 1.25 1.23 1.57 1.84 (3 ) 1.89 (3 ) ( 3) 1.51 1.51 1.50 1.40 1.59 1.26 1.20 1.56 1.79 (3 ) 1.83 1.58 1.97 1.47 1.80 1.57 1.47 1.53 1.29 1. 28 1. 22 1.41 1.22 (3 ) 1.41 1.19 1.37 1.17 .97 1.32 1.15 (3 ) 1. 41 1.32 1.55 (3) ( 3) 1.13 1.32 1.19 1.20 1.12 1.30 1.52 1.19 1.14 1.04 1.27 1.33 1. 22 1.10 1.41 (3 ) 1.48 1.41 1.32 .94 1.40 1.43 1. 39 1.58 1.42 1.18 1.36 1.24 1.24 1.10 1.15 1.36 1.27 1.19 1.17 1.46 1.58 1.23 1.65 1.60 1.74 1.34 1.56 1.61 (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) 1.16 1.54 1.48 1.80 1.59 1.65 2. 08 1.84 1.87 1.74 1.00 1.58 1.56 1. 97 1.61 1. 72 2.10 1.64 (3 ) 1.41 1.05 1. 53 1. 46 1.76 1.58 1.59 OO $2.11 2.01 (3) (3 ) (3 ) (3 ) 1.13 (3) (3) (3 ) (3) (3) (3) 1.91 2.08 (3) (3) (3 ) (3) (3) (3) (3) (3) (3 ) 1.12 1.54 Plant occupations— Women Coat fabrication: Basters, body-lining and facing, hand_. Basters, canvas, hand________ _____ Basters, collar, hand______________ Button sewers, hand---------------------Buttonhole makers, hand__________ Finishers, hand___ _____________ Pairers and turners. .................... ......... Sewing-machine operators4 _________ Basting edges_________________ Buttonhole making._ ______ ... Felling body-lining, bottom and side______ _______________ Joining shoulders, cloth_____ ____ Joining side seams_____________ Joining under-collar, joining sleeve lining, or piecing pockets______ Jump-stitch operations_________ Padding collar and lapels_______ Piping edges__________________ Sewing darts (cloth)____________ Sewing edge tape______________ Sewing in sleeve_______________ Stitching edges________________ Taping armholes______________ Thread trimmers (cleaners)_________ (3) 1.13 1. 54 (3 ) ( 3) 1.55 (3 ) (3 ) ( 3) 1.93 (3 ) 1.93 .97 1.53 1.36 1. 40 1.33 1.49 1.43 1.49 1.34 1.54 1.62 1.45 1.35 1. 01 ( 3) 1.58 1. 34 1. 35 1.08 31 Straight-time average hourly ea rn in g sselected occupations in men's and boys' suit and coat manufacturing establish ments in 9 cities , August-Sept ember 1948— Continued Baltimore O ccupation Plant occupations— Women — Continued Trouser fabrication: Sew hand (benchworkers, finishers). ers, Sew machine operators 4 ing . Attaching fly__ Attaching waistband_ Attaching zipper............. ........ Joining inseams.......... Joining outseams_____ M aking pockets__ . Piecing flys____________ Serging---------------------- "... Sew on waistband lining____ ing Stitching pockets. _ _ . ___ _ Tacking. ___ _ _ . Thread trimmers __________ Inspectors, final (examiners)...... ..... Office occupations— Women Bookkeepers, hand. ... ... . Clerks, payroll_____ Clerk-typists________ _________ Stenographers, general____________ New York Philadelphia Los Bos Chi Cin An Roch St. cin A Regu tract ton cago nati geles A Regu tract A Regu Con ester Louis ll lar Con ll lar Con ll lar tract shops shops2 shops shops shops 2 shops shops shops 2 shops $1.09 1.23 12 .6 1.34 1.23 1.33 1.06 1.26 1.24 1.25 1.22 1.23 1.20 1.03 1.06 $1.04 1.21 1. 2 5 1 40 . 1.23 (3 ) 1.02 1.19 1.22 1.20 1.20 1.14 1.23 .97 1.04 $1.16 1.27 (3 ) 1.27 (3 ) (3 ) 1.15 13 .6 0 1.34 1.28 1.37 1.15 1.13 1.11 0 $1.43 1.41 1.53 12 .7 0 1.50 1.43 0 1.31 1.39 0 1.53 .98 1.14 $1.15 1.43 1.47 1.51 1.62 1.49 1.42 1.38 1.54 1.37 15 .2 1.46 1.50 1.13 .95 $1.08 1.24 0 0 1.16 1.30 1.30 1.26 1.16 1.25 1.38 1.35 1.38 1.20 0 $1.35 1.42 0 0 1.50 16 .7 0 1.65 1.61 1.49 0 0 1.61 1.09 1.24 $1.28 1.51 1 68 . 1.59 1.64 1.54 1.84 1.73 1.70 1.37 1.66 1.40 1.52 1.10 1.31 1.23 1.22 1.32 1.28 1.21 1.08 1.50 1.47 .96 .95 (3 .86 1.08 1.04 1.52 1.11 ) .83 .83 0 .73 .98 .78 1.05 1.00 .97 .97 0 1.05 1.20 1.05 1.15 1.13 1Includes incentive pay but excludes premiumpay for overtim and night e work. 2Includes establishments having sew operations perform on a con ing ed tract basis in addition to those perform all manufacturing operations. ing $1.47 1.63 1.78 1.67 2.01 1.61 0 1.73 1.56 1.40 1.67 1.53 1.38 1.07 1.29 $1 2 .7 1.45 1.61 0 1.42 0 (3 ) 1.73 0 0 1.65 1.24 1.61 1.12 1.31 $1.16 1.44 15 .8 1.52 1.65 1. 5 7 1.62 1. 5 1 15 .6 1.24 1.40 1.30 1.42 .9 7 1.15 $1.14 1.43 0 1.61 1.61 0 1.51 1.56 1.41 1. 2 2 1.53 1.31 1.21 .9 5 1.08 $1.17 1.45 1.61 1.47 1.68 0 l. m 1.45 1. 6 6 1. 2 4 1.36 1.30 1. 4 9 .9 8 1.22 $1.16 $1.01 1.32 1.14 1.41 1.13 1.34 1.19 15 .0 1.38 0 1.11 1.30 1.14 1.31 1.15 1.12 0 1 2 1.16 .6 12 0 .3 1.13 0 12 . 3 1.17 11 0 6 0 0 1 5 1.19 1.31 1.34 1 2 0 .6 .1 1.12 1.05 1.00 .97 1.05 1.07 1.00 0 .93 .93 0 1.03 1.13 0 .98 .98 0 1.05 3Insufficient number of workers to justify presentation of an average. 4Includes w orkers on other sewing-m achine operations in addition to those show separately n 32 1.03 . 90 0 .94 U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I 9SI