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U N IT E D S T A T E S D E P A R T M E N T OF L A B O R
Frances Perkins, Secretary
B U R E A U O F L A B O R ST A T IST IC S
Isador L ubin, Commissioner (on leave)
A . F. H inrichs, A cting Commissioner

+

H ou rly Earnings in Private
Ship^Repair Yards, Spring 1943

Prepared in the

D IV ISIO N O F W A G E A N A L Y S IS
R O B E R T J. M Y E R S, C hiefJ

B ulletin W o. 763
{Reprinted from the M onthly Labor R eview, January 1944}

U N IT E D S T A T E S G O V E R N M E N T P R IN T IN G OFFICE, W A SH IN G T O N : 1944

For sale by the Superintendent o f Docum ents, U . S. G overnm ent Printing Office
W ashington 25, D . C. ~ Price 10 cents




Letter of Transmittal
U n it e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r ,
B u r e a u o f L a b o r S t a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. C., January 18, 194k*
The S e c r e t a r y of L a b o r :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on hourly earnings in private
ship-repair yards, spring of 1943. The report is based on a study by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics of the earnings of workers in 60 representative occupations
employing approximately 90 percent of all first-shift workers in private shiprepair yards.
This bulletin was prepared by Willis C. Quant, under the direction of Victor
S. Baril, of the Bureaus Division of Wage Analysis.
A. F. H in r ic h s , Acting Commissioner.
Hon. F r a n c e s P e r k in s ,
Secretary of Labor.

Contents
Page

Summary________________________________
Ship repair in wartime___________________
Scope and method of study______________
Definition of regions_____________________
Labor force______________________________
Wage stabilization_______________________
Hourly earnings, by region, spring of 1943.
Atlantic Coast_______________________
Gulf Coast---------------------------------------Pacific Coast------------------------ --------Great Lakes________________________
Regional differences in earnings__________
Earnings comparisons, 1942 and 1943------ii




1

1
2

3
3
5
6
10
V2

13
M
15
17

B u lletin 7s[o. 763 o f the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
{Reprinted from the M onthly L abor R eview , January 1944]

H ou rly Earnings in Private Ship-R epair Yards,
Spring o f 1943
Sum m ary

FOE the country as a whole, the average hourly straight-time earnings
of workers in ship-repair yards amounted to $1,062 in May 1943.
This average is based on a study, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of
the earnings of workers in 60 representative occupations employing
approximately 90 percent of all first-shift workers. Among the four
broad regions in which ship-repair operations are carried on, earnings
varied from 92.3 cents on the Gulf Coast to $1,259 on the Pacific
Coast. The averages for the Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast regions
were $1,112 and $1,032 an hour, respectively.
In all regions first-class skilled mechanics generally received the
minimum rates established by the regional agreements. The rates for
such workers were $1.20 in the Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes regions*
and $1.34 in the Pacific Coast region. Much wider variations are
found, by regions, in the earnings of the other workers.
Earnings were 11.4 cents higher in May 1943 than in the spring of
1942. (See footnote 1, table 5, p. 156.) Kegional increases ranged
from 9.3 cents in the Pacific Coast region to 12.7 cents in the Gulf
Coast region. The increases for the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes
regions amounted to 11.8 and 9.9 cents an hour, respectively.
The increase in earnings between 1942 and 1943 is very largely
attributable to wage adjustments made during the summer of 1942
under the regional wage agreements of that year. These agreements
increased the rates in ship-repair yards by 8 cents an hour for Atlantic
Coast and Great Lakes workers and by a sliding scale ranging from
9 cents for the lowest-paid workers to 13 cents for the highest-paid
workers in the Gulf Coast region. Increases in the Pacific Coast
region generally amounted to 9 cents an hour. The margin by which
the actual increases in earnings exceeded the statutory increases was
due primarily to the upgrading of workers between the spring of 1942
and 1943.
Ship Repair in W artim e

Ship-repair work plays a vital part in our war economy. From a
small peacetime industry, engaged very largely in the servicing, recon­
ditioning, and repairing of privately owned commercial ships, this
industry has increased greatly in size since the outbreak of World War
II, from the standpoint of both the number of yards and the number of
workers. It is estimated that the number of workers now engaged in
ship-repair work is more than 6 times as great as it was at the start of
the war.
l




2

Private Ship-Repair Yards

The great increase in ship-repair work in the last few years is due
largely to the tremendous increase that bas occurred in ship construc­
tion, the hazardous nature of shipping in wartime, the increased tempo
at which vessels are operated at present, and the shifting from Govern­
ment-operated to private repair yards of much of the repair work on
naval vessels.
Repair work in private yards is largely performed in yards operated
by a few large companies. These companies operate a number of
widely scattered yards. The many small, independent yards which
have entered the repair field in recent years account for but a compara­
tively small proportion of all repair work. Some repair work is done
in yards primarily engaged in new construction.
Ship-repair work varies greatly from ship to ship and consequently
does not lend itself to the mass-production techniques employed in the
construction yards. Repair work may involve only minor repairs on
the hull, deck, or engines of a ship, or it may consist of such major
tasks as the rebuilding of large sections of the hull or deck or of the
general overhauling or replacing of the ship’s engines.
Scope and M ethod o f Study

The present comprehensive study of wages in ship-repair yards
was undertaken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a part of its
established program of securing basic information on the wage struc­
ture of American industries. The information obtained is designed to
serve the needs of Government agencies charged with the responsibilitiy
of developing the shipbuilding program and stabilizing wages in the
industry. A previous survey of wages paid to workers in ship-repair
yards, was made by the Bureau during the spring of 1942 in con­
junction with a study of wages in ship-construction yards, in advance
of the National Shipbuilding Conference held in May of that year;
it therefore did not reflect the broad wage adjustments which resulted
from that conference.1 The present survey, which was made in
May 1943, provides a basis for appraising the wage levels resulting
from the 1942 conference.
The current study was limited to privately operated yards engaged
wholly or primarily in the repair of ships. Altogether 34 yards were
surveyed. In selecting the yards to be studied, such factors as size of
yard, geographical location, and corporate affiliation were given full
consideration. Because of their geographical location and strategic
importance in the industry it was necessary to include in the sample
proportionately more large yards than small yards. In all such cases,
however, only an appropriate proportion of the workers in the various
occupations was used, so that the large yards would not unduly
influence the averages shown. The findings presented in this article
are believed to be representative of the entire industry.
The wage data presented in this report were taken from pay rolls
for a period ending about May 15, 1943. Full utilization was made of
the pay-roll data submitted semiannually to the Secretary of Labor
under the Copeland Act. These data were supplemented, whenever
necessary, by information obtained at the yards by experienced
Bureau representatives.
1 For the results of this study, see the Monthly Labor Review for August 1942 (p. 298) and October 1942
(p. 810).




Earnings, Spring o f 1943

3

Information was obtained only for first-shift (day) workers,2 whose
earnings are not affected by premium pay for late-shift work. For all
time workers cohered, the wage data represent hourly rates. The data
for incentive workers include average bonus payments per hour of
work, but exclude all premium payments for overtime work. The
survey was limited to 60 occupations, selected because of their nu­
merical importance or because they were key jobs. These occupations
accounted for approximately 90 percent of all first-shift workers in
the yards surveyed.
Definition o f Regions

The ship-repair industry, like the ship-construction industry, is
widely scattered along the three coasts and the inland waterways of
the country. Because of regional variations in the level of wages, it is
appropriate that the data obtained be presented on a regional rather
than an industry-wide basis. For purposes of this study, the regions
used are those established for the shipbuilding industry by the
Shipbuilding Stabilization Committee (sponsor of the shipbuilding
wage-stabilization program), namely, the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf
Coasts, and the Great Lakes. No significant amount of ship-repair
work is carried on elsewhere in the United States.
The areas covered by these four regions are as follows: The Atlantic
Coast region includes the tidewater ports along the eastern coast
of the United States from the eastern tip of Maine to the northern
border of Florida; the Gulf Coast region embraces all ports along the
eastern coast of Florida and on the Gulf of Mexico; the Pacific Coast
region is made up of the tidewater ports of the western part of the
United States; and the Great Lakes region includes the American lake
ports on Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie.3
Labor Force

Ship-repair work requires a high degree of skill. Proportionately
more skilled workers are found in repair yards than in construction
yards. The work is both arduous and hazardous and U generally
performed by men. Because of the dearth of skilled workers, shiprepair yards have found it necessary to inaugurate extensive training
programs in order to fill their labor requirements. In most instances
these training programs are of an informal nature.
In ship-repair yards, as in construction yards, various grades or
classes of workers are found in most occupations. Although the num­
ber of grades and classes varies among the individual yards and
regions, many occupations include specialists, first-class workers,
second-class workers, third-class workers, handymen, and helpers.
First-class craftsmen and helpers are relatively comparable from yard
to yard. Other craftsmen (i. e., second-class workers, third-class
workers, and handymen) are not always comparable from yard to yard
and, for this reason, workers in these three groups have been com­
bined, for purposes of this study, into one broad group termed “ other
classes.”
2 Tn a few instances, workers found in important occupations represented only on the second or third
shifts were included in the study. In such cases, however, extra earnings resulting from shift-differential
payments were eliminated.
3 A more detailed description of the areas covered by each of the four regions appeared in the Monthly
Labor Review, August 1943 (p. 317): Earnings in Ship-Construction Yards.




4

Private Ship-Repair Yards

The proportion of all craftsmen (first-class and other classes,
excluding helpers) to the total number of workers in the selected
occupations studied varied from 41.9 percent in Gulf Coast yards to
63.0 percent in the Atlantic Coast yards (table 1). In the other two
regions the relative number of all craftsmen closely approximated that
in the Atlantic Coast region— 59.7 percent in the Great Lakes and
58.3 on the Pacific Coast.
The proportion of first-class craftsmen, however, varies widely from
region to region. Well over half of the first-shift workers in the
Pacific Coast and Great Lakes regions, 57.3 and 55.9 percent, respec­
tively, were first-class craftsmen. This compares with slightly over
one-fourth (26.2 percent) of the workers in the Gulf Coast region and
about one-third (32.8 percent) of the workers in the Atlantic Coast
region. Even wider variations are found in the relative number of
journeymen in classes below first class— from 1.0 percent in West
Coast yards to 30.2 percent in Atlantic Coast yards.
T able 1.— Percentage Distribution o f Day-Shift Ship-Repair Workers, by Class o f

Worker and Region, Spring o f 1942 and 1943
Atlantic Coast
Class of worker

Guif Coast

Pacific Coast

Great Lakes

Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring
1942
1943
1942
1943
1943
1942
1943
1942

Craftsmen, first-class..........................
Craftsmen, other classes.....................
Helpers ..............................................
Laborers......... ...................................
Apprentices and learners...................
Supervisors.........................................
Other workers____________ ________

32.8
30.2
17.9
7.4
2.1
6.2
3.4

32.6
21.9
21 3
10.0
1.7
6.8
6.7

26.2
16.7
25.2
15.7
5.9
7.9
3.4

25.0
12.0
31.5
16.6
3.9
6.5
3.9

57.3
1.0
24.1
5.8
.3
7.7
3.8

59.7
1.7
26.1
2.4
.3
5.9
3.9

55.9
3.8
12.0
3.7
4.9
12.4
7.3

38.3
13.4
19.0
7.0
1.1
7.7
13.5

All workers studied..................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Substantial variations among regions are also found in the relative
number of journeymen’s helpers, the second largest group of workers
in ship-repair yards. The proportion of such workers to all craftsmen
varied from 12.0 percent in the Great Lakes region to 25.2 percent in
the Gulf Coast region.
Laborers and supervisory workers also account for a substantial
proportion of the workers in ship-repair yards. The ratio of laborers
to all workers varied from 3.7 percent in the Great Lakes region to 15.7
percent in the Gulf Coast region, while that of supervisors to all work­
ers ranged from 6.2 percent in the Atlantic Coast region to 12.4 percent
in the Great Lakes region.
In general, the composition of the labor force in ship-repair yards
had not changed materially since the spring of 1942, The greatest
change, as may be seen from the figures presented in table 1, occurred
in the Great Lakes region, where the relative number of first-class
craftsmen increased from 38.3 percent in 1942 to 55.9 percent in 1943,
and the relative number of craftsmen below first-class declined from
13.4 to 3.8 percent. Upgrading of workers together with a fuller
adherence to the stabilization program accounts, in a large part, for
this change. Other significant changes were an increase of 8.3
percentage points in the number of craftsmen below first-class in the
Atlantic Coast region, and a decline of 7.0 points in the number of
helpers in the Great Lakes area.




Earnings, Spring of 1943

5

W age Stabilization

The wage-stabilization program in the shipbuilding industry was
sponsored (early in 1941) by the Shipbuilding Stabilization Committee
of the National Defense Advisory Commission, with the purpose of
attaining greater uniformity in the rates of pay and providing for a
systematic and periodic review of general wage levels in the industry.
The program applied to both ship-repair and ship-construction opera­
tions in 3 regions—Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes. In the Pacific
Coast region, where the wage rates for ship-repair work were consider­
ably higher than the rates for ship-construction work, the stabilization
program applied only to ship-construction yards. Agreements4
covering operations other than the West Coast repair yards were
voluntarily entered into by representatives of both the shipbuilders
and the labor organizations, and were approved by the Navy, the
Maritime Commission, and the Office of Production Management.
Wages in ship-repair yards in the Pacific Coast region were stabilized
by special agreements entered into by representatives of labor and
management. These agreements applied to all areas of the Pacific
Coast region, except southern California, where workers in shiprepair yards were generally paid rates comparable to those paid to
workers in ship-construction yards on the Pacific Coast. The
Pacific Coast agreements for both ship-repair and ship-construction
yards were the first to be adopted, and became effective on April 1,
1941. The effective dates for the other regional agreements were:
Great Lakes, June 2; Atlantic Coast, June 23; and Gulf Coast, August
1, 1941.
All these agreements, except those pertaining to ship-repair opera­
tions on the Pacific Coast, included provisions covering basic rates of
pay, overtime and shift-differential premiums, hours of work, stand­
ardization of shifts, prohibition of strikes and lockouts, restriction
against limitation of production, machinery for settling disputes,
apprenticeship training, periodic wage adjustments based on cost of
living, and duration of the agreements. The Pacific Coast repairyard agreements contained provisions covering basic rates of pay,
overtime and shift-differential premiums, and hours of work. ^
Under the 1941 general stabilization agreements, basic minimumwage rates for first-class skilled mechanics engaged in ship-repair
work were set at $1.12 an hour in the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes
regions and at $1.07 in the Gulf Coast area. The repair-yard agree­
ments for the Pacific Coast region provided for rates of pay ranging
from 89 cents an hour for laborers to $2.41 an hour for senior marine
engineers or naval architects, with additional premiums for leadmen
and for those workers engaged in specific types of dirty work. The
prevailing rate for first-class workers in most of the skilled crafts was
$1.25 an hour. The wage provisions pertaining to ship-repair yards
were generally similar to those for ship-construction yards, except
in the Pacific Coast region.
The effective dates of the wage agreements, it will be recalled, varied
from April 1 to August 1, 1941. Since living costs rose substantially
and unevenly in the months following these effective dates, there was
danger that the wage structure of the industry would be upset if*
* For further details on these agreements see Monthly Labor Review for May 1941 (p. 1162) and October
1941 (p. 880).




6

Private Ship-Repair Yards

regional cost-of-living adjustments were made at different times and
on a differing basis. Consequently, a National Shipbuilding Con­
ference, composed of representatives of the War Production Board,
the Navy Department, the Maritime Commission, labor, and manage^
ment, was held in May 1942 to consider methods of adjusting wages
in all four regions. This conference, acting on an appeal from the
President, agreed to delete from the zone agreements the provision for
adjusting wages in proportion to changes in the cost of living. In
place of cost-of-living increases, there was an agreement on certain
specific wage levels. These levels involved wage increases which
were generally lower than the workers would have obtained by appli­
cation of the cost-of-living formula.5 The new minimum rate for
“ first-class skilled mechanics” was set at $1.20 in both ship-construc­
tion and ship-repair yards in the Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and Great
Lakes regions, and in ship-construction yards on the Pacific Coast.
The rates for other than first-class workers were increased by 8 cents
an hour except in the Gulf Coast region where a sliding scale, ranging
from 9 cents for the lowest-paid workers to 13 cents for the highestpaid workers, was placed in effect.
Shortly after the meeting of the National Shipbuilding Conference,
representatives of both labor organizations and operators of ship-re­
pair yards in the Pacific Coast region met for the purpose of adjusting
the wage-rate provisions contained in the special agreements adopted
in 1941. Although the meeting was not held at the request of the
Shipbuilding Stabilization Committee, that body did suggest to the
representatives of both labor and management that they establish
rates for ship-repair work more comparable to those paid for shipconstruction work. The delegates did not concur, however, in this
suggestion and instead established rates for workers in ship-repair
yards on the Pacific Coast at a level 11.6 percent higher than the re­
vised rates for ship-construction workers in that region, thereby
affording workers in ship-repair yards about the same percentage
increase as those in construction yards. In general, the increases for
ship-repair workers in Pacific Coast yards amounted to 9 cents an
hour, the rate for most skilled crafts being raised from $1.25 to $1.34
an hour.
The new agreements further provided for elimination of double­
time rates for Saturday and Sunday work as such, and prescribed
instead for the payment of time and a half for the sixth consecutive
day and double time for the seventh consecutive day in a workers
regularly established week. The agreements also provided for the
payment of time and a half for all work on holidays recognized by
local agreements and authorized the acceptance of extra pay in lieu
of vacations.
The amended agreements became effective in each of the regions
at the expiration of the first year of the original agreement and are
to remain in effect for the duration of the war. Provision is made
for the periodic review of wages.

,

H ou rly Earnings9 by Region Spring o f 1943

The average hourly straight-time earnings of first-shift workers in
private ship-repair yards amounted to $1,062 an hour in May 1943.*
* See Monthly Labor Review. July 1942 (p. 85) for details of the 1942 shipbuilding-stabilization agreements.




7

Earnings, Spring o f 1943

The highest earnings in any of the four regions, $1,259, were found on
the Pacific Coast; and the lowest, 92.3 cents, on the Gulf Coast
(table 2). The averages for the Atlantic and Great Lakes regions
were $1,032 and $1,112 an hour, respectively. These averages indi­
cate the existence of substantial differences in wage or occupational
structures in the different regions.
T able 2.— Earnings and Distribution o f Day-Shift Ship-Repair Workers in Selected

Occupations, by Region, Occupation, and Class, Spring o f 1942 and 1943
STRAIGHT-TIME AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS1
Atlantic Coast
Occupation and class

Gulf Coast

Pacific Coast

Great Lakes

Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring
1942
1942
1943
1942
1943
1943
1942
1943

All occupations studied................................... $1,032 $0,914 $0,923 $0,796 $1.259 $1.166 $1.112
__
Anple«!Tniths _ : ____ _________________ _
“ ■First class
..... . „, _ __ __
Other classes___
____
Anglesmiths* helpers
_
______
Apprentices.................................. - ...............
Blacksmiths.......... *___ _________ _________
First class-.____:.___.................................
Other classes.............................................
Blacksmiths’ helpers.............. .......................
Boilermakers...................................................
First class........................................... ......
Other glasses
......
Boilermakers' helpers......................................
Bolters, hand *
First class. . ..
_ ______
Other elasses
___
Burners, acetylene (including gas).................
First class..................................................
Other classes_____ _____________ ______
Burners' helpers, acetylene (including gas)..
Carpenters (shipwrights)................................
First class..................................................
Other Hasses
•
Carpenters’ helpers......._................................
Chippers and calkers (including foundry
chippers)......................................................
First class....... .........................................
Other elasses__ r
Coppersmiths
. T _.
.,
First class___________________________
Other elasses___ _
Coppersmiths* helpers
__
Crane operators (all types).............................
First class............................ ....................
Other classes___________ _____________
Draftsmen (senior and junior)....... ................
Drillers (including reamers and counter
sinkers).........................................................
First class.
_
____
Other elasses
Electricians........... ................................... ......
First class______________ _________ ___
Other Hasses___ _r
Electricians’ helpers........................................
Erectors..
First Hass
Other Hasses n
Erectors’ helpers____________ ____________
Foremen (including assistant foremen and
quartermen)................................................
Furnace men (plate and forge shops)
Fipst Hass
____
Other classes______ 1_____________ . . . . .
Handymen, not elsewhere classified _
Helpers, not elsewhere classified....... ......... .
Joiners (including woodworking-machine
operators)___
First class
Other Hasses
Joiners* helpers
...
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and
janitors..........................................................
See footnotes at end of table.




1.097
1.200
.959
.954
.766
1.089
1.201
.990
.855
1.103
1.200
1.004
.796
.980
1.049
.945
1.099
1.207
1.034
(2
)
1.152
1.193
1.010
.840

1.105
1.114
(2
)
.880
.553
1.082
1.152
.928
.768
1.045
1.120
.925
.708
.849
.934
.777
1.013
1.103
.924
(4
)
1.074
1.118
.946
.732

1.265
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
.835
1.151
1.200
1.066
.732
1.075
1.202
.951
.726

.973
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
.752
1.049
1.095
(2
)
.660
.993
1.072
.806
.617

1.132
1.200
1.004
.712
1.114
1.197
.990
.727

.989
1.070
.851
(4
)
1.023
1.070
.855
.624

1.340
1.340

1.134
1.198
1.005
1.123
1.302
1.034
.833
1.143
1.187
1.070
1.211

1.070
1.117
.930
1.097
1.251
.904
.723
1.051
1.077
.968
1.208

1.147
1.167
1.051
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
1.129
1.162
1.056
1.312

1.048
1.070
.885
.963
1.105
.773
(2
)
1.086
1.086

1.344
1.344

1.390
1.390

.893

1.406

(2
)

1.108
1.169
1.016
1.094
1.200
1.010
.839
.947
(2
)
.936
.805

.994
1.044
.916
1.028
1.118
.893
.740

.750

.695
.695

1.210
1.210

.969
1.070
.857
.628

1.334
1.340
1.220
1.060

1.118
1.120
(2
)
1.250
1.250

1.673
1.195
(2
)
«
1.009
.835

1.443
1.183
(2
)
(2
)
.789
.753

1.166
1.192
1.066
.836

1.063
1.118
.935
.744

.774

.696

.750
1.110
1.200
.970
.706

(2
)
(*)
(2
)
1.052
1.348
1.348

_

1.060
1.337
1.340
(2
)
1.060

1.339
1.340
(2
)
1.060

$1,013

(2
)
(2
)
.930
(2
)
.659
1.264 "1.213"
1.264 1.223
_
(2
)
.983
(2
)
1.250 1.237
1.250 1.237
.970
.984
.984

.890
.915
.915

1.244
1.250
1.155
(4
)
1.248
1.250
1.120
.970

1.189
1.195
(2
)

(2
)

.755
1.110
1.120
(2
)
.813
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
.821
.979
1.021
.780
1.141
1.158
(2
)
(4
)
1.095
1.120
1.032
.840

1.340
1.378
1.128
1.314
1.314

1.192
1.200
(2
)

1.113
1.179
1.010

1.256
1.256

1.152
1.167
(2
)

.902
.902

1.010
1.019
(2
)
1.135
1.203
1.005
.806
1.030

.970
1.307
1.307

.970

1.220
1.220

1.183
1.189
(2
)
(2
)

1.030
.830
1.682

1.672
(2
)

1.832

(2
)
.604

1.750
1.133
(2
)
(2
)

1.649

1.251
1.251

1.200
1.200

(*)
(2
)

1.060
1.341
1.341

1.495
1.056
(2
)
1.030

(2
)
(2
)

1.060
.605

.540

.970

(2
)

(*)

1.022

.890

.805

.939

8

Private Ship-Repair Yards

T a ble 2. — Earnings and Distribution o f D ay-Shift Ship-R epair W orkers in Selected
Occupations, by Region , Occupation, and Class, Spring o f 1942 and 1943 — Con.
STRAIGHT-TIME AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS—Continued
Atlantic Coast
Occupation and class

Layers-out

- -

other oiessfis
.....
Leaders....................................................... .
Learners ,
__ ..,.r
_ _
___
Loftsrnen
First clfl-SS
-- _____
Other classes______________ __________
Machinists, shop and outside.........................
First class..................................................
Other classes.............................................
Machinists’ helpers, shop and outside...........
Molders, foundry________________________
First clas*
.......
______
Other classes.............. ...... . . . . . . . . . . ____
Painters, brush and spray..............................
First class..................................................
Other classes. r._
______________
______________
Pattern makers _„
First class_ _ , T
r
__ ___________
Other classes_________________________
Pipe fitters (including plumbers)...................
First class..................................................
Other classes.............................................
Pipe fitters’ helpers (including plumbers’
helpers).........................................................
PJate-shop machine operators.........................
First class..................................................
Other classes____________________. . . . . .
Plat«-shnp machine operators’ helpers
Regulators. ____________________________
First, class
Other classes_________________________
Riggers, ship....................................................
First class__________ _________________
Other classes_________________________
Riggers, yard and crane____ - ........................
First class............... .............. ........... ........
Other classes
Rivet heaters...................................................
Rivet holders-on..............................................
Rivet passers . _
.
Riveters..........................................................
First class..................................................
Other classes.......................... ...... ...........
Sheet-metal workers (including tinsmiths)...
First class.................................................
Other classes...................... .........._______
Sheet-metal workers’ helpers..........................
Ship fitters.......................................................
First class..................................................
Other classes _
Ship fitters’ helpers............................ ............
Stage builders......................... ............ ...........
Tank cleaners___________________________
Tool and die makers ...
First class_____
Other classes.............................................
Tracers..................... ............... ...... ................
Watchmen and guards........................ ..........
Welders, acetylene and electric.....................
First class..................................................
Other classes.............................................
Welders’ helpers, acetylene and electric.........
See footnotes at end of table.




Gulf Coast

Pacific Coast

Great Lakes

Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring
1942
1943
1943
1942
1942
1942
1943
1943
(2 $1.190
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2 $1.190
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
$1,293 1.181 $1.140 $1.116 $1,527 $1.459 $1.269
.760
.919
1.338 1.192 1.251 1.100
(2
)
1.448
1.280
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
1.265
.920
(2
)
(2
)
1.122 1.050 1.135 1.038 1.338 1.253 1.186
1.201 1.122 1.200 1.070 1.345 1.253 1.202
.920 1.013
1.026
.890 1.206 1.120 1.058
.752
.634 1.061
.837
.970
.713
.887
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
<)
2
(2
)
(2
)

$1.350
1.350
1.288
.906
(2
)
(2
)
1.082
1.120
.998
.826

1.036
1.139
1.007
1.226
1.273
(2
)
1.105
1.199
1.014

.863
.919
.853
1.280
1.280

1.129
1.198
.960
1.330
1.330

1.024
1.070
.936
(2
)
(2
)

1.340
1.340

1.250
1.250

1.169
1.207
<)
2

1.178
1.186
(*)

1.034
1.118
.931

1.128
1.198
.970

1.042
1.070
.820

1.338
1.341
1.220

1.249
1.250
(2
)

1.194
1.206
(2
)

1.085
1.120
1.027

.836
1.018
1.174
.985
.834
1.077
(2
)
1.016
1 106
1.203
1.032
1.067
1.148
.914
929
1.202
.823
1.212
1. 222
1.112
1.095
1.220
1.017
.837
1.044
1.200
.998
.830

.744
.947
1.060
.823
.732
(*)
(2
>

.717
1.087
1.202
.915
.697
1.200
1.200

.643
.774
1.070
.685
.606
1.103
1.103

1.060
(2
)
(2
)

.970
1.197
1.201
(2)
1.038
1.170
1.170

.838
1.093
1.125
1.008
.860

.828
1.091
1.075
1.097
.834
.800

1.151
1.188
1.089
.808
.853
.773
.774
.783
.729
1.191
1.200
(2
)
1.033
1.193
.970
.718
1.131
1.207
1.080
.711

(2
)
(2
)

1.288
1.288

1.250
1.250

.795
.930
.754
.713
.734
.685
1.174
1.174

1.220
1.220

1.158
1.158

(2
)
1.218

1.120
1.177

1.340
1.340

1.241
1. 241

1.000
(2
)
1.000
.992
1.015
.882
1.201
1.140
.758
1.374
1.374

1.340
1.340

1.216
1.250
1.101
.971
1.250
1.250

(2
)
(2
)

.955
1.119
.878
.876
.879
.801
.865
1. Ill
.765
1.142
1.151
.924
.944
1.115
.881
.709
.969
1.128
.885
.746
.812
(2)
(2
)
(2
)

.955
.788
1.118
1.200
1.038
.785

<)
2
.746
1.025
1.095
.926
.739

(2
)
.606
1.148
1.198
1.000
.684

.936
1.087
.818
.645
.920
1.101
.804
.609

(2
)
.450
1.091
1.091

1.060
1.339
1.340
(2)
1.060
1.210
1.100
(2
)
(2
)
.956
1.345
1.345

.970
1.120
.954

.890
1.254
1.264
1.142
.970

1.200
1.200
(2
)
1.187
1.199
(2
)
.845
(2
)

.737
1.206
1.209
(2)

2

.800
(2
)
(2
)
.987
1.007
.900
.876
.962
.708
1.158
1.161
(2
)
1.145
1.173
(2)
(2
)
1.196
1.395
.997
.833
1.030

.793
1.138
1.146
1.030
.850

Earnings, Spring o f 1943

9

T a b le 2. — Earnings and Distribution o f D ay-Shift Ship-Repair Workers in Selected
Occupations, b y Region, Occupation, and Class, Spring o f 1942 and 1943 — Con.
PERCENT OF WORKERS
Atlantic Coast
Occupation and class

Pacific Coast

Great Lakes

Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring
1942
1942
1943
1942
1943
1942
1943
1943

All occupations studied................................... 100.0
—
Anglesmiths _. _
_
.2
'First. class___ _
_
_
.1
Other classes . _
.1
Anglesmiths’ helpers.
_ •
_
.1
Apprentices
_ _
_ _
.4
Blacksmiths.....................................................
.4
.2
First class..................................................
Other classes
___
.2
Blacksmiths' helpers........... ...........................
.4
Boilermakers...................................................
1.0
First class.................................................
.5
Other classes
_ __ _____
.5
Boilermakers' helpers.....................................
.5
Bolters, hand *........................................ ........
1.1
First class___________________________
.4
.7
Other classes........................... ..................
Burners, acetylene (including gas).................
3.5
First class..................................................
1.3
Other classes___________ ____ ____ ____
2.2
(5)
Burners' helpers, acetylene (including gas). .
Carpenters (shipwrights) — 1............ .
8.8
First class..................................................
6.8
Other classes_________________________
2.0
Carpenters' helpers.........................................
.6
Chippers and calkers (including foundry
chinpers).......................................................
3.1
First class..................................................
2.1
Other classes _ _ _ _ ____
1.0
____
Coppersmiths _____
.3
.1
First class______ ____________________
Other classes____ ____________________
.2
Coppersmiths’ helpers
. _ ___
___
.2
Crane operators (all types).............................
.3
First class.. ...............................................
.2
.l
Other classes...................... ......................
.l
Draftsmen (senior and junior)................. ......
Drillers (including reamers and counter
sinkers).........................................................
1.0
First class___________________________
.6
4
Other classes___________________ _ __
Electricians....................................................
5.3
First class..................................................
2.3
Other classes ___
_
3.0
Electricians’ helpers........................................
1.9
Erectors_______ ________________________
.6
(«)
First class............ ....................................
Other classes_________________________
.6
Erectors’ helpers....................................... .....
.1
Foremen (including assistant foremen and
quartermen)................................................
.8
Furnace men (plate and forge shops)____ .
(5
)
First class................................... ..............
(8
)
(8)
Other classes............................. ................
Handymen, not elsewhere classified..............
.1
Helpers, not elsewhere classified....................
1.7
Joiners (including woodworking - machine
operators) ...................................................
2.1
First class _
_
_
_
____
1.7
Other classes _.
_
.
___ „,,
.4
Joiners’ helpers........... ...................................
.2
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and jan­
itors)................................................... _____
•
7.4
___n ____
Layers-ont ___
(8
)
First class..................................................
(5
)
Other classes. _
_. . . . . . . . , .
0)
Leaders............................................................
5.4
learners _ . . . .
1.7
Loftsmen
_
.... .....
. .1
First class____
_
__ _____
(8
)
Other classes..............................................
.1
See footnotes at end of tablo. .




Gulf Coast

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
-■ ■ ===== = = =
■
!
■---i
■ "" iL “ ■ ■
(*)
.1
.2
.2
(8
)
(8
)
.1
.1
.2
(8
)
(8
)
(»}
.1
(8
)
.1
.1
.2
(*)
.3
.3
3.9
1.7
i 9
.2
.4
.2
.5
.4
.2
.2
.3
.4
.3
.1
1
.1
.2
.3
.4
.5
!7
1.3
2.9
2.9
3.4
2.5
1.4
2.8
3.4
.8
1.2
.1
.5
1.5
1.3
6.9
.7
10.8
5.7
5.1
1.4
.3
.3
.6
.8
2.5
1.2
2.5
2.6
1.5
1.2
2.5
2.4
.8
1.0
.2
1.3
.4
.5
(4)
(4)
*5
(4)
5.3
3.2
6.0
6.8
5.7
3.9
2.5
6.0
6.7
3.4
(8
)
.7
.1
1.4
2.3
1.5
.6
2.8
is
1.1
2.2
1.6
.6
.2
.1
.1
.3
.3
.2
.1
.3

2.2
1.8
.4
’i
*1
(8)
(»)
.5
.4
.i
.5

2.1
1.8
.3
.4
.2
.2
.1
.3
.3

1.7
1.7

.8

.5

.6

.6
.6

.6
.6

7.2
3.8
3. 4
4.0

6.7
6.4
.3
.8

1.3
1. 2
.1
6.7
6.7

6
3! 3
2.0
1.3
1.6

.2
.2

1.0
.9
.l
.1
.1
.3
.2
.2

4.2

100.0
— ------

.5

.1

.5
.5
.4
.1
.8
.2
.1
.1
1.3
8.1
6.7
1.4
2.6
2.4
.2
(4)
3.2
2.3
.9
2.8

3.0
2.9
.1

2.7
1.6
1.1

1.4
1.4

1.1
.9
.2

2.0
2.0

1.8
1.6
.2
3.3
2.2
1.1
1.1
11

.9
.8
.1
.4
2.3
2.3
3.7
5.2
5.2
5.8
5.6
.2
2.5
2.5

.1

.9
.5
.4
3.7
2.2
1.5
3.0

100.0

1.7
1.6
.1
.2

1.1
4
.6
.1
(5
)
(s)
.2
3.0

3.0

1.7
.1
.1

5.4
5.4

5.3

.4
.2
5. V
5.7

2.8
2.8

1.4
.5
.2
.3

.2
.2

.3

.2
.2

15 7
(8)
(8
)

5.2

4.9

.1
.1

.1
.1

(«)

.3
.1
(8
)
.1

.1

.8

2.7
1.9
.8
.3

1 .0
0

1.2

(«)

1.1

.2

.1

16.6

5.8

2.4

(8)
4.8

3.7
.4
.3

7.0
.4
.4

6.5

5.6

7.1
4.9

6.3
.6
.2
.2

.1
.1
.5
.2
.3

.1

(5
)
(8
)

10

Private Ship-Repair Yards

T able 2.— Earnings and Distribution o f D ay-Shift Ship-Repair Workers in Selected
Occupations, by Region , Occupation, and Class, Spring o f 1942 and 1943 — Con.
PERCENT OF WORKERS—Continued
Atlantic Coast

Gulf Coast

Pacific Coast

Great Lakes

Occupation and class
Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring
1943
1942
1943
1942
1942
1943
1943
1942
Machinists, shop and outside.........................
First class..................................................
Other classes.............. ..............................
Machinists’ helpers, shop and outside...........
Molders, foundry............................................
First class!..................................... ..........
Other classes..............................................
Painters, brush and spray..............................
First class..................................... .............
Other classes
...
. _______ _
Pattern makers........... ...... ................ ............
First class................. ................................
Other classes.............................................
Pipe fitters (including plumbers^___
First class;................................................
Other classes................. ............................
Pipe fitters’ helpers (including plumbers’
helpers).........................................................
Plate-shop machine operators........................
First class..................................................
Other classes..............................................
Plate-shop machine operators’ helpers...........
Regulators ____
____ _
First class.___ ________
Other classes __
Riggers, ship....... , ..........................................
First class
_ _
Other classes. . _ r_
, ,
Riggers, yard and crane..................................
First class..................................................
Other classes. _
___
Rivet heaters..................................................
Rivet holders-on..............................................
Rivet passers.
Riveters............. .... ........................ ...............
First class..................................................
Other classes.............................................
Sheet-metal workers (including tinsmiths)
First class..................................................
Other classes____________ ,_________
Sheet-metal workers’ helpers..........................
Ship fitters.......................................................
First class.................................................
Other classes.
Ship fitters’ helpers..... ....................................
Stage builders..................................................
Tank cleaners_____ ______________________
Tool and die makers ___ ___
First class
. ..
, .
Other classes.............................................
Tracers.............................................................
Watchmen and guards............................. ......
Welders, acetylene and electric......................
First class.................................................
Other classes..............................................
Welders’ helpers, acetylene and electric........

9.0
4.9
4.1
3.6

10.8
6.9
3.9
3.9
(B
)
(*)

7.4
4.8
2.6
5.1
.1
.1

5.7
4.7
1.0
5.8
.1
.1

10.2
9.7
.5
6.9

9.6
9.5
.1
4.2

5.7
5.1
.6
.9

3.0
2.1
.9
1.5

2.9
.6
2.3
.1
.1
(«)
4.0
1.9
2.1

3.0
.5
2.5
.1
.1

1.9
1.3
.6
.2
.2

2.6
1.7
.9
.1
.1

1.5
1.5

4.7
4.7

1.0
.9
.1

1.3
1.2
.1

3.7
2.1
1.6

3.8
2.6
1.2

2.8
2.5
.3

5.6
5.5
.1

3.7
3.7
(*)

2.1
2.0
.1

3.0
1.9
LI

3.5
.3
.2
.1
.2
(*)
(*)

3.7
.3
.2
.1
2.8
.2
.2

4.1
1.6
.4
1.2
1.7
.2
.2

4.9
.1
.1

3.5
.5
.5
(*)
.3
2.2
2.2

2.1
1.9
1.4
.5
1.5

4.9
1.7
.5
1.2
3.5
1.1

.7
.5
.2
.6
.3
.3
.5
.4
.7
.6
.5
(8
)
1.6
.5
1.1
1.5
3.0
1.2
1.8
2.0

.1
.1

5.3
5.3

2.5
2.5

1.1
.3
.8
.5
.6
.7
.4
.4

.2
.2

.5
.6

.1
.1

.1
.2

.4
.4

.4
.4

.6
.1
.5
4.3
3.6
.7
1.0
2.6
.7
2.8
2.8

1.0
.4
.6
1.5
1.1
.4
.7
.4

2.2
2.2

2.6
2.0
.6
2.0
1.6
1.6

(*)
(«)

2.8
.9
1.9
3.2
3.1
.1
.7
.4
.4
1.7
1.6
.1
1.5
.4
1.1
1.5
2.2
.8
1.4
2.6
.2
(*)
(«)
(*)

(«)
2.7
5.0
2.5
2.5
.3

(8
)
4.7
3.5
2.1
1.4
1.0

(«)
1.3
4.6
3.4
1.2
.7

3.0
.4
.1
.3
.3
(»)
(1
5
4
*
)
*
(5
)
2.9
1.3
1.6
3.2
2.1
1.1
.3
.2
.1
1.6
1.4
.1
1.9
.7
1.2
1.5
4.2
.9
3.3
3.5

.1
1.2
1.5
1.5

1.1
3.1
3.1

( 5)

1.2
.5
1.5
.1
.1

3.0
1.1
1.4

1.1
3.4
3.4

1.0
4.7
4.3
.4
.3

1.1
.1
.1

.1
3.1
2.9
.2
2.0
.2

3.6
2.9
.7
1.7
2.2
3.8
2.1
20
.1
1.2
1.0
.2
.2
1.7
.9
.8
1.6
4.1

2.8
8.9
8.8
.1
.1

1.7
7.0
6.5
.5
.8

.9
.9

1 Excluding earnings resulting from extra pay for overtime work.
* Number of workers too small to justify computation of average.
8Includes a small number of machine bolters.
4 Occupations not included in spring 1942 study.
* Less than a tenth of 1 percent.

ATLANTIC COAST

The Atlantic Coast region is the most important of all the shiprepair areas, measured by either number of yards or number of work­
ers. Data obtained in the present survey indicate that more than
half of the yards and about two-thirds of the workers in the shiprepair industry are found in this region.




Earnings, Spring o f 1943

11

First-shift workers in Atlantic Coast yards were reported in 57 of
the 60 selected occupations studied. However, nearly seven-tenths
(69.0 percent) of the workers were concentrated in 14 occupations.
Machinists accounted for 9.0 percent of the workers studied, car­
penters for 8.S percent, and laborers for 7.4 percent. Relatively
large numbers of workers were also reported for pipe fitters, ship
fitters, welders, electricians, and leaders.
Occupational average hourly earnings in the Atlantic Coast region
varied from 76.0 cents for learners to $1,673 for foremen. Roughly
one-fourth (22.9 percent) of all the workers in Atlantic Coast shiprepair yards were in jobs averaging $1.20 or more an hour. A large
proportion of these workers were first-class craftsmen. Two-fifths
(40.3 percent) of all the workers, most of whom were craftsmen below
first class, were in occupations averaging between $1.00 and $1.20 an
hour. Another fourth (23.8 percent), predominantly helpers to the
various craftsmen, averaged between 80 cents and $1 an hour.
In 13 of the 23 occupations in which separate figures are shown for
first-class workers, average hourly earnings were at least $1.20 an hour,
the minimum rate established for such workers under terms of the
second wage-stabilization agreement adopted in 1942. Fully half of
all first-class workers were found in these 13 occupations. Moreover,
in 5 of the remaining 10 occupations the earnings of first-class workers
were less than 2 cents lower than the $1.20 minimum and in 2 addi­
tional occupations their earnings were less than 4 cents below the
minimum. In only three occupations did first-class workers have
earnings substantially lower than the established $1.20 minimum—
yard and crane riggers ($1,148), brush and spray painters ($1,139),
and hand bolters ($1,049). Low wages in a number of small yards
which did not subscribe to the stabilization program, coupled with
differences among yards in the application of the program, account
for subminimum average earnings in the 10 occupations.
The average hourly earnings of journeymen below first class ranged
from 91.4 cents for yard and crane riggers to $1,265 for loftsmen.
Most of the occupations, however, had a much narrower range in
earnings. In 19 of the 25 occupations in which earnings are shown
for journeymen below first class, the differences in the averages were
less than 10 cents, and in 14, less than 5 cents. Much of the variation
in the earnings of journeymen below first class is undoubtedly ac­
counted for by the wdde differences from yard to yard in the pro­
portion of workers in the individual classes represented.
The earnings of journeymen’s helpers varied comparatively little.
Most of these workers were in occupations with average hourly earn­
ings ranging from 78.5 cents to 85.5 cents an hour.
Less than a half of 1 percent of the workers in Atlantic Coast
ship-repair yards worked under incentive methods of wage payment,
and incentive earnings increased the regional average by only a tenth
of 1 percent. The concentration of incentive workers in a few occu­
pations, however, particularly the occupations associated with rivet­
ing, influenced considerably the earnings of these workers. As a
group, incentive workers in this region earned 23.5 percent more than
they would have received at their basic hourly rates.
Average hourly earnings did not vary consistently according to
size of yard, both the lowest and the highest averages being reported
by small yards. In general, however, earnings were higher in the
large yards than in the small yards.



12

Private Ship-Repair Yards

Some idea of the variation in occupational averages between yards
may be had from the following tabulation of low and high yard aver­
ages for first-class workers in four representative occupations. The
lowest averages were all found in very small yards, while three of the
four high averages were for yards employing between 300 and 650
workers. The fourth high average was for a small yard employing
fewer than 100 workers.
Average hourly earnings
Lowest
Highest

Chippers and calkers___________________________ $0.
Machinists, shop and outside_________________
.
Riggers, ship-------------------------1.
Welders, acetylene and electric________________
.

975
838
000
900

$1.218
1.240
1.250
1.269

GULF COAST

Ship-repair activities in the Gulf Coast region, although limited
in volume, play an important part in the country’s wartime industrial
program.
First-shift workers in Gulf Coast ship-repair yards were reported
in but 49 of the 60 selected occupations covered by the study. The
occupations for which workers were not reported included such usual
shipyard crafts as hand bolters, erectors, joiners, and tool and die
makers. Prominence of welded ships in this region accounts, in part,
for the absence of hand bolters, while the duties of the other missing
occupations were combined in other jobs.
Over one-half (54.4 percent) of the workers reported in this region
were concentrated in eight occupations. Laborers accounted for 15.7
percent and machinists for 7.4 percent of the workers. Other occu­
pations containing more than 4 percent of the workers surveyed were
apprentices (5.9 percent), carpenters (5.7 percent), boilermakers’
helpers (5.1 percent), machinists’ helpers (5.1 percent), leaders (4.9
percent), and welders (4.6 percent).
The range in average hourly earnings by occupation in the Gulf
Coast region was from 60.4 cents for general helpers to $1,682 for
foremen. Approximately one-fourth of the workers, most of whom
were first-class craftsmen, were in occupations averaging more than
$1.18 an hour; and another two-fifths, which included large numbers
of helpers, laborers, and apprentices, were in occupations averaging
less than 75 cents an hour.
In practically all occupations the earnings of first-class workers
either equaled or closely approximated the established minimum of
$1.20. The failure of some yards to subscribe to the stabilization
program and the practice in other yards of paying first-class workers
subminimum rates during a brief probation period account for some
of the cases in which the average was lower than the established
minimum. Unlike other regions, the Gulf Coast region does not
recognize the occupation of yard and crane riggers as being subject
to the stabilization minimum. Workers in this occupation earned
an average of 85.3 cents an hour.
The wide variation in the earnings of journeymen below first class
in the Gulf Coast region, as in the Atlantic Coast region, is due largely
to wide differences from yard to yard in the proportion of workers in
each of the classes of workers which make up this group. The lowest
earnings for these workers (75.0 cents) were found in the occupation




Earnings, Spring o f 1943

IE

of drillers and counter sinkers, and the highest ($1,089) in the occupa­
tion of ship riggers. Fourteen of the 17 occupations for which figures
are shown for journeymen other than first class had average earnings
within the 15-cent interval 95.0 cents to $1.10.
Helpers to the various craftsmen were generally paid rates averaging
from about 68 cents to approximately 73 cents an hour, although a
relatively small proportion of unclassified helpers had average earn­
ings of only 60.4 cents an hour.
Considerable variation in earnings was found among yards. These
differences, however, were very largely confined to journeymen below
first class and to helpers. Individual yard averages ranging from
85.0 cents to $1,114 for “ other classes” of carpenters and from 68.3
to 75.0 cents for electricians’ helpers are typical of the range of earn­
ings of other than first-class workers.
PACIFIC COAST

The ship-repair industry on the West Coast has the highest wage
structure of any region in the industry. As previously pointed out,
repair-yard operators and representatives of labor in the Pacific
Coast region have entered into special agreements which provide
substantially higher rates than were established by the general stabi­
lization agreements under which the industry is operating in the other
regions.
The occupational structure of West Coast repair yards is much les&
diversified than that found in either the Atlantic or the Gulf Coast
regions. Workers were reported in only 43 of the 60 selected occupa­
tions studied and seven-tenths of all these workers were found in 11
occupations. The greatest concentration (10.2 percent) was in tho
occupation of machinist. Other occupations with more than 5 per­
cent of the workers were boilermakers, helpers, machinists’ helpers,
electricians, leaders, carpenters, laborers, pipe fitters, joiners, and ship
riggers. Practically all journeymen in this region were first-class
workers. Thus, of all first-shift workers studied, 57.3 percent were
first-class journeymen and only 1.0 percent were below first class.
Average hourly earnings in West Coast repair yards ranged from
95.6 cents for watchmen to $1,832 for foremen. Three-fifths (59.2
percent) of the first-shift workers in Pacific Coast yards, for whom
averages are presented, were in occupations in which earnings ranged
upward from $1.34 an hour, the prevailing minimum rate for most
skilled crafts under terms of the special wage agreements in effect
in the area. Included in this group are first-class workers in 15
occupations, representing slightly more than one-half of all workers
surveyed in this region. Three other groups of first-class workers
(ship riggers, yard and crane riggers, and drillers) had average earn­
ings somewhat below $1.34 an hour. These workers were not generally
recognized by most yards as being subject to the minimum rate.
Journeymen other than first class (commonly called trainees in this
region) were found in only a few occupations. Most of these workers
had earnings averaging approximately $1.20 an hour.
Practically all journeymen’s helpers received $1,060 an hour.
Fully 24 percent of all the workers studied were reported as helpers.
The uniformity of the wage structure in West Coast repair yards is
also confirmed by the general yard averages. There was a spread o f




14

Private Ship-Repair Yards

less than 7 cents between the averages for the lowest-paying and
highest-paying yards. These limited variations are due largely to
differences in occupational structure among yards.
GREAT LAKES

Ship-repair yards in the Great Lakes area are engaged primarily
in the maintenance and repair of ships used in lake transportation.
Yards in this area employ considerably fewer workers than any one
o f the other three regions covered by the study.
Only 44 of the 60 selected occupations studied in this survey were
found in ship-repair yards in the Great Lakes region, and nearly a half
(47.2 percent) of all first-shift workers were concentrated in 8 of these
occupations. Welders and leaders included the largest proportion of
workers, 8.9 and 7.1 percent, respectively. Other occupations em­
bracing between 4 and 6 percent of the workers were acetylene
burners, machinists, foremen, hand bolters, learners, and yard and
crane riggers.
Koughly, half (46.6 percent) of the first-shift workers studied were
in occupations averaging as much as or more than $1.20 an hour, the
stabilization minimum for first-class workers in the Great Lakes area,
and another 10 percent were in occupations averaging within 2 cents
of that minimum. Considerably lower earnings were received by
first-class workers in four occupations, namely, plate-shop machine
operators ($1,125), yard and crane riggers ($1,015), hand bolters
($0,915), and drillers ($0,902). The 3 last-named occupations were
not recognized by any of the yards as subject to the stabilization
minimum. The earnings of plate-shop machine operators, as well as
those in a number of occupations showing average earnings only
slightly below $1.20 for first-class workers, reflect subminimum rates
paid in some yards to various first-class workers during a probationary
period.
There were relatively few journeymen in the classes below first
class. These workers, who accounted for less than 4 percent of all
first-shift workers covered, were distributed among 13 occupations.
The earnings of most of these workers were concentrated within the
5-cent interval— $1.00 to $1.05.
About one-fifth (18.1 percent) of the workers, comprising helpers
to the various craftsmen, laborers, and watchmen and guards, were
in occupations with average earnings of less than 90 cents an hour.
For most occupations, average hourly earnings were quite uniform
from yard to yard. The few variations reported are primarily at­
tributable to incentive methods of wage payment found in some of
the yards. Only 2.2 percent of the workers studied worked under
incentive wage systems and their earnings increased the regional
average by only 1 percent. The influence of incentive payments on
the average earnings of individual occupations in which such earnings
are found is much more pronounced, however. As a group, incentive
workers in this region were able to increase their basic hourly earnings
by 48.5 percent.




Earnings, Spring o f 1943

15

Regional Differences in Earnings

It is apparent from the foregoing that widely different wage levels
are found in ship-repair yards in the four broad regions in which repair
operations are carried on. The highest earnings are found in the
Pacific Coast region where first-shift workers earned an average of
$1,259 in May 1943. These earnings exceed by 14.7 cents the earn­
ings of workers in the Great Lakes region, by 22.7 cents those found
in the Atlantic Coast region, and by 33.6 cents the earnings shown
for the Gulf Coast region. Part of this variation in earnings can be
attributed to the difference in the levels at which the rates of pay of
first-class journeymen were stabilized by the regional agreements.
The minimum rate of pay of such workers, it will be recalled, was
set at $1.20 an hour in three regions—Atlantic, Gulf, and Great
Lakes— and at $1.34 an hour for most crafts in the Pacific Coast
region.
The general averages for the four regions, however, also reflect the
wide interregional differences in the earnings of workers other than
first-class skilled mechanics. No attempt was made in any of the
regional agreements to stabilize the wages of workers other than firstclass skilled mechanics. The stabilization of the wages of such work­
ers was left entirely to local collective bargaining. Over-all regional
averages are also profoundly influenced by differences in the occupa­
tional structure of the various regions. It will be recalled that of
the 60 representative occupations for which wage data were sought
in this study, workers were reported for 57 in the Atlantic Coast
region, for 49 in the Gulf Coast region, for 44 in the Great Lakes
region, and for 43 in the Pacific Coast region. Wide variations are
also found in the distribution of workers among the classes or grades
within occupations.
The variations in regional wage levels are clearly reflected in the
distribution of yard averages presented in table 3. These averages
tend to concentrate at widely different levels. On the Pacific Coast
all yard averages are found within the 10-cent interval— $1.20 to
$1.30— and in the Great Lakes area they are found within the 15-cent
range— $1.05 to $1.20. Most yards in the Gulf Coast region were
found within the 10-cent interval— 90.0 cents to $1.00. Despite the
wide dispersion of yard averages in the Atlantic Coast region, twothirds of the yards, employing most of the workers, had averages
ranging from 95.0 cents to $1.10.
It is also of interest to compare the average hourly earnings in those
individual occupations which are found in all regions. Such informa­
tion is presented in table 4 for 24 broad occupational groups, for 15
first-class occupations.




16
T

Private Ship-Repair Yards

able

3.— Percentage Distribution o f Yards and Workers by Yard Average Hourly

Earnings and Region, Spring o f 1943
Percent of yards with speci­
fied yard-average earnings

Percent of workers in yards
with specified yard-average
earnings

Yard average earnings
Atlan­ Gulf Pacific Great Atlan­ Gulf Pacific Great
tic
tic
Coast Coast Coast Lakes Coast Coast Coast Lakes
70.0 to 74.0
____
, _ __ .
75.0 to 79.9 cents__________________________
80.0 to 84.9 cents_________ ____ ___________
85.0 to 89.9 cents...............................................
90.0 to 04.9 cents__________________________
95.0 to 99.9 cents_____________________ ____
$1,000 to $1.049..................................................
$1,050 to $1.099..................................................
$1,100 to $1.149..................................................
$1,150 to $1.199................................................
$1,200 to $1,249 ................................................
$1,250 to $1.299..................................................

5.6
5.6
27.7
11.0
27.7
5.6

Total......................................................

100.0

T

able

5.6
5.6

0.2
.4

16.7
66.6
16.7

20.0
80.0

5.6
100.0

mo

40.0
40.0
20.0

100.0

.4
3.2
30.7
29.0
32.2
2.8

1.8
94.9
3.3

1.1
100.0

21.6
60.1
18.3

33.3
66.7
100.0

100.0

100.0

4.— Comparative Average Straight-Time Hourly Earnings o f Day-Shift Workers

in Selected Occupations Appearing in all Regions, Spring o f 1943
All classes of workers
Occupation

Blacksmiths.....................................................
Boilermakers...................................................
Boilermakers’ helpers.......... ...... .....................
Burners, acetylene (including gas)..................
Carpenters (shipwrights)................................
Chipper* and calkers (including foundry
chippers)....... ..............................................
Crane operators (all types).............................
Drillers..........................................................
Electricians.............. .....................................
Foremen (including assistant foremen and
quartcrmen)............................ ...................
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and jani­
tors)............................................. ................
Machinists, shop and outside..........................
Machinists’ helpers, shop and outside............
Painters, brush and spray..............................
Pipe fitters (including plumbers)....................
Pipe fitters’ helpers (including plumbers’
helpers).........................................................
Riggers, yard and crane..................................
Rivet holders-on............................................ .
Riveters.......................................................
Sheet-metal workers (including tinsmiths)...
Ship fitters.......................................................
Ship fitters' helpers.........................................
Watchmen and guards....................................
Welders, acetylene and electric.....................

First-class workers

Atlan­ Gulf
Pa­
Atlan­ Gulf Pacific Great
tic
tic
cific Great
Coast Coast Coast Lakes Coast Coast Coast Lakes
$1.089 $1.151 $1.348 $1,213 $1.201 $1,200 $1.348
1.103 1.075 1.337 1.237 1.200 1.202 1.340
.726 1.060
.796
.890
1.099 1.132 1.340 1.189 1.207 1.200 1.340
1.152 1.114 1.339 1.220 1.193 1.197 1.340
1.134
1.143
1.108
1.094

1.147
1.129
.750
1.110

1.344
1.390
1.210
1.334

1.192
1.256
.902
1.183

1.673

1.682

1.832

.605
1.135
.713
1.129
1.128

1.022
1.338
1.061
1.340
1.338

.805
1.186
.887
1.169
1.194

.836
1.C67
1.202
1.212
1.095
1.044
.830
.788
1.118

.717
.808
.783
1.191
1.033
1.131
.711
.606
1.148

1.060
1.220
1.218
1.340
1.340
1.339
1.060
.956
1.345

.838
.992
1.140
1.374
1.2G
0
1.187
.845
.737
1.206

1.195
1.220

1.649

.774
1.122
.837
1.036
1.105

$1,223
1.237

1.198
1.187

1.167
1.162

1.344
1.390

1.200
1.256

1.200

1.200

1.340

1.189

1.201

1.200

1.345

1.202

1.139
1.199

1.198
1.198

1.340
1.341

1.207
1.206

1.148

.853

1.220

1.015

1.222
1.220
1.200

1.200
1.193
1.207

1.340
1.340
1.340

1.374
1.200
1.199

1.200

1.198

1.345

1.209

The averages for the broad occupational groups reveal the Pacific
Coast region as paying the highest wages in all occupations except that
of riveter. The Great Lakes area, because of incentive premiums, pays
the highest wage for that work. Workers in the Great Lakes area
generally had the second highest earnings. In 14 of the 24 occupa­
tions, earnings in the Atlantic Coast region were higher than in the
Gulf Coast region, and in 10 they were lower. A comparison of
average earnings for first-class workers reflects similar results. In 14
of the 15 first-class occupations for which figures are shown in table




17

Earnings, Spring o f 1943

4, the highest earnings were found in the Pacific Coast region. The
Great Lakes region again had the highest average for riveters. In 10
of the 15 occupations, earnings were higher in the Atlantic Coast re­
gion than in the Gulf Coast region, in 4 they were lower, and in one
there was no difference.
A comparison of the earnings of workers in 28 classifications 6 which
were found in all regions and which are comparable from one region to
another provides a dependable measure of regional variations in wage
levels that is not disturbed by differences in occupational structure.
In the following tabulation of averages, each occupation has been
given the same weight in all regions. It is of interest to observe that
this approach considerably reduces the apparent wage advantage of
the Pacific Coast and Great Lakes regions over the Atlantic Coast
and Gulf regions.#^ Clearly the higher wages prevailing in the former
regions are exaggerated somewhat by differences in the distribution
of workers by occupation and class.
Atlantic

Total, 28 selected classifications___

Gulf

Pacific

Great Lakes

$1. 024

$0. 953

$1. 205

$1.036

First-class skilled mechanics______
1. 196
Journeymen’s helpers_____________
. 832
L aborers-........................................................774

1. 180
. 708
. 605

1. 333
1. 061
1.022

1.193
.863
.805

Earnings Comparisons9 1942 and 1943

The straight-time hourly earnings of day-shift workers in shiprepair yards in the United States as a whole averaged $1,062 an hour
in May 1943, or 9.1 cents more than the average of 97.1 cents for the
corresponding period in 1942 (table 5). This increase, however, is
influenced to some extent by wide and uneven increases in employ­
ment among regions between 1942 and 1943. In order to eliminate
this influence, averages for the country as a whole were also computed
by weighting the regional averages for each year by the 1943 employ­
ment in each region. These averages show an increase in earnings of
11.4 cents an hour between 1942 and 1943. It appears that the
greatest wage increases occurred in the Atlantic and Gulf regions,
where employment increased more rapidly than in the Pacific and Great
Lakes regions, which had higher wage levels but smaller wage increases.
T

able

5.— Average1 Straight-Time H ourly Earnings o f D ay -Shift Ship-Repair Workers
in Selected Occupations, by Region, Spring o f 1942 and 1943
Average hourly earnings
Region

Increase
Spring 1943

Spring 1942

United States.....................................................................

$1,062

i $0,971

Atlantic Coast.......... .......................................................
Gulf C oast-.......................................................................
Pacific Coast.....................................................................
Great Lakes.......................................................................

1.032
.923
1.269
1.112

.914
.796
1.166
1.013

Cents

9.1
11.8
12.7
9.3
9.9

This average arrived at by weighting the regional averages by the 1942 employment in each region.
If, however, the 1943 employment in each region is used in weighting the regional averages, the average for
the country as a whole becomes 94.8 cents, and the average increase for the country as a whole becomes 11.4
cents.
6 This group is made up of first-class journeymen in 17 occupations, journeymen’s helpers in 10 occupations,
and laborers. The weights used are the weights of the respective jobs in combined figures for all regions.




18

Private Ship-Repair Yards

The absolute increase in hourly earnings between 1942 and 1943
varied from 9.3 cents in the Pacific Coast region to 12.7 cents in the
Gulf Coast region. The increases in the Atlantic and Great Lakes
regions amounted to 11.8 and 9.9 cents, respectively. In all cases the
increases were greater, particularly in the Atlantic Coast region, than
the increases provided by the regional agreements.

FCmyiCTORY




BUY
U N ITE D
STATES

W AR
BONDS
AND

STAMPS