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UNITED STATES DEPARTM ENT OF LABOR
Frances Perkins, Secretary
B U R E A U OF L A B O R STATISTICS
Isador Lubin, Commissioner (on leave)
A . F. Hinrichs, Acting Commissioner

♦

Hourly Earnings in Private
Shipyards, 1942

Bulletin 7 [o. 727
\

[Reprinted w ith minor changes from the M onthly Labor Review ,
August and October 1942]

UNITED STATES
G O V E R N M E N T PR IN T IN G OFFICE
W ASH IN G TON : 1943

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U . S. G overnm ent Printing Office
Washington, D. C.
Price 10 cents




CONTENTS
Page

Summary_____ ______________________ _____________________________
Shipbuilding in wartime_____________________________________________
Labor aspects of production_________________________________________
Characteristics of the industry_______________________________________
Wage stabilization___________________________________ ______________
Plan of Bureau’ s study___________________________ __________________
Hourly earnings in spring of 1942, Atlantic coast_________________ _____
Hourly earnings in spring of 1942, Gulf coast__________________________
Hourly earnings in spring of 1942, Pacific coast________________________
Hourly earnings in spring of 1942, Great Lakes________________________
Hourly earnings in spring of 1942, inland region_______________________
Interregional comparisons___________________________________ ______ 20

1
1
2
3
4
6
6
12
13
16
19

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 re a u o f L a b o r S ta tis tic s ,

Washington, D. <7., December 8, 19^2.
The S e c r e t a r y o f L a b o r :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report made by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics on earnings in private shipyards, spring of 1942.
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.
ii




PREFACE
The field study of hourly earnings in private shipyards upon which
this report is based was conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
in the spring of 1942. This study is a continuation of a series of
studies on wage levels in the shipbuilding industry which the Bureau
has made during the past 6 years.
The first comprehensive study of earnings and hours of work in the
shipbuilding industry was made by the Bureau in August 1936. Data
were obtained by representatives of the Bureau from both private
shipyards and united States navy yards. At the request of the
United States Maritime Commission the .Bureau made, in May 1937,
a study of the guaranteed or basic hourly rates paid to workers in the
more important occupations in a number of the larger private yards
engaged in both construction and repair work. This information was
collected by means of a mail questionnaire. Twice each year since
that date, and until May 1941, the Bureau has made similar surveys
for use by the Maritime Commission. Information on basic rates of
pay was collected in May and November each year. In addition,
limited information on hourly earnings has been obtained each No­
vember. Except for the original study of May 1936 the results of
the Bureau’s inquiries have not been published.
In the spring of 1942 the Bureau made another comprehensive
field study of wages in the shipbuilding industry in order to make
available to the governmental agencies charged with responsibility
for the wartime shipbuilding program, and to other governmental
agencies as well as private organizations and persons, detailed infor­
mation on the wage and occupational structure of the industry. The
results of the 1942 field study are presented in this bulletin. Hereafter,
the Bureau expects to continue its semiannual studies of the occu­
pational wage structure of the shipbuilding industry along the lines
of the current survey. Full utilization will be made of pay-roll data
submitted by mail to the Secretary of Labor, and such data will be
supplemented as necessary by field investigation by the Bureau’s
trained representatives.
This report was prepared in the Division of Wage Analysis, of which
Robert J. Myers is chief. The report was written by Willis C. Quant
under the direction of Victor S. Baril and Edward K. Frazier. The
Bureau is indebted to the officials of the many companies who cooper­
ated in furnishing the data for this survey.
A. F. H in r ic h s ,
Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
in







Bulletin J'lo. 727 of the
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
[Reprinted with minor changes from the M o n t h l y

L a b o r R e v ie w ,

August and October 1942]

H OU RLY EA RN IN G S IN P R IV A T E SH IPYARD S, 1942

Summary
In the spring of 1942, shortly before the adoption of the new wagestabilization agreements, the straight-time earnings of first-smft
workers in private ship-construction yards averaged 96.0 cents per
hour. This average is based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics study of
workers in selected occupations in 54 representative ship-construction
yards. Comparable average wages by region ranged from $1,034
per hour on the Pacific coast to 77.6 cents on the Gulf coast. The
averages for the Atlantic coast, Great Lakes, and inland regions were
96.6 cents, 86.1 cents, and 79.5 cents, respectively. First-shift
workers in 13 ship-repair yards received an average of 97.1 cents per
hour.
Among individual occupations, average earnings varied widely.
Furnacemen, loftsmen, layers-out, pattern makers, and various super­
visory employees were among the highest paid workers, while laborers,
helpers, and learners were among the lowest paid.
Twenty-six separate crafts were generally recognized as coming
within the scope of the wage standards established under the stabiliza­
tion agreements for “ first-class skilled mechanics,” and several
additional crafts were recognized as belonging to this class in one or
more individual regions. Only in the Great Lakes region did first-class
workers in the 26 crafts commonly receive wages below the minimum.
In the inland region, however, no wage minima had been established.
The individual regions varied widely with respect to the proportion
of workers carried on the pay roll as “ first class.” On the Pacific
coast, for example, 61 percent of all workers in the 26 recognized crafts
were of the first class, whereas only 20 percent were so classified on the
Atlantic coast. Differences with regard to the classification of workers
profoundly affected general average earnings in the various regions.

Shipbuilding in Wartime
The growth of the shipbuilding industry during tlie past 2 years is
one of the most notable features of the Nation’s wartime industrial
transition. Until shortly before the outbreak of the second World
War shipbuilding had declined steadily as a commercial venture.
Government subsidies had been resorted to in an attempt to revive
the industry. The scope of the program undertaken since the out­
break of the war and the progress which has been made in accomplish­
ing that program are best told in the President’s words:
A little more than a year ago we embarked upon the greatest shipbuilding
program in history. No other nation had ever attempted so vast a maritime




1

2

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

enterprise. There were those who doubted our ability to succeed. Today I
can assure you we will perform a near-miracle of ship production. The Nation’s
shipbuilding capacity has been increased more than 500 percent.1

Figures relating to current employment and production in ship­
building are, of course, military secrets. It is obvious, however, that
shipbuilding has become one of the Nation’s leading industries.
The growing output of the shipyards has resulted in part from
changes in technology and in the organization of production. Certain
riveting operations, for example, have been replaced by welding:.
Shipyard lay-outs have been improved. Great progress has been
made in standardizing parts; and subcontracting and preassembling
are practiced extensively. Second- and third-shift operations are
found in most yards and account for the employment of a substantial
proportion of all shipyard workers.

Labor Aspects of Production
Labor has been of particular importance in the shipbuilding pro­
gram. For one thing, wages constitute an important cost item.
It is estimated that from a third to a half of the cost of ships now
under construction will be required to pay the wages of shipyard
workers.
LABO R SUPPLY

Of greater urgency than the cost problem, however, has been the
problem of labor recruitment. Expanding operations have required
the employment of scores of thousands of workers, about half of whom
have been needed for skilled jobs. Many of these workers have
been drawn from other industries. A study of accessions in six eastern
yards 2 has revealed that in late 1940 about 37 percent of the skilled
workers came from manufacturing industries (including other ship­
yards), 29 percent came from nonmanufacturing industries, 18 percent
came from the ranks of the unemployed, 8 percent came from jobs in
which they were self-employed, and about 8 percent came from em­
ployees of various Federal, State, and local public agencies.
Attempts to attract additional workers have given rise to substan­
tial wage increases, and in some instances have led to competitive
bidding among the yards. These developments were largely respon­
sible for the wage-stabilization agreement described below.
T R A IN IN G PROGRAMS

In addition to the experienced workers who have been brought in
from other indu^ries, many thousands of new workers have been
trained in the yards themselves for various types of skilled work,
particularly welding. On the Pacific coast, for example, trainees
customarily receive journeymen’s wages after 2 to 6 months of work
at lower pay; and it is not uncommon for trainees to perform duties
similar to those of second- or third-class mechanics in other regions.
Even during the training period these workers are paid rates that are
substantially higher than the effective minimum for most helpers.
1Statement issued May 22,1942.
* Monthly Labor Review, May 1941 (pp. 1142-1145): Characteristics of Recently Hired Shipbuilding
Labor, by O. R. Mann; November 1942 (pp. 926-931): further information on the subject of accessions in
the industry also is contained in Sources of Labor Supply in West Coast Shipyards and Aircraft-Parts
Plants, by Toivo Kanninen.




CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INDUSTRY

3

Various public agencies have played an important part in the train­
ing of new workers for shipbuilding, and private schools have also
made a substantial contribution. In addition to the trainees, large
numbers of young workers serve formal apprenticeships of extended
duration wrnle learning the skills of carpenters, painters, electricians,
plumbers, and similar occupations.

Characteristics of the Industry
For purposes of this discussion the shipbuilding industry covers the
construction and repair of ships and boats. It is customary to classify
ships separately from boats, the basis for classification being size ana
type of craft. Vessels of 5 gross tons and over are classified as ships,
while craft of less than 5 gross tons are classified as boats. The present
survey was confined primarily to yards engaged in the construction or
repair of ships (5 tons or over). The amount of boatbuilding or repair
in these yards was very small.
Ship construction and repair yards are widely scattered along the
coasts and inland waterways of the country. Wide variations in wage
levels and in type of construction are found. It follows therefore that
any analysis of the wage structure of the industry must make dis­
tinction along geographical lines. The broad areas herein adopted
coincide with those recognized by the Shipbuilding Stabilization Com­
mittee of the National Defense Advisory Commission. These are the
Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts and the Great Lakes. A fifth area,
covering small yards in the Ohio-Mississippi Valley, is also distin­
guished. This area, which in this report will be referred to as the
“ inland area,” was not covered by any wage-stabilization agreement.
The three coastal regions include all yards bordering on the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, The dividing line between
the Atlantic and Gulf regions is located a short distance north* of the
Georgia-Florida State line. Yards bordering on Lakes Michigan,
Superior, Huron, and Erie are included in the Great Lakes region,
while yards in the Ohio-Mississippi River Valley, excluding southern
Louisiana and Mississippi, are in the inland region.
All types of ships, ranging from the larger naval and commercial
deep-sea vessels to the smaller harbor craft, are built or repaired in
the three coastal areas. Yards on the Great Lakes and at other inland
points are necessarily limited to the construction and repair of light
vessels, because of the limitations of the inland waterways which con­
nect such yards with the oceans.
Ship construction in all regions is predominan tly of metal. Although
some wooden vessels are being built in all areas, this type of construc­
tion is largely confined to the Gulf coast and Great Lakes regions.
Occupational patterns.—Substantial variations in occupational pat­
terns exist as between the various regions, largely as a result of differ­
ences in the type and size of ships built, the materials used, and the
production processes employed. Quite naturally, more diversifica­
tion is found in the coastal areas where the larger yards are situated
and a wider variety of ships are built than in the Great Lakes and
inland areas where the yards are relatively small and the variety of
ships is limited. Substantial variations are also found between yards
producing metal ships and those producing wooden ships, the latter
having a much higher proportion of carpenters and other woodworking



4

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

occupations than the former. Even in metal-ship yards, production
processes may differ considerably. For example, some yards use the
welding method of assembly, while others use the older riveting
process. Finally, because of the highly diversified nature of repair
work as compared to construction work, repair yards generally
require a higher proportion of all-round mechanics than do construc­
tion yards.
In all regions the majority of the workers are paid on an hourly
basis, although substantial proportions of the workers are paid under
incentive (bonus and piece work) plans in some regions. Incentive
systems are far more extensively used on the Atlantic coast than in
any other region. A few workers in each region, mostly draftsmen,
are paid on a salary basis.

Wage Stabilization
Early in 1941 a wage-stabilization program was sponsored by the
Shipbuilding Stabilization Committee of the National Defense Ad­
visory Commission. The Committee's purpose was to bring about
greater uniformity in rates of pay and to institute a systematic and
periodic review of general wage levels in the industry. Following
adoption of an agreement covering Pacific coast operations, which
became effective April 1, 1941, similar agreements were executed for
the Gulf coast, Atlantic coast, and Great Lakes regions. The agree­
ment covering the Great Lakes region became effective June 2, 1941,
and those for the Atlantic coast and Gulf coast region^ went into
effect on June 23 and August 1, 1941, respectively.
These agreements, voluntarily entered into by representatives of
both the shipbuilders and the labor organizations, were approved by
the f^avy, the Maritime Commission, and the Office of Production
Management. Although provisions were included for standardization
of shifts, for prohibition against strikes and lock-outs, and for other
purposes, the primary purpose of the agreements was to standardize
wages. Under these agreements the minimum rate for first-class
skilled mechanics 3 was set at $1.12 in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Great
Lakes regions, and at $1.07 in the Gulf region. No definitions of
the occupations to be included as “ first-class skilled mechanics” were
included in the stabilization agreements. The determination of the
particular occupations to be affected by the minimum rate, as
well as the establishment of rates to be paid other workers, was left
to local collective bargaining. Workers in the inland region were
not covered by anj agreement.
Provisions covering shift differentials we»e included in all four
agreements. The most liberal shift differentials were found in the
Pacific coast agreement, which provided that for 7.5 hours of work
the second-shift workers should receive 8 hours’ pay at the regular
hourly rate plus 10 percent, and that for 7 hours of work third-shift
workers should receive 8 hours’ pay plus 15 percent. On the Gulf
coast shift premiums varied, depending on whether two or three
shifts were worked. On 2-shift operations, workers on the second
* Mechanics entitled under the agreements to the regional minimum rate are designated as “ first-class
skilled mechanics” in all regions but the Pacific region, where they are referred to only as “ skilled me­
chanics.” In actual practice, Pacific coast shipyards, like those in other regions, have applied the mini­
mum only to first-class skilled mechanics.




WAGE STABILIZATION

5

shift were paid a premium of 40 cents for each full shift of 8 hours;
on 3-shift operations, the same 40-cent differential existed, and in
addition second- and third-shift workers were paid for 8 hours although
working only 7.5 and 7 hours, respectively. On the Atlantic coast a
premium of 7 percent of the established basic rate was paid for work
performed on other than the first shift. In the Great Lakes region,
workers on other than the first shift received a 40-cent premium for
each full shift worked.
All of the agreements provided for extra rates for overtime. In
each region time and one-half was paid for all time worked in excess
of the standard 8-hour day and the standard 40-hour week, Monday
,to Friday. All Saturday work was paid for at time and a half, while
work performed on Sundays and certain specified holidays was paid
for at double time.
The Pacific coast agreement differed from those for other regions
in that repair yards were excluded from its provisions.
Each of the regional agreements provided for wage-rate adjust­
ments based on the cost of living at the end of the first year of opera­
tion. As each agreement became effective at a different date and
the cost of living was rising rapidly and at varying rates in different
communities, it became apparent that such adjustments would upset
the uniformity of minimum rates among regions. To insure con­
tinued uniformity in rates a National Shipbuilding Conference4 was
held in May 1942 to consider wage adjustments in all regions. This
conference established a uniform minimum wage rate of $1.20 an
hour for all “ standard first-class skilled mechanics,” thereby elimi­
nating the differential that applied to shipyards in the Gulf region
under the first agreement. Rate increases of 8 cents an hour were
also provided for others than first-class skilled mechanics, except on
the Gulf coast, where the increases ranged from 9 cents for the lowest
paid workers to 13 cents for the highest paid. These regional adjust­
ments are not reflected in the wage data presented in this report.
Overtime provisions for Saturday and Sunday work were changed
to apply to the sixth and seventh consecutive day instead of the
calendar day. Holiday work is now paid at the rate of time and
a half instead of double time, as provided by the original agreements.
W AG E TRENDS

The hourly earnings of shipyard workers have increased sharply
since the start of the present war. Average earnings in a number of
firms which report regularly to the Bureau advanced from 82.5 cents
in September 1939 to $1,092 in June 1942. During the first year and
a half after the war began the increase was gradual, the total rise
amounting to about 10 cents. Between May and August 1941, how­
ever, hourly earnings advanced by approximately 12 cents. This
period coincides with the establishment of zone stabilization agree­
ments in the Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes regions. A further sharp
rise was to be expected as the second stabilization agreements became
effective in the summer of 1942.
The above averages, it should be mentioned, are influenced to a
considerable extent by premium overtime and shift-differential earn­
4A more detailed analysis of the latest shipbuilding-stabilization agreement was presented in the Monthly
Labor Review for July 1942 (pp. 85-86).
502018°—42-----2




6

HOURLY EARNINGS IX PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

ings. The average weekly hours for the industry as a whole indicate
that considerable overtime is being worked. Likewise, a very substan­
tial portion of the labor force is employed on the second and third
shifts at premium rates. Increases in extra payments for overtime
and for late-shift work account for part of the gain in average hourly
earnings. Earnings are also affected by changes in the composition of
the labor force.

Plan of Bureau’s Study
As already noted, detailed wage data were collected from a repre­
sentative sample of 67 privately operated yards. Govemment-operated yards were excluded from the study. In selecting the yards tobe studied, careful consideration was given to such factors as size and
type of yard, kind of craft under construction, geographical location,
and corporate affiliation of the company.
The data used in tins analysis were collected by trained field repre­
sentatives of the Bureau, from pay rolls and other pertinent records.
Occupational classifications were checked in each yard in order to
insure a uniform basis for analyzing the data.
The figures presented in this report refer only to first-shift workers
in occupations which are numerically important or are “ key” jobs,
but the workers covered by this report include approximately 90
percent of all first (day) shift workers employed by the yards surveyed.
The average hourly earnings reported include incentive-wage payments
but do not take into consideration extra payments made for overtime
work.
Although the pay periods studied were scattered throughout a
period extending from November 1941 to April 1942, the data represent
earnings in the spring of 1942. Some corrections of the data gathered
were necessary in isolated instances in order to take account of general
wage changes within individual plants between the period covered
and April 1, 1942.

Hourly Earnings in Spring of 19429 Atlantic Coast
Traditionally, the Atlantic coast has been the most important site
of the shipbuilding industry. Proximity to the most important
shipping lanes, to labor markets, and to raw materials, together with
the advantage of an early start, have been largely responsible for the
concentration of a large part of the industry in this area. During
the past 2 years, however, and especially within recent months, the
war effort has brought about a rapid expansion of the industry in other
areas. Despite this shift, the Atlantic coast region continues to main­
tain a leading position in the production of ships.
LABOR FORCE

The Atlantic coast region, like other areas, has had to recruit large
numbers of workers of all skills. The skilled-labor requirements have
been met, in part, by drawing upon the reserves of other industries in
this industrialized area; by utilizing workers with single operative
skills, thereby releasing all-round mechanics for more specialized work
and for supervision and instruction; and by expanding the training




ATLANTIC COAST— SPRING OF 1942

7

program. This new approach to the labor-supply problem has enabled
the industry to draw upon a large labor market.
New workers in the shipbuilding industry often begin as helpers and
ascend the scale to a job as first-class skilled mechanic, through a
series of gradations. Consequently there is not much stability in the
shipbuilding labor force from the standpoint of occupation and grade.
The occupational pattern among ship-construction yards on the
Atlantic coast is more diversified than in any other region. Of the 61
numerically important or “ key” occupations studied for the industry
as a whole, the Atlantic coast yards reported workers in each, with a
substantial number in 29 of the occupations. The largest concentra­
tions of workers are in the occupational groups of laborers (8.2 per­
cent); learners (8.1 percent); and electric welders (6.9 percent).
Other groups with relatively large numbers of workers, ranging be­
tween 4 and 6 percent of those studied, are shipfitters, shop machinists,
electricians, and carpenters.
As has been pointed out in previous reports, many of the ship­
building occupations include several grades or classifications of work­
ers. In most of the yards, workers above the helper stage are classi­
fied as first-class, second-class, or third-class workers or as handymen,
depending on their skill and experience. Outside of the first-class
group, however, there is little uniformity in classes from one yard to
another. For this reason it was necessary in the present study to
combine into one broad group all classes other than the first class.
Grades or classifications within jobs were found in 32 occupations,
which account for, as a group, 54 percent of the workers studied. No
such refinement within jobs was found in the remaining 29 occupations,
which comprised helpers in the various occupations (16.3 percent),
learners and apprentices (10.8 percent), laborers (8.2 percent), super­
visory workers (5.3 percent), and other workers (5.7 percent) such as
draftsmen, watchmen, guards, etc.
The occupational arrangement in ship-repair yards parallels that of
construction yards. Within occupations in which grades are found,
however, the proportion of “ first-class” workers is on the whole sub­
stantially greater than in construction yards. This concentration on
“ first-class” work is due to the nature of ship-repair work, which is
highly diversified and requires a greater proportion of all-round work­
ers. By comparison to construction yards, repair yards had more
helpers, but fewer apprentices.
HOURLY EARNINGS BY OCCUPATION

First-shift workers in the selected occupations in the Atlantic coast
construction yards had straight-time earnings averaging 96.6 cents an
hour (table l).5 This average, however, has only limited significance,
because of the wide variation of occupational earnings, which ranged
from a low of 63.7 cents for laborers to a high of $1,503 for foremen.
Nearly two-fifths (38.7 percent) of the first-shift workers were in
jobs that had straight-time earnings averaging $1.00 or more per hour
and somewhat over one-fifth (22.5 percent) were in occupations which
averaged $1.12 or more per hour. On the other hand, a fourth of the
workers (27.0 percent), most of whom were helpers, averaged between
68 and 80 cents per hour.
• Occupational earnings In the Gulf coast region, discussed below, are also presented in table 1.




8

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

T a b ijb 1.— Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected

Occupations in Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast Shipyards, by Region and Type of Yard,
Spring of 1942
Atlantic coast region

Gulf coast region

Construction Repair yards Construction
Repair yards
yards
yards
Occupation

All occupations.............................................

Per­
cent of
work­
ers
stud­
ied

100.0 $0,966

.1
Anglesmiths.................................................
.1
First class...............................................
Other classes...........................................
(*)
.1
Anglesmiths’ helpers....................................
Apprentices.................................................. i 2.7
.2
Blacksmiths.................................................. i
.1
First class...............................................
.1
Other classes..........................................
.3
Blacksmiths’ helpers....................................
.7
Boilermakers................................................
.1
First class...............................................
.6
Other classes......................................... .
.7
Boilermakers’ helpers.................................. .
.5
Bolters, hand *..............................................
.3
First class..............................................
Other classes...................................... .... !
.2
1.7
Burners, acetylene (including gas)...............
.7
First class..............................................
Other classes..,,.....................................
1.0
4.0
Carpenters (shipwrights)..............................
1.0
First class..............................................
3.0
Other classes..........................................
.8
Carpenters’ helpers.............................. ........
Chippers and caulkers (including foundry
2.0
chippers)....................................................
.8
First class.............................................. .
1.2
Other classes...........................................
.4
Coppersmiths............. -...............................
First class. ............................................ i
2
.2
Other classes.........................................
.3
Coppersmiths’ helpers.................................
1.0
Crane operators (all types)..........................
.6
First class..............................................
.4
Other classes.........................................
2.2
Draftsmen (senior and junior)........... ....... 1
Drillers (including reamers and counter­
.9
sinkers)....................... ............................
.5
First class.......................... -.................
A
Other classes.................. .......................
4.4
Electricians......... .......................................
1.1
First class..............................................
3.3
Other classes........................................
2.0
Electricians’ helpers....................................
.8
Erectors.......................................................
.2
First class..............................................
Other classes.........................................
.6
.2
Erectors’ helpers..........................................
Foremen (including assistant foremen and
quartermen)....................................
2.5
.2
Fumacemen (plate and forge shop)__
.1
First class....................................
.1
Other classes................................
Handymen, not elsewhere classified__
.3
Helpers, not elsewhere classified........
1.0
Joiners (including woodworking machine
1.6
operators).........................................
.5
First class.....................................
1.1
Other classes.................................
.6
Joiners’ helpers........ .........................
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and
8.2
janitors)...........................................
Layers-out-.......................................
.5
First class.....................................
.2
.3
Other classes................................
2.8
Leaders..............................................
Learners.............................................
8.1
See footnotes at end of table.




Avervagei
hourly
earn­
ings*

Per­
cent of
work­
ers
stud­
ied

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings1

100.0 $0,914

Per­
cent of
work­
ers
stud­
ied

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings1

100.0 $0,776

Per­
cent of
work­
ers
stud­
ied

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings*

100.0

$0,796

.2
.1
.1
.1
3.9
.5
.4
.1
.2
2.9
1.4
1.5
10.8

.973
(s)
(*)
(3)
.752
1.049
1.095
(*)
.660
.993
1.072
.806
.617

1.142
1.296
.952
.724
.691
1.086
1.153
1.034
.849
1.047
1.239
1.012
.757
1.257
1.290
1.208
1.064
1.151
1.012
.988
1.100
.948
.731

.2
.2
(2
)
.2
1.7
.4
.3
.1
.5
1.3
.8
.5
.7
1.4
.6
.8
2.5
1.2
1.3
5.3
3.9
1.4
.6

1.105
1.114
(3
)
.880
.553
1.082
1.152
.928
.768
1.045
1.120
.925
.708
.849
.934
.777
1.013
1.103
.924
1.074
1.118
.946
.732

1.218
1.360
1.116
1.217
1.422
1.047
.766
1.056
1.137
.942
1.323

2.2
1.6
.6
.2
.1
.1
.3
.3
.2
.1
.3

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

1. Ill
1.242
QO
O
1.047
1.224
.987
.744
1.011
1.148
.961
.684

.9
.994
.5 1.044
.6
.695
(3
)
A •1
Q A (’)
V
lO
3.7 1.028 " 3. 7" '17612” " '7 .Y " ’ . 969
’
2.2 1.118
2.5 1.124
3.8
1.070
1.5 .893
1.2 .780
3.4
.857
.740
3.0
3.7
.597
4.0
.028

1.503
1.086
1.133
1.039
.813
.740

.6
.1
(2)
(*)
.2
3.0

1.443
1.183
(3
)
(3
>
.789
.753

(2
)

1.007
1.133
.957
.725

2.7
1.9
.8
.3

1.063
1.118
.935
.744

1.3
.7
.6
.1

.933
1.041
.805
.550

.637
1.128
1.278
.996
1.307
.790

10.0

.696

.2

1.190

5.2

1.181

13.9
.7
.5
.2
3.1
.1

.499
1.014
1.079
.866
1.137
.500

.1

1.050

12.6
.3
.3
(’)
.2
.3
.2
.1
.7

.724
1.051
1.061
(*)
.617
.974
1.075
.862
.612

.2

.950

2.0
1.2
.8
11.4
6.7
4.7
4.1

.978
1.070
.843
.949
1.063
.783
.615

1.2
.8
.4
3.2
2.5
.7
2.8

.989
1.070
.851
1.023
1.070
.855
.624

1.2
.6
.6
.1
(’)
.1
.1

.948
1.070
.826
.980
(*)
.893
.624

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

1.048
1.070
.885
.963
1.106
.773
(*)

.5

1.068

.3

1.086

1.2

.711

.8

.893

1.1
.2
.1
.1

1.234
.943
1.150
.685

1.7
.1

1.672
(*)

(*)

16.6
.1
.1
(8)
4.8

.540
(*)
»
(*)
1.116

9

ATLANTIC COAST— SPRING OF 1942
T

1 . — Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected
Occupations in Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast Shipyards, by Region and Type of Yard,
Spring of 1942— Continued

able

Atlantic coast region

Gulf coast region

Construction Repair yards Construction Repair yards
yards
yards
Occupation

Loftsmen......................................................
First class.............................................. .
Other classes...........................................
Machinists, shop......................................... .
First class. *...................... ................... .
Other classes...........................................
Machinists* helpers, shop............................ .
Machinists, outside..................................... .
First class.............................................. .
Other classes...........................................
Machinists’ helpers, outside.........................
Molders, foundry..........................................
First class................... .... ..................
Other classes...........................................
Painters, brush and spray. .......................
First class...............................................
Other classes...........................................
Pattern makers............. .............................
First class..............................................
Other classes......................................... .
Pipefitters (including plumbers)................. .
First class...............................................
Other classes..........................................
Pipefitters* 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...................... .......................
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........................
Shipfitters.....................................................
First class...............................................
Other classes.......... ...............................
Shipfitters* helpers........................................
Stage builders..............................................
Tank cleaners...............................................
Toolmakers and diemakers...................... .
First class...............................................
Other classes.................-........................
Tracers.........................................................
Watchmen and guards..................................
Welders, acetylene (including gas)...............
First class.............................................
Other classes...........................................
Welders, electric...........................................
First class...............................................
Other classes...........................................
Welders* helpers, electric..............................

Per­
cent of
work­
ers
stud­
ied

Per­
Aver­ cent of
age work­
hourly ers
earn­
ings1 stud­
ied

0.5 $1,200
.2 1.348
.3 1.084
5.3 1.077
1.8 1.256
.990
3.5
1.2 .731
2.6 1.024
.6 1.171
2.0 .983
1.4 .735
.3 1.136
.1 1.265
.2 1.048
3.1 1.074
1.0 1.204
2.1 1.012
.2 1.318
.1 1.327
.1 1.297
3.4 1.050
.9 1.201
2.5
.999
2.5
.6
.2
.4
1.2
.2
.1
.1
1.2
.4
.8
.8
.2
.6
.4
.4
.3
.5
.2
.3
3.0
.6
2.4
1.4
5.8
.9
4.9
2.4
.9

.754
1.044
1.160
1.005
.754
1.029
1.148
.935
1.049
1.161
1.002
.882
.978
.858
.973
1.196
.909
1.348
1.498
1.261
1.077
1.302
1.013
.779
1.015
1.169
.988
.743
.877

.1

1.105
1.255
1.030
.691
.660
1.196
1.241
1.112
1.148
1.445
1.079
.713

(2
)

.1
.2
1.0
.2
.1
.1
6.9
1.3
5.6
.2

0.1 $1.192
. 1
1.448
(*)

3.5
2.2
1.3
1.2
7.3
4.7
2.6
2.7

(’)

(3
)

1.060
1.124
.953
.750
1.045
1.121
.903
.754
.863
.919
.853

.1

1.280

3.7
2.1
1.6

1.034
1.118
.931

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

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
(’)

Per­
Aver­ cent of
age work­
hourly ers
earn­
ings1 stud­
ied

0.3 $1,079
.1 1.253
.2
.978
2.4
.971
1.5 1.048
.9
.855
1.4 .605
1.2 1.020
.9 1.070
.3
.874
.7
.647

0.5
.2
.3
3.2
2.7
.5
2.1
2.5
2.0
.5
3.7

2.1
1.0
1.1

2.6
1.7
.9

.1

(8
)

3.0
.5
2.5

(*)
(*)
(*)

.837
1.017
.674
(8
)
(3
)
(3
)

.1

Aver­
age
hourly
earn­
ings1
$1.100
1.280
.920
1.034
1.070
.845
.633
1.043
1.070
.935
.634
(8
)

1.024
1.070
.936
(8
)

2.7
1.6
1.1

.983
1.066
.868

2.8
2.5
.3

1.042
1.070
.820

.744
.947
1.060
.823
.732

3.9
.3
.1
.2
.2

.615
.915
1.056
.788
.634

4.1
1.6
.4
1.2
1.7

.643
.774
1.070
.685
.606

(3
)

.2

.950

.2

1.103

.6
.3
.3
1.8
.4
1.4
00
.1

.975
1.067
.910
.839
.997
.798

.1

(8
)

.4
.4

1.056
1.070

.955
1.119
.878
.876
.879
.801
.865
1.111
..765
1.142
1.151
.924
.944
1.115
.881
.709
.969
1.128
.885
.746
.812

(3
)

.660

1.1
.3
.8
.5
.6
.7

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

.4

1.174

.4
.2
.2
.2
3.6
1.8
1.8
6.1

.956
1.038
.850
.620
.947
1.061
.834
.587

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

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

00
i.9

.507

(8
)

.1
1.2

(3
)

(*)

(8
)

1.5

1.091

(2
)

(3
)

(8
)

(’ )

(8
)

(>)

(3
)

4.7
.3
.3

.746
1,119
1.135

3.2
1.8
1.4
1.0

1.018
1.090
.925
.739

(2)

i Excluding earnings resulting from extra pay for overtime work.
*Less than a tenth of 1 percent.
* Number of workers too small to justify computation of average.
*Includes a small number of machine bolters.




Per­
Aver cent of
age work­
hourly ers
earn­
ings1 stud­
ied

(8
)

4.0
2.5
1.5
2.6

.968
1.061
.814
.625

.450

10

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

First-class workers averaged $1.12 or more per hour in all but two
occupations—yard and crane riggers (97.8 cents), and carpenters
($1.10). The former generally were not considered to be skilled
mechanics, and the latter, although generally paid the minimum,
received lower rates in a few yards. Little uniformity in earnings
was found in the various groups designated as “ other classes.” These
groups, which comprise second- and third-class craftsmen and handy­
men in their respective occupations, had earnings ranging from 92.2
cents for drillers to $1,116 for chippers and caulkers.
The variations in earnings in ship-construction yards on the Atlantic
coast are due not only to different wage policies, but also to differences
in the composition of the labor force, the type of ships built, and the
size and location of the yards.
The average earnings of first-class craftsmen and helpers are less
affected than the “ other classes” by differences in composition of the
labor force among yards. Included in the groups designated as
“ other classes” are varying proportions of second- and third-class
workers and handymen. This results in some differences in the
averages for workers in the “ other classes,” among occupations which
might be expected to have similar rates of pay. The average earnings
of all the workers are somewhat affected by size of yard. Large yards
as a whole in this region pay rates averaging about 9 cents an hour
more than the small yards.
One of the most important factors making for dissimilarity in the
occupational averages on the Atlantic coast is the widespread use of
incentive methods of pay. Nearly 45 percent of all the workers were
paid on an incentive basis and the hourly earnings of these workers
averaged 18.5 percent more than their guaranteed base rates. Incen­
tive premiums accounted for about 8 percent of the earnings of all
workers in the region as a whole.
The significance of the incentive payments is clearly reflected in the
average hourly earnings of such occupations as riveters, electric
welders, and chippers and caulkers. The first-class craftsmen in each
of the three occupations averaged more than leaders ($1,307) and
almost as much as foremen ($1,503). Incentive premiums accounted
for more than 25 percent of the average hourly earnings of these firstclass workers.
Substantial variations in occupational earnings are found from
yard to yard, although within a given yard (except for variations
resulting from incentive earnings) the averages are fairly uniform.
The variations from one yard to another are clearly brought out by
the following figures for typical occupations. Each figure represents
the average for an individual yard:
First class

Chippers and caulkers_____________________$0.
Electricians____ __________ _______________
Sheet-metal workers______________________
Shop machinists__________________________
Electric welders__________________________

610-$2. 037
. 625- 1. 470
. 780- 1. 532
. 840- 1. 554
. 800- 2. 002

Other classes

$0. 894-$ 1. 699
. 720- 1. 135
. 704- 1. 333
. 641- 1. 156
. 720- 1. 275

Within the above extremes, it should be noted, first-class workers in
most of the yards are paid rates approaching the minimum of the zone
standard.
In ship-repair yards on the Atlantic coast, workers averaged 91.4
cents an hour, or 5.2 cents less than workers in ship-construction yards.




ATLANTIC COAST— SPRING OF 1942

11

This difference was due, not primarily to lower wage scales, but rather
to the relative infrequency of incentive-wage payment in the repair
yards.
The highest paid workers in the repair yards were first-class loftsmen, who averaged $1,448 an hour. First-class workers in several
other occupations, normally considered highly skilled, also had aver­
ages above that for leaders ($1,181 an hour). Apprentices (55.3
cents), and laborers (69.6 cents), totaling 11.7 percent of all the shiprepair workers studied in this area, earned least. Helpers generally
averaged between 70 and 76 cents an hour.
A P PLIC A TIO N OF TH E STAB ILIZA TIO N A G R E E M E N T

The actual effect of the first Atlantic coast stabilization agreement
upon the earnings of ship-construction workers can be appraised, in
part, from the averages presented in table 1. The agreement estab­
lished a minimum rate of $1.12 an hour for standard first-class skilled
mechanics. The average earnings for first-class workers indicate that
29 occupations included skilled mechanics apparently deemed to be
subject to the agreed hourly minimum. These occupations were as
follows:
Anglesmiths
Blacksmiths
Boilermakers
Burners, acetylene
Carpenters (shipwrights)
Chippers and caulkers
Coppersmiths
Crane operators
Electricians
Erectors
Furnacemen
Joiners
Layers-out
Loftsmen
Machinists, outside

Machinists, shop
Molders, foundry
Painters, brush and spray
Pattern makers
Pipefitters
Plate-shop machine operators
Regulators
Riggers, ship
Riveters
Sheet-metal workers
Shipfitters
Tool and die makers
Welders, acetylene
Welders, electric

Of the listed occupations only one, carpenters (shipwrights),
included first-class mechanics averaging less than $1.12 an hour.
Even these workers were generally paid the established minimum,
and their low average ($1.10) was the result of substandard wages
in a few yards constructing wooden ships, which employed relatively
large numbers of carpenters.
Table 1 also reveals that supervisory workers, draftsmen, and a
few other occupational groups averaged more than the established
minimum for first-class mechanics. Foremen and leaders have been
excluded from the list of “ first-class skilled mechanics/1 as they gen­
erally are expected to be paid more than their subordinates. Drafts­
men usually are not assigned a “ class,” but are paid on the basis of
individual ability. Hand bolters, drillers, and rivet holders-on have
also been excluded from the list on the ground that incentive rates
rather than application of the minimum rate account for the high
averages in these occupations. The basic hourly rates in these occu­
pations were typically below $1.12.
In the repair yards 21 occupations showed averages of $1.09 or more
per hour for first-class workers. Although the hourly averages for a
few of these occupations were somewhat below the minimum of $1.12,
most yards paid at least the minimum rate to first-class mechanics.




12

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

,

Hourly Earnings in Spring of 1942 Gulf Coast
. The shipbuilding industry on the Gulf coast was not of great
significance prior to the beginning of the Nation’s defense program.
Gulf coast operations, however, have expanded rapidly during recent
months and this region now contributes greatly to the national
shipbuilding program.
The recent expansion has necessitated the recruiting and training
of large numbers of new workers. The greater part of the recruits,
mostly unskilled, have come from nearby farms, lumber camps, and
other industries of the deep South. Some skilled workers also were
drawn from more distant points. The latter generally supplemented
the regular force of skilled mechanics in supervising and instructing the
workers of less skill, or in performing specialized duties.
As indicated in table 1, the workers in Gulf coast ship-construction
yards were found in 53 occupational groups, the larger of which were
apprentices, carpenters (shipwrights), and laborers. These three
occupations account for nearly two-fifths (37.9 percent) of all shipconstruction workers studied in this region. Yards constructing ships
primarily of wood, employing one-fourth of all the workers studied,
had large numbers of carpenters and laborers. Many apprentices
were reported by yards constructing metal ships, where extensive
training programs were in use.
In general, workers engaged in ship repairing are similarly dis­
tributed among the various occupations. The most notable exceptions
were a larger proportion of both laborers and helpers, and a smaller
proportion of apprentices and learners. Apparently informal advance­
ment, rather than apprenticeship, is used more extensively in the repair
yards than in the construction yards.
H O U R LY E A R N IN G S B Y OCCUPATION

The straight-time earnings of day-shift workers in ship-construction
yards in the Gulf coast region averaged 77.6 cents an hour (table 1).
This average represents occupational earnings extending over a wide
range—from 49.9 cents for laborers to $1,253 for first-class loftsmen.
Nearly 25 percent of the workers were in occupations or “ classes”
averaging $1.05 or more an hour, i. e., approaching or exceeding the
minimum for first-class mechanics in this region ($1.07). Well over
half (55.0 percent), mostly helpers, laborers, and apprentices, were in
occupations for which the average was less than 75 cents an hour.
All first-class workers, excepting yard and crane riggers, hand
bolters, and regulators, averaged more than $1.00 an hour in their
respective occupations. Among the second- and third-class craftsmen
and handymen, who for the purpose of this study are grouped as
“ other classes,” only fumacemen (68.5 cents) and painters (67.4
cents) averaged less than 75 cents* an hour. The remaining occupa­
tional groups of “ other classes” of workers had average hourly earnings
between 75 cents and $1.00. Helpers in the various crafts averaged
less than 65 cents an hour.
Occupational averages among yards were affected in varying degree
by the lower wage scales for the construction of wooden ships. The
yard averages for first-class electricians, ranging from 99 cents to
$1,375, and those ranging from 40 cents to 54 cents for laborers,




PACIFIC COAST---- SPRING OF 1942

13

illustrate the typical variations in the earnings of workers in the same
occupation and class. Within the same yard, however, little difference
in earnings was noted among workers in the same job.
Ship-repair workers on the Gulf coast as a group averaged 79.6
cents an hour. The highest wages were paid to foremen,who averaged
$1,672. Watchmen and guards earned the least, an average of 45.0
cents an hour.
The occupational averages presented fell into three major groups.
The highest averages ranged upward from $1.07 an hour and included
only first-class craftsmen and supervisory workers. This group
represents about one-third of all the workers studied. One-sixth
of the workers, mostly “ other classes” of craftsmen, averaged be­
tween 75 cents and $1.00 an hour. The remaining half of the workers,
primarily laborers and helpers to the various craftsmen, had average
earnings of less than 75 cents an hour.
OCCUPATIONS SUBJECT TO M INIMUM R A T E

Examination of the data for ship-construction yards presented in
table 1 indicates that approximately the same occupations in the
Gulf coast region as in the Atlantic coast region were interpreted to be
subject to the minimum wage for “ first-class skilled mechanics”
($1.07). An outstanding exception existed in the case of regulators,
who averaged only 95.0 cents an hour. In a number of other occupa­
tions, particularly joiners, shop machinists, painters, and sheet-metal
workers, the average was slightly below $1.07; this was due exclusively
to the influence of a few low-wage yards, in spite of general observance
of the minimum.
The hourly averages for first-class mechanics in ship-repair yards
followed a pattern generally similar to that in ship-construction yards.

,

Hourly Earnings in Spring of 1942 Pacific Coast
Shipbuilding ranks among the leading industries in the Pacific
coast area. Existing facilities have been greatly expanded and huge
new yards have been opened. Most of this expansion has taken
place during the past 2 years/
HO U R LY E A R N IN G S B Y OCCUPATION

Among the construction yards studied, first-shift workers in the
selected occupations averaged $1,034 per hour at straight time.
Brief data available regarding the distribution of individual firstshift workers indicate that about 59 percent earned $1.00 per hour
or more, while almost 9 percent equaled or exceeded $1.20 per hour.
Relatively few workers, mostly laborers, received less than the
effective minimum of 87 cents.
The stabilization agreement on the Pacific coast, as interpreted,
has resulted in a remarkable uniformity of wage rates for particular
occupations. Among construction yards there appears to be no
significant variation in occupational rates attributable to particular
locality, size of yard, or type of vessel. Within each individual
yard, moreover, nearly all workers of the same occupation and grade
receive exactly the same wage. Any deviations from the standard



14

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

are likely to be for “ specialists,” who receive a premium of a few
cents an hour. Because of this uniformity of rates, the averages
presented in table 2 are particularly representative. In the case of
first-class craftsmen, it may be assumed that an overwhelming
majority actually received a rate within 2 or 3 cents of the average
shown.
T a b l e 2 .—

Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected
Occupations in Pacific Coast Shipyards, by Type of Yard, Spring of 1942

A]] oociipfttinns ,

-n -r
-

-




100.0

Average Percent of
hourly
workers
earnings1 studied
$1,034

1.232

.3
1.2
1.2

(2
)

2.7
2.6
.1
.9
1.2
.3

(*)

.860
1.123
1.123
<)
*
.836
.797
1.235
1.263
1.229
1.254
1.049
1.120
1.128
1.009
.867
1.122
1.127
1.029
.870
1.145
1.123
1.489

.i
.4
.1
.1
.1

.3
3
(’)
<)
*

(’ )

(*)

(*)

.6
2.4
3.5
3.3
.2
3.8
3.7
1
1.5
3.7
3.0
7
.*2
.1
1
9
1.0
1.0

.3
5.8
.4
6.1
.6
.5
.1
2.6
2.4
.2
1.5
1.2
1.1
.1

(*)
(*)

100.0

1.267
1.000
.717
1.132
1.151
1.033
.873
1. Ill
1.121
1.037
.866
1.130
.871
1.116
1.123
1.001
1.121
1.128
.941
.870
1.100
1.123
1.001
1.091
1.167
.992
.870
1.191
1.116
1.000
1.000
(8
)
1.133
1.140
1.007
.871
1.421

.6
2.8

C
O

A
nglp.fSTrnt.hs, first, nlass
__
_
_
_ . _
A-nglflpmfthfl helpp.rs .
_
Apprentices_____________ -______________________
__.................. ...
Blacksmiths
First class____ ___ -___________ ____ ___ _____
___
Other classes
'R rs'm t.h helpers....... . r_ _
la<’^ ^ «I,
Boilermakers . ________ ___
_______
First class__________________________________
Other classes ........... .
...........
Boilermakers* helpers____________________ _______
Bolters, machine, first class____
Bolters, hand, first class
■R
iirnp.rs, p.cetylene (inclining gas) _
_
First class__________________ _____ __ _______
Other classes____ ______. _______ ______ __ ____
Carpenters (shipwrights)..........______ _____ _____
First class________. . . . . . . . ............... .....................
Other classes___________ . . . . _____________ ____
Carpenters' helpers__________________________ ____
Chippers and caulkers (including foundry chippers).—
First class___________________________________
Other classes___. . . . . ________________________
Coppersmiths_______ __. . . ___ ——_______________
First class____ ___ _____s_________________ ___
Other classes __. . . . ________ ____________ __
Coppersmiths’ helpers___________________________
r.rane operators, all types, first class,..,_
_
___
Draftsmen (senior and junior)_____________________
Drillers (including reamers and countersinkers)______
First class__________________________________
Other classes________________________________
Electricians______ . . . . . __________________________
First class___ . . . . . . . _________________________
Other cla-ggftg___. . . . __________________________
Electricians* helpers_____________________________
Foremen (including assistant foremen and quartermen).
Fumacemen, plate and forge shop_________________
First class__________________. . . . _____________
Other classes_______________ . . . ______________
Helpers, not elsewhere classified.._. . . ______________
.Joiners (including woodworking machine operators)...
First class_____________________________ _____
Other classes__________________________ -____
Joiners* helpers___________________ __________ ___
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and janitors)............
Layers-out, first cflasg____ _____ ___________________
Leaders___________________________________- .......
T'Oftsm
eTi
, r ____ __________
First class —.................. .......... ....................-.......
Other classes__________________ ______ ______
Machinists, shop.........................................................
First class.............. ....... ....... .................................
Other classes________________________________
Machinists* helpers, shop___________ _______ _____
Machinists, outside.____— _____________________
First class_____________________ _____________
Other classes
____ . . . . . . . _________________
Machinists’ helpers, outside________ _____________
Molders, foundry, first class _____ —_____________
Painters, brush and spray, first class_______________
Pattern makers, first class.............................................
See footnotes at end of table.

Percent of
workers
studied

Average
hourly
earnings1
$1.166
33

Occupation

Repair yards

.2

i

Construction yards

1.264

.4

.983

3.4

1.250

5.7

.970

.3
2.6
2.4
.2
6.8
6.7
.1
1.1
1.0
.9
.1

.984
1.244
1.250
1.155
1.248
1.250
1.120
.970
1.340
1.378
1.128

.1

.970
1.307
(3
)
1.118
1.120
(*)

6.7

1.250

4.2
.3
.1
0

1.314

.3
.2
.]
1.3
1.2
.1

.1

.970
1.750
1.133
(3
)
<
*)

5.7

1.251

1.1
2.4

.970
.890

5.6

1.459

3.8
3.7
.1
.8

1.257
1.259
(3
)
.970

5.8

1.250

3.4

.970

4.7

1.250

15

PACIFIC COAST— SPRING OF 1942

T a b l e 2.— Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected

Occupations in Pacific Coast Shipyards, by Type of Yard, Spring of 1942— Continued
Construction yards
Occupation

PipftfHt-ftrs (including plum bers)____
- . _. _
* First class____ _ -T
~ ______ 1_____________ . _____
Other places
, . ........
Pipefitters’ helpers (including plumbers’ helpers)... .
Pl**te-&hoprnachir>eoperatorsr,,
.
First class.......................... .......... ..................... ....
Other classes___ .
.............. .......... .............
Plate-shop machine operators* helpers______________
Regulators, first class____________________________
Riggers, ship, first class_________________ _________
Riggers, yard and crane, first
.......... .................. .
Rivet heaters_____________ —_________ _____ _____
Rivet passers______ -_____. . . ___ _______________
Rivet holders-on____ -___ __________ ___________
Riveters, first class_______________________ _______
Sheet-metal workers (including tinsmiths)................ .
First class_______________________ __________
Other classes__________________________ _____
8heet*metal workers' helpers_________ ______ _____
Shipfitters................................. ...................................
First class...............................................................
Other classes_________________ ________ ______
Shipfitters' helpers.....................................................
Stage builders............. ........... ...................................
Tank cleaners________________________ ________
Tool and die makers________________ _______ _____
First class___________________ -..........................
Other classes_____________ ___________________
Tracers_______________________ -_______________
Watchmen and guards__________________________
Welders, acetylene (including gas), first class................
Welders, electric____________________ ___ ________
First class..............................................................
Other classes_________ ____ ________________
Welders' helpers, electric___ _________ ____________

Percent of
workers
studied
3.4
3.3
.1
3.1
1.6
1.0
.6
1.2
.7
.2
2.0
.3
(«)

.4
.3
1.3
.8
.5
.9
8.1
6.0
2.1
10.1
2.1
1.4
.1
.1

W .2
.9
.1
12.1
11.5
.6
1.5

Repair yards

Average Percent of
hourly
workers
earnings1 studied
$1.118
1.122
.973
.870
1.061
1.118
.974
.877
1.053
1.130
1.065
1.000
.896
1.006
1.122
1.080
1.129
.993
.872
1.090
1.121
1.002
.870
1.000
.850
1.174
1.195
(8
)
.831
.808
1.120
1.122
1.127
1.020
.869

3.7
3.7

Average
hourly
earnings1

< !).S
2.2
2.5
.5
.1

$1,249
1.250
(*)
.970
1.197
1.201
(8
)
1.038
1.170
1.250
1 158
*
1.120

.2
.4
2.6
2.0
.6
2.0

1.177
1.241
1.216
1.250
1.101
.971

1.6

1.250

3.0
1.1
1.4

.970
1.120
.954

<)
2

3.5
.5
.5

1.0

.890

4.7
4.3
.4
.3

1.254
1.264
1.142
.970

i Excluding earnings resulting from extra pay for overtime work.
* Less than a tenth of 1 percent.
* Number of workers too small to justify computation of average.

It is evident that the pattern makers, who averaged nearly $1.50
per hour, were the highest paid workers studied, while the lowest
paid were apprentices (71.7 cents) and laborers (79.7 cents). Twofifths (41.9 percent) of the workers were in jobs paying about $1.12
(from $1.11 to $1.13, inclusive) and another 25 percent received about
87 cents, the customary rate for helpers. The most commoif other
rate appears to have been $1.00 per hour, paid to first-class drillers,
rivet heaters and holders-on, stage builders, anglesmiths’ helpers,
and various other groups.
The table also reveals that the term “ first class” has been inter­
preted rather broadly. It was impracticable in this study for the
Bureau’s representatives to give more than general guidance in the
classification of workers by skill, and the classes used in the Bureau’s
tabulations are essentially those used by the shipyards themselves.
It is significant to note, therefore, that among the workers included
in the study some occupations consisted exclusively of first-class
workers—for example, crane operators, painters, and riveters—while
many of the others were composed largely of first-class workers. Of




16

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

all the workers included in the 28 occupations6generally recognized as
subject to the minimum rate in this region, 89 percent were classified
as “ first class” and only 11 percent were in other classes. These
include second- and third-class craftsmen, handymen, and trainees.
The Bureau’s representatives reported no evidence that second- or
third-class journeymen were listed on the pay roll as helpers.
Although the stabilization agreement did not provide rates for
workers engaged in ship repair on the Pacific coast, the earnings of
these workers, as a whole, averaged about 13 cents an hour more
($1,166) than was paid to ship-construction workers. This higher
earnings level can be attributed to the negotiations between organized
labor and repair-ya'rd operators, which resulted in the establishment
of a $1.25 wage scale for first-class mechanics on ship repair, as com­
pared to $1.12 for new construction. Ship-repair workers other than
than first-class mechanics also were generally paid higher rates than
prevailed in construction yards.
The highest paid workers in the repair yards were the foremen, who
averaged $1.75 per hour, and the layers-out, who averaged $1,459.
Apprentices (65.9 cents), laborers (89.0 cents), and watchmen and
guards (89.0 cents) received the lowest wages. Helpers typically
received 97 cents per hour. In repair yards, as in construction yards,
arge proportions of all “ mechanics” were rated as “ first class.”

,

Hourly Earnings in Spring of 1942 Great Lakes
On the Great Lakes the shipbuilding industry formerly was confined
to small yards engaged in building and repairing lake cargo vessels,
tugs, and wooden pleasure craft. Almost all of these yards have now
been converted to the construction of smaller war craft, and have
increased their labor forces greatly.
As may be seen from table 3, ship-construction carpenters and their
helpers accounted for 21 percent of all workers studied in the Great
Lakes yards. The relatively high proportion of such craftsmen was
due in large measure to the construction of wooden vessels and to the
lack of differentiation among crafts. About half of all the workers in
yards building wooden ships consisted of carpenters and their helpers.
• The same list presented for the Atlantic coast holds for the Pacific coast except that erectors and regu­
lators are deluded, and machine bolters are added. Erectors’ duties are not distinguished from those of
shipfitters, and regulators are not considered subject to the $1.12 minimum on the Pacific coast. Machine
bolters, reported separately on the Pacific coast, have not been distinguished from hand bolters on the At­
lantic coast.




17

GREAT LAKES— SPRING OF 1942
T

3 . — Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected
Occupations in Great Lakes and inland Shipyards, by Region and Type of Yard, Spring
of 1942

able

Great Lakes region
Construction yards

Inland region

Repair yards

Construction yards

Occupation
Percent . Average Percent Average Percent Average
of
of
of
hourly
hourly
hourly
workers earnings1 workers earnings1 workers earnings1
studied
studied
studied
All occupations..
Anglesmiths..............................................
First class...........................................
Other classes......................................
Anglesmiths’ helpers.................................
Apprentices..............................................
Blacksmiths..............................................
First class..............-...........................
Other classes-....................................
Blacksmiths' helpers.................................
Boilermakers...........................................
First class...........................................
Other classes....................... - .............
Boilermakers’ helpers...............................
Bolters, hand............................................
First class. .........................................
Other classes.......................................
Burners, acetylene (including gas)............
First class...........................................
Other classes.......................................
Carpenters (shipwrights)........................
First class..........................................
Other classes... ...................................
Carpenters' helpers..................................
Chippers and caulkers (including foundry
chippers)................................................
First class...........................................
Other classes.......................................
Coppersmiths......................-....................
First class................. -.......................
Other classes.......................................
Coppersmiths' helpers..............................
Crane operators (all types).......................
First class...........................................
Other classes.......................................
Draftsmen (senior and junior)..................
Drillers (including reamers and counter­
sinkers).................... ............. ..............
First class.................. -.......................
Other classes.......................................
Electricians.............. -.............................
First class................................ .........
Other classes.......................................
Electricians' helpers.................................
Erectors...................................................
First class...........................................
Other classes.......................................
Erectors' helpers.......................................
Foremen (including assistant foremen
and quartermen)................. .................
Fumacemen (plate and forge shops).........
First class...........................................
Other classes.......................................
Helpers, not elsewhere classified...............
Joiners (including woodworking machine
operators)..............................................
First class...........................................
Other classes.......................................
Joiners' helpers.........................................
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and
janitors)................................................
Layers-out.......................................... .....
First class.........................................
Other classes.......................................
Leaders.....................................................
Learners...................................................
Loftsmen..................................................
First class..........................................
Other classes......................................

See footnotes at end of table.




100,0

$0,861

.3
.1
.2
.3
.1
.6
.3
.3
.7
.1
.1

.900
(J)
.875
.707
(>)
.969
1.035
.902
.751
(*)
(*)
(*)

3.0
.7
2.3
1.8
1.0
.8
14.7
7.9
6.8
6.3

.741
.780
.730
.968
1.069
.829
.983
1.085
.863
.711

2.3
1.4
.9
.1
.1
(*)
.2
.8
.4
.4
3.0

100.0

$1,013

100.0
.2
.1
.1

$0,795
(})
m

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

.755
1.110
1.120
(*)
.813
(*)
(3
)
(*)
.821
.979
1.021
.780
1.141
1.158
(a
)
1.095
1.120
1.032
.840

1.0
.6
.4
.2
.7

.975
1.091
.792
(2
)
(*)
(*)
.778
1.000
.991
1.010
.933

2.7
1.6
1.1

1.113
1.179
1.010

1.5
.5
1.0

.901
.925
.890

1.1
.9
.2

1.152
1.167
(*)

1.4
.6
.8
2.0

.957
.925
.983
1.360

.5
.2
.3
2.9
1.0
1.9
1.4
1.9
.2
1.7
2.9

.810
.850
.783
.985
1.119
.912
.734
.810
1.010
.781
.645

1.8
1.6
.2
3.3
2.2
1.1
1.1.

1.010
1.019
(2
)
1.135
1.203
1.005
.806

2.7
.7
2.0
1.3

.913
1.015
.876
.669

1.1
.4

1.030
.830

2.3
.3
.2

1.5

1.282
.829
.850
(2)
.709

1.4
.5
.2
.3

1.495
1.056
(3
)
1.030

.7
.5
.2
.2

1.033
1.091
.875
.670

.2

6.5
.2
.2
(3)
2.4
3.6
.3
.2

.575
*.930
.973
(2)
1.173
.700
.980
1.052
(*)

(*)

.1

.1

.1

.9

.1

.854

0 .844

.926
1.004
.817
.702

1.176
(a
)

1.6

.575

18.9
2.2
.7
1.5
2.2
2.4
.9
.7

.583
.984
1.162
.895
.993
.645
1.123
1.176
(’)

(>)
(2)

7.0

.939

.4

1.350

6.3
.6

1.288
.906

.2

1.4
.2
1.2
3.9
2.3
1.6
.5

.646
.960
1.012
(*)
.609

(*)

.2

18
T

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

3 . — Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected
Occupations in Great Lakes and inland Shipyards, by Region and Type of Yard, Spring
of 1942— Continued

able

Great Lakes region
Construction yards

Inland region

Repair yards

Construction yards

Occupation
Percent Average Percent Average Percent
Average
of
of
of
hourly
hourly
hourly
workers earnings1 workers earnings1 workers earnings1
studied
studied
studied
Machinists, shop__________ __________
First class______________ _________
Other classes_____________ ______ _
Machinists* helpers, shop_____________
Machinists, ontside ....
_____
First class___________________ ____
Other classes_______ _____________
Machinists’ helpers, outside___________
Painters, brush and spray...__________
First class_____ _________________
Other classes_______ _____________
Pattern makers, first class____ _________
Pipefitters (including plumbers)________
* First--class
,. ~
Other classes_____________________
Pipefitters’ 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____ : _______ ________
_
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___________
Shipfitters________________ __________
First class_______________________
Other classes_____________________
Shipfitters’ helpers____________ ______
Stage builders_______________________
Tank cleaners_______________________
Tracers................................. ................ .
Watchmen and guards..............................
Welders, acetylene (including gas), first
class.......................................................
Welders, electric____________ ______ _
First class__________________ _____
Other classes_____________________
Welders’ helpers, electric...____________

4.9
1.7
3.2
1.5
1.0
.5
.5
.4
2.8
.9
1.9
.8
1.9
1.4
.5

$0,959
1.076
.898
.723
1.008
1.135
.902
.706
.762
.984
.657
1.317
1.066
1.124
.917

1.4
.9
.5
.4
1.6
1.2
.4
1.1
1.3
1.2
.1

$1,066
1.120
.981
.760
1.034
1.120
1.022
.850
1.178
1.186
(*)

3.7
1.8
1.9
1.1
3.0
1.6
1.4
2.2
2.4
.8
1.6

$0,991
1.097
.894
.554
1.005
1.047
.958
.625
.816
.810
.819

3.0
1.9
1.1

1.085
1.120
1.027

2.7
.9
1.8

.939
.989
.914

1.4
.6
.3
.3
.6

.687
.885
.870
.900
.640

4.9
1.7
.5
1.2
3.5

.828
1.091
1.075
1.097
.834

.9
1.3
.7
.6
1.3

.651
.916
.858
.991
.612

.2

.860

1.1

.800

.7

.943

.1

1.0
.7
.3
.2
.3
.2

.794
.796
.788
.780
.920
.653
1.115

.4
.2
.2
.7
3.1
1.2
1.9
3.9

.914
.935
.893
.690
.945
1.110
.838
.683

.987
1.007
.900
.876
.962
.708
1.158
1.161
0)
1.145
1.173
(2)
(2
)
1.196
1.395
.997
.833
1.030

(2
)
(2)
(*)
.750
.831
.668
(*)

.7

3.6
2.9
.7
1.7
2.2
3.8
2.1
2.0
.1
1.2
1.0
.2
.2
1.7
.9
.8
1.6
4.1

.2
.1
.1
1.1
.5
.6
.1

.8
1.6

.737
.561

1.7

.1
7.3
3.2
4.1
1.0

(*)
.984
1.094
.898
.668

.4
6.6
6.1
.5
.8

(*)

.1

(’)

1.1
.2
.9
.2
7.7
1.8
5.9
6.8

1.016
(*)
.963
(*)
.882
1.042
.834
.572

.793

.1
.2
2.1

(*)
(*)
.613

1.120
1.139
1.148
1.030
.850

15.2
6.1
9.1
.1

.874
1.038
.763
(*)

1Excluding earnings resulting from extra pay for overtime work.
*Number of workers too small to justify computation of average.
3Less than a tenth of 1 percent.
HOURLY E ARN IN G S B Y OCCUPATION

The day-shift workers in the ship-construction yards studied in the
Great Lakes region had average straight-time earnings of 86.1 cents
an hour. Of the occupations for which figures are presented, firstclass pattern makers earned the highest wages, averaging $1,317 an
hour, and watchmen and guards the lowest, 56.1 cents. Only a fourth



INLAND REGION— SPRING OF 1942

19

(27.1 percent) of the workers surveyed were in occupations that
averaged more than $1.00 an hour; first-class workers predominated
in this group. Another quarter, comprised primarily of groups desig­
nated as “ other classes,” averaged between 80 cents and $1.00 per
hour. Rates averaging less than 75 cents an hour were paid to twofifths of the workers, most of whom were helpers.
The wage rates paid in a few of the yards were considerably below
those prevailing in the region. For example, although most first-class
carpenters were paid $1.12 an hour, individual yard averages ranged
as low as 88.6 cents. Rates ranging from 85.0 cents to $1.12 per hour
for first-class electric welders were also found in this region. Gener­
ally, the lower rates were found in yards engaged in wooden-ship
construction, although some of these yards paid rates comparable to
those in metal-ship construction.
Little variation in rates prevailed in the same occupation and grade
within a given yard. No incentive-payment systems were in effect
in the ship-construction yards studied.
The average hourly earnings of first-class skilled mechanics engaged
in ship construction m this region did not appear generally to conform
to the zone standard minimum rate of $1.12 an hour. In only six
occupations did first-class workers have average hourly earnings of
$1.11 or more. However, as has been suggested above, -the lower
averages for first-class workers in certain other occupations resulted
from the payment of rates below the zone standard in only a few
yards, rather than to a general disregard of the $1.12 minimum.
In repair yards the averages by occupation were generally higher
than in construction yards, ranging from $1,495 for foremen to 70.8
cents for rivet passers. As a whole, ship-repair workers averaged
$1,013 an hour. Of the 21 groups of first-class workers for which
figures are presented, 16 showed hourly earnings averaging $1.12 or
more. Although a few workers were paid under incentive plans, such
premium earnings had little effect upon the averages as a whole.

,

Hourly Earnings in Spring of 1942 Inland Region
Prior to the launching of the Nation’s war program, ship construc­
tion in river ports of the Ohio-Mississippi system was generally con­
fined to vessels used in commercial transportation on the rivers.
Today, however, the products of these yards also include vessels used
in coastal defense.
Large numbers of workers have been recruited from the surround­
ing area to meet the demands for ships. These recruits are being
largely trained under an informal program, as is indicated by the high
proportion of helpers and laborers. The latter, alone, represent nearly
a fifth of all the workers surveyed. The prevalence of welded con­
struction accounts for a relatively large proportion of electric welders.
On the whole, the occupational pattern is somewhat simpler than that
found in other regions.




20

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS
HOU RLY E ARN IN G S BY OCCUPATION

The average hourly straight-time earnings of the day-shift workers
studied was 79.5 cents for the region as a whole (table 3). Among
the occupations for which averages are presented, draftsmen were
paid the highest rates, averaging $1.36 an hour, and machinists’
helpers the lowest, averaging 55.4 cents. Laborers and first-class
workers each accounted for a fifth of all the workers surveyed.
About one-half of the workers studied were in occupations averaging
less than 80 cents an hour. Laborers and various craft helpers com­
prised most of these workers. Exactly 19 percent of all workers were
m occupations averaging more than $1.00 an hour.
Typical of the variety of rates paid among yards for the same type
of work are the ranges of yard averages for first-class electric welders
($1.21 to 95.0 cents), laborers (76.3 to 39.8 cents), and shipfitters’
helpers (89.9 to 55.0 cents). Incentive systems of pay, affecting
about one-seventh of the workers, also influenced the averages of
some occupations.
Wages in the inland area have not been stabilized under a zone
standard agreement. This fact is reflected in the lower rates for
first-class workers, as only four such groups averaged above $1.07, the
lowest minimum rate established for first-class skilled mechanics in
any of the other regions.

Interregional Comparisons
Comparisons of the wage information for each region are given
below. A summary comparison of combined averages for the selected
occupations shown in tables 1, 2, and 3 appears in the accompanying
statement. It reveals that the weighted average hourly earnings for
construction yards in the United States as a whole was 96.0 cents.
The average for repair yards was 97.1 cents.
Pacific coast wages were considerably higher than those in any
other region. In new construction the Atlantic coast ranked second,
while the Great Lakes region ranked second in wage rates for shiprepair work. In both branches of the industry wages on the Gulf
coast were the lowest.
Construction
yards

Gulf.................. .......................................
Atlantic______________________ _______
Great Lakes__________________________
Inland............................. ..........................

Repair yards

$0. 960

$0. 971

1. 034
.776
.966
’ .861
.795

1. 166
.796
. 914
1. 013

A comparison of wage levels by occupation, such as is given in
table 4, presumes identical or nearly identical duties from region to
region. The Bureau’s agents took particular care to obtain compa­
rable data and it is felt that, for the most part, the indications of this
table are dependable. Although differences in method of construction
and type of ships slightly affected the duties of some of the occupations
reported in this study, the jobs are reasonably similar among regions.




21

INTERREGIONAL COMPARISONS

T a b l e 4 . — Average Hourly Straight-Time Earnings of Day-Shift Workers in Selected

Occupations in Ship •Construction Yards by Region, Spring of 1942
Occupation and class

Gulf
coast

Pacific
coast

Atlantic
coast

Great
Lakes

Inland

AU dosses

1

!

1

»!

Anglftsmiths__ ........................................... ........
■R
la7>lrsm
itha

Burners, acetylene (including gas)__. __ __________
Carpenters (shipwrights)________________ ______
Carpenters’ helpers____________________ _______
Chippers and caulkers (including foundry chippers).
Crane operators (alJ types).................................. .
Draftsmen (senior ana jnninr).., __________ ____
Electricians'............. I ........ ............................ ......
Electricians’ helpers__________________ _______
Foremen (including assistant foremen and quartermen)___________________ ___________________
Furaacemen (plate and forge shops)______________
Helpers, not elsewhere classified.1 _1................ .........
Laborers (excluding tank cleaners and janitors)........
Layers-out_____„_____ . ______________________
Leaders___________. . . . . . . ____________________
Loftsmen_________ . . . __ _____________________
Machinists, shop................................................... .
Machinists* helpers, shop.........................................
Machinists, outside____________ . . . __ . . . _______
Machinists* helpers, outside____________________
Painters, brush and spray______________________
Pipefitters (including plumbers)_________ _______
Pipefitters* helpers (Including plumbers* helpers)_
_
Plate-shop machine operators___________________
Plate-shop machine operators’ helpers____________
Riggers, ship__ ____ _______________. . . _________
Riggers, yard and cra n e......___________________
Rivet heaters_____________________ . . . . . _______
Riveters_____________________________________
Sheet-metal workers (including tinsmiths)________
Sheet-metal workers* helpers_______ _____ ______
Shipfitters______ _____________________________
Shipfitters’ helpers___ . . . . _____________________
Tracers_____________. . . . . . . . . _________________
Watchmen and guards_ ______ ______ _________
_
Welders, electric____ . .. ... . .. . __________________
Welders helpers, electric________ . . . ____ __ _____

$1,267
1.132
.873
1.116
1.121
.870
1.100
1.191
1.116
1.133
.871

$1,050
1.051
.617
.978
.949
.615
.948
1.068
.711
1.012
.597

$1.142
1.086
.849
1.064
.988
.731
1.218
1.056
1.323
1.047
.744

$0,900
.969
.751
.968
.983
.711
.975
1.000
.933
.985
.734

0)
$0,960
.609
.854
.926
.702
.901
.957
1.360
.913
.669

1.421
1.232
.860
.797
1.235
1.263
1.229
1.120
.867
1.122
.870
1.123
1.118
.870
1.061
.877
1.130
1.065
1.000
1.122
1.080
.872
1.090
.870
.831
.808
1.122
.869

1.234
.943
(0
.499
1.014
1.137
1.079
.971
.605
. 1.020
.647
.837
.983
.615
.915
.634
.975
.839
(i)
1.056
.956
.620
.947
.587
.467
.507
.968
.625

1.503
1.086
.740
.637
1.123
1.307
1.200
1.077
.731
1.024
.735
1.074
1.050
.754
1.044
.754
1.049
.882
.973
1.348
1.077
.779
1.015
.743
.691
.660
1.148
.713

1.282
.829
.709
.575
.930
1.173
.980
.959
.723
1.008
.706
.762
1.066
.687
.885
.640
.943
.794
.780
1.115
.914
.690
.945
.683
.737
.561
.984
.668

1.176
0)
.575
.583
.984
.993
1.123
.991
.554
1.005
.625
.816
.939
.651
.916
.612

CO

1.267
1.151
1.123
1.128
1.123
1.191
1.140
1.232
1.235
1.254
1.128
1.127
1.123
1.122
1.118
1.130
1.065
1.122
1.129
1.121
1.127

1.050
1’ 061
1.070
1.063
1.070
1.068
1.124
1.150
1.079
1.253
1.048
1.070
1.017
1.066
1.056
1.067
.997
1.070
1.038
1.061
1.061

1.296
1.153
1.151
1.100
1.360
1.137
1.224
1.133
1.278
1.348
1.256
1.171
1.204
1.201
1.160
1.161
.978
1.498
1.302
1.169
1.445

1.035
1.069
1.085
1.091
.991
1.119
.850
.973
1.052
1.076
1.135
.984
1.124
.870
.943
..796
1.115
.935
1.110
1.094

(0

(*)

(0

.750

(l)
0)

1.016
.780
.882
.572
.874

First dost
Angfesmfths................................ ............................
Blacksmiths.___. . . . . . . . . _______ . . . . . . . . . . . . . ____
Burners, acetylene (including gas)________ !______
Carpenters (shipwrights)_______________________
Chippers and caulkers (including foundry chippers) _
Crane operators (all types)________________ ____
Electricians....... .....................................................
Furaacemen (plate and forge shops).................. ......
Layers-out____ __. . . . . . . _________. . . __________
Loftsmen________ __ ________ ________________
Machinists, shop______________ _______________
Machinists, outside___________________________
Painters, brush and spray_____ ________________
Pipefitters (including plumbers)_________________
Plate-shop machine operators_ . . . . . . ___________
_
Riggers, snip__________ . . . . . . . . . . . . . _______ ____
Riggers, yard and crane_______ ________________
Riveters...... ............................................................
Sheet-metal workers (including tinsmiths)________
Shipfitters.................... ................................. ..........
Welders, electric______________________________

1.012

0)

1.004
.925
.925
1.015

0)

1.162
1.175
1.097
1.047
.810
.989
.858

0

.831

(0
0)

1.042
1.038

i Number of workers too small to justify computation of average.

The occupational comparisons in table 4 are limited to new construc­
tion work, which constitutes a major part of the entire industry. This
table includes all occupations which employ workers in afl of the
regions, and gives averages for 39 entire occupations, regardless of
the “ class” of workers included; it also presents comparisons for firstclass workers alone.



22

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS

PERCENT OF WORKERS IN SHIP-CONSTRUCTION YARDS
BY CLASS OF WORKER AND BY REGION
>RET
ECN

SPRING OF 1942

100

PRET
ECN
100

- 40

°

PACIFIC
COAST

GULF
COAST

CRAFTSMEN
FIRST CLASS




ATLANTIC
COAST

GREAT
LAKES

CRAFTSMEN
OTHER CLASSES

SUPERVISORS

°

HELPERS

APPRENTICES
AND LEARNERS

INLAND

OTHER
* 1 WORKERS

INTERREGIONAL COMPARISONS

23

With regard to the general occupational averages, it is of interest
to note that the Pacific coast pays the highest wages in 33 occupations
out of the 39. Of the 6 remaining occupations the Atlantic coastranks first in 5, while the inland region has the highest average for 1
occupation (draftsmen). In terms of first-class mechanics' wages,
however, the Atlantic coast occupies the top position. In 17 of the
21 groups for which data are given Atlantic coast wages are highest,
while the Pacific coast ranks first in only 4 cases.
These apparently contradictory measures of relative wage levels are
easily reconcilable. The wages of first-class mechanics in the Atlantic
coast region are indeed high for the shipbuilding industry, but only a
small proportion of the workers in this region are recognized as first
class. The large numbers of second- and third-class craftsmen and
handymen drag down the combined averages below the levels prevailing
on the Pacific coast, where most craftsmen are considered as first class.
The inland region paid the lowest wages in 19 of the 39 groups. It
also ranks low as regards earnings of first-class craftsmen.
STABILIZATION IN OPERATION

Despite the rather general terminology of the stabilization agree­
ments, the four regions concerned have shown considerable uniformity
in determining to which occupations the minimum wage should be
applied. The fifth, the inland region, has not been faced with this
problem, as no agreement has been adopted there.
A review of the occupational rates in the four largest regions
appears to justify the designation of 26 separate crafts as generally
coming within the scope of the zone standards.7 It is unnecessary to
list these here since, with three exceptions, they are identical with the
29 crafts listed earlier in connection with the discussion of Atlantic
coast wages. The three exceptions are erectors, painters, and regu­
lators; first-class workers in these jobs customarily receive at least the
minimum rate in the Atlantic region, but fail to attain the minimum
generally throughout the industry. Erectors, it may be mentioned,
are not distinguished from shipfitters in some regions. In addition,
on the Pacific coast machine bolters are sharply distinguished from
hand bolters and receive higher wages, but in other regions both
groups commonly receive the same rate, which for first-class workers
is below the minimum.
A number of the 26 occupations are not represented in the Gulf
region, or are not distinguished from other, similar jobs. All of the
occupations with substantial representation, however, appear generally
to carry the minimum wage; in a few cases the averages are slightly
below $1.07 an hour, owing to substandard wage rates in a few yards.
Only in the Great Lakes region do any of the 26 crafts appear gen­
erally to receive less than the minimum wage. In this region, in
fact, among the occupations represented in substantial numbers,
only the electricians, outside machinists, pattern makers, pipefitters,
riveters, and shipfitters receive average, wage rates close to (or above)
$1.12 per hour. First-class workers m some of the 26 crafts average
substantially less; for example, furnacemen (85.0 cents), plate-shop
machine operators (87.0), and ship riggers (94.3).
7 It should be mentioned again that supervisory workers and certain other special groups (such as drafts'
men) have been intentionally excluded from consideration, even though they commonly receive wage*
higher than the minimum rates.




24

HOURLY EARNINGS IN PRIVATE SHIPYARDS
"F IR S T -C L A S S ” W O R K E RS

The Pacific coast yards have been much more liberal in the classi­
fication of workers than have other yards in the industry. Advance­
ment has been rapid and almost automatic on the Pacific coast,
whereas in the other regions upgrading is sometimes irregular and
may involve long delay. The proportion of first-class workers in
the Pacific coast region is consequently much higher than elsewhere.
Of all the day-shift workers (including helpers) in the 26 crafts
within the scope of the zone standards in Pacific coast yards, fully 61
percent were carried on the pay roll as first-class workers at the time
of the Bureau’s study. In the Atlantic coast yards, in which classi­
fication standards appear to be most strict, the corresponding per­
centage was only 20. The percentages for the other regions were as
follows: Gulf coast, 37; Great Lakes, 35; and inland, 30.
Many jobs in the industry, of course, are not appropriate for the
establishment of classes; the proportions of first-class craftsmen among
all workers are consequently smaller than those given above. In the
accompanying chart all first-shift employees in the various regions
are segregated by class or type of job. For purposes of this chart,
the craftsmen referred to include workers in all crafts, without refer­
ence to the minimum wage. Again the Pacific coast ranks first in
proportion of first-class craftsmen and the Atlantic coast last. The
proportion of learners and apprentices is particularly high in both the
Gulf and Atlantic coast regions. Laborers comprise a relatively large
part of the workers in the Gulf coast and inland areas.