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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Frances Perkins, Secretary
B U R E A U OF L A B O R ST A T IST IC S
Isador Lukin, Commissioner (on leave)
A . F. H in ric h s, A ctin g Commissioner

+

H ourly Entrance Rates Paid
to Common Laborers
1942

Bulletin 7s[o. 733
(Reprinted w ith o u t change from the M on th ly Labor R ev iew , February 1943]

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1943

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D. C. - Price 5 cents




CONTENTS
Page

n




03 fcO

1
1

00 M

Summary______________________________________________________________
Significance of common-labor rates_____________________________________
Changes in Bureau’s method of analysis_____________
Variations in entrance rates in the country as a whole.
Geographical variations_____ _______________________
Differences in rates, by race-------------------------------------Variations by industry______________________________
Variations by size of city_______________________________________________
Trends of entrance rates from 1926 to 1942______________________ .---------

14
15

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

U nited S tates D epartm ent of L abor ,
B u r e a u of L abor S tatistics ,
Washington , D . C ., February 2 0 , 1943 .

The S ecretary of L abo r :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on hourly entrance
rates paid to common laborers in 1942. This report was prepared
by Robert L. Davis and John L. Dana, under the supervision of
Edward K. Frazier, in the Bureau’s Division of Wage Analysis,
Robert J. Myers, Chief.
Hon. F rances P e r k in s ,

A. F . H in r ic h s , Acting Commissioner.

Secretary of Labor.




in




Bulletin 7^o. 733 o f the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted without change from the M onthly L abor R eview , February 1943]

HOURLY ENTRANCE RATES PAID TO COMMON
LABORERS, 19421
Sum m ary

ADULT male common laborers in July 1942 had an average hourly
rate of 58.5 cents for the country as a whole, a study of 20 industries
reveals. This is a weighted average and not strictly comparable with
the results of past studies. Comparable unweighted data for 13
industries, however, indicate an increase of 7 cents an hour, or about
12 percent, since July 1941. Slightly over a third of all common
laborers studied received average hourly entrance rates under 42.5 cents
in 1942. About a third were paid 70.0 cents an hour or over.
As in earlier years, the average rate in the North and West (72.2
cents) was considerably higher than that in the South and Southwest
(41.1 cents). Among the subdivisions of regions, the Pacific Coast
reported the highest average (83.2 cents).
The average entrance rate in manufacturing was 56.1 cents; that in
public utilities, 53.6 cents; and that in the building construction
industry, 67.4 cents an hour. Among specific industries, blast fur­
naces, steel works, and rolling mills showed the highest hourly entrance
rate (74.5 cents); and fertilizers the lowest (43.5 cents). Rates in the
larger cities tended to exceed those in the smaller. Among specific
cities, Oakland, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco paid the highest
rates to manufacturing workers.
Significance o f Comm on-Labor Rates

The entrance rates paid to male common labor occupy a position of
considerable importance in American industrial wage structure.
Numbering several millions, even in peacetime, common laborers
constitute the largest occupational group of workers engaged in nonagricultural pursuits. Their wages, paid to a fairly homogeneous
group of workers and almost entirely free from the disturbing influence
of incentive-payment systems, provide the best available basis for
general comparisons of wage levels by region, size of city, etc. Com­
mon-labor entrance rates are of great significance in collective bargain­
ing and their level frequently determines the nature of the entire
lower portion of an industry’s wage scale.
Information regarding entrance rates of common labor has been
secured in annual surveys by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since
1926, by means of mail questionnaires. The Bureau’s studies have
1 Prepared in the Bureau’s Division of Wage Analysis by Robert L. Davis and John L. Dana, under the
supervision of Edward K. Frazier.




1

2

H O U R L Y ENTRANCE RATES,

1942

covered most of the manufacturing industries employing large num­
bers of common laborers and have also included representation of
public utilities and building construction. In recent years, 16 man­
ufacturing industries and 3 public utilities have been included.2
Among the more important fields of employment not represented are
the railroads and the construction of roads, highways, and other
public works.
As defined in the Bureau's questionnaires, common laborers include
those workers “who perform physical or manual labor of a general
character and simple nature, requiring no special training, judgment,
or drill.” The instructions accompanying the questionnaires direct
that apprentices and learners be excluded, as well as machine operators
or other workers who can be designated by distinct occupational
titles. There is evidence that some unskilled male workers other
than common laborers are actually included in the returns received by
the Bureau, but it is believed that these are not numerous enough or
sufficiently different with respect to wage level to influence the results
appreciably.
Common laborers employed at rates other than the established
entrance rates are also excluded from the Bureau's study. Un­
doubtedly the average rates paid to all common laborers are slightly
higher than the average entrance rates alone. Substantial proportions
of all laborers receive the entrance rates, however, and it is in terms
of these rates that the closest comparability is attained.
Changes in Bureau's M ethod o f A n a lysis

In most respects the scope and method of the Bureau's 1942 study
of entrance rates are similar to those described in connection with
the reports on earlier studies.8 In two important respects, however,
the data presented for 1942 are different from those previously re­
ported: (1) The 1942 rates relate exclusively to first-shift workers;
and (2) a system of weighting has been introduced in order to reflect
more faithfully the true importance of the various States and in­
dustries.
The limitation of the 1942 data to first-shift workers was adopted
in order to adhere to the current policy of reporting basic rates and to
eliminate the influence of changes in the organization of production
unaccompanied by wage changes. Rates of pay of evening and
night shift workers are often higher than those of first (day) shift
workers, as a result of the payment of a “late shift bonus'' which is
common in many industries and localities. Employment on late
shifts has not been an important factor in earlier years and the in­
fluence of such differentials could safely be ignored. The rise of war
)roduction, however, has brought about a substantial increase in
ate-shift work. Establishments cooperating in the Bureau's survey
reported that approximately 17 percent of the common laborers on
all shifts worked on shifts other than the first. The inclusion of these
late-shift workers would have increased slightly the average rates
for some sections of the country.

f

* The specific industries covered are indicated in table 4. Data for electric light and power and for
manufactured and natural gas have been combined. Definitions used in distinguishing the various
manufacturing industries are those of the Census of Manufactures.
* See, for example, Monthly Labor Review, January 1942 (pp. 149-173): Hourly Entrance Rates Paid
to Common Laborers, 1941.




COMMON LABORERS

3

Previous reports on entrance rates of common labor have combined
without special weighting the returns received by the Bureau from the
thousands of cooperating firms throughout the United States. Analy­
sis has revealed, however, that certain industries and regions have
received more than proportionate representation, while others have
been under-represented. In general, for various reasons, the highwage industries and localities have received proportionately more
weight than the low-wage ones. For example, the steel industry, in
which wages are relatively high, has reported on a much more com­
plete basis than the southern lumber industry, in which much lower
wages prevail. The result of this has been to overstate somewhat the
average rates for various combinations of establishments.
The weighting system introduced for the first time in the analysis
of the 1942 data makes partial correction for such differences in
proportionate representation. First, the number of common laborers
m each covered industry, by State, was estimated; then, the number
of common laborers reported from each State industry segment, was
weighted upward to the estimated total. In combining the data for
manufacturing, public utilities, and building construction (tables 1,
2, 3, and 6), the data for manufacturing have been given the weight of
all manufacturing and not merely that of the specific industries cov­
ered; and the data for the selected utilities have been given the
additional weight of a broad utilities grouping.4
This simple system of weighting is recognized as falling far short of
the ideal. It fails, for example, to take full account of the over-repre­
sentation of large establishments in the questionnaire returns, another
factor which tends to exaggerate the wage levels. In certain compari­
sons of wage rates by size of city (table 6) it has been necessary to
assume that the weightings used for entire States have been appro­
priate for cities as well. In spite of these and other shortcomings,
however, there is little doubt that the weights employed have in­
creased considerably the accuracy and consistency of the material
presented.
The effect of weighting, as revealed by comparisons with un­
weighted figures, is to increase the over-all average rate for the North
and West by 1.6 cents and to reduce that for the South and Southwest
by 2.6 cents. At the same time the influence of the South and South­
west is considerably enhanced, and the over-all average for the Nation
as a whole is reduced by fully 4.5 cents. The data presented in this
report are not strictly comparable, therefore, with those for earlier
years. For purposes of comparison, however, the unweighted figures
for 13 industries combined, in the United States as a whole, are pre­
sented in table 8.
Valuations in Entrance Rates in the Country as a Whole

The average hourly entrance rate paid to common laborers in the
country as a whole in July 1942 was 58.5 cents. This figure is based
on the weighted returns of 7,245 establishments employing 248,000
laborers at entrance rates on first shifts. The unweighted average
for 13 industries, presented in table 8, exceeds by 7 cents per hour the
4 The following public-utility classifications of the 1940 Census of Occupations were included: Electric
light and power; gas works and steam plants; street railways and bus lines; telephone and telegraph; truck­
ing service; and warehousing and storage.




4

H O U R L Y ENTRANCE RATES,

1942

comparable figure for 1941, revealing an increase of approximately
12 percent during the year.
The rates paid to individual workers ranged from less than 30 cents
an hour to more than $1.05. This broad range was due in part to the
influence of geographic factors, race, industry, size of city, and similar
factors. Some of these are discussed in the following pages. As is
indicated by the distribution in table 1, slightly more than a third of
all common laborers at entrance rates received less than 42.5 cents an
hour. A little less than a third received rates between 42.5 and 70.0
cents an hour. The remainder were paid 70.0 cents an hour or over.
T a b l e 1 .— Percentage Distribution o f Adult M ale Common Laborers by H ourly Entrance
Rates, in Manufacturings Public U tilities, and Building Construction, J u ly 1942

Simple Cumu­
lative
percent­ percent­
age
age

Hourly entrance rate

Under 30.0 cents...........................
Exactly 30.0 cents........................
Over 30.0 and under 32.5 cents___
32.5 and under 35.0 cents..............
35.0 and under 37.5 cents..............
37.5 and under 40.0 cents..............
40.0 and under 42.5 cents___ ____
42.5 and under 45.0 cents..............
45.0 and under 47.5 cents..............
47.5 and under 50.0 cents_______
50.0 and under 52.5 cents_______
62.5 and under 55.0 cents..............
55.0 and under 57.5 cents..............
57.5 and under 60.0 cents..............
60.0 and under 62.5 cents..............
62.5 and under 65.0 cents..............

0.5
2.8
.1
.8
15.4
2.5
13.5
.5
2.5
.7
6.5
.8
4.8
1.4
4.7
1.9

0.5
3.3
3.4
4.2
19.6
22.1
35.6
36.1
38.6
39.3
45.8
46.6
51.4
52.8
57.5
59.4

Hourly entrance rate

65.0 and under 67.5 cents..............
67.5 and under 70.0 cents.............
70.0 and under 72.5 cents..............
72.5 and under 75.0 cents..............
75.0 and under 77.5 cents..............
77.5 and under 80.0 cents..............
80.0 and under 82.5 cents..............
82.5 and under 85.0 cents..............
85.0 and under 87.5 cents.............
87.5 and under 90.0 cents..............
90.0 and under 95.0 cents.............
95.0 and under 100.0 cents............
100.0 and under 105.0 cents...........
105.0 cents and over.....................
Total

Simple Cumu­
lative
percent­ percent­
age
age
3.6
2.-7
5.7
2.4
3.9
4.9
2.4
3.8
1.6
1.6
2.1
1.8
3.2
.9

63.0
65.7
71.4
73.8
77.7
82.6
85.0
88.8
90.4
92.0
94.1
95.9
99.1
100.0

100.0

The largest concentration in any 2.5-cent interval, comprising 15.4
percent of the workers, fell within the rate-class interval of 35.0
and under 37.5 cents. This class apparently reflects the preponder­
ance of common laborers in the lumber (sawmills) industry in the
South and Southwest at the 35.0-cent minimum set for the lumber
industry under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The interval of 40.0
and under 42.5 cents showed the second largest concentration in the
entire distribution. The prevalence of the 78.0-cent common-labor
rate in the steel industry in the North is reflected by a modest con­
centration of workers in the interval of 77.5 and under 80.0 cents.
Geographical Variations

Table 2 and the accompanying map clearly demonstrate that the
geographical factor has an important bearing upon entrance rates
paid for common labor. The average rate in the North and West
was 72.2 cents and exceeded by 31.1 cents the average for the South
and Southwest (41.1 cents). Within these broad regions, however,
entrance rates were by no means uniform. Entrance rates were con­
siderably higher on the Pacific Coast (83.2 cents) than in New England
(62.3 cents). Several Northern States paid lower entrance rates than
Kentucky in the South. I t is to be noted that wage levels in the
various regions reflect in part differences in other factors, such as the
number of large cities and the type of industry. It is significant that
all cities of 500,000 population or more are in the North and West.



5

COMMON LABORERS

a b l e 2 . — Average H ourly Entrance Rates o f Adult M ale Common Laborers in M anu­
facturing, Public Utilities, and Building Construction, b y Region and State, J u ly 1942

T

Region and State

Average
hourlj
entrance
rate

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

$0,585

North and West___ ________________
Pacific Coast. —
. _ _ ______
California_ __ ________
Oregon — __ _____________
Washington_____ ___________
M ountain_____________________
Colorado___________________
Id a h o _________ ___________
Montana_______ ____ '______
Nevada____________________
U tah.........................................
Wyoming......................... ........
Prairie.......... ...................................
Iowa____________ __________
TTansftg_____ ____ ________
Missouri___________________
Nebraska___________________
North Dakota
South Dakota __ . _____
Great L a k es___ _____________ _
Illinois_________ ___________
Indiana. ___________________
M ichigan______________ ____
Minnesota _________________
Ohio.........................................Wisconsin .
..
___
New England_____ ____________
Connecticut_____ _________
Maine_____________________
Massachusetts__ ____________

.722
.832
.811
.877
.859
.703
729
.721
.759
.621
.617
,645
.694
.659
.588
.764
.658
<
*)
.633
.753
.810
.722
.723
.701
.741
.730
.623
.620
.540
.673

Region and State

North and West—Continued.
New England—Continued.
New Hampshire........................
Rhode Island_______________
Vermont___________________
Middle Atlantic..............................
Delaware__ ______ __________
District of Columbia_________
Maryland.—
..................... .......
New Jersey_________________
New York__________________
Pennsylvania_______________
West Virginia........ ..................
South and Southwest.... ........................
Southeastern....................... ............
Alabama___________________
Arkansas.................... .... ..........
Florida....... _............. ..............
Georgia ___________________
Kentucky ____ ___________
Louisiana___________________
Mississippi............... ................
North Carolina______________
South Carolina______ _______
Tennessee...... ...........................
Virginia.—.............. ................
Southwestern______ ____________
Arizona........... ..........................
New Mexico________________
Oklahoma........................ .........
Texas.......................... .............

Average
hourly
entrance
rate

$0,575
.683
.451
.695
.514
.810
.618
.691
.704
.722
.605

0)

.411
.399
.429
.390
.385
.365
.585
.434
.372
.359
.355
.433
.438
.468
.492
.520
.429

i Average not shown because of insufficient diversity of industries from which reports were received.

In the North and West as a whole (including 33 States and the
District of Columbia) rates varied over a range of 42.6 cents, from
the Vermont average of 45.1 cents to the Oregon average of 87.7
cents. The Pacific Coast area, with the highest sectional average,
exhibited a spread of only 6.6 cents between the California low of 81.1
cents and the Oregon high of 87.7 cents. This was the narrowest
spread within anjr area in the broad region.
The 6 Mountain States as a group averaged 70.3 cents. Rates
for these States ranged from 61.7 cents in Utah to 75.9 cents in
Montana, a spread of 14.2 cents. Farther in the interior, the 6
Prairie States averaged 69.4 cents and showed a spread of 17.6 cents
between the lowest and the highest State averages. The influence of
the larger cities in Missouri, and particularly of the building-construc­
tion industry in those cities, obscures the influence of the geographical
factor to some extent.
The average of 75.3 cents for the Great Lakes area was the second
highest in the North and West region. Rates in the 6 States included
in the area were relatively uniform—a spread of only 10.9 cents-+ranging from the Minnesota rate of 70.1 cents to the Illinois rate of
81.0 cents. The New England area, on the other hand, showed ja
wide diversity of rates, ranging from a low of 45.1 cents in Vermont
to 68.3 cents in Rhode Island. It may be observed that the southern
New England averages in every case exceeded those for the more
northern States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
514288°—43--- 2




BY WAGE AREAS

HOURLY ENTRANCE RATES, 1 94 2




05
ENTRANCE RATES OF ADULT M ALE COMMON LABO RERS, JULY, 1942

COMMON LABORERS

7

The widest variation among rates in the North and West was
found for the Middle Atlantic area including 6 States and the District
of Columbia, and having a combined average of 69.5 cents. Indi­
vidual average rates ranged from 51.4 cents in Delaware to 81.0
cents in the District of Columbia, a spread of 29.6 cents. In this
general area, the influence of such factors as size of city and type of
industry on the State averages was particularly pronounced.
In the broad region constituting the South and Southwest, and
including 15 States, two general sectional patterns were discernible.
The 11 Southeastern States averaged 39.9 cents, as compared with
46.8 cents for the 4 States in the Southwest. The first group of
States varied 23.0 cents, from the South Carolina rate of 35.5 cents,
to the Kentucky rate of 58.5 cents. When the Kentucky high was
excluded, however, the range for the 10 remaining States was only
8.3 cents. The spread in the western group of States was approxi­
mately the same, 9.1 cents, being the difference between the Texas
and the Oklahoma averages.

,

Differences in Rates b y Race

Almost two-thirds of the common laborers in the three industrial
groups combined, based on weighted data, were whites other than
Mexican. Approximately a third were Negroes and about 2 percent
were Mexicans. These proportions, of course, would not be the same
if wage earners in all occupations combined were considered. Average
rates paid to whites other than Mexican in the country as a whole
exceeded those paid to either of the other two racial groups. Negroes
as a group had the lowest average. The comparative figures for the
United States as a whole are as follows:
Whites other than Mexican_____________________ $0. 653
Mexicans__________________________
. 575
Negroes____________
. 474

Examination of the racial averages by broad geographic region,
however, reveals that the concentration of Negroes in the South and
Southwest is associated with their low average rate in the United
States as a whole. In the North and West, the average rate for
Negro common laborers was somewhat higher than the commonlabor averages for the other racial groups—73.6 cents, as compared
with 70.5 cents for Mexicans and 72.0 cents for other whites.
A higher entrance rate for Negroes than for other common laborers
in the North and West has been reported in earlier studies by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. This fact apparently results from con­
centrations of Negro workers in certain heavy industries in which
high wages prevail, as for example, in the steel and building-construc­
tion industries. The distributions in table 3 illustrate the racial
variations further; thus, 49.7 percent of the Negroes in the North and
West received rates above 77.5 cents an hour, compared with 37.3
percent of the whites other than Mexican and 28.4 percent of the
Mexicans. On the other hand, the proportion of Negro workers re­
ceiving less than 42.5 cents was also higher than for the other groups.
In the South and Southwest, the average paid to Negroes as a
group (39.6 cents an hour) fell below the regional average. Whites
other than Mexican averaged 43.6 cents an hour, and Mexicans 46.3
cents. As is indicated by table 3, 81.5 percent of the Negroes, 66.7
percent of the whites other than Mexican, and 61.6 percent of the



8

HOURLY

ENTRANCE RATES,

1942

Mexicans received less than 42.5 cents per hour. In the South and
Southwest large numbers of Negroes are found in the lowest paid in­
dustries, especially lumber, brick, tile and terra cotta, and fertilizer.
T

a b l e 3 . — Percentages o f A dult M ale Common Laborers by Entrance Rates in M anufac­
turing, Public Utilities, and Building Construction, b y Region and Race, J u ly 1942

North and West
Hourly entrance rate

All la­
borers

White
other
than
Mexi­
can

Negro

South and Southwest
White
other
than
Mexi­
can

Negro

Mexi­
can

1.0
6.3
.2
1.8
34.0
5.5

0.8
3.8
.1
1.7
24.1
5.9

1.2
7.6
.2
2.0
40.1
5.4

0.2
5.3

Mexi­ All la­
can
borers

Under 30.0 cents...... .................. .
Exactly 30.0 cents..........................
Over 30.0 and under 32.5 cents.......
32.5 and under 35.0 cents...............
35.0 and under 37.5 cents...............
37.5 and under 40.0 cents________

(9
0.1
(i)
(i)

(!)
0.1

40.0 and under 42.5 cents...............
42.5 and under 45.0 cents__ . _
45.0 and under 47.5 cents...............
47.5 and under 50.0 cents...............
50.0 and under 52.5 cents...............
52.5 and under 55.0 cents...............

2.6
.3
2.2
.7
6.9
.9

2.3
.3
2.4
.7
7.5
.9

4.6
.1
1.1
.8
4.1
.9

2.8
.1
5.1
2.8

27.4
.8
2.8
.7
5.9
.6

30.3
.5
3.1
1.0
8.1
.7

25.0
1.0
2.6
.5
4.2
.4

51.5
.5
3.1
.2
20.4
2.0

55.0 and under 57.5 cents...............
57.5 and under 60.0 cents...............
60.0 and under 62.5 cents...............
62.5 and under 65.0 cents...............
65.0 and under 67.5 cents...............
67.5 and under 70.0 cents________

4.1
1.2
7.3
2.6
5.8
3.5

4.4
1.3
7.8
2.7
6.1
3.4

2.9
.9
3.5
2.1
4.6
4.4

3.6
1.3
8.3
4.4
4.6
.3

5.6
1.6
1.4
1.0
.7
1.7

7.1
2.8
1.5
2.4
1.0
3.0

5.1
1.0
1.4
.4
.5
1.1

.1
1.7
.2
.8
.2

70.0 and under 72.5 cents...............
72.5 and under 75.0 cents............ __
75.0 and under 77.5 cents...............
77.5 and under 80.0 cents ________
80.0 and under 82.5 cents____ ____
82.5 and under 85.0 cen ts..............

9.8
4.3
7.0

10.1
3.8
7.3

.2

4.3
4.9

15.0
4.5
18.2
6.1
8.0
2.0

.7

4.3
6.2

8.0
7.0
3.7
11.2
4.0
13.5

85.0 and under 87.5 cents____ ____
87.5 and under 90.0 cents________
95.0 and under 100.0 cents_______
100.0 and under 105.0 cents............
105.0 cents and over____________

2.9
2.8
3.7
3.2
5.7
1.6

3.1
2.2
3.3
3.1
6.4
1.7

1.5
5.5
6.4
4.1
2.5
1.0

3.6
6.0
2.2
.2
.2
.1

All rates...............................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

00,0

and under 05.0 cents

1.2
.3

8.8

0)
0)

1.3
.3

8.3

0.3

(9
(9

1.1
.2

0.3

(9
.3

.3

(9
(9
(9
(9

(9

(9
(9

.3

3.2
1.1

.1

(9
(9

.7

100.0

(9

.1
.1

1.2

100.0

(9
(9

(9

.2

.1

8.9

100.0

100.0

Percentage distribution of laborers
at entrance rates.........................

100.0

83.0

15.1

1.9

100.0

32.5

64.7

2.8

Average hourly entrance rate.......

$0,722

$0,720

$0,736

$0,705

$0,411

$0,436

$0,396

$0,463

1 Less than a tenth of 1 percent.

Variations b y Industry

Common-labor entrance rates showed considerable variation from
industry to industry. Industry variation occurred also within racial
groups and within the two regions. The general averages presented
in table 4 are indicative of rates in each of the three major industrial
groups.
The average rate paid in manufacturing in July 1942 for the country
as a whole was 56.1 cents and the rate in public utilities was 53.6
cents; both were exceeded by the building-construction rate of 67.4
cents. Within the manufacturing group, a range of 31.0 cents was
indicated between the 43.5-cent average for fertilizers and the 74.5cent average for blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling mills. Despite
the large spread, only three of the selected industries—fertilizers,



9

COMMON LABORERS

lumber (sawmills), and brick, tile, and terra cotta—fell below the
manufacturing average itself. Within public utilities, the spread
was considerably less, 5.6 cents between the 51.7-cent average in
electric light and power and the 57.3-cent average in electric streetrailway and city motorbus operation and maintenance. Among all
industries and industry groups considered, three manufacturing in­
dustries—blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling mills; petroleum
refining; and chemicals—paid the highest average hourly entrance
rates in the country.
T

able

4 .—

Average H ourly Entrance Reties o f Adult M ale Common Laborers, by Industry,
Region , and Race, Ju ly 1942

North and West
Industry

16 manufacturing industries......................
Automobile parts_________________
Blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling
mills.................................................
Brick, tile, and terra cotta..................
Cement...............................................
Chemicals...........................................
Fertilizers.................-........................
Foundry and machine-shop products..
Glass
Leather...............................................
Lumber (sawmills)....... .....................
Meat packing.....................................
Paints and varnishes..........................
Paper and pulp___________________
Petroleum refining..............................
Rubber tires and inner tubes_______
Soap...................................................

United
States

South and Southwest

White
White
other
other
Total than Negro Mex­ Total than Negro Mex­
ican
ican
Mex­
Mex­
ican
ican

$0,561 $0,672 $0,669 $0,684 $0,698 $0,398 $0,427 $0,384 $0,458
.640 0
0)
0)
0
0
0
.745
.529
.640
.693
.435
.594
.592
.616
.440
.669
.620
.622
.737
.647
.666

.766
.600
.676
.750
.565
.628
.601
.625
.643
.691
.636
.642
.838
0)
0

.766
.599
.675
.745
.585
.624
.603
.625
.647
.684
.634
.642
.844
(i)
0

.766
.607
.670
.801
.539
.647
.567
.630
.423
.721
.619
.608
.795
0)
0

.775
.588
.692
0
.730
.689
(3)
(2)
.671
.705
.814
(2)
(2)
(0

.562
.383
.543
.485
.368
.430
.496
.538
.363
.535
.419
.576
.607
(0
0)

.538
.450
.552
.521
.361
.437
.487
.553
.366
.553
.430
.568
.654
0

.575
.355
.539
.453
.368
.424
.516
.467
.361
.492
.403
.583
.546
(i)
0

0
.362

(2)
.421
.521
(2)
(2)
.436
(2)
.460
.516
0
0

Public utilities..........................................
Electric light and power and manu­
factured and natural gas..................
Electric street-railway and city motorbus operation and maintenance.......

.536

.605

.608

.604

.528

.390

.411

.372

.517

.595

.592

.645

.630

.384

.407

.363

.361

.573

.621

.638

.585

.508

.408

.424

.394

0

Building construction...............................

.674

.833

.841

.806

.775

.454

.476

.439

.476

1 R egional average om itted to avoid disclosure of in divid u al operations.

2 D a ta insufficient to ju stify presentation of an average.

In the North and West, rates in building construction averaged
83.3 cents, as compared with 67.2 cents in manufacturing and 60.5
cents in public utilities. Although Negroes averaged slightly more
than either of the other racial groups when all industry groups were
combined, this was not the case when the industry group averages
were taken separately. In manufacturing, the Mexican average was
highest, 69.8 cents; Negroes averaged 68.4 cents, and whites other
than Mexican, 66.9 cents. In public utilities, whites other than
Mexican averaged 60.8 cents; Negroes, 60.4 cents; Mexicans, 52.8
cents. In building construction, the corresponding averages for these
races in order were 84.1 cents, 80.6 cents, and 77.5 cents an hour.
The largest spread was in public utilities which showed a range of 8.0
cents from the rate for Mexicans to that for other whites.
Among the 13 manufacturing industries in the North and West for
which averages are presented, the highest rates were in petroleum
(83.8 cents), blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling mills (76.6 cents),
and chemicals (75.0 cents). Fertilizers paid the lowest rate, 56.5



10

H O U R L Y ENTRANCE RATES,

1942

cents, showing a variation of 27.3 cents from the highest rate (pe­
troleum).
No racial group in the region maintained a consistent advantage
from industry to industry. Among the more important industries
shown for manufacturing, Negroes had the highest average rates in
chemicals and meat packing, and whites other than Mexican ranked
first in petroleum and paper and pulp. Mexicans’ rates topped those
of other workers in several industries but Mexicans were not found in
significant proportions. The largest variation evidenced within any
one industry was a difference of 24.8 cents between the Negro average
(42.3 cents) and the Mexican average (67.1 cents) in the lumber
industry.
Common-labor entrance rates for the three major industry groups
varied relatively little in the South and Southwest although there
was considerable variation among specific industries. The range was
only 6.4 cents, from the average paid in the public utilities group
(39.0 cents) to the average for building construction (45.4 cents).
The manufacturing average was 39.8 cents. Mexicans, who showed
the highest combined average for the region, had also the highest
average in manufacturing—45.8 cents an hour as against 42.7 cents
for whites other than Mexican and 38.4 cents for Negroes. Negroes
in building construction averaged 43.9 cents as compared with 47.6
cents for the other racial groups. The average for whites other than
Mexican in public utilities (41.1 cents) exceeded the averages for
Negroes (37.2 cents) and Mexicans (36.2 cents). Manufacturing
exhibited the widest range from one racial group to another.
Manufacturing industries in the South and Southwest also showed
an extreme variation of 24.4 cents between the 36.3-cent low in lumber
and the 60.7-cent high in petroleum. Ranking immediately below
petroleum were paper and pulp, and blast furnaces, steel works, and
rolling mills, with average rates of 57.6 and 56.2 cents. The second
lowest,rate (36.8 cents) was paid in fertilizers.
Whites other than Mexican, numerically fewer than the two other
racial groups combined, were at the highest rate levels in 8 of the 13
manufacturing industries for which data are shown for the South
and Southwest region. Negroes were highest in four. Mexicans, for
whom averages are published for five industries only, were highest in
one. Whites other than Mexican received higher rates than either
Negroes or Mexicans in individual public utilities.
VARIATIONS IN ENTRANCE RATES IN INDIVIDUAL INDUSTRIES

Cumulative percentages of common laborers at specified entrance
rate intervals for each of the industries studied are presented in table
5. The majority of the laborers in all industries, with the exception
of lumber and fertilizers, were paid rates between 45.0 and 90.0 cents
an hour.




11

COMMON LABORERS

T a ble 5.— Cumulative Percentage D istribution o f A dult M ale Common Laborers, by
H ourly Entrance K ates, Industry, and R egion, J u ly 1942

Auto­
mobile
parts1

Hourly entrance
rate (in cents)

Blast furnaces , steel
works, and rolling
mills

Total

Under 32.5

Under 35.0 ____
Under 37.5_______
Under 4 0 .0 ______
Under 42.5_______
Under 45.0.............
Under 47.5............
Under 50.0.............
Under 52.5.............
Under 55.0.............
Under 57.5.............
Under 60.0.............
Under 62.5.............
Under 65.0.............
Under 67.5 _____
Under 70.0.............
Under 72.5
Under 75 ft
Under 77.5
Under 8ft.ft
Under 82.5
Under 85 ft
Under 87.5
Under 9ft ft
Under 95.fl
Under 10ft ft

0.1

Brick,, tile, and terra
cotta

North South
and
Total
find
West South­
west

(2)

1.1
(2)
1.1
(2)
2.3
0.1
0.1
.3
2.3
.1
3.1
3.2
.1
3.8
3.3
.1
3.9
24.4
.2
4.1
.4
26.0
34.4
4.6
.9
5.7
35.8
1.2
11.5
50.4
2.7
50.5
12.4
3.3
13.5
57.2
4.6
15.9
58.1
7.3
67.3
20.1
11.0
69.4
21.9
13.0
82.5
16.3
24.8
98.1
92.0
98.3
98.9
93.6
99.0
94.0 * 100.0 8 100.0
98.4
99.0
100.0

1.1
5.7
5.7
15.3

0.3
.3
.3
.3
2.3
30.7
36.2
36.2
36.2
36.2
44.1
87.0
90.1
90.1
90.1
99.2
99.2
99.2
100.0

21.6

24.2
29.5
30.2
36.2
39.5
46.0
46.7
52.4
54.1
68.1
75.3
77.3
92.1
95.8
96.8
97.9
98.2
98.2
99.3
99 7
99 7
99.9
100.0

Under 105.0............

Chemicals
Hourly entrance
rate (in cents)
Total

Under 30.0...........
30.0 and under___
Under 32.5_..........
Under 35.0...........
Under 37.5____
Under 40.0______
Under 42.5...........
Under 45.0...........
Under 47.5...........
Under 50.0...........
Under 52.5...........
Under 55.0...........
Under 57.5...........
Under 60.0...........
Under 62.5...........
Under 65.0...........
Under 67.5...........
Under 70.0______
Under 72.5...........
Under 75.0...........
Under 77.5...........
Under 80.0...........
Under 82.5...........
Under 85.0...........
Under 87.5...........
Under 90.0...........
Under 95.0...........
Under 100.0..........
Under 105.0.........

0.6
.6
.6
1.3
1.9
5.6
6.3
13.8
14.3
19.2
19.3
21.5
25.6
28.6
30.9
34.7
35.7
44.6
54.9
71.1
74.1
80.8
84.9
88.2
89.2
99.7
100.0

North South
and
and
Total
West South­
west
(2)
(2)
(2)

0.5
1.1
1.8
5.2
6.2

11.4
15.4
24.1
25.1
33.3
35.8
56.5
64.4
67.2
88.2
93.7
95.2
96.9
97.4
97.4
99.0
99.5
99.5
99.9
100.0

3.3
17.4
17.4
45.8
63.8
70.6
79.8
80.1
87.8
89.8
91.6
91.6
92.1
92.1
92.1
97.9
98.4
100.0

0.5
.5
.5
1.3
1.8
2.0
2.0

13.4
14.0
23.6
27.5
37.9
44.4
55.1
56.3
93.4
96.6
96.9
98.0
99.3
99.5
100.0

Foundry and ma­
chine-shop prod­
ucts

North South
and
and
West South­
west

1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
3.9
3.9
3.9
45.4
47.5
80.6
87.8
98.8
100.0

1.0
1.0
1.3
1.3
1.4
1.4
2.2

4.8
15.0
23.4
38.1
39.7
90.8
95.2
95.6
97.2
99.0
99.3
100.0

____

Glass

North South
North South
North South
North South
and
and
and
and
and South­ Total and South­ Total and South­ Total and South­
West west
West west
West west
West west
(2)
(2)
(2)
0.4
.5
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.3
3.9
3.9
6.5
8.0.
11.8
12.0
16.9
18.2
29.5
42.6
63.3
67.1
75.6
80.8
85.0
86.3
99.7
100.0

2.5
2.5
2.5
4.3
6.6
21.5
24.9
59.6
61.4
74.8
75.3
76.3
89.8
90.0
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
100.0

See footnotes at end of table.




Fertilizers

Cement

1.7
22.5
4.6
22.6
4.6
23.8
4.6
37.4
9.0
42.2
9.7
60.3
15.6
16.4
61.0
66.7 ‘ 19.8
67.2
20.6
78.8
38.6
79.4
40.2
81.9
46.9
82.2
47.9
89.8
70.3
91.9
76.5
94.8
85.0
96.0
88.6
92.2
97.2
92.4
97.3
98.5
95.8
98.5
95.8
98.5
95.8
95.8
98.5
96.0
9St6
98.6
96.0
99.9
99.8
100.0 100.0

2.5
31.6
31.8
33.6
52.0
59.0
83.4
84.0
90.9
91.3
99.7
99.7
100.0

(*)
2.3
2.3
2.3
3.6
4.0
14.2
14.7
19.1
20.6
32.3
34.6
43.3
45.3
57.6
61.1
71.7
76.2
81.8
88.0
92.4
94.4
96.4
96.7
99.6
99.6
99.9
100.0

(2)
(2)
(2)
0.2
.2
2.8
3.1
6.3
7.0
20.0
22.0
32.3
34.6
49.0
53.2
66.0
71.4
78.1
85.6
90.9
93.3
95.7
96.0
99.5
99.5
99.9
100.0

0.1

13.4
13.4
13.4
20.4
69.9
71.6
81.7
87.1
92.4
95.9
96.8
97.7

100.0

1.3
1.3

2.2

2.6

2.8
8.7
12.7
25.3
36.5
49.3
52.5
64.9
68.7
83.5
83.9
84.7
84.8
98.7
98.7
98.8

100.0

0.1
.1
.1
.1

.2
.7

1.1
4.2
8.6

21.8

34.0
48.0
51.5
62.7
66.9
83.2
83.7
83.8
83.9
98.6
98.6
98.7

100.0

13.8
13.8
23.8
28.2
28.8
29.4
55.3
55.3
60.7
60.7
60.7
60.7
85.8
85.8
85.8
85.8
93.2
93.2

100.0

12

H O U R L Y ENTRANCE RATES,

1942

T a b le 5.— Cum ulative Percentage D istribution o f A dult M ale Common Laborers, by
H ourly E ntrance R ates, Industry, and R egion, J u ly 1942— Continued
Leather
Hourly entrance rates
(in cents)

Under 30.0.............. ............
30.0 and under____
Under 32.5
Under 35.0_ _
Under 37.5...........................
Under 40.0...........................
Under 42.5...........................
Under 45.0...........................
Under 47.5...........................
Under 50.0...........................
Under 52.5...........................
Under 55.0...........................
Under 57.5...........................
Under 60.0...........................
Under 62.5...........................
Under 65.0...........................
Under 67.5...........................
Under 70.0...........................
Under 72.5
Under 75.0...........................
Under 77.5
Under 80.0........... ..............
Under 82.5...........................
Under 85.0........ ............ ......
Under 87.5___......................
Under 90.0______________
Under 95.0...........................
Under 100.0
Under 105.0

Total

0.1
.1
.1
.3
.3
2.9
4.5
6.8
7.5
19.5
20.1
35.0
40.1
49.4
64.4
71.5
77.3
88.9
93.4
93.4
96.0
96.5
99.8
99.8
100.0

North South
and
and
Total
West South­
west

(2)
(2)

1.9
2.5
5.0
5.8
18.7
19.1
30.7
34.9
45.3
61.9
68.2
74.7
87.6
92.6
92.6
95.5
96.1
99.8
99.8
100.0

Paints and varnishes
Hourly entrance
rate (in cents)

Under 30.0.............
30.0 and under.......
Under 32.5............
Under 35.0.............
Under 37.5.............
Under 40.0.............
Under 42.5.............
Under 45.0.............
Under 47.5.............
Under 50.0.............
Under 52.5.............
Under 55.0.............
Under 57.5.............
Under 60.0.............
Under 62.5.............
Under 65.0.............
Under 67.5.............
Under 70.0.............
Under 72.5.............
Under 75.0.............
Under 77.5.............
Under 80.0.............
Under 82.5.............
Under 85.0.............
Under 87.5.............
Under 90.0.............
Under 95.0.............
Under 100.0............
Under 105.0............

Total

(a
)
1.0
1.0
2.1
3.1
3.4
9.7
9.9
16.5
16.6
33.7
36.4
41.5
41.5
49.6
51.5
60.7
66.5
70.2
75.9
89.7
90.1
91.2
91.5
91.5
94.3
99.6
100.0

1.2
1.2
1.2
1.4
1.4
10.9
21.4
22.1
22.1
26.6
29.0
72.4
85.4
85.4
85.4
100.0

0.1
.1
.3
.7
1.0
6.8
6.9
12.4
12.4
28.9
31.4
36.7
36.7
45.5
47.5
57.5
63.8
67.8
73.9
88.8
89.3
90.5
90.8
90.8
93.8
99.5
100.0

0.5
13.2
13.2
25.6
34.2
34.2
46.5
48.4
68.7
69.4
92.6
97.2
100.0

0.8

3.2
3.4
3.9
52.0
61.5
75.7
76.3
78.1
79.2
82.1
82.9
83.0
84.2
84.7
85.3
85.6

86.0

87.5
87.9
90.5
91.1
93.4
99.1
99.7
99. \
* 100.0

0.5
.5
.5
8.9
10.7
17.8
19.0
25.1
28.7
39.3
41.2
41.4
43.1
44.8
46.8
48.0
49.3
54.7
56.2
65.6
67.6
76.1
96.9
99.1
99.7
99.9

1.1
4.2
4.4
5.1
68.4
80.8
97.7
98.1
98.4
98.6
98.6
98.9
98.9
*100.0

.

North South
and
and
West South­
west

0.1
1.9
0.1
1.9
.1
1.9
.1
2.8
.2
3.0
.2
4.4
1.0
4.5
1.0
4.8
1.2
5.6
1.2
6.8
2.3
7.4
2.6
12.7
7.0
14.4
7.6
17.1
10.7
25.7
13.6
30.4
18.8
32.3
21.0
77.4
73.6
98.1
97.9
98.8
98.7
99.0
98.9
99.1
99.0
* 100.0 3100.0

0.8
13.1
13.1
13.1
18.6
19.9
25.1
25.2
26.4
32.3
34.0
36.6
47.2
55.3
55.3
98.5
100.0

100.0

Petroleum refining

North South
and
and
Total
West South­
west

(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
1.2
0.8
3.5
1.0
6.3
2.8
8.7
4.3
13.2
19.6
23.7
14.3
31.6
•22.5
43.0
27.6
59.3
47.4
65.2
54.4
79.9
71.6
85.1
78.9
88.7
84.0
89.3
84.9
92.0
88.7
92.4
89.3
92.7
89.8
99.0
98.4
« 100.0 • 100.0

Meat packing

North South
and
and
Total
West South­
west

Paper and pulp

North South
and
and
Total
West South­
west

See footnotes at end of table.




Lumber (sawmills)

(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
2.0
9.1
14.1
18.6
34.3
45.7
52.8
79.3
87.8
91.3
100.0

0.1
.1
2.4
2.4
5.7
9.6
21.0
21.9
32.8
33.5
34.9
35.7
48.6
49.4
51.3
58.6
78.0
83.4
96.6
96.8
98.3
100.0

Rubber
tires
South
and
North
and
and South­ inner
tubes1
West
west

(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
0.4
.8
1.4
1.7
3.9
4.1
5.2
6.5
15.6
16.8
19.9
30.1
64.4
71.2
93.9
94.3
96.9
100.0

0.2
.2
5.5
5.5
12.5
21.0
46.3
47.9
70.1
71.4
73.2
73.4
91.1
91.4
91.9
95.4
95.4
99.1
100.0

1.4
1.4
5.0
5.3
13.3
13.3
28.1
28.1
37.5
37.5
40.4
40.4
89.8
89.8
91.3
96.3
96.3
96.3
100.0

13

COMMON LABORERS
T

able

5 .—

Comulative Percentage Distribution o f Adult M ale Common Laborers by
H ou rly Entrance Rates, Industry, and Region , J u ly 1942 — Continued

Electric light and power
and manufactured
and natural gas
Hourly entrance
rate (in cents)

Tinder 72.5 _

Under 75.0.............
Under 77.5_______
T7nder80.0 _
TTnder 82.5
TTnder 85.0

Under 87.5.............
Under 90.0.......... .
Under 95.0........ ....
Under 100.0. __.......
Under 105.0______

Building construction

Soap1
Total

Under 30.0....... ......
30.0 and under____
Under 32.5_______
Under 35.0.............
Under 37.5.............
Under 40.0.............
Under 42.5.............
Under 45.0.............
Under 47.5.............
Under 50.0.............
Under 52.5.............
Under 55.0.............
Under 57.5.............
Under 60.0.............
Under 62.5.............
Under 65.0.............
Under 6 7 .5 ............
Under 70.0_______

Electric street-railway
and city motorbus
operation and main­
tenance

0.3
.3
.3
.4
3.7
8.9
9.0
12.9
13.4
20.9
25.9
30.8
35.1
45.9
46.7
48.8
49.5
51.7
70.1
71.2
77.9
82.2
83.6
83.6
85.0
99.1
99.7
7 99.9

1.2
8.7
9.3
10.0
18.6
19.0
31.8
32.7
40.6
41.3
58.5
58.9
63.1
63.5
71.6
76.4
83.5
85.9
91.4
96.3
97.4
98.4
98.7
98.7
98.8
99.2
99.4
99.4
100.0

North South
and
and
Total
West South­
west

North* South
and
and
Total
West South­
west

3.2
23.2
24.8
26.4
48.5
49.3
73.5
74.7
82.2
83.6
99.1
99.1
99.7
99.8
99.9
100.0

0.1
.5
2.5
18.6
22.6
76.1
87.8
90.4
93.2
97.0
97.0
99.4
99.4
99.9
100.0

(3)

0.1
.1
.2
.9
1.1
7.3
8.1
16.2
16.5
34.8
35.5
41.7
42.3
55.1
62.6
73.9
77.7
86.4
94.2
95.9
97.5
98.0
98.0
98.1
98.8
99.1
99.1
100.0

(2)

0.1
.6
4.3
5.4
19.0
22.9
27.3
29.4
35.4
40.8
48.6
49.1
53.3
57.7
70.9
90.0
91.2
98.5
98.7
99.1
99.4
99.4
99.4
99.4
99.4
99.9
100.0

0.1
.2
.4
2.3
3.9
8.8
10.6
17.2
24.2
33.6
34.3
39.5
45.2
62.4
87.1
88.6
98.1
98.3
98.8
99.2
99.2
99.2
99.2
99.2
99.9
100.0

0.3
2.8
2.8
2.8
4.7
4.7
27.3
27.4
29.0
29.0
36.5
36.5
42.4
42.6
45.4
46.1
48.5
50.7
54.0
54.0
60.2
60.7
64.5
71.5
74.4
78.5
83.7
88.6
8 97.5

North South
and
and
West South­
west
(2)
(2)

(2)
0.1
.1
2.5
2.5
3.5
3.5
7.3
7.3
7.7
7.8
11.9
12.8
16.3
16.6
22.1
22.1
32.8
33.7
40.3
50.8
55.8
62.9
71.8
80.2
9 95.7

0.8
6.7
6.7
6.7
11.0
11.0
61.6
61.7
64.1
64.1
76.6
76.6
90.0
90.3
91.3
91.8
92.7
97.6
97.9
97.9
98.0
98.0
98.0
8 100.0

1 Regional figures omitted to avoid disclosure of individual operations.
Less than a tenth of 1 percent.
* Includes less than a tenth of 1 percent receiving 85.0 cents and over.
<Includes less than a tenth of 1 percent receiving 95.0 cents and over.
# Includes less than a tenth of 1 percent receiving 60.0 cents and over.
• Includes less than a tenth of 1 percent receiving 87.5 cents and over.
? The remaining tenth of 1 percent received $1.05 and over.
«The remaining 2.5 percent received $1.05 and over.
• The remaining 4.3 percent received $1.05 and over.
2

Among the higher-wage industries, more than half of the laborers
in petroleum, and over three-fourths in blast furnaces, steel works,
and rolling mills, had rates that averaged 75.0 cents an hour or better;
and nearly half of those employed in building construction and
chemicals were paid at equivalent levels. In blast furnaces, steel
works, and rolling mills, a significant proportion—almost 75 percent
of all the common laborers at entrance rates in the industry—re­
ceived from 77.5 to 80.0 cents an hour. These workers were almost
entirely in the North.
Almost two-thirds of the laborers in fertilizers and over threefourths in lumber—industries with the lowest rates among all indus­
trial groups—averaged under 45.0 cents an hour. For both of these
industries there were important concentrations within the 35.0-37.5
and 40.0-42.5 cents intervals. Fertilizers showed the only important
concentration at exactly 30.0 cents an hour, the Fair Labor Standards
Act minimum; the concentration at 35.0 to 37.5 cents in the lumber
industry reflects the legal minimum of 35.0 cents, to which attention
has already been directed. Only six industries, four of which were
in the manufacturing group, had laborers below 30.0 cents an hour.




14

H O U R L Y ENTRANCE RATES,

1942

In none of these did workers at rates of less than 30.0 cents account
for more than 2 percent of the common laborers employed.
Variations b y Size o f C ity

' Rates tended on the whole to be higher in the larger city groups
than in the smaller ones. In cities with populations over a million
the average was 79.9 cents an hour, as compared with 45.8 cents in
cities with populations under 2,500. The indicated difference of 34.1
cents in the country as a whole was greater than that in either of the
two major geographic regions.
Rates, however, did not vary consistently with size of city, as may
be seen from table 6. In the country as a whole, cities of 250,000 to
500,000 population averaged 2.1 cents less than the next succeeding
group; and cities of 50,000 to 100,000 averaged 4.5 cents less than the
group immediately below. In the North and West the relationship
between size of city and level of entrance rate was pronounced and
relatively consistent, but in the South and Southwest this relation­
ship was not close. It appears that other factors, such as location of
specific industries, tend to counteract to some extent the influence of
city size.
T a b l e 6. — Average H ourly Entrance Rates o f Adult M ale Common Laborers in M anu­
facturing, Public Utilities, and Building Construction, b y Size o f C ity, J u ly 1942

Size of city

United
States

North and
West

South and
Southwest

All cities_____________________________________________

$0,585

$0,722

$0,411

1,000,000 and over.
r ,
_ _ _ _ _
fi00,000 and under 1,000,000 _ _
_
. ..
....... _
250,000 and under 500,000_______________________________
100,000 and under 250,000_______________________________
50,000 and under 100,000________________________________
25,000 and under 50,000- _______________________________
10,000 and under 25,000_________________________________
5,000 and under 10,000__________________________________
2,500 and under 5,000__________________________________
Less than 2,500- _____________________________________

.799
.778
.594
.615
.565
.610
.577
.499
.474
.458

.799
.778
.780
.745
.698
.697
.689
.643
.644
.604

.473
.460
.407
.438
.370
.391
.360
.374

City not reported------------------------------------------

.462

.680

.384

ENTRANCE RATES IN INDIVIDUAL CITIES

Rates for common labor varied widely from city to city. Data for
selected industries are presented in table 7 for each of the 37 cities
of 250,000 population or more.
The four cities paying the highest entrance rates in manufacturing
were all on the Pacific Coast—Oakland, Seattle, Portland, and San
Francisco. Detroit, Toledo, and Pittsburgh ranked next. All of
these cities also paid relatively high rates in building construction and
public utilities. Cities showing the lowest averages for manufacturing
were all in the South and Southwest—Atlanta, New Orleans, San
Antonio, Memphis, Dallas, Louisville, and Birmingham. Among the
largest cities, New York paid the lowest average rate.
Examination of the figures presented in table 7 reveals that en­
trance rates varied appreciably from industry to industry even within
the same city.




15

COMMON LABORERS

T able 7.— A verage H ourly Entrance Rates o f A dult M ale Common Laborers fo r Selected
C ities, by Industry, J u ly 1942
Blast
16 manu­ furnaces, Foundry
and
steel
facturing works machine- Meat
Public Building
indus­
packing1 utilities construc­
and
shop
tion
tries
rolling products i
mills 1

Population group and city

United States_ __
_

___

___

1,000,000 and over:
Chicago, Til
_ __
Detroit, Mich
Los Angeles, Calif __ . ..
... _
New York, N. Y
Philadelphia, Pa................................
600,000 and under 1,000,000:
Baltimore, Md___________________
Boston, Mass__________________
Buffalo, N. Y
Cleveland, Ohio
Milwaukee, Wis __
Pittsburgh, Pa _ _
St. Louis, Mo................................ .
San Francisco, Calif_____ _________
Washington, D. C..............................
260,000 and under 500,000:
Atlanta, Ga_ ______________ ____
_
Birmingham, Ala
Cincinnati, Ohio.
Columbus, Ohio__________ _______
Dallas, Tex
Denver, Colo _ _ __ _
___ __
Houston, Tex____ _____ __________
Indianapolis, Ind_________________
Jersey City, N. J_________________
Kansas City, Mo________________
Louisville, Ky___________________
Memphis, Tenn__________________
Minneapolis, Minn______ _________
Newark, N. J ___________________
New Orleans, La___________ _____
Oakland, Calif . __ _
____ _
Portland, Oreg
Providence, R. T
Rochester, N. Y
_
St. Paul, Minn _ _ .. _
_
_
_
San Antonio, Tex

Seattle, Wash
Toledo, Ohio_____________________

$0.561

$0,745

$0,594

$0,669

$0.536

$0,674

.723
.767
.692
.660
.689

.787
(2)
M

.638
.783
.649
.575
.702

.735
(2)
.704
.729
.564

.694
(2)
.535
.679
.551

1.031
.887
.798
.959
.817

.519
.585
.680
.652
.603
.721
.581
.874

.647
00
.559
.702
.717
00
.690
00

.613
.745
.648
00
00
.684
.547
.655
.610

00
1.000
.820
.985
.932
.806
.924
.886
.830

<
2)
.403
.513
.562
.413
.564
.505
.555
00
.565
.494

(2)
(2)
(2)
.691
.465
.694
00
00
(2)

.423
(2)
00
(2)

00

00

.389
.487
.719
.657
.493
.797
.426
.826
.919
.843
.659
.382
.891

.653
.553
.658
.728
.659
.736
.641
.779
(2)
.387
.479
.591
.605
.464
.636
.528
.556
.682
.635
.477
.462
<.572
2> «
.434
.852
.800
.667
.607
.685
.444
.815
.763

.73i
(2)
(2)
.778
.716
.779
.690

(2)
.579

.674
(2)
(2)
(2)

00

(2)

.578
.577
.477
.862
.809
(2)
(2)
.646
.392
.785
.724

.589
.650
(2)

(2)
(2)

.700
.499
.825

(2)
00
0
.604
00
.556
.400
00

(2)
.633
.371
.673
.762
(2)
0
00

0
.688
.665

00

.545
.915
.943
.740
(2)
.903
.408
1.010
.925

1 Included among 16 manufacturing industries.
2 Data insufficient to justify presentation of an average.

Trends o f Entrance Rates From 1926 to 1942

In order to permit comparison with the data for earlier years, the
1942 averages shown in table 8 have been devised directly from the
questionnaire returns, without weighting. The 1942 data, it is true,
differ from those for earlier years in that they refer to first-shift
workers alone. For a limited number of localities and industries,
shift payments were of some importance; for the United States as
a whole, however, these differentials were not found to be significant
and may be disregarded.
Included in the manufacturing group in table 8 are brick, tile, and
terra cotta; blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling mills; cement;
foundry and machine-shop products; leather; lumber (sawmills);
meat packing; paper and pulp; and petroleum refining. Data for
seven other manufacturing industries surveyed in the years since
1936 are excluded so as to retain comparability throughout the
17-year period.




16
T

able

H O U R L Y EN TRANCE RATES,
8 .—

1942

Average H ou rly Entrance Rates o f Adult M ale Common Laborers in 13
Industries, b y Industry Group, 1 9 2 6 -4 2

All indus­ 9 man­
ufacturing
tries
covered
industries

July—
1926

Public
utilities

Building
construc­
tion i

1927................................................................................
1928................................................................................
1929................................................................................
1930................................................................................
1931................................................................................

$0,426
.424
.428
.432
.429
.403

$0,401
.399
.402
.407
.405
.383

$0,420
.398
.429
.428
.446
.446

$0.471
.482
.474
.483
.470
.426

1932................................................................................
1933................................................................................
1934................................................................................
1935................................................................................
1936 ..............................................................................

.355
.333
.420
.430
.434

.318
.305
.407
.415
.425

.415
.387
.418
.420
.437

.399
.383
.455
.481
.509

1937«..............................................................................

.493
.495
.500
.507
.565
.635

.488
.486
.487
.498
.559
.616

.463
.479
.485
.477
.502
.563

.551
.578
.601
.601
.648
.724

1938 3
1939
1940
1941

_

_

.......
_______

_

_________

19424..............................................................................

i For the years 1926 to 1935, inclusive, the figures cover a small amount of construction outside of the
building industry.
* Averages for the year were computed on the basis of identical establishments for both 1937 and 1938.
* Averages for the year were computed on the basis of identical establishments for both 1938 and 1939.
4 These averages, unlike the averages appearing in the preceding tables of this report, are not weighted.
The figures for 1942 alone are based on payments to first-shift workers.

The average for all 13 industries combined in 1942 was 63.5 cents,
indicating an increase of exactly 7.0 cents over the preceding year.
The manufacturing group advanced least (5.7 cents) and building
construction had the greatest advance (7.6 cents). In each instance
the 1942 averages were higher than those shown for any year since
1926, when the Bureau’s studies of entrance rates began.





Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102