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Impact on Workers and Community of a Plant
Shutdown in a Depressed Area




B u lle tin

N o.

1264

UNITED S T A T E S DEPARTM EN T O F LABO R
la m e s P . M itc h e ll, S e c r e t a r y
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner




I m p a c t

o n

W o r k e r s

S h u t d o w n

in

a n d
a

C o m m u n ity
D e p r e s s e d

o f

a

P la n t

A r e a

Bulletin No. 1264
June 1960

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
James P. Mitchell, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sate by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D.C.




Price 40 cents

P reface
This survey of the impact o f a major plant shutdown on the
workers and their community was conducted by Dr. Richard C.
Wilcock of the Institute of Industrial Relations of the University
of Illinois, for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The primary
focus of the study is on a statistical examination of the employ­
ment and unemployment experience o f the laid-off workers, but
it also provides a case history of a few years in the life of a
community already subject to chronic unemployment and faced
with the loss of its major industry.




Contents
Page

Chapter I.
The problem and the design of the study.............................
The Mt. Vernon labor market area . . . . ..............................................
The shutdown of the Pressed Steel Car Co. s h o p s ........................
Scope of study and definitions.................................................. .................

1
1
3
4

Chapter II.
Characteristics and employment experience of the
displaced workers . . . T. . . ............... ................................................................
General characteristics of the laid-off w o rk e rs...............................
Sex and age........... ................................ ....................... ..................... ..
Education............. ....................... ............ .. . . . . . . . ...................................
Marital status and children under 1 8 , . . . . .......................... ..
Home ownership
A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................
Years of residence and place of residence.............................••••
Employment experience after the shutdown......................
Industry and area of employment...................... ..................................
Length of time in finding jobs. •••••.................................................
Occupation and skill level. ............................... .................
Earnings and income comparisons........................ ..............................
Comparison with car shop j o b s . . . .......... ............................................
The probelm of the underemployed •................................... ..
Self-employment. ................................. ............................................... ... . .
Employment status of the older worker ........................ ..

6
6
6
7
7
9
9
10
10
H
12
13
15
17
18
18

Chapter HI.
Decisions on where to live and work ............................... ..
Why nonmigrants remained in Mt. Vernon . ........................................
Why the out-of-town workers kept their homes in Mt. Vernon..
Why the migrants moved with their fa m ilie s.....................................
Comparison of employed nonmigrants with those working in
other areas ....................................................................................... ............

20
20
22
23

Chapter IV.
Unemployment and unemployment insurance......... ..
Unemployment trends in the Mt. Vernon area after
the shutdown .............................................. .............. ..............................
Unemployment of car shop w o rk e rs..............................................
Comparison of the short-term and long-term u n e m p lo y e d ......
Those unemployed at time of su r v e y ............. .................••••••••••
Those out of labor force at time of survey .••.••••••••••••••.
Age, education, and duration of u n e m p lo y m e n t...........................
The role of unemployment insurance .....................................................
Economic effects of unemployment insurance.................................
Opinions on significance of unemployment insurance for
the community............................................................................................

26

Chapter V.

25

26
27
29
30
30
30
33
35
37

Summary
A p p e nd ixes

Appendix A.

Appendix B.




43

Design of study and sampling ...............................
Subsample of mail questionnaire nonrespondents . . . . .
Analysis of subsample of nonrespondents ........................
Sampling design for interview s............................................

44
45
46

Mail questionnaire •••••••••••........... ........................... ..
Personal interview schedule................................... ..

50
52

Charts
Page

1.
2.
3.

Proportions of workers earning more than $80 a week, car
14
shop job and current job, June 1956 ............... ..............................
Estimated total weekly family incomes, by employment and
residence status, June 1956 .................................................................... 16
Proportions unemployed 6 or more months after car shop
layoff, by age and education level, April 1956 ......... ................... 32

Ta b le s
Employment and residence status of laid-off w o r k e r s.,..................
Laid-off workers by resident status, age, and educational
achievement, April 1956............. ..............................................................
3.
Laid-off workers employed at time of survey, by industry
group and by migrant status, April 1956 ........... . ............................
4.
Laid-off workers employed at time of survey, by residence
and employment status and by occupational group, April 1956.
5.
Laid-off workers by migrant status and by usual gross weekly
earnings in car shop jobs and in jobs held at time of survey,
June 1956 .......................................................................... ..............................
6.
Attitude of laid-off workers now in full-time employment,
toward current job and car shop job, June 1956 ............. ............
7.
Reasons given by laid-off workers employed in Mt. Vernon
area for preferring to stay in Mt. Vernon, multiple
responses, June 1 9 5 6 .................................................. .............................
8.
Reasons given by out-of-town workers as to why they kept
family in Mt. Vernon, June 1956 ........................................................
9.
Reasons given by migrants for moving families from Mt.
Vernon, July 1956 .......................... ............................................................
10.
Estimates of civilian labor force, Jefferson, Wayne, and
Hamilton Counties, 111. , April 195.4-April 1956.................
11.
Laid-off workers by duration of unemployment and by migrant
status, April 1956 .......................................................................................
12.
Laid-off workers, by duration of unemployment and by age
group, April 1956 ........... ...........................................................•*♦**«. .
13.
Laid-off workers by duration of unemployment and by
educational achievement, April 1956 ....................................... ..
14. Employment at Pressed Steel Car Co. and unemployment
compensation paid to all unemployed workers, Jefferson
County, 111., 1953-54, by month...........................................................
15.
Laid-off workers drawing unemployment benefits by number of
weeks of benefits and by migrant status, April 1956 . . . . . . . . .
16.
Laid-off workers by places they sought employment while
unemployed and by migrant status, June 1956.......................... ..
- 1. Stratified sample for personal interviews, June-July 1956.............
- 2 . - Analysis of use of alternates in personal interview sample . . . . .
> >

1.
2.




5
8
11
13
15
17
21
23
24
28
28
31
33
34
35
37
47
48

Chapter I.The Problem and the Design of the Study
Since World War II, the United States
as a whole has enjoyed a period of gen­
eral and widespread prosperity. Some
communities and geographic r e g i o n s ,
however, have not experienced the eco­
nomic growth and high employment levels
of the rest of the Nation. Shifts in de­
mand for products, technological change,
depletion of natural r e s o u r c e s, and
outmigration of industrial plaints have
created localized pools of unemployment.
In some areas, high rates of unemploy­
ment have per sisted over relatively long
periods of tim e.
Typically, these socalled depressed areas have been sm all
cities and towns with little diversity in
sources of employment, often depending
heavily upon one industry.

t u n i t i e s for its citizens.
The labor
surplus had r e s u l t e d from a long run
decline in employment in coal mining,
a s l o w rate of industrial growth, and
reluctance on the part of workers to
m igrate. The primary focus of the study
is on a statistical examination of the
employment and unemployment experi­
ences, during a 2 - to 3-year period, of
the workers laid off as a result of the
plant shutdown. This study, then, is a
case history of a short period of time
in the life of a community struggling to
provide adequate j o b opportunities for
its citizens.

Th e M t. V e r n o n la b o r m a rk e t a re a
This study, therefore, grew out of
concern with the persistence of unem­
ployment in such labor market areas
during periods of low national unemploy­
ment.
Although no single case study
can provide sufficient data to account
for the existence of depressed areas, a
d e t a i l e d study of such an area may
contribute to an understanding of the
problem. Further, although situations
differ g r e a t l y among such areas, an
analysis of the effects of continuing de­
pressed conditions and the ways in which
workers respond to these conditions in
one community may provide helpful in­
formation to those concerned with either
a sim ilar problem in another community
or the general problem of such depres­
sions.
This report is an account of the ef­
fects on a sm all community, Mt. Vernon,
111. , where unemployment already ex­
isted, of the shutdown of its l a r g e s t
industrial p l a n t and the community’ s
struggle to provide adequate job oppor­




The Mt. Vernon area was chosen for
study for several reasons. F irst, Mt.
Vernon was an important industrial and
trading c e n t e r in southern Illinois, a
region with serious economic problems
because of employment declines in bitu­
m inous-coal mining and in agriculture,
resulting in urban unemployment, rural
underemployment, a n d relatively lo w
average incom es. Second, the shutdown
of the P ressed Steel Car Co. car shops,
which normally had employed more than
half of the labor market area* s manufac­
turing worker s in the production of ra il­
road freight cars and truck trailers,
offered a d r a m a t i c e x a m p l e of the
problems resulting from the loss of in­
dustry in a community.
Finally, data
concerning the workers who had moved
away from the community could be ob­
tained through the cooperation of the
Brotherhood of Railway C a r m e n , the
principal union in the shutdown plant
which had r e t a i n e d an office in Mt.
1

Vernon and had a file of current add r e s s e s for almost all of its mem­
bers.
At one time, the Mt. Vernon economy,
based upon coal mining, manufacturing,
and trade, had been fairly diver se. Since
the decline or the bituminous-coal indus­
try in the midtwenties, however, there
had been a tendency toward an inadequate
number of job opportunities. 1 Although
the oil industry (crude oil extraction)
expanded rapidly in the post-World War
II period, it p r o v i d e d relatively few
new jobs for local workers.
In addi­
tion, manpower requirements in agri­
culture, which had always been a major
source of employment in the area, had
decreased. Full utilization of the area
labor force, therefore, depended upon an
expansion in industries other than min­
ing and agriculture, which had not oc­
curred.
The s h u t d o w n of its major
industrial plant aggravated this general
problem for Mt. Vernon and its labor
market area.
The 1950 C e n s u s shows an urban
p o p u l a t i o n for Jefferson County of
15, 600 (all in the city of Mt. Vernon),
a r u r a l nonfarm population of 9,437.
and a rural farm population of 10,855. 2
By the summer of 1956, when the study
was m a d e , the estimated total county
population was 35, 900, 3 no change from
1950.
The population of greater Mt.
Vernon ( i n c l u d i n g all nonfarm areas
immediately adjacent to the city) was
estimated at 22, 000. 4
Nearly all (about 99 percent) Jefferson
County r e s i d e nt s were n a t iv e -b o r n
Americans, with a great majority born
and raised in the immediate vicinity.
Most were also of the same g e n e r a l
ethnic stock, and their families, two or
more generations back, h a d migrated
from the same areas in the Border and
Southeastern States.
In A pril 1950, the leading sources
of employment in the county were agri­
culture (20 p e r c e n t ) , manufacturing
(19.7 percent), t r a d e (19. 3 percent),
an d transportation and communication
(8.6 p e r c e n t ) . 5 The once important
c o a l-m in in g industry provided only 5
p e r c e n t of the employment.
At that

2




time, 1,215 workers, o r 9 percent of
the civilian labor force of 13, 527, were
unemployed. 6 In A pril 1956, unemploy­
ment was estimated at a little over 10
percent of the labor f o r c e . 7 At both
dates, employment in freight-car build­
ing w a s a s i g n i f i c a n t factor in the
situation.
In 1950, the car shops had
a low level of employment, and by April
1956, they had been permanently closed
for 2 years.
In addition to chronic unemployment,
the area typically h ad a large amount
of underemployment; that is, many work­
ers had low earnings either because of
insufficient work or because they were
in jobs below their level of training and
skill.
Further, because m a n y of the
farms were small (frequently less than
10 acres) with much of the soil of re l­
atively poor quality, many farm ers and
farm workers depended upon off-farm
work to supplement their meager farm
income.
Since the traditional sources
of off-farm w o r k were factories and
mines, the decline in coal-mining em­
ployment an d periodic downswings in
industrial employment resulted in in-

^ m p lo y m e n t in Illin o is c o a l m i n i n g f e ll
f r o m 8 5 ,0 0 0 i n 1920 t o 1 5 ,0 0 0 i n 1 9 5 4 .
In
195 4, th e y e a r th e M t .
V e rn o n c a r shops
c l o s e d , t h e r e w e r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 2 0 ,0 0 0 p e r ­
s o n s u n e m p l o y e d i n t h e 16 s o u t h e r n m o s t
c o u n t ie s .o f I llin o is .
A p p lic a n t an d C la im a n t
S u r v e y :
S o u th e rn Illin o is A r e a , M a y -J u ly
1954, Illin o is
D e p a rtm e n t o f L a b o r ,
1954,
19 p p .
(P ro c e s s e d ).
2U . S .
D e p a rtm e n t o f C o m m e rc e ,
B u re a u
o f t h e C e n s u s , C e n s u s o f P o p u la tio n , 1950,
v o l. I I , p t.
13, p p . 56, 58, 188, 194.
3E s t i m a t e s o f P o p u l a t i o n f o r S t a t e E c o n o m i c
A r e a s , C o u n tie s , a n d C it ie s in I ll i n o i s , p . 26:
1955 t o 1 95 7.
(A r e p o r t b y th e P o p u la tio n
R e s e a rc h an d T r a in in g C e n te r, U n iv e r s it y of
C h ic a g o , to th e D e p a r t m e n t o f P u b lic H e a lth ,
S ta te o f I l l i n o i s . )
M im e o g ra p h e d .
4F r o m a n I n d u s t r i a l S u r v e y p r e p a r e d b y t h e
M t. V e r n o n C h a m b e r o f C o m m e rc e in 1956.
M u c h o f th e e x p a n s io n o f th e c it y r e s u lt e d
fro m
th e a n n e x a t io n o f s u b d iv is io n s b y th e
c it y o f M t. V e r n o n .
’ C e n s u s o f P o p u la tio n , o p . c it . , p . 172.
‘ ib id .
7L a b o r M a r k e t R e p o r t s .
R e s e a rc h and S ta t is t ie s S e c tio n .
Illin o is
S t a t e E m p lo y m e n t
S e r v ic e .

sufficient nonfarm job opportunities for
rural residents.8
During the summer of 1956, the Mt.
Vernon Chamber of Commerce esti­
mated fewer than 2,000 w o r k e r s i n
manufacturing j o b s in the area,9 with
a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1,000 e m p 1o y e d in
durable goods, largely in the fabricated
m e t a l s , electrical, and nonelectrical
machinery industries. Major products
were automotive parts, stoves, furnaces,
transformers, radiators, neon s i g n s ,
brooders, and concrete culverts. Only
two firms employed more than 250 work­
ers. Almost all nondurable goods em­
ployment ( a b o ut 850 workers) was in
shoes, apparel, and food products, with
only the shoe firm having more than 250
employees.
Total area employment (about 1, 950
workers) in manufacturing in m id -1956
was low, compared with that of 3, 300 in
1947, 3,350 in March 1949, and 2,155
in March 1950. 1 When in operation,
0
the car shops normally employed be­
tween 1,100 and 2,200 workers, account­
ing for one-third to more than one-half
of the area*s industrial workers. The
plant, therefore, was by far the largest
single i n d u s t r i a l employer, and its
closing made a large gap in the area1s
industrial job opportunities.
T h e scarcity of j o b opportunities,
even before the car shop shutdown, con­
tributed to a r e l a t i v e l y low median
family income in Jefferson County. In
1950, the annual median family income
was $2,473, compared with a median
of $3,627 for the entire State. 1
1

The shutdow n of the Pressed Steel
Car Co. shops
Although the car shops had employed
as many as 3,300 workers during their
World War II p e a k production, their
postwar employment had never greatly
exceeded 2,000, The plant, closed dur­
ing part of 1950 and 1951, o p e r a t e d
continuously from its reopening in 1951
until the final shutdown early in 1954.
Employment fluctuated widely, however,
because of the unevenness of contract
orders, characteristic of the industry.




Between February 1953 and March 1954,
layoffs occurred in all months but four.
By March, production had ceased and
only a few maintenance men and watch­
men remained.
The p a r e n t company
s h o r 11y thereafter announced that the
plant would not reopen and that the prop­
erty would be sold.
Until this announcement, many work­
ers had b e l i e v e d that the car shops
would reopen. During its long history,
the shops had been closed a number of
times and during the depression of the
1930*s, they did not operate for several
years. Because of this, some workers
c o n t i n u e d to expect a resumption of
freight-car b u i l d i n g , even after the
announcement of the closing and up until
much of the machinery and equipment was
sold at auction in the spring o f 1956.
Of the 1,908 production and mainte­
nance w o r k e r s e m p l o y e d i n 1953,
approximately 500 w e r e permanently
laid off in the first half and 300 in the
s e c o n d half of that year, and 1,100
early in 1954. 1 A ll were members of
2
the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen or
of the International Association of Ma­
chinists.
Although the total impact of a major
industrial layoff on a community and its
population can never be measured com­
pletely, the significant problems and
8F o r a s t u d y o f o f f - f a r m
w o rk b y ru ra l
r e s i d e n t s of s o u th e rn Illin o is , s e e
M . A .
H o r o w it z , F a r m a n d N o n -F a r m W o rk b y O p e n C o u n t r y R e s id e n t s in
T w o S o u th e rn Illin o is
C o u n t i e s ,
U rb a n a :
U n iv e r s it y o f Illin o is ,
(In s titu te o f L a b o r a n d I n d u s t r ia l R e la t io n s )
N ovem ber
1948.
T h e tw o c o u n t ie s
s t u d ie d
a r e im m e d ia t e ly a d ja c e n t to J e f f e r s o n C o u n ­
ty .

9Labor Market R eports, op. cit.

10U . S . D e p a r t m e n t o f C o m m e r c e , B u r e a u
o f th e C e n s u s , C o u n ty a n d C i t y D a ta B o o k ,
1952, p . 159.
(1953)
l l I b i d . , p p . 1 4 7 , 155.
“ D a t a w e r e o b t a in e d f r o m L o d g e N o . 4 2 3 ,
B r o t h e r h o o d o f R a ilw a y C a r m e n a n d L o d g e
1417, In t e r n a t io n a l A s s o c ia t io n o f M a c h in is t s .
D a t e s o f la y o ff and n u m b e rs in v o lv e d w e re
c o n f ir m e d b y th e q u e s t io n n a ir e r e s u l t s . T h e
n u m b e rs a re g i v e n a s la y o f f s b e c a u s e l e s s
t h a n 3 p e r c e n t o f th e s e p a r a t io n s i n 1953 a n d
1954 w e r e q u it s .

3

their general magnitude are clearly ap­
parent in a community as small as Mt.
Vernon.
Large-scale unemployment
affects the incomes and s t a n d a r d of
living not only of the families whose
breadwinners are without work, but also
of all those who do business with them.
Although this study emphasizes the eco­
nomic impact of the shutdown and the
post shutdown problems facing the work­
ers and the community, there were also
serious social and psychological effects.
The underlying problem, 1 of c o u r s e ,
3
was the persistence of unemployment
during a period when the overall unem­
ployment of the Nation was low.

Scope of study and d e fin itio n s
Data were obtained by means of mail
questionnaires and per sonal interviews, 1
4
An attempt was made to send question­
naires to all who had been regular pro­
duction and maintenance employees of
the Pressed Steel Car C o .'s Mt. V er­
non plant and who had left the company
in 1953 o r 1954.
T h e r e were 1,908
workers meeting this definition, but 72
persons could not be reached because
their addresses were unknown. A total
of 1,453 returned the questionnaires by
mail and 86 additional questionnaires
were completed through per sonal follow­
ups. The data presented in this report,
therefore, are based on a total of 1, 539
questionnaires, or 80.7 percent of the
survey population.
Subsequently, interviews were held
with 400 of this group of workers, rep­
resenting 21 percent of the population
being studied and 19. 2 percent of the
nonrespondents. Further details of the
manner in which the samples were drawn
are given in appendix A.
Union records showed that members
were d i v i d e d almost equally between
those 45 years of age and over and
those under 45, and this was confirmed
by questionnaire results. Analysis revealed.significantly different proportions
between the two age groups among the
employed, the underemployed, and the
unemployed in the Mt. V e r n o n labor
market area and among those employed
in other labor market areas. For this
4




reason, workers were grouped as (1)
the Mt. Vernon employed--those w i t h
full-time jobs in the Mt. Vernon labor
market area and residing in Mt. Vernon
or on rural routes served by the Mt.
Vernon Post Office; (2) the area em­
p l o y e d--those w i t h full-time jobs in
the local labor market area, but with
the post office addresses other than Mt.
Vernon; (3) the underemployed--those
living and working in the area; (4) the
unemployed--those living within the local
area; (5) the out-of-town workers—those
who still had home addresses w i t h i n
the Mt. Vernon labor market area, al­
though they were w o r k i n g elsewhere
(some of these men commuted e v e r y
day, but most of them v i s i t e d home
only on weekends); (6) the m igrants-those who were working elsewhere and
had moved with their families to areas
where they had jobs and who no longer
had home a d d r e s s e s in Mt. Vernon;
and (7) those who had withdrawn from
the labor force (table 1).
The two groups fully employed living
in the area were separated for compar­
ison between those living in Mt. Vernon
and those in the ' • h i n t e r l a n d , "
The
underemployed were placed in a separate
category because significant differences
in experiences and attitudes were ex­
pected between them and the fully em­
ployed, on the one hand, and between
the underemployed and the unemployed,
on the o t h e r .
No stratification w a s
necessary with respect to employment,
underemployment, or unemployment of
out-of-town w o r k e r s and migrants,
since these workers almost w i t h o u t
exception were fully employed.
Most p e r s o n s whose questionnaire
returns indicated a p e r m a n e n t with­
drawal from the labor force were not
interviewed, s i n c e the interview was
focused upon the workers' decisions in
their search for work both locally and
in other l a b o r market areas.
A few
persons not in the labor force were in­
terviewed, however, some of whom had
13F o r m o r e d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e p r o b ­
le m s a n d o f th e q u e s t io n s a s k e d th e l a i d - o f f
w o r k e r s , s e e a p p e n d ix A .
u T h e q u e s t io n n a ir e a n d i n t e r v i e w s c h e d u le s
a r e r e p r o d u c e d in a p p e n d ix B .

retired between the time they completed
the questionnaire and the t i m e of the
interview; others who had not responded
to the questionnaire were drawn in the
nonrespondent section o f the interview
sample.

TA BLE 1.

The questionnaires and the interviews
with laid-off workers provide the basic
data for the s t udy.
Some additional
data were obtained through interviews
with a selected group of businessmen,
public officials, and civic leaders.

Employment and residence status of laid -o ff w o rk ers1
Interview sample.,
Ju n e-Ju ly 1956

Questionnaire sample^
M arch-M ay 1956
Employment and
residence status

Returns
by m ail2

Mt. Vernon em ployed-job in a re a and Mt.
Vernon a d d r e s s ........................
A rea em ployed--job in
a re a and non-Mt.
Vernon a d d r e s s ........................
U nder employed- - j ob
and residence in a r e a . . . . . . .
U nemployed- - re sidence
in a r e a ...................... ...................
Out-of-town' w o rk e rs..................
M igran ts.................... ............ ........
Out of labor fo r c e ........................

O riginal
s am ple4

Total
respondents

Interviews
com pleted5

P e r­
cent

Num­
ber

P e r­
cent

Num­
ber

P er­
cent

Num­
ber

P er­
cent

86

100

1, 539

100

333

683

400

100

16

28

32

266

17

93

23

120

30

267

19

24

28

291

19

56

14

90

22

169

12

4

5

173

11

42

11

35

9

175
195
275
134

12
13
19
9

4
12
4
10

5
14
5
11

10
12
13

34
50
56
15

8
13
14
4

Num­
ber
Total ..............................................

Non­
respondents
contacted3

P e r­
cent

1,453

100

238

Num­
ber

179
207
279
144

12
14
18
9

41
49
52
—

—

xOf a total population of 1,908 laid -off w orkers, 455 failed to return the m ail questionnaire. Of the 455,
86 p ersons were subsequently contacted and filled out the m ail questionnaire. These were then added to the
original 1,453 who had responded by m ail for a total "re sp o n se " of 1, 539- F rom this group, a sam ple of 400
was selected for interview, 75 of whom were originally nonrespondents.
2Although the questionnaires w ere returned over a 2-month period, late M arch to late May 1956, a m ajority
were received during A pril.
3Excluding 72 nonrespondents who could not be reached by m ail and whose current a d d re sse s could not be
o b t a i n e d , a sam ple of 86 nonrespondents w a s selected and those selected completed questionnaires when
v isited by in terview ers.
4The sam pling distribution was based on data from the m ail questionnaire return s. D etails a r e given in
appendix A.
*T he d i ffe r e n c e b e tw e e n the d is tr ib u tio n o f in t e r v ie w e e s and the o r i g i n a l in t e r v ie w s a m p le r e s u lt s f r o m
b o th the d is tr ib u tio n o f n o n r e s p o n d e n ts in to the o th e r c a t e g o r ie s and s o m e sh iftin g o f statu s by in t e r v ie w e e s
b e tw e e n the tim e th ey c o m p le t e d q u e s tio n n a ir e s and the tim e o f in t e r v ie w .

6The rem ainder of the original sam ple was drawn from the questionnaire n o n r e s p o nd e nt groups.
footnote 1 above.




See

5

Chapter 1L Characteristics and Em
ploym Experience
ent
ot the Displaced Workers
Before the shutdown, the production
and maintenance w o r k e r s at the Mt.
Vernon car shops were employed full­
time w i t h regularly scheduled w o r k ­
weeks.
More than 2 years later, of
the 1,539 workers who responded to the
mail questionnaires1 concerning their
5
employment experience after the layoff,
almost one-third (32 p e r c e n t ) w e r e
either unemployed, underemployed, or
out of the labor force.
A n o t h e r 32
percent were fully employed, although
in other labor market areas.
Only a
little more than one-third of the re s­
pondents (36 percent), therefore, h ad
full-time jobs in the Mt. Vernon labor
market area. Many of those employed
in Mt. Vernon, f u r t h e r m o r e , were
working full time and at the same or
a higher skill level, but were earning
substantially less than they had earned
in the car shops.

G eneral characteristics of the
la id -o ff w o rk e rs
For purposes of analysis, the ques­
tionnaire respondents w e r e classified
with respect to employment status and
their place of residence. In the anal­
ysis, it was found that significant re ­
l a t i o n s h i p s existed between certain
p e r s o n a l characteristics, on the one
hand, and employment and migration
experience, on the other.
Sex and age

Of the 1,908 production and main­
tenance w o r k e r s laid o f f at the car
s h o p s , only 20 were women;1 there­
6
fore, no attempt was made to analyze

6




postshutdown employment experience by
sex.
Age was a significant variable in the
study. Fifty-two percent of the respond­
ents, but only 48 percent of those still
in the labor force, were 45 y e a r s of
age or over. Of those still in the labor
force, only 4 percent were under age
25 and 20 percent were between 25 and
35.
The largest proportions w e r e in
the 35-54 age bracket, with 28 percent
between 35 and 45 years, and 28 per­
cent from 45 through 54. The remain­
ing 20 p e r c e n t were 55 or older, of
whom 3 percent were 65 or more years
of age (table 2).
The relatively high average age of
the laid-off workers is of significance
because older workers, in g e n e r a l ,
have more difficulty in finding jobs than
do younger workers.
Further, t h o s e
over age 45 were long-service workers
at the car shops; 76 percent had been
employed there at least 10 years, and
35 percent, 30 years or more. Except
for severed previous temporary shut­
downs, most of these workers had not
faced the problem of job seeking for
many years, and now found themselves
in the labor market applying for indus­
trial jobs that were open for the most
part only to workers under 45.
In general, younger workers w e r e
more successful in f i n d i n g full-time
jobs than the older workers. The area
e m p l o y e d had the highest proportion
(64 percent) under 45 years of age, and
the migrants the next highest proportion
15S e e a p p e n d i x B .
l6 l l o f t h e 1 , 5 3 9 m a i l
s p o n d e n ts w e re w o m e n .

q u e s t io n n a ir e

re ­

(59 percent).
Fifty-three percent of
the Mt, Vernon employed and the out-oftown workers were under age 45, while
of th e underemployed and th e u n e m ­
ployed, only 41 and 30 percent, respec­
tively, we re under 45 y e a r s of age.
Only a few of t h o s e w h o had left the
labor force (11 percent) we re under 45
and these we re either in military serv­
ice or were physically disabled.

Education

At the time of the survey, in addi­
tion to being younger, on the average,
the fully employed also reported m o r e
years in school than those in the other
groups. Their success in finding full­
time j o b s w a s undoubtedly influenced
by both age and education. 1
7
Of the entire group, 64 percent had
completed only eight grades of school
or less; 50 percent had finished grade
school, and 14 percent had left school
before the eighth grade. The other 36
percent had at least s o m e high school
training; 20 percent had completed high
school or more, but less than 2 per­
cent reported any college w o r k (table 2).
The amount of education, however,
w a s not significantly r e l a t e d to skill
level in the car shops, wh er e m o s t jobs
apparently had required no m o r e than
a grade-school education.
Al most as
high a proportion of m e n with eight or
less grades of schooling w e re found in
skilled jobs as in semiskilled and u n ­
skilled ones. M o s t of the skilled w o r k ­
ers with little formal education, h o w ­
ever, were m e n with m a n y years of ex­
perience on the job, whose lack of educa­
tion apparently wa s balanced by senior­
ity and experience. After layoff, h o w ­
ever, the combination of age and little
formal education proved a h a n d i c a p .
Older w o r k e r s were unemployed for
longer periods than younger workers,
on the average, and those with gradeschool educations had longer un employ­
m e n t than those w h o had been through
high school.
Whether the lower level
of education or the higher age w a s the
greater handicap in f i n d i n g n e w jobs
will be discussed later in this chapter.




One f i n d i n g of interest is that the
out-of-town w o r k e r s were n o t o n l y
some wh at older than the migrants but
also had averaged m o r e years in school.
They w e re also above average in other
respects, such as earnings and skill
level at the car shops, wage earnings
at the time of the survey, and average
family income. The explanation s e e m s
to be that s o m e of these workers had
the skills and experience desired by e m ­
ployers located not too far beyond the
b o u n d a r i e s of the Mt. Vernon labor
ma rk et area.

M arital status and children u n d er 18

A m o n g the questionnaire respondents,
92 percent were married and 62 per­
cent had children under 18 years of age.
With the exception of those w h o had left
the labor force, therefore, almost all
of the respondents could be considered
breadwinners with family responsibili­
ties. Family responsibility, as m e a s ­
ured by the proportions married and the
presence of c h i l d r e n under 18, w a s
roughly similar for each of the em pl oy­
m e n t status groups. The small differe n c e s that e x i s t e d s e e m e d to b e
as s o c i a t e d primarily w i t h place of
residence. Higher proportions of both
the area employed and the out-of-town
workers lived on farms than those in
the other groups, and these two groups
had so me wh at higher p r o p o r t i o n s of
children under 18. The migrants also
had m o r e c h i l d r e n under 18, on the
average, and this fact is probably re­
lated to the y o u n g e r average age of this
group.
S o m e nonmigrants mentioned t h e i r
school-age c h i l d r e n as a reason for
staying in Mt. Vernon--the c h i l d r e n
could stay in the s a m e schools and keep
the s a m e friends.
A n u m b e r of the
out-of-town workers reported that they
w e re keeping t h e i r f a m i l i e s in Mt.
17B ecau se of the h isto ric a l upward trend in
y e a rs of school com pleted, younger w orkers
in g en eral have had m ore y e a rs of school
than o l d e r w ork ers.
The relation sh ip b e ­
t w e e n age, education, and length of unem ­
ployment is exam ined in chapter IV.

7

00




T A B L E 2.

L a i d - o f f w o r k e r s b y r e s id e n t sta tu s,

age,

and e d u c a tio n a l a c h ie v e m e n t ,

A p r il

1956

(P e r c e n ta g e d is tr ib u tio n )
By age1
A ge o f la id -o ff w o rk e rs

T o ta l o f
sa m p le in
la b o r f o r c e

T o ta l
m ig r a n ts

O u t- o f tow n
w ork ers

T o ta l
n on­
m ig r a n ts

M t.

V ern on
n on e m p lo y e d

A rea
e m p lo y e d

U nder­
e m p lo y e d

Un­
e m p lo y e d

Out o f
la b o r f o r c e

T o t a l .................................................

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

U nd er age 45 .............................
U nd er 2 5 ............................. • • •
2 5 -3 4 ............................................
3 5 -4 4 .....................................
A g e 45 and o v e r ........................
4 5 -5 4 ............................................
5 5 -6 4 ............................................

52
4
20
28
248
28
17
3
1, 395

59
7
25
27
41
26
15
0
279

53
4
17
32
47
36
11
(3)
207

50
3
20
27
50
26
19
5
909

53
2
23
28
47
26
16
5

64
5
26
33
36
24
10
2

41
2
11
28
59
27
28
4
173

30
2
11
17
70
29
33
8
179

11
6
4
1
89
8
18
63
144

N u m b e r in s a m p le ....................

«

B y e d u c a tio n a l a c h ie v e m e n t4

Y e a r s o f s c h o o lin g of
la id -o ff w ork ers

T o ta l o f
sa m p le in
la b o r f o r c e

T ota l
m ig r a n ts

O u t- o f tow n
w ork ers

T o ta l
n on ­
m ig r a n ts

M t.

V ern on
n on e m p lo y e d

A rea
e m p lo y e d

U nder­
e m p lo y e d

Un­
e m p lo y e d

Out o f
la b o r f o r c e

T o t a l .................................................

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

8 y e a r s o r l e s s ........................
7 o r u n d er ...............................
8 y e a r s .......................................
9 y e a r s o r m o r e .....................
9 - 1 1 ...................... ................ ..
12 y e a r s o r

64
14
50
36
16

60
13
47
40
17

57
13
44
43
20

67
15
52
33
15

62
15
47
38
18

59
9
50
41
14

78
11
57
22
10

78
27
51
22
15

82
41
41
18
8

20
1,3 6 1

23
278

23
199

18
884

20
260

27
283

12
169

7
172

10
131

N u m b e r in s a m p le . . . . . . . .

*B ased on a sa m p le o f 1, 539 re s p o n d e n ts .
2P r o v id e d th o se not in the la b o r f o r c e a r e in clu d e d .
3L e s s than 0. 5 p e r c e n t .
4B a s e d on a sa m p le o f 1, 492.
S ource:

No data fo r 34 r e s p o n d e n ts .

M a il q u e s tio n n a ir e data.

V e r n o n for the s a m e r e a s o n .
The
migrants, on the other hand, frequent­
ly reported that they had m o v e d their
families so that the family would be
together and in order that their higher
incomes would p e r m i t better care of
their children.
H om eow nership

Families and family ties contributed
to the s t r o n g sense of c o m m u n i t y
attachment a m o n g the laid-off workers.
Strengthening their attachment w a s their
long residence in the area and the high
i n c i d e n c e of homeownership. While
working at the shops, 74 percent of the
workers had owned their homes. In the
2 j years after the shutdown, this pro­
portion had d r o p p e d o n l y 3 percent,
d e s p i t e m u c h unemployment and the
acceptance by m a n y of the workers of
jobs in other labor market areas.
O w n e r s h i p of h o m e s in the Mt.
Vernon area declined m o r e markedly on
t h e part of m i g r a n t s t h a n of other
groups. W h e n working at the shops, 67
percent of these w o r k e r s had owned
their homes; at the time of the survey,
the proportion had declined to 51 per­
cent. A m o n g the out-of-town workers,
however, there w a s no significant change
in homeownership (a slight i n c r e a s e
f r o m 74 to 76 percent). This w a s not
surprising, since these m e n reported
their intention to live in or near Mt.
Vernon as long as possible.
T h e c o n t i n u e d ownership of Mt.
Vernon area h o m e s by 51 percent of the
migrants appeared m o r e surprising. Al­
though this m a y have been due, to s o m e
extent, to kn o w n or imagined depressed
real estate values, it nevertheless sug­
gests that m a n y of those w h o had m o v e d
away with their families still hoped to
return.
For other g r o u p s , homeownership
changed relatively little between the lay­
off and the survey, remaining almost
unchanged for the Mt. Vernon employed
and for the underemployed. A m o n g the
area employed, homeownership even in­
creased slightly, perhaps because s o m e
workers bought small farms after the




layoff. A m o n g those w h o left the labor
force, homeownership fell f r o m 77 to
73 percent.
H o m e o w n e r s h i p a m o n g the u n e m ­
ployed fell somewhat m o r e than for the
other groups still l i v i n g in the area,
declining f r o m 72 percent to 63 percent
in the
years after the layoff. One
reason that homeownership did not fall
m o r e precipitously for the unemployed
wa s that m a n y of this group were older
persons w h o had finished paying for their
h o m e s while working at the shops. The
fact that those w h o had skilled jobs at
the shops m o r e often owned their h o m e s
(79 percent) than did the unskilled (67
percent) m a y be as m u c h the result of a
higher average age as of higher income s.

Years of residence and place of residence

For almost all of the laid-off w o r k ­
ers, Mt. Vernon or a neighboring town
w a s " h o m e . n Practically all (99 per­
cent) had lived in the Mt. Vernon area
at least 5 years and 85 percent, 20 or
more years.
E v e n the migrants had
only a slightly shorter residence in the
area than th e laid-off w o r k e r s as a
whole, 8 p e r c e n t having lived in the
area less than 10 years, co m p a r e d with
3 percent of the nonmigrants.
Not o n l y had m o s t of the laid-off
workers lived in the area all or m o s t
of their lives, but few had m o v e d around
within the area. With the exception of
the migrants, t h o s e w h o had lived in
Mt. Vernon before the shutdown were
still living at the s a m e addresses at the
time of the survey, as we re those w h o
lived elsewhere in Jefferson County or
in neighboring counties.
Since place of residence w a s found
to be related to em pl oy me nt experience
alter the shutdown, it is interesting to
examine the geographical location of the
car shop workers while employed at the
shop. Although a few lived as far as
50 miles away, 95 percent lived within
a radius of 30 miles and 58 percent,
within 10 miles. The long-service w o r k ­
ers, for the m o s t part, lived w i t h i n
short commuting distances, even though
9

a sizable p r o p o r t i o n lived in nearby
rural areas. M a n y of the long-distance
c o m m u t e r s , on the other hand, had
wo rk ed for relatively short periods at
the shops.
For example, only 7 per­
cent of t h o s e w h o l i v e d 20 or m o r e
miles a w a y had w o r k e d 20 or m o r e
years in the car shops, whereas 43 per­
cent of those w h o lived within 1^ miles
had had a similar amount of service.
In the total group of nonmigrants, at
the time of the survey about 30 percent
lived in Mt. Vernon, about 50 percent
lived e l s e w h e r e in Jefferson County,
and the remaining 20 percent lived in
adjacent counties. A m u c h higher pro­
portion of the unemployed (46 percent)
and out-of-the-labor-force (59 percent)
groups had Mt. Vernon addresses than
did the fully employed (25 percent) and
underemployed (17 percent).
Concentration of the u n e m p l o y e d
and the retired in and near Mt. Vernon,
and of the underemployed in Jefferson
County outside of Mt. Vernon and outof-the -county places of residence, re­
flects the l a b o r market situation that
existed in the area. M a n y city dwellers
w h o could not find industrial em pl oy me nt
had no alternative sources of em p l o y ­
ment, t
whereas m a n y of those in rural
areas lived on small farms and earned
s o m e income f r o m farming. Also, the
rural dwellers were m o r e likely to have
skills and experience that enabled them
to find odd jobs and thus avoid complete
unemployment. M o r e of those residing
in rural areas would have been classi­
fied as unemployed or fully retired were
it not for the incomes f r o m their farms.
M a n y of the farmers were classified as
underemployed because of the low in­
c o m e s received f r om their farms.

Em ploym ent experience
a fte r the shutdow n
At the time of the survey, 79 per­
cent of the car shop workers we re e m ­
ployed. M o s t of these had experienced
previous unemployment which will be
r e v i e w e d in chapter IV.
In the re­
mainder of this chapter, the post shut­
d o w n em ployment experiences of the car
shop workers are examined.

10




In d u stry and area of e m p lo ym e n t

At the time of the questionnaire sur­
vey in the spring of 1956, only 53 per­
cent of t h o s e with full-time jobs (36
percent of the total sample) were w o r k ­
ing in the Mt. V e r n o n area.
Of the
fully e m p l o y e d w o r k i n g in the Mt.
Vernon area, m o r e than half (52 per­
cent) had non-Mt. Vernon addresses.
W i t h manufacturing em pl oy me nt at a
very low level and a majority of these
p e o p l e l i v i n g on farms or in small
communities, the largest source of local
employment w a s agriculture (41 per­
cent).
F e w e r of the group had found
jobs in m a n u f a c t u r i n g (15 percent),
trade (12 p e r c e n t ) , and services (11
percent).
Despite the empl oy me nt of
s o m e of this group in manufacturing, a
majority remained in manual work, and
this majority b e c o m e s even greater if
f a r m i n g is included as manual w o r k
(table 3).
In contrast with those fully employed
in the Mt. Vernon area, a majority of
the out-of-town workers a n d migrants
were in manufacturing jobs. Eighty-one
percent of the out-of-town workers and
73 percent of the migrants were working
in r a i l r o a d car shops18 or in o t h e r
manufacturing jobs. The largest n u m ­
ber of out-of-town workers we re e m ­
p l o y e d in the East St. Louis-Granite
City-Alton area of Illinois, but others
were in Decatur, Shelbyville, Springfield, Peoria, and L a Grange, 111. ; St.
Louis, Mo. ; and Washington, Ind.
The m i g r a n t s w e r e m o r e widely
scattered than the out-of-town workers,
but a large majority we re l i v i n g and
working in Illinois (78 percent); 14 per­
cent were in other Midwestern States,
and 8 percent were outside the Midwest.
The largest concentrations of migrants
were in the greater Chicago area, for
the m o s t part in industrial suburbs west
and south of Chicago, and in the greater
St. Louis area, in the industrial area
on the Illinois side of the Mississippi
River, where m a n y of the out-of-town
workers were also employed.
B ecau se the jo b s a re so s im ila r, w ork ers
in ra ilro a d ca r building and in re p a ir w ere
grouped together.

T A B L E 3.

L a id - o ff w o rk e rs em ployed at tim e of su rvey , by in du stry group and by m ig ran t
sta tu s, A p ril 1956
(P ercen tage d istrib u tio n )

Industry group

T otal
sa m p le 1

M ig ran ts

N on m igran ts2

Out- of-town
w o rk e rs

T otal _ T..........t ...........................

100

100

100

100

R a ilro a d c a r shops . . . . . . .
Other m a n u fa c tu r in g ............
E x tra c tiv e in d u str ie s ............
T rad e ..........................................
S e r v ic e s .....................................
C on struction . ................... • . .
A gricu ltu re 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . .
T ran sp o rtatio n and
c o m m u n ica tio n ...................
O ther...................................

11
30
4
9
10
5
25

17
56
1
5
9
5
3

2
15
5
12
11
6
41

35
46
4
4
6
2
1

3
3

3
1

4
4

1
1

1, 162

277

678

207

Num ber in sam p le

in a d e q u ate or no d ata fo r 54 additional resp o n d en ts.
in a d e q u a te d ata fo r 52 addition al resp o n d en ts.
and th ese w ere not c la s s ifie d by in d u stry.
Source:

F o r exam p le, a num ber in dicated odd jo b s ,

M ail qu estion n aire data.

The remaining migrants were wide­
ly dispersed with concentration in the
Decatur a n d Peoria, 111., areas.
Of
the 22 p e r c e n t living and working in
other States, a majority were in the
n e i g h b o r i n g States of I n d i a n a and
Missouri. For those w h o went long dis­
tances, the favorite States were Texas,
California, and Florida.
N o specific data were obtained on the
reasons for moving to particular c o m ­
munities. Although m o s t of the migrants
first found jobs before they m o v e d to
a n a r e a , it is not k n o w n w h y they
applied in particular places. A n u m b e r
were recruited b y firms that c a m e to
Mt. Vernon for that p u r p o s e .
Since
almost all of the m i g r a n t s and their
wives w e r e Mt. Vernon natives, it is
unlikely that m a n y had family reasons
for moving to particular communities.
Those w h o went to Texas, Florida, and
California m a y have been attracted as
m u c h by climate as by job opportunities
or by relatives and friends w h o pre­
ceded them.




Length of time in finding jobs

In addition to the major differences
in types of employment, another sig­
nificant difference between the out-oftown workers and migrants on the one
hand and the employed nonmigrants on
the other, is in the length of service in
the jobs held at the time of the survey.
H a l f of the nonmigrants had b e e n on
such jobs 2 or m o r e y e a r s , whereas
only 14 percent of the out-of-town w o r k ­
ers and migrants had that a m o u n t of
service. T w o factors account for this.
One is that a large proportion of non­
migrants, and particularly those w h o had
farms, took other jobs immediately after
the car shop layoff.
The other factor
is that m o r e out-of-town workers and
migrants than of the other group had
two or m o r e j o b s a f t e r the layoff.
A m o n g the nonmigrants, 39 percent of
the employed with Mt. Vernon addresses
and 36 percent of the area employed had
two or m o r e jobs after the layoff, by the
date of the survey. In contrast, 52 per­
cent of the out-of-town workers and 61

11

p e r c e n t o f the m ig r a n t s r e p o r t e d tw o o r
m o r e j o b s a fte r le a v in g the c a r s h o p s .
W o r k h i s t o r i e s o b ta in e d in the i n t e r ­
v ie w s sh ow that a n u m b e r o f the o u to f -t o w n w o r k e r s and m ig r a n t s h ad o b ­
t a i n e d s o m e k in d o f s to p g a p e m p lo y ­
m e n t in the M t. V e r n o n a r e a b e fo r e
a c c e p t in g j o b s o u ts id e . L a y o f fs , lo w in c o m e s , o r l o c a l e m p lo y m e n t at lo w e r
than c u s t o m a r y s k ill l e v e l s w e r e a m o n g
t h e f a c t o r s le a d in g to t h e d e c i s i o n to
a c c e p t o u t - o f - a r e a e m p lo y m e n t.
R e l a t i v e l y fe w o f th o s e la id o ff,
t h e r e f o r e , im m e d ia t e ly sou g h t w o r k in
o th e r l a b o r m a r k e t a r e a s . A t the tim e
o f the s u r v e y , h o w e v e r , Z\ y e a r s a fte r
the l a r g e s t p a r t o f the l a y o f f , m o s t o f
the o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s a n d m ig r a n t s
h ad b e e n w o r k in g o u ts id e the M t. V e r n o n
a r e a f o r w e ll o v e r a y e a r .
F ou rteen
p e r c e n t h ad b e e n w o r k in g in o th e r a r e a s
s in c e 1953 (7 p e r c e n t s in c e the s p r in g
o f that y e a r ) ; 47 p e r c e n t had ta k en o u t­
s id e jo b s d u r in g 1954; 20 p e r c e n t d i d
s o b e tw e e n J a n u a ry th ro u g h June 1955;
and the r e m a in in g 19 p e r c e n t b e g a n to
w o r k in o th e r a r e a s a f t e r t h a t d a te .
T h is p a tte r n s u g g e s t s r e lu c t a n c e on the
p a r t o f w o r k e r s to s e e k and a c c e p t jo b s
in o th e r a r e a s . T h is is a ls o b o r n e out
b y r e s p o n s e s in the p e r s o n a l in t e r v ie w s
and b y the f a c t that m o s t o f the o u t - o f tow n w o r k e r s and m ig r a n t s e x p e r i e n c e d
a c o n s i d e r a b le a m ou n t o f u n e m p lo y m e n t
b e f o r e m ig r a t in g to o th e r j o b s . 19
A lm o s t a l l o f the l a i d - o f f c a r sh op
w o r k e r s r e p o r t e d that th ey had w a n ted
l o c a l e m p lo y m e n t , and m o s t o f th o s e
w h o a c c e p t e d jo b s in o th e r a r e a s d id so
b e c a u s e (1) th ey w e r e u n w illin g to take
the k in d o f w o r k a v a ila b le to th e m in
the l o c a l m a r k e t ; (2) t h e y w e r e r e ­
c r u it e d b y o u ts id e e m p lo y e r s and a c ­
c e p t e d b e c a u s e no c o m p a r a b l e jo b s
s e e m e d to b e a v a ila b le o r a b ou t to b e ­
c o m e a v a ila b le ; o r (3) t h e y h ad b e e n
u n a b le to fin d s u ita b le jo b s in the l o c a l
a r e a and fu r t h e r u n e m p lo y m e n t w a s in ­
t o l e r a b l e . T h e o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s and
m ig r a n t s h ad , t h e r e f o r e , on the a v e r a g e ,
ta k e n lo n g e r in fin d in g t h e ir f i r s t jo b s
a fte r the la y o f f t h a n the n o n m ig r a n ts .
S ix t y -t h r e e p e r c e n t o f the M t. V e r n o n
a d d r e s s e m p lo y e d and 74 p e r c e n t o f the
a r e a e m p lo y e d o b ta in e d t h e ir f i r s t jo b s
w ith in 6 m o n th s o f l a y o f f . In c o n t r a s t ,

12




o n ly 50 p e r c e n t o f the o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k ­
e r s and 57 p e r c e n t o f the m ig r a n t s fo u n d
th e ir f i r s t jo b s w ith in 6 m o n th s ,

Occupation and skill level
D e s p ite t h e ir r e lu c t a n c e to s e e k and
take jo b s o u ts id e the M t. V e r n o n a r e a ,
the o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s a n d m ig r a n t s
m o r e o fte n f o u n d jo b s at h ig h e r s k ill
l e v e l s and e a r n in g s than d id the n o n m i­
g r a n t s . A t the tim e o f the s u r v e y , 40
p e r c e n t o f the o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s and
36 p e r c e n t o f the m i g r a n t s w e r e i n
s k ille d m a n u a l j o b s , c o m p a r e d w ith 18
and 15 p e r c e n t o f the M t. V e r n o n a d ­
d r e s s and M t. V e r n o n a r e a e m p lo y e d .
F a r m in g w a s n o t c o u n te d a s a s k ille d
m a n u a l jo b and d a ta w e r e d is t o r t e d b y
the h ig h p r o p o r t io n s o f l o c a l e m p lo y e d
w h o w e r e in a g r i c u l t u r a l j o b s .
(See
ta b le 4. )
In t h e a b s e n c e o f c o m p le t e d a ta on
tr a in in g a n d e x p e r i e n c e , r e la t iv e s u c ­
c e s s o f the s e v e r a l g r o u p s in fin d in g
w o r k at s u ita b le s k ill l e v e l s and e a r n ­
in g s m u s t be e x a m in e d i n r e la t io n to
o c c u p a t io n , s k ill l e v e l , and e a r n in g s in
the c a r s h o p s . O f the s e v e r a l c a t e g o r i e s
o f th o s e w h o w e r e e m p lo y e d at the tim e
o f the s u r v e y , the o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s
r e p o r t e d the g r e a t e s t le n g th o f s e r v i c e
and the h ig h e s t a v e r a g e s k ill l e v e l at
the c a r s h o p s .
S ix t y - f o u r p e r c e n t in
th is g r o u p h ad b e e n 10 o r m o r e y e a r s
at the s h o p s , c o m p a r e d w ith 49 p e r c e n t
o f t h e m ig r a n t s and 47 p e r c e n t o f the
n o n m ig r a n ts . B o th the m ig r a n t s and the
o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s h ad a ls o h ad h ig h e r
s k ille d j o b s , o n the a v e r a g e , than the
n o n m ig r a n ts . P r o p o r t i o n s e m p lo y e d in
s e m is k il le d o r s k ille d jo b s at t h e c a r
s h o p s w e r e : M t. V e r n o n a d d r e s s , 72 p e r ­
ce n t; M t. V e r n o n a r e a , 68 p e r c e n t ; o u to f - t o w n w o r k e r s , 84 p e r c e n t ; and m i ­
g r a n t s , 87 p e r c e n t . 20
S k i l l l e v e l at the c a r s h o p s w a s a
m in o r r e a s o n th at 40 p e r c e n t o f the o u to f -t o w n w o r k e r s and 22 p e r c e n t o f the

19The interview responses are examined in
chapter III and the u n e m p l o y m e n t data in
chapter IV.
20These proportions were obtained from in­
terview data.

TABLE 4.

Laid-off workers employed at time of survey, by r e s i d e n c e and employment
status and by occupational group, April 1956

(Percentage distribution)
Occupational group

T otal.............

Total
sample1

Mt. Vernon
employed

Area
employed

100

100

100

Professional and
managerial..........
Clerical and sales .
Services . . . . . . . . . .
Agricultural............
Skilled3.....................
Semiskilled3.......... ..
Unskilled3.................

25
24
23
14

Number in sample.

1, 157

5
3

8

6

10
22

Under
Out-of-town
employed2
workers

100

18
24
13

7
4
3
40
15
17
14

3
84
4
3
3

263

287

127

5

100

3

Migrants

100

2

4

4
3

—

2

20

7
5
36
31
15

205

275

—

40
31

J
No data or inadequate data for 59 additional respondents.
2Some of these did not furnish adequate information to classify by occupational group.
3Manual jobs in manufacturing, extraction, construction, etc.
Source:

Mail questionnaire data.

m ig r a n t s w e r e in the s a m e o c c u p a t io n s
th e y h e ld at the c a r s h o p s , in c o n t r a s t
w ith a m e r e 4 p e r c e n t o f the n o n m ig r a n t
e m p lo y e d w h o w e r e s t i l l in the s a m e
o c c u p a t io n . M u ch m o r e im p o r ta n t w a s
the f a c t that m o r e o f th o s e w h o w e n t to
o th e r l a b o r m a r k e t s fou n d j o b s in m a n u ­
fa c t u r in g o r in r a i lr o a d c a r s h o p s . O f
th o s e w h o fou n d o th e r c a r sh op j o b s , 53
p e r c e n t s ta y e d at the s a m e s k ill l e v e l ,
w h e r e a s 31 p e r c e n t m o v e d to h ig h e r
s k ill j o b s . O f th o s e w h o to o k o th e r than
c a r sh op m a n u fa c tu r in g jo b s in o t h e r
a r e a s , 62 p e r c e n t r e m a in e d at the s a m e
l e v e l and 19 p e r c e n t m o v e d up.
A m o n g th o s e w ith f u l l - t i m e j o b s in
the M t. V e r n o n a r e a , d i f f e r e n c e s e x is t e d
b e tw e e n th o s e w ith M t. V e r n o n and n o n M t. V e r n o n a d d r e s s e s .
O f the M t.
V e r n o n a d d r e s s e m p lo y e d , 72 p e r c e n t
h ad w o r k e d in the s h o p s 5 o r m o r e
y e a r s , c o m p a r e d w ith 45 p e r c e n t o f the
n o n -M t. V e r n o n a d d r e s s g r o u p , i n d ic a t ­
in g that m a n y o f the f o r m e r g r o u p h ad
b e e n la id o f f la t e r than th o s e r e s id in g
in the M t. V e r n o n a r e a .




M o s t o f th o s e w ith l o c a l a r e a e m ­
p lo y m e n t a ls o e x p e r i e n c e d m a jo r in d u s t r i a l and o c c u p a t io n a l s h ift s .
E ig h ty
p e r c e n t o f th e M t. V e r n o n a d d r e s s e m ­
p lo y e d a n d '88 p e r c e n t o f the M t. V e r n o n
a r e a e m p lo y e d w e r e n ot o n ly i n n o n ­
m a n u fa c tu r in g i n d u s t r ie s at the tim e o f
the s u r v e y but a ls o , in a lm o s t a ll c a s e s ,
in o c c u p a t io n s q u ite d if fe r e n t f r o m th o s e
at the c a r s h o p s (ta b le s 3 and 4 ) .
The
g r e a t d iv e r s it y o f in d u s t r ie s and o c c u p a ­
tio n s i n w h ic h t h e s e g r o u p s f o u n d
e m p lo y m e n t c a n b e a ttr ib u te d a l m o s t
s o le l y to the s c a r c i t y o f in d u s t r ia l e m ­
p lo y m e n t in the a r e a in the y e a r s f o l l o w ­
in g the c l o s in g o f the c a r s h o p s .

E a r n i n g s and in c o m e c o m p a r is o n s 21
C h a n g e s in e a r n in g p o w e r b e tw e e n
the t im e o f e m p lo y m e n t in the c a r sh o p s

21Earnings and supplemental income data
were obtained in the personal interviews, but
are presented here to complete the picture
of the employment experience of the laid-off
workers.

13

and o f the s u r v e y s h o w e d m a r k e d c o n ­
t r a s t s b e tw e e n the v a r i o u s g r o u p s (tab le
5 a n d c h a r t 1 ).
A v e r a g e e a r n in g s o f
the n o n m ig r a n t e m p lo y e d w e r e , a t the
tim e o f the s u r v e y , s u b s ta n tia lly b e lo w
the l e v e l o f th o s e r e c e i v e d at t h e c a r

s h o p s and a ls o w e ll b e lo w the l e v e l o f
th o s e w o r k in g in o th e r a r e a s .
S in ce s u p p le m e n ta l in c o m e w a s r e l ­
a t iv e ly s m a ll, it is c l e a r that s ta n d a r d s
o f l i v i n g o f the l o c a l l y e m p lo y e d had

C h a rt 1. P ro p o rtio n s o f w o rk e rs e a rn in g m o re
tha n $ 8 0 a w e e k , c a r shop job
and c u rre n t jo b , Ju n e 1956
PERCENT
100

r

90

NON­
MIGRANTS

80

70

60

50

40

30

2 0

10

0

Car
shop
job

Job at
time of
survey

Car
shop
job

Job at
time of
survey

Car
shop
job

Job at
time of
survey

Source: Personal Interview D
ata

14




a r e a e m p lo y e d f a m i l i e s had i n c o m e s
that h ig h (c h a r t 2 ) . T h e a r e a e m p lo y e d
(m o s t ly r u r a l d w e l l e r s ) had lo w e r
f a m i ly in c o m e s th an d id the l o c a l l y e m ­
p lo y e d w ith M t. V e r n o n a d d r e s s e s , ow in g
l a r g e l y to the lo w a v e r a g e in c o m e f r o m
a m a jo r i t y o f the f a r m s .
A lm o s t 90
p e r c e n t o f the u n d e r e m p lo y e d and a lm o s t
100 p e r c e n t o f the u n e m p l o y e d h a d
f a m i ly i n c o m e s o f $60 o r l e s s , w ith a
th ir d o f the e m p lo y e d n o n m ig r a n ts and
a lm o s t a ll o f the u n d e r e m p lo y e d (m o s t ­
ly r u r a l d w e l l e r s ) and u n e m p lo y e d
(m o s t ly u rb a n d w e l l e r s ) r e p o r t in g fa m ily
in c o m e s o f $ 60 o r l e s s .

b e e n s e r i o u s l y im p a ir e d . W iv e s o f o n ly
15 p e r c e n t o f t h e in t e r v ie w e d n o n m i­
g r a n ts w e r e w o r k in g , a lth ou g h th is f i g ­
u re w o u ld a lm o s t c e r t a in ly h a v e b e e n
h ig h e r h ad th e r e b e e n m o r e p le n tifu l jo b
o p p o r t u n i t i e s .2 2 A n u m b e r o f the m e n
h ad s u p p le m e n ta l i n c o m e s , m o s t l y f r o m
f a r m in g and od d j o b s . O f the e m p lo y e d
n o n m ig r a n ts , 19 p e r c e n t had s e c o n d a r y
i n c o m e - p r o d u c in g jo b s a n d 18 p e r c e n t
o f the o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s had s e c o n d ­
a r y j o b s o r s o u r c e s o f i n c o m e in the
M t. V e r n o n a r e a , i n m o s t c a s e s o n
fa r m s .
In c o n t r a s t , o n ly 6 p e r c e n t o f
the m ig r a n t s h ad s e c o n d a r y jo b s o r
s o u r c e s o f i n c o m e , w ith a th ir d o f th e s e
r e la t e d to f a r m in g .

C o m p a r i s o n w i t h car shop jo b s
U n lik e the n o n m ig r a n ts , m o s t o u to f - a r e a w o r k e r s h ad im p r o v e d t h e ir in ­
c o m e s in r e l a t i o n t o t h e ir c a r sh op
e a r n in g s . W ith r e s p e c t to e s t im a t e d
f a m ily in c o m e , 84 p e r c e n t o f the o u to f -t o w n e m p lo y e d w o r k e r s and 77 p e r ­
c e n t o f t h e m ig r a n t w o r k e r s h ad to ta l
f a m ily i n c o m e s o f m o r e than $80 a
w e e k , w h e r e a s o n ly 43 p e r c e n t o f t h e
f a m i li e s o f th e M t. V e r n o n a d d r e s s e m ­
p lo y e d and 23 p e r c e n t o f the M t. V e r n o n

TABLE 5.

D a ta on e a r n in g s and in c o m e o b ta in e d
f r o m t h e q u e s t io n n a ir e s in d ic a te d that
the e m p lo y e d n o n m ig r a n ts m ig h t l o o k
b a c k u p on th e ir l a y o f f f r o m t h e ir c a r
sh op jo b s w ith a s e n s e o f fin a n c ia l l o s s ,
and in t e r v ie w s c o n f ir m e d th is . A lm o s t

2214 p e r c e n t of the wives of out-of-town
workers had jobs, but only 7 percent of the
migrants1 wives were employed.

Laid~off workers by migrant status and by usual gross weekly earnings in car
shop jobs and in jobs held at time of survey, June 19561
(Percentage distribution)

Earnings intervals

Nonmigrants
Car
shop

Total . C o . . ...........................
$50 or le s s ........................... .
$ 5 1 -$ 6 0 ............................. .. . .
$ 6 1 -$ 7 0 ...................
$71- $ 8 0 ...................................
$81- $ 9 0 ...................................
$91- $100.................................
Over $100........... ...................

Current
job

100

100

238
18
15

7
18
32

12

5
5
7

26

14
3
234

Number in sample........... . . .
!N o d a t a

or

in s u f f ic ie n t d a ta fo r

Out-of-town workers

11

Car
shop

Current
job

100

100




100

10 0

2

16
36
28
14

22

6

16

10

14
36

50

2

_

5
13
34
25
18
5

11
21

30
29
7
56

a d d itio n a l r e s p o n d e n t s .

2In this group, 15 percent earned $30 or less; 9 percent,
Source:

Migrants
Car
Current
shop
job

$31-$40; 15 percent,

$41-$50.

Personal interview data.

15

C h a rt 2. Estim a ted to ta l w e e k ly fa m ily incom es,
by em ploym ent and resid ence sta tu s, June 1 956

Estimated Total
Weekly Income

percent

of w orkers

Employment and
Residence Status

Full-time
employed,
Mt. Vernon
address

Full-time
employed,
area
address

Under­
employed

97%

Unem­
ployed

Out-oftown
workers

Migrants

Source: Personal Interview Data

16




three-fourths o f those with local full­
time jobs considered the car shop job
better than t h e i r current job.
About
60 percent of the Mt. Vernon address
employed and almost 90 percent of the
Mt. Vernon a r e a employed w h o pre­
f e r r e d the car shop job g a v e better
wages a s the reason.
T h e underem­
ployed overwhelmingly preferred the car
shop job (table 6 ).
A majority o f both th e out-of-town
workers and the m i g r a n t s also pre­
ferred the car shop to their c u r r e n t
jobs, but the reasons given show much
le ss preoccupation with the wage level,
reflecting the generally more adequate
level of earnings of these two groups.
The m ost frequent type of reason given
b y those in th e groups who preferred
working at the car shops had to do with
location, since t h e y preferred jobs in
Mt. V e r n o n t o those in other areas.
Some also mentioned the favorable hours
at the car shops, referring to the shops*
quota system which permitted workers

T A B L E 6.

who h a d completed their d a y 's quota
to go home before the end of the sched­
uled workday. Those who had work to
do on their farm s or h a d other parttime work particularly liked t h i s ar­
rangement.

T h e p r o b l e m of the u n d e r e m p l o y e d
For purposes o f analysis, some o f
those with jobs in the Mt. Vernon labor
market area were classified as under­
employed.
In order to make a clearcut distinction between f u l l-t i m e em ­
ployed a n d underemployed, w o r k e r s
were placed in the latter category when
their responses to the m a i l question­
naires indicated that they were either
working part time or e a r n i n g a sub­
standard income and, at the same time,
were actively seeking other employment.
Because of limitations of the question­
naire data, a person was classified as
earning a substandard income if he re­
ported no regular job but indicated that

Attitude of la id -o ff w o rk e rs now in fu ll-tim e em ploym ent, tow ard cu rre n t jo b and
c a r shop jo b , June 1956
(P ercen taj g e d istrib u tio n )
Em ployed:
Mt. Vernon
ad d ress

Em ployed:
area
ad d ress

100

100

100

100

C a r shop b etter .......................
W a g e s........................................
N ature of w ork1...................
L o catio n or h ou rs of w ork.

73
43
16
14

71
62
3
6

72
8
10
54

61
20
20
21

C u rren t jo b b e tte r .............. ..
W a g e s.................................. ..
N ature of w ork1..............
Lo catio n or h ou rs of w ork.

17
8
8
1

16
6
9
1

22
18
4
-

37
21
14
2

Other2 ............................................

10

13

6

2

N um ber of r e s p o n s e s ............

120

90

50

56

C o m p ariso n of jo b s

T otal

t

r

Tf T

in c lu d e s liking the type of w ork, the jo b itse lf,

1^M w i. M ^ W IX
Uw
w o rk e rs

w U

M ig ran ts

and the su p e rv isio n .

2Includes those who fe lt jo b s equ al and t h o s e who thought jo b s too d iffere n t to co m p are .
Source:

P e r so n a l in terview d ata.




17

he had some income from farming, odd
job s, o r some type o f sm all business
and was actively seeking w o rk .23
Although the difficulties of m easur­
ing underemployment w e r e great, the
underemployed, a s classified in t h i s
study, seem to represent a fairly dis­
tinct group when c o m p a r e d with the
fully employed nonmigrants. In m a n y
respects, they are comparable with the
lon g-term unemployed, differing from
that group prim arily because they had
some income from w o r k and because
they i n c l u d e d a larger proportion of
rural dw ellers. Presumably, a number
of the underemployed would have been
unemployed had they been living in the
city rather than on small farm s.
Compared with th e area employed,
the underemployed were older (59 per­
cent were 45 and over, compared with
36 percent of th e area employed) and
they had le ss education (78 percent with
8 grades or le ss compared with 59 per­
cent). In comparison with all fully em ­
ployed nonmigrants, the underemployed
included a higher proportion of r u r a l
dw ellers, and had average lower skill
levels at the car s h o p s (24 p e r c e n t
had been in skilled jobs compared with
34 percent).
Further, the great m a­
jority (85 percent) were w o r k i n g on
farm s at the time of the study and had
been on farm s since being laid o f f at
the car s h o p s (71 percent); and, ac­
cording to interview data, the great mar
jority also had total fam ily incomes of
$60 o r le ss a week (88 percent com ­
pared with 34 percent of the other non­
migrant employed).
M ost of the underemployed who were
interviewed reported an active search
for work only in the Mt. Vernon area
and indicated that they would take any
kind of local job, since they wished to
continue living on their farm s but hoped
to supplement farm income with local
nonfarm employment.

Self-employment
Significant w a s th e high degree o f
self-em ploym ent among the laid -off in­
dustrial workers. A lm ost one-third of

18




the total number in the labor force (31
percent) were self-em ployed when in­
terviewed ( a l m o s t half of the nonmi­
gran ts), and another 9 percent reported
some experience with self-em ploym ent
after the shutdown.
This c a n largely
be a t t r i b u t e d to the relatively large
number (88 percent) who owned sm all
farm s. Of the total self-em ployed, 58
percent were farm ers and the rest were
in a variety of occupations —taxi-driving,
retail s t o r e operation, and a number
o f skilled trades (painting, carpentry,
metalworking).
In the skilled trades,
many were in th e M
odd-job" category,
working short and variable hours.
Alm ost all of the self-em ployed were
nanmigrants. Although as a group, the
self-em ployed had steadier employment
a f t e r the layoff than the nonmigrants
employed by others, many (26 percent)
were classified as underemployed, with
lo w average incom es.
Approximately
70 percent of the underemployed worked
for them selves; the rest of the s e lf-e m ­
ployed (74 percent) were in a variety
of occupations, including farming. Their
self-em ploym ent r e f l e c t e d more the
relative scarcity o f wage-earning jobs
in the local area t h a n the inability to
earn a reasonable income. In t e r m s
of age, education, homeowner ship, car
shop occupation, skill, and l e n g t h of
service, th e self-em ployed among the
nonmigrants d i f f e r e d little from the
nonmigrants who worked for others.

E m p l o y m e n t s t at us of the o l d er w o r k e r
Because older workers allegedly have
greater difficulty in finding jobs than do
younger w orkers, it i s o f interest to
examine the employment experience of
workers b e t w e e n the ages o f 55 and
65. 24 Compared with the entire sample,
this age group had a higher proportion
23Although the interview data would perm it
a m o r e p re c ise determ ination o f underem ­
ployment, it w as found t h a t the d ifferen ces
in c la ssific a tio n would be m inor a n d it w as
decided to use the sam e c r ite ria in order to
m aintain co m parability.
24The unemployment e x p e r i e n c e of older
w orkers is exam ined in chapter IV.

of underemployed (18 compared with 11
percent), a higher proportion o f selfemployed (43 compared w i t h 30 p e r ­
cent), but a b o u t the same proportion
in agriculture (20 and 19 percent, re­
s p e c t i v e l y ) , On the other hand, 23
percent of the total laid -off group had
found manufacturing jobs (exclusive o f
railroad car building), w h e r e a s only
10 percent of the 55 to 65 age g r o u p
had done so. Yet, 10 percent of these
older workers had obtained other rail­
road car shop jobs, compared w i t h 9
percent of the total sample. The abil­
ity to get jobs in car s h o p s h e l p e d
r a i s e the proportion o f th e 55 to 65
age group working in other labor m ar­
ket a r e a s to 25 p e r c e n t , compared
with 32 percent of the total grou p,25
When the older w o r k e r group was
expanded to include t h o s e between 45
and 65 years of age, it was found that
the r a i l r o a d car building and repair
firm s had h i r e d significantly greater




proportions of workers in this age group
than h a d other types of manufacturing
firm s. Of the out-of-town worker s with­
in this age group, 64 percent were in
car shop jobs, compared with 74 per­
cent o f th e migrants; only 42 an d 27
percent, respectively, w e r e employed
in other manufacturing jobs.
One ex­
planation is t h a t the car building and
repair firm s were more willing to hire
these older workers in order to utilize
their car s h o p skills and experience.
The higher proportion of older out-oftown workers than migrants who were
in manufacturing jobs o t h e r than car
shops was due in part to the fact that
a number of the out-of-town workers
had s k i l l s (particularly welding) that
could be u t i l i z e d by a Granite City,
111. , manufacturer, who was apparently
more willing to hire older workers than
were some other manufacturing firm s.
25Of those between 55 and 65 who took outo f-a re a jo b s, 40 percent w ere working in car
building or re p a ir and 40 p e r c e n t w ere in
m anufacturing other than c a r building.

19

Chapter HE. Decisions on Where to Live and Work2
6
The workers who were laid off as a
result of the car shop s h u t d o w n had
varied experiences with respect to when,
how, and where they found jobs and the
kinds of employment they obtained. In
the search for jobs, many workers were
faced with complex decisions.
Should
t h e y accept local e m p l o y m e n t le ss
favorable than their car shop employ­
ment? S h o u l d they look for work in
other labor market areas? What should
an ou t-of-are a job o f f e r t o be worth
accepting?
If a job w e r e taken in
another area, should the fam ily move,
either immediately or at s o m e future
time ?
A ma^or purpose o f the p e r s o n a l
interview was to obtain some informa­
tion about labor market decisions in the
2 or 3 years immediately following the
layoff.
The decisionmaking p r o c e s s
is examined, therefore, in turn, for the
nonmigrants, the out-of-town workers,
and for the m igrants.

and fam ilies in the
even t h o u g h m ost
working outside the
year, and many for

Mt. V e r n o n area
of t h e m had been
a r e a well over a
2 or even 3 y ears.

The implication of strong hometown
attachment shown in the questionnaire
data was confirmed by the data ob­
tained in the interviews and is support­
ed by at least one other study of south­
ern Illinois w o rk e rs.27 Many of the
laid -off workers who stayed in Mt.
Vernon had not actively searched for
work outside the area and when inter­
viewed, a majority of the employed non­
migrants were not seeking other em ­
ployment in or out of the local labor
market area.
Excluding those out of
the labor force, 30 percent of the non­
migrants (employed and unemployed)
said they were seeking work, and c£
these, almost two-thirds were looking
only in the Mt. Vernon area.
The
proportion of the unemployed however,
who said they were seeking jobs in
other labor market areas was greater
than that of the employed.

W h y nonm igrants rem ain ed
in Mt. V ern on
Responses to the m ail questionnaires
implied that the overwhelming majority
of the form er car s h o p workers pre­
f e r r e d to live a n d w o r k i n the Mt.
Vernon area.
This was shown b y the
fact that at th e time of the survey 82
p e r c e n t of the respondents gave Mt.
Vernon area as their home address, al­
though only 36 p e r c e n t had full-tim e
jobs in the area. A s stated previously,
there was also a continued high degree
of homeowner ship in the Mt. V e r n o n
area, even a m o n g those with regular
employment in other labor market areas.
Finally, among those with jobs in other
areas beyond n o r m a l commuting dis­
tance, 43 percent still had their homes

20




In order to evaluate hometown attach­
ment, the n o n m i g r a n t s were asked:
1 What a r e the reasons that you h a v e
1
preferred to stay in the M t. V e r n o n
area since the car shops closed ?" and
nWhat are the minimum conditions under
w h i c h you would accept a job outside
the Mt. Vernon ar e a? ' *
The reasons
given in response to the first question
a r e shown in table 7.
P e r h a p s the
26P e rso n al interview data.
27A survey of southern Illin ois unem ploy­
ed showed that although one-fourth had had
t h e i r la s t em ploym ent outside the southern
Illin ois region, alm o st a ll (97 percent) con­
sid ered southern Illin ois their p e r m a n e n t
home. A pplicant and C laim ant Survey, op.
cit.

T A B L E 7.

R e a so n s given by la id -o ff w o rk e rs em ployed in Mt. Vernon a r e a fo r p re fe rrin g
to stay in Mt. Vernon, m ultiple r e sp o n s e s, June 1956
(P ercen tag e d istrib u tio n )

R e a so n s given
'Tz-.fa 1 ............

Mt. Vernon
em ployed

A re a
em ployed

U nderem ployed

Unem ployed

100

Mention of home or
p rop erty ow nership,
other than f a r m . . . . . . . . .
F a r m ow nership . . . . . . . . . .
Mt. Vernon is hom e­
town .....................
F a m ily and frie n d s . . . . . . . .
Found w ork in a r e a . ............
Other r e a s o n s 2 ..................... ..
N um ber of r e s p o n s e s ............

100

100

100

29
13

17
32

18
25

17
4

19
16
13
10

16
11
13
11

18
9
6
24

28
28
*4
19

3209

142

63

54

U n em p lo y ed who had found work and then lo s t it.
2Such a s age , ch ildren in sch ool, and not knowing where to find jo b s in other a r e a s .
3N um ber of resp o n d en ts, 278; num ber of r e s p o n s e s ,
Source:

P e rso n a l in terview d ata.

m ost significant finding is that such a
small proportion of the responses had
to do with finding local em ploym ent.28
Property ownership and personal attach­
ment to the a r e a and its people were
the major r e a s o n s for the desire to
stay.
T h e s e responses do not mean that
employment and income were unimpor­
tant.
They indicate, rather, that th e
nonmigrants preferred to s t a y i n Mt.
Vernon because of t h e i r property and
personal ties, d e s p i t e lower average
earnings and reduced living standards.
Some of the nonmigrants said they had
attempted to secure e m p l o y m e n t in
other areas, but had been unsuccessful
because they were above a certain age.
In answer to the question about con­
ditions for acceptance of j o b s outside
Mt. Vernon, two-thirds o f the nonmi­
grants 45 years o r older (66 percent)
listed various conditions; the other third
(34 percent) said they would not or did
not want to leave for any type of job.




468.

A somewhat higher p r o p o r t i o n of
those under 45 (39 percent) said they
did not w a n t to leave the Mt. Vernon
area for a n y kind of job. 29 A l i t t l e
more than half of th e total number of
n o n m i g r a n t s (55 percent), however,
listed financial conditions under which
they would accept employment in other
areas. Most of those willing to accept
jobs outside the area made specific re­
quirements of wages, hours, steadiness
of employment, or t y p e of work.
In
m ost cases, however, these conditions
were based either on the respondents*
previous experience or on information
f r o m others about outside job s.
Ten
percent said they w o u l d have to earn
enough more to cover the higher costs
of living in, or commuting t o , o t h e r
laboi* market areas; 3 percent said they
28Using t h e fir s t mentioned re aso n a s the
m ajo r reaso n , 11 percen t of the nonm igrants
gave ’’finding w ork" a s the m ajor re aso n for
staying in Mt. Vernon.
29Such an sw ers m ean ’’any kind of job" the
respondents con sidered within the re alm of
the probable.
21

w o u l d have to g e t the union s c a le ; 5
p e r c e n t, that t h e y w ould have to s e ll
th e ir p r o p e r ty ( u s u a l l y a fa r m ) at a
g o o d p r ic e . The rem a in in g 37 p e r ce n t
m e n tio n e d s p e c ific w a g e s — m o r e than
$80 a w eek f o r 22 p e r c e n t and $80 o r
under fo r the r e m a in d e r .
Only a few
sa id they w o u l d take any kind of jo b .
A la r g e m a jo r it y o f the n on m igra n ts did
not know of, nor had they r e c e n tly b een
a c tiv e ly se a rch in g f o r , any s p e c ific jo b
open in gs i n oth er a r e a s .
A lthough 30
p e r c e n t w e re seekin g oth er em p lo y m en t
when in te rv ie w e d , on ly 11 p e r c e n t w e re
c o n s id e r in g jo b s in oth er a r e a s . F u r ­
th e r, 10 p e r c e n t had r e c e n tly known of
jo b s in oth er a re a s that t h e y had d e ­
c id e d not to apply f o r .
A m a jo r it y of
the f a r m e r s w e re relu cta n t t o g iv e up
th e ir fa r m s , p r e f e r r i n g to co m b in e
fa rm in g w ith in d u stria l jo b s as they had
done w hen they w o rk e d at the c a r sh op s,
b e c a u se the fa r m s w ould be a s o u r c e o f
f o o d and in c o m e i n the even tu a lity o f
fu tu re la y o ffs .
The n o n m ig ra n ts, t h e r e fo r e , although
i n m o s t c a s e s not s a tis fie d , w e re ap­
p a re n tly d e te rm in e d to r e m a i n in the
M t. V e rn o n a r e a as lon g as they w e re
getting b y .
Som e w e re quite s a tis fie d
w ith t h e i r p o s t - c a r - s h o p e m p lo y m en t
and e a rn in g s , b u t the in te r v ie w s l e f t
little doubt that m o s t h oped f o r the e s ­
ta b lish m e n t o f new f a c t o r ie s in the a re a
that w ou ld p ro v id e g o o d paying in d u s­
t r ia l jo b s .
The co m b in e d r e s p o n s e s t o s e v e r a l
in te r v ie w q u e stio n s r e v e a le d t h a t t h e
m a jo r r e a s o n s fo r n on m ig ra tio n w e r e
p r o p e r ty ow n e rsh ip (h o m e s, fa r m s , and
o th er p r o p e r t y ), fa m ily and s o c ia l tie s ,
r e s p e c t fo r the M t. V ern on s c h o o l s y s ­
te m , the in tan gible but r e a l fa c t o r of
lo y a lty to the h om etow n , la ck o f k n ow l­
edge o f e m p l o y m e n t o p p o rtu n ities in
oth er la b o r m a rk e t a r e a s , a r e lu cta n ce
to c o n c e d e that the com m u n ity w o u l d
r e m a in in a d e p r e s s e d con d itio n , a c e r ­
tain am ount o f o b s o le s c e n c e o r n o n tra n s­
fe r a b ilit y o f s k ills , and the p e r c e p tio n
o f so m e o f the w o r k e r s 45 and o v e r that
jo b s w e re not open in oth e r la b o r m a r ­
k e t a r e a s to p e r s o n s pa st m id d le age. 30
F a c t o r s on the dem and s i d e o f the
m a r k e t f o r la b o r a l s o ten ded to lim it

22




ou tm ig ra tion o f the la id - o f f w o r k e r s .
Som e re m a in e d in the a r e a only b e ca u se
ou tside e m p lo y e r s had not h ire d th em .
F o r m a l o r in fo rm a l h irin g r e s t r ic t io n s
with r e s p e c t to age lim ite d the e m p lo y ­
m ent op p ortu n ities of the o ld e r w o r k e r s .
The e m p h a sis o f m a n y e m p lo y e r s on
co m p a ra b le w ork e x p e r ie n ce and e s ta b ­
lis h e d lo c a l re sid en ce han dicapp ed th ose
M t. V ern on w o r k e r s who a p p l i e d fo r
jo b s in v e r y d iffe re n t in d u strie s in c o m ­
m u n i t i e s som e d ista n ce f r o m th eir
h o m e s . S en iority sy ste m s and in -p la n t
p ro m o tio n s m ade it d iffic u lt f o r m any
to obtain jo b s w h ere th eir own o r c o m ­
p a ra b le sk ills w ere n eeded .
W h y th e o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s k e p t
th e ir h o m e s in M t. V e r n o n
The o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s m igh t be
d e s c r ib e d as th ose who w e re try in g to
so lv e the p r o b le m of a ch iev in g a s a t is ­
fa c to r y in co m e and, at the sam e tim e ,
liv in g in the h om etow n . A lthough it is
p o s s ib le that m any of t h e m w ould be
unw illing to continue th eir lo n g -d is ta n c e
com m u tin g in d e fin ite ly , a num ber h a d
m ain tain ed this a rra n g em en t fo r as long
as 2 o r 3 y e a r s at the tim e in te rv ie w e d .
M o st o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e rs h a d jo b s
at le a s t 8 5 -9 0 m ile s fr o m th eir h o m e s
(the d ista n ce to t h e in d u stria l Illin o is
tow ns e a st o f St. L o u is ), although o th e rs
w e re w ork in g as fa r as 260 m ile s away
(La G ra n g e, 111., fo r e x a m p le ).
Som e
w ork ed w ithin 100 m ile s o f M t. V ern on
and c o m m u t e d d a ily , u su a lly i n ca r
p o o ls , but a m a jo r ity ren ted r o o m s in
the v ic in ity o f th eir jo b s and com m u ted
t o th eir h o m e s on w e e k e n d s o r on
altern ate w eek en d s.
F ew v ie w e d this setup as p erm an en t,
h o w e v e r.
T h e r e fo r e , they s till fa c e d
the d e c is io n o f w hether t o m o v e th eir
fa m ilie s fr o m the M t. V ern on a r e a o r
a c c e p t what m igh t be l e s s s a tis fa c to r y
30High average age h as been a sso c ia te d with
d isp laced w o rk ers and the prob lem s of find­
ing new jo b s in other d e p re sse d a r e a s . E x ­
am ples include coal m in e rs and textile w ork­
e r s,
S e e W illiam H. M iernyk, D e p ressed
I n d u s t r i a l A r e a s - - A N ational P r o b l e m .
Washington, D. C. , National Planning A ss o c i­
ation Pam phlet No. 98. Ja n u a ry 1957, p. 13.

jo b s and e a rn in g s in lo c a l e m p loy m en t,
as jo b s b e c a m e a v a i l a b l e .
M o st o f
them hoped that new i n d u s t r y in M t.
V ern o n w ou ld p r o v i d e th em w ith jo b
op p o rtu n itie s co m p a r a b le with th ose that
had e x is te d at the c a r sh op s.
The o u t-o f-t o w n w o r k e r s w e r e ask ed
in the in te r v ie w s: nY o u r jo b is in (p la ce )
but you have k e p t y o u r fa m ily i n M t.
Vernon.
Why h a v e y o u k e p t y o u r
fa m ily h e r e ? ’ * The r e s p o n s e s , su m ­
m a r i z e d i n table 8, show that m uch
e m p h a sis w as p la ce d o n e c o n o m ic and
fin a n cia l fa c t o r s, p a r tic u la r ly the o w n e r­
ship o f p r o p e r ty and the c o s t o f m o v ­
ing.
T h is g rou p w as a ls o ask ed w h ether
they w ould ra th er w ork in M t. V ern on
o r in the a r e a s w h ere t h e y had found
jo b s .
O f t h e 50 o u t -o f-t o w n w o r k e r s
in te rv ie w e d , 43 (86 p e r c e n t) p r e fe r r e d
jo b s in M t. V ern on .
T h e s e 43 w ere
then asked: "W h at kind o f jo b s w ould
you take in M t. V e r n o n ? n I n re p ly ,
15 (34 p e r c e n t) eith e r did not m en tion
w a g e s o r said they w o u l d take a j o b
w ith a liv in g w age; another 12 (28 p e r ­
cen t) m en tion ed s p e c ific w eek ly w ages
b e lo w $80, w hich is sig n ifica n t s i n c e
74 p e rce n t o f the tota l g rou p w e r e e a r n ­
ing m o r e than $80 in th e ir cu r r e n t jo b s ;
and a n o t h e r 8 (19 p e r c e n t) sa id they
T A B L E 8.

w ould a cce p t le s s pay than in th eir c u r ­
rent o u t - o f - a r e a jo b s .
The rem ain in g
8 (19 p e r c e n t) i n d i c a t e d they w ould
a c c e p t a jo b in M t. V ern on o n l y if it
paid m o r e than $80 a w eek .
A num ber s p e c ifie d p a rticu la r o c c u ­
p ation s, m o s tly m anual, but o th e rs said
they w ould take anything o r , a t le a s t,
any re a so n a b le jo b that p ro v id e d steady
fu ll-tim e e m p loy m en t.
A lthough th ese
r e p lie s u n d o u b t e d l y e x a g g e ra te d the
actu al w illin g n e s s to a cce p t su bstan tial­
ly lo w e r w a g e s, they n e v e r th e le s s in ­
d ica te d a g e n e ra l w illin g n e s s t o m ake
som e s a c r ific e to obtain lo c a l e m p lo y ­
m ent. F ew o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s , h ow ­
e v e r , saw any im m ed ia te hope o f fin d ­
ing lo c a l jo b s . Only 11 o f the 50 said
they w e re t a k i n g a ctiv e step s to find
M t. V e r n o n jo b s , but none o f the 11
w e re seeking w ork in oth er la b o r m a r ­
k et a r e a s .
In fa c t, only 1 o f the 50
w as seeking a jo b in another la b o r m a r ­
k et a re a .
W h y th e m ig r a n ts m o v e d w ith
t h e ir f a m i li e s
M ost m ig ra n ts hoped that an in c r e a s e
in M t. V ern on jo b op p ortu n ities w ould
e n a b l e them to retu rn to w ork in the
a re a .
T his g rou p , h o w e v e r, h a d d e ­
cid e d that i n the m ean tim e they w ould

R e a so n s given by out-of-tow n w o rk e rs a s to why they kept fam ily in Mt. Vernon,
June 1956

R e a so n s given

(P ercen tag e d istrib u tio n )
M ajo r r e sp o n se s
N um ber

P e rce n t

M ultiple r e sp o n s e s
N um ber

P e rce n t

A ll r e s p o n s e s ............................................

48

100

72

100

Owned home or p ro p erty , other
than f a r m ..................................
Owned fa r m ................................ ..
C o sts and p ro b le m s of m oving . . . . .
Wife w orking1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C h ildren in s c h o o l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
O th e r............................ ...................... ...... . .

17
6
14
3
4
4

36
13
29
6
8
8

26
7
19
5
6
9

36
10
27
7
8
12

l l w ives of the out-of-tow n w o rk e rs had jo b s in Mt. Vernon at the tim e of the in terview ;
5 of them had in co m es of $30 a w eek or l e s s .

Source:

B a se d on in terview data fro m 50 out-of-tow n w o rk e rs.




23

be b e tte r o f f to m o v e w ith th e ir fa m ­
i li e s to the a r e a s w h ere they had found
w o rk . Only a fe w c o n s id e r e d the m o v e
as n e c e s s a r ily p erm a n en t.
W hen a sk ed , 1 What w e re y o u r r e a ­
1
son s f o r m ov in g y o u r fa m ily aw ay fr o m
the M t. V e r n o n a r e a , 1 a m a jo r it y o f
1
the m ig ra n ts gave e c o n o m ic and fin a n ­
c ia l r e a s o n s fo r m ovin g th e ir f a m ilie s ,
a s had the o u t-o f-t o w n w o r k e r s , when
a sk ed why t h e y kept th e ir fa m ilie s in
M t. V e r n o n .
A su b sta n tia lly g r e a te r
p r o p o r tio n than o f the o u t -o f-t o w n w o r k ­
e r s , h ow ever, g a v e p erson a l rea son s
w h ich c a n b e su m m ed up as nk eep in g
the fa m ily to g e th e r1 (table 9 ) .
1
O f the 56 m ig ra n ts in te r v ie w e d , 44
(79 p e r c e n t ) said they w ou ld p r e fe r
w ork in g in M t. V ern on , c o m p a r e d with
86 p e r c e n t o f o u t -o f-t o w n w o r k e r s who
p r e f e r r e d j o b s in M t. V ern o n .
As a
m e a s u r e o f the in ten sity o f this p r e f ­
e r e n c e , on ly 14 p e r c e n t o f t h o s e who
d e s ir e d M t. V ern on jo b s said they m u st
e a rn m o r e than $80 a w eek th e r e , a l­
though 66 p e r c e n t o f a ll m ig r a n ts w e re
ea rn in g m o r e than that am ount in theii*
c u r r e n t jo b s .
F e w e r m i g r a n t s than o u t -o f-t o w n
w o r k e r s , h o w e v e r , w e r e w illin g to take
any stead y jo b i n M t. V ern o n r e g a r d ­
l e s s o f pay le v e l. A ll but tw o m ig ra n ts
lis t e d a s p e c ific m in im u m w a g e le v e l

T A B L E 9.

o r sa id th ey w ould r e q u ir e a liv in g w age;
o th e r s , in addition to w a g e s, h a d r e ­
q u ire m e n ts such a s som e s p e c ific type
o f w o rk , 40 o r m o r e h o u rs o f w o rk a
w eek , o r stead y w o rk .
L ik e the o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s , how ­
e v e r , fe w m ig ra n ts b e lie v e d jo b op en ­
in g s w ou ld o c c u r in M t. V ern on in the
n ea r fu tu re.
T h is b e l i e f in p a rt e x ­
p lain s why o n l y 7 o f the 5 6 m ig ra n ts
i n t e r v i e w e d said they w e re a c tiv e ly
seek in g e m p l o y m e n t in M t. V e rn o n .
Tw o o f the sev en r e p o r t e d that they
w e re s e e k i n g w o r k not on ly i n M t.
V ern on but in oth er a re a s as w e ll. O f
the 56, on ly 2 r e p o r te d that they w e re
seek in g jo b s on ly in oth er a r e a s .
C le a r ly , the m ig ra n ts as w e ll as the
o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s , in a lm o s t a ll
c a s e s , w e re w o r k i n g i n oth er la b o r
m a rk e t a r e a s as a r e s u lt o f n e c e s s it y
ra th er than c h o ic e .
T h is is borne out
ev en by th ose fe w who said nnon when
a sk ed w hether they w ould ra th er w o rk
in M t. V ern on . The o u t-o f-to w n w o rk ­
e r s and m i g r a n t s (17 out o f the 106)
who gave th is a n sw er w e re a sk ed why
they said nnon .
A lthough n o one said
he p r e fe r r e d h is new lo c a tio n , 11 o f the
17 gave the r e a s o n that no op p ortu n ities
e x i s t e d in M t. V ern on ; the o t h e r 6
t h o u g h t o p p ortu n ities w e r e b e tte r in
th e ir new la b o r m a rk e t a r e a . It a p p ea rs
p ro b a b le fr o m th is that e v e n som e in

R e a so n s given by m ig ra n ts fo r m oving f a m i l i e s fro m Mt. V ernon, Ju ly 1956
(P ercen tag e d istrib u tio n )
M ajor r e s p o n s e s 1
R e a so n s given

N um ber

P e rc sn t

M ultiple r e sp o n s e s
N um ber

P e rce n t

A ll r e s p o n s e s ...................................

50

100

66

100

No jo b opportun ities in Mt, Vernon
C o st and tim e of co m m u tin g ................
C o st of m aintaining 2 e sta b lish ­
m en ts ..................... ......................... • • • •
To keep fa m ily to g e th e r ..................... j
Other • • • • .............. ......................................

19
6

38
12

21
11

32
17

5
19
1

10
38
2

11
22
1

17
33
1

*6 resp o n d en ts did not sp ecify a m a jo r re a so n .
Source:

B a s e d on in terview d ata fro m 56 m ig ra n ts.

24




th is g ro u p w ou ld re tu rn to M t. V ern on
i f new jo b o p p o rtu n itie s b e c a m e a v a il­
a b le . 31
O f in te r e s t a ls o is t h e fa c t that 14
p e r c e n t o f the o u t -o f-t o w n w o r k e r s and
m ig ra n ts had t r ie d s e lf-e m p lo y m e n t in
t h e M t. V ern on a r e a b e fo r e a cce p tin g
o u t - o f - a r e a jo b s .
Since t h e s e l f - e m ­
ploy m en t gene r a lly y ie ld e d lo w in c o m e s ,
th is is fu rth e r in d ica tio n o f the d e s ir e
to liv e and w o rk in o r n ea r M t. V ern on .
C o m p a r is o n o f e m p l o y e d n o n ­
m ig r a n t s w ith t h o s e w o r k in g in
oth er a rea s
It w as c le a r that d esp ite th e ir p r e f­
e r e n c e fo r M t. V ern o n , the o u t - o f - a r e a
w o r k e r s had gone ou tside the a r e a to
seek w o rk . Only a m in o r ity o f the non­
m ig r a n ts , h o w e v e r , h a d attem pted t o
fin d w ork in oth er a r e a s . C le a r ly , th ose
who found lo c a l e m p lo y m e n t w h ich they
c o n s id e r e d as g o o d o r b etter than th eir
c a r shop jo b s w ould not seek o u t - o f - a r e a
jo b s .
T h ese n on m igra n ts, h o w e v e r ,
w e re fa r ou tn u m bered by th ose w ho had
a c c e p te d lo w e r ea rn in gs and in co m e in
l o c a l jo b s ra th e r than lo o k e ls e w h e r e .
O ther n on m ig ra n ts, e s p e c ia lly in the
o ld e r age g r o u p s, had sought j o b s i n
oth er a r e a s and e ith e r had not found,
o r w e re not a c c e p te d f o r , su itable e m ­
p lo y m e n t.
A f r e q u e n t co m p la in t o f
w o r k e r s a g e 45 and o v e r who m ade
v o lu n ta ry co m m e n ts on th e ir q u e s tio n ­
n a ir e s w as that although they had sought
jo b s in oth er a r e a s they had been tu rn ed
dow n b e ca u se o f a g e.
S e v e ra l o f t h e
o ld e r in te rv ie w e d re sp o n d e n ts d e s c r ib e d
at so m e len gth how th e ir s e a r c h fo r
jo b s around the State fa ile d b e ca u se of
th e ir a g e.
Still o th e r s had not sought
jo b s in oth er la b o r m a rk e ts b e c a u s e
they b e lie v e d s u c h a s e a r c h w ould be
fr u it le s s .
A lthough the type o f in te r v ie w u sed
w as inadequate t o e sta b lis h m o tiv a tion
on the p a rt o f in dividu al w o r k e r s , the
e v id e n ce su g g ested that m o s t o f the e m ­
p lo y e d n on m igran ts w e r e w o r k i n g in
M t. V ern on b e ca u se they w e re able to
fin d lo c a l em p loy m en t and b e lie v e d that
the advantages o f w ork in g near h o m e




outw eighed the advantages o f lo n g - d is ­
tance com m u tin g o r m ig ra tio n .
M o s t o u t -o f-to w n w o r k e r s and m i­
g ra n ts w e re th ose who e ith e r co u ld not
fin d l o c a l jo b s o r co u ld not fin d jo b s
they c o n s id e r e d su ita b le. A n u m ber of
o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s , had taken ou tsid e
jo b s not b eca u se they w e r e u n a b le -t o
find w ork i n M t. V ern on , but b e ca u se
of the h igh er ea rn in g s in oth er a r e a s .
Som e who had been r e c r u ite d by ou tsid e
e m p lo y e r s and ten ded to be am ong the
m o s t e m p loy a b le o f the fo r m e r c a r shop
w o r k e r s in te r m s o f sk ills and ed u ca ­
tion , put a h ig h er p r ic e on the a c c e p t­
ance o f lo c a l a re a jo b s .
A lthough the m ig ra n ts d iffe r e d fr o m
t h e oth er g ro u p s i n s e v e r a l r e s p e c t s ,
the d iffe r e n c e s w e re not so g re a t as to
m ake th em c le a r ly d istin ct o r to accou n t
f o r th e ir m ig ra tio n .
Som ew hat fe w e r
than in the oth er g r o u p s had o w n e d
h o m e s in the M t. V e rn on a r e a and fe w
ow ned fa r m s ; th is g rou p a ls o in clu d ed
m o s t o f the u n m a rrie d and a la rg e p r o ­
p o rtio n o f y ou n ger p e r s o n s . T hey, lik e
the o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s , had g o n e to
oth er la b o r m a rk e t a re a s eith er b eca u se
t h e y c o u l d not f i n d jo b s i n the M t.
V ern on a r e a o r cou ld n o t find jo b s at
adequate ea rn in g s o r sk ill le v e ls . D e­
c is io n s t o m o v e fa m ilie s depended in
m o s t c a s e s on the d ista n ce o f th e ir jo b s
fr o m M t, V ern on o r the d e s ir e to k eep
fa m ilie s to g e th e r.
A g ain , h o w e v e r, the m ig ra n ts , lik e
the o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s , tended t o be
m o r e em p loy a b le than the n on m ig ra n ts.
They w e r e , on the a v e ra g e , m o r e h ighly
s k ille d and had w ork ed lo n g e r in the c a r
sh op s. They a ls o had a som ew hat h igh­
e r a v e ra g e le v e l o f ed u ca tion than the
n on m ig ra n ts.
T h ese fa c t o r s , with the
la r g e r p r o p o r tio n o f you n ger p e r s o n s in
th is g rou p , su g g est that the com b in a tion
o f re la tiv e youth and fa c t o r y e x p e r ie n ce
w as h elp fu l in obtaining fa c to r y jo b s in
oth er la b o r m a rk e t a r e a s .
31The m ig ran ts who w ere interview ed were
all working in other a r e a s of Illin ois or in
St. L o u is. It is p o ssib le that som e of the
m ig ran ts who had m oved to such distant States
a s T e x a s, C alifo rn ia, and F lo rid a had m ade
a perm anent change and would not be in ter­
ested in returning.
25

C h a p te r 1 V . U n em p lo y m en t a n d U n em p lo ym en t Insuran ce

A lm o s t a ll o f the w o r k e r s w ho w e re
la id o ff w hen the c a r shops shut down
e x p e r ie n c e d som e u n em ploym en t. Som e
of th ose c o v e r e d by the su rv e y w ho had
b een la id o ff b e fo r e the fin a l shutdown
w e r e u n e m p l o y e d at the tim e o f the
shutdown. In this ch a p te r, du ration of
u n em ploym en t and t h e extent and im ­
p o rta n ce o f u n em ploym en t in su ra n ce to
the w o r k e r s are an alyzed.
U n e m p l o y m e n t t r e n d s in th e
M t. V e r n o n a r e a a f t e r th e s h u t d o w n
A change in the t e r r it o r y in clu d ed in
the M t. V e rn o n la b o r m a rk e t a r e a w as
m ade by the Illin o is State E m p lo y m en t
S e r v ic e sh o rtly a f t e r the s h u t d o w n ,
m aking im p o s s ib le a s a tis fa c to r y c o m ­
p a r is o n o f a r e a u n em ploym en t tren d s
b e fo r e and a fte r the s h u t d o w n . 32 In
J e ffe r s o n , W ayne, and H am ilton C oun­
t ie s , h o w e v e r , an a r e a in w h ich M t.
V ern o n is the la r g e s t urban com m u n ity,
u n em ploym en t w a s e stim a te d a t 16. 3
p e r c e n t of the total la b o r fo r c e in A p r il
1954, 2 m on th s a fter the shutdown (table
B e fo r e the shutdown, u n em p loy ­
10) .
m en t i n th ese co u n tie s w a s e stim a te d
to be b etw een 10 and 12 p e r c e n t o f the
tota l la b o r f o r c e . 33
A lthough the t h r e e - c o u n t y a r e a i s
la r g e r than the presh utdow n M t. V ern on
la b o r m a rk e t a r e a and the la b o r f o r c e
fig u r e s a r e e s t i m a t e d fr o m p a rtia l
data, the data appear su ffic ie n tly r e l i ­
able to in d ica te the tren d o f u n e m p loy ­
m en t a fte r the shutdown.
The t h r e e
co u n tie s in clu d e a lm o s t a l l o f the M t.
V ern o n la b o r m a rk e t, and th ose p o rtio n s
of W ayne and H am ilton cou n ties ou tside
of the M t. V ern o n la b o r m a rk e t a r e a
a re la r g e ly r u r a l s e c tio n s w h ich, in the
26




p e r io d a fter the shutdown, had r e la t iv e ­
ly little change in em p loy m en t and un­
em p loy m en t.
The un em ploym en t e s tim a te s fo r the
p e r io d s ju s t b e fo r e and a fter the shut­
down a l m o s t ce r ta in ly u n d erestim a te
the un em ploym en t in the n o n a g ricu ltu ra l
s e c to r of the M t. V ern on la b o r m a rk et.
M o st n on farm em p loy m en t i n the a r e a
is in M t. V ern on it s e lf and m u ch of the
unem ploym en t w as co n ce n tra te d th e re .
Q u estion n aire data in d ica ted that s m a lle r
porf>ortions of ru r a l than of urban r e s i ­
dents w e re tota lly u n em p loy ed , although
a c o n s id e r a b le am ount of the u n d e re m ­
p loy m en t w as c o n c e n t r a t e d in ru ra l
areas.
F r o m a peak in the m onths im m e d i­
ately fo llo w in g the shutdown, u n em p loy ­
m en t i n the a r e a g r a d u a l l y d rop p ed
through late 1955 and e a r ly 1956, r i s ­
ing again in A p r il 1956, but it w as s till
b elow the 1954 le v e l.
T h e d e clin e in
u n em ploym en t re su lte d fr o m a shrinking
of the lo c a l la b o r fo r c e r a t h e r t h a n
fr o m an ex p a n sion in jo b o p p ortu n ities,
sin ce em p loy m en t in the a re a a ls o d e ­
clin e d .
B etw een A p r il 1954 a n d M ay
1956, the d ro p in the em p loy m en t le v e l
a lm o st equ aled that in the le v e l o f un­
em p loy m en t. The m a jo r e lem en t in this
la b o r fo r c e shrink age w as ou tm ig ra tion
of w o r k e r s , although o ld e r w ork ers*
w ith draw al fr o m the l a b o r f o r c e w as
a c c e le r a te d , illu stra tin g the s c a r c it y of
32Beginning in A pril 1954, labor fo rce e s ­
tim ates w ere p rep ared for Je ffe rso n , Wayne,
and Hamilton C ounties, in stead of for J e f f e r ­
son County only.
33These e stim ate s are b ased on inform ation
s u p p l i e d by the Illin ois State Em ploym ent
S erv ice .

job opportunities faced by th e laid-off
workers.
In the spring of 1956, when the field
study was made, layoffs in other labor
market areas had resulted in the return
to Mt. Vernon of s o m e of the outmigrants. 34 This temporarily reversed the
downtrend in the labor force and created
a substantial increase in l o c a l unem­
ployment; some of this increase in un­
employment was reflected in the ques­
tionnaire re sp o n se s.35
U n e m p lo y m e n t o f ca r s h o p w o r k e r s
A large majority of the laid-off car
shop employees experienced a month or
more of unemployment. Sixty-seven per­
cent reported 3 o r more months* un­
employment; 54 percent w e r e without
work for 6 o r more m o n t h s , and 31
percent were unemployed for a year or
longer. According to the questionnaire
re sp o n se s,36 84 percent applied for un­
employment insurance an d 79 percent
received benefits.
Although the questionnaire responses
may exaggerate slightly the total amount
of unemployment, 37they illustrate sev­
eral aspects of the employment and un­
employment experience of the respond­
ents. For example, two important rea­
sons for staying in Mt. Vernon w e r e
(1) availability of jobs or self-em p loy­
ment immediately after layoff, and ( z )
inability to obtain employment in other
areas.
Both a r e reflected in the un­
employment experience o f th e nonmi­
grants, of whom approximately one-third
had found other employment almost im ­
mediately after layoff and another third
were unemployed for a year or m o r e -figures noticeably higher than those for
out-of-town workers and migrants (table
11).
In other words, many who found
jobs q u i c k l y in the Mt. Vernon area
stayed, but in a d d i t i o n , others also
stayed who found job finding very dif­
ficult. Many of those with long periods
of unemployment were men over 45 who
found it difficult to f i n d jobs in other
areas.
A l m o s t 9 out of 10 of the out-oftown workers and migrants had experi­




enced s o m e unemployment, but fewer
p e r s o n s in these groups than of th e
nonmigrants were unemployed for a year
or m ore.
The particular p a t t e r n of
34Southern Illinois outmigrant workers tend
to return to their hometowns not only when
job opportunities become available but also
when they are laid off in other areas. For
additional evidence, see Applicant and Claim and Survey, op. cit.
35By October 15, 1956, h o w e v e r , unem­
p l o y m e n t had again fallen off substantially
both because of heavy outmigration to indus­
trial plant j o b s in the central and northern
p a r t of Illinois and because o f employment
increases in nonmanufacturing establishments
in Mt. Vernon.
The Illinois State Employ­
ment Service reported that, as of October 15,
1956 (Labor Market Trends, November 1956),
the number of unemployed men was approxi­
mately half that of 6 months earlier.
The
Employment Service* s report stated: "Con­
tinued recruitment by firms outside the area
has practically drained off all the skilled ma­
c h i n e operators. However, many of these
same men would be willing to return home if
local e m p l o y m e n t opportunities presented
themselves. "
36When not otherwise specified, data in this
chapter are from the questionnaire responses.
37In the interviews, 86 percent said t h e y
applied for benefits (84 percent on question­
naires): 19 percent said they drew no bene­
fits (21 percent on questionnaires).
These
results are very similar, but only 61 percent
of those i n t e r v i e w e d reported 2 or more
weeks of total unemployment, compared with
76 percent of those who completed question­
naires. Other than s a m p l i n g differences,
t h i s discrepancy has two possible explana­
tions. Some of those who completed the mail
questionnaires misunderstood the meaning of
"unemployed" and reported t o t a l unemploy­
ment for periods wh e n farming, doing od d
jobs, or when otherwise self-employed. Fur­
ther, a few may have t r i e d to match total
unemployment with the l e n g t h of time they
drew unemployment compensation. It might
be noted, also, that under the Illinois Unem­
ployment Compensation Act, some benefits can
be received even if a p e r s o n is not totally
unemployed. In section 239 of th e a c t (as
amended to July 1, 1951), th e definition of
unemployed includes a person who is other­
wise e l i g i b l e and i n any week works less
than full time for wages less than his week­
ly benefit amount.
Thus, a person with no
total unemployment c o u l d receive benefits.
Further, the data for this study were coded
in such a way that persons with less than 2
weeks of total unemployment were c o u n t e d
with those with no unemployment. Some of
these people drew unemployment compensa­
tion benefits.

27

TABLE 10o

Estimates of civilian labor force, Jefferson, Wayne, and Hamilton Counties,
111. , April 19 54-April 1956
Labor force

April
1956

October
1955

April
1955

October
1954

April
1954*

Total civilian labor fo r c e ,...............

24, 0 50

23,450

24, 47-5

24, 725

27, 525

Total employed .« ...............................
Nonagricultural wage and
salary workers.............................
Other nonagricultural
w ork ers......... ......... .
Agricultural workers .....................
Total unemployed .............................
Unemployed as percent of
labor force...................................... <

21,450

21, 600

21, 725

21, 425

23, 025

11, 850

11, 900

11,825

11, 725

13, 125

3, 200
6,400
2, 600

3,200
6, 500
1, 850

3, 200
6, 700
2, 750

3, 200
6, 500
3, 300

3, 200
6, 700
4, 500

10. 8

13. 3

16. 3

10. 8

7.9

Numerical change in-Labor
force

April 1954-October
October 1954-April
April 1955-October
October 1955-April

1954......... . . . .
1955.................
1955......... . . . .
1956.........

Total
employment

Non­
agricultural
employment

Un­
employment

-2,800
-250
-1, 025
+600

Period

-1, 600
+300
-125
-150

-1, 400
+ 100
+75
-50

-1, 200
-550
-900
+750

Revised figures.
Source: Labor Market Reports, Research and Statistics Section, Illinois State Employment
Service reports.

TABLE 11.

Laid-off workers by duration of unemployment and by migrant status, April 1956
(Percentage distribution)
Total
sample1

Nonmigrants

Out-of-town
workers

Migrants

100

100

100

100

Unemployment.....................
2 weeks-2 months............
3- 5 months . . . . . . . . ........
6-8 months.......................
9-11 months.....................
12-17 months...........
18-23 months . . . . . ..........
2 or more y e a r s.............
No unemployment2. . . . . . . . .

76
9
13
14
9
13
9
9
24

69
7
10
11
7
12
9
13
31

88
9
17
23
14
15
7
3
12

89
16
21
17
12
13
7
3
11

Number in sample...............

1, 290

826

193

271

Duration of unemployment

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

Questionnaires contained inadequate data for 105 additional workers.
includes those with less than 2 weeks’ total unemployment.
Source:

28




Mail questionnaire data.

unemployment for out-of-town workers
and migrants implied not only that more
than half of them had concentrated their
employment s e a r c h in the local area
for some months after th e layoff, but
also that search for and acceptance of
employment in other areas accelerated
rapidly after the first few m o n t h s of
unemployment.
Migrants had somewhat le ss unem­
ployment, on the average, than out-oftown workers which indicates that they
were more willing to break their ties,
at least temporarily, with the hometown.
Data on t o t a l months of unemploy­
ment are supplemented by responses to
the question on the time r e q u i r e d to
find the first job after layoff.
F ortyseven percent of the area full-tim e em ­
ployed h a d found employment within 2
weeks after being laid off, and 71 per­
cent of the underemployed had engaged
in some type of work within a similar
length of tim e. These high figures re ­
flect the fact that many of the area em ­
ployed and underemployed were able to
resume or take up farming or odd jobs
shortly after th e layoff.
In contrast,
o n l y 26 percent of th e full-tim e em ­
ployed with Mt. Vernon addresses, 12
percent o f the out-of-town w o r k e r s ,
a n d 13 p e r c e n t of the migrants had
found their first jobs within 2 weeks.
C o m p a r i s o n o f th e s h o r t - t e r m a n d
lo n g -te r m u n e m p lo y e d
Eighty-three percent of t h o s e with
little (2 w e e k s or le ss) or no unem­
ployment were workers w h o stayed in
the Mt. V e r n o n area.
On the other
hand, 89 percent of those with at least
2 years of unemployment after the shut­
down were also persons who stayed in
the area. Thus, m ost of both the short­
est and longest periods of unemployment
was c o n c e n t r a t e d among the nonmi­
grants.
Absence of unemployment, however,
had not in all cases meant satisfactory
solution of the employment problems of
the laid-off workers.
M a n y who re ­
ported no unemployment were farm ers
o r farmhands who had depended u p o n




work in the car shops for adequate in­
come; others had not worked at a reg­
ular or full-tim e job since th e layoff,
but had taken whatever odd jobs t h e y
could find, and were, therefore, counted
with the underemployed; finally s o m e
had left the labor force after the layoff
because they were age 65 or over. In­
terviews indicated that some decisions
to retire were hastened by the scarcity
of jobs in the area.
Most o f those with little o r no un­
employment, however, had found local
jobs they considered satisfactory, and
so were not faced d i r e c t l y with th e
problem o f w h e t h e r t o migrate.
In
contrast, those who had no work for at
least 2 years after the shutdown were
those without ready sources of local em ­
ployment, many of whom had looked for
work in other areas without success.
Large numbers o f nonmigrants r e ­
ported either short-term or long-term
unemployment; 40 percent of the group
were unemployed from 3 to 18 months
after the layoff.
In contrast, 69 per­
cent of the out-of-town workers and 63
percent of the migrants had b e e n un­
employed for from 3 to 18 months. For
the m o s t part, therefore, the out-oftown workers and migrants saw few al­
ternatives to factory work.
They d id
not own farmland and could not afford
to buy it; they could not get, could not
earn enough, or did not want, odd jobs;
and they had insufficient capital or did
not feel qualified to go into business for
them selves.
The employment alternatives facing
individual worker s were clearly a major
factor associated w i t h duration of un­
employment. Little relation appeared,
however, between the period of unem­
ployment and factors such as the level
of skill either in the car shop occupa­
tion before the shutdown, or in the job
of those who had found factory employ­
ment at the time of the survey. Although
those w i t h children under 18 (used as
an indication of family financial respon­
sibilities) reported somewhat shorter
periods of u n e m p 1 o y m e nt than those
with no school-age children, the expla­
nation may lie in the difference in age
distribution, since younger persons ex-

29

perienced shorter periods of unemploy­
ment than did those in th e higher age
groups.
T h o s e u n e m p l o y e d a t tim e o f s u r v e y
A m ajority of t h o s e unemployed at
the time of the survey had experienced
protracted unemployment. Only 8 per­
cent found jobs within 2 weeks after the
s h u t d o w n , whereas 61 percent were
more than 6 months in finding their first
jobs, compared with only 36 percent in
the entire sample.
In total amount of
unemployment between the shutdown and
the s u r v e y , 92 percent of this group
had been out of work 6 or more months,
75 percent a year or m ore, and 40 per­
cent 2 or more years. Some had been
unemployed continuously since the lay­
off, and approximately 9 out of 10 had
exhausted their unemployment compen­
sation benefits.
M a n y of the long-term unemployed
had no interest in or opportunity to en­
gage in farming or odd-job work, some
had looked unsuccessfully for work both
locally and in other a r e a s .
Further,
much long-term unemployment was as­
sociated with a g e - - 70 percent of those
unemployed in April 1956 were age 45
or older, while only 48 percent o f all
respondents in the labor force were in
that a g e group.
T h e s e older unem­
ployed were in m ost cases not eligible
for social security since only 8 percent
were 65 or over.
In addition to b e i n g older, on th e
average, t h a n the rest of the laid-off
group, the unemployed had le ss educa­
tion; 78 p e r c e n t reported 8 or fewer
grades of school. Those over 45 years
of age, and particularly those over 55,
suffered a double handicap because of
age and lack of education.38
With the exception of the migrants,
the u n e m p l o y e d group reported th e
g r e a t e s t shift from homeowner ship.
Further, almost all (97 percent) of the
interviewed u n e m p l o y e d had weekly
fam ily incomes of $60 or l e s s at the
time of the study.
L ess t h a n half of
3 8 For more extended discussion, see below.

30




th e interviewed unemployed, however,
said they were actively considering jobs
outside the Mt. Vernon l a b o r market
area. The m ost important reason given
by those not seeking jobs in other areas,
was that to do so would be futile. A l­
m ost all w h o gave this r e a s o n were
persons over age 45 and in m a n y in­
stances between 55 and 65.
They had
either tried to find jobs in other areas
and had failed, or knew many who had
tried and failed.
A small minority of
the unemployed, however, felt that they
should not have to seek work in other
areas; that local industry and business
should provide enough jobs.
T h o s e o u t o f la b o r f o r c e a t tim e
of su rvey
Many of the 9. 4 percent of the ques­
tionnaire respondents who were not in
the labor force at the time of the sur­
vey had n o t retired immediately after
the shutdown.
This, and the fact that
the withdrawal rate appeared above av­
erage, justified examination of the em ­
ployment and unemployment experiences
o f this group, m ost o f whom were 65
years of age or older.
The car shops had no form al retire­
ment age and a number of the men close
to 65 or 65 y e a r s and o v e r had not
wanted to retire w h e n they were laid
off. A number had not retired even at
the t i m e of the survey.
In 1956, 21
percent were working (almost all in the
Mt. Vernon a r e a and m ostly as selfem ployed), and 11 percent were unem­
ployed a n d actively looking f o r work.
The rest (68 p e r c e n t ) had withdrawn
from the labor force. Interviews with
some of the retired w orkers, however,
i n d i c a t e d that a number had left the
labor force only because they were un­
able to find jobs, a l t h o u g h they had
looked for work within the f i r s t year
after the layoff. Approximately 10 per­
cent of the total ou t-o f-th e-la b o r-fo rce
group h a d some employment after the
shutdown.
A g e , e d u c a t io n , a n d d u r a t i o n o f
u n e m p lo y m e n t
Age and amount of form al education
were related significantly to length o f

cent in the 45 t h r o u g h 54 and the 55
through 64 age g r o u p s , respectively,
likewise drew no benefits.

unemployment after th e car shop lay­
off.
The data indicate, however, that
the relationship between age and length
of unemployment was the more signifi­
cant. Only 32 percent of those unem­
ployed le ss than 6 months were 4 5 years
of age or older, while 47 p e r c e n t of
those w i t h 6 through 8 months of un­
e m p l o y m e n t were in this age group.
The proportion of persons 45 and over
increased to 56 p e r c e n t of those un­
employed from 9 through 17 months and
to 74 percent of those who were jobless
for 18 months or longer. In the sample
as a whole, le ss than 40 percent were
out of work for 9 or more months, but
64 percent o f the 55 t h r o u g h 64 age
group were unemployed that long (table
12) .

Included in the group of t h o s e who
were unemployed for 6 months or longer,
were 76 p e r c e n t of the grade school
graduates, 56 percent of the high school
graduates, and only 31 percent of those
with some post•high^school education.
Among all laid-off w orkers, 56 percent
of the workers with some education be­
yond high school either experienced no
unemployment or were unemployed less
than 3 months; 43 percent of th e high
school graduates had a similar experi­
ence, while only 31 percent o f gradeschool graduates f e l l in this category
(table 13).

The number of weeks o f unemploy­
ment insurance benefits also increased
with the age of the workers. Benefits
were exhausted by 52 percent of those
In the 45 through 54 age group and 65
percent of those from 55 t h r o u g h 64
years of age; these rates were 22 and
36 p e r c e n t , respectively, for the 25
through 34 and the 3 5 through 44 years
a g e groups.
In addition, although 24
percent of the 3 5 through 44 age group
drew no benefits, o n l y 15 and 8 per­

Measurement o f th e relative influ­
ence of educational achievement and of
age upon length of employment was not
possible. When replies were analyzed,
however, it was clear that the propor­
tion of w o r k e r s 45 years of age and
o v e r who reported 6 or more months
of joblessness was g r e a t e r than f o r
those under 45, except in the 45 through
54 age group who had 4 or more years
o f education beyond grade school.
In
each educational group, however, work-

TABLE

12.

L a id -o ff w o r k e r s ,

by duration of unem ploym ent and by age group , A p r il 1956
(P e rcen ta g e d istrib u tion )

To1tal
sam p ie 1

A ge grou p s

D uration o f un em ploym en t
N um ber

P e rce n t

2 0 -2 4

2 5 -3 4

3 5 -4 4

45- 54

5 5 -6 4

65 and
ov er

T o t a l ..............................................

1, 407

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

U nem ploym ent ..........................

1, 053

75

82

71

72

77

85

59

2 w e e k s -2 m o n t h s ......... .. .
3- 5 m o n t h s ............................
6 -8 m o n t h s ............................
9 -1 7 m o n t h s ..........................
18 m onths or m o r e ............
No un em ploym en t2 ...................

127
175
198
293
260
3 54

9
12
14
21
19
25

26
18
10
21
7
18

10
19
16
18
8
29

10
16
15
19
12
28

10
9
14
26
18
23

2
7
12
26
38
15

5
3
13
6
32
41

Q u e s tio n n a ir e s contained inadequate data fo r 132 additional w o r k e r s .
2Includes those with le s s than 2 w e e k s ’ un em p loym en t.
The high p ro p o r tio n of p e rs o n s 65 o r ov e r with no total
unem ploym ent is in flu en ced by the f a c t that a la rg e p ro p o rtio n of the o ld er w o r k e r s who did not r e tir e stayed in
the la b o r fo r c e as s e lf-e m p lo y e d (farm in g and odd jo b s ) .
S ource:

M ail q u estion n a ire data.




31

C h art 3. P roportions u n e m p lo y e d 6
shop

layoff, by a g e

and

m onths or

ed u cation

51%
58%
72%
3 44%
1 45%

25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64

m

m

m

m

m

m

High school:
1-3 y e a rs

I 53%

Years of school
completed

,M
"ill

69%

High school:
4 years
or more ^

58%

By e d u c a t io n le v e l a n d a g e

gro u p 1

Percent 6 months unemployed

Less than 8
8 years
9-12 years
12 or more

Less than 8
8 years
9-12 years
12 or more

A ge group
2 5 -3 4

Less than 8
8 years
9-12 years
12 or more
Less than 8
8 years
9-12 years
12 or more

Elementary:
Less than
8 y e a rs

6 8 %

r n m

3 46%
3 40%

'7...1 35%
"1 37%
| 30%
I l i R H I M ................. .... ''

Years of school
completed

Elementary:
8 y ears

55%

25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64

le v e l

Percent 6 montns unemployed

25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64

after car

le v e l, A pril 1 9 5 6

By a g e g r o u p a n d e d u c a t i o n
Age group

m ore

I 45%

m m

3 5 -4 4

5 8 %

Z3 55%
3 53%

4 5 -5 4

30%
1
g

6 8 %
6 9 %

5 5 -6 4

58%
* Based on 1,297 mail questionnaires.
Persons under 25 and 65 or over were omitted from this tabulation,
2 Includes only 18 out of 248 with some education beyond high school

32




TABLE 13,

Laid-off workers by duration of unemployment and by educational achievement,
April 1956
(Percentage distribution)
Amount of schoolingr

Duration of unemployment

Total sample1

Elementary school

8
Number Percent Less than grades
8 grades;

High school

College

9-11
grade s

grades

13 grades
or more

12

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

1,370

100

100

100

100

100

100

Unemployment...................
2 weeks-2 months...........
3-5 months......................
6 - 8 months........... ..........
9-17 months........... .
18 months or m ore.........
No unemployment2 . . . . . . . .
.

1,026

75
9

77
7
9
13
18
30
23

76
7

74
13
17
23

70
13
18
15
14

10
26

30

76
34
19
9
5
9
24

126

169
196

283
252
344

12

14
21

19
25

11

14
23
21

24

11

10

Questionnaires contained inadequate data for 169 additional workers.
includes those with less than 2 weeks of unemployment.
Source:

Mail questionnaire data.

e r s 55 a n d over experienced substan­
tially m ore unemployment than those in
the 45 through 54 age group (chart 3).
Sim ilarly , in each age group, length
of unemployment tended to show a r e ­
lationship to y e a rs o f schooling.
The
m ost m arked difference occurred when
com parison w as made b e t w e e n those
with 12 o r m ore y e a rs and those with
le s s than 12 y e a rs o f schooling.
The
h i g h school grad u ates showed sign ifi­
cantly sm aller p r o p o r t i o n s who had
been unem ployedfor 6 months or longer.
T h e proportions of those experiencing
long-term unemployment, however, in­
c re a se d for w orkers 45 y e a rs of age or
older, except for those from 45 through
54 who had com pleted high school. It
seem s c le a r, th erefore, that although
education w as related to length of un­
employment, age w as a m ore significant
b a r rie r to reem ploym ent than education.
The ro le of u n e m p lo y m e n t in su ra n c e
Chronic unemployment in a d ep re sse d
a re a is com parable a t th e lo cal level
with a national d ep ressio n . Unemploy­
ment insurance plays a significant role
in such com m unities but cannot by it­
se lf have any g re at effect on the re sto ­
ration of local p rosp erity.




M a j o r layoffs at the P re sse d Steel
C ar Co. plant o ccurred in M arch a n d
A pril 1953 and in F eb ru ary and M arch
1954, with about a thousand p e r s o n s
laid off each period. The layoffs had
im m ediate effect on unemployment bene­
fits and the g r e a t e x t e n t to w h i c h
Je ffe rso n County unemployment benefits
in 1953 and 1954 w e r e attributable to
previous employment at the ca r shops.
F o r exam ple, th e in crease in number
of w eeks com pensated between Jan uary
1954 and M arch 1954 c a n be assign ed
alm ost entirely to the F e b r u a r y car
shop layoff. F u r t h e r , a significant
proportion o f th e com pensable unem­
ployed in Jan uary 1953 had their cov­
ered employment in the car shops (table
14).
A m ajo r portion of the benefits paid
in 1953 a n d 1954, th erefore, resu lted
from p r e v i o u s e m p l o y m e n t at the
P r e sse d S t e e l C ar Co. Although fa r
le s s t h a n the laid -o ff w o rk ers' earn ­
ings would h a v e been, the $2 m illion
in com pensation benefits during th e 2
y e a r s not o n l y helped the unemployed
w orkers but a lso helped to b o lster the
income o f th e c o m m u n i t y at la rg e .
Total w eeks com pensated for the county
a s a whole fell from 55,430 in 1954 to
21,750 in 1955 and benefits paid, from
$ 1 ,3 8 5 ,6 7 0 to $486,375.
33

TABLE 14.

Employment at P ressed Steel Car Co. and unemployment compensation paid to
all unemployed w orkers, Jefferson County, 111. , 1953-54, by month
C ar-shop employment

—

Total: 1953 and 1954

Net change

____

1953: T o ta l.................
January.............
F ebruary••••••••••
March ••••••••••••
A p r i l ................. ..
M a y ...........••••••••
June.........................
J u ly ............................
August ..................... ..
September* ••••••••
October ................. ..
N ovem b er.................
Decem ber .................

1,680
2, 250

1954: T o ta l.................

—
1, 040

1R o u n d e d
2N o

to

n e a re s t

e x p la n a t io n

1 ,6 1 0
1 , 200
1 , 160

1, 130
930
850
930
1 , 160
1 , 120
900

10 0

(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3l
(3)

-+ 570
-640
-410
-40
-30
-2 0 0

-80
+80
+230
-40
-2 2 0

-+ 140
-940
-90
--------—

Benefits
paid

Number who
exhausted
benefits1

$2, 061, 680

1,950

30,490

Total1

Number of
weeks com ­
pensated1
85, 920

Year and month

January •••••••••••
F ebruary••••••••••
March ••••••••••••
A p r i l ............... ..
May ••••••••••••••
June ••••••••••••••
July ••••••••••••••
August ••••••••••••
September ............... ..
October •••••••••••
November •••••••••
Decem ber .................

Jefferson County unemployment benefits

$676,010
38,565
19,820
45,810
68,250
20, 490
6 6 ,760
6 8 , 940
65,390
8 8 , 500
58, 140
52,310
83,035

560

880
880
1, 970
3, 000
2 1 , 160
3, 110
3, 070
2 , 860
3, 780
2 , 690
2, 380
3, 710
55, 430

1, 385, 670

1, 390

2, 740
3, 770
5, 650
5, 660
6 , 380
6 , 480
6 , 870
5, 400
4, 210
3, 140
2 , 220

63,030
92,280
143,370
145,810
165, 345
168,125
173,860
135, 985
101, 740
74,900
53, 450
67,775

1,

2 ,9 1 0

50
40
50
30
30
70
100

40
60
90
110

140
200

70
—
—

120
100
160
200
160

130

10.

a v a ila b le

fo r

sudden

d ro p .

A pproxim ately 10 workers employed as watchmen and janitors.
Source: Illinois State Employment Service and Division of Unemployment Compensation,
Illinois Department of Labor.

Data on the w eeks of benefits p a i d
to the form er car shop w orkers were
obtained from th e m ail question n aires
(table 15). Of the w o r k e r s laid off
from th e car shops in 1953 and 1954,
84 p e r c e n t applied for unemployment
benefits and 79 percent received them.
The nonm igrants not only e x h a u s t e d
their benefits m ore frequently than did
the out-of-town w orkers and m igran ts,
but a g re a te r proportion of the nonmi­
34




gran ts drew no benefits. These re su lts
are le s s contradictory than they seem
because the nonm igrants were m u c h le ss
homogeneous than the other two groups.
The nonm igrants included not only those
who had other employment im m ediately
available in the locality after the shut­
down or who had the highest qualificat i o n s for local employment, but also
those who were l e a s t employable be­
cause of age or other re aso n s.

TABLE 150 L aid-off workers drawing unemployment benefits by number of weeks
and by migrant status, April 1956

of benefits

(Percentage distribution)
Weeks of benefits

Total
sample1

T o ta l....................... ..

Total
drawing
benefits2

Nonmigrants

10 0

100

100

Total drawing benefits . . . . .
1-4 weeks ............. ..............
5-12 weeks ..........................
13-18 weeks .......................
19-25 weeks . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 6 weeks3. ................. ..

79

100

6

7
18

9
42

54

Not drawing benefits4 . . . . . .

21

--

14
8

Out-of-town
workers

77
4
13
7

Migrants

10 0

100

86
6

80

18

17
9

11

6

10
16

11

47

36

32

23

10
11

14

20

x
Based on a sample of 1,260; questionnaires contained inadequate data for 135 additional work­
ers.
2Based on 996 questionnaires.
in clu d es a few who exhausted their benefits in less than 26 weeks.
“ Includes those who were ineligible for benefits.
^
Source:

Mail questionnaire data.

Extrapolation from the data in table
15 shows that an estim ated 1, 500 of the
1 , 9 0 0 production and maintenance w ork­
e r s laid off from the car shops in 1953
and 1954 drew b e n e f i t s during those
y e a r s for a total of at l e a s t 30,000
weeks of benefits. F o r those who drew
benefits, th erefore, the average d u ra­
tion of benefits was at le a st 20 w eeks,
and at le a st 54 percent exhausted their
benefits. These fig u res are well above
State a v e r a g e s .39 Fu rth er, according
to interview data, 17 percent of the total
sam ple had m ore than one period of un­
employment between th e shutdown and
the time of the survey, and 14 percent
drew unemployment com pensation sub­
sequent to their initial period of bene­
fits. A lm ost one-fourth of the m igran ts,
according to interview d a t a , had two
periods during which they drew benefits.
This h i g h e r proportion i s apparently
caused by the number of these m igran ts
who return to Mt. Vernon to seek work
when laid off in o t h e r a r e a s a n d the
la rg e r number in this group who were
eligible for subsequent benefits.
This




eligibility had been o b t a i n e d through
either p o st-ca r-sh o p employment or the
carry o ver of benefit rights to which car
shop employment had entitled them.
Economic effects of u nem ploym ent
insurance

An im portant effect of unemployment
insurance is the reduction in the amount
of w elfare aid required by unemployed
w orkers and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Since
w orkers think o f unemployment in su r­
ance benefits a s money they have earned
through their employment, the su b sti­
tution of unemployment benefits for r e ­
lief has im portant so cial and m o ral a s
w ell a s economic consequences. T h e
role of unemployment insurance in this
39Average duration o f benefits in Illinois,
April 1955 t h r o u g h March 1956 , w a s 9. 9
weeks. From April 1, 1956, through Octo­
ber 31, 1956, approximately 13 p e r c e n t of
Illinois beneficiaries e x h a u s t e d all benefit
rights.

35

re sp e c t w as revealed by interview data
which showed that only 3 p e r c e n t of
those who had le s s than 6 m o n t h s of
unemployment received any w elfare aid,
either in goods or cash . In con trast,
13 percent of those with 6-8 months of
unemployment received s o m e k i n d of
w elfare aid, a s did 16 percent of those
with 9-17 months of unemployment and
3 4 percent of those unemployed for 18
or m ore months. A lso receiving w el­
fare aid were nearly 10 percent of those
with no unemployment, m o s t of whom
were su bsisten ce f a r m e r s .40
The role of unemployment insurance
in m inim izing w elfare or other aid was
em phasized by the f a c t that le s s than
half o f th e interview respondents who
r e c e i v e d unemployment com pensation
had any other so u rces of fam ily income
during their longest p e r i o d of unem­
ployment. Of the 142 interview respond­
ents with additional fam ily income while
unemployed, 47 percent had $20 or le s s
in such income each week.
Unemployment in suran ce, th erefore,
large ly supplanted p u b l i c and private
re lie f during the p e r i o d in which the
w orkers were eligible for benefits. Four
out of every five o f those laid off r e ­
ceived unemployment com pensation, and
of those who did n o t draw b e n e f i t s ,
alm ost all were ineligible because they
were again employed. Of the 400 w ork­
e r s interview ed, all but 74 (18. 5 p e r­
cent) applied for unemployment benefits.
Forty-one o f the 74 had been continu­
ously employed, a n d 17 had made too
much money on the farm to qualify. Of
the rem aining 16, 14 h a d n o t applied
40Few of those not receiving w e l f a r e aid
had any knowledge of social welfare agencies.
In the interviews, those who had not received
any help from public or private social agen­
cies were asked: "Do you know what agen­
cies handle welfare aid in th e community?"
Only 17 percent of those interviewed had any
such knowledge. Most of those who indica­
ted some such knowledge said that the per­
son to see would be either the township or
the county supervisor.
Those w i t h no un­
employment (mostly farm ers) and those who
had had long periods o f unemployment were
more l i k e l y than others to know where to
apply for aid. These d a t a are an indirect
indication of the importance of unemployment
compensation.

36




because they b e l i e v e d they were not
eligible (insufficient wage credit, quit
job, or not looking for w ork), one said
he didn*t believe in unemployment in su r­
ance, and the rem aining p erson said he
had "held off'1 so he could draw la te r.
Those w h o were eligible t h e r e f o r e ,
clearly had little difficulty in receiving
benefits and only a very sm all m inority
who may have been eligible f a i l e d to
apply.
Although i t would b e im p ossible to
a s s e s s accu rately th e effect of unem­
ployment insurance on th e m obility of
th e laid -off w o r k e r s , there is little
doubt t h a t there w as an effect.
This
effect, however, appeared to be l e s s
in determ ining where w o r k e r s would
seek and find jo b s than on the sequence
and timing of their job search and a c ­
ceptance. The direction and su c c e ss of
job search seem ed to be influenced m ore
by the state of job m ark ets. F o r ex­
am ple, 76 percent of those interviewed
who had been laid off in 1953 found jo bs
in le s s than 6 months, with 53 percent
finding jo b s in 2 weeks or le s s , Those
laid off in 1954, on the other hand, were
longer, on th e average* in finding jo b s,
with 3 5 percent finding jobs in 2 weeks
o r le s s and 64 p e r c e n t finding their
f ir s t jo b s within 6 months of the shut­
down. B e c a u s e of the layoffs in the
previous y e a r and because unemploy­
ment h a d rise n in other labor m arket
a re a s, those l a i d off in the spring of
1954 had m ore difficulty. In addition,
a la rg e r proportion of the 1953 layoffs
were owners of sm all fa rm s who, be­
c a u s e of th is, did not become totally
unemployed. Fluctuations in the p lace­
ment activity of the Mt. Vernon office
of the Illinois State Employm ent Service
give further indication that the duration
of unemployment for many w orkers was
closely related to the level o f job op­
portunities not only in Mt. Vernon but
a lso in other labor m arket a r e a s.
In the interview s, q u e s t i o n s were
asked about methods of job search durin g period s o f unemployment. In a l­
m ost e v e r y c a se , the longest stretch
of Unemployment reported was the p e r i­
od im m ediately following the l a y o f f
from the car shops and it was this p e r i­
od which w as analyzed. Excluding a s

jo b s e a r c h the r e g u la r re p o rtin g to the
Illin o is State E m p loy m en t S e r v ic e w hile
d r a w i n g u n em ploym en t in su r a n c e , 82
p e rce n t o f the re sp on d en ts m ade th eir
m a jo r e f f o r t at finding a jo b through
d i r e c t a p p lica tio n s to e m p lo y e r s .
Of
the r e m a in d e r , 8 p e r c e n t depen ded p r i ­
m a r ily on in fo rm a tio n o b t a i n e d fr o m
fr ie n d s and r e la t iv e s , 3 p e r c e n t sought
le a d s t h r o u g h th eir union, 2 p e rce n t
depen ded p r im a r ily on n ew sp a per a d v e r ­
tise m e n ts or oth er s o u r c e s , and 5 p e r ­
cen t in d ica ted they m ade no s p e c ia l e f ­
fo r t s to seek jo b s . Im p r e s s io n s gained
in in te rv ie w in g in d ica te d that the sm a ll
p r o p o r t i o n s who t r i e d to fin d jo b s
through fr ie n d s , the u n ion s, o r n e w s­
p a p e rs, o r w ho saw no point in a ctive
s e a r c h fo r w o rk , r e fle c t e d the s c a r c ity
of jo b op p o rtu n itie s in t h e lo c a l a rea .

lo n g e s t p e r io d o f u n em ploym en t w e r e
n on eth eless o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s o r m i ­
g r a n t s at the tim e in te rv ie w e d .
The
table s h o w s , h o w e v e r, a re la tio n s h ip
betw een the lo c u s of jo b hunting and the
m ig ra n t status o f the in d iv id u a ls when
in te rv ie w e d .
S ix ty -on e p e r c e n t o f the
n on m igran ts had lo o k e d f o r w o rk only
in the lo c a l a re a . M any o f th ese w ent
into fa rm in g o r s m a ll b u s in e s s ; o th e rs
found lo c a l w a g e em p loy m en t q u ick ly ;
still o th e rs b e l i e v e d t h e y had little
ch a n ce, b e ca u se of a g e o r oth er r e a ­
son s, of finding em p loy m en t e ls e w h e r e .
On the o t h e r hand, 75 p e r c e n t of the
o u t-o f-to w n w o r k e r s and 88 p e rce n t o f
the m i g r a n t s had lo o k e d f o r jo b s in
oth er la b o r m a r k e t a re a s during the
p e r io d of u n em ploym en t a fter the shut­
down (table 1 6).

R e l u c t a n c e to seek w o rk in other
a r e a s - - d e s p it e the odds aga in st finding
lo c a l e m p lo y m e n t--w a s s h o w n b y the
fa c t t h a t a lm o st h a lf o f the in te rv ie w
resp o n d e n ts s o u g h t w o rk only in t h e
lo c a l a re a . A s table 16 sh ow s, h o w e v e r,
even som e o f t h o s e who did not lo o k
fo r w ork in o t h e r a r e a s during th eir

O p in io n s o n s i g n if i c a n c e o f
u n e m p l o y m e n t in s u r a n c e f o r

T A B L E

16.

L a id -o f f

w o rk e rs

th e c o m m u n it y
Ten b u sin e ss m e n in the com m u n ity ,
s e le c te d at ran dom , w e r e in te rv ie w e d
in the su m m er of 1956 and w e re ask ed

b y p la c e s th e y s o u g h t
m ig r a n t s ta tu s , Ju n e
(P e rc e n ta g e

P la c e s la id -o f f w o r k e r s
s o u g h t e m p lo y m e n t

T o ta l
s a m p le

T o t a l ...................................................... .. ..........................

w h ile

u n e m p lo y e d

and

by

d is t r ib u t io n )

1 00

T o t a l s e e k i n g e m p l o y m e n t .................
L o c a l la b o r m a rk e t o n ly . . . . . . .
B o th lo c a l a re a a n d o u t­
s i d e ................................................... 0 , 0 0 0 0 .

e m p lo y m e n t
1956

Non­
m ig r a n t s

M ig r a n t s

O u t -o f -t o w n
w o rk e rs

100

100

10 0

94
48

92
61

96
8

10 0
25

13

10

25

18

O u t s id e : U p to a n d b e y o n d
100 m i l e s b u t o n l y i n
I l l i n o i s ......................................................

22

13

48

36

O u t s id e : B o th in I ll i n o i s
a n d o t h e r S t a t e s ......................................

11

8

15

21

6

8

4

*307

215

48

N o t s e e k in g e m p lo y m e n t . . . . . . . . .

Num ber

in

E x c lu d e s
S o u rc e :




s a m p l e .............. .............................

44

p e rs o n s

P e rs o n a l

w ho

had

in t e r v ie w

no

—

44

u n e m p lo y m e n t.

d a ta .

37

what, in t h e i r opinion, u n em ploym en t
co m p e n sa tio n had m eant to M t. V ern on
w o r k e r s and b u sin e ss . A ll 10 said that
the e f f e c t of u n em ploym en t in su ra n ce
upon the com m u n ity had b een b e n e fic ia l,
although a few e x p r e s s e d c o n c e r n about
in d ivid u a ls who m igh t have t a k e n ad­
vantage o f the sy ste m .
None b e lie v e d
that b e n e fits had been a m a jo r s o u r c e
o f in co m e f o r b u s in e s s e s in the c o m ­
m unity, although s e v e r a l m en tion ed the
value to b u s in e s s e s that s e ll n e c e s s it ie s ,
such as g r o c e r i e s .
M o st of the b u s i­
n e ss m e n thought t h a t the b en efit p a y ­
m en ts w e re only of in d ir e c t a s s is ta n c e
to them .
W hile som e thought the b e n e fits w ere
o f m a jo r im p o rta n ce to the w o r k e r s who
r e c e iv e d co m p e n sa tio n , o th e rs thought
the b e n e fits cou ld c o v e r only som e n e­
c e s s it ie s and t h e r e fo r e p ro v id e ” a s m a ll
cu sh ion ” that w ou ld be ” a little b etter
than n o th in g .” The g e n e r a l r e a c tio n is

38




sum m ed up in the w o rd s of a plant su­
perintendent:
It has been a g o o d thing.
W ithout
it th ere w ould have been a panic when
the s h o p s c lo s e d .
It has had a g ood
e ffe c t on this town. The a v era g e w o rk e r
liv e s fr o m payday to payday.
U nem ­
p loy m en t com p e n sa tio n fe e d s h im until
he can f i n d oth er em p loy m en t w ithout
going too fa r into debt.
The m a n a g er of a la rg e r e ta il sto re
said:
U n em p loy m en t” co m p ” kept the w o r k ­
e r fr o m starving and sa v ed his p rid e . It
g iv e s him a stopgap and a ch an ce to get
out and find w ork .
F in a lly , s e v e r a l of the r e p lie s in d i­
ca ted that the resp on d en ts b e lie v e d that
u n em ploym en t in su ra n ce should p e rm it
a w o r k e r to seek em p loy m en t in h is sk ill
range and enable him to co n cen tra te h is
em p loy m en t s e a r c h in h is h om etow n .

Chapter 3E Sum m ary

W h e n the P r e s s e d Steel C a r C o.
c e a s e d o p e ra tio n s e a r ly in 1954 at Mt.
V ern on , e c o n o m i c d is a s te r th rea ten ed
that com m u n ity w h e r e c h r o n ic u n em ­
p l o y m e n t w a s a lre a d y a b a s ic la b o r
p r o b le m .
B e ca u se o f d e c lin e s in j o b
op p o rtu n itie s in m ining and in fa rm in g
w h ich w e r e n o t o ffs e t by ex p a n sion in
oth er e m p l o y m e n t s e c t o r s , the Mt.
V e rn o n a r e a u n em ploym en t w as about
10 p e r c e n t o f the la b o r f o r c e b e fo r e the
c a r shop shutdown. W ith the te r m in a ­
tion o f o p e ra tio n s a t th is la r g e s t e m ­
p loy m en t s o u r c e in the com m u n ity, a re a
u n em ploym en t i n c r e a s e d to about 16
p e r c e n t.
A su rv e y b y t h e Institute o f L a b o r
and In d u stria l R e la tio n s o f the U n iv e r­
sity of Illin o is and the B u reau o f L a b or
S ta tistics o f the U. S. D e p a r t m e n t of
L a b o r , m o r e than 2 y e a r s la t e r , r e ­
v e a le d that o f the 1,5 3 9 f o r m e r c a r
s h o p w o r k e r s w h o re sp o n d e d to m a il
q u e stio n n a ire s (80. 7 p e r c e n t o f the s u r ­
v e y p o p u la tio n ), 12 p e r c e n t w e r e still
u n em p loyed , 11 p e r c e n t w e r e u n d e re m ­
p lo y e d , and 9 p e r c e n t had le ft the la b o r
fo r c e .
F ift y -fo u r p e r c e n t of t h e s e
w o r k e r s , h o w e v e r, had b een u n em ployed
6 o r m o r e m onths o f the tim e sin ce the
plant had shut down. T w o -th ir d s o f the
e n tire g ro u p o f e x - c a r shop w o r k e r s had
fu ll-t im e jo b s at the tim e o f t h e su r­
v e y ; 36 p e r c e n t w o rk e d and liv e d in the
M t. V e rn o n la b o r m a rk e t a r e a (n onm i­
grants)*, 13. 5 p e r c e n t m a in ta in ed r e s i ­
d en ce in the a r e a but co m m u te d to w o rk
in oth er la b o r m a r k e t a r e a s (o u t -o ftown w o r k e r s ) , and 18 p e r c e n t had both
jo b s and r e s id e n c e in oth er a r e a s (m i­
g r a n t s ).
Som e sig n ifica n t r e la tio n s h ip s w e r e
found betw een the p o st shutdown e m p lo y ­




m ent e x p e r ie n ce o f these w o r k e r s and
th eir p e rs o n a l c h a r a c t e r is t ic s . E x c lu d ­
ing th ose w ho had le ft the la b o r f o r c e ,
a lm o s t all o f the w o r k e r s w ere m a le s
a n d a lm o st h alf w ere 45 y e a r s old o r
over.
T h e o ld e r w o r k e r s con trib u ted
m o r e t o u n em ploym en t and u n d e re m ­
p l o y m e n t than did the you n ger m en .
Seventy p e rce n t o f the u n em ployed and
59 p e rce n t o f the u n d erem p loy ed w e re
45 y e a r s of age o r o ld e r . B e s id e s the
re la tio n s h ip betw een a g e and the rate
o f u n em ploym en t and u n d erem p loy m en t,
the w ork h is to r y data r e v e a le d that the
o ld e r w o r k e r s had had m o r e m onths
w ithout w o rk in the tim e b e t w e e n the
shutdown a n d the su rv ey than had the
you n ger w o r k e r s .
A n oth er fa c to r w h ich ca u sed both a
h igh er rate and a lo n g e r d u r a t i o n o f
un em ploym en t w as the am ount of fo r m a l
sch o o lin g . W o rk e r s w ith a gra d e s c h o o l
ed u ca tion e x p e r ie n ce d m o r e u n em p loy ­
m en t than th ose w ith a high s c h o o l e d ­
u cation .
None o f the oth er p e rs o n a l c h a r a c ­
t e r is t ic s m e a s u r e d had as m u ch in flu ­
en ce upon the p ost shutdown em p loy m en t
e x p e r ie n ce a s d i d a g e and edu cation .
F a m ily r e s p o n s ib ility w a s t h e r e a s o n
fo r k eepin g f a m i l i e s in M t. V ern on
w hile the brea d w in n er w as e m p l o y e d
ou tsid e ( o u t - o f - t o w n w o r k e r s ) , but it
w as a ls o the r e a s o n f o r m ovin g fa m ilie s
away (m ig r a n ts ). In a ll of the e m p lo y ­
m en t status g ro u p s, th ere w a s a high
in cid e n ce of l o n g t i m e r e s id e n c e and
h om eow n er ship in the a rea .
P la c e of
r e s id e n c e w a s, h o w e v e r, re la te d to e m ­
p loym en t e x p e r ie n ce a fter the shutdown.
The u n em p loy ed and the r e tir e d w e r e
m o r e co n ce n tra te d in and near the city ,
w h ile th ose f u l l y e m p loy ed within the
39

M t. V e rn o n a r e a and the u n d e re m p lo y e d
w e r e m o r e lik e ly to h a v e o u t -o f-t o w n
and o u t -o f-c o u n t y p la c e s o f r e s id e n c e .
R u ra l d w e lle r s w ho w e r e u su a lly y ou n ger
and w ith m o r e a lte rn a tiv e s o u r c e s o f
e m p lo y m e n t, p a r tic u la r ly in fa rm in g and
in odd jo b s , had both l e s s u n em ploym en t
and m o r e u n d erem p loy m en t than the city
d w e lle r s 0
In g e n e r a l, the j o b s o f the o u t -o ftow n w o r k e r s and m ig ra n ts had h igh er
sk ill le v e ls and e a rn in g s than the jo b s
o f the n on m igra n ts. F u rth e r, w h ile only
4 p e r c e n t o f the e m p lo y e d n on m igran ts
w e r e in the sam e o ccu p a tio n as w h e n
in the c a r sh op s, 40 p e r c e n t o f the ou to f-to w n w o r k e r s and 22 p e r c e n t o f the
m ig ra n ts w e r e in the sam e o ccu p a tio n .
In le v e l o f s k ill, m o s t of t h o s e who
took m a n u fa ctu rin g jo b s in oth er a r e a s
stayed at the sam e o ccu p a tio n a l le v e l,
and so m e m o v e d up. A lm o s t a ll o f the
n on m igra n t e m p lo y e d , in c o n tr a s t, e x ­
p e r ie n c e d m a jo r in d u stria l and o c c u p a ­
tion a l sh ifts.
F o r the m o s t p a rt, the
e m p lo y e d n on m igran t s u ffe r e d a m a jo r
d e c lin e in h is e a rn in g s.
On the oth er
hand, the o u t -o f-t o w n w o r k e r s and the
m ig r a n ts e a rn e d su b sta n tia lly m o r e than
they had at the c a r sh op s.
H om etow n attach m en t, t h e g r e a te s t
o b s ta c le to g e o g r a p h ic m o b i l i t y , w as
stron g enough to k e e p m an y w o r k e r s in
the com m u n ity ev en though t h e y knew
they c o u l d obtain jo b s at h igh er sk ill
le v e ls and su b sta n tia lly h igh er e a rn in g s
e l s e w h e r e . M o st o f the o u t -o f-t o w n
w o r k e r s (79 p e r c e n t) and m ig ra n ts (73
p e r c e n t) had sought o r a c c e p te d o u t -o fa r e a e m p lo y m e n t on ly a fte r a t le a s t 2
m on th s o f u n e m p l o y m e n t in the M t.
V e rn o n a r e a . E ig h t y -s ix p e r c e n t o f the
o u t -o f-t o w n w o r k e r s r e p o r te d that they
w ou ld p r e fe r jo b s i n M t. V ern on , and
on ly a fe w m ade t h e i r re tu rn co n tin ­
gent upon w a g e s as high as in th e ir ou to f-to w n jo b s . M o st o f the m ig ra n ts a l­
so h oped fo r a n in c r e a s e in jo b o p en ­
in gs in M t. V e rn o n and w e re w illin g to
m ake som e fin a n cia l s a c r if ic e in o r d e r
to re tu rn th e re .
Som e o f the o ld e r w o r k e r s w e r e un­
able to s e c u r e e m p l o y m e n t in oth er
a r e a s and o th e rs did not seek e m p lo y ­
m en t e ls e w h e r e b e ca u se they b e lie v e d
they w ould not be a c c e p te d . H o m e o w n e r40




ship w as another o b s ta cle to g e o g ra p h ic
m o b ility b e ca u s e the w o r k e r s w e re r e ­
luctant to s e ll o r ren t th eir h o m e s in a
d e p r e s s e d m a rk e t.
F in a lly , o p tim ism
k e p t m any d i s p l a c e d w o r k e r s w a iti n g f o r j o b o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n M t.
V ern on .
The a p p ro x im a te ly 3 0 ,0 0 0 w eek s o f
un em ploym en t i n s u r a n c e b e n e fits , a
fa c t o r in slow in g m i g r a t i o n , la r g e ly
e lim in a ted the need f o r pu b lic o r p r i ­
vate r e l ie f during that p e r io d and p r o ­
v id ed m u ch n eeded in co m e fo r the un­
em p lo y e d , th eir fa m ilie s , and the c o m ­
m unity at la r g e . W elfa re aid in c r e a s e d
m a rk e d ly , h o w e v e r, fo r th ose who e x ­
hausted th eir b e n e fits.
T o so lv e the un em ploym en t p r o b le m ,
a num ber of lo c a l o rg a n iz a tio n s w e r e
a c tiv e ly seeking to a ttra ct new in d u stry
in o r d e r to cr e a te new jo b s and s o u r c e s
o f in co m e fo r the com m u n ity.
F r o m the point o f v ie w o f the u nem ­
p lo y e d and o f the com m u n ity at la r g e ,
the solu tion to the p r o b le m a p p ea red to
lie in t h e a ttra ctio n o f n e w in d u stry .
W ithout new in d u stry , it w as fe a r e d that
unem ploym en t ra te s w ould re m a in high,
y ou n ger w o r k e r s a n d high s c h o o l a n d
c o lle g e g ra d u a tes w ould b e lo s t to the
com m u n ity, p r o p e r ty v a lu es w ould d e ­
c lin e , in c o m e s w ould fa ll, ca p ita l r e ­
s o u r c e s w ould be unused, and the c o m ­
m unity w ould tend to stagnate.
A num ber o f org a n iz a tio n s w e r e a c ­
tiv e ly p rom otin g new i n d u s t r y at the
tim e o f the su rv ey .
M t. V ern on New
In d u stries, I n c ., had b een fo r m e d , the
In d u strial D ev elop m en t C om m ittee o f the
C h am ber o f C o m m e r c e had been e s ta b ­
lis h e d , and the w o r k e r s th e m s e lv e s had
cr e a te d the J e ffe r s o n County In d u strial
O rg a n iza tion . A t the tim e o f the study,
little p r o g r e s s had been m ade i n p r o ­
viding new jo b s . Tw o o f the o r g a n iz a ­
tio n s, h o w e v e r, w e re s till in the fo r m a ­
tive stage a n d t h e th ird , M t. V ern on
New In d u stries, w as h a n d i c a p p e d by
l i m i t e d funds and r e s t r ic t io n s in its
c h a r te r . A lthough th ere w e r e d i f f e r ­
e n ce s o f opin ion as to t h e m eth od s to
be u sed in attractin g new in d u stry , a ll
g ro u p s had the sam e g o a l o f cre a tin g
new jo b s and s o u r c e s o f in co m e f o r the
com m u n ity.




A p p e n d ix

A

Design o f Study and Sam pling

A p p e n d ix

B

M a il Q uestionnaire
Personal In te rv ie w Schedule

41




Appendix A. Design of Study and Sampling
The problem s which occasioned this
s t u d y m ay be sum m arized briefly a s
follow s:
1. Since the labor m arket a re a had
a surplus of labor before the shutdown,
large num bers of those l a i d off faced
extended unemployment if t h e y sought
jo bs in the local labor m arket, or, as
a m ajor altern ative, m igrated from the
community with the attendant disruption
of fam ily and so cial tie s and problem s
of beginning anew in a strange communi­
ty.
2# F o r many of th e w orkers over
45, outm igration was not a suitable a l­
ternative because of the d i f f i c u l t i e s
m iddle-age w orkers have in securing
factory employment.
3. F o r some w o rk ers--th ose m ost
attractive to em ployers because of age,
p articu lar s k i l l s , o r other fa c to r s- reem ploym ent in the lo cal labor m arket
a re a w as not a m ajor problem , but for
many o f these w orkers employment at
com parable or even higher lev e ls of skill
w as available only at lower w ages.
4. F o r other w orkers, self-em p loy ­
ment w as an alternative with the m ajor
choices being farm ing, o d d jo b s, and
sm all b u sin ess. Many of them already
were fa r m e r s but they had been work­
ing in the car s h o p s , in m ost c a se s ,
because t h e i r fa rm s were sm all, the
land relatively poor, and their farm in­
com es l o w.
O b t a i n i n g an adequate
income from odd jo b s or from o p erat­
ing a sm all b u s i n e s s (such a s a g as
station o r a gro cery sto re) w as d iffi­
cult in a community with a h i g h level
of unemployment,
5. F o r the community a s a whole,
the m ajor altern atives w ere, on the one




hand, to undergo the s l o w p ro c e ss of
reducing unemployment through outmi­
gration and a shrinkage in population or,
on the other hand, to seek to bring in
new m a n u f a c t u r i n g plants and other
so u rces of new jo b s.
6.
The community faced other prob­
lem s a s a re su lt of th e shutdown and
the reduced average income of its pop­
ulation. These problem s included i n ­
c re a se d burdens on public re lie f with,
at the sam e tim e, reduced tax revenues;
the lo s s to other com m unities of some
of the m ore am bitious and able m em bers
of the labor fo rce, a t all occupational
lev e ls; a n d potentially larg e lo s s e s in
incom es of trade and s e r v i c e indus­
tr ie s.

In seeking to understand the nature
of these problem s, the m o r e specific
re se a rc h questions were:
1. How much u n e m p i o y m e n t oc­
curred a s a d irect re su lt of the shut­
down?
2. Were t h e r e significant d iffe r­
ences in c h a ra c te ristic s between those
who suffered short periods of unemploy­
ment and those w h o w ere out of work
for an extended period of tim e?
3. Who w ere the unemployed m ore
than 2 y e a r s after the shutdown? How
many of t h e s e h a d been continuously
unemployed and what fa c to rs were a s s o ­
ciated with s u c h extensive unemploy­
m ent?
4. What w as the role of unemploy­
ment insurance after the shutdown?
5. What happened to those who stayed
in the Mt. Vernon labor m arket a re a ?
Why did they stay ? H ow m a n y were
43

fully employed a n d what kinds of jo b s
did they have? How did they com pare
their new jo b s with their car shop em ­
ploym ent?
6.
How many were le s s than fully
employed, either because of short hours
of work, or subsistence earn in gs? What
k i n d s of j o b s did the underemployed
have ?

7. Of those who found jo b s in other
labor m a r k e t a r e a s, h ow many kept
their fam ilies in o r near Mt. Vernon
(in this study called out-of-town work­
e r s ) and how many m o v e d away with
their fam ilie s (that is , m ig r a n ts)? How
were d ecision s made to move or not to
m o v e when j o b s were found in other
are as?
8.
What kind of jo b s were found in
other labor m arket a r e a s ?

9. How did the out-of-town w orkers
a n d m igran ts com pare their jo b s with
their f o r m e r jo b s at th e c a r sh ops?
How did they perceive and analyze their
o verall situation in te rm s of economic
and fam ily p ro b lem s?
10. Under what conditions would the
out-of-town w orkers a n d m igran ts be
willing to accept e m p l o y m e n t in Mt.
Vernon? Did they want to return a n d
what did they expect in the way of w ages
and working conditions?
11. Was age a factor of sp ecial im ­
portance in unemployment, underemploy­
ment, and m igration ?
12. Did the shutdown bring about an
in cre ase in the retirem ent and se m ire ­
tirem en t of laid -o ff w o rk ers?
13. What was the im pact of the shut­
down on t h e com m ercial and b u sin ess
life of the community?
14. How did busin essm en view the
problem of unemployment and the p ro s­
p ects for new industry?
15. What steps were being taken to
secu re n e w so u rces of employment in
Mt. Vernon and w h a t were the p ro s­
p e c ts?
44




A ll available data were analyzed in
order to find the an sw ers to the preced ­
ing questions. Fu rth er detail concern­
ing p rocedu res in sam pling the nonre­
spondents to the m ail questionnaire and
in o b t a i n i n g a sam ple of the survey
population for p erson al interview s fo l­
lows,
A stratified s a m p l e , which would
rep resen t the m ajor categ o rie s of em ­
ployment statu s and r e s i d e n c e , was
constructed on the b a s is of the num bers
and the age d i s t r i b u t i o n within each
stratum , a s shown by the question n aires.
Included within the sam ple, also , w as
a proportionate group of nonrespondents
to the questionnaire; their distribution
within the se v e ra l stra ta w as made by
assum ing an age distribution com para­
b l e with that of the respondents.
The interview sam ple w as not, th ere­
fore, an exact probability sam ple, but
scien tific s a m p l i n g p rocedu res were
u s e d a s a guide. In effect, it w as a
stratified s a m p l e with varying ratio s
designed to obtain a n optimum a llo ca ­
tion of respondents. The size of each
sam ple c ell--th at is , the subsam ple for
each stratu m --w as d e t e r m i n e d by a
form ula41 which accounted for the e s ti­
m ated age d i s t r i b u t i o n w i t h i n the
stratum and the estim ated cost o f ob­
taining interview s.
S u b sa m p le of m ail q u e s tio n n a ir e
non r e sp o n d e n ts
Of the 1,908 individuals in the su r­
vey population, 383 (20 percent) failed
to respond after tw o followup le tte r s.
L e tte rs to a n o t h e r 72 p e r s o n s (3.8
percent) were returned undelivered after
three m ailin gs. ’The number of p erson s
not reached on the f i r s t m ailing w as
higher than 72, but some new a d d re sse s
were obtained b y m e a n s of telephone
c a lls in the Mt. Vernon are a .
When it w as determ ined t h a t there
were 455 nonrespondents (23. 8 p e rc e n t),
a subsam ple of the nonrespondents w as
obtained in order to p erm it an an aly sis
o f a n y significant differen ces between
41S e e

fo rm u la

on p a g e

45.

respondents and nonrespondents. The
following form ula for a random sam ple
w as u s e d to calculate the size o f the
sub sam ple:
„

Ns
■ 0 1 N S +1

w h e r e Ns = population rem aining, and
n = the subsam ple siz e. This form ula
a ssu m e s certain universe valu es and is
based u p o n the gen eral form ula given
by Hansen, Hurwitz, and Madow. ®
Application of the form ula called for
82 a d d i t i o n a l questionnaires from a
random sam ple of the nonrespondents.
This random sam ple could not be drawn
from the entire rem aining population of
455, because the a d d re sse s of 72 p e r­
sons were u n k n o w n and some o f the
o t h e r nonrespondents w e r e living in
w i d e l y scattered p laces such a s L os
A ngeles, Brooklyn, and D allas. F u r­
ther, although the budget for the study
perm itted interview s with a sam ple o f
nonrespondents living in vario u s p laces
in Illin ois, it did not perm it interview s
with those living in Indiana, M isso u ri
(except for St. L o u is), and W isconsin,
or any extensive search for nonrespondents in a r e a s where i t w as planned to
interview m igran ts.
Completion of question n aires by non­
respondents no longer living in the Mt.
Vernon a re a , th erefore, presented sp e­
cial p roblem s. B ecau se of the c o sts of
finding nonrespondents who w e r e m i­
gran ts, it w as d e c i d e d t o obtain the
minimum number of 82 nonrespondents
in the Mt, Vernon a re a with a random
sam ple from th e available a d d re sse s,
and, in addition, to s e c u r e a s many
questionnaires as feasib le from nonre­
spondents living in the a r e a s where in­
terview s with m igran ts would b e con­
ducted.
The 82 questionnaires were obtained
from p r e v i o u s nonrespondents in the
Mt. Vernon a re a but only 4 additional
M . H. H a n s e n , W .N . H u r w it z , and W. G.
M ad ow , S a m p le S u r v e y M eth o d s and T h e o r y
(N ew Y o rk , Joh n W ile y and S o n s, Inc.
1953)
v o l . I, p. 1 2 7 .




question n aires were filled out b y non­
respondents living in other a r e a s. These
four w e r e also interview ed. Thus, a
total of 86 questionnaires w as obtained
from the 383 p erson s who presum ably
had received in itial question n aires but
had not responded.
A n a ly sis of s u b s a m p le of
n o n r e sp o n d e n ts
A s a re su lt of the inability to include
a proportionate number of m igran ts in
the subsam ple, only about 5 p e r c e n t
of the sub sam ple were m igran ts, com ­
pared with 19 p e r c e n t who submitted
m ail retu rn s.
The out-of-town work­
er proportion of th e subsam ple is a l­
m ost i d e n t i c a l w i t h that of the r e ­
s p o n d e n t sam ple and the nonmigrant
proportion is g re a te r (70 percent, com ­
pared with 58 p ercen t).
Only about 10 p e r c e n t of the sub­
sam ple were unemployed o r underem ­
p l o y e d , com pared with 24 percent of
those who responded by m ail. Thirtyone percent of th e s u b s a m p l e were
fa rm e rs, com pared w i t h 19 percent of
the m ail respondents. The subsam ple,
as a group, also represen ted le s s un­
employment during the total period fol­
lowing layoff, with about o n e -h a lf un­
employed for 2 weeks or le s s after the
layoff, w hereas only 24 percent in the
m ail sam ple were unemployed that short
a tim e; only 12 p e r c e n t w ere unem­
ployed a y ear o r m ore, com pared with
31 p e r c e n t for the m ail respondents.
The sub sam ple group not only reported
le s s unemployment but also had stead ier
work since the shutdown--64 percenthad
been on t h e i r jo b s 2 y e a r s or longer
w hereas only 3 5 percent o f the la rg e r
group h a d been a s long as 2 y e a rs in
their current jo b s. In a d d i t i o n , 71
p e r c e n t were still on their f ir s t job
since the shops closed, com pared with
53 percent of the la rg e r group. Fin ally
56 percent of the subsam ple found their
f ir s t job after layoff from the car shops
in 2 w eeks or le s s , com pared with only
27 percent o f those who submitted the
m ail qu estion n aires.
In m ost other re sp e c ts, there were
no significant d ifferen ces between th e
45

nonrespondent subsam ple and the m ail
resp on se sam ple. C ar shop experience
w as sim ila r, b u t the subsam ple group
had slightly lower average sk ill le v e ls,
had commuted slightly g re a ter d istan ces,
had slightly sh orter se rv ice , and had a
slightly e a r lie r date of layoff. P ro p o r­
tions of the two sam ple groups who were
laid off, applied for unemployment com ­
pensation benefits, and received no bene­
fits were very c lo se.
Proportions o f
those with current jo b s in m anufactur­
ing and of the currently self-em ployed
were also very clo se.
The t y p e s of
job shifts (industry and occupation) were
quite sim ila r except to the extent that
these data reflected, for the subsam ple,
the higher proportions in farm ing a n d
the sm alle r proportions of unemployed
and underemployed.
With re sp ec t to p erson al d a t a , the
sub sam ple m atched the m ail sam ple on
m arital statu s, children under 18, and
y e a r s of resid en ce in Mt. Vernon. In
age, there w as little difference except
for the proportion of the sub sam ple in
the 55-64 age group, w i t h 46 percent
o v e r 45 y e a r s of age, com pared with
52 percent in the la rg e r sam ple.
The sub sam ple group had somewhat
m ore e d u c a t i o n , on the av erage, in
that a higher proportion had com pleted
high school. Reflecting the u n d errepre­
sentation o f m igran ts, homeowner ship
while a t the shops had been somewhat
higher: 81. 5 percent, com pared w i t h
73. 3 percent; a lso for those in the sub­
sam ple, homeowner ship dropped le s s in
the period after the shutdown--to 80. 2
com pared with 70. 4 percent. Fin ally,
a s o m e w h a t higher proportion of the
subsam ple lived in outlying p a rts of the
labor m arket a re a , that is , beyond the
Mt. Vernon ru ra l rou tes.
In conclusion, the sub sam ple did not
differ m arkedly from the la rg e r sam ple
in p e r s o n a l c h a r a c te r istic s. It re p ­
resented s o m e w h a t m ore the r u r a l
dw ellers who were l e s s firm ly attached
to the car s h o p s or at le a st le s s de­
pendent upon them a s a source of em ­
ployment. M o r e im portant, however,
the subsam ple group represen ted those
who found satisfa cto ry jo b s in the lo cal
a re a shortly after the shutdown (or in
46




the ca se of fa r m e r s , those who already
had th em ).
S a m p lin g d e s ig n fo r in te r v ie w s
The form ula used for the interview s
is b a s e d on f o r m u l a s presented by
Hansen, Hurwitz, and M adow ,43 P ro ­
fe s s o r Robert F e rb e r, Bureau of E c o ­
nomic and B u sin e ss R esearch , U niver­
sity of Illin ois, provided advice on the
application of the form u las to the p a rti­
cular problem s of this study.
The form ula u s e d is the following:
op t. nh = N t' J S l ' / ' / C * _

w h e re

in

= ^ P h Oh

The sym bols indicate the following: n
is the sam ple siz e ; h re p resen ts a s t r a ­
tum; N is the total n u m b e r ; S is the
standard deviation based on the age data
obtained in the m ail qu estion n aires; C
is the cost factor; P is the proportion
of respondents under 45 y e a r s o f age;
and Q is the proportion of respondents
45 y e a rs of age or over.
Application of the form ula to the data
from the m ail questionnaire retu rn s is
shown in table A - l. E xperience w i t h
t h e resultin g stratified sub sam ples in
the field is shown in table A - 2.
In table A - l, the n suggested” sam ple
distribution ( c o l u m n 13) i s based in
p art upon a n estim ated distribution o f
nonrespondents to the q u e s t i o n n a i r e .
This estim ated distribution w as calcu ­
lated on the b a sis of the age d istrib u ­
tion of th e nonrespondents, since this
item of inform ation w as available from
union re co rd s. A s previously pointed
o ut , nonrespondents were m ore likely
than respondents to have obtained em ­
ployment in the Mt. Vernon a re a sh o rt­
ly after being laid off at the car shops.
43Ibid. , pp. 205-209, 220-222.

TABLE A - 1.

Stratified sam ple for personal in terview s, June-July 1956

(5)
(4)
(3)
E stim ated E stim ated
Ph=distribution distribution P ercen tage
P ercen t
under age
Respondents distribution nonrespon- of survey
452
population
d en ts1
by m ail re spondents

Stratum

P ercen tage
4 5 and
over2

s;Standard
deviation

colum n 4

---

308

54. 5

45. 5

0. 498

1 5 3 .4

87

354

62. 8

37. 2

. 483

171. 0

11. 6

41

210

42. 6

5 7 .4

.4 9 6

•104. 2

12. 0

34

209

32. 3

67. 7

. 469

98. 0
124. 7
180. 2
—

31, 836

238

16. 4

70

267

18. 4

169
175

M igrants • « . . • • * •

195
275

13. 4
1 9 .0

54
89

249
364

52. 1
57. 8

47. 9
42. 2

. 501
. 495

Total in labor
force • ■ « . . . • * • •
Out of labor fo rce.

1 ,3 1 9
134

90. 8
9. 2

375
8

1 ,6 9 4
142

-12. 6

—
87. 4

—

TABLE A - l.

Stratified sam ple for p ersonal in terview s, June-July 19 5 6 - -Continued
(10)

(9)
Stratum

Em ployed, Mt.
Vernon ad d ress
Em ployed, Mt.
Vernon area
a d d r e ss.............
Underem ployed,
Mt. Vernon area
Unem ployed,
Mt. Vernon
a rea ...................
Out-of-town
w ork ers . . . . . .
M ig ra n ts.............

'x.

colum n 7

—

383

Unemployed, Mt.
Vernon a r e a . . . .
Out-of-town work-

(8)

--

100. 0

Em ployed, Mt.
Vernon address t
Em ployed, Mt.
Vernon area
ad d ress . . . . . . . .
Underem ployed,
Mt. Vernon

(7)

__

1 ,4 5 3

T o ta l.......................

(6)

(2)

(1)

an

(12)
Suggested
sam ple
distribution

w

v c iT

1. 41

108. 8

27. 2

109

(14)
(15)
Sample of Interview s
Sample of
respondents4 non-respon­ com pleted
dents®
(13)

(16)
Net change
colum n 16
m inus
colum n 13

93

16

120

+ 11

2. 24

76. 3

19. 0

76

56

20

90

+ 14

2 .0

52. 1

13. 0

52

42

10

35

-17

2 .0

49. 0

12. 2

49

41

8

34

-15

2.0
3. 46

6 2 .4
52. 1

1 5 .6
13. 0

62
52

49
31

13
21

50
56

-12
+4

400

Total in labor
fo rce . . . . . . . . .
Out of labor
f o r c e .................

400. 7

100. 0

312

88

385

-15

--

--

—

--

—

—

15

+ 15

Total number in
s a m p le .............

—

—

—

-

—

-

400

0

lNonrespondents who receiv ed q u estion n aires but did not reply. If the 72 individuals who did not respond and w ere
not contacted and w ere thus not available for the nonrespondent subsam ple or the in terview sam ple are added, the
total of 4 5 5 nonrespondents as indicated, in table 1, footnote 1, are accounted for. This colum n g iv es the estim ated d is ­
tribution of nonrespondents on the assum ption of an age distribution com parable to that of respondents. Union data showed
that 5 9 .9 p ercent of the nonrespondents w ere under 4 5 y e a r s of age.
2T hese age data are from the m ail questionnaire resp o n ses.
31, 836 plus the 72 individuals not contacted equal the su rvey population of 1 ,9 0 8 .
4A sam ple of 312 respondents equals 2 3 . 6 5 percent of the 1 , 3 1 9 respondents in labor fo rce.
5This is the estim ated distribution of nonrespondents. A sam ple of 88 nonrespondents to the questionnaire equals
23. 5 percent of the 37 5 nonrespondents in the labor fo rce who rece iv e d m ail questionnaire schedu les.




47

T A B L E

A - 2.

A n a ly s is

of use

of

O r ig in a l
S tra tu m

O r ig in a l
in t e r v ie w
s a m p le 1

T o t a l ............................................
E m p lo y e d , M t . V e r n o n
a d d r e s s ............................................
E m p lo y e d , M t . V e r n o n
a r e a a d d r e s s ...............................
U n d e r e m p lo y e d , M t .
V e r n o n a r e a ...............................
U n e m p lo y e d , M t . V e r n o n
a r e a ......................................................
O u t -o f -t o w n w o r k e r s . . . .
N o n r e s p o n d e n t s ............................
M i g r a n t s ...............................................

!See

t a b le

2B e c a u s e
e n ts w e r e

400

93

a lt e r n a t e s

p e rs o n a l

s a m p le

R e fu s a ls

in t e r v ie w

s a m p le

A lt e r n a t e s

Not
lo c a te d

Num be r
d ra w n

Not
lo c a t e d

Net
num be r

Num be r
used

192

58

134

43

1

5

2

3

1

13

3

10

3

7

- -

40

3

3

56

1

6

14
16
28

4
8
16
24

10
8
12
85

42
41
49
67
z 52

in

2
--

1
- -

6
3
4
23

3 10 9

8
3
5
23

1.
o f p r o b l e m s o f l o c a t i n g n o n r e s p o n d e n t s i n a r e a s o t h e r t h a n M t . V e r n o n , 21 r e s p o n d ­
a d d e d t o t h e 31 c a l l e d f o r b y c o l u m n ( 1 3 ) , t a b l e A - l ,
(S a m p le o f r e s p o n d e n t s ) .

in c lu d e s

n o n re s p o n d e n ts ;

4 w e re

in t e r v ie w e d .

B e c a u s e o f t h i s a n d b e c a u s e s o m r ee s op f o n d e n t s w h o s e s t a t u s w a s n o t k n o w n
a n d so m e w e re
t h e r e s p o n d e n t s c h a n g e d t h e i r e m pp lr oi oy ­r t o t h e i n t e r v i e w
m e n t a n d r e s i d e n c e s t a t u s b e t w e e rn e s t ph oe n d e n t s w h o r e t i r e d a f t e r t h e y h a d
t im e t h e y c o m p le te d t h e
q u e s t i o n c no am i r pe l e t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s .
a n d t h e t i m e o f t h e i n t e r v i e w , t h e d B i s c­ a u s e o f t h e s e v a r i o u s f a c t o r s , i t
e
t r i b u t i o n o f t h e r e s p o n d e n t s i n t e r v iw w se di m p o s s i b l e t o e s t i m a t e t h e u n d e r e a
d i d n o t c o r r e s p o n d e x a c t l y w i t h t h e a ns du g ­o v e r - r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n t h e s e v e r a l
g e s t e d d i s t r i b u t i o n .M o r e t h a n t h e s t r a t a i nc o m p a r i s o wn i t h
th e m a il
e s t i m a t e d n u m b e r o f p e r s o n s e m p ql ou y e e s d t i o n n a i r e
re tu rn s .
T h e d a ta s u g ­
i n t h e M t . V e r n o n a r e a w e r e i n c l g ed se t de .d , h o w e v e r ,
u
so m e
o v e rre p re s e n ­
T h is is
s o b o teh c a u s e t h e r e w e r e
b
ta tio n o f a r e a
e m p lo y e d a n d s b m e u n ­
m o r e n o n r e s p o n d e n t sh i isn c a t e g o r y d e r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f u n d e r e m p l o y e d a n d
t h a n e x p e c t e d a n d b e c a u s e s o m e o f tuh no es m p l o y e d i n t h e i n t e r v i e w
e
s a m p le .
i n t h e u n e m p l o y e od r u n d e r e m p l o y e d
c a t e g o r i e s , a c c o r d i n g t o q u e s t i o n n a B i re e c a u s e t h e y w e r e w i d e l y s c a t t e r e d ,
r e s p o n s e s h, a d m o v e d i n t o t h e f u lt lhy e m i g r a n t s
a l sr eo c e i v e d
s p e c ia l
e m p l o y e d c a t e g o r i e s b y t h e d a t e oh f a nt hd el i n g .
W ith a lim it e d b u d g e t, i t w a s
in t e r v ie w .
T h e u n e m p l o y e d a n d u nn od t e rp ­ o s s i b l e t o r u n a r a n d o m
a n d p ro ­
e m p l o y e fd i g u r e s a r e l o w e r t h a n e x p­ o r t i o n a t e s a m p l e o f m i g r a n t s .
T o o b ta in
p e c t e d t h e r e f o r e , n o t o n l y b e c a u s e t sh oe m ne u m b e r i n d i c a t e d b y t h e f o r m u l a , i t
r e s p o n d e n t sh a d - m o v e d o u t o f t h e s w e a s d e c i d e d t o o b t a i n t h e s e i n t e r v i e w s
c a t e g o r i e s b u t a l s o b e c a u s e t h e s e i cn a t lea ­ b o r m a r k e t a r e a s w h e r e r e l a t i v e l y
g o r i e s w e r e l e s s w e l l r e p r e s e n t e d l ia n r g e
n u m b e rs
o f
th e
m ig r a n ts
h a d
th e n o n r e s p o n d e n t g r o u p .
b e c o m e r e s id e n ts .
O n th e a s s u m p tio n
t h a t a r e p r e s e n t a t iv e s a m p le o f e x p e r i­
A lt h o u g h t h e
in te r v ie w
s a m p l e e nw c a e s s w o u l d b e o b t a i n e d i f t h e s e a r e a s
i n t e n d e d t o e x c l u d e p e r s o n s o u t o w f e tr he e a t v a r y i n g
d is ta n c e s
fro m
M t.
l a b o r f o r c e 15 p e r s o n s ti nh i s c a t e ­
,
V e r n o n , th e f o u r a r e a s o f g r e a te r
S t.
g o r y w e r e in c lu d e d .
S o m e w e r e L on u ni s ­ - - S t . L o u i s , E a s t S t . L o u i s , G r a n o
48




it e C i t y ,
a n d A l t o (8n5-100 m i l e s ) ;
D e c a t u (120 m i l e s ) ; P e o (200 m i l e s ) ;
r
r ia
a n d
S o u tCh h i c a g o (270 m i l e s ) w e r e
c h o s e n .
A l l e x c e p t th e c it y o f S t.
a r e in I llin o is .
O56 t h e r s o n a l i n ­
f p
t e r v i e w sw i t h m i g r a n t s21 w e r e h e l d
,
i n t h e g r e a t e r C h i c a g o 18 r ien a , t h e
a
g r e a t e r S t . L o u i s a r12 a i n, a n d
e
a r o u n d D e c a t u r , a 5 di n t h e P e o r i a
n
a re a .

s p o n d e n ts

as

m u c h30 a ms i l e s

a p a rt.

A t v a r io u s p la c e s t h r o u g h o u t t h is r e ­
pL oo ru t ,i s t h e i n t e r v i e w s a m p l e f i n d i n g s h a v e
b e e n c o m p a r e d w it h t h e f in d in g s f r o m
th e t o t a l n u m b e r o f q u e s tio n n a ir e s ( r e ­
s p o n d e n ts p lu s n o n r e s p o n d e n ts w h o c o m ­
p l e t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s p ae f rt es r o n a l
c o n ta c t).
T h e s im ila r it y o f r e s u lts in
th e in t e r v ie w a n d q u e s tio n n a ir e s a m p le s ,
a s w e ll a s th e lo g ic a l e x p la n a t io n s f o r
S e c o n d , a p r o p o r t i o n a t e n u m b e r t h oe f f e w d i f f e r e n c e s f o u n d , i n d i c a t e t h a t
d
n o n r e s p o n d e n t m i g r a n t s w a s n o t s ot hu eg h t a, t a f o r t h e s e v e r a l s t r a t a i n t h e
b e c a u s e so m a n y o f th e
o u t - o f - a i rn e t e r v i e w s a m p l e r e f l e c t t h e p o p u l a t i o n s
a
w ith in e a c h s tr a tu m
w it h a c o n s id e r a b le
a d d r e s s e s w e r e i n a c c u I r na st et .e a d ,
I t is e s tim a te d
a l l o f t h e k n o w n p e r s o n s i n t h e s du er v g e r y e e o f a c c u r a c y .
t h a t t h e400 i n t e r v i e w s p r o v i d e d a t a f o r
p o p u l a t i o n i n e a c h o f t h e r ef o a u s r ,
a
th a t a r e
a c c u r a te w it h in
i n c l u d i n g n o n r e s p o n d e n t s , w e r e s e l e ac ct eh d s t r a t u m
s ta n d a rd
d e v i a2 . t i5o n o f
a s s a m p l e s . T h e i n t e r v i e w e r s w e ar e m a x i m u m
T h is m e a n s th a t th e m a x im u m
i n s t r u c t e d mt o a k e n o m o r e t h a n t w op e r c e n t .
c a l l s a t e a c h a v a i l a b l e a d d r e s s i n s ae m c ph l i n g e r r o r s h o u l d b e p l u s o r m i n u s
a
o f t h e a r e a s u n t i l t h e r e q u i r e d n u5 m p be er cr e n t a g e p o i n t s a t95 -t ph ee r c e n t
o f in t e r v ie w s w a s o b ta in e d .
T h e l en vu em l ­ o f c o n f i d e n c e . T h e s a m p l i n g e r r o r
b e r o f in t e r v ie w s s o u g h t i n
e a c h f o a r r et ha e q u e s t i o n n a i r ee s u i t s i s , o f
c
w a s p r o p o r t i o n a t o e t h e s i z e o f t h e c o u r s e , v e mr y u c h s m a l l e r , s i n 80 e
g r o u p o f m ig r a n t s i n
e a c h a r e a . p e rT c h e e n t o f t h e t o t a l s a m p l e i s i n c l u d e d .
i n t e r v i e w e w s e r e i n s t r u c t e d t o c o m B­ e c a u s e t h e i n t e r v i e w
r
su a nm d p el e r ­
b in e a r a n d o m
s e le c tio n f r o m
t h er e p a r de ­ s e n t s o r o v e r r e p r e s e n t s s o m e o f
d r e s s e s t h e y h a d w i t h t h e d e v e l o pt hm e e ne t m p l o y m e n t a n sd i d r ee n c e c a t e ­
o f a n e f f i c i e n t r o u t i n g t h r o u g h t h e ga or er ia e , s , c o m b i n e dd a t a f o r t h e t o t a l
b e c a u s e o f t h e l a r g e g e o g r a p h i c a lg r so i uz p o f l a i d - o f f w o ur ks ee r ds i n t h e
e
t
o f e a c h o f t h e a r e a s i n w h i c h i n t e r vt ei ex w h­ a v e b e e n t a k e n o n l y f r o m t h e q u e s ­
i n g w a s t o t a k e p l a c e , w i t h s o m t ei o nr n a­ i r e d a t a .
e




49

Appendix B
Mail Questionnaire
U IV
N ERSITY O ILLIN IS
F
O

U n it e d S ta te s B u d g e t B u r e a u N o .
44-5606
A p p r o v a l e x p i r e s D e c e m31, e 1956
b r

INSTITUTE OF LABOR AND
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

CONFIDENTIAL SURVEY OF EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE OF PRODUCTION AND
MAINTENANCE WORKERS EMPLOYED BY TH PR
E ESSED ST E CAR COMPANY,
EL
MOUNT VERNON, ILLINOIS, IN 1953 AND 1954

P le a s e r e t u r n b e f o r e A 1, ri inl t h e a t t a c h e d , s t a m p e d e n v e l o p e t o I n s t i t u t e o f L a b o r a n d
p
I n d u s t r ia l R e la tio n s , U n iv e r s it y o f I llin o is , C h a m p a ig n , I llin o is

T h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s s u r v e y is t o d i s c o v e r h o w a n d w h e r e w o r k e r s f i n d j o b s w h e n t h e
p la n t w h e r e th e y w e r e w o r k in g s h u ts d o w n c o m p le te ly in a n a re a w h e r e e m p lo y m e n t
o p p o r t u n i t i e s a r e l i m i t e d . A l l i n f o r m a t i o n o n t h i s f o r m strictly bconfidential
w ill e k e p t
and will be seen only by employees of the Institute of Industrial and Labor Relations of the
University of Illinois.

I.

Y O U R E M P LO Y M E N T A T T H E M O U N T V E R N O N C A R SHOPS.
1. H o w m a n y y e a r s a l t o g e t h e r d i d y o u w o r k a t t h e C _a_ r_ _S_ h _ _p _s _?_ _ Y e a r s
_
_o
_
5
2. I n y o u r l a s t t w o y e a r s a t t h e C a r S h o p s , w h a t w a s y o u r u s u a l o c c u p a t6o n
i
t i t l e ) ?_ _ _ _ :_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _8_ _ _ _
3. H o w f a r d i d y o u t r a v e l f r o m h o m e (onew w raky )} _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ M _i l e s
to o
_
9
4. W h e n d i d y o u f i n a l l y le a v e t h e C a r _ _S_ h _ _ _s _? _ _ _M o n t h . _ _ _ _ _ _ _Y e a r
_o p
jq

W e r e y o u la id o ff?
D id y o u q u it?

II.

50




Yes Q ]
Yes Q

( o r jo b

N o [~~|
N o1 Q
1

A F T E R Y O U LE F T T H E M O U N T V E R N O N C A R SHO PS FO R T H E LA S T
T IM E —
1. D i d y o u a p p l y f o r u n e m p l o y m e n t c o m p e n s a t i o n ?
Y e s [~ | N o |~ |
J2
I f “Yes” a . H o w m a n y w e e k s o f c o m p e n s a t i o n b e n e f i t s d i d _y_o_u_ _ _ _rW e e ?k s
d aw
3 j
b . W h y d i d y o u r b e n e f i t s s(check one)
to p ?
j*
f~~l I f o u n d a j o(or I e n t e r e d m y o w n b u s in e s s ) .
b
[~1 M y b e n e f i t s w e r e u s e d u p .
~
f~ | O th e r re a s o n .
2. B e t w e e n t h e t i m e y o u l e f t t h e C a r S h o p s f o r t h e l a s t t i m e a n d n o w , h o w m a n y
m o n t h s altogether w e r e y o u t o t a l l y u n e m p l o y e d a n d l o o k i n g f o r w o r k ? _ _ _ _ _ _ M o n t h s
3. I f y o u a r e n o t w o r k i n g n o w , c h e c k t h e a n s w e r t h a t a p p l i e s t o y o u .
□
I a m n o t a b le t o w o r k .
f~~| I h a v e r e t i r e d . D a t e o f r e t i r e_ _m_ _e_ _ _t _?_ _ _ _ _ M o n t h _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Y e a r 1
n
_
6
(~~| I a m d o i n g h o u s e w o r k i n m y o w n h o m e .
| | I a m a c t iv e ly lo o k in g f o r w o r k .
f l O t h e r re a s o n . ( S p e c ify ) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I I I . W H A T A R E Y O U W O R K I N G A T N O W ? ( P le a s e a n s w e r th e s e i f y o u a re d o in g
A N Y k i n d o f w o r k f o r P A Y o r I N C If not.E g. o i m m e d i a t e l y t o Q u e s t i o n I V . ) 17
O M
18
1. D o y o u w o r k f o r a n e m p l o y e r ?
Yes Q
No Q
19
I f “ Y e s” Y o u r o c c u p a t i o n ( o r j o b t i t l e ) ? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N a m e o f C o m p a n y - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -20- - - - - - - - -C i t y o r T o w _n___ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ S t a t -e- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 21
_
W e r e y o u t o l d a b o u t t h i s j o b (Check one)
b y—
[~~| I l l i n o i s S t a t e E m p l o y m e n t S e r v ic e ( U n e m p l o y m e n t O f f i c e ) ?
22
□
T h e U n io n ?
[ [ ] T h e P re s s e d S te e l C a r C o m p a n y ?
Q N o n e o f th e s e ?
2. D o y o u h a v e y o u r o w n b u s in e s s o r f a r m ?

23
Y e s f~ | N o [~ |
W h a t k i n dof b u s in e s s is i t _? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
W h e r e is i t l o c a t e d ? ( T o w n o r C_ _ _u _n_ t_y_ )_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 24
o
25
3. H o w l o n g h a v e y o u b e e n i n y o u r p r e s e n t j o b o r _ _b _u _s _in_ e_ s_ s_ ?_ _ _ _ _ _ _M_ o n t h s
a . I s i t y o ufirst job or business s in c e y o u l e f t t h e M o u n t V e r n o n C a r S h o p s ?
r
26
Yes □
N o □
b . I f it is not your first job, h o w l o n g d i d i t t a k e t o g e t y o u r f i r s t j o b a f t e r y o u l e f t
27
t h e C a r S h o p s_?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ M o n t h s
_
4. D o y o u e a r n i n c o m e f r o m a n y o t h e r k i n d o f w o r k ?
Yes Q
N o [ [ ] 28

If “Yes”

I f “Yes” Is it farm? Q Non-farm? Q

5. I f y o u a r e n o w w o r k i n g o u t s i d e t h e M o u n t V e(tooo far a to acommute every
rn n re
day from Mount Vernon)

a . W h e n d i d y o u s t a r t w o r k i n g o u t s i d e t h_ e_ _ _a _r _ _a _? _ _ _M o n t _h _ _ _ _ _ _ _Y e a r
e
b . H a s y o u r f a m i l y m o v e d w i t h y o u ? Y e s p~~| N o |~~]

29
30
31

EVERYBODY PLEASE ANSWER FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WHETHER YOU ARE EMPLOYED OR UNEMPLOYED

32
33

IV . O T H E R IN F O R M A T IO N .
1. S e x : M a l e
F e m a le Q
34
2. A g e : P le a s e c h e c k y o u r c o r r e c t a g e g r o u p :
14-19 Q
35-44 £ ]
65 a n d o v e r [ [ ]
35
20-24 □
45-54 Q
25-34 □
55-64 □
3. W h a t is t h e h i g h e s t g r a d e o f s c h o o l y o u c o m_ _p_l _ _t e _ _?_ _ _ _ _ _ G r a d e
e _d
_
36
4. A r e y o u m a r r i e d ? Q
O t h e r ( s i n g l e , w i d o w e d , s e p a r a t e d , d i v o r c e d ) ? Q 37
5. H o w m a n y c h i l d r e n u 18 e er a r s o f a g e d o y o u h a v e ?
ndy
None Q
38
O n e Q ] T w o [~~] T h r e e Q
Four
F iv e o r m o r e Q
6. H o w m a n y y e a r s h a v e y o u l i v e d i n o r n e a r M o u n t V e r n o n ( w i t h i n c o m m u t i n g d i s ­
39
t a n c e ) ? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Y_ e _a _r s_
_
7. H o m e O w n e r s h i p :
a . W h e n y o u w o r k e d a t th e C a r S h o p s , d id y o u o w n y o u r o w n h o m e in o r n e a r
M o u n t V e r n o n ( c o m m u t in g d is t a n c e t o t h e S h o p s ) ? Y e s Q
N o Q 40
]
b. D o you
now o w n y o u r h o m e i n o r n e a r M o u n t V e r n o n ?
Yes Q ] N o Q
41
V. Y O U R

C O R R E C T AD D R ESS:

(N u m b e r)

P le a s e g i v e u s y o u r c o r r e c t p r e s e n t h o m e a d d r e s s :

( S tre e t o r R o a d )

(T o w n )

(S ta te )

V I . C O M M E N T S : ( W e w o u ld a p p r e c ia te a n y c o m m e n ts y o u h a v e o n e m p lo y m e n t o r
u n e m p lo y m e n t p r o b le m s in t h e M o u n t V e r n o n a r e a .)

HAVE YOU ANSWERED ALL QUESTIONS?




51

Personal in te rv ie w schedule

U . S . B u d g e t B u r e a u N o . 4 4 -5 6 1 4
A p p r o v a l E x p i r e s D e c e m b e r 3 1 ,1 9 5 6

Int. No------------------------UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations

CONFIDENTIAL SURVEY OF EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE OF THOSE EMPLOYED
BY PRESSED STEEL CAR CO., MT. VERNON, ILLINOIS, IN 1953 AND 1954

Personal Interview Schedule

Mail Questionnaire completed?

Y es_______ N o________

Name____________________________________________________________________________

—

Address______________________________________________________________________________ ____
Age-----------------------------------------------Employed l~1
Unemployed dD
Out of L .F . GH
—
The questionnaire was mailed to every one who worked at the car shops in 1953 or 1954.
— smaller number have been selected at random for personal interviews.
A
—
You are one of those selected.
—
The interviews are important because we can learn more about the effects of the shutdown through
personal interview than is possible with the questionnaire.
—
Any information you give will be kept strictly confidential and will be seen only by staff members
of the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Interviewer.
Date of Interview.




A.

WORK HISTORY

Int. No.

1. JOBS SINCE LEAVING THE CAR SHOPS--FULL TIME AND PART TIME (Primary job for each period listed.)
Are you working now? Y e s___No___
Your

(Start with present job and work back)*

RESIDENCE
Fr o m

To
Yr .

Mo.

MO.

Em p l o y e r 's n a m e ;
c i t y (c o u n t y ) o r

AT TIME

Dai'ES

Us u a l

STATE

family

Oc c u p a t i o n a l

In d u s t r y

assignment'

Yr .

hours

WORKED
PER WEEK

2. ADDITIONAL INCOME-PRODUCING W
ORK AT PRESENT.
a. Do you do any farm____ nonfarm_____ work in addition to your regular job?
(1) In season, how many hours each week do you normally work at this?

(hours)

(2) Approximately how much net additional weekly income do you earn from this work? $______
b. At present, is your wife working regularly in paid employment? Y e s____ N o____ I
c. Are there others in the family—
living with you—
who are now working?

Y e s___ N o___ W
ho?

d. Do they contribute to the family income? Y es------ N o____ Approximately how much?




-

Usua l

Re a s o n

for

GROSS WEEKLY

LEAVING EMPLOYER

EARNINGS

OR’CHANGING
OCCUPATION

^

3. PERIODS NOT WORKING— see there are some periods here when you did not have a job after leaving the car shops.
I
(Working backwards) Between (mo. and yr.)____________and (mo. and yr.)_____________were you looking for work?
IF LOOKING, did you write or make personal application? (Include registration at ES or telephone call as personal
application.) In what towns (inc. State) did you look? IF NOT LOOKING, why were you not looking for a job (or
not able to work)?
a. Data for periods not working after leaving the car shops.
(1) IF LOOKING. RECORD HOW

C ircle

Da t e s

1— IF LOOKING
DM
Fr <
Mo.

YR.

T0
MO.

Un e m p l o y m e n t Co m p e n s a t i o n

Ap p r o x i m a t e

AND WHERE LOOKED
2— 1F NOT LOOKING
YR.

D id
(2) If

you apply

No.

weeks

Weekly

not l o o k i n g , r e c o r d

REASON NOT LOOKING

weekly

AMOUNT OF INCOME (NET)
for

U. C. ?

OF BENEFITS

AMO UN T

OTHER THAN UNEMPLOYMENT
COMPENSATION

i
VJ
J
1
1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

b. If you did not apply for U.C., why not?




Not applicable Q

- 4-

c. Experience with Social agencies:
(1) During your periods of unemployment, did you receive help from any
public or private social agencies other than the State Employment
Service (e.g., welfare department, church, etc.)?
Y e s_________

N o_________

(2) What kind of help did you receive?
C ash______________

Advice______

Goods______________

Other (specify)

(3) If no on (1), do you know what agencies handle "welfare" aid in
the community? (Details) If yes, what agency or agencies helped you?

4. CAR SHOP EXPERIENCE (last 2 years before leaving car shops),
a. W was your last job at the car shops?
hat
(Begin with last job and work back.)

DAIrES

Us u a l

MO.

YR.




MO.

YR.

USUAL

Us u a l

OCCUPATIONAL

T0

F rOM

HOURS

GROSS WEEKLY

ASSIGNMENT

PER WEEK

EARNINGS

55

- 5-

b. Where was your family living during your la st employment at the car shops?
-Where were you living?.

(town, county)

c. How would you compare your usual job at the car shops with the job you have now (if
unemployed — la st job you had)? (If necessary, probe on wages, hours, working condi
the
tions.) CIRCLE appropriate starting words—
My present job i s

_____ __

My usual job at the car shops was

My la st job w a s.______________________ .
5. LONGEST JOB
a. What job did you hold for the longest time since World War II (end of 1945)?
b. How did you happen to get into this type of work?
c. If you are no longer doing this type of work, why did you give it up?
B. TRAINING:

Since leaving the car shops, have you had any vocational or apprenticeship training?
Y es________ No---------- Describe type and extent of such training:
C. GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY AND COMMUNITY ATTACHMENT

NOTE:

If the respondent has had no jobs since the car shops and is now out of the labor force,
ask no further questions. (If coded (2) on question 3a , columns 2 and 3.)
ALL OTHER RESPONDENTS can be divided into three GROUPS. THESE ARE:
A—
NONMIGRANT.

Now lives and works in Mt. Vernon area.
(Include respondent who is now unemployed)

B—
COMMUTING MIGRANT. Lives in area, but now working outside.
C—
NONCOMMUTING MIGRANT. Lives and works outside Mt. Vernon area.
ASK REMAINING QUESTIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RESPONDENT’S CATEGORY.
A. Ask of all Nonmigrants: (plus those who, in response to A-5, say their present job inMt. Vernon
is worse than their usual car shop job.)
1. What are the reasons that you have preferred to stay in the Mt. Vernon area since the car shop
closed?
2. What are the minimum conditions under which you would accept a job outside the Mt. Vernon
area? (Probe, if necessary, on type of work, hours, housing, schools, etc.)
56




3. In the last few months, did you know of any specific jobs outside the Mt. Vernon area for
which you were qualified that you decided not to apply for?
Y es----------- No----------(Answers: Be sure to distinguish between (1), (2), and (3). )
4. Even though you are working now, are you still trying to find a new job?
_
Y es________ No__ ; _____
If "Y e s” : What kind of a job?
Where?---------------, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------B. Ask of All Commuting Migrants:
1. Your job i s in (place)------------------------------------ . ------------------------------- but you
have kept your family in Mt. Vernon. W have you kept your family here?
hy
2. Would you rather work in Mt. Vernon than in (name the area)____________________________
Y es________ No_________
If w e sw What kind of job would you take in Mt. Vernon (probe, if necessary, on type of
Y
:
work, pay, hours)?
If ”No” : W did you say that?
hy
3. In the last few months did you know of any jobs in the Mt. Vernon area for which you were
qualified that you decided not to apply for?
Y es________ No________
(ON EITHER QUESTION) If "Y e s” : What kind of job was it? W didn’ t you want it?
hy
(Answers: Be sure to distinguish between (1), (2), and (3). )
4. Even though you are working now, are you still trying to find a new job?
Y es----------- No-----------If "Y e s": What kind of job?_________________________________________________________
Where?____________________________________________________________________________
C. Ask of All Noncommuting Migrants:

1. What were your reasons for moving your family away from the Mt. Vernon area?
2. Would you rather work in Mt. Vernon than in (name the area)____________________________
Yes_..........




No__________
57

-7-

If "Y e s” : What kind of job would you take in Mt. Vernon (probe, if necessary, on type of
work, pay, hours)?
If "No” : W did you say that?
hy
3. In the la st few months did you know of any jobs in the Mt. Vernon area for which you were
qualified that you decided not to apply for?
Y es______ No_________
(ON EITHER QUESTION) If "Y e s” : What kind of job was it?
W didn't you want it?
hy
(Answers: Be sure to distinguish between (1), (2) , and (3). )
4. Even though you are working now, are you still trying to find a new job?
Y es________ No________
If "Y e s” : What kind of job?---------------------------------------------------------------------------Where?.____________________________________________________________________________

58




* U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : I960 0 — 555327

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