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P h o to b y F a r m S e c u r ity A d m in is tr a tio n : L an g e

{ III this issue...

Farm

Em ployment, 1909 to 1938

* C overage

Lim itations of W o r k m e n ’s Com pensation L a w s •
JUNE

1939


No. 6
Vol.
48
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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

P aid V a c a t io n s in N onm anufacturing Industries •
W ages

in M a n u fa c tu re of

Electrical

Products

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Frances Perkins, Secretary
+
B U R E A U OF LA B O R S T A T IS T IC S

<4

Isador Lubin, Commissioner

A

Sidney W. Wilcox, C hief S ta t... istician

H ugh S. H an n a, Chief, E d ito ­
rial a n d R esearch

A .F.H inrichs, C hief E conom ist

H en ry J. F itzgerald, A dm inis­
tra tiv e Officer

CHIEFS

Jacob Perlm an, W age
H our S tatistic s

and

Lewis E. T a lb e rt, E m p lo y m e n t
S tatistics
J. M. C u tts, W holesale Prices

OF DIV ISIO NS

Swen K jaer, In d u stria l Acci­
d en ts
Florence P eterson, In d u stria l
R elations

Stella S tew art, R etail Prices

C harles F. S harkey,
Law In fo rm atio n

L abor

F a ith M. W illiams, C ost of
Living

Boris S tern, L abor In fo rm a­
tio n B ulletin

H erm an B. Byer, C on stru ctio n
and Public E m p lo y m e n t

Jo h n J. M ahaney,
T ab u latio n

M achine

Published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under authority of
Public Resolution No. 57, approved M ay 11, 1922 (42 Stat. 541), as
amended by section 307, Public Act 212, 72d Congress, approved
June 30, 1932. For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Wash­
ington, D. C. Price, 30 cents a copy. Subscription price per year in
the United States, Canada, and Mexico, $3.50; other countries, $4.75,
This publication approved by the Director, Bureau of the Budget.


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«

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR • BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
########***#*

+

HUGH

S. H A N N A ,

CONTENTS

EDITOR

JUNE 1939

.

Cover:

+

#*#####*♦*#♦♦

Vol. 48

No. 6

KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Pulling carrots in Coachella Valley, California.

Special articles:

JUL 17193S,„

Farm employment, 1909 to 1938--------------------------------------------------- 1241
Characteristics of paid-vacation plans: Part 2.— Nonmanufaciuriag1258
industries____________________________________________________
Coverage limitations of workmen’s compensation laws--------------------- 1267

Industrial relations:
1282
1287

Negotiation of collective agreements in the rubber industry..
Working conditions and wages in union barber shops, 1938

Labor involved in industrial production:
1300

Labor requirements in school construction-----------------------

Women in industry:
Annual earnings of women and men in Pennsylvania industries, 1929
to 1936______________________________________________________
Weekly earnings of women in Pennsylvania industries--------------------

1302
1304

Child labor:
White House Conference on Children-------------------------------------------

1312

Unemployed youth:
1314
1317

Unemployment of young persons in Belgium-------Juvenile unemployment in London--------------------

Negro workers:
1319

New opportunities for Negro youth------------------

Education and training ;
1322

Vocational education and rehabilitation, 1937-38

Cooperation:
1326
1329

Agricultural purchasing cooperatives in 1936-----------Farmers’ cooperatives under the Wage and Hour Act

Industrial accidents:
1331

Federal Interdepartmental Safety Council

Labor laws and court decisions:
Recent court decisions of interest to labor:
Constitutionality of State housing legislation--------------------------Contract shops under National Labor Relations A ct----------------Sit-down strike and the antitrust laws------------------------------------Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Workmen’s Compensation Act_
Necessary procedure in compensation cases----------------------------Constitutionality of Arkansas Unemployment Compensation Act149001— 39-

■1


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I

1333
1334
1335
1336
1337
1337

Contents

II

Industrial disputes:
Trend of strikes_________________________________________________
Analysis of strikes in February 1939____________________ _________
Activities of United States Conciliation Service, April 1939___________
Strikes and lock-outs in Canada, 1938____________________________

Page
1338
1339
1347
1349

Cost and standards of living:
Changes in cost of living in the United States, March 15, 1939_____
Cost of living in foreign countries_____________________ ___________

1351
1361

Minimum wages and maximum hours:
Recent wage determinations under Public Contracts A ct___________
Hours of work defined under Wage and Hour Act_________________
Increased working hours in France______________________ ;________

1364
1366
1369

Wages and hours of labor:-*
Earnings and hours in the manufacture of electrical products:
Part 1.— Data for the industry as a whole______________________
Earnings and hours in the manufacture of seamless hosiery, 1938___
Hours and earnings in the cereal-preparations industry, 1938______
Income of dentists and osteopathic physicians, 1937_______________
Salaries in public libraries, 1938__________________________________
Georgia— Wages and hours of white and Negro workers, 1938______
France—•
Wages in October 1938______________________________________
Minimum wages in metal industries, 1936 to 1938_____________
Germany— Earnings in coal mines, 1937 and 1938_________________
Hungary— Wages in 1937 and 1938_______________________________
Netherlands Indies— Wages, 1935 to 1937_________________________

1371
1388
1404
1407
1410
1411
1413
1417
1422
1423
1423

Labor turn-over:
Labor turn-over in manufacturing, March 1939____________________

1425

Employment offices:
Operations of United States Employment Service, April 1939_______

1429

Building operations:
Summary of building construction in principal cities, April 1939____

1435

Retail prices:
Food prices in April 1939________________________________________
Coal prices in March 1939______________________________________
Retail prices of food in Puerto Rico, 1937-38______________________

1440
1446
1448

Wholesale prices:
Wholesale prices in April 1939________________________________ ___

1450

Trend of employment and p a y rolls:
Summary of reports for April 1939:
Total nonagricultural employment___________________________
Industrial and business employment__________________________
Public employment_________________________________________
Detailed reports for industrial and business employment, March 1939_

Recent publications of labor interest_________________________________


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1455
1455
1459
1461
1472

This Issue in Brief

Coverage Limitations of
Compensation Laws.

Workmen’s

In principle, workmen’s compensa­
tion laws should cover “all industries
and all employees,” but in the United
States and Canada less than half of
the workers are actually protected.
The factors responsible for the types
of limitations, and also for the differ­
ences between nominal coverage by
the laws and actual coverage, are ex­
amined in an article on page 1267 in
the light of information developed in a
comprehensive field survey by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. To a
considerable degree, restrictions upon
coverage reflect practical insurance
difficulties under existing conditions,
especially in the case of distressed in­
dustries. At present, complete cover­
age is a goal that apparently can be
reached only by measures reinforcing
the present system, through an exten­
sion of the principle of the collective
responsibility of industry for all work­
ers, by public subsidies, or by a com­
bination of these two methods.
Wages in Seamless-Hosiery Industry.
The level of earnings in the manu­
facture of seamless hosiery is decidedly
lower than in the full-fashioned branch
of the industry. Largely because of
the lesser degree of skill required,
workers making seamless hose aver­
aged only 35.1 cents per hour, as com­
pared with 65.8 cents for those work­
ing on full-fashioned hose. Earnings
were substantially higher in the North
than in the South, but weekly working
hours were practically the same in
both regions. Page 1388.


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Farm Employment.
The number of family workers and
hired workers combined, on farms, in
1938 was about 12 percent smaller
than in 1909, although the total popu­
lation of the country was about 44
percent larger. The number of hired
workers underwent little change from
1909 to 1929, but fell sharply there­
after, the average number in 1929
being about 2,988,000 and in 1938
about 2,529,000. The average amount
of employment of hired workers is
approximately 7 months per year.
Many hired workers find employment
only by migrating with the crops and
seasons. Only about one-sixth of the
farms have hired labor. Relatively
large numbers of hired workers per
farm are found in the Delta cotton
area, the range area, and the States of
Florida and California. The prob­
lems of the unemployment and under­
employment of farm labor are closely
related to those of industrial labor.
Page 1241.
Unemployed Youth in Belgium.
That the principal factors in the un­
employment of young people in Bel­
gium were general industrial stagna­
tion and the lack of general and spe­
cialized training among the young
persons is indicated by a Belgian cen­
sus taken in September 1938. The
census revealed that more than 85 per­
cent of the young males with work ex­
perience had had only primary-school
education and only 4 percent had had
occupational or technical training.
Practically the same situation was
found among the girls. Page 1314.
Ill

IV

7 his Issue in Brief

Earnings in Electrical Manufacturing.
Average hourly earnings in the
electrical manufacturing industry were
71.0 cents with weekly earnings of
$28.78 for an average workweek of
40.5 hours in August 1937, according
to a survey made by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics. In the 14 different
divisions of the industry, the hourly
average ranged from 49.5 cents in the
branch making fuses, wiring devices,
and specialty transformers to 86.2
cents in that making transformers and
switchgear. Page 1371.
Vacations With Pay.
Paid vacations are almost universal
for employees of brokerage, insurance,
and miscellaneous offices. Such plans
are also very widespread among
public utility companies. This was
indicated by a study by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics which covered, in
addition to the above, wholesale and
retail trade and hotels and restaurants.
The vacations were either a flat, uni­
form period for all employees, or varied
with length of service. The periods
granted ranged from 1 week to 4
weeks among the establishments re­
porting. Page 1258.
Agreements in Rubber Industry.
Of 68 local unions in the rubber
industry, 63 percent were able to
obtain a collective agreement in less


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than 2 months from the time the
proposed terms were submitted to the
employers. In nearly 84 percent of
the cases the local had the assistance
of a representative from the inter­
national union, and 12 locals were
assisted by State or Federal con­
ciliators. Page 1282.
Wages and Hours of Union Barbers.
Wage rates and working hours in
union barber shops are established
through collective agreements—shopcard agreements, regular bilateral
agreements, or both—between the
union and proprietors. The barber is
usually paid either a weekly guaranty,
plus a stipulated percentage of receipts
exceeding a stated amount, or a
straight percentage of total receipts
from his work. All but three States
have laws governing the examination
and licensing of barbers. Page 1287.
Wages in France.
Wages in France in 1938 continued
the upward trend evident since 1935.
In the Paris region the average hourly
rate of men in the selected occupations
for which data were obtained by the
General Statistical Bureau of France
was about 5 percent higher than in
1937, and in other cities was about 11
percent higher. From November 1937
to November 1938 the cost-of-living
index for a family of four rose 9.4
percent. Page 1413.

MONTHLY LABOR REVIEW
FOR JUNE 1939

FARM EMPLOYMENT, 1909 TO 1938 1
AN O U TSTA N D IN G characteristic of agriculture during the past
three decades is the decline in the num ber of farm workers. The
population of the country in 1919 was about 16 percent larger than
in 1909, and yet the average num ber of farm workers was about
9 percent smaller. This decline was partly a result of the drawing
off of workers into the armed forces and into industries most directly
associated w ith war-time needs.
After the World W ar, there was a slight increase in the num ber of
farm workers, but in 1927 the decline was resumed, and in 1938 the
average num ber was 12 percent smaller than in 1909. The total
population of the country, on the other hand, was about 44 percent
larger. (See chart 1.) This comparison of the num ber of farm
workers w ith total population m ust of course be qualified by such
considerations as the changing age distribution of the population.
Thus, in 1910, 65.3 percent of the population was from 15 to 69
years of age, and in 1930, 67.5 percent fell within these ages. On
the other hand, the past three decades were m arked by a tendency
to reduce the am ount of child labor.
Revised estimates of agricultural employment recently made by
Government agencies 2 distinguish between family workers and hired
workers. Fam ily workers include operating owners, tenants, and
sharecroppers, together with working members of their families.
The group here classified as hired workers includes farm managers
and foremen. In 1909, the estimated num ber of employed workers
in both groups was 12,209,000. The estim ate for 1919 was 11,106,000.
1 The first of a series of three articles prepared by W itt Bowden of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The
other articles w ill deal, respectively, with income and productivity.
2 The general estimates of employment here given for 1909-36 are by Eldon E. Shaw and John A. Hopkins
in U . S. Works Progress Administration, National Research Project, Report No. A-8: Trends in Em ploy­
ment in Agriculture, 1909-36, Washington, 1938; the later estimates are by the Bureau of Agricultural Eco­
nomics. This volume contains discussions of sources and methods. The estimates are computed from
fragmentary data and must be viewed as broad indications, not exact measurements, of size and trend.
Estimates of family workers are especially subject to error and, for reasons stated later, are not comparable
to figures of industrial employment.


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1241

1242

TRENDS OF TOTAL POPULATION AND OF FARM EMPLOYMENT
1909 =100

INDEX

160

140

120

100

80
SO U R CE:
OF L A B O R

S T A T IS T I C S

B U R E A U O F T H E C E N S U S , B U R E A U O F A G R IC U L T U R A L E C O N O M I C S ,
A N D W. P. A. N A T IO N A L R E S E A R C H P R O J E C T . ________________________

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939


U N IT E D S T A T E S B U R E A U
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IN D EX

1243

Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

The num ber ranged within narrow limits during the next 10 years
and in 1929 was 11,289,000, virtually the same as in 1919. This
num ber was not again attained, although there was a rise after 1929
in the num ber of family workers as distinguished from hired workers.
The estim ated average of both types in 1938 was 10,745,000, almost
a million and a half less than the num ber in 1909. (See table 1.)
T a ble 1.—Average Number of Farm Workers, 1909 to 1938 1
Fam ily workers
Year

Number
(thousands)

Index
(average
1923-25=
100.0)

Total

Hired workers

Number
(thousands)

Index
(average
1923-25=
100.0)

Number
(thousands)

Index
(average
1923-25=
100.0)

1909_______________________

9, 341

109.7

2,868

99.6

12,209

107.1

1910________________________
1911_____ __________________
1912_______________________
1913______ ____ ____________
1914_______________________

9,269
9,172
9,149
9,128
9,081

108.8
107.7
107.4
107.2
106.6

2,877
2, 870
2, 889
2,905
2,919

99.9
99.7
100.3
100.9
101.4

12,146
12,042
12,038
12,033
12,000

106.6
105.7
105.6
105. 6
105.3

1915__________________ _____
1916_______________________
1917_______________________
1918_______________________
1919_______________________

9, 047
9,050
8,856
8, 507
8, 322

106.2
106.2
104.0
99.9
97.7

2,934
2,966
2,933
2, 841
2, 784

101.9
103.0
101.9
98.7
96.7

11,981
12,016
11, 789
11,248
11,106

105.1
105.4
103.4
98.7
97.4

1920_______________________
1921_____ _____ ____________
1922_______________________
1923_______________________
1924_______________________

8,479
8, 511
8, 528
8,491
8,488

99.5
99.9
100.1
99.7
99.6

2,883
2, 901
2,915
2,894
2,874

100.1
100.8
101.3
100.5
99.8

11,362
11,412
11,443
11,385
11, 362

99.7
100.1
100.4
99.9
99.7

1925________________ _______
1926_______________________
1927...-____________________
1928_____ __________________
1929___ ___________________

8, 577
8, 507
8, 296
8, 340
8,305

100.7
99.9
97.4
97.9
97.5

2,869
3,027
2,950
2,956
2,988

99.7
105.1
102.5
102.7
103.8

11, 446
11, 534
11,246
11,295
11,289

100.4
101.2
98.7
99.1
99.0

1930..._____________________
1931.__________ ____________
1932__________________ ____ 1933___________________ ____
1934________________________

8,323
8,469
8, 571
8, 590
8,506

97.7
99.4
100.6
100.8
99.9

2,850
2, 690
2,498
2, 433
2,346

99.0
93.4
86.8
84.5
81.5

11,173
11,159
11,069
11,023
10, 852

98.0
97.9
97.1
96.7
95.2

1935____ ___________________
1936___ ____________________
1937________________________
1938........— ------ -------------- —

8,704
8, 502
8, 273
8,216

102.2
99.8
97.1
96.4

2, 468
2,494
2, 557
2, 529

85.7
86.6

11,172
10,997
10,830
10, 745

98.0
96.5
95.0
94.3

8 8 .8

87.8

* The annual figures are the averages of the number of persons employed on the first of the month. The
index numbers are computed on the 1923-25 base to correspond to the base period of employment indexes
in manufacturing.
Data are from U . S. Works Progress Administration, National Research Project, Report No. A-8: Trends
in Employment in Agriculture, 1909-36, and U . S, Department of Agriculture, Crops and Markets.
January 1939.

The period of the World W ar was m arked by tem porary reductions
in the employment both of hired farm workers and of family workers.
During most of the past three decades, however, the trends of em­
ployment of the two groups were significantly different. The average
num ber of family workers in 1929 was almost a million less than in
1909. The average num ber of hired workers, on the other hand, was
somewhat larger a t the end than a t the beginning of the two decades.
After 1929, the trends were reversed. Fam ily workers increased, the
average num ber in 1935 being 8,704,000, or about 400,000 more than

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1244

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

in 1929, but in 1938 the num ber was less than in 1929. The average
num ber of hired workers employed fell considerably after 1929, the
num ber in 1934 being 2,346,000, or about 642,000 less than in 1929.
There was a slight rise by 1938 to 2,529,000.
The num ber of family workers increased after 1929 because of the
checking of the flow of population to the cities and because of the
counter movement of displaced city workers turning to farms for a
subsistence. M any of these workers returned to farms owned by
themselves or their families and others rented or occasionally pur­
chased land. There was much doubling up of families on the same
farm. Thus, family workers in m any cases directly displaced hired

workers; and also, by adding to the supply of farm products during
this period of declining demand, they tended indirectly to take the
place of hired labor. The demand for hired labor was also reduced
by the crop regulation program, for during this period of sharply cur­
tailed demand for farm products this program was in its immediate
effect a crop-restriction plan designed to bring about a more satis­
factory balance between the supply of farm products and the demand
for them. Another cause of the reduced num ber of hired farm work­
ers was the progressive adoption of labor-saving techniques.
During the past three decades, agricultural employment has varied
widely in the different farming areas. The decline in num ber of


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1245

Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

workers was greatest in the eastern dairy, eastern cotton, corn, and
middle eastern areas.3 In the northwestern and range areas, in­
creases in the num ber of farm workers were accounted for mainly by
the increased acreage in these areas. There were also increases both
in acreage and in agricultural employment in California. In the
other main farming areas (the western dairy, D elta cotton, western
cotton, and small grain areas), the average num ber of farm workers
underwent few significant changes.
T a b le 2. — Estimated Number of Farm Workers in Principal Farming Areas of the
United States in 1936 1
Fam ily workers
Total
(thousands)

Area

Corn area______

. ... .

.......

____

M iddle eastern area________ . . . ______

Hired workers

Number Percentage Number Percentage
of total
(thousands)
of total
(thousands)

10,997

8, 502

77

2,494

23

1,235
737
922
1,904
1,383
1,342
1,145
' 742
308
292
987

950
502
714
1,576
1,091
1,099
909
606
196
212
647

77
68
77
83
79
82
79
82
64
73
66

285
235
208
328
292
242
236
136
112
80
340

23
32
23
17
21
18
21
18
36
27
34

1 Data are from U . S. Works Progress Administration, National Research Project, Report N o. A-8:
Trends in Employment in Agriculture, 1909-36.
2 California, Missouri, Florida, Delaware, N ew Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine.

The areas with highest percentages of hired farm workers in 1936
were California and Florida, among the miscellaneous States, and the
eastern dairy, the range, and the northw estern areas. In California
the problem of estimating farm employment has been complicated,
especially in recent years, by the high proportion of m igratory workers,
but even in January 1935, when comparatively few m igratory workers
were employed, the num ber of hired workers was about 43 percent of
total agricultural employment. The corresponding figure for Florida
was 38 percent. The area w ith the smallest percentage of hired farm
workers in 1936 was the middle eastern, with 17 percent. (See
table 3.) The cotton areas also had comparatively small percentages
of hired workers, but comparisons of these areas, especially the D elta
cotton area, with other regions m ust take account of the fact th at
sharecropping there is widely prevalent, the sharecroppers frequently
having a status essentially below th a t of hired workers in m any
other parts of the country.
3
See chart 2, giving boundaries of the principal areas as defined by the National Research Project of the
U. S. Works Progress Administration in surveys of agricultural employment.


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1246

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 3.— Hired Farm Workers as Percentages of Total Farm Workers in the United
States and in Principal Areas, 1909 to 1936 1
Year

United Corn Eastern Western M iddle Eastern Delta W estern Small
North­
States
dairy
dairy eastern cotton cotton cotton grain R ange western

1909 _

23

26

35

23

20

18

19

19

23

40

1910.
1911.
1912.
1913.
1914.

24
24
24
24
24

26
26
26
26
27

35
35
35
35
35

23
23
24
24
24

21
20
21
21
21

18
18
18
18
18

19
19
19
19
19

20
20
21
21
22

23
23
23
23
23

40
40
40
40
40

33
33
33
33
33

1915.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.

24
25
25
24
25

27
27
27
28
28

35
35
35
35
35

24
24
25
25
25

21
21
21
21
21

18
18
18
18
18

19
19
19
19
19

22
22
23
23
23

23
23
23
23
23

41
41
41
41
41

32
33
32
32
32

1920.
1921.
1922.
1923.
1924.

25
25
25
25
25

28
28
27
27
27

35
35
35
35
34

25
26
26
27
27

21
21
21
21
21

18
19
19
19
20

19
19
19
18
17

24
24
24
24
24

23
24
24
24
24

41
41
41
40
40

32
32
32
31
30

1925.
1926.
1927.
1928.
1929.

25
26
26
26
26

28
29
29
29
29

33
35
35
35
35

27
30
29
29
28

20
21
20
21
22

20
22
23
21
23

16
18
17
17
16

23
24
23
23
25

25
26
27
27
26

39
40
40
39
39

29
30
28
31
32

1930.
1931.
1932.
1933.
1934.

26
24
23
22
22

28
26
23
22
21

36
34
33
33
32

27
25
24
23
22

21
19
18
17
16

21
20
20
20
20

16
15
14
16
17

23
21
21
19
19

26
25
23
21
19

38
36
34
36
35

30
30
25
25
26

1935..
1936..
1937 A
1938 A

22
23
24
24

23
23

31
32

22
23

17
17

21
21

17
18

19
21

20
18

36
36

1
fr<im U Works Progress Administration, National Research Project, Report No. A-8:
January°93™Pl° yment m Agnculture>1909-36; and U. S. Department of Agriculture, Crops and Markets,
2 Estimates available only for the country as a whole.

The proportions of hired workers in the several areas and the
changes in these proportions during the period since 1909 have been
affected by the changing size of farms and types of production, and
by technological changes tending to reduce the am ount of labor
required per acre or per farm. Changes in business conditions and
public policies have also affected the proportions, as when depression
has increased the num ber of family workers, especially those engaged
in subsistence farming. An understanding of the significance of the
changing percentages of hired workers requires consideration of the
distinctive characteristics of the hired-worker and family-worker
groups.

Characteristics of Family-W orher and Hired- W orker Groups
The group classified as family workers includes farm operators and
members of their families when working on their farms w ithout wages.
Tenants of all types, as well as owners and p art owners, are classed
as farm operators. Thus, farms worked by southern sharecropper
tenants in 1935 num bered 716,256, and the sharecroppers and their

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Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

1247

families num bered about 3,120,000 persons, divided almost equally
between whites and Negroes.3a Sharecroppers depend wholly on their
landlords for capital and receive a share of their crop as compensation
for their labor. They are nevertheless defined by the Bureau of the
Census as farm operators and are here classified not as hired workers
but as family workers.
There have been vital changes during the past three decades in the
amount of farm tenancy. The proportion of farm acreage operated
by tenants rose from 25.8 percent in 1910 to 31.1 percent in 1930,
and there was a slight further rise to 31.9 percent in 1935. The pro­
portion of farms as distinguished from farm acreage operated by ten­
ants in 1910 was 37.0 percent; in 1920, 38.1 percent; in 1930, 42.4 per­
cent; and in 1935, 42.1 percent. The proportion of farm acreage oper­
ated by p art owners as distinguished from full owners increased
from 15.2 percent in 1910 to 25.2 percent in 1935.
The estim ated equity of farm operators in the farms they operated
ki 1880 was 62 percent of the value of the farms; inl910, 50 percent;
in 1930, 41 percent; and in 1935, 39 percent. These changes indicate
th a t an increased proportion of farm income has gone to mortgageholders and nonoperating owners of farms.
An American tradition has always assumed a custom ary transition
from tenancy to ownership. The increasing difficulty of such a
transition is indicated by the fact th a t there is an increasing percentage
of tenant farmers as compared to owner farmers in the older as well as
younger age groups. In some areas, tenants have even been forced
increasingly into the lower status of the hired-man class, frequently
with extremely casual and inadequate employment.
Large numbers of owners as well as tenants have received public
assistance. Aid to owners has been mainly in the forms of loans at
low interest rates and various benefit payments. In addition, many
owners obtained direct relief. Thus, in June 1935, 3.5 percent of
owners received such grants as compared to 5.3 percent of sharecrop­
pers and 8.2 percent of all tenants, including sharecroppers. I t has
been estim ated th a t as m any as a million farm families operate farms
either so poor or so small th a t the family incomes, standards of
living, and levels of community life are oppressively low. These
farms are located mainly in areas where the ownership of farms by
operators is widespread if not prevalent.
i« U S Census of Agriculture. Census of Agriculture, 1935, vol. 3, Washington, 1937. The other principal
sources of information here utilized relating to the characteristics of the family-worker and hired-worker
groups are Eldon E. Shaw and John A. Hopkins, op. cit.; U. S. Congress, Senate, Special Committee to
Investigate Unemployment and Relief (75th Cong., 3d sess.), Hearings pursuant to S. Res. 36, vol. 2, pp.
1043-1085, 1099-1171, 1520-1612, Washington, 1938; U . S. Farm Security Administration, Social Research
Report No. 8, Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture, by C. C. Taylor, H. W. Wheeler, and E. .
Kirkpatrick, Washington, 1938; U. S. Department of Agriculture, Income Parity for Agriculture, part 2.
section 1, The Cost of Hired Farm Labor, 1909-38 (preliminary), Washington, 1939; and articles m the
M onthly Labor Review, especially an article in the September 1937 number by Julius T Wendzel on
“ Distribution of Hired Farm Laborers in the United States” (reprinted as Serial No. R. 625).


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1248

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

The group described as hired farm workers includes hired managers
and foremen. In 1935, the num ber of farms operated by managers
as distinguished from owners and tenants was 48,104 and the acreage
of farms operated by managers in th a t year was 5.8 percent of all farm
acreage.
Although there are m any indications of a decline in the economic
status of family workers as a group, farming in the United States
nevertheless remains largely a family type of enterprise. This is
apparent from the small num ber of hired farm workers as compared to
family workers and also from the concentration of hired workers on
relatively few farms in restricted areas.
T a ble 4 .—Distribution of Hired Farm Laborers in Principal Farming Areas by Number
of Laborers Employed per Farm, January 1935 1

Area

United States____

Percentage of
hired laborers
Number of Number of
Total
num­
on farms re­
farms re­
farms re­
ber of
porting—
porting no
porting
hired
lahired la­
hired la­
borers
borers
borers
4 or
8 or
more
more

.

5, 844, 756

967, 594

C orn.. _____ _
Eastern dairy..
Western dairy
Middle eastern _ . . .
Eastern c o tto n __
Delta cotton___
Western cotton _. .
Small grain______ _
R a n g e ...____
Northw estern..
Miscellaneous 3___

767,108
367,327
492,906
1,055,043
593, 761
685, 615
626,421
465, 681
149, 746
169,612
473, 536

142,171
106,790
144, 885
95,742
51, 297
87,921

226, 304
192, 670
131,932
163,036

114,125

263,457

23.1

8.3

54.5

37.4

61, 806
34.0

,, 1 U at.a are from M onthly Labor Review, September 1937: “ Distribution of Hired Farm Laborers in
the United States.
The information was derived from the special Agricultural Census of 1935. Employ­
ment during most of the year is normally larger than in January.
2A hAestimate.of hire4 workers in table 1 differs from this figure because it includes managers and foremen
and is the annual average.
3 Maine, Rhode Island, N ew Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, California.

The num ber of farms in the United States in 1935, according to the
Census of Agriculture of th a t year, was 6,812,350. In January 1935
(the date of the census), hired workers were employed on less than
1,000,000 of these farms, and even in July, during the peak of employ­
ment, the estim ated num ber of farms on which workers were hired
was less than 1,500,000. There was thus a significant concentration
of hired labor on a comparatively small num ber of farms. In addi­
tion, these farms were located mainly in limited areas of the country.
In January, approximately one-third of hired laborers as reported to
the Bureau of the Census were on farms with 4 or more laborers,
and about one-sixth were on farms with 8 or more laborers. The
areas of largest concentration of farms with groups of hired workers,
as distinguished from a single hired hand, were the D elta cotton and
range areas, and in the group of miscellaneous States (table 4), Florida
and California. In California, 59.1 percent of hired workers were on

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Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

1249

farms employing 4 or more, and 42.0 percent were on farms employing
8 or more. Corresponding figures for Florida are 60.9 percent and
45.6 percent. In Arizona, the concentration was even greater. In
th a t State, 68 percent of hired workers were employed on farms with
8 or more. These figures follow the census classification of share­
croppers as farm operators and not as hired workers. Their inclusion
with hired workers would significantly affect the figures, especially
for the Delta cotton area.

Seasonal Variations
M ost farms require little labor a t certain seasons, and some, as for
example, certain types devoted wholly to wheat raising, require no
labor except for planting and harvesting. The Census of Agriculture
of 1935 indicated th a t more than 2,000,000 farm operators worked,
for pay, away from their farms during a p a rt of the year. About
279,000 of these worked a t agricultural occupations, and about 1,484,000 worked a t nonagricultural occupations.4 The children of farmers
usually do some work during seasons of peak demand for labor, espe­
cially when these seasons do not come within the school year. When
not employed a t farm labor, they are not properly to be considered
as unemplo3md. Such circumstances prevent exact comparisons of
the num ber of farm workers, especially family workers, with the usual
figures of the average employment of industrial wage earners.
Estim ates of seasonal variation in total agricultural employment
for the United States as a whole indicate th a t January is the m onth
of least employment and June the m onth of greatest employment.
The am ount of employment in the high m onth has usually been about
43 percent greater than the am ount in the low m onth. Variations
in some areas have been much greater. In the area of least variation,
the corn area, the am ount of employment in the high m onth has
been only about 24 percent greater than the am ount in the low m onth.
In the area of greatest variation, the eastern cotton area, there has
been about 86 percent more employment in the high m onth than in
the low m onth. Variations in the employment of hired workers are
much more extreme. (See chart 3.)
Seasonal variation in the employment of family workers is com­
paratively unim portant because the agricultural income of family
workers is in the form of the product of the entire year’s work, and,
as was stated above, the converse of employment on farms is not
necessarily unemployment. Hired farm workers, on the other hand,
depend on the wages they receive while actually a t work. Seasonal
< U . S. Census of Agriculture, 1935, vol. 3. The data here used on seasonal variation are from Eldon E.
Shaw and John A. Hopkins, op. eit., and Works Progress Administration, Seasonal Employment in Agri­
culture, by Benjamin J. Free, Washington, 1938. The sources, methods of computation, and serious lim i­
tations of available data are discussed in these volumes.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1250

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

CHART 3

SE A SO N A L VARIATION
IN FARM EMPLOYMENT
1 9 2 5 -3 6
U N ITE D S T A T E S

IN D E )

140

I4U

120
H 1 ÌE D L A E O R - ^ y

r

^

1

100

I

FAM L Y

LAB OR
1

1

V

m

W

N

TO T/\ L

LAB

120

lyjv

.
^

100

ÌR

***
Y

>

80

80

60

60

M ID D L E E A S T E R N
.

A R E A OF L E A S T V A R IA T IO N , H I R E D L A B O R

140

140

120

120
TOTA L

LABO

100

100
F A M I l -Y L A B C )R

^

H IR E D

80

¿

LABOR

7

80

60

60

NORTHWESTERN
AREA

160

OF G R E A T E S T V AR IA T IO N , H I R E D L A B O R

160

140

140
H RED LA B O R ^ /

120

TOTAL
----

F A M IL Y

100

LABOR

1

120

LABOR

100
2

80

N

/

80

\

60
JAN.

U N IT ED ST A T E S

FEB.

BUREAU


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M AR.

OF L A B O R

APR.

MAY

S T A T IS T IC S

JUN .

JUL.

AUG.

SEP.

O CT.

SO U RCE:

NOV.

DEC.

60

P. A. NATIC N A L R E S E AR CH
O JE C T , R E P O R T NC . A - 8

1251

Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

variation in the employment of hired farm workers is therefore vastly
more serious than the seasonality of work done by family workers.
The seriousness of seasonal variation in the employment of hired
farm workers is the more apparent in view of the fact th a t the varia­
tion is much greater than in the case of family workers. For the
United States as a whole, the employment of hired workers in January
has been about 30 percent lower than the m onthly average, and in
July about 20 percent higher. In contrast, the employment of family
workers in January has been only about 16 percent lower than the
m onthly average, and in June (the peak m onth for employment of
family workers), only about 15 percent higher. There are similar
differences in respect to $he areas of greatest and least variation. In
the area of greatest variation (the northw estern area) the employment
of hired workers in January has been 39 percent below the m onthly
average, and in September (the m onth of peak employment), 59 per­
cent above the m onthly average. Even in the middle eastern area,
where there has been the smallest seasonal variation in the employ­
m ent of hired workers, the am ount in January has been 27 percent
lower than the m onthly average, and in July (the peak m onth in
this region), 21 percent higher. The extreme seasonality of hired
farm labor is apparent also from the percentage variation of employ­
m ent in the peak m onth from employment in the low m onth. Thus,
in the area of greatest seasonal variation in the employment of hired
workers, the northw estern area, employment in the peak m onth
was 161 percent greater than in the low m onth; and even in the area
of least variation, the middle eastern, there was a variation of 66
percent. (See chart 3 and table 5.)
T a b le 5. — Indexes of Seasonal Variation in Agricultural Employment, 1925 to 1936 1
Hired workers

Fam ily workers

All workers

Area of—

Area of—

Area of—
Month

United Greatest Least
United Greatest Least
United Greatest Least
States variation variation States variation variation States variation variation
(north­ (middle
(com)
(eastern
(eastern (corn)
western) eastern)
cotton)
cotton)
100
100
100
100
100_
100
100
100
100
12-months average73
61
70
95
71
84
89
70
81
74
63
72
96
74
87
89
74
84
84
77
80
97
81
90
91
82
88
96
93
94
101
96
98
100
97
96
105
106
108
104
116
107
104
116
107
117
114
119
104
129
115
106
130
116
121
135
120
106
116
111
110
116
113
July ........ ...........
108
136
111
104
96
102
109
93
104
107
159
111
100
109
104
100
109
106
120
108
122
99
131
111
102
130
114
106
86
107
99
107
102
103
107
103
89
62
84
96
77
89
96
76
88
Percentage varia­
tion
of high
month from low
month...................

43

86

24

37

84

12

74

161

66

i Data are from U. S. Works Progress Administration, National Research Project, Report No. A-8: Trends
in Employment in Agriculture, 1909-36.


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1252

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

The hired workers employed in January 1935, totaling somewhat
more than 1,500,000, according to the Census of Agriculture, were for
the m ost p art regularly employed workers, although special conditions
call occasionally for extra workers even in January. The winter lull
th at begins in September extends into February. In February,
however, there is some demand for additional labor for such work as
plowing in the cotton area and work on the truck farms and in the
fruit-growing regions of the South. From M ay to July, high seasonal
employment is general, although in m any of the fruit sections the
summer decline begins in July. There is a general decline in August,
except in the truck areas, where operations connected w ith canning
require additional labor. The fall upturn reaches its peak in the
various regions at different times extending from September to
November. In November the winter decline sets in, except for corn
husking and cotton picking in limited parts of these crop areas.

,

,

Migratory Casual and Part-Time Workers
Hundreds of thousands of hired farm workers, m any of them with
their families, regularly follow the crops and seasons.5 The num ber
varies with such circumstances as crop conditions and opportunities
for other kinds of work. There has been until recently a remarkable
indifference regarding their income, their living standards, the limi­
tations of their peculiar mode of existence, and the ultim ate social
burden resulting from their lack of opportunity to identify them ­
selves with normal comm unity life.
Formerly, the most notable phase of m igratory farm labor was
connected with the harvesting of wheat, but most of this labor was
supplanted during the 1920’s by machines, especially by the combine
harvester for cutting and threshing in one operation. In the cotton
industry, chopping and picking require, during limited periods, excep­
tional amounts of labor. The chopping process has been mechanized
in part, especially in the western cotton areas, by check-row planting
and cross-cultivation. Successful experiments have also been made
in the mechanized picking of cotton. There is still, however, a large
demand for m igratory workers both for chopping and picking. Mi5 For a summary of migratory labor, see M onthly Labor Review, March 1937: “Migratory Farm Labor
in the United States,” by Paul S. Taylor (reprinted as Serial No. R. 530). The summary here given makes
extensive use of this article, and also of Migration of Workers: Preliminary Report of the Secretary of Labor,
pursuant to S. Res. 298 (74th Cong.), 2 vols., Washington, 1938 (mimeographed). Numerous other sources
on casual labor and underemployment include the following: M onthly Labor Review, July 1937, “A Survey
of Labor Migration Between States,” by N . A. Tolies (reprinted as Serial No. R. 592); special surveys of
farm labor in 11 counties, by Tom Vasey of the Farm Security Administration and Josiah C. Folsom of the
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, published separately for each county and summarized extensively by
Paul S. Taylor in vol. 2 of Hearings on Unemployment and Relief, before a special Senate Committee
(75th Cong., 3d sess.), pursuant to S. Res. 36; California State Relief Administration, Division of Special
Surveys and Studies, Migratory Labor in California, San Francisco, 1936; and U . S. Bureau of Agricul­
tural Economics, Farm Labor Conditions in Gloucester, Hunterdon, and Monmouth Counties, New
Jersey, April-M ay, 1936, by Josiah C. Folsom, Washington, 1939.


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Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

1253

gratory cotton pickers in Oklahoma and Texas alone have been
estimated as numbering more than 50,000. M any of these workers
follow the season from the Gulf northw ard into the Texas Panhandle
and Oklahoma, a distance of almost 1,000 miles.
In the eastern p art of the country, the apple areas, especially of
the Shenandoah Valley, and the citrus fruit areas of Florida, with
highly seasonal demands for labor, contribute significantly to the
interregional flow of workers. New methods of transporting perish­
able fruits and berries to distant m arkets and improvements in
refrigeration, canning, and preserving have brought about a great
expansion of demand for seasonal workers in various regions. Some
families follow the strawberry harvest from Florida through Louisiana,
Arkansas, Kentucky, and Illinois into Michigan, and remain in the
Michigan Peninsula and the islands of Lake Erie after the berry
harvest to pick grapes and peaches. M any thousands of workers
move each year from all directions into the strawberry areas of
Arkansas. M any of these workers are a p art of the general flow of
migrants from Florida to Michigan and back again. Some of them
merely take advantage of the Arkansas berry season and return with
their families to their homes at the end of the season. Still others,
following the berry harvest northw ard into Missouri, later seek em­
ployment in the wheat harvest from Kansas northw ard into Canada.
Still another group th a t takes part in the Arkansas berry harvest
comes from the N orth Central States and moves southward through
Missouri and Arkansas and southwestward for the cotton-picking
season, returning N orth in the winter.
The variations in the period of harvesting tomatoes illustrate the
regional and seasonal variations in the growing and harvesting of
vegetables. The peak of the carlot shipments of tomatoes begins in
Florida, where it extends from M arch to M ay; in Texas the peak
season is in M ay and June; in Mississippi, in June; and in Tennessee,
in June and July.
The sugar-beet industry, in several areas extending from California
to Michigan, has given rise to distinctive types of seasonal employ­
ment. Workers in this industry move in the spring to the sugar-beet
areas for the cultivating and topping of the beets, usually on a con­
tract basis, and for the most p art remain until after the harvest
season, when they return more or less regularly to the same winter
quarters.
M igratory farm labor is especially im portant in the Pacific Coast
areas. The problems of m igratory labor in th a t region have been
accentuated by the tendency of unemployed workers and displaced
farmers in other areas to move westward. The numerous products,
which include citrus fruits, apples, small fruits, vegetables, cotton,
and beets, offer a wide range of employments extending through
149001— 39---------- 2


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1254

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

several m onths of the year. There are m any streams and eddies in
the flow of workers in th a t region, b u t the main flow covers the
Imperial, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Valleys and extends a dis­
tance of more than 500 miles. Carleton Parker, a noted early student
of casual labor,6 estim ated th a t as early as 1915 the num ber of migra­
tory workers, mostly farmers, in the Pacific Coast areas was about
150,000. In 1935, the num ber of workers needed in 33 agricultural
counties of California, as estim ated by the California Relief Adminis­
tration, was 198,000.
The mechanization of wheat harvesting has eliminated most of the
demand for m igratory workers in this field. Rapid mechanization
in various other fields, notably the increased use of tractors, has
occurred a t a time of increasing difficulty in expanding or even main­
taining m arket demands for farm products. The am ount of em­
ployment available has thus been reduced, and the demand for labor
has tended to become concentrated during shorter periods and in
more limited areas.7 In some areas, notably the Old South, the local
labor supply meets most of the needs even during peak periods, and
mechanization in these areas tends to increase the already serious
underemployment or to force a p art of the labor supply into the
ranks of m igratory workers.
M igrants necessarily spend a considerable p art of their time in
moving from job to job, even during the periods of peak agricultural
employment. Com paratively few hired farm workers are able to
obtain employment during more than 6 m onths of the year. The
limited am ount of work available, combined with low wage rates,
has made necessary a widespread dependence on relief. The Cali­
fornia State Relief Adm inistration pointed out, for example, th a t a
ranch m ay need 300 workers at harvest time, b u t m ay employ less
than 10 regularly throughout the year; and since few of the workers
are able to obtain much nonagricultural work, a large proportion of
them necessarily depend at times on relief. A study of 775 workers
in California in 1935 indicated th a t only 18 had work in 12 m onths of
the year; only 23 had work in 11 m onths; and only 40 in 10 months.
The mean average num ber of m onths was 5.9. Half of the workers
had employment during less than 6.4 m onths of the year. In most
of these cases, the limited amount of work available was obtainable
only by their seeking work in more than one county or community,
with intervening periods of unemployment. Although information
is fragm entary, studies of m igratory workers give fairly consistent
results. The usual range of employment is from 40 to 60 percent
of the year.
9 His book, The Casual Laborer (1920), and his lectures and articles stimulated an interest that survived
him and contributed to recent work in this field.
7 Changes in techniques and market conditions will be discussed in a later article.


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Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

1255

Underemployment is not confined, however, to m igratory and
casual farm workers. A survey of three New Jersey counties in the
spring of 1936 included almost none of the casual laborers who obtain
work in these counties after the middle of M ay. The job expectation
of these regular farm workers ranged from an average of 4.3 m onths
in a truck-growing area to 9.1 m onths in a region of general farming
and trucking. Only four of the total num ber of workers canvassed
reported having worked throughout the year. Among the 1,667
workers whose employment status in 1935 was ascertained, 1,509
reported employment in agriculture only.
In special surveys of 11 counties in 1936, covering for the m ost p art
regular hired farm workers, those who worked less th an 120 days in all
employments, both agricultural and nonagricultural, ranged from 5.6
percent in Livingston County, 111., to 64.9 percent in Concordia
Parish, La. The county with the median percentage was Lac Qui Parle
in M innesota, w ith 27.4 percent. Probably two-thirds of the farm
workers included in these surveys were employed less than 8 m onths
of the year. (See chart 4.)
The widespread underemployment of hired farm workers is indi­
cated indirectly by the Census of Agriculture of 1930. The total
num ber of days of employment of all persons working on farms for
wages in 1929, as reported to the Bureau of the Census, was 410,985,000.
The num ber of adult hired farm workers who depend largely on wages
in agriculture is indicated approximately by the average num ber of
hired farm workers employed in January, February, M arch, and
December, when there is little special or casual work done. The
average for these m onths in 1929 was 2,246,000. The total num ber
of days of employment of all hired workers, when divided by the
estim ated num ber of workers in the slack months, is a liberal basis for
estim ating the average am ount of work obtainable. The average,
estim ated even on this basis, assuming 25 working days per m onth,
is only 7.3 months. A similar estim ate is obtainable by a comparison
of the full-time average earnings as estim ated from wage rates with
the estim ated average earnings actually obtained.8 In 1929, the
farms reporting hired workers averaged only 156 days of hired labor.
There has been an extensive m igration of farmers seeking new per­
m anent locations as distinguished from the flow of hired labor in re­
sponse to seasonal and irregular demands. Historically, this was the
main characteristic of agricultural migrations in America, bu t these
earlier m igratory movements were under radically different condi­
tions of free land, an expanding frontier, and an inflow of population
from other countries attracted by liberal opportunities. The causes
of the m igratory movement of owners and tenants in more recent
* Wages and income of farm workers w ill be discussed in a later article.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1256

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

years include the progressive impoverishment of the land; the in­
creasing burden of debt; changes in m arket demands (as, for example,
the decline in the foreign demand for cotton) ; the competitive pressure
of new and more productive areas on the older farming areas, especially
after the development of m otortruck transportation; and industrial
depression, which has caused m any industrial workers, especially
CHART 4

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION
OF FARM LABORERS BY DAYS WORKED
IN ELEVEN COUNTIES
1935-36
0

20

PERCENTAGE

40

60

80

100

LIVINGSTO N CO.
IL L IN O IS
W AYNE CO.
P E N N SY L V A N IA
HAMILTON CO.
IOWA
P L A C E R CO.
C A L IF O R N IA
TO D D CO.
KENTUCKY
LAC QUI PA R LE CO.
M IN N E S O T A
PAWNEE CO.
KANSAS
A R C H U L E T A CO.
COLORADO
K A R N E S CO.
TEXAS
F E N T R E S S CO.
TEN N ESSEE
CONCORDIA PA R ISH
LO U IS IA N A
P E R C E NTAGE OF E M P L O Y E E S
—
L E S S T H A N 12 0 D A Y S

W O R K IN G :

12 0 TO 2 3 9 D AY S
2 4 0 TO 3 12 D A Y S
UMiTFn C T I T . S
UNITED ST A T E S

„ „ „ „
BUREAU

OF

LABOR

S T A T IS T IC S

SO U RC E:

SE N A T E
on

H E A R IN S S I7 5 T H C O N G RESS, 3 D SE S SIO N )
awd d f i i r r
Vi o i u tt

ijmempi o y u f n t

those with a rural background, to turn to farming. Tem porary
factors have included widespread drought conditions.
These adverse conditions explain the profound change in the popu­
lar view of governm ental responsibility. On the one hand, under the
radically different conditions th a t now give rise to the m igration of
farm workers, individual readjustm ent is much more difficult than in
earlier times. On the other hand, m any farm operators in need of

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Farm Employment, 1909 to 1938

1257

farm labor have found it economically impossible to employ workers
except tem porarily or seasonally and except at wages below even a
subsistence income for the year as a whole. The nature of the de­
m and for farm labor requires a high degree of labor mobility and at
the same time gives rise to problems of underemployment, subnormal
wages, and depressed living conditions beyond solution by the individ­
ual farm er or farm worker. In addition, there are such closely related
questions as the pressure of the agricultural labor supply on the de­
m and for industrial labor and on industrial wages ; the adm inistration
of relief in cities as affected by m igratory workers; and the restricted
demand of the farm population for the products of industry.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

CHARACTERISTICS OF PAID-VACATION PLANS
Part 2—Nonmanufacturing Industries 1
T H E practice of granting paid vacations to workers is common in the
nonm anufacturing industries. Analysis by the Bureau of returns for
31,189 companies, in such different fields as brokerage, insurance, mis­
cellaneous offices, hotels and restaurants, public utilities, and retail and
wholesale trade, indicated th at, although the proportion of workers
included in the vacation plans varied rather widely, in no industry
included was the coverage less than 40 percent. Practically all of the
employees of the brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous offices
reporting worked under vacation systems. N ext in order were the
public utilities, 91.0 percent of whose employees benefited by paid
vacations. In the retail-trade group as a whole, the proportion of
employees under vacation plans was 88.2 percent, but within the group
the range was from 41.8 percent for garages to almost 100.0 percent
for the general merchandise group. Of the five main industry groups,
the coverage was lowest for hotels and restaurants, only 63.6 percent
of whose employees worked under paid-vacation plans.
Paid-vacation plans appear to be more common in the large-scale
industries than in those consisting of a m ultiplicity of small plants.
In most of the industries covered here, paid-vacation plans had
existed for m any years. However, they had been lim ited to a rela­
tively small group of the higher-paid and most stable p art of the labor
force. In recent years the tendency in these industries has been to
extend the coverage to include a much wider group of workers, such as
sales and service employees, but it was not possible from the reports
received to date specifically the spread of this movement. N everthe­
less, judging from the fact th a t paid-vacation plans in the m anufac­
turing and extractive industries have developed largely during the past
few years, it is fair to assume th a t the spread of the movement in the
nonm anufacturing industries has also taken place in about the same
time.
Continuous operation is the rule in the industries covered in this
article and therefore th a t type of vacation plan is rare under which all
of the employees take their holidays at once, the establishment shut­
ting down in the meantime. I t is the usual practice to spread out the
vacations over a long enough period not to interfere w ith operation.
Three of the five industry groups showed preference for plans under
which the length of vacation increased with the period of service. Of
1 For data on plans in manufacturing industries, see Serial No. R. 903.

1258


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Characteristics of Paid-Vacation Plans

1259

employees covered by vacation plans, 83.3 percent in the brokerage,
etc., industry, 74.3 percent in public utilities, and 68.0 percent in retail
trade, received the length of vacation earned by their period of service.
For employees under the remaining plans in these industries the length
of vacation was fixed and bore no relation to the num ber of years of
employment with the company. The fixed-period, or uniform, type
of vacation predom inated in the hotel and restaurant and wholesale
trade groups.
Analysis of the plans indicated th a t those graduated according to
length of service provided more liberal terms than the uniform plans.
Under the latter the most common service requirem ent, in order
to receive the vacation at all, was 1 year, and the term of leave
granted was most frequently 1 week, less commonly 2 weeks. The
m ajority of the graduated-vacation schemes provided for leave of 1
week after 1 year’s service and of 2 weeks after 2 years’ service or
more. A substantial num ber of these plans allowed for the accumu­
lation of leave, at the rate of a half day or a full day for each m onth
of service, up to a maximum of 1, 2, or 3 weeks’ vacation. In some
cases the employee was perm itted to use the time as it accumulated,
but more often he was required to serve from 3 to 6 m onths before the
leave could be taken. The accumulated-leave plan was usually found
in the larger companies.
Some companies granted the same vacation privileges to both
office workers and wage earners. In other cases the plans for wage
earners were less liberal than those for office workers, and in some
companies the wage-earner group was not covered by the plan at all.
Where separate schemes covered wage earners and office force, the
treatm ent accorded to salespeople varied; sometimes they were
included under the more liberal terms of the office workers’ plan,
sometimes under the less liberal terms of the wage earners’ plan. In
some cases they were om itted altogether, even when the plan covered
all other groups of employees.
The practice of allowing employees extra pay in lieu of vacation
time was found in some companies in all industry groups. I t was
most widespread in retail trade as a whole, where the practice affected
27 percent of the employees working under vacation plans. I t
affected 20 percent of such employees in drug and cigar stores, 17
percent in building-supplies and hardware establishments, 15 percent
in autom otive establishments, and 11 percent in miscellaneous retail
stores. Of the divisions of retail trade, the practice was least preva­
lent in general merchandise and clothing and furniture specialty
stores, w ith only 7 percent of the employees affected. In wholesale
trade and hotels and restaurants, the practice covered, respectively,
16 and 14 percent of the employees. I t was negligible in public
utilities and brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous offices.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1260

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

The m ajority of the employees under paid-vacation plans received
their vacation pay either prior to the vacation or at the employee’s
option. However, some companies did not pay their employees until
they returned to work; this practice affected about one-fourth of the
employees receiving vacations in hotels and restaurants, one-fifth in
both building-supplies and hardware establishments and miscellaneous
retail stores, one-sixth in autom otive establishments, and one-eighth
in wholesale trade and public utilities. I t affected less than 10 percent
of the employees in retail food stores, general merchandise and clothing
and furniture specialty stores, and drug and cigar stores. I t was
almost negligible in brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous offices.
A few companies allowed p art of the vacation pay before and the
rem ainder at the end of the vacation period.
Broken vacation periods were allowed in the plans of almost 60
percent of all employees under vacation schemes. For the various
industry groups, the proportion of employees affected was 56 percent
in hotels and restaurants, 59 percent in wholesale trade, 61 percent in
retail trade, 64 percent in public utilities, and 78 percent in brokerage,
insurance, and miscellaneous offices.

Coverage of Survey and of Vacation Plans
As previously noted, this article includes the following nonm anu­
facturing-industry groups: Brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous
offices; hotels and restaurants; public utilities; retail trade; and
wholesale trade. D ata for these industries were obtained during
the course of an extensive survey of paid-vacation plans in force in
1937, covering the m anufacturing industries and the extractive and
other leading nonm anufacturing industries.2 Reports for the non­
m anufacturing industries covered in this article were received from
31,189 companies. The total num ber of employees in those estab­
lishments included in the survey was 2,393,290.
Although single-establishment companies predom inate in some
industries, m ulti-unit companies are an im portant factor in other
industries. For companies w ith more than one establishment, the
same general paid-vacation plan usually applies to all units, although
vacation practices sometimes vary from one establishment to another.
In view of the fact th a t most m ulti-unit companies with uniform
vacation plans did not report the data separately by establishment,
it is impossible to present here any count other than the num ber of
companies covered by paid-vacation plans.
Practically all the industries covered have relatively steady employ
m ent throughout the year. Moreover, their employees are largely
salaried workers consisting mainly of office employees and salespeople.
2 In a number of cases, data were not obtained for all establishments belonging to a given company.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Characteristics of Paid -Vacation Plans

1261

An exception is found in the public utilities and hotels and restaurants,
where the m ajority of the workers are wage earners. However,
m any of the wage earners in these as well as the other industries
are on a salary basis. For this reason, no distinction was made
in this analysis between wage earners and salaried workers.
The m anufacturing and extractive industries discussed previously
and the nonm anufacturing industries covered in this article, compose
by far the largest segment of American industry. However, the
survey excluded some very im portant nonm anufacturing industries,
notably railroads, shipping, banking, and building construction.
Vacations are common in the banking field, but they are less wide­
spread in the railroad and shipping industries, and infrequently
allowed the rank and file in building construction.
The num ber of companies and employees included in the study and
the num ber and percent of employees working under paid-vacation
plans, in the various industries, are shown in table 1.
Of the 5 main industry groups presented, the highest percentage of
employees found working under paid-vacation plans appeared in
brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous offices. Practically all of
the companies included in this group had such plans. Next in prev­
alence of paid vacations were the public-utility industries. In th at
group, paid vacations were almost universal in the telephone and
telegraph and electric light and power and m anufactured gas indus­
tries, but were much less common in the operation, m aintenance, and
repair of electric railroads and motorbuses, where only 69 percent of
the employees were under paid-vacation plans.
Retail trade as a whole had 88 percent of the employees under paidvacation plans, b u t the percentage varied considerably from one
division of the industry to another. For example, almost without
exception throughout all the branches of the general merchandise
division of the industry the vacation policy had been adopted. Paidvacation plans were also extensive in drug and cigar stores, clothing
and furniture specialty stores, filling stations, tire and battery shops,
chain groceries, confectioneries, retail bakeries, and other food estab­
lishments. By contrast, they were least frequently provided for
employees of garages, automobile dealers’ establishments, buildingsupply and hardware establishments, and independent groceries,
where the num ber of workers affected varied from about 40 to 60
percent. In wholesale trade, the num ber of employees working
under paid-vacation plans amounted to 83 percent.
Of the 5 main industry groups, hotels and restaurants showed the
lowest percentage (64 percent) of employees under paid-vacation
plans. About 68 percent of the employees in hotels and 57 percent
in restaurants worked under such plans.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1262
T

able

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
1.—Extent of Vacations With P a y in Selected Nonmanufacturing Industries,

1937
E m p lo y e e s w orking
under paid-vacation
plans >

Coverage
Industry group
Number of Number of
companies employees

Number

Percent

Brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous offices........... _
Brokerage........................................................... ...........
Insurance____ _____ ________________________ ___
Miscellaneous____________ _____________________

573
180
351
42

150,980
11, 938
133, 525
5,517

150,056
11,819
132, 723
5, 514

99.4
99.0
99.4
99.9

Hotels and restaurants................. ..................................... ..
Hotels....................... ........................................................
Restaurants_________ _______ _____________ _____

3,185
1,540
1,645

189,109
119, 630
69,479

120,352
80, 804
39, 548

63.6
67.5
56.9

Public utilities........................................................................
Telephone and telegraph_________ _______ ______ _
Electric light and power and manufactured gas___
Electric railroad and motorbus operation, includ­
ing maintenance and repair........... ................. ..........

2 656
87
386

693, 074
261, 764
284, 725

630,496
261,172
268,017

91.0
99.8
94.1

212

146, 585

101,307

69.1

Retail trade.._________ ____________ _______________
General merchandise____________ ____ __________
Department stores_______________ __________
Variety stores.............................................. ..............
Dry-goods and general-merchandise stores____
Mail-order houses...................................... ..............
Other than general m erchandise.................................
Clothing and furniture specialty stores...... ........
Retail food stores____ _______ ______ ________
Chain groceries....................................................
Independent groceries...... ............................ .
Confectioneries, retail bakeries, and other
establishments....................................... .......
Retail automotive establishments___ ____ ____
Automobile dealers........................................ .
Garages........ .........................................................
Filling stations_____________ _____ _______
Tire and battery shops and miscellaneous
establishments................................................
Building supplies, hardware, etc., establish­
m ents____ _______ ____ ______ ____________
Drug stores and cigar stores................. .................
Other retail stores.................... ............. ..................

2 17, 886
1,285
577
87
624
7
2 16, 613
4, 354
3,016
178
1, 770

998,400
534,105
310, 078
142,655
72.353
9,019
464, 295
119,424
128,150
61, 523
19, 718

880, 529
525, 025
303, 683
142,438
69,885
9,019
355, 504
104, 718
100, 786
51,928
11, 723

88.2
98.3
97. 4
99.8
96.6
100.0
76.6
87.7
78.6
84.4
59.5

1,070
.3,324
2,065
506
432

46,909
82,458
52,990
5, 355
14,630

37,135
47, 904
24, 839
2,237
12,644

79.2
58.1
46.9
41.8
86.4

Wholesale trade..............................................

324

9, 483

8,184

86.3

3,051
1,280
1, 594

51,134
44, 768
38,360

27, 591
41, 562
32,943

54.0
92.8
85.9

8,999

361, 727

299,975

82.9

' The figures here are exclusive of employees who did not come within the scope of the plan for the estab­
lishment in which they were working. However, the figures do include all employees of any group eligible
to receive paid vacations, regardless of whether or not their length of service made them eligible during the
period surveyed.
2 This figure excludes duplications, due to the fact that certain companies have establishments in more
than one of the industries covered.

An examination of the above figures indicates th a t paid-vacation
plans are relatively more extensive in branches dom inated by m ulti­
unit organizations. In such companies, the practice is generally to
have a vacation plan applying to all units of the organization. Paidvacation plans are also relatively more prevalent in branches consist­
ing m ainly of large establishments, such as departm ent stores. On
the other hand, paid vacations are relatively less prevalent in branches
th a t are composed of a large num ber of independent companies,
such as hotels, restaurants, independent groceries, garages, automobile
dealers’ establishments, and building supplies and hardware estab­
lishments.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1263

Characteristics of Paid-Vacation Plans

Types of Paid Vacations
Because the nature of the industries covered calls for continuous
operation of the establishment throughout the year, practically all of
the plans provide for staggered vacations rather than those all occur­
ring at the same time resulting in a shut-down of the plant.
The paid-vacation plans have been classified according to whether
they provide for vacations of uniform length after a fixed period of
service, or whether they graduate the period of leave in accordance
with length of service.
Of the 5 main industry groups, the plans were found to be primarily
of the uniform type only in hotels and restaurants and wholesale
trade. Of the total num ber of employees affected by paid-vacation
schemes, 65 percent in each of the latter industries were under uniform
plans. Vacations on the graduated basis predom inated in brokerage,
insurance, and miscellaneous offices, public utilities, and retail trade as
a whole, the proportion of employees out of the total affected by paid
vacations being, respectively, 83, 74, and 68 percent. (See table 2.)
T a b le 2. —Number and Percent of Employees Covered by Uniform and Graduated

Paid-Vacation Plans, 1937
Percent

Number of em ployees2
Industry group
Total
Brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous
offices_______________________________
Hotels and restaurants___________ _____ Public utilities______ __________________
Retail trade_________________________
General merchandise and clothing and
furniture specialty stores2_________
Retail food stores__________________
Retail automotive establishments____
Building supplies, hardware, etc.,
establishments___________________
Drug stores and cigar stores...................
Other retail stores.....................................
Wholesale trade............................................—

Uniform Gradu­
plans ated plans

Total

Uniform Gradu­
plans ated plans

83,654
75,943
503,499
715, 669

13,951
49,059
129,531
229,144

69,703
26,884
373,968
486, 525

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

16.7
64.6
25.7
32.0

83.3
35.4
74.3
68.0

527,801
77,429
32,660

110,075
58, 983
20, 871

417,726
18,446
11,789

100.0
100.0
100.0

20.9
76.2
63.9

79.1
23.8
36.1

19,553
34,105
24,121
213,427

14, 279
11,378
13,558
138,787

5,274
22,727
10,563
74,640

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

73.0
33.4
66. 2
65.0

27.0
66.6
43.8
35.0

1 The coverage in this table is less than the coverage shown in table 1, because a great many companies
did not report details of their vacation plans.
.
,. ^
,
...
i General merchandise and clothing and furniture specialty stores are combined in this table because of the
similarity of practices in these 2 groups.

G raduated vacations predom inated in retail trade as a whole,
because of the influence of the largest division of the group, namely,
general merchandise and clothing and furniture specialty stores,
where such vacations were general. The graduated plan was also
used extensively in drug and cigar stores. The uniform vacation
plan prevailed in the remaining branches of the retail-trade industry,
namely, retail food stores, building-supply and hardware establish­
ments, retail autom otive establishments, and other retail stores.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1264

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Since the graduated vacation plan as a whole is more liberal than
the uniform plan, it is interesting to note th a t the graduated plan
prevails largely in industries dominated mainly by large companies.
Examples of the latter are insurance corporations, public-utility com­
panies, departm ent stores, and drug- and cigar-store chains.

Length of Paid \ acations, and Service Requirements 3
Brokerage, insurance, and miscellaneous offices.—In brokerage, insur­
ance, and miscellaneous offices, where nearly all employees are clerical
workers, the 2-week vacation predominated. As heretofore stated,
the m ajority of the plans in this group were on a graduated basis.
The typical graduated plan offered a vacation of 1 week after 3 m onths’
service and of 2 weeks after 6 m onths’ service, although a significant
number of employees were required to wait 6 months for the 1-week
and 1 year for the 2-week vacation. A smaller group received a
minimum vacation of 2 weeks, usually after 6 months of service,
and a maximum vacation of 3 weeks after service of 5 years and over.
The 4-week vacation was less frequent and was generally granted only
after m any years of service.
The 2-week vacation was also the predom inant uniform plan in this
industry group, being given usually after service varying from 6
m onths to 1 year.
Hotels and restaurants.—The large proportion of wage earners in
hotels and restaurants was reflected in the characteristics of vacation
plans for this group. As stated previously, the uniform plan predomi­
nated here, and in the m ajority of cases carried provisions for only a 1week vacation. The usual service requirem ent was 1 year. The only
other uniform plans of any importance in hotels and restaurants pro­
vided for a 1-week vacation after 6 m onths’ service or a 2-week vaca­
tion after 1 year of service.
Among the graduated plans, the predom inant minimum vacation
was also 1 week. The usual minimum service requirem ent was 1 year,
although a significant num ber of employees were given vacations after
only 6 m onths of service. The prevailing maximum vacation was 2
weeks. There was wide variation with respect to the maximum service
requirement. The employees serving 6 m onths for the minimum
vacation served 1 year for the maximum vacation. Of the employees
required to serve 1 year for the minimum vacation, about 40 percent
received the maximum vacation after 2 years of service and the rem ain­
ing ones only after service of 3 years or more.
Public utilities. The graduated plan often used by large corpora­
tions prevailed in public utilities. As in the m ajority of graduated
3
For detailed tables showing, for each of the industries, the distribution of employees covered by paidvacation plans according to the length of leave granted and the period of service required to earn such vaca­
tion, see Serial No. R. 903.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Characteristics of Paid - Vacation Plans

1265

plans, the minimum vacation here was 1 week, but a wider variation
in the minimum service requirem ent was found in this group as com­
pared with other groups. Although 1 year was the minimum for the
largest num ber of employees, the 6-month waiting period was also
frequent, and a fairly large number of employees received the minimum
vacation after only 1 to 3 months of service.
Two weeks was the maximum for 56 percent of the employees under
graduated plans in public utilities, b u t practically all of the remaining
employees received a maximum of 3 weeks. The 3-week vacation,
however, was not given until after 10 years or more of service with the
company. On the other hand, the 2-week maximum was for the most
p art granted after a maximum service of from 6 m onths to 2 years.
The employees receiving uniform vacations in public utilities may
be roughly divided into 2 groups, approximately one-half receiving a
1-week vacation and the other half a 2-week vacation. For both
groups, however, the usual service requirem ent was 1 year.
Retail trade.—In the general merchandise and clothing and furniture
stores, where the graduated plan predominated, the usual length of
vacation was a minimum of 1 week and a maximum of 2 weeks.
Under the graduated plans the 1-week minimum was received by 40
percent of the total employees after 1 year of service, by 15 percent
after 6 m onths of service, and by 20 percent after service of from 1 to
3 months. The 2-week maximum was earned by 56 percent of the
total employees after 2 years of service and by 24 percent after 1 year
of service. Maximum vacations of 3 and 4 weeks were granted to a
limited extent, but usually after service of 10 years or more. The
predom inant uniform vacation plan provided a 1-week vacation after
1 year of service.
Graduated plans also prevailed in drug and cigar stores. The mini­
mum vacation for more than one-half of the employees under gradu­
ated plans was only 3 days and for the remainder 1 week, but the
usual minimum service requirem ent in both instances was only 6
months. The maximum vacation for practically all of these employees
was 2 weeks, which was earned by more than four-fifths of the total
under graduated plans after only 1 year of service. Uniform plans
provided a 1-week vacation after 1 year of service in the m ajority of
instances.
As mentioned before, the uniform vacation plan predom inated in
retail food stores, autom otive establishments, and building-supply
and hardware establishments. A large proportion of the employees
under uniform plans in each division were granted vacations of 2 weeks
after 1 year of service. In autom otive establishments, 69 percent of
the employees received a 1-week and 28 percent a 2-week vacation;
for retail food stores, 66 percent had a 1-week and 34 percent a 2-


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1266

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

week vacation; and for building-supply and hardware establishments,
the employees were equally divided between 1- and 2-week vacations.
In each case, 1 year was the usual length of service required to qualify
for the vacation.
The graduated plans for these 3 divisions provided the usual 1-week
minimum and 2-week maximum vacation, w ith a usual minimum
service requirem ent of from 6 m onths to 1 year. The maximum
service requirem ent varied widely.
Wholesale trade.—The distribution of employees in wholesale trade
according to length of vacation and service requirem ents assumed
much the same p attern as the distribution for each of the divisions in
retail trade in which the uniform vacation plan predominated. Almost
two-thirds of the employees w ith paid vacations in wholesale trade
worked under uniform plans, and of these slightly more than one-half
received a 1-week vacation and most of the others 2 weeks. One year
was the usual service requirem ent for both the 1- and 2-week vacation
periods.
The distribution of employees working under graduated plans in
wholesale trade was very much the same as for other industries, the
minimum vacation being 1 week and the maximum 2 weeks, w ith the
minimum service requirem ent 6 m onths or 1 year and the maximum
service requirem ent 1 or 2 years This industry group, however,
recognized long service to a greater extent than some of the other
industry groups, with 23 percent of its employees having a maximum
vacation of 3 weeks or more, which was earned for the most part after
10 years of service.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

COVERAGE LIMITATIONS OF WORKMEN’S
COMPENSATION LAWS 1
B y M ar sh a ll D

a w so n ,

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Summary
IN P R IN C IP L E , an act providing compensation to workmen for
industrial injuries should cover “all industries and all employees,”
b u t in practice under existing conditions probably less than half of the
workers are so protected. The lim itations upon coverage found in
the jurisdictions are bewildering in their variety. In part, such
lim itations arise out of the diverse economic and social situations in
the jurisdictions, bu t to a considerable extent they are traceable to
experimentation and to compromises between groups interested in
compensation legislation, and some of the lim itations lack rational
justification. Some groups of workmen, because of a preference for
action through the courts, have successfully opposed the extension of
the compensation law to cover their employments, while other groups
have lacked the ability to make any effective demand for inclusion.
The experience of the past 25 years has shown that, under existing
conditions and with present insurance practices, it has not been
possible for the carriers, whether public or private, to cover all em­
ployments except by taking a loss on certain occupations or industrial
classifications. In consequence, some employments originally within
the scope of the law in certain jurisdictions have later been excluded.
To a considerable degree, therefore, restrictions upon coverage reflect
practical insurance difficulties under existing conditions.
In the literature of workmen’s compensation it is often said th a t
coverage “should” be inclusive. The problem is how to make it so,
keeping in mind the difference between nominal and effective coverage.
I t is apparent th a t effective actual inclusive coverage is not obtainable
in the absence of a comprehensive program of supervisory and pre­
ventive activities, adequately administered. W ithout such a pro­
gram an inclusive workmen’s compensation law has a wide m argin
of noncompliance.
The extension and improvement of safety service by public and
private agencies would reduce accident costs and consequently make
feasible a more inclusive coverage than now prevails. Such a step
is of prim ary importance in a workmen’s compensation program.
Coverage of domestic service awaits the emerging of an effective
demand for such legislation. The same is true of train-service and
m aritime employments.
> For previous articles on various phases covered in the Bureau’s survey of workmen’s compensation in the
United States and Canada, see M onthly Labor Review, issues of January, February, and March 1936, June
and September 1938, and January 1939.


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The workman whose wage is small or interm ittent and whose living
is precarious urgently needs the protection of a workmen’s com­
pensation law, but often lacks such security. At present, complete
coverage is a goal th a t apparently can be reached only by measures
reinforcing the existing system, as, for example, by applying to the
rate structure the principle of the collective responsibility of industry
for all workers,2 by public subsidies, or by a combination of these two
methods. Under existing conditions, those who most need workmen’s
compensation are often barred from such protection.

Incompleteness of Coverage
The question is often asked, How m any persons are covered by
workmen’s compensation? The only answers to this question have
been estimates. For instance, in 1920, Carl H ookstadt estimated
the num ber of employees covered by the existing laws, but ‘‘owing to
lack of definite information no estim ates” were made “of employees
unprotected because of failure of employers to elect under elective
acts.” 3 In 1939 exact information was not available either as to the
percent of employees included in the legal provisions or the num ber
of employees actually covered by compliance of employers with the
statutes.
In regard to the difficulty as to sources of information upon cover­
age, an explanation given in 1926 by Ralph H. Blanchard in the preface
to the International Labor Office study, W orkm en’s Compensation in
the United States, is still pertinent: “ Complete or accurate statistics
pertaining to workmen’s compensation are nowhere collected for the
country as a whole; nor are they, in m ost instances, available for
individual jurisdictions.” In 1928, E thelbert Stewart, United States
Commissioner of Labor Statistics, in discussing the problem of cover­
ing small plants before the International Association of Industrial
Accident Boards and Commissions, said:
There is not a State in the Union, from which I can get statistical returns, that
knows how many and what percent of establishments, according to size, have
voluntarily elected to come under the workmen’s compensation law. They can
tell me how many have come in. They cannot or do not or will not tell me how
many have not come in.

During the depression following 1929 the existing statistical activi­
ties of the workmen’s compensation commissions were severely cur2 An example of the application to the rate structure of the principle of collective responsibility is a general
charge, or “loading,” of 1 or 2 cents per hundred dollars of pay roll for occupational-disease coverage, regard­
less of the perceptible presence of such a risk in the case of individual establishments subject to the charge.
This practice is found in some States. In event of lowering the minimum premium charge for carrying the
risk of small employers, to a point where it would not be a serious burden to most of them, many of the small
employers would be insured at a loss to the carrier, which in the existing situation could only be recouped by
a general loading upon industry for this item.
2 The estimate of employees included in the legal provision of the State acts ranged from 99.8 percent of
the workers in New Jersey to 30.7 percent in N ew Mexico. (U S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin
No. 275, p. 33.)


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tailed in m ost jurisdictions and virtually discontinued in some. Con­
sequently, in the absence of a nation-wide special study of the extent
of coverage, only approximate estimates are available.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has estim ated th a t on
December 15, 1938, there were 32,945,000 workers actually employed,
not including agricultural labor, bu t including domestic servants and
self-employed persons. According to the census of agriculture, there
were 9,482,000 agricultural workers on December 1, 1938.4 According
to an estimate made for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Swen K jaer,
Chief of the Division of Accident Statistics, not more than 40 percent
of the total gainfully employed workers are actually protected by
workmen’s compensation coverage. On this basis, a t a time when
42,500,000 workers were employed, 17,000,000 would be covered by
workmen’s compensation. I t should be kept in mind th a t workmen’s
compensation, unlike unemployment insurance or sickness insurance,
covers only persons who are actually working.
The problem of the scope of coverage is vitally related to cost,
and a t this point, also, only approximate estimates for the country
as a whole, including the experience of all types of carriers, are
available. On the basis of actual figures as to p a rt of the cov­
erage and conjecture as to the rest, it is probable th a t the total
annual country-wide cost of workmen’s compensation coverage is not
less than $400,000,000.4a In examining types of coverage it was ob­
served th a t especially during depressions the cost of insurance causes
a shrinkage of actual coverage, through the election of employers not
to come under the law or their noncompiiance with it. In considering
the problems relating to persons and employments covered, the effect
of cost upon coverage will appear m ost clearly in connection w ith the
experience of distressed industries and the effort to include farmers
and small employers.

Types of Coverage Provisions and Limitations
No State compensation law covers all employments. Farmers,
domestic servants, and casual workers are usually excluded, although
as a rule these can be brought within the compensation act by appli­
cation, election, or taking out insurance. In several jurisdictions,
however, no election can be made for excluded employments.5 M oret U . S. Department of Agriculture, press release, January 1, 1939.
In the absence of complete reports any estimate is in part conjectural. Casualty companies operating
in N ew York reported to the N ew York State Insurance Department that their earned premiums, on a
country-wide basis, on workmen’s compensation insurance during 1937 amounted to $233,529,705. Stock
companies are credited with $141,773,299 in earned premiums; mutuals with $70,297,075, the N ew York State
Insurance Fund, with $21,459,331. Exclusive fund premiums were approximately $43,000,000. The pre­
miums of private carriers not included in the compilation ol: the N ew York State Insurance Department,
of competitive funds other than the N ew York State Insurance Fund, and the costs of self-insurers, are
estimated at $150,000,000.
J For a detailed analysis of coverage provisions, see U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Serial No. R. 815:
Workmen’s Compensation in the United States as of July 1, 1938.
149001— 39-------3


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over, under prevailing conditions throughout the United States and
Canada, small employers are often outside the scope of the act. The
actual exemption of many small employers, in some jurisdictions,
results from listing the industries that are included, and in others is
effected by stating the minimum number of employees an employer
must have in order to come within the scope of the law. These two
methods, at times, are found together. The “numerical exemptions”
range from 1 employee to 16 employees.
The wide variety of the coverage provisions arose from the circum­
stances under which the laws have been enacted. All of the State
acts have been prepared in the face of constitutional problems and also
the opposition or demands of certain groups and interests. Each
act is the result of compromises rather than the development of an
ideal program, although in some instances much weight was given
to a carefully studied plan. An expedient employed in a number of
the early acts, in order to make sure of bringing the legislation within
the police powers of the State and thus assuring its constitutionality,
was to declare the law to be applicable to “hazardous” or “extra
hazardous” employments, of which a list would be given. A cautious
regard for administrative practicality or the demands of influential
groups led, in many instances, to broad “numerical” exemptions,
which are sometimes not the same for all employments or industries
within a State. Farmers were exempted in most States because of the
belief that otherwise their opposition would defeat the passage of the
act. Interstate transportation workers were not covered by the State
acts because their inclusion would give rise to conflicts between State
and Federal jurisdictions.
In examining typical provisions and limitations relating to coverage,
it should be kept in mind that there are pronounced differences of
viewpoint with regard to principles and practices. On the one hand,
compensation administrators have usually accepted some limitations
upon coverage as inevitable under existing operating conditions.
On the other hand, the Fifth National Conference on Labor Legis­
lation has recommended, as to coverage that—
All industries and all employees, including the State and political subdivisions,
should come under the act. There should be no exemption of small employers
or nonhazardous industries or occupations. The law should not permit employees
to waive compensation. Extraterritorial workers should be covered; and in this
connection reciprocity and cooperation between States is desirable and necessary.
All employees excluded from State jurisdictions by reason of being subject to
Federal jurisdiction should be covered by a Federal workmen’s compensation
act. (U. S. Department of Labor. Division of Labor Standards. Bulletin
No. 25-A, p. 18.)
LIST O R S C H E D U L E C O V E R A G E

It has been noted that a number of the early acts, for constitutional
reasons, included only hazardous employments, and this criterion has

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been retained after the need for it has been removed by court interpre­
tation. In some of the exclusive-fund acts, such lists or schedules
serve as the nucleus of an insurance rate manual. In the Ontario
act, two schedules are provided—of industries under the collectiveliability system, and of industries in which the employer is individually
liable or (in the language of the State acts) a self-insurer. However,
other industries or employments m ay be added by the Ontario board
on the application of the employer, and any industry excluded by
num ber lim it m ay be brought under the act by notification to the board
by the employer or a workman.
The use of the limiting terms “hazardous” and “ extra hazardous”
and of restrictive lists was an expedient, and the resulting provisions
are confusing. For example, the M aryland statutes lists “extra
hazardous” employments th a t are covered (sec. 32), and then pro­
vides: “In addition to the employments set out in the preceding
paragraphs, this article is intended to apply to all extra hazardous
employments not specifically enumerated therein, and to all work of
an extra hazardous nature.” In applying this type of legislation,
difficulties of interpretation arise in regard to both the specific and
the general provisions. In some instances the extra hazardous nature
of an employment will inevitably be determined after instead of before
it has caused injuries. Under the Wyoming statute, one provision
of less than a page (secs. 124-104, 124-105) sets forth the “extra
hazardous occupations” th a t are covered. The lack of a clear-cut
standard for determining w hat is extra hazardous is indicated by the
circumstance th a t “dude ranching” is included as extra hazardous
while stock raising is excepted from the application of the chapter.
The New York statu te provides (sec. 2, subd. 3): “Employer, except
when otherwise expressly stated, means a person, partnership, associ­
ation, corporation, * * * employing workmen in hazardous employ­
m ents.” B ut the law nowhere defines hazardous employment. An
application of the term is found in section 3, which enumerates em­
ployments. This section, with comment and interpretation, covers
24 pages. Section 3, subdivision 1, group 18 includes “all other em­
ployments * * * notw ithstanding the definition of employment in
subdivision 5 of section 2, not hereinbefore enumerated, carried on by
any person, firm, or corporation in which there are engaged or em­
ployed 4 or more workmen or operatives regularly.”
Especially in a large industrial State, the continual changes in the
composition and processes of industry make it hard to keep up to
date any fist of hazardous employments. Moreover, difficulties in the
interpretation and application of the lists continually arise. Item s in
the lists sometimes represent political rather than engineering judg­
ment. A detailed examination of provisions which determine cover­
age by lists, and by the use of the term “hazardous”, “extra hazard
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ous” , or both, raises the question of the desirability of replacing such
arrangements by simpler and more inclusive provisions. If, for con­
stitutional reasons, there is a present-day need for such limiting words
in any jurisdiction (which is doubtful), the definition of “hazardous”
in the N orth D akota act (sec. 2) is of interest: “ ‘Hazardous employ­
m ent’ means any employment in which one or more employees are
regularly employed.”
I t has been noted th a t in several exclusive-fund jurisdictions a
schedule or list of employments covered also serves incidentally as
the nucleus of an insurance rate manual. Experience, however, has
shown the disadvantage of elaborate specific legislation a t this point,
and in the States the trend has been in the direction of general provi­
sions authorizing the commissions or funds to make the classifications
of employments and employers. As late as 1934 the act of the State
of W ashington contained an 8-page list of employments with the
accompanying rates; but in the 1937 edition of the act, this material
is om itted and reference is made (sec. 7676) to a “yearly Classification
and R ate M anual issued January 1 of each year.” The New York
act provides (sec. 89): “Em ployments and employers in the State
fund shall be divided into such groups and classes as shall be equitably
based upon differences of industry or hazard for the purpose of estab­
lishing premium rates.” I t has been recognized, therefore, th a t the
preparation of classifications as a basis for allocating insurance costs
is a year-to-year task for actuaries and engineers, rather than a m at­
ter th a t can satisfactorily be put into the legal basis of the compensa­
tion system.
N U M E R IC A L E X E M P T IO N S

The numerical exemption prescribes the num ber of employees an
employer m ust have in order to come within the compensation law.
For example, the Wisconsin act (sec. 102.04) applies to “every person,
firm, and private corporation * * * who usually employs 3 or
more employees.” This device is found in m any of the State acts and,
as to some employments, in the Canadian Provincial acts.
The numerical exemptions range from fewer than 2 employees in
Oklahoma to fewer than 16 in Alabama.6 Such exemptions ma}7 not
be uniform even within a single jurisdiction. For example, the Florida
act, which exempts employers with fewer than 3 employees, exempts
sawmills employing 10 or less, and the N orth Carolina act, which
exempts employers with fewer than 5 employees, exempts sawmills
with fewer than 15 employees, and this in spite of the extra hazardous
nature of small sawmill operations. An opposite practice in the use of
numerical exemptions is found in the New York act. I t has been
noted th a t this act exempts some employers who have fewer than 4
• For details, see M onthly Labor Review, September 1938, p. 569: Workmen’s Compensation in the United
States as of July 1,1938.


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employees, but the lim itation applies only to nonhazardous employ­
ments. A “hazardous” employment with even 1 worker is covered.
The application of the law a t this point, however, is sometimes com­
plicated by court interpretation.
Under the numerical exemptions, in m any jurisdictions the employer
with only 2 or 3 employees is exempt from coverage upon other than
a voluntary basis. Some of the reasons given for such an arrange­
m ent are the small employer’s unwillingness or inability to pay insur­
ance premiums, his neglect of safe working practices, and his failure
to keep accurate pay-roll records. No jurisdiction has had enough
inspectors for adequate supervision of working conditions even in
the large industries, and in m ost jurisdictions small establishments
are seldom visited. The same is true of pay-roll auditing. Moreover,
in some jurisdictions it is reported th a t the cost of safety and pay­
roll inspection alone, for isolated small establishments, would exceed
the total am ount paid by such employers as premium or insurance
assessment. In the face of the demands for economy made during
the depression, safety inspection and also the compliance activities
of labor departm ents and compensation boards sank to a low ebb.
In consequence, m any of the small employers within the scope of
compensation laws neglected to report or insure their operations,
leaving a considerable gap between the legal and the actual coverage
of their workmen.
E X C L U S I O N O F SPECIFIED E M P L O Y M E N T S A N D O C C U P A T I O N S

In m any jurisdictions numerical exemptions would autom atically
bar from coverage m ost of the persons in such employments as
farming and domestic service, even if such were not named as exempt.
B ut there are also specific exclusions, the list of which usually begins
w ith farmers, domestic servants, and casual workers. Such exclusions
give rise to serious problems, which are best understood by examining
some of these limiting provisions in their settings.
Agriculture

This is the greatest single gap in effective workmen’s compensation
coverage. The general lack of farm coverage is due primarily to the
farm ers’ demand for exemption from the operation of this law. In
m ost jurisdictions voluntary coverage is allowed, b u t as a rule the
cost is deemed prohibitive by farmers. For example, in 1938 the
minimum premium for a policy covering farm workers in New York
was $115. In p art because of the expense, actual farm coverage is
found in the States only on a very limited scale, although it has long
been advocated.
The hazardous nature of farm work has been amply shown by
statistics. Estim ates of fatalities and injuries for 1937, for example,

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indicate th a t there were 4,500 fatalities in agriculture, 13,500 per­
m anent injuries, and 252,000 tem porary disabilities. The total
fatalities for agriculture exceed th a t of any other m ajor industrial
group. Expressed in terms of fatalities per million workers, the
fatality rating for agriculture exceeds the ratings for manufacturing,
public utilities, wholesale and retail trade, and services and miscellane­
ous industries.7
In Ohio, if a farm er has 3 or more employees, he is subject to the
compulsory coverage of the act; if fewer than 3 employees, he m ay
apply for coverage. B u t the farm accident experience has been much
worse than in some supposedly hazardous industries. In 1930 the
farm rate was $2.20 per year per hundred dollars of pay roll, bu t in
1936 the rate was $4 per hundred. In the 5-year period from January
1, 1930, to December 31, 1934, Ohio farmers paid into the State in­
surance fund premiums totaling $677,131, while during the same
period the losses due to accidents and paid from the fund amounted
to $813,631. In spite of the compulsory provision for coverage, rela­
tively few farmers have insured with the fund. “According to the
United States Census reports, on April 1, 1930, there were 219,296
farmers in Ohio, yet on July 1, 1935, approximately 2,150 Ohio farmers
were insured under the workmen’s compensation act.” 8 N everthe­
less, the situation in the agricultural classification “is ideal for organized
safety work.” W ith the granges, farm bureaus, cooperatives, and
youth organizations, it is possible quickly and effectively to contact a
large proportion of the employing farmers in Ohio and their employees.
The steady increase of accident frequency and severity on farms makes
some organized safety effort imperative if agricultural insurance
premium rates are to be m aintained a t their present level and a sta rt
made toward an experience th a t will m erit reductions.8
A few States (for example, Illinois, M innesota, and Wisconsin)
facilitate farm coverage by m aking a farm er’s purchase of a compensa­
tion insurance policy equivalent to an election to accept the com­
pensation statute. The New Jersey act seems to be an exception to
the general practice of excluding farm employments. Acceptance of
the act by the farmer is presum ed; but such apparent inclusiveness is
weakened by a provision exempting farmers from compulsory insur­
ance. In a few other jurisdictions not specifically excluding agri­
culture the farm er is, in practice, exempted by the numerical lim ita­
tions, or om itted from the lists of employments covered by enumera­
tion. An im portant step facilitating farm coverage is a 1931 Cali­
fornia amendment, under which a farmer is presumed to accept the
act unless his last annual pay roll has not exceeded $500. The Oregon
1 See M onthly Labor Review for March 1939, p. 597: “Agriculture, which in the aggregate had more
fatalities than any other single group, had 416 fatalities per million employees.’’
* Industrial Commission of Ohio. Division of Safety and Hygiene. Accident Experience of Ohio Agri­
culture. Columbus, 1936.


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fund has extended coverage to farmers a t low rates without a mini­
mum premium, but the fund takes a loss on the classification.9 The
accident experience is bad. In 1937, this fund was considering a
safety code for agriculture.

There are few conclusive instances of satisfactory coverage of
mechanized farm processes. For example: The South Dakota act
imposes compulsory coverage for threshing, grain combines, corn
shellers and huskers, silage cutters, and seed hullers, but “the pro­
visions * * * shall not apply * * * to those who are not
generally engaged in the operation of said machines for commercial
purposes.”
Coverage, therefore, is determined not by the hazard of the process
but by the industrial classification of the person who operates the
machine. The border line between agriculture and industrial employ­
m ent is not well defined, and from time to time the courts are called
upon to interpret the compensation coverage provisions on this point.
M any persons are perm anently injured by unguarded machinery
used in agricultural or semiagricultural pursuits. For example, the
operation of portable saws by farmers has proved to be extra hazard­
ous. A workmen’s compensation commissioner sums up the accident
experience in operating portable firewood sawing machines in his
jurisdiction by calling them “veritable butcher shops.” In this
instance there is a gap both in workmen’s compensation coverage
and the application of safety codes.
Certain types of farming are industrialized. Such specialty farm ­
ing is susceptible to safety programs which m ight effect a saving of
life and a lowering of insurance rates to a bearable level. I t is claimed,
for instance, th a t certain sugar corporations in Florida have “ex­
tremely well-developed safety organizations” and minimum accident
experience.
An outstanding experiment in compulsory coverage of agriculture
is found in Puerto Rico. Since 1925 there has been virtually full
coverage of farm work on the Island. Under the present act, only
those farm laborers working for employers of from 1 to 3 workmen 10
are unprotected by the compulsory insurance, bu t their employers
m ay voluntarily pay the premium and obtain coverage.
Even under normal economic conditions the enactm ent of compul­
sory coverage provisions for agriculture has been followed by strong
resistance to the fixing of adequate insurance rates. The difficulty
of collecting adequate premiums was intensified in Puerto Rico by
disastrous hurricane losses. The exclusive fund failed in 1928 and
• The 1935 Oregon rate for general farming was $3.50 on a basis of $100 of pay roll, plus an additional 1 cent
per day for each workman employed. Collection of premium was said to be difficult, although in some
cases the annual premium charged was less than 50 cents.
io
M ost of the agricultural workers in Puerto Rico are employed in sugar-cane operations and other types
of farming in which at least 4 workers are hired.


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its successor, a competitive fund, became insolvent in 1935. On
July 1, 1935, a new act reestablished an exclusive fund providing
compulsory coverage for employers of 4 or more workmen.
The Puerto Rico experience is of outstanding importance in throw ­
ing light upon compensation problems, because all types of insurance
arrangem ents have been tried in the effort to provide coverage of
employments th a t are mainly agricultural. The outcome of such an
undertaking depends to a considerable extent upon the legal and
adm inistrative bases of the insurance carrier’s operation. A t the
time the exclusive fund was reestablished in 1935, it was recognized
by executives and independent actuarial advisers th a t its success
would depend upon close supervision, adequate safety service,
scientific methods of accounting and rate-m aking, special arrangements
for medical care, and nonpolitical m anagem ent.11 Notwithstanding,
on account of outside budgetary control, the fund, as late as January
1, 1938, was w ithout a safety specialist. Moreover, during the fiscal
year 1937-38 the industrial commission, which had been established
separately from the fund m anagement as a “quasi-judicial body di­
vested entirely of adm inistrative functions,” heard appeals from 1,226
employers as to the rates fixed by the fund, and in 23 of the 39 classi­
fications th a t were challenged, reduced the rates.12 Such a situation
throws a strong light upon the difficulty of m aintaining rates adequate
for claims and catastrophe reserves, under the existing arrangem ent
for revision of the rates th a t have been fixed by the fund m anagement
with the aid of an independent actuary. Under the simpler method
prevailing in the Provinces of Canada, if the fund m anagement finds
the rates charged for any year more than adequate, an adjustm ent is
made by a reduction in the next year. The Puerto Rico experience
has shown the vital connection between agricultural coverage and the
insurance carrier’s ability to m aintain adequate rates and collect
premiums.
In the Provinces of Canada and in the States, exclusive funds which
have extended coverage to farmers on a voluntary basis, without
making the burdensome minimum premium charge which is custom ary
with private insurance carriers, indicate in their reports th a t few
farmers have taken advantage of the privilege, and also th a t the
collection of assessments is difficult. M ost of the reasons advanced
for not insuring small employers in general ap p ly w ith even greater
force to farm coverage. In some jurisdictions the compensation
commissioners said, when questioned upon the subject, th a t the cost
of medical supervision and care of an injured farm employee would be
prohibitive in view of the small pay roll reported by farmers and the
11 For an analysis of the problem in Puerto Rico and a statement of the methods applied by the present fund
management, see U. S. Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards, Bull. No. 10, p. 44.
12 Industrial Commission of Puerto Rico. Annual Report, 1937-38, pp. 1, 8, 27.


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high charges made by physicians for visits to isolated places. In
addition they pointed out the difficulty, especially during depressions,
of knowing when an injured farm employee has actually recovered
and is able to return to work.
In practice, farm coverage under the Provincial acts is found only in
Alberta and British Columbia, and even there to a very small extent.
Domestic Service

Domestic service is one of the largest employments commonly
excluded by workmen’s compensation acts. As in the case of farming,
the exclusion does not mean th a t domestic service is not hazardous,
for there are more accidents in homes than in shops. To a consider­
able degree, the difficulties th a t have been noted in regard to efforts
to extend coverage to farmers and small employers are also applicable
to the problem of wide coverage of domestic service. However,
employers of servants usually have the means for paying insurance
premiums and are also acquainted w ith the simpler forms of account­
ing. The coverage of domestic service, other than casually employed
help, appears, therefore, more feasible than agricultural coverage.
The F ifth N ational Conference on Labor Legislation expressed the
opinion th a t the coverage of domestic service “m ay be either com­
pulsory or elective.” In the existing situation the application of
compulsory coverage to this employment has not been considered,
by compensation officers, to be adm inistratively practical except
where the law extends only to employers of several domestic or other
employees.
Relief Work

A t the outset of wide-scale local and Federal relief activities, con­
fusion arose as to whether injured relief workers should receive com­
pensation, and if so from w hat agencies. In 1933 a Federal act for
the relief of unemployment extended the provisions of the United
States Employees’ Compensation Act to enrollees of the Civilian
Conservation Corps, and to other persons given employment under
th a t emergency legislation. In 1934, an act extended these same
provisions to employees of the Civil Works Adm inistration, subject
to certain conditions and limitations. L ater legislation included
employees of the Works Progress Adm inistration, those injured in
camps by the Florida hurricane, and persons employed and paid by
the United States in those States in which the Federal Emergency
Relief Adm inistrator assumed control (M assachusetts, Ohio, Okla­
homa, and Georgia).13
In some States there are special provisions as to coverage or ex­
clusion of relief workers, while in others the coverage depends upon
» Address by Frank M . Phillips, Chief, Division of Statistics, U. S. Employees’ Compensation Commis­
sion, June 6.1938: “Employees’ Compensation under Acts of Congress.” (Mimeographed.)


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the interpretation of such words in the act as “contract of hire.” The
paym ent to relief workers, under the Federal legislation, of wages
lower than in prevailing scales for private employment, is reflected
in special compensation scales. Where injured relief workers receive,
under such scales, compensation lower than th a t paid to employees
in private industry, some discontent arises. On the other hand, in
some States, owing to the m ethod of computing the wage base for
compensation benefits to workers in private employments, it some­
times happens th a t such workers receive smaller compensation than
th a t paid to relief workers by the Federal administration.
Other Excluded Employments

Examples of miscellaneous exclusions found in the acts are casual
employees, home workers and outworkers, public charities, employ­
m ents not for gain, totally blind persons, the vending or delivering of
newspapers, rural employments (blacksmiths, etc.), persons earning
more than a certain sum, aircraft flying, clerical workers, teachers,
preachers, members of partnerships, executives, members of an em­
ployer’s family. In the main, such exclusions arise from the desire
to simplify the adm inistration of the act and avoid insurance difficul­
té s . Opposing reasons are given for certain exclusions; for instance,
a clerical worker m ay be excluded on the theory th a t the occupation
is safe, whereas an aircraft pilot m ay be excluded because the hazard
is too great to be insurable at a cost the employer is willing to bear.
As against such exclusions, it has been urged th a t all persons who are
exposed to injury by reason of their daily work should be brought within
the protection of the compensation system.
E X A M P L E S O F E S P E C I A L D I F F I C U L T I E S IN C O V E R A G E

Distressed Industries

W orkm en’s compensation coverage has at times been curtailed by
the demand of a distressed industry for exemption on the ground th a t
it can no longer pay for insurance and continue to operate. A
dram atic example of such shrinkage in the original scope of an act is
the exclusion of the fishing industry from obligatory coverage by the
Nova Scotia fund after disasters had caused a heavy deficit in the
fishing classification and it became necessary to increase the insur­
ance assessments. Because of the resistance of the industry to the
rate increase, the legislature excluded the fishing classification from
compulsory coverage by the fund. The risk is now carried by a
m utual benefit association which, according to recent information has
no disaster reserve out of which to pay compensation in event of the
recurrence of such storm losses as were sustained in the past. As a
memento of its experience in trying to protect employees in the fishing

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Coverage Limitations of Compensation Laws

1279

industry the Nova Scotia fund carries a perm anent deficit of more
than $380,000 in the “fishing subclass.” 14
When hazardous industries are depressed, the claim is made by
employers th a t the compensation rates threaten the very existence of
the industry. The alternatives are presented as a dilemma: Shall
the workmen have compensation coverage b u t no employment, or
jobs but no compensation coverage? A recent, adm ittedly unsatis­
factory, arrangement in Nova Scotia was to continue giving coverage
to the lumber industry, but to pay injured workmen in th a t employ­
m ent compensation based upon a smaller percentage of their wages
than th a t fixed for compensating workmen in other employments.
Such an adjustm ent was accepted as undesirable but, under existing
conditions, necessary. Especially in the E ast, difficulty has been
experienced in furnishing the lumber industry coverage a t rates
which the employers are willing to pay.
Coal Mining

In m any jurisdictions difficulty has been encountered in the cover­
age of coal mines.14a Coal mining has been looked upon as an undesir­
able risk by m any private insurance carriers, and the industry has in
m ost jurisdictions been perm itted to “self-insure” or carry its own
compensation risks under conditions prescribed by the acts and the
compensation boards. Because of the distressed condition of the
coal industry in Pennsylvania and the increasing cost of compensa­
tion, in 1938 m any of the coal operators rejected the compensation
act. Discussion of the difficulties involved in the coverage of coal
mines will be found in reports of the meetings of the International
Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions.15
Conflict oj Laws

Large gaps in coverage arise from the conflict of State and Federal
jurisdiction. A step reducing some of the jurisdictional uncertainty
was taken in 1936 by Public Act No. 814 (74th Cong.), which grants
to the States authority to apply their workmen’s compensation laws
to work done on Federal property situated within their geographical
boundaries.

The State coverage of railway employees and other workers in
interstate commerce is not only limited, but often hard to interpret
and apply to specific cases where doubt arises as to whether an employ­
ment is interstate or intrastate. Because of opposition from certain
influential representatives of labor, there are no Federal statutes
11 Workmen’s Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, Report, 1936, p. 19, table 8. See also Report and
Findings of the Royal Commission on Ratings of the Lunenberg Fishing Fleet and the Lumber Industry,
as applied by the Workmen’s Compensation Board, Province of Nova Scotia, 1927.
Ha Because of the difficulty of obtaining insurance coverage for coal-mine risks in Tennessee, legal pro­
vision was made for a State fund limited to coal-mine coverage. The arrangement, however, was not put
into effect and the proposed fund never operated,
i* See especially U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 511, pp. 279-290«


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Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

providing workm en’s compensation coverage for railway and m ari­
time workers.16 In several instances, labor organizations have pre­
ferred the expectation of occasional large verdicts from law courts to
the practical certainty of compensation awards in all cases. Recent
studies indicate th a t such a preference is not w arranted by the facts.17
The same preference for the results of litigation, which at certain
points has retarded the spread of compensation legislation in the
United States, accounts for the failure to apply compensation coverage
in the Provinces of A lberta and Saskatchewan to train-service employ­
ments, although such employees m ight come within the act by a
m ajority vote of their memberships.

Administrative Problems Affecting Coverage
P R O B L E M S U N D E R INCLUSIVE ACTS

Each type of compensation act—whether compulsory, elective,
exclusive fund, list or general coverage—has its peculiar adm inistrative
problems. A num ber of the problems incident to exclusive-fund
insurance th a t are in part responsible for numerical and other lim ita­
tions of coverage have already been considered.
Some of the difficulties encountered in administering a compulsory
act of the inclusive type are: The failure of m any employers to make
reports of injuries; difficulty of determining the status of employees;
prohibitive insurance rates for certain risks covered by the law; and
the impossibility of informing all employers as to the requirements
of the act. Employers in some economic activities, to avoid insuring,
go through the form of taking employees into partnership with them,
or attem pt to create legal relationships which, although in effect those
of employer and employee, are held by courts to create a different
status, as for example th a t of independent contractor. M ost of the
evasions or violations of an inclusive compensation law are attributed
to ignorance.18
LIMITATION O F

COVERAGE UNDER ARRANGEMENTS
P A Y M E N T OF COMPENSATION

FOR

GUARANTEEING

One of the unsolved problems of workmen’s compensation is how
to guarantee the paym ent of compensation to all employees covered
by the act, even if their employers have neglected to insure or pay
i» American Labor Legislation Review, December 1935, p. 169; Accident Prevention for Transportation
Workers, by John B. Andrews. For a statement of the attitude of the railroad brotherhoods toward work­
men’s compensation, see Proceedings of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and
Commissions, 1932 (U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 564), p. 53.
17 See American Labor Legislation Review, December 1935, p. 174: Cost of Occupational Accidents in the
Railroad Industry, by Otto S. Beyer.
18 See Proceedings of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, 1938
(U. S. Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards, Bulletin No. 24): The Independent Contractor
Problem in Workmen’s Compensation, by Harry A. Nelson; also, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bui
letins No. 536 (pp. 103-104), and N o. 511 (pp. 4-6).


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Coverage Limitations of Compensation Laws

1281

premiums, w ithout impairing the solvency of the insurance carrier or
limiting the scope of coverage. This problem is m ost clearly illus­
trated by the experience of certain exclusive funds which pay com­
pensation to injured workers covered by the law even if their employers
have not insured or paid assessments. This is the practice in Ohio,
Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, and also in the Canadian
Provinces.
The extent of the possible loss to a fund because of inability to
collect from uninsured employers is shown by the experience of the
Ohio fund. Up to December 31, 1936, this fund paid to the injured
employees of uninsured employers $916,726.10, while it was able to
collect from such employers only $58,332.41. W ith such losses
sustained under coverage subject to numerical exemptions, it is
apparent th a t with existing enforcement facilities the Ohio fund
could hardly carry its present responsibility to uninsured employees
under universal coverage. The Canadian boards are authorized,
under certain conditions, to include or exclude employments by
adm inistrative action, and have restricted their losses caused by
uninsured employers by both legislative and adm inistrative lim itations
upon coverage.


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Industrial Relations

N EG O TIA TIO N OF COLLECTIVE A G REEM EN TS IN
T H E R U BBER IN D U STR Y
By

H

arold

S.

R

oberts,

Division of Economic Research, National Labor Relations Board

AN ANALYSIS of the experience of 68 local unions of the United
Rubber W orkers showed th a t in 63 percent of these locals less than
2 m onths expired between the time the union subm itted the terms of
its proposed contract and the date the collective agreement was
arrived at, and in 38 percent less than 1 m onth was required.
The above findings were the result of an analysis by the Division
of Economic Research of the N ational Labor Relations Board made
in connection with a history of collective bargaining in the rubber
industry.1 A questionnaire was sent to each of the 73 local unions of
the United Rubber Workers which had a signed agreement as of
M arch 1939.
Of the 73 locals covered by w ritten agreements, 52 (71.2 percent)
had renewed their agreements from one to four times. In 13 agree­
ments, signed within the year, the renewal clause had not been tested.
Of the 60 agreements, therefore, which had come up for renewal, 52
had been renewed. The other 8 had remained in force either through
a continuation clause or because the contract had no expiration date.
The num ber of locals which had had w ritten agreements b u t were
unable to renew them was relatively insignificant.
Of the 68 locals which responded to the questionnaire 44 (64.7 per­
cent) did not resort to a strike in the effort to force the company to
negotiate the terms of the first agreement, b u t 24 (35.3 percent) did so.
T h at the company had not broken off negotiations at any time was
reported by 53 locals (77.9 percent), 14 (20.6 percent) reported th at
the company had broken off negotiations, and 1 questionnaire was
incomplete on this point. In 12 of the 14 instances in which the
company broke off negotiations, the union resorted to the strike
either prior to or after the break, in the effort to force the company
to resume or continue negotiations.
Of the 68 locals covered by the study, 57, or 83.8 percent, had been
assisted by a representative from the international union in nego1 See chapter on the rubber industry in forthcoming bulletin (No. 4) of the National Labor Eolations
Board, D ivision of Economic Research: The Written Trade Agreement in Collective Bargaining.

1282

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tiating the terms of their first w ritten agreement. Of the 11 locals
which had not been assisted, 10 were organized prior to M arch 10,
1936. Of the 42 locals under contract, which were chartered on or
after M arch 1936, only 1 was not assisted in its negotiations by a
representative from the headquarters of the United R ubber Workers.
T h at local had been able to organize the plant 100 percent and required
only 1 day to negotiate the term s of its first agreement. Upon the
expiration of the first contract the local had no difficulty in obtaining
its renewal.
Twelve locals were assisted by State or Federal conciliators in
negotiating the terms of their first agreement. In all but two of these
cases, the company had either broken off negotiations or the union
had resorted to the strike before the employer was willing to negotiate
to completion of the agreement.

Labor Relations in the Rubber Industry2
Although union organization among rubber workers m ay be traced
to as early as the 1880’s, and a mushroom growth of the Rubber
Workers Union followed closely the great strike period of 1902 and
1903, by 1906 organization had all but disappeared. Another con­
flict, this tim e under the direction of the International Workers of
the World, occurred in 1913, but the strike was broken and the “openshop” basis continued in force. A few abortive efforts toward or­
ganization were made during the World W ar, bu t they were short­
lived and there was little activity thereafter until an unprecedented
drive for union organization began during the period of the N. R . A.,
under section 7 (a). This move was fought by the rubber companies
with all of the devices a t their disposal, and it was only after the
Supreme C ourt upheld the N ational Labor Relations A ct th a t m ajor
employers in the rubber industry accepted the act.
The following table shows the growth in the num ber of agreements
and in the num ber of workers covered by contracts, from 1932 to
1939. Although the present N ational Labor Relations Act was passed
in 1935, the years 1937 and 1938 account for the consummation of 55
of the total 73 agreements, covering approximately 85 percent of all
the rubber workers under agreement.
1 This section is based upon the following sources: Proceedings of the Knights of Labor, 1887 General
Assembly (cited in The Labor Movement in the United States, by Norman J. Ware, 1860-1895), 1929,
pp. 187-188; Proceedings of the American Federation of Labor, 1903, p. 126; India Rubber World, March 1,
i913, p. 301 and April 1,1913, p. 365; History of Labor in the United States, 1896-1932, by Perlman and Taft
(Vol. 4, p. 278), 1935; House of Goodyear, by Hugh Allen, 1935, p. 194; National Industrial Conference Board
Reports: Individual and Collective Bargaining under the N . I. R. A., 1933, and Individual and Collective
Bargaining in M ay 1934; and U . S. Senate, Subcommittee of Committee on Education and Labor, Hearings
(Violation of Free Speech and Rights of Labor), 1937, parts 3 (p. 20,83et seq.), 8 (p. 2956,3199-3202), and 15.


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1284

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 1.— United Rubber Workers' Local Agreements Signed and Workers Covered,
July 1932 to March 1939 1

Year

Number of
agreements

Workers covere d by agreements
Number

Percent

Entire period________________________ ______ ________

73

44,331

100.0

1932_______________________________________________
1934 2______________________________________________
1935_______________________________________________
1936_______________________________________________
1937_______________________________________________
1938_______________________________________________
1939_______________________________________________

1
6
2
8
38
17
1

85
2, 706
308
2,650
19, 850
17, 718
1,014

.1
6.1
.7
6.0
44.8
40.0
2.3

1 Includes only signed agreements in effect as of March 1939.
2 None in 1933.

The importance of the Supreme C ourt decisions handed down on
April 12, 1937, is shown by the fact th a t of the 73 agreements in effect
as of M arch 1939, 29, or 40 percent, were signed prior to April 12;
while 44, or approximately 60 percent, were signed after th a t date.
More significant, however, are the figures showing the num ber of
workers under contract. The 29 agreements signed prior to the
decisions covered only 7,920 workers, whereas the 44 agreements
signed afterw ard covered 36,411. I t can be seen, therefore, th a t al­
though the num ber of agreements signed prior to April 12 constituted
40 percent of the total number, they covered only 18 percent of the
workers. Eighty-two percent of the workers are covered by agree­
m ents signed after the decisions of A pril'12.
Other factors vital to a proper understanding of labor relations in
the rubber industry are the predom inant position of the tire and tube
division and the importance of Akron as the rubber center.3 Ohio
contains 49 percent of the workers under contract.
The United Rubber Workers has organized locals in 22 of the 42
tire plants tabulated by the Census of M anufactures and 13 are
under contract. These 13 contracts, however, cover 30,718 employees
(69.3 percent) of the 44,331 under all contracts. These 22 locals are
in plants with a daily tire capacity of 303,000 tire units as against
340,600 for all tire companies,4 or 88.9 percent of the total daily
capacity. The capacity of the plants not under contract is approxi­
m ately 36 percent of the total.
2 The importance of the rubber tires and tubes section of the industry, and the dominance of Akron,
explains in part the failure to organize the rubber workers before Government intervention in the form
of labor legislation, etc. The concentration of the industry on the other hand, once unionization set in, also
serves to explain how “ open-shop” Akron became a “union town.”
* See N . R. A. Evidence Study N o. 36, Washington, 1935, p. 5.


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1285

Industrial Relations

Period Required to Negotiate an Agreement
Table 2 shows for 55 reporting locals the time th a t elapsed between
submission of the demands embodied in the proposed contract and
the date the first agreement was signed. In 38 percent of the cases
less than a m onth was required between the date the first w ritten
agreement was subm itted to the company for consideration and the
date the first agreement was signed. Sixty-three percent were signed
in less than 2 months, and 90 percent in less than 6 months. In
only one case did the time extend beyond 8 months.
T a b le 2.— Time Between Submission to Company of Terms of First Written Agreement
and Signing of Agreement 1
Period

8 months and over.............

Simple
percentage

Number

. ---------------------------------

21
14
7
5
2
1
3
1
1

38.2
25.5
12.7
9.1
3.6
1.8
5.5
1.8
1.8

55

100.0

Cumulative
percentage.

63.7
76.4
85.5
89.1
90.9
96.4
98.2
100.0

i Based upon the 55 answers which were complete.

Table 3 shows, for 59 locals reporting, the time th a t elapsed between
the date negotiations began and the date the first agreement was signed.
In 19 cases (32 percent) a length of time less than a half m onth was
indicated, 64 percent showed an elapsed time of less than 1% months,
and 93 percent were completed within less than 4 months. In all
cases the elapsed time between the date negotiations began and the
date of the first agreement was less than 6% months.
T a b le 3. — Time Between Date Negotiations Began and the Signing of First Agreement1
Period

1 Based upon the 59 answers which were complete.

1 4 9 0 0 1 -3 9 -

4


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Simple
percentage

Number
19
8
11
5
3
3
4
2
1
2
1

32.2
13.5
18.6
8.5
5.1
5.1
6.8
3.4
1.7
3.4
1.7

59

100.0

Cumulative'
percentage

45.7
64.3
72.8
78.0
83.0
89.8
93.2
94.9
98.3
100.0

1286

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Table 4 shows the actual num ber of conferences required in nego­
tiating the terms of the first agreement. From 1 to 3 conferences
were required in 14 cases and from 4 to 6 conferences in 20; 54 percent
of the cases required 6 or less conferences to negotiate the terms of the
first agreement. In over 93 percent of the cases the terms were
negotiated in 15 conferences or less.
T a ble 4.—Number of Conferences Required in Negotiating Terms of First Signed
Agreement1

Number of conferences
1-3 conferences__________________________________
4-6 conferences—____ ________________________
7-9 conferences__________________________
10-12 conferences___________________________________
13-15 conferences_____ ____ ________________________
19-21 conferences______ _____ ___________________
25-27 conferences-____ _________________________
28-30 conferences__________________ _____________ .
34-36 conferences_________________ ________
Total___________ _ - ___________

Number 1

Simple
percentage

14
20
13
7
4
1
1
1
1

22. 6
32.2
21.0
11.3
6.5
1.6
1.6
1.6
1.6

62

100.0

Cumulative
percentage

54.8
75.8
87.1
93.5
95.2
96.8
98.4
100.0

1 Based upon the 62 answers which were complete.
s Five answered the question in terms of the number of days instead of conferences. Each day was tabu­
lated as equivalent to 1 conference. Of the 5, 3 fell in the 4-6 class interval, 1 in 7-9, and 1 in 13-15.


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Industrial Relations

1287

WORKING CONDITIONS AND WAGES IN UNION
BARBER SHOPS, 1938 1
B E T W E E N 4 and 5 persons out of every 1,000 gainfully occupied in
the United States are employed in barber shops. The num ber of
shops in 1935, the latest year for which figures are available, was
125,455, of which 4,302 were operated as both barber and beauty shops.
In these shops there were 130,358 proprietors and firm members and
91,424 employees. Receipts for services rendered in these shops
amounted to nearly 230 million dollars in 1935—roughly $1.70 per
capita of population.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has from time to time published
information on rates and hours of union barbers in a num ber of cities.2
The present article deals with the rates and hours of union barbers
in 173 cities and towns in 43 States, as indicated in collective agree­
m ents which were in force all or a substantial p art of 1938. I t does
not include data for all cities which have union rates and hours in
effect but only those for which the Bureau has copies of agreements.
D ata concerning some of the pertinent provisions in State licensing
laws as of 1938 are also included.

Unionization and Collective Bargaining
M ost of the union barbers in 1938 were members of the Journey­
men B arbers’ International Union of America which has been the
dom inant union in this field since its organization in 1887 and its
affiliation with the American Federation of Labor in 1888. The
union adm its to active membership any competent journeym an
barber, hairdresser, waver, marceller, cosmetician, or m anicurist
(except Orientals), not over 50 years of age. Persons over 50 m ay be
adm itted as nonbeneficiary members (i. e., with no participation in sick
and death benefits). Women have been adm itted to membership
only since 1924. Self-employed barbers in “one-chair” shops are
adm itted, as well as two or more partners who practice the trade in
their own shops w ithout employing others. Proprietors, however,
who employ one or more barbers are not eligible.
No exact figures are available as to the extent of unionization in the
entire trade, although it is estim ated th a t about one of every five bar­
bers in the United States belongs to a barbers’ union. For some of the
cities visited by Bureau agents in connection w ith the present study, the
num ber of union and of nonunion shops was obtained. On the basis of
this information the following table has been prepared to show in a gen­
eral way the extent of unionization of barber shops in the cities listed.
1 Prepared by D on Q. Crowther, of the Bureau’s Industrial Relations Division.

* Data for a number of cities for the years 1928,1929,1930, and 1931 appear in U . S . Bureau of Labor Statisr
tics Bulls. Nos. 515,540, and 566. For 1932 data see M onthly Labor Review, July 1932.


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1288

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
T able

1.—Prevalence of Union Barber Shops in Various Cities in 1938

Almost all union
shops

Large proportion of
union shops

About half union
shops

Butte, Mont.
Des Monies, Iowa.
Omaha, Nebr.
Peoria, 111.
Rochester, N . Y .
Toledo, Ohio.
Springfield, Mass.

Cincinnati, Ohio.
Duluth, Minn.
Kansas City, Mo.
Madison, Wis.
Milwaukee, Wis.
Portland, Oreg.
Rock Island, 111.
San Francisco, Calif.
Seattle, Wash.
South Bend, Ind.

Birmingham, Ala.
Charleston, S. C.
Charleston, W. Va.
Cleveland, Ohio.
Davenport, Iowa.
Dayton, Ohio.
Erie, Pa.
Los Angeles, Calif.
New Haven, Conn.
Providence, R. I.
Reading, Pa.
Richmond, Va.
St. Louis. Mo.
S a lt L a k e C i t y ,
Utah.
Spokane, Wash.
Worcester, Mass.

Moderate proportion Small proportion
of union shops
of union shops
Atlanta, Ga.
Boston, Mass.
Buffalo, N . Y.
Columbus, Ohio.
Dallas, Tex.
Detroit, Mich.
El Paso, Tex.
Houston, Tex.
Indianapolis, Ind.
Jackson, Miss.
Jacksonville, Fla.
Little Rock, Ark.
Louisville, Ky.
Manchester, N . H.
Memphis, Tenn.
Minneapolis, Minn.
New Orleans, La.
New York, N . Y.
Norfolk, Va.
O k lah om a C ity ,
Okla.
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Phoenix, Ariz.
St. Paul, Minn.
San Antonio, Tex.
Scranton, Pa.
Washington, D . C.
York, Pa.
Youngstown, Ohio.

Baltimore, M d.
Nashville, Tenn.
P h ila d e lp h ia ,
Pa.
Portland, Maine.
Wichita, Kans.

The most common form of collective-bargaining arrangem ent in the
barbering industry is the union shop-card agreement. In return for
the privilege of displaying the union shop card which is numbered and
issued by the international union, the proprietor signs the regular
shop-card agreement by which he agrees to abide by the “rules govern­
ing union shop cards” as laid down by the international union. The
union does not perm it the shop card to be issued to or displayed in any
shop where more than one apprentice is employed or where nonunion
men are employed. Any male eligible to membership who is not a
member in good standing is considered a nonunion man. The proprie­
tor agrees to abide by the rules of the local union through which he
obtains his shop card, on the m atters of wages, hours, and prices.
In some cases the shop-card arrangem ent constitutes the entire
agreement, so far as w ritten documents are concerned, between the
local union and the proprietor—the understanding on local wages,
hours, prices, etc., being oral or as embodied in the bylaws of the local
union. In other cases there are bilateral agreements, either with
single proprietors or associations of employers, which provide for the
regular shop-card arrangem ent and also include provisions to cover the
local conditions of work.
Where the shop-card arrangem ent is used, w ithout the regular
bilateral agreement in addition, the proprietor agrees th a t the shop
card shall be removed if he violates any laws in the constitution of the
international union or any laws or regulations of the local union with
respect to hours, wages, prices, etc. When a change in local working
conditions is desired, the usual m ethod of working out the change is
through joint conferences between employers and union représenta
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Industrial Relations

1289

tives. In some cases, however, it was reported th a t the local unions
simply adopted the change by a vote of the membership and advised
employers of the new rules promulgated by the union.
In some cities representatives of the union and employers m et at
regular intervals (biweekly, m onthly or semiannually, etc.) to confer
on any problems, grievances, or changes in connection with local work­
ing conditions. In most of the cities there were no regular meetings of
this type but the parties m et at irregular intervals as meetings were
called for special purposes. In still other cities there were no negotia­
tions other than with individual proprietors when visited by the union
business agent or other representative.
The usual penalty provided for violation by a proprietor of any
union rules is the removal of his shop card. In signing the shop-card
agreement the employer agrees th a t he will give up the card peaceably
to a duly appointed union representative when called upon to do so.
When the shop card is removed, of course, the union barbers usually
leave with it. In fact, the bylaws of some local unions require th at
the members shall strike upon removal of the shop card, under penalty
of a fine or suspension from the union—provisions for fines being as
high as $25 and $50.
Strikes and lock-outs are but rarely referred to in agreements of the
local barbers’ union. In only 2 of 162 agreements in the B ureau’s files
did the parties agree to refrain from strikes and lock-outs, in one case
“during the continuance and after the expiration of the agreement” ,
and in the other “before arbitration takes its course.” In 2 other
agreements strikes were specifically sanctioned to enforce observance
of the agreement in one case, and to allow a general or sym pathy strike
without altering the validity of the contract in the other.
Provisions for adjusting disputes were found in only 24 of the 162
agreements, 10 of the 24 being agreements with associations of em­
ployers. Where agreements do not provide for such adjustm ent, it
can be assumed th a t any grievances or disputes are settled directly
through conferences and negotiations between union agents and the
proprietors involved. Formal provisions for adjusting disputes oc­
curred predom inantly in agreements made in eastern States, notably
New York and New Jersey. They are found more frequently in
association agreements than in those made with individual employers.
More of the agreements with employers’ associations also provide for
final settlem ent of disputes through arbitration. M achinery and
procedure for arbitration were found in 6 agreements while 7 others
contained general declarations in favor of the arbitration principle;
12 of these 13 agreements were in the East.
Joint adjustm ent machinery w ithout recourse to arbitration was
provided in 9 agreements, 2 of them creating perm anent joint boards
for this purpose and the others providing for negotiations through

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1290

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

conferences. Nine other agreements provided for the adjudication of
certain disputes through the union’s grievance committee only. In
6 of these cases the union’s committee was empowered to impose fines
and assess damages which offending employers agreed to pay. In 4
of these cases employers signed notes of $50 to $100 as security for
the collection of damages in case of violations.

Rates and Hours
The prevailing method of wage paym ent found in barbers’ agree­
ments was a weekly guaranty of a definite amount, plus a stipulated
percentage of all receipts over a certain am ount taken in by the indi­
vidual barber during the week. Almost as common, however, was
the method of paying union barbers on a flat percentage basis—an
agreed percentage of all receipts from the individual barber’s work—
with a guaranteed weekly am ount in some cases and no guaranty in
others. In no case were the wages of full-time barbers stated in
term s of definite daily or weekly amounts with no relation to the
receipts.
The weekly guaranties ranged from $10 to $30, the most common
amounts being from $20 to $25. Usually, when the weekly guaranteed
wage was comparatively high, the total receipts from the individual
barber’s work had to be a relatively large am ount before he could get
any additional compensation from the percentage arrangement. In
cases where the weekly guaranty was as high as $30, for example, the
barbers received nothing in addition to the guaranteed am ount unless
their receipts for the week exceeded $42 in some cities and $45 in
others, in which cases the barbers received from 50 to 70 percent of
the excess. Where the weekly guaranties were low, on the other hand,
the barbers began to share in receipts exceeding amounts as low as $15
and $18 per week. Where the barbers were paid on a straight per­
centage basis with no weekly guaranty, the percentage of total receipts
paid as wages ranged from 60 to 75, with the most common figures 65
and 70 percent.
In obtaining the figures on hours of work of union barbers certain
assumptions had to be made in m any cases, since the union agreements
and bylaws from which the information was taken were not always
clear on the m atter. M any of the documents merely gave the agreed
opening and closing hours of the barber shops on each day of the week
and it had to be assumed th a t the working hours of the barbers
corresponded to the hours th a t the shops were open, with the proper
allowance, of course, for mealtime. If in some of these cases the
barbers, through an understanding not embodied in the w ritten agree­
ments, were not required to be on duty as long as the shops were open
each day, then the hours reported in the table below m ay be overstated.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Industrial Relations

1291

There was some difficulty also in making the proper allowance for
mealtime in some cases, because of lack of information. The common,
indeed almost universal, practice in the barber trade is to allow one
hour for lunch each day and one-half hour for an evening meal on
Saturdays or other days th a t the shops remain open until late in the
evening. In the cases where the arrangem ents with respect to
mealtime were not clearly set forth, this common practice was as­
sumed to prevail.
A further difficulty was encountered in making accurate adjustm ents
for the half holiday each week, provided for in m any of the agree­
ments. In some cases the exact day of the week and the num ber of
hours which the barbers were to be off were stated, while in others the
agreements simply provided th a t the barbers should have one-half
day off per week. In the latter cases it was assumed th a t the time
off amounted to one-half of the working time on a regular weekday.
The weekly hours of union barbers in cities where agreements provided
for one-half day off per week are noted in table 2 by footnote a.
Barbering is one trade in which the weekly hours of work have
remained comparatively high. Although the 8-hour day (Monday to
Friday) has been established in m any cities and towns, the 9- and 10hour days are not a t all uncommon. Barbers usually work long hours
on Saturdays. In m ost of the cities covered by this study the barbers
worked 10 or more hours on Saturdays and in some cases as long as
12 and 13 hours. Beading, Pa., was the only city covered which
had a short Saturday. Generally speaking, the weekly working hours
of barbers in the cities covered were somewhere between 50 and 60
with the established hours in a large num ber of cities being around
54 and 55 hours. In 15 of the 173 cities, however, the weekly hours
of a t least some of the union barbers were in excess of 60, and in 24
cities the union hours were less than 50.
As a general rule no overtime is worked in the barbering trade and
the union agreements make no provision for overtime rates. The
agreements usually provide definitely th a t the doors of the shops shall
be locked and the blinds pulled down prom ptly a t the agreed closing
time and th a t the shops shall not open before the regular hour on the
succeeding day. I t is usually agreed, however, th a t the barbers shall
take care of all customers who enter the shop before the closing hour
and the time spent on this work after the shops close is not regarded
as overtime. Barbers paid on a percentage basis profit from this work
only insofar as their total receipts, on which their pay is based, are
increased.
In quite a num ber of cities a few extra or part-tim e barbers are
employed to help take care of the increased volume of business a t the
end of each week. These extra men usually work on Saturdays and
quite often on Fridays— all day or just in the evenings. In m ost cases

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1292

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

these extras did not have other occupations or employment, but a few
had part-time employment elsewhere—some in factories, some on
W. P. A. projects, etc. Many agreements included definite provisions
for payment of these part-time men. Some of them provided for
payment on a straight percentage basis and others for a daily guaranty,
plus a stipulated percent of daily receipts exceeding a certain basic
sum.
Practically all agreements provided that the barber shops should be
closed all day on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial
Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Many of them included Washington’s Birthday and Armistice Day
also. On the evenings preceding legal holidays the shops usually
remain open late, the agreements providing in most cases that the
hours for these days shall be the same as Saturday hours. In some
cities, where barbers have one-half day off per week, a legal holiday
takes the place of the half day off.
R ates and hours of union barbers in effect in 1938 in 173 cities and
towns are shown in table 2. Where more than one set of data are
shown for a city (rates A, B, C, etc.) the different quotations are for
different local unions in the city.
T a ble 2. —Rates and Hours of Union Barbers in Various Cities, 1938
[As provided in collective agreements which were in effect all or a substantial part of the year]
Wage rates

State and city

Alabama:
Birmingham_________ _______
Tuscaloosa......................... ...........
Arizona:
G lo b e ............ ................................
Phoenix.........................................
Tucson........................................... .
Arkansas: Little Rock.......................
California:
Bakersfield..................... ...............
El Centro................................... .
Los A n g e le s.......... .....................
Modesto...... ................................ .
Palo A lt o .....................................
Petaluma.........................................
Richm ond......................................
San Diego........................................
San Francisco...............................
San Rafael.......................................
Santa Ana.....................................
Santa R o s a ..................................
W atsonville_________ _______ _
Connecticut:
Meriden...........................................
New H aven................ ....................
District of Columbia: Washington:
Rate A ...............................; ..........
Rate B ............ .................................
Florida:
Jacksonville....................................
M iami.............................................

See footnotes at end of table.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Guar­
anty
per
full­
time
week

Hours

Percent of gross Percent
receipts in addi­ of gross
tion to guaranty receipts

M on­
day
to
Fri­
day

Satur­
day

Full­
time
week

10

55
62H

10JÎ

5534
50
55JS

m
$30.00
15.00
25.00
25.00

60 over $45.
60 over $37.50.
60 over $36.

20.00

60 over $32..
60 over $30..
60 over $35 i_
60 over $31. _
60 over $42..
65 over $28..
60 over $45..
60 over $42..

20.00

21.00

30.00
18.00
30.00
30.00
15.00
25.00
20.00

60 over $35.
60 over $27.

25.00
20.00

50 over $33.
50 over $30.

20.00

60 over $33.

9
9
9
9

65

ny2
WA

9

(*>9
8
8

70

«

9

10

0

10
10
10

«9

563^

54
56
55
54
52
55
50
56
49
49

h
10

9
9K

8}4

60
15.00

10
1014

65

25.00

1 25.00

65

10

0

11X
9
9
HH

56H

ioy2

(*)
55y2

io y 2

“

ioh

“ 54X

0
0

5533
54X

ioa “ 54A
12

62

*11H *56A

X

J*

1293

Industrial Relations
T able

2 .— R a te s a n d H o u r s o f U n io n B a r b e r s in

V a r io u s C itie s , 1 9 3 8 —Continued
Hours

Wage rates

State and city

Guar­
anty
per
full­
time
week

Georgia:

Satur­
day

Full
time
week

65
65
65

9
10
9

13
12 %
‘ ii%

“ 54
62y
‘ 56y

$22.00
15.00
25.00

70
70
65

9
9
10

12 %

57y
“ 48
63y

26.00
10.00
25.00

/ *60
\ 6 65

Savannah..... .........- _____ _____________
Illinois:

M on­
day
to
Fri­
day

Percent of gross Percent
receipts in addi­ of gross
tion to guaranty receipts

9
13%

Chicago:
Rate B ............_
_______
___
Collinsville__________________ ______

70
70
70
70
70

20.00
Edwardsville_______________________
Hillsboro______________________ ___

20.00
30.00

70
65
70
65
f «70
l »65

19. 50
Quincy___________ ________________
Rock Island________________________
G ran ite C ity , M a d iso n , V e n ic e,
Nameoki.
La Salle, Oglesby___ ___________ _____
fndiana:
Clinton____________________________
Indianapolis........ - ____ . _____ _________

25.00
20.00

20.00
18.00
15.00

Kansas:
Kansas C ity____________ ____ ________
W ichita_____________________________
Kentucky:

17.00
_______________________

8
10
(ii)
9
9
9

62%

10
(2)

is 60

Maryland:
Baltimore ..................- ...............- ................

Chelsea____

70
65
70
65
65
65

70
60
14.00
» 18.00
25.00

Massachusetts:

25. 00
25.00
22.00

50 over $33........ .
50 over $31_____
50 over $30_____

16.00
n 20.00
22.00

50 over $29 i«_. .
(16)____________

St. Paul*________ _________— ................
Mississippi:

(2)
9

St. L o u is ./---- _____________________

See footnotes at end of table.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

to y

12
10%
n%
12%
9%
n%
ii%

50
» 6i y
“ 51
541-4
55 y
°

51
59 y 2

« 50%
° 51 y
57

'ÿ

54 y
“ 52
56y

n%

“ 51y

n%
13
11
\\y2
n%
n

“ 46K
“ 58
59
» 51 y
“ 52
56

12
(2)

“ 56
66

n
ii %

“ 51L4
64

12
io%
10 %

12 54%

(14)

“ 50%
“ 51
(K )

n%

59
(*>
56%

65

10
10
9
8%
10 9
9%
10

n%
n%
n%
n%
10 y2
io%
n%

“ 55%
“ 55%
“ 51%
“ 49
“ 51%
“ 53%
61%

70

10
9
9

12
10%
io%

“ 57
'55%
55%

9

%

9
9
9

10
9
(2)
9

9%
10

12
13

(2)

60 over $30_____
65
65
65

15. ÒÒ 65 over $25........ 25.00 65 over $35..........

(2)
12
io%
ii
io%

(2)
n%

60 over $28_____

Missouri:

9
9

60
65

25.00
18.00
18.00
20.00
20.00

1» 9h4
(14)

25.00
Minnesotar

9
io%

60
70

Michigan:
Kalamazoo_______ ______ ____________

11
9
(?)
9
9
9%
9
9
9
9
9
9
9

New C astle... ______________________
South Bend_____ - ______________ ___
Iowa:

(2)
)I

9
(2)
10

n%
(2)
10%

55
54
54
54
59%
63
56%
(2)
“ 55%

1294
T able

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
2 . — R a te s a n d H o u r s o f U n io n

B a r b e r s in

V a r io u s C itie s , 1 9 3 8 —Continued

Wage rates

State and city

Montana:
B u t t e .............................
H elen a............................
Livingston.....................
Missoula______ ______
R o u n d u p ............. .........
Nebraska: Omaha............
Nevada:
Boulder C ity________
Las V e g a s.....................
Reno........ .......................
New Hampshire:
Concord...........................
M anchester..................
New Jersey:
Irvington.......... ..............
Jersey C ity...... ..............
New Brunswick............
Passaic.............................
Paterson.................... ......
Perth Amboy.................
Trenton........................... .
New York:
Buffalo.............................
Ithica..............................
Jamestown......................
New York (Greater):
Rate A ____ ______
Rate B .......................
Rate C .......................
Rochester........................ .
Schenectady____ _____
White Plains...................
Ohio:
Cincinnati........................
C lev ela n d ..____ _____
Columbus........................
Coshocton........ ............. .
D ayton..........................
M t. Vernon____ ______
Salem......... ................... .
Steubenville_____ ____ _
Toledo....................... ......
Youngstown....................
Oklahoma:
B artlesville......... ...........
Oklahoma C ity ..............
Oregon:
Astoria..............................
Eugene.............................
Klamath___ ____ _____
Portland........................ .
Salem.................................
Pennsylvania:
Butler..................... ..........
C harleroi........................
Erie......................... ..........
Indiana_____ _____ ___
Jeannette...... ............ .......
M cKeesport.....................
N an tico k e......................
New Castle______ ____
Philadelphia..................
Pittsburgh........................
Reading............................
Scranton................... .......
West Easton__________
W ilkes-Barre..................
York_______________ _
Rhode Island: Providence..
South Carolina: Charleston.

See footnotes at end of table.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Guar­
anty
per
full­
time
week

Percent of gross
receipts in addi­
tion to guaranty

$30.00
24.00
25.00
27.00
30.00

65 over $42___
60 over $34___
65 over $37.50.
60 over $42___
65 over $45___

Hours

cent
ross
iipts

60 over $ 3 5...
60 over $37.50.

25.00

50 over $32.

0

26.00
30.00
23.00
22.00

25. 00
25.00
20. 00

25.00

50 over $31.
50 over $35.
50 over $45.
50 over $32.
50 over $34.
50 over $38.
50 over $35.

20.00

27.50
20.00

•23.00
20.00

23.00

22.00

I? 9

30.00

60 over $43.

22.00

65 over $38.50.
60 over $31___
65 over $30___

18.00
25.00

70 over $25.
70 over $33.

20.00

20.00
21.00

28. 00
20.00

25. 00

60 over $26.
60 over .830.
50 over $35.
60 over $25.
50 over $35.

20.00
20.00
20 . 00
22.00

60 over $30.
60 over $30.
60 over $30.

0)
20.00

50 over $30.

(,4)------

n y

54
54

9

11«

1m
n /

0

9/

0

0

uy2
n y

(20)

10/

10 /

11

12

10/

liH

ny2
10
9^2
11/

9/

9
9
9
9
9
7/

0

52^
56^
56H
48

11H
ny2

8
9

10 /

65

9
9
10
8/
10
10
10

“5 2 /

10

8/
9
9

8
11

0

9
11X
10

9
im
io y
io y
0

• 53
“ 48
“ 54M

56^
56

65

0

1» 56
1» 53 /
I9 53 y2

11/

ll

m
9m

0

55 /
-5 2 /

48
62^
56

9
9

4)
s)

“ 55V

WA
12/

65
60

8
9
8 J42
8
9

i'5 lH
»' 56W

54
“ 51H
» 55

11

0

5 1 /

(JO)

9
llJ i
10
11H

0

10

n

1» s o y

i* 48
10 /

10
9

l)

-5 3 /

0

8H
9H

70
60

54
55V
55V

(B
10
9%

10^

65
65

55V2

55
(>)
52
“ 60

( 18)

0

70
75
65
3)
70
70
70
65

48

9
10 H
10 y2

10
10
10

60 over $29.
60 over $35.

25.00

m

Full­
time
week

( 18)

50 over $42.
50 over $45.
50 over $35.
50 over $40.
65 over $30.
50 over $36.

15.00

0
0

(JO)

50 over $28.
50 over $35.

60 over i

8
10H
10

9
9
9

70
30.00
30.00

8/

0)

65

75
20. 00

Satur­
day

8
9
9
60

18.00
25.00
25.00

Mon­
day
to
Fri­
day

4^
10
11
10
10
11«

13

° 5 iy
0

55y2

“ 56
48
“ 44
“54/
"47^
49
“ 50H
59A

>• 48^
48
491/

55
“ 56
5 2 /

60
“ 56
63

1295

Industrial Relations
T

able

2.— Rates and Hours of Union Barbers in Various Cities, 1938— Continued
Wage rates
Guar­
anty
per
full­
time
week

State and city

Tennessee:
Memphis:
Dow ntow n____ . . . . . . .

________ $12.50
12.00
10.00

N a sh v ille... ............. .................. ..............
Texas:
Dallas______________________________
El Paso_____________________________
Houston_______. . .
.
. . . . . .

San Antonio_________________________
Sherman________ ____________ _____ _
Utah: Salt Lake City___ _____ __________
Vermont: Barre___ I . . . . . . . . . ____ _ .
Virginia:
Norfolk_______
. . .
... . .
Richmond___________________________
Washington:
Tacoma........... ........ . . . . . . . _______
West Virginia:
Charleston___ _________
__________
Grafton.._____________ . _________ .

Percent of gross Percent
receipts in addi­ of gross
tion to guaranty receipts

70 over $18_____
65 over $18.50— .
65 over $15_____

22.50
20.00

(!»)
21.00
18.00
18.00
18.00

60 over $35_____
(» )____________

65
(28)

65 over $26_____
65

15.00
17.00
20.00
17.00
17.00
20.00
17.00
24.00
17.00

37

Wyoming:
20.00
22. 50

12%
10%

9%

9
9%
0%
0%

9
8H

9
11
8
8
8
9

s%

65
65 over $34.50...

10

70
65

60 over $26_____
65 over $28_____
60 over $26_____
50 over $32_____
60 over $26_____

12%

13
12

10%
9

70
68
70

Satur­
day

10
9

70
65 over $24___ _

Wisconsin:

M on­
day
to
Fri­
day

9%

60
65
65
65
60
65
66
(3S)

22.50

21.00

Hours

9
(2)
9
(3)
(3)
(2)
(s)
(!)

Full­
time
week

60
63
« 52^
62%

58
56

11
12

59%

11%

59 '

11%

-48?i

llj^
13

68

12
10

8%
10

10
9

59%
55

56%

48%
50
50

54

12%

65

llj l
10
12

56%
52%
57

(2)

8%

11%

(*)
« 50%
48
33 48
48
48
48
« 50

8
9

10
10%

55%

10%
(¡)

(2)
(3)
(2)
(3)

50

° One-half day off per week.
I If barber takes in $42 per week, he gets $30 plus 60 percent over $42.
3N ot stated.
3 From November 1 through April the hours are 10 M onday to Friday, and 1 2 % Saturday, making 6 2 %
for a full-time week.
4 During January, February, and March Saturday hours are 1 0 % , making 5 5 % for a full-time week,
s Up to $25.
6 Over $25.
7Monday and Tuesday 9; Wednesday and Friday 10% ', Thursday 4.
» Up to $35.
> Over $35.
1010 hours on Friday.
II Monday and Friday 9 hours; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10.
13 % day off per week. In one section of the city the hours are 1 0 % Monday to Friday; 12 Saturday;
59)4 per week.
13 With 1 week’s notice, shopowners can reduce or abandon guaranty and pay straight 65 percent of gross
receipts.
14 No standard enforced.
i* If a barber takes in $35 he gets $25 plus 50 percent of all over $35.
18 Apparently not standard. Arranged with individual shopowners.
1711 hours on Thursday.
18 Hours are different in different zones.
131 day off per week.
30 Agreement provides for a 53^-day week but does not specify the number of hours.
31 1 day off every 2 weeks.
33
Although not part of the agreement, the usual practice is for barbers to take off % day each week, mak­
ing actual working time 50 instead of 55 hours per week.
33 Or straight 70 percent.
34 Or straight 60 percent.
35 70 percent if barber takes in less than $30; 75 percent if he takes in $30 or more in week.
38 75 percent of receipts totaling less than $35 in week. If receipts are $35 or more, barber gets $25 plus
60 percent of receipts over $35.
37 If receipts are $32 or more, barber gets $23 plus 65 percent over $32.
38 Reported as usual hours per week. B y State Law 54 hours per week is the maximum allowed.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1296

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Licensing or Registration of Barbers3
All States except three (M aryland, New York, and Virginia) have
State laws which establish certain standards and requirements for
obtaining a license to practice barbering. M ost States have created
adm inistrative agencies, most commonly called Boards of Barber
Examiners, to conduct examinations, determine the qualifications, and
pass upon the fitness of applicants to practice barbering. Exam ina­
tions are held in most States at regular intervals and each applicant
who meets all requirem ents and pays the established fees is issued a
numbered certificate and his name is entered on the State records as
a registered barber. Ordinarily, the certificate is renewed each year,
upon paym ent of the renewal fee, w ithout further requirements. In
some States, however, barbers m ust have a physical examination each
year and present a certificate of good health from a registered physician
in order to have their certificates renewed. The requirem ents for
obtaining original certificates in the various States are quite uniform
on some points and vary a great deal on others. In practically all
States, applicants are required to be of good moral habits and free
from any infectious or contagious disease.
In 34 States the minimum age at which applicants can receive
certificates is 18 years. The Iowa, M assachusetts, M ontana, and
W ashington laws do not specify any age lim it; the minimum age in
Pennsylvania is 16 years; in Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Missouri,
and N orth Carolina, 19 years; in Illinois, 19%years; and in Wisconsin,
21 years.
Although some States have specified no educational requirements—
the ability to read and write English intelligently being apparently
sufficient—quite a num ber of States require an eighth-grade grammarschool education or its equivalent, and in K entucky and Wisconsin
the standard is as high as the ten th grade or 2 years of high school.
In some cases, where the applicant cannot present proof of his
educational attainm ents, provision is made for giving him a prelimi­
nary examination to determine whether he has an education equivalent
to th a t required.
There is a great variation in the am ount of the fees charged for
conducting the examinations and issuing the original certificates of
registration as well as in the fees for renewing the certificates annually.
The highest fee for examination and certificate is $35 in Arizona and
the lowest $5 in Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, and W ashington. The highest annual renewal fee is $7.50 in
Alabama and the lowest $1 in W ashington. The m ost common fees
range from $10 to $15 for the original examination and certificate and
from $2 to $5 for renewals each year.
3 Based on data compiled by the Bureau’s Division of Labor Law Information


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Industrial Relations

1297

There is also a great variation in the am ount of training necessary
to obtain a barber’s license in the various States. M ost of the laws
providing for the examination and licensing of barbers provide also
for the examination and registration of apprentices. The term
“ apprentice” is used in m ost of the laws and is applied to those
engaged in learning the trade under the supervision of a registered
barber. The term is used in a broad sense, however, and is not
confined to the technical meaning often applied to it. The Federal
Committee on Apprenticeship of the Division of Labor Standards,
in the D epartm ent of Labor, defines an apprentice as follows:
The term “apprentice” shall mean a person at least 16 years of age who is
covered by a written agreement with an employer, or with an association of
employers or employees acting as agent for an employer, and approved by the
State Apprenticeship Council or other established authority, which apprentice
agreement provides for not less than 4,000 hours of reasonably continuous em­
ployment for such person, and for his participation in an approved schedule of
work experience through employment and for at least 144 hours per year of
related supplemental instruction.

The committee is careful to differentiate between “apprentice,”
“helper,” and “learner.” By the “4,000 hours of reasonably continu­
ous em ploym ent” referred to, a minimum period of apprenticeship
training of at least 2 years is contemplated. Under the abovedescribed apprenticeship arrangement, the work is done in accordance
w ith the term s of a w ritten agreement (indenture) whereby the
employer promises to teach the apprentice the trade as partial com­
pensation for the services rendered.
In the barbering trade those persons registered as apprentices under
State laws would in m ost cases probably be more correctly termed
“learners.” They are simply perm itted to work in a shop under the
supervision of a registered barber to learn the trade, in m ost cases
w ithout a w ritten agreement or the other requirements of the formal
apprenticeship arrangem ent. Only 13 States require an “appren­
ticeship” training period of as much as 2 years, and of these States
only Wisconsin requires th a t the apprentices be indentured.
The periods of “apprenticeship” training required for obtaining a
barber’s license in the different States vary from 6 m onths in Michigan
to 3 years in Connecticut, Delaware, and Wisconsin. In Georgia and
W ashington no period of training is specified. In these States appli­
cants merely have to be able to pass the required examinations. In
some States, time spent in a barbers’ school or practicing in another
State can be substituted in satisfying the “ apprenticeship” training
requirements, while in others the completion of a course in a qualified
barbers’ school is required in addition to the training period specified.
In 11 States—Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, M innesota, M ontana,
Nebraska, Nevada, N orth D akota, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas—the


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

1298

laws require th a t applicants have 18 m onths of training as “appren­
tices” and be graduates from approved barbers’ schools.
The fees charged and the principal training requirem ents for
obtaining barber’s licenses in the various States are as follows:
T a ble 3. — F ees a n d T r a in in g R e q u ir e m e n ts in th e B a r b e r T r a d e
Fees charged for—
State

Alabama__________
Arizona......................
Arkansas_________
California_________
Colorado---------------

Exami­
nation
and cer­
tificate

Annual
renewal
of cer­
tificate

$25.00
35.00
5.00
12.00
12.00

$7.50
5. 00
2.00
2. 00
2.00
2.00

Connecticut..........

10.00

Delaware________ -

10.00

1.00

District of Colum­
bia.
.Florida___________

10.00

5.00

12. 00

3. 00

G eorgia................
Idaho........................ .

15.00
10. 00

2.00
2.00

Illinois........................

7.00

1.00

Indiana___________

13.00

3.00

Iowa_______ ______

0)

3.00

Kansas____ _______

5.00

2.00

K entucky_________

15.00

3.00

Louisiana...... ..........

10.00

4.00

M aine.........................

5. 00

3.00

Maryland..........
.
M assachusetts_____

(s)
10.00

«
2.00

Michigan_________

7.00

3.00

M innesota_______

10.00

2.00

M ississippi________

6.00

3.00

Missouri__________

10.00

2.00

Montana___ ____ _

18.00

3.00

Nebraska...................
Nevada_____ ____ _
N ew Hampshire___
New Jersey_______
New Mexico.............
New York.................
North Carolina........

12.00
10. 00
10.00
25.00
(3)
15.00

2.00
5.00
2.00
3.00
5.00
(>)
5.00

North Dakota_____

12.00

2.00

Ohio............... ............
Oklahoma.......... .......

13.00
7.00

3.00
3.00

Oregon..................... .

10.00

2.00

6.00

Training required for barber’s license

12 months as apprentice.
18 months as apprentice.
Do.
Do.
24 months as apprentice or as student in qualified barbers’
school, or as practicing barber in another State.
36 months as apprentice or 36 months in qualified barbers’
school.
36 months as apprentice or 24 months as practicing barber in
another State.
24 months as apprentice.
18 months as apprentice, and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
Be able to pass examination.
24 months as apprentice or 6 months in approved barbers’
school.
30 months as apprentice, and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
18 months as apprentice, and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
18 months as apprentice, and 6 months in approved barbers'
school.
12 months as apprentice, or 6 months in approved barbers’
school, or 12 months of practice in another State.
12 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
18 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
18 months as apprentice or complete course in approved barbers’
school.
(J).
24 months as apprentice, or 18 months as apprentice and 6
months in approved barbers’ school, or 24 months as practic­
ing barber in this and/or another State.
6 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
18 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
12 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
24 months as apprentice, or as student in approved barbers’
school, or as practicing barber in another State.
18 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
Do.
Do.
6 months as an apprentice.
18 months as apprentice.
Do.
(3).
18 months as apprentice and 6-month course in approved
barbers’ school.
18 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
Do.
18 months as apprentice, or 1,000 hours in approved barbers’
school, or 24 months as practicing barber.
18 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.

1 N ot specified by law. Administrative agency makes regulations.
* N o State law governing the licensing of barbers. Law held unconstitutional in
(1936) (184 Atl. 914).
’ No State law governing the licensing of barbers.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

S c h n e id e r

v. D u e r et

a t.

Industrial Relations

1299

T a b le 3. —Fees and Training Requirements in the Barber Trade— Continued
Pees charged for—
State

Exami­
nation
and cer­
tificate

Annual
renewal
of cer­
tificate

Pennsylvania_____

$5.00

$2.00

Rhode Island______

5.00

2.00

South Carolina........

30.00

3.00

South Dakota_____

12.00

5.00

Tennessee_________
Texas— .....................

13.00
10.00

3.00
2.50

U tah____ _________

15.00

1.50

Vermont__________

10.00

3.00

Virginia...................
Washington_______
West Virginia_____

(3)
5.00
20.00

(3)
1.00
5.00

Wisconsin.......... .......

7.00

2.00

Wyoming— ............_

15.00

5.00

Training required for barber’s license

24 months as apprentice, or 18 months as apprentice and 6
months in approved barbers’ school.
24 months as apprentice or 24 months in approved barbers’
school.
18 months as apprentice and 6-months course in approved
barbers’ school.
24 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
12 months as apprentice.
18 months as apprentice and graduate of approved barbers’
school.
12 months as apprentice in this State or 3 years’ practice in
another State.
12 months as apprentice or graduate of approved barbers’
school.
(3).
Be able to pass satisfactory examination.
24 months as apprentice or graduate of approved barbers’
school.
36 months as apprentice and 12 months as journeyman under
immediate personal supervision of a licensed master barber.
18 months as apprentice.

3 No State law governing the licensing of barbers.


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Labor Involved in Industrial Production

LABOR REQUIREMENTS IN SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION 1
A SUBSTANTIAL p art of the funds alloted for public works has
been expended for construction of new schools, and for additions to
existing structures. An analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
of school-construction projects, financed from funds provided by the
Emergency Relief Appropriation Acts of 1935 and 1936, indicates
th a t 29.7 percent of their cost went in wages to labor a t the site of
construction. The m aterials used, delivered to the site, took 53.6
percent, and all other costs (including profit) took 16.7 percent.
Included in this study were reports from contractors on schoolconstruction projects representing $22,014,000 of construction, or
8.1 percent of the total of $270,522,000 of contracts awarded on which
construction was completed between July 1, 1935, and June 30, 1938.

Costs per Million Dollars of Contracts Awarded
Out of every million dollars spent for school construction, $297,000
went to wage earners who worked at the site of construction; $536,000
was spent for m aterials (15.8 percent of which went for iron and steel
and their products, 12.2 percent for heating and ventilating equip­
ment, 10.2 percent for brick, hollow tile, and other clay products, 8.5
percent for lumber and tim ber products, 7.4 percent for planing-mill
products, 5.5 percent for plumbing fixtures and supplies, 6.2 percent
for cement, 5.1 percent for electric wiring and fixtures, apparatus,
and supplies, 4.2 percent for sand, gravel, and crushed stone, and 24.9
percent for other m aterials); while other costs (consisting of such items
as taxes, depreciation, insurance, salaries of office workers, rent, and
profit) amounted to $167,000.
These school-construction costs per million dollars of contracts
awarded are shown in the following statem ent.
Pay roll at the site_______________________________________________ $297, 000
Materials_______________________________________________________
536, 000
Brick, hollow tile, and other clay products____________________
54, 780
Cement_____________________________________________________
33, 350
Electric wiring and fixtures, apparatus, and supplies_____________
27, 070
Heating and ventilating equipment____________________________
65, 340
1 Prepared by Clarence A. Trump, under the direction of Herman B. Byer, chief of the Division of Con.
struction and Public Employment.

1300


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Labor Involved in Industrial Production

1301

Materials—Continued.
Iron and steel and their products:
Structural and reinforcing steel----------------------------------------- $46, 420
Other iron and steel products_____________________________
38, 430
Lumber and timber products_________________________________
45, 450
Planing-mill products---------39, 610
Plumbing fixtures and supplies-----------------------------------------------29, 320
Sand, gravel, and crushed stone----------------------------------------22, 550
Other____________________________________________
Other costs and profit_____________________________________________
167,000

As the above figures indicate, labor a t the site received 29.7 percent
of the total estimated cost, m aterials 53.6 percent, and other costs
and profit 16.7 percent. Application of these percentages to any
am ount of money expended for school construction will give an
approxim ation of the distribution of the cost. W ith wage levels and
working conditions similar to those prevailing during the period of
this study, such an estim ate should be reasonably accurate.

Man-Hours of Labor Required
Bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, and other workers in the building
trades are employed at the site in school construction. Labor is
also necessary to mine the raw materials, to fabricate them into the
finished products, and to transport the finished products to the con­
struction site. This off-site labor in building construction is of
considerable importance in estimating the man-hours of labor created
by a construction program. The man-hours of off-site ]abor required
to transform these raw materials into the finished products and
transport them to the construction site have been the subject of several
recent studies by the Bureau. Using the results of these special studies
the Bureau is now able to estim ate these off-site man-hours.
On school construction, each million dollars of contracts awarded
resulted in approxim ately 958,700 man-hours of labor. Site m an­
hours accounted for 38.0 percent (364,700 hours) of this total, and
off-site man-hours for 62.0 percent (594,000 hours).
Thus, for each man-hour of labor a t the site there were 1.6 m an­
hours of off-site labor.
The following statem ent shows the man-hours of off-site labor per
million dollars of contracts awarded for school construction, by certain
specified types of materials:
M a n -h o u rs

Brick, hollow tile, and other clay products------------Cement-------------------------- ---------------------------------Electric wiring and fixtures, apparatus, and supplies
Heating and ventilating equipment----------------------Iron and steel and their products-------------------------Lumber and timber products-------------------------------Planing-mill products-----------------------------------------Plumbing fixtures and supplies----------------------------Sand, gravel, and crushed stone---------------------------149001— 39-------5


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

49, 350
21, 940
17, 460
52, 270
99, 820
53, 470
24, 910
22, 910
22, 550

133,680

Women in Industry

ANNUAL EARNINGS OF WOMEN AND M EN IN P E N N ­
SYLVANIA INDUSTRIES, 1929 TO 1936
WOMAN wage earners in m anufacturing industries in general, and in
clothing industries in particular, in Pennsylvania, receive about onehalf of the wages male wage earners receive. In 1936 the num ber of
woman wage earners was about 27 percent of th a t of the men, b u t in
the textile industries woman wage earners outnumbered men three to
two, and in three branches of the clothing industry—m en’s clothing,
women’s and children’s clothing, and underwear—the proportion was
nearly seven to three.
An attem pt to evaluate the status of women in Pennsylvania, in
m anufacturing as a whole, and especially in the clothing industries,
was made by the Bureau of Women and Children of the State D epart­
m ent of Labor and Industry in a study of the actual yearly earnings
of such woman workers over a period of years. Annual wage incomes
were considered im portant in arriving a t a fair estimate of woman’s
position, as actual yearly earnings were much below theoretical full­
time earnings, because of time lost through the noncontinuous pro­
duction which is common in these industries. Average wage incomes
in all manufacturing, in textile manufacturing, and in three branches
of the clothing industry in Pennsylvania, taken from this report,1 are
shown for male and female workers for the years 1929 to 1936, in the
table following. These averages were arrived at by dividing the
total wage bill by the num ber of workers. Although these averages
m ust be used with caution, since they are not adjusted for unemploy­
ment, it is said, they m ay be used as a general measure of annual wage
income and to show the yearly trend.
1
Pennsylvania. Department of Labor and Industry. Bureau of Women and Children. Earnings of
Women Workers in Pennsylvania Manufacturing with Special Reference to the Clothing Industry. Har­
risburg, 1938. (Research Studies, Bull. No. 45.)

1302


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Women in Industry

1303

Average Annual Earnings of Women and Men in Manufacturing Industries , 1929 to 1936
Average annual earnings
Female wage
earners

Male wage
earners

Male salaried
workers

Female salaried
workers

Industry group and year
Amount

All industries:
1929...
1930___________________
1931__________________
1932___________ _____
1933___________________
1934__________________
1935___________________
1936__________________
All textile industries:
1929...........
19301931______ ____ ________
1932___________________
1933___________________
1934___________________
1935_____ _____________
1936___________________
M en’s clothinsr:
19291930___________________
1931___________________
1932___________________
1933___________ _______
1934___________________
1935, _____ ____________
1936__________________
W om en’s and children’s
clothing:
1929.
1930_________ . . .
1931___________________
1 9 3 2 -..._______________
1933___________________
1934___________________
1935___________________
1936___________________
Underwear:
1929
1930___________
- .
___
1931 _______
1932___________________
1933___________________
1934_____________ _____
1935___________________
1936____ ______________

Percent
Percent
Percent
Percent
of de­
of de­
of de­
of de­
cline
cline Amount
cline Amount
cline Amount
from
from
from
from
1929
1929
1929
1929

$1,494
1,374
1,158
911
877
1,037
1,101
1,230

8
22
39
41
31
26
11

$756
675
601
478
503
594
636
642

11
20
37
33
21
16
15

$3,065
3, 031
2,848
2, 493
2, 325
2,455
2, 531
2,623

1
8
18
24
20
17
14

1,494
1,317
1,142
904
859
985
1,067
1,083

12
24
39
42
34
29
27

780
674
605
468
498
595
635
638

14
22
40
36
24
19
18

3,805
3, 642
3,419
2, 947
2, 853
2.872
2, 926
3,059

4
6
23
25
24
23
20

1,367
i; 243
1, 048
800
903
917
1,014
1,015

9
23
42
34
33
26
25

604
540
483
349
427
527
575
577

10
20
42
29
13
5
4

3,144
3,083
2.350
2,445
2, 389
2,448
2, 517
2, 644

1,565
1, 559
1,395
1,074
1,010
1, 111
1,019
1,038

11
31
35
39
33
34

683
633
568
447
474
570
592
570

7
17
35
31
16
13
17

3,613
3,140
2,998
2, 667
2, 562
2,471
2. 563
2, 768

1, 127
l) 096
1,016
893
822
822
889
953

3
10
21
27
27
21
15

674
603
570
471
481
545
550
584

10
15
30
29
19
18
13

3,071
3,152
3,084
2.702
3,018
2, 683
2, 781
2. 775

$1,141
1,148
1,080
957
924
976
993
1,011

(')

5
16
19
15
13
11

1,180
1,181
1 ,115

968
973
977
975
996

6
19
18
17
17
16

2
25
22
23
22
20
16

1,012
1,063
948
859
801
927
872
882

15
6
15
21
8
13
13

13
17
26
29
31
29
23

1,277
1, 221
1.122
1,052
990
958
984
1,006

4
12
18
22
25
23
23

12
17
11
9
10

1,087
1.099
1,117
995
1.367
1,036
970
1,024

U
23
9
226
5
11
6

i Increase of },$ of 1 percent,
increase.

A constant relationship of the earnings of women to those of men
in these industries is apparent from the figures shown in the table,
the level of women’s earnings being about half of those of men. In
1929 average annual earnings of woman wage earners in all m anu­
facturing industries were 50.5 percent of those of men; in 1930, 49
percent; from 1931 to 1935, about 57 percent; and in 1936, 52 percent.
The earnings of salaried women were still smaller as compared with
those of men. In 1929 salaried women’s average yearly earnings
were 47 percent of those of men, and in 1936, 38 percent. In the
textile industries the corresponding percentages were lower still—31

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1304

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

and 32, respectively—and in the m en’s clothing branch they were
only a little higher—32 and 33, respectively. In the women’s and
children’s clothing branch salaried women occupied a slightly better
relative position, their annual salary income being 35 percent of th at
of men in 1929 and 36 percent in 1936. On the whole, average annual
earnings of salaried employees decreased less during the 8-year period
than those of wage earners in all m anufacturing, and in the textile
and clothing industries as well.. Such decreases were smaller propor­
tionately for salaried women than for salaried men. Among the
woman workers, the average annual earnings of wage earners from
1929 to 1936 declined more, proportionately, than those of salaried
employees.
Women were employed in increasingly greater numbers in the
m anufacture of m en’s clothing and of women’s and children’s clothing
during the period studied. In 1929 there were about as m any men
as women employed in the m anufacture of m en’s clothing, but in
1930 the num ber of women nearly doubled and in 1933 it almost
tripled, while the num ber of men did not change much except as
business fluctuated. In the women’s and children’s clothing branch
of the industry, the increase in the num ber of women was not so rapid
as in the m en’s clothing branch, but from 1929 to 1937 there was a
70-percent increase in the employment of women. The fact th at
many clothing firms had moved into the State in search of cheaper
labor, from States with more restrictive labor legislation and greater
union organization, was said to be well known.

WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WOMEN IN PENNSYLVANIA
INDUSTRIES
THAT a large majority of the woman workers in restaurants, in the
clothing industries, and in the macaroni industry in Pennsylvania,
were earning less than $20 a week was disclosed in reports of surveys
of these industries made by the State Department of Labor and
Industry. A brief summary of these reports follows.
Restaurants and Other Eating Places
Median annual cash earnings of full-time waitresses in year-round
hotels in the early part of 1938 ranged from $255 for those given full
maintenance to $436 for those who received cash wages only. In
other types of restaurants they ranged from $398 with full maintenance
to $512 with no maintenance. The greater proportion of hotel wait­
resses received less than 25 cents an hour, regardless of maintenance,
and most other waitresses earned less than 30 cents an hour.

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1305

Women in Industry

The survey 1 covered a pay period including January 15, 1938, and
data were secured for 7,096 women, 5,110 of whom were employed in
dining rooms, 1,857 in kitchens, and 129 in other departm ents of
hotel, independent, and chain restaurants, tap rooms, and restaurants
in departm ent, drug, variety, and food stores, and other types of
restaurants.
FORMS OF REM U N E R A T I O N

In the restaurants surveyed most of the employees received more
than one kind of remuneration, though practically all received part
in cash. Seasonal hotels generally provided full maintenance (board
and lodging), while year-round hotels furnished from 1 to 3 meals,
but rarely provided lodging. The general practice in retail stores was
to pay cash and give 1 meal per day. Cash and 2 or 3 meals per day
prevailed in other restaurants.
Tipping was a regular practice in dining rooms of seasonal hotels
and 94 percent of such employees were reported as receiving tips. In
year-round hotels and departm ent-store restaurants tipping was rela­
tively frequent, 85 and 78 percent, respectively, of the dining-room
employees in such restaurants receiving tips. Tipping was custom ary
in tap rooms and independent restaurants. I t was least common in
retail stores (other than departm ent stores) and in chain restaurants.
The median am ount of tips received by hotel waitresses who were
interviewed was $6.50 per week and their median cash wages $7.00,'
in other restaurants the median weekly tips of waitresses were $2.61
and the weekly cash wages $8.71. M ore than a third of the latter
received less than $1 in tips and almost one-fifth nothing at all.
FULL-TIME W O M A N

RESTAURANT

EMPLOYEES

Cash Earnings

A nnual cash earnings.—The median cash earnings of waitresses
employed full time 2 in year-round hotels in 1937 were $393, and in
other types of restaurants, $449. Other full-time woman employees
in hotel restaurants earned an average (median) of $548 in cash and
those in other eating places, $613. M any of the waitresses received
tips, the inclusion of which would make their total cash earnings con­
siderably higher. The median cash earnings of woman restaurant
employees in 1937 and the percentage of such employees earning less
than specified amounts are shown in table 1.
‘ Pennsylvania. Department of Labor and Industry. Bureau of Hours and Minimum Wages. Report
to the Wage Board for Restaurants on Employment of Women and Minors in Restaurants and Other
Eating Places. Harrisburg, 1938. Mimeographed.
2 Employment of 30 hours or over a week regularly was considered full-time employment.


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1306

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 1.- Annual Cash Earnings of Full-Time Woman Restaurant Workers in

Pennsylvania in 1937

Type of establishment and amount of
maintenance

Year-round hotels:
Waitresses___ _______________
No maintenance____________
1 meal per day______ ______
2 or 3 meals per day___
Full maintenance .
Other employees
___
No maintenance____
1 meal per d a y _____ ____
2 or 3 meals per day____
Full maintenance. . . .
Other commercial establishments:2
Waitresses________ __
No maintenance..........
1 meal per day. . . _ ______ .
2 or 3 meals per day. _................
Full maintenance_______
Other employees___
No maintenance____ _
1 meal per day _______
2 or 3 meals per day __ __
Full maintenance. .

N um ­
ber of
employ­
ees re­
porting

Percent of employees earning less
Median
than—
annual
earn­
ings 1 $300 $400 $500
$600 $700 $800

215
22
37
133
23
201
14
39
125
23

$393
436
389
406
255
548
667
556
553
367

758
2 233
148
354
23
463
94
70
280
19

449
512
469
412
398
613
684
561
618

20
9
30
10
74
8

82
82
97
76
96
40

93
96
97
90
100
61

98
96
100
98
100
79

99
96
100
99
100
8&

3
6
35

53
32
54
49
91
18
7
3
17
61

39
38
79

62
62
83

82
78
91

87
87
inn

15
10
20
17
4
6
2
10
5
16

38
27
32
47
52
19
7
21
19
68

63
48
58
74
70
33
18
34
35
79

78
65
74
87
87
48
33
60
47
95

90
83
87
96
87
63
53
70
63
95

98
96
96
99
100
80
74
84
80
95

1 Medians not computed for groups of fewer than 20.
j Excluding seasonal hotels for which annual earnings for nearly all employees were less than $200.
1 Includes 1 waitress who received free lodging.

In general, the am ount of the cash earnings bore a direct relation to
the am ount of m aintenance received, those receiving full maintenance
receiving the lowest cash earnings. Relatively few of the workers had
cash earnings exceeding $800 in 1937, and m ost of those who did re­
ceived either no m aintenance or only 1 meal a day. By type of estab­
lishment, waitresses had the highest median annual cash earnings in
food-store restaurants ($430); their earnings in year-round hotels
were $406, and in independent restaurants and tap rooms, $405. Other
employees had median cash earnings of $763 in departm ent-store res­
taurants, $553 in year-round hotels and independent restaurants, and
$516 in tap rooms.
Weekly cash earnings.—-Median weekly cash earnings of waitresses
in year-round hotels in January 1938 varied from $5.89 for those who
received full maintenance to $9.00 for those who received cash only;
for other employees the range was from $8.50 to $12.33, respectively!
In seasonal hotels, where practically all employees received full
maintenance, waitresses had median cash earnings of $3.55 per week
and other employees, $9.60.
M edian weekly cash earnings in the different occupations in res­
tau ran t employment of women are shown in table 2 for all types and
m aintenance groups in which there were sufficient cases to justify the
com putation of a median.


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Women in Industry

1307

T a b le 2.— Median Weekly Cash Earnings of Full-Time Woman Restaurant Workers,

by Type of Establishment and Occupation

Type of establishment and amount of maintenance

Dining room
All
occu­
pations1 W ait­ Others
resses
$3.54

8.19
8.53
12. 38
8.89
14.10
9.91

6.21
7.93
8. 62
8.39
12.43
9.18

$11.75
13. 75
13.45

12. 65
12.14
12.20

9.17
11.97
11.84

12.20

1 meal per day:

Dish
Cooks washers Others
$6.78

$3.80
2 and 3 meals per day:

Kitchen

16.18

14.00

$11. 68
10.96
17.20
10.37

$9.20
8.10
13.40
8.75

11.60
9.93
15. 55
14.10

15. 67
13.09
13.00

1 Includes a few employees not in dining room or kitchen,
a As of July 15, 1937.

Hourly cash earnings.—Less than 25 cents an hour was earned by
the m ajority of hotel waitresses of all maintenance groups, and less
than 30 cents an hour by m ost other waitresses. The highest median
cash earnings were 33 cents per hour, earned by departm ent-store
waitresses. Table 3 gives the median hourly cash earnings of full-time
woman restaurant employees in a pay period including January 15,
1938, by am ount of maintenance and type of establishment.
T a b le 3. —Hourly Cash Earnings of Full-Time Woman Restaurant Employees, by

Amount of Maintenance and Type of Establishment
Percent of employees earning
less than—
M e­
dian
ploy- hourly
earn­
ees
35
30
20
25
15
10
ings cents
report­
cents cents cents cents cents
ing1
N um ­
ber of

Type of establishment and amount of
maintenance

Waitresses:

Other employees:

Includes 1 person who received lodging only.


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C e n ts

58
1
1
(3)
1
13

44
13
17
49
56
90
100
90
15
6
11
18
55

75
65
44
79
85
98
100
98
43
22
35
52
77

91
87
83
93
93
98
100
98
68
49
56
79
91

97
96
93
97
100
99
100
99
86
75
82
92
95

98
96
99
98
100
99
100
99
96
93
96
97
99

1

7

20
23
20
15
53
56
67
53
14
9
11
15
69

46
32
42
43
75
78
67
80
28
17
23
30
83

71
46
66
73
77
89
100
87
43
39
42
42
91

85
82
81
86
84
100
100
100
67
68
73
64
94

6

565
23
71
412
59
169
1
168
2,455
521
478
1,382
74

15.9
18.8
20.9
15.2
14.5
9.4

1
6
9
57

9.4
21.4
25.2
23.6
19.8
14.4

452
22
59
320
51
18
3
15
1, 546
180
321
1,010
35

25.8
30.6
26.8
26.2
19.5

31.5
31.9
31.3
31.8
14.6

(3)
6
6
7
(3)
0)
(3)
3

1As of July 15, 1937.

2
5
33
50
67
47
5
2
2
5
51

*Less than

Y

of 1 percent.

1308

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
Hours of Work

Workers normally employed 30 hours or more per week were con­
sidered full-time workers in the survey under consideration. Fortyfour hours per week were perm itted by law, and under certain condi­
tions 48 hours a week could be worked provided time and one-half
was paid for hours worked in excess of 8 per day and 44 per week.
Except in seasonal hotels, the proportion of employees who worked
over 48 hours per week was small, and the proportion working more
than 44 hours ranged from 7 to 12 percent. The percentage of em­
ployees working less than certain specified hours is shown in table 4
for a pay period including January 15, 1938.
T a ble 4. — Weekly Hours Worked by Woman Restaurant Employees, by Type of

Establishment, January 1938

Type of establishment and occupation

Year-round hotels:
Waitresses_______ ____
Other em ployees______________
Seasonal hotels;!
Waitresses____________ .
Other employees____ __________
Other commercial establishments:
____
Waitresses___________ .
Other employees___________ . .

N um ­
ber of
employees
report­
ing

M e­
dian
week­
ly
hours

30
hours

36
hours

40
hours

44
hours

44.1
hours

565
450

41.9
42.7

2
3

12
9

30
18

74
64

93
88

99
97

169
18

44.0

2
11

18
17

34
28

41
50

74
72

78
89

2, 477
1,555

42.6
42.4

5
3

17
14

30
29

62
64

91
93

95
96

Percent of employees working
less than—
48
hours

1 As of July 15, 1937.

EARNINGS

OF

PART-TIME

AND

EXTRA

WOMAN

RESTAURANT

EMPLOYEES

There were 932 regular part-tim e 3 woman employees in the res­
taurants included in the survey. Waitresses are the m ost im portant
numerically among part-tim e employees, and m aintenance is com­
paratively irregular and unim portant in the rem uneration of parttime workers. M edian annual cash earnings of waitresses were rela­
tively low ($286 in departm ent stores and $241 in other commercial
restaurants), but they m ay or m ay not represent the total annual
income because of the possibility of other employment. Part-tim e
waitresses in year-round hotels had median earnings of 25.4 cents an
hour, as compared with 15.9 cents earned by full-time waitresses;
part-tim e waitresses in other types of commercial establishments
had earnings of 26.0 cents and full-time waitresses, 21.4 cents.
E xtra employees are limited almost entirely to hotels and depart­
m ent stores. In seasonal hotels extra waitresses had median hourly
cash earnings of 22.4 cents and were generally given full m aintenance
in addition. D epartm ent-store waitresses earned a median of 25.6
cents an hour and generally received 1 meal per day.
3 Women who regularly worked less than 30 hours a week were considered part-time employees.


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1309

Women in Industry
OCCUPATIONAL EXPENSES

Uniforms were required for dining-room employees in about fourfifths of the restaurants reporting and for kitchen employees in about
half of the establishments. The cost of uniforms was borne by the
dining-room employees in over half of the year-round hotels and
almost half of the other types of restaurants. About one-quarter of
the kitchen employees in all establishments paid for their own uni­
forms. The employers provided the uniforms for the other employees
except in a comparatively few cases in which employer and employee
shared the cost. The expense of laundering the uniforms was borne
by the dining-room employees in three-quarters of the hotels and in
nearly two-thirds of the other restaurants; and by the kitchen
employees in about half of all the establishments. The average
annual cost of the purchase and upkeep of uniforms reported by
dining-room employees was $17.73 in year-round hotels and $16.87 in
other restaurants.

Clothing Industries
A large proportion of the woman workers in the clothing industries
in Pennsylvania were receiving less than $20 in a typical week in
1937, though $21 a week was the accepted standard minimum weekly
budget figure derived from a State official survey of living costs. In
the m en’s clothing industry, 88 percent of the woman workers received
less than $20 per week; in the women’s and children’s clothing in­
dustry, 86 percent; and in the underwear industry, 95 percent.
The survey of these industries 4 covered a representative sample of
the industries, for a typical production week in 1937. In table 5
is presented a distribution of woman workers by weekly earnings.
T a b le 5.—Distribution of Workers in the Clothing Industries in Pennsylvania, 1937,

by Weekly Earnings
Number of workers with each classified earnings
Classified weekly earnings

M en’s clothing
Males

Females

Women’s and children’s
clothing
Males

Females

Underwear
Males

Females

----------

3,176

10,135

1,184

7,255

752

6,250

Under $5---- ----------------------$5 to $9.99__________________
$10 to $14.99________________
$15 to $19.99________________
$20 to $24.99________________
$25 to $29.99________________
$30 to $34.99________________
$35 to $39.99________________
$40 to $44.99________________

31
145
326
518
455
415
388
357
261
158
122

435
1,771
4,174
2,588
872
216
53
19
5
2

8
45
148
246
144
124
78
99
68
69
155

459
1,818
2,445
1,542
549
216
118
56
35
14
3

17
76
172
203
117
64
44
16
16
7
20

521
1,879
2, 371
1. 177
239
43
8
5
5

Total workers--------

$50 and over................................

2

4 Pennsylvania. Department of Labor and Industry. Bureau of Women and Children. Earnings
of Women Workers in Pennsylvania Manufacturing with Special Reference to the Clothing Industry.
Harrisburg, 1938. (Research Studies, Bull. No. 45.)


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1310

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

In connection with the low level of women’s wages in these indus­
tries, the report calls attention to the responsibility of the woman
wage earner for the support of others beside herself and to the fact
th a t low wages have necessitated supplemental relief grants. In a
study of the S tate’s direct-relief load in 1936, it was found th a t onequarter of the 172,099 cases were receiving supplemental relief
because of insufficient earnings.5
Table 6 shows median hourly and weekly earnings, and median
hours worked, by woman employees in the various occupations in the
clothing industry, during a week of average activity in 1937.
There was great variation in the earnings of machine operators
(who predom inate in the industry) from plant to plant, even when
making the same type of garm ent. In one plant making women’s
rayon dresses, for example, the median wage for a median week of
35.6 hours was $22.60 and in another, for a week of 46.9 hours, $8.35.
In a comparison of two plants making children’s dresses, the median
wage in one was $11.55 for a median week of 34.6 hours, and in the
other $19.90 for a 44-hour median week; in two m en’s shirt plants the
median wages were $6.42 and $12.75 for median weeks of 39.0 and
37.8 hours, respectively.
T able

6 . —Median

Hourly and Weekly Earnings and Weekly Hours of Woman Workers
in Pennsylvania Clothing Industries, 1937, by Occupation
Occupation

M en’s clothing_____________________________________
Cutters_______________________________ _________
Operators_______ ______ ______________ _______ _
Hand sewers______ ___________________________
Fitters_________________________________________
Trimmers..______ _______________ ______________
Examiners_____________________________________
Pressers__________ __________________ ________
Trubenizers_______________ ____________ ______
Shippers_______________________________________
General labor...... .................................. ................ ............
Office________________ ______ _______________
Forewomen____ _______ ______________ _________
Women’s and children’s clothing______________ .
Cutters________________________________________
Operators...__________________________________
Hand sewers_________________ _______________
Trimmers___________________________________
Examiners______________ ______ ________ . . .
Pressers____________________________________
Shippers___________________ _________ ____
General labor_____________ _________ _____
Office______________ ____ ____________ .
Forewomen_____________ __________ . . .
Underwear_______________________________________
Knitters_____________________________ . .
Cutters_____________________________ ______
Operators__________________ ____________
Hand sewers_________________________ _________
Trimmers____________
Examiners___________ ____________ . . . .
Pressers______________________________________
Shippers________________________ .
General labor _________________________ . .
Office____ ____________________ . . .
Forewomen..
_____ ______ _____

Number
of women

Median
weekly
hours

Estimated
median
hourly
earnings

Median
weekly
earnings

C e n ts

10,140
84
7, 304
655
7
402
162
973
5
198
96
194
60
7, 255
234
4, 770
435
210
127
965
135
101
184
94
6, 250
40
146
4,513
58
193
292
566
169
86
103
84

37.2
38.5
37.2
44.8
37.8
40.5
40.4
i 34.0
42.0
37.9
42.4
43.4

39.7
33.8
43.4
48.8
42.5
32.3
33.9
77.5
31.1
34.8
41.2
45.3

$14.80
13.00
16.15
21.85
16.05
13.10
13.70
» 26. 38
13.05
13.20
17.45
19. 65

35.2
39.6
36.9
37.4
37.5
40.2
41.3
40.2
42.5
42.3

34.4
30.4
47.7
29.1
32.8
33.1
31.6
33.2
41.5
40.8

12.10
12.05
17.60
10.90
12.30
13. 30
13.05
13.35
17. 65
17. 25

42.4
44.6
40.4
42.8
34.1
41.1
34.9
40.5
43.0
42.7
43.3

39.4
31.3
28.5
33.9
23.2
24.7
30.1
29.4
29.9
39.2
30.4

16.70
13.95
11.50
14.50
7.90
10.15
10.50
11.90
12.85
16.75
13.16

1 Arithmetic average.
* Schwartz, Saya S.
delphia, 1937.


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Grants-in-Aid of Wages: A Study of the Problem of Supplementary Relief. Phila­

1311

Women in Industry-

Macaroni Industry
About 41 percent of the 1,047 workers in the macaroni industry in
Pennsylvania in January 1938 were women. The earnings of the
women in this industry varied among companies and in different
sections of the State. Earnings of some women were as low as 12.5
cents an hour, whereas the lowest earnings of women in other compan­
ies were 35 cents an hour. In establishments in the eastern p art of
the State (excluding Philadelphia) 36 percent of the woman workers
earned less than $10 per week, as compared with 24 percent in other
sections. M edian hourly earnings of women were 34.5 cents and
median weekly earnings, $12.19. Annual earnings of less than $554
were received by half of the 254 women reporting earnings for 1937.
The hours of work also varied considerably, but the median hours
worked by full-time woman workers were 39.7.
The survey6of earnings of women in the industry (which includes the
making and handling of macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli, noodles, and
other alim entary pastes) covered all the macaroni plants in the State.
Of the 394 full-time woman workers in the industry, 22.6 percent
earned less than $10 a week in January 1938, and 23.1 percent earned
less than 30 cents an hour. Table 7 presents a percentage distribu­
tion of the full-time woman workers in the industry, according to
annual, weekly, and hourly earnings.
T a b le 7.—Earnings of Woman Workers in the Macaroni Industry in Pennsylvania,

January 1938
Classified earnings
Annual earnings:
$ 3 0 0 -$ 3 9 9
$ 4 0 0 -$ 4 9 9

$500-$599
$600-$699_________________________
$700-$799
$900-$999_________________________
$1,000 and over______
___ ______
Weekly earnings:
Less than $6.00__- - _ ------ ----------$6.00-$7.99_______________________
______
$S.00-$9.99
-.
$10.00-$11.99______________________
$12.00-$13.99______________________

Percent of
employ­
ees receiv­
ing
8. 3
4.3
21. 7
29. 2
18.5
6. 7
4.3
3.9
100. 0
2.0
8.4
12. 2
24.6
25. 1

Percent of
employ­
ees receiv­
ing

Classified earnings
Weekly earnings— Continued
$14.00-$15.99______________________
$16.00-$17.99______________________
$18.000-$19.99_____________________
$20.00 and over____ ____________
All groups____________
Hourly earnings (cents) :

_________

30.0-34.9_________________________
35 0 39 9
- ____
40 0 44 9

An

17.3
4.1
2. 5
3.8
100.0
2. 8
20.3
27.4
38.3
3.6
2. 5
5 1
100.0

Over nine-tenths of the woman workers in the industry (excluding
office workers) were packers. M edian hourly earnings of packers in
establishments in Philadelphia County ranged from 27.5 to 35.0
cents; in other eastern counties from 16.6 to 30.0 cents; in Allegheny
County from 25.0 to 35.0 cents; and in other western counties, from
22.0 to 35.0 cents.
* Pennsylvania. Department of Labor and Industry. Bureau of Hours and Minimum Wages. Report
to the Wage Board for the Macaroni Industry on Employment of Women and Minors in Macaroni Occu­
pations in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, 1938.


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Child Labor

WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON CHILDREN
T H E FO U R TH national conference on children held under the
auspices of a President of the United States was the Conference on
Children in a Democracy which convened at the W hite House on the
morning of April 26, 1939. The purpose of this meeting was to out­
line work to be done and formulate plans for the organization of
committees to be responsible for gathering information and preparing
recommendations for the final session in 1940.1 About 500 members
were in attendance, from practically all the States, Hawaii, Puerto
Rico, and the D istrict of Columbia.2

In the opening address, President Roosevelt, Honorary Chairman
of the Conference, declared:
It is our purpose to review the objectives and methods affecting the safety,
well-being, and happiness of the younger generation and their preparation for
the responsibilities of citizenship.
But we have gone one step farther. Definitely we are here with a principal
objective of considering the relationship between a successful democracy and the
children who form an integral part of that democracy. We no longer set them
apart from democracy as if they were a segregated group. They are at one with
democracy because they are dependent upon a democracy and democracy is
dependent on them. * * *
Yet, after all has been said, only a beginning has been made in affording security
to children. In many parts of the country we have not provided enough to meet
the minimum needs of dependent children for food, shelter, and clothing, and the
Federal Government’s contribution toward their care is less generous than its
contribution to the care of the aged.

In the afternoon the conference assembled in the United States
D epartm ental Auditorium, and a little later broke up into four
sections, constituted for consideration of special subjects, as follows:
Section I .— Objectives of a democratic society in relation to children.

The subject assigned to this section was: What a society based on
democratic principles owes to its children regarding such matters as
1 Press releases February 20 (U. S. Children’s Bureau, No. 7948); February 27 (U. S. Department of
Labor, No. 7969); April 26 (W hite House); April 26 (U. S. Children’s Bureau, No. 8124); April 27 (U. S.
Department of Labor, No. 5788); Washington, 1939.
2 The conference membership, including representatives appointed by the governors of States and Terri­
tories, is made up of physicians, economists, sociologists, statisticians, educators, clergymen, social workers,
housing experts, recreation workers, nutritionists, representatives of industry, labor, farm groups, and
professional and civic organizations of men and women, as well as representatives of Federal, State and
local administrative agencies of government.

1312

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Child Labor

1313

health, security within the family, religious training, education,
recreation, an opportunity to feel th at they have some responsible
p art in the world about them, and an intelligent understanding of the
aims and ideals of the society in which they live.
Section I I . — Economic foundations of fa m ily life and child welfare.
This section was formed to take up the question of how the conference
may best serve in clearly emphasizing the economic bases of family
life in this country, and to make suggestions as to the way in which
the economic resources of the family for child care m ay best be
supplemented, when circumstances require it, by community services.
Section I I I . — The development of children and youth in present-day
American life. Included in this study are “ those dilemmas in our
present culture which, in the opinion of members, influence the growth
and development of children and youth, and how, in our present
situation, our institutions and agencies m ay be developed and coordi­
nated to resolve these dilemmas.”
Section I V .— The child and community services for health, education,
and social protection. The outstanding problems for examination by
this section are:
In view of the findings of the National H ealth Conference, the
National H ealth Survey, and other recent projects, w hat areas of
m aternal and child welfare require special attention from the present
W hite House Conference? How m ay they be most efficaciously dealt
with?
In view of the findings of the Educational Policies Commission, the
President’s Advisory Committee on Education, the New York State
Regents’ survey, and other authoritative data, w hat phases of
education call for the special attention of the conference?
How m ay the work of the W hite House Conference be most effec­
tive in the fields of relief and assistance, foster-home care, institu­
tional care, protective service, organized recreation, and adm inistra­
tion of State-wide and local child-welfare services?


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Unemployed Youth

UNEMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG PERSONS IN BELGIUM
THE general unemployment statistics of Belgium are based on the
voluntary unemployment-insurance system and consequently are
incomplete, particularly as regards young persons who in many cases
are not in a position to affiliate with the insurance organizations. Two
special censuses of unemployment have been taken showing the extent
of unemployment among young persons—one in February 1937 and
the other in September 1938.1 Prior to these censuses a general census
of insured unemployed workers was made in March 1936, which
showed the number of unemployed by age groups.
The optional insurance system as it is functioning at present is
closely linked with the syndical organizations and m any of the young
unemployed do not belong to the unions, either because they have not
yet been employed or because they are under the age of 15. Also, in
recent years, there has been less tendency among young persons to join
these organizations and to insure against unemployment; m any of
the young men under the age of 25 are unm arried and therefore lack
the incentive of family responsibility; and under present conditions
the insured have to pay double dues, th a t is the trade-union dues and
the insurance contribution, which, because of the low wages of young
persons in m any branches of industry, makes membership prohibitive.
The census of February 1937 covered totally unemployed young
persons, both insured and uninsured. At that time there were 28,996
male and 5,575 female workers under the age of 25 who were unem­
ployed, representing 15.7 percent and 39 percent, respectively, of the
total number of unemployed. In September 1938, which represented

a more favorable period since it was not a time of seasonal unem­
ployment, the estimated total unemployment of young persons was
32,000. This estimate was based on a partial census and a calculation
of the number under 25 according to their proportional representation
in the preceding census. This figure was considered too high, howg \ or, as it did not take into consideration those workers who were
looking for new jobs and were unemployed for only a short period.
An analysis of the figures by the length of unemployment showed that
. 1 ? POrV r° “
C
k Br0y’ American C0DSU]<Brussels, Belgium; Le chômage des jeunes gens, Ministère
27 1 9 3 9 ™ 6 d6 3
° yance Sooiale’ 0ffice National du Placement et du Chômage, Brussels, January

1314

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Unemployed Youth

1315

about one-third of these young persons were unemployed less than
3 months and more than half for less than 6 months. Considering
th a t a real unemployment problem does not arise for these young
workers until at least a half year of unemployment, it was concluded
th at about 20,000 young persons were facing a serious problem in
September 1938. On the other hand, during the period 1932-34,
when the economic depression was very acute, the num ber of unem­
ployed young persons was estimated at about 40,000.

, ,

Distribution According to Age Sex and Marital Status
During the war, births in Belgium declined to an im portant extent,
and the influence of the fluctuations in the birth rate is reflected in the
unemployment figures. The minimum birth rate was recorded in
1918 with 43,654 male and 41,403 female births. During the years
immediately following the war the birth rate suddenly increased,
having nearly doubled for males in 1920 and for females in 1921. The
September 1938 census reflects the effect of this smaller birth rate in
the num ber of insured unemployed as, between the ages of 15 and 21,
the largest num ber of unemployed was found in the 18-year old group
or those who were born in 1920. On the other hand unemployed
born during the years 1916-19, th a t is the years of lower birth rate,
were relatively fewer in number than those born in 1915. I t is to be
assumed, it is stated in the report, that, other conditions remaining
the same, the num ber of young unemployed m ay be expected to
increase for some years when the persons born during the war years
become more than 25 years of age. In the future, however, the
continued lowering of the birth rate will modify the structural com­
position of the population so as to reduce the relative importance
of the young.
Recent statistics show th a t among insured workers young male
unemployed represent about 9 percent of the total insured male
unemployed, and young female unemployed represent 20 percent of
the total insured female unemployed. Among the noninsured the
corresponding figures are 27 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
A study of the distribution of the young unemployed (insured and
totally out of work) according to industry showed th a t the largest
proportion of males belonged to the metallurgical, construction, and
textile industries, while the females were normally employed in the
textile industry.
A large proportion of unemployed persons under the age of 25 were
unmarried. According to the 193/ census 83.6 percent of the young
men and 90.4 percent of the young women were not married, the pro­
portion being much higher among the noninsured than among the
insured. Various studies have shown th a t a greater effort to find
employment is made by young married men than by the unmarried

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1316

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

who often find support a t home. In general, the unemployed who
make the most determined efforts to find employment, however, are
over 25 years of age.

Causes of Unemployment
In September 1938 the outstanding reason for the unemployment
among young workers was the general industrial stagnation, partic­
ularly in the metallurgical and textile industries. However, there
were other conditions applying particularly to young persons which
affected the unemployment situation. These included the large num ­
ber of “blind-alley” occupations, especially in the cities, where there
is little hope of future advancement, since young persons are discharged
as soon as they are in a position to apply for an increase in wages, their
places being filled by young persons who are just out of school. Such
occupations are characteristic of the food industries, particularly
butcher, pastry, and bread-making shops, and among messenger and
delivery boys. The condition of young girls is often similar, and in
candy and biscuit factories they are discharged before reaching the age
of 18. Young persons remaining in such occupations would have no
opportunity to become skilled and would remain laborers without any
special work qualification. There are other groups of young persons
who are systematically dismissed when they reach a certain age, but
who differ from the preceding cases in th a t they m ight have become
skilled workers if they could have had a sufficient period of training.
This is true of the textile industry where young persons could become
weavers if they were employed long enough. As a result of the eco­
nomic depression, however, they are not given this opportunity and
are added to the mass of unskilled workers. The same condition
prevails in the highly mechanized industries where the young workers
are given such rudim entary work th at they cannot hope to acquire
skill, and here too they are dismissed when they reach a certain age.
Young persons operating lithographing machines, for example, are
dismissed at the age of 19 and replaced by adolescents of 14 to 16
years, and a similar condition is present in the mass-production
furniture industry and in paper mills.
The beginning of unemployment often coincides with the beginning
of m ilitary service and the young worker is then replaced by a younger
person. M any young unemployed persons finally enter the building
industry after which the periods of unemployment begin to increase.
In general, unless they are physically unfit these young workers
usually find employment w ithout too much difficulty because the
wages they ask for are very low. I t has been found th a t in the more
highly industrialized sections the young unemployed are more in­
clined to make a serious effort to find work.
The lack of general and specialized training is also an im portant fac­
tor in the unemployment situation of these young workers, as even in a

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Unemployed Youth

1317

depression there is a lack of skilled labor in certain industries. The
1937 census showed that, of nearly 22,000 males who had already
worked, more than 85 percent had had only primary-school education
and only 4 percent had had occupational or technical training. Of
the 3,950 who had never had work, 3,277 had not advanced beyond
the prim ary grades. Practically the same situation in regard to the
lack of education was found among the young female workers.
About 24 percent of the unemployed young office workers and shop
employees had had prim ary education only and about the same pro­
portion had not advanced beyond the interm ediate grades. In view
of these facts and because of the general failure of unemployed young
persons to take advantage of opportunities for additional occupa­
tional training, a decree of January 16, 1939, provides th a t the N a­
tional Bureau of Em ployment and Unemployment may require
insured unemployed workers who are considered to be capable of
being trained to take additional training either in the factories or in
the occupational schools. The penalty for refusal to take advantage
of the opportunity for retraining, or for giving it up after having
started, is the loss of the right to the unemployment benefit granted
by the State. This decree, which became effective September 15,
1938,2 was to be put in effect progressively in different regions.

JUVENILE UNEMPLOYMENT IN LONDON
JU V EN ILES registered as unemployed, in the London region of Great
B ritain, were more numerous in every m onth of 1938 than of 1937,
with the exception of July, but the length of the various workless
periods remained short, according to a report of the London Regional
Advisory Council for Juvenile E m ploym ent.3
Of the 1,126,000 boys and 937,000 girls, 14 to 18 years old, who are
classed as juveniles under the unemployment-insurance system, 20.5
and 21.5 percent, respectively, five in the London regional area. This
district extends approximately 15 miles from Charing Cross.
Although the num ber of juveniles is disproportionately high in the
London area as compared with the country as a whole, the group is
normal in its composition. For example, the insured juvenile popu­
lation decreased by 4 percent between 1937 and 1938, both in G reat
Britain as a whole and in the London area, and juveniles aged 14 to
15 years formed, in both, 41 percent of the total num ber of insured
juveniles. In London boys made up 53 percent of the total insured
juvenile population, and in Great Britain, 54 percent. There was a
2 Effective date given in report; it w ill be noted, however, that the decree itself was dated January 16,1939.

3 Great Britain. M inistry of Labor. Fourth Annual Report of the London Regional Advisory Council
for Juvenile Employment, 1938. London, 1939.
149001— 39-------G


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1318

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

m arked slackening in the growth of the juvenile population of London
in 1937-38 as compared with 1936-37.
The largest num ber of juveniles on the live register of unemployed
during 1938 was 10,794, and the lowest was 6,210 in December of th at
year. In 1937 the highest registration was 7,587, and in 1936 it was
11,187. The live register in December 1938, expressed as a percentage
of the insured population, was 1.4, as compared with 0.9 in 1937 and
0.8 in 1936.
Claim ants to unemployment benefit among juveniles totaled as many
as 4,574 at one period in 1938, as compared with a maximum of 2,237
in 1937, and 2,833 in 1936. In December 1938 the total was 3,045.
Only 1.1 percent of the juvenile unemployed in the London area
were out of work for three m onths or over. For boys the percentage
was 1.5, and for girls 0.5. The duration of unemployment is shown in
the accompanying table, by sex, for all unemployed juveniles on the
live registers at the 23 employment exchanges in the London County
Council area, as of October 1938. This analysis covered the unem­
ployment of 1,798 boys and 1,300 girls. Juveniles who were in school
were excluded.
Duration of Unemployment in London Area of Juveniles on Live Registers of Employ men
Exchanges, October 1938
Percent of total
Proportion unemployed for—
Boys
One week or less_______ __________________
Over one week and less than one m onth_____ ________
One month and less than three months_________. . .
Three months and o v e r ___________________ .
T otal__________________________________ _

Girls

Total juveniles

51. C
38.1
8.8
1.5

57.7
33.3
8.5
.5

54.1
36.1
8. 7
1.1

100.0

100.0

100.0

Among juveniles 14-15 years old, 70.6 percent of the boys and 64.0
percent of the girls were unemployed for less than one week. For the
age group 16-17 the percentages were 45.3 for boys and 53.9 for girls.
Placements by juvenile employment offices increased in 1938 not­
withstanding the reduced demand for juvenile labor. This resulted
from the discontinuance of special methods of recruiting labor th at
were adopted when juvenile workers were scarce in 1937.
In reviewing conditions during the year, the Council stated th a t the
reduced demand for labor “was not w ithout advantage to boys and
girls whose employment tends to be less stable when there is wide
opportunity to change from one job to another w ithout adequate forethought.’' I t is anticipated th a t recent legislation providing for
shorter hours will give juveniles greater leisure for recreation and
study. In combination with the decrease in the birth rate, which will
make fewer juveniles available for work, it should also insure good
prospects for future employment of young persons.

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Negro Workers

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEGRO YOUTH 1
A PPR O X IM A TEL Y 1 in every 10 of the youth in the United States
is a Negro. As the welfare of the other 9 young people is largely
bound up with th a t of the Negro, “the National Youth Adm inistra­
tion has felt th a t the general welfare would be best promoted by full
integration and participation of Negro youth in all phases of the
program .’’ Young Negroes not only experience the present difficulties
common to all youth, but they have additional problems arising from
the position of the Negro racial group in this country. The demo­
cratic procedure of one and the same program for all youth in the
United States was adopted and Negroes were appointed on all ad­
visory and planning committees, in order “to insure the inclusion of
the Negro viewpoint and the necessary adaptation of the program to
meet his specific and peculiar needs.”
To make this ideal effective in administration, the Division of
Negro Affairs was organized in the N. Y. A. office in W ashington,
D. C. After the general decentralization of the direction of the
N. Y. A. program, Negroes were appointed to State N. Y. A. staffs
in States with large colored populations, and were also placed as
project supervisors in direct contact with the youth working on N. Y.
A. projects.
In November 1938, it was estimated th a t of 591,000 young people
employed by Student Aid and the Works Program of the N. Y. A.,
63,600, or 10.8 percent, were Negroes. Of these Negro young people,
36,000 were school, college, and graduate students, and 27,600 were
engaged on the Works Program.
Student aid.—The 113 Negro colleges participating in the 1938-39
student-aid program are receiving an aggregate annual allotm ent of
$420,420. Furtherm ore, a special college and graduate aid fund of
$100,000 has been distributed among nearly 600 college and graduate
students, who, without this allotment, would have been excluded from
the regular college and graduate quotas.
In addition to this sum of $520,420, student aid is being given from
the regular allotm ent to colleges with both white and colored students.
1 D^ta are from National Youth Administration report, The Tenth Youth, Washington, 1938; and press
release, dated January 1,1939 (No. 13982), of the N . Y. A. Division of Negro Affairs.


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1319

1320

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Of the 36,000 Negroes in receipt of student aid, 6,600 are included in
the 1938-39 college and graduate aid program.
An analysis was made in 1938 of the approved student-aid appli­
cants, at which time the percentage of Negroes among the total col­
lege and graduate applicants was 5.8, and among the high-school
applicants, 11.4. In those Southern States in which Negroes con­
stitute over one-fourth of the population, about 28 percent of the total
applicants for student aid were colored.
The average family income of all school, college, and graduate Negro students
was $405. The average family income of the high-school students was $366, as
compared with the average family income of $563, of all student aid recipients.
Negro college aid students came from families with an average income of $623, as
compared with $1,163 for all college and graduate aid students on the program.
Of the Negro Student Aid recipients, 91 percent came from families receiving less
than $1,000 a year income; 59^ percent came from families making less than $500
a year.

More than 25 percent of the Negro students came from families in
which the parent or guardian was wholly jobless or was on W. P. A.
work, and 55 percent of these students were members of families whose
livelihood was derived from unskilled labor, domestic or personal
service, or farming. The professional, the semiprofessional, and the
other white-collar groups were represented by less than 8 percent.
Work projects.—In November 1938, N. Y. A. projects of all types
were employing about 27,600 Negro youth, or approximately 12 per­
cent of the total employed on such projects. M any southern States
have emphasized the repair and modernization of schools and the
building of small rural schools for this racial group. W ithin a recent
period of 5 months, 1 State subm itted applications to construct 9
such school buildings and 1 home for children, and another State
subm itted for approval projects for 18 schools or other educational
buildings, and 3 homes for teachers.
Resident centers.—In addition to the 50 resident centers for Negro
youth, 3 other centers employ both white and colored young persons.
The planned capacity for the resident projects for Negroes is nearly
3,000. However, in 1938 these centers were not all operating a t full
capacity. The residents, who come from neighboring rural commu­
nities, receive industrial training and are instructed in farm techniques
and home management. Boys earn their subsistence and tuition by
labor in the shop and on the farm, and are given related training in
general farm shop work, soil conservation, rotation and diversification
of crops, animal industry, auto mechanics, machine-shop practice,
brick masonry, painting, building construction, and printing. Girls
are employed in kitchens, cafeterias, and dormitories, and are being
trained in personal hygiene, in preparing and serving foods, canning,
marketing, home management, sewing, laundry work, and gardening.


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Negro Workers

1321

Vocational guidance.—One vocational guidance and counseling
service exclusively for Negroes, noted in the report under review, is
the South Parkway branch of the Division of Vocational Guidance and
Apprenticeship Training in Chicago. The employees of this center
are paid from N. Y. A. funds. The employees of various other voca­
tional guidance centers are on the pay roll of the United States E m ­
ployment Service. In 1938, in 103 cities of 34 States, separate employ­
m ent services for young persons were being provided as an outcome of
the activities of the National Youth Administration.
Health.—W herever possible, project workers for the N. Y. A. are
given thorough physical examinations. In A tlanta, Ga., through
the cooperation of the Georgia State Tuberculosis Association, every
Negro project worker has been given such an examination, including
the W assermann test. W ith the aid of the Flint-Goodridge Hospital
in New Orleans, physical examinations have also been made of the
Negro project workers in th a t city. For both A tlanta and New Orleans
considerable necessary follow-up work and treatm ent are reported.


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Education and Training

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION,
1937-38
D U R IN G the fiscal year ended June 30, 1938, there were 1,810,150
students enrolled in vocational schools or classes (agricultural, trade,
industrial, and business), operated under State plans in the United
States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico). This registra­
tion represented an increase of 313,313 over the previous fiscal year.1
Of the total students enrolled, 460,876 were farm youth and adult
farmers taking agricultural courses; 685,804 were boys and girls and
adult trade and industrial workers taking trade and industrial courses;
627,394 were girls and women following homemaking courses; and
36,076 were boys and girls and adults in training for the distributive
occupations. In table 1 the numbers of students in various types of
classes in 1937-38 are shown, as well as the increases in the enrollment
of these classes as compared with the preceding year. The increase
in the registration in evening schools in 1937-38 was especially striking,
the num ber rising from 400,172 to 602,256.
T able

1.—Enrollment in Vocational Schools or Classes Operated Under State Plans,
Year Ended June 30, 1938 1
Enrollment, 1937-38

Agri­
cultural

Trade
and
indus­
trial

All types_________ 1,810,150

460,876

685,804

627,394

Evening...... ..........
Part-time________
All-day__________

158,813
42,900
259,163

195,867
305,734
184,203

215,168
54, 211
358,015

Type of school
Total

602, 256
406, 513
801,381

Home
eco­
nomics

Increase from 1936-37 to 1937-38
Business
educa­
tion (dis­
tributive
occupa­
tions)

Total

Agri­
cul­
tural

Trade Home
and
eco­
indus­ nomics
trial

36,076

a 313,313

66,476

79, 592

131,169

32,408
3,668

J 202,084
« 28, 307
82,922

36,066
13, 572
16,838

67, 216
8,480
3,896

65, 063
3,918
62,188

1 Provisional figures.
1 Includes enrollments in business education in 1937-38, the first year in which vocational education in
the distributive occupations was carried on under Federal grants.

In table 2 the total enrollments in vocational schools and classes
under State plans, by years, from 1929 to 1938, are reported. Except
for the years 1933 and 1934 substantial increases are shown, the
expansion for the latest year being the greatest here recorded.
1 Provisional figures. The data in this article are taken from Digest of Annual Reports of State Boards
for Vocational Education to the Office of Education, Vocational D ivision, fiscal year ended June 30, 1938,
Washington, 1939.

1322


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1323

Education and Training

T a b le 2. —Enrollment in Vocational Schools Operated Under State Plans, by 1 ears,

1929-38
Total
Year

Increase

Number
1,810,150
1,496,837
1,381, 701
1, 247, 523
1,119,140
1,150,327
1,176,162
1,117,556
1,064, 536
1,047,976

1938 1 ______ _____________
1937 . .
________________
1936
_______________ -1935
______ _____ _____
1934
________________
1933
________________
1932
_______________
1931
________________
1930
_____________
1929-__________________ ____

Trade and
industrial

Agriculture

313,313
115,136
134,178
128,383
i 31,187
2 25,835
58, 606
53,020
16, 560
48,945

Home
Econom­
ics

685,804
606, 212
579,971
535,932
486,058
537,512
579, 591
602,755
633,153
627,397

460,876
394,400
347,728
329,367
289,361
265,978
257,255
237,200
193,325
171,466

627,394
496,225
454, 002
381,224
343,721
346,837
339,316
227, 601
238,058
249,113

Business
education
36,076

jr i Decrease. The decreases for 1933 and 1934 should be considered in connection with the decreases in Fed­
eral funds available in these years. A reduction in 1933 of 8 percent in these funds, and a further reduction
in 1934 of 10 percent, as compared with the previous years, largely account for the decrease in enrollments of
less than 3 percent for each of these years.

During the year ended June 30, 1938, 9,844 disabled persons were
rehabilitated and placed in jobs under the Federal-State vocationalrehabilitation program, as compared to 11,091 in the preceding 12
months. This decrease of 1,247 persons rehabilitated and placed is
explained by the fact th a t in previous years the numbers so reported
included those who had been rehabilitated and were partly self-sup­
porting. Those recorded as rehabilitated in 1937-38 include only
those who are completely self-supporting.
T a b le 3.—Number of Disabled Persons Vocationally Rehabilitated and in Process of

Rehabilitation, 1929 to 1938
Live roll, June 30

Behabilitated during year
Year ended June 30—

1938 5
__________
1937
____________
1936
________________
1935 ____________ ____
______________
1934
...... ....................
1933
1932
_______________
1931
. ........................ .
1930
- ____________
1929
________ ____

Total
9,844
11,091
10,338
9,422
8,062
5, 613
5, 550
5,138
4,612
4, 645

Male
7,377
8,691
8,152
7,527
6,319
4,432
4, 367
4,118
3,761
3,893

Female
2,467
2,400
2,186
1,895
1,743
1,181
1,183
1,020
851
752

Total
52,225
45, 096
44,625
40,941
37,681
30,619
27,403
23, 714
20, 298
16, 787

In prepa­
ration
status 1

Prepared,
awaiting
placement

37,303
32, 345
31,434
31,064
31,530
25,304
23, 387
20,434
19,118
15,821

3 12, 342
310,149
3 11,064
8,171
4, 729
4,566
3, 327
2,414
(‘)
(4)

At work,
being fol­
lowed up
2,580
2,603
2,127
1,706
1,422
749
889
866
1,180
966

1 Includes number “eligible and feasible under advisement,“ “in training,“ “undergoing physical restora­
tion or being fitted with appliance,” and “training interrupted.”
2 Provisional figures
> Includes prospective cases carried on the live roll as follows: In 1936, 3,587; in 1937, 3,041; in 1938, 4,382.
i N ot separately reported. Included as “in preparation status.”

As indicated below, Federal, State, and local expenditures in 1937-38
for vocational education under State plans totaled $44,994,537; for
vocational rehabilitation the total was $3,820,391.
E d u c a tio n

Total expenditure_________________________ $44, 994, 537. 22
Federal expenditure__________________ 17, 737, 117. 78
State and local expenditure------------------ 27,257, 419. 44
State and local expenditure, per dollar of
1. 54
Federal grant--------------------------------------
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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

R e h a b i li ta t io n

$3, 820, 390. 55
1, 769, 989. 05
2, 050, 401- 50
1. 16

1324

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

New Developments and Trends
New developments and new trends in vocational education and
vocational rehabilitation are inevitable, but are more rapid in periods
of depression and of economic and social change. In 1937-38 new
developments took place and new trends were discernible in every
field of vocational education, as noted in p art below:
Agricultural education. In a num ber of States a tendency was
shown to render a more effective service in training teachers of agri­
culture by providing th a t agricultural programs be supervised on a
county basis. Agricultural and home-economics teachers in a num ber
of States and local communities tended to cooperate in establishing
programs to improve farms and the farm homes. G reater emphasis
on improving instruction in farm shops was reported by almost all of
the States. More and more teachers of vocational agriculture were
insisting “th a t vocational agriculture students plan their supervised
farming programs on a long-time basis and thus make these projects
the nucleus around which to build their perm anent farming pro­
gram s.” In the central group of States, program planning for local
communities and counties has become a routine policy. Various
States have adopted the policy of adding subject-m atter specialists to
their personnel. Certain States find it necessary to appoint special
teachers to devote full time to adult farm ers’ classes, because of the
demand for instruction by this group. In connection with courses in
\ ocational agriculture, increased attention was being paid to training
in cooperative buying and selling. A definite effort was being made
to enroll in Negro vocational agriculture classes young men who were
w ithout high-school training and who were in need of agricultural
training. Studies were initiated in some of the States with a view to
correlating more closely the training of vocational agriculture teach­
ers in land-grant colleges with the actual needs of agricultural teach­
ers in service. The importance of diversification in farming pro­
grams was stressed, particularly in the Pacific Coast States. An
attem pt was made to develop additional instruction for out-of-school
farm youth who desired or required training to aid them to find
opportunities for employment and for progressive establishment in
farming.
Trade and industrial education.— Definite improvement and ex­
pansion in the evening trade-extension training for journeym an
workers are reported for the year under review, and also greater
attention on the p a rt of those responsible for trade and industrial
education to the development of training for persons in public service.
Special studies were being carried on to discover occupations for girls
and women and the kind of training which should be developed in
this connection. A cooperative type of program in diversified occu-


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Education and Training

1325

pations has been developed to meet the problem of training oppor­
tunities for youth in small communities. A num ber of general
industrial courses were organized in rural districts. Special classes
for apprentices were organized and efforts made “to relate the work
of day trade schools more directly to pre-apprentice training.’’
Home-economics education.—-Special provision is made in State
plans for vocational education for the 5-year period 1937-42 for the
expansion of home-economics education programs to serve various
age groups and educational levels. Efforts were also made to
strengthen pre-service training for teachers of home economics. A t­
tention was also given to joint classes for out-of-school young people.
Certain States arranged to enlarge programs already under way in
the fields of adult education in home making and parent education.
Substantial assistance was also given to high-school adm inistrators
and teachers in organizing additional homemaking courses for boys.
Business education.-—Training for the distributive occupations was
the central interest in the business-education field. State boards,
however, have devoted themselves more especially to building a
foundation for their future programs rather than to attem pting to
organize large numbers of classes with heavy enrollments. In general,
classes in distributive occupations were formed for executives, m an­
agers, and store owners, in which sound business principles of manage­
m ent and operation were stressed. The National, State, and local
cooperation accorded to plans for the development of training pro­
grams in distributive occupations was encouraging. Special teacher­
training plans in the field of distributive occupations were being
established by the States, and at least 12 colleges and universities
were arranging to offer during the summer of 1938 professional courses
in distributive education.
Vocational rehabilitation.—States were reported as devoting more
attention than usual to the establishing of standard qualifications
for rehabilitation division staffs. Research in vocational rehabilitation
during 1937-38 was chiefly in connection with case work.
The Office of Education has daring the year been engaged in a cooperative
study with the United States Employment Service, which has for its objectives:
(1) To determine the possibilities of correlating the efforts of the rehabilitation
service with those of the Employment Service, and (2) to encourage special
efforts in this field in selected centers in which favorable conditions exist for
experimental and demonstration purposes.


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Cooperation

AGRICULTURAL PURCHASING COOPERATIVES
IN 1936
T H E first door-to-door census of farm ers’ cooperative associations was
made under the direction of the Farm Credit Administration. I t
covered the year 1936. Cooperating in the study were the banks for
cooperatives and the agricultural colleges. The principal types of
associations included were (1) marketing, purchasing, and related
service organizations, (2) m utual irrigation companies, (3) farm ers’
m utual fire-insurance companies, and (4) a few miscellaneous associa­
tions of various types, including grazing associations and electricity
associations not under the REA program.
The present article gives data relating to the purchasing associations,
taken from the report of the survey.1
The survey covered 10,752 associations, of which 2,601 were organi­
zations whose principal function was th a t of the purchase of supplies.
The total net business of these associations in 1936 aggregated
$2,099,830,000, of which $337,476,000 (16.1 percent) represented the
value of farm supplies purchased for members. The purchasing associ­
ations accounted for $313,494,000 of this; the rem ainder was supplies
purchased, in side-line operations, by organizations whose prim ary
business was th a t of m arketing or processing.
In 18 of the 50 jurisdictions covered by the study, the purchase of
farm supplies represented less than 10 percent of the total business of
farm ers’ cooperatives in 1936. In 15 jurisdictions it represented 10
and less than 25 percent; in 15, from 25 to 50 percent; and in 2 States
half or more of the total was in farm supplies.
Slightly over half of the purchasing associations were affiliated with
cooperative wholesales or other federations, and nearly two-fifths
were independent associations. Among the m arketing associations, on
the other hand, the proportion of independent associations was con­
siderably higher (61 percent).
The membership and business of the various types of farm ers’ pur­
chasing associations for 1936 are shown in table 1.
1 Farm Credit Administration. Cooperative Division.
Farmers’ Cooperatives. Washington 1938.

1326


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Bulletin No. 26: A Statistical Handbook of

Cooperation
T

able

1327

1.— Membership and Business of Farmers' Purchasing Cooperatives, 1936

Amount of business

Membership
Type of association
Total

Aver­ Percent
who
age per were
associ­
also
ation patrons

856,020

329

Feed stores________________ 251, 579
Exchanges_______ ____ ____ 69, 774
321,986
Mixed-supplies associations.. 115, 803
Other types_______________ 96,878

513
176
305
357
290

Total

Percent of total
business represented
by—

Aver­ Goods
Goods
Average age marketed
purchased
per asso­ per for mem­ for mem­
ciation
pa­
bers
bers
tron

$313,494,000 $121,000
97

88
89
79

88

109,422,000
48, 298,000
98,924, 000
34,842,000
22,008,000

3
$256
40
276
/'
116
94,000 \ 2 98 ) _____
J
4
108,000
107
2
66,000 60

223,000

122,000

97
60

100
96
98

1 Associations handling petroleum products only.
2 Associations handling petroleum products primarily, but also other farm supplies.

In the above table the associations are classified according to their
m ajor line of business. The term “exchanges” is used to designate
associations handling a wide variety of both farm products and farm
supplies, no one item of which constitutes a m ajor p art of the business.
Associations handling m any kinds of farm supplies, no one of which
forms a m ajor part of the business, are designated as “mixed-supplies
associations” ; m any of these also handle substantial amounts of con­
sumer goods—usually groceries. The “other” group includes organi­
zations engaged prim arily in handling containers and packing sup­
plies, spray materials, fertilizer, seeds and plants, machinery and
implements, biologicals, and baby chicks.
Of the 856,020 members of the purchasing associations, the two
largest groups were in the petroleum and feed associations. The
latter had the largest average membership per association as well as
the largest average am ount of business done.
Of gross business of purchasing associations, amounting to $435,021,000 in 1936, the sum of $298,326,000 represented business of
retail associations and $136,695 th a t of wholesales. After making
adjustm ents for duplications in reporting, the net sales were
$337,298,000.


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1328

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 2. — Amount of Business of Farmers' Cooperative Purchasing Associations in 1936.

by Commodity
Sales by associa­
tions which are—
Number of
associaWholeRetailtions
sale
handling ing pri- purchasspecified marily ing pricommarily
modify

Commodity

Total sales

Adjustment
for
duplication1

Gross

N et

Thousands of dollars
All commodities_______________ ______
Feed and flour_______ ______ _________
Petroleum products___ ______________
Fuel (mostly coal)___________________
Fertilizer and lim e___________________
Livestock (work, breeding, and feeding)
Consumer merchandise_______________
Seeds_____________ _____ ____________
Machinery and equipm ent-____ ______
Building materials________ ____ ______
Packages, containers, etc_____________
Hardware and implements........................
Spray materials______ _____ _____ ____
Binder tw ine__________ _____ ________
Other______ _______ _________________

2,718
1,798
2,149
1,006
33
983
1,081
364
249
347
294

221

485
4,348

298,326

136, 695

435, 021

97, 723

337, 298

87,835
74,056
18, 769
15, 259
2, 897
8,081
6,260
5, 948
3, 639
5,112
1,943
1,746
1,096
65, 685

53, 503
36, 492
54
10, 343
5, 572
620
3,280
751
1,038
7,783
612
238
38
16,371

141, 338
110,548
18, 823
25, 602
8,469
8, 701
9, 540
6, 699
4, 677
12,895
2, 555
1,984
1,134
82,056

25,238
37,249
72
7, 679
50
628
1,870
703
7
8,360
560
305
38
14,964

116,100
73,299
18, 751
17,923
8,419
8,073
7, 670
5, 996
4,670
4,535
1,995
1.679
1,096
67,092

1Represents supplies sold by one association to another and therefore reported by both.
The gross margin, expenses, and net gains of the various types of
purchasing associations are shown in table 3.
T a ble 3.— Gross Margins, Expenses, and Net Gains of Farmers' Cooperative

Purchasing Associations, 1936
Gross margin

Operating expenses

N et gain >

Type of association

Feed sto r e s_____________ ______
Exchanges________
Petroleum associations. ________

Amount

Percent Amount
of sales

$9, 804, 000
3.655.000
14, 998,000

9.0 $7, 723,000
7.6 3,139, 000
15.2 10, 572, 000

7.1 $2, 809,000
843,000
6.5
10.7 5, 354,000

12.3
10.3

11.2
6.1

Mixed-supplies associations_______ 4.288.000
Other types__________________
2, 270, 000

3,891,000
1, 347,000

Percent
of sales

Amount

1,264,000
1, 437, 000

Average
Percent per
asso­
of sales ciation
/ 2 2,648
\* 144, 914
1.7
1,790
4, 851
5.4 1f 4‘ 3,116
3, 329
3.6 /\ »222,
729
6.5
1,085

2.6

1This does not represent the difference between gross margin and operating expenses, as there were con­
siderable amounts of “other income.”
1Local associations.
3Wholesales or federations.
4Associations handling petroleum products only.
• Associations handling secondary amounts of farm supplies also.
Of 10,752 associations of all types (including m arketing), 4,010
associations returned patronage refunds on the year’s business,
am ounting to $25,380,000. The purchasing associations, although
accounting for slightly less than 15 percent of the total business done,
returned 31.7 percent of the patronage refunds. The petroleum
associations were particularly effective in saving money for their
members, their refunds amounting to over one-sixth of the total

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1329

Cooperation

refunds and to over half of those of the purchasing associations.
About 37 percent of all the m arketing and purchasing associations
made refunds on patronage, but 52.7 percent of the purchasing
associations and 74.1 percent of the petroleum associations did so.
Table 4 shows the num ber of purchasing associations paying
patronage dividends and the amount so returned.
T a ble 4.— Patronage Refunds of Farmers'’ Cooperative Purchasing Associations, 1936
Associations making
patronage refunds on
1936 business

Patronage refunds

Type of association

Petroleum associations------ --------------------------------

Number

Percent of
total

1,371

52.7

136
129
7
186
783
763

27.8

20

47.0
74.1

169
159

52.2

97
91

29.0

10
6

Amount

Average
per patron

$8,037, 650
1,163,600
469, 650
693,950
460,000
4,294, 350
3.622.050 /\
672, 300
829,650
594, 350
235,300
1.290.050
152,150
1,137,900

$3
7
'7
23
3

1

1 Associations handling petroleum products only.
2 Associations handling petroleum products primarily, hut also other farm supplies.

FA R M ER S’ COOPERATIVES U N D E R WAGE AND
HOUR ACT
NO E X PR ESS exemption is allowed to employees of cooperative
associations the members or stockholders of which are farmers, under
the terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938. In Interpretative
Bulletin No. 10 of the Wage and H our Division of the United States
D epartm ent of Labor, the construction of the act is clarified as it
affects farmer cooperatives, in order to indicate the interpretation
which will guide the Adm inistrator in performing his duties.1
Persons employed in agriculture are exempt from the wage and
hour provisions, agriculture being defined as follows:
F arm ing in all its branches, a n d am ong o th e r th in g s includes th e c u ltiv atio n an d
tillage of th e soil, dairying, th e pro d u ctio n , cu ltiv atio n , growing, a n d harv estin g
of an y ag ricu ltu ral or h o rtic u ltu ra l com m odities (including com m odities defined
as ag ricu ltu ral com m odities in section 15 (g) of th e A g ricultural M ark etin g Act,
as am ended), th e raising of livestock, bees, fu rb earin g anim als, or p o u ltry , a n d any
practices (including any fo restry or lum bering operations) perform ed by a farm er
or on a farm as an in cid en t to or in conju n ctio n w ith such farm ing operations,
including p re p aratio n for m ark et, delivery to storage or to m a rk e t or to carriers for
tran sp o rtatio n to m ark et.

1Press release No. R-240, dated March 31,1939.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1330

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

The phrase “by a farm er” is interpreted to cover practices performed
either by the farmer himself or on his account by his employees.
Employees of a farm ers’ cooperative are not employed by the individ­
ual farmers composing the membership, but by the cooperative
association. Regardless of whether or not these are corporate bodies,
they are separate and distinct from the farmer membership. The
work performed for the cooperative is not performed by a farmer but
for farmers. This interpretation, the bulletin states, is supported by
the legislative history of the law, since repeated efforts to secure special
treatm ent for employees of cooperatives failed.
N ot all employees of farm ers’ cooperative associations are subject to
the terms of the wage and hour law. If they are engaged like other
employees in any operations or practices set forth in sections 3 (f),
7 (c), or 13 (a) (10), they are equally entitled to the exemptions
provided by these sections, as for example in forestry or lumbering
operations. Moreover, employees of farm ers’ cooperatives, in com­
mon with other employees, m ust be engaged in interstate commerce or
in the production of goods for interstate commerce to be covered by
the Fair Labor Standards Act.


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Industrial Accidents

FEDERAL INTERDEPARTM ENTAL SAFETY COUNCIL
T H E further safeguarding against accident hazards of the nearly 3
million employees in the Federal service is the purpose of a recent
Executive Order establishing the Federal Interdepartm ental Safety
Council “as an official advisory agency in m atters relating to the
safety of Federal employees.” Its duties will be to “act as a clearing
house for accident prevention and health conservation information
and * * * cm request, to conduct surveys or such other investi­
gations as will be deemed necessary to reduce accident hazards, and
shall report the results of such surveys and investigations to the head
of the departm ent or agency concerned together with its recom­
m endation.”
Establishm ent of the council follows three years of effort by Govern­
m ent officials toward an improvement in the safety record of all Gov­
ernm ent agencies. Preliminary surveys revealed, as early as 1935,
th a t the accident experience generally among various Federal agencies
was higher than comparative experience in private industry. This
situation indicated lack of concentrated effort in accident prevention.
A reduction of at least 40 percent in the deaths and injuries to Gov­
ernm ent employees by June 30, 1942, is the goal suggested to the
council recently by Secretary of Labor Perkins and toward which the
council is directing its activities.
Federal workers generally are subject to the provisions of the U. S.
Employees’ Compensation Act, which provides disability and death
benefit paym ents to Government employees injured or killed in line
of duty. The average yearly direct costs of accidents and deaths in
the Government service am ount to approximately ten million dollars.
The council hopes to reduce these costs through its accident-prevention
activities.
Membership in the council consists of executives and other officials
in the Federal service whose work involves responsibility for safety
and health of employees of the Federal Government and the D istrict
of Columbia. The organization has the following officers: Frank L.
Ahern, N ational Park Service, chairman; E. P. Herges, U. S. Em ploy­
ees’ Compensation Commission, first vice-chairman; W. O. W heary,
Works Progress Administration, second vice-chairman; and W. T.


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1331

1332

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Cameron, U. S. D epartm ent of Labor, secretary. Verne A. Zimmer,
Director of the Division of Labor Standards, is chairman of the
executive committee. There is also an advisory board consisting of
the Secretary of Labor (chairman), the Secretary of the Treasury, the
Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of War, the Postm aster General,
the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Agriculture.
Committees have been appointed dealing w ith the following subjects:
Automotive and highway safety, construction safety, water trans­
portation, industrial safety, office and adm inistrative personnel, occu­
pational health, agricultural safety, and mining and tunneling.


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Labor Laws and Court Decisions

RECENT COURT DECISIONS OF INTEREST TO LABOR
Constitutionality of State Housing Legislation
FOLLOW ING the passage of the Federal Housing Act in 1937 1 a
number of States immediately adopted similar legislation. The
Federal act empowered the United States Housing A uthority to
make loans, contributions, or capital grants to public housing agencies
to assist in the development, acquisition, and adm inistration of lowrent-housing or slum-clearance projects. Legislation authorizing
municipalities and other instrum entalities of the State to create
housing authorities, for the purpose of eradicating slums and to
provide safe and sanitary homes for persons in the lower income
group, has been enacted in 37 States, the D istrict of Columbia,
Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.2
The question of the constitutionality of the State statutes has been
determined definitely by the highest court in 13 of the States. In
Alabama 3 the question only of taxation of property belonging to the
housing authority was involved; and the State supreme court
declared such property exempt from taxation. The State statutes
have been upheld for the m ost p a rt on the ground th a t the elimination
of unsafe and dilapidated houses was considered a legitim ate exercise
of the police power.4 Also, the courts have uniformly held low-cost
housing and slum clearance to be a public purpose; thus, for example,
the Tennessee Supreme Court declared th a t the law of th a t State
was one established for a public purpose and th a t ‘‘Housing A uthori­
ties serve a public use.” 5 In upholding the New York Housing Act
as an act designed for a public purpose, the C ourt of Appeals, in
New York City Housing Authority v. Muller (1 N. E. (2d) 153), said:
The public evils, social and economic, of such conditions, are unquestioned and
unquestionable. Slum areas are the breeding places of disease which take toll
not only from denizens, but by spread, from the inhabitants of the entire city
1 See M onthly Labor Review, October 1937.
2 No housing legislation in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, N ew Hampshire, Oklahoma,
South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. In Kansas the State board of housing and certain county com­
missioners have supervisory power only over limited dividend corporations which are'authorized to acquire,
construct, operate, lease, and sell properties.
s O p i n i o n o f th e J u s t i c e s , 179 So. 535.
4 D o r n a n v. P h i l a d e l p h i a H o u s i n g A u t h o r i t y , 200 Atl. 834.
s K n o x v i l l e H o u s i n g A u t h o r i t y , I n c . , v. C i t y o f K n o x v i l l e , 123 S. W. (2d) 1085.

1333
149001— 39------- 7


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1334

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

and State. Juvenile delinquency, crime and immorality are there born, find
protection, and flourish. Enormous economic loss results directly from the
necessary expenditure of public funds to maintain health and hospital services
for afflicted slum dwellers and to war against crime and immorality. Indirectly
there is an equally heavy capital loss and a diminishing return in taxes because of
the areas blighted by the existence of the slums. Concededly, these are matters
of State concern * * * since they vitally affect the health, safety, and
welfare of the public.

Practically all of the courts hold that property owned by the
housing authorities is exempt from taxation. The Georgia Supreme
Court, in a decision rendered September 21, 1938,6 declared that the
exemption of such property from taxation could be sustained on the
ground that “the project is a purely public charity within the meaning
of the constitutional provision, even if it were not public property.”
The court further observed that even the payment of a small amount
of rent did not change its character.
In some cases the statutes have been attacked on the ground that
the housing authorities did not possess the right of eminent domain.
In this regard, the courts were of the opinion that since the housing
authorities were created for a public purpose, it necessarily followed
that the acquisition by them of private property for their use was for
a public use and hence they had a right to take private property for
a public purpose. The Supreme Court of Montana in this connection
held that once having decided that the use to which the housing proj­
ects would be devoted was a public one, it followed that “the grant
in the Housing Authorities Law of the right of eminent domain” did
not violate either the Federal or the State Constitution, assuming
that just compensation was made to the owners.7
In addition to the cases already cited, housing legislation has been
upheld (as of M ay 1, 1939) in the following States: Florida {Marvin v.
Housing Authority of Jacksonville, 183 So. 145); Illinois {Krause v.
Peoria Housing Authority, 19 N. E. (2d) 193); Indiana {Edwards v.
Housing Authority of the City of Muncie, 19 N. E. (2d) 741); Kentucky
{Spahn v. Stewart, 103 S. W. (2d) 651); Louisiana {State ex rel. Porterie, Atty. Gen. v. Housing Authority of New Orleans, 182 So. 725);
N orth Carolina {Wells v. Housing Authority of City of Wilmington,
197 S. E. 693); and South Carolina (M cNulty v. Owens, Mayor,
199 S. E. 425).

Contract Shops Under National Labor Relations Act
The United States
ruling of the National
what is known as a
Labor Relations Act.

Supreme Court in a recent decision upheld a
Labor Relations Board that a factory operating
“contract shop” was subject to the National
In this case raw materials were shipped from

8 W i l l i a m s o n v. H o u s i n g A u t h o r i t y , e tc ., o f A u g u s t a , 199 S. E. 43.
7 R u t h e r f o r d v. C i t y o f G r e a t F a l l s , 86 Pac. (2d) 656.


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Labor Laws and Court Decisions

1335

a New York company to a garment factory in New Jersey and the
finished product was delivered to the company in New York or di­
rectly to its customers throughout the United States.
In holding th a t the Labor Board had jurisdiction of the case, the
Court, through M r. Justice Stone, observed th a t the statute was
designed to prevent disturbances in interstate commerce caused by
strikes or labor disputes on account of certain unfair labor practices.
The C ourt declared further th a t those consequences m ay result from
strikes of employees of m anufacturers who are not engaged neces­
sarily in interstate commerce where the cessation of m anufacturing
would necessarily prevent shipment of the m anufactured product in
interstate commerce. The Court pointed out th a t prior to the
N ational Labor Relations Act it had many times held th a t “the
power of Congress extends to the protection of interstate commerce
from interference or injury due to activities which are wholly in­
tra sta te.”
Again it was held th a t the Board had jurisdiction of the case in
spite of the fact th a t the volume of the commerce carried on, even
though substantial, was relatively small as compared with th a t con­
sidered by the C ourt in the previous cases. M r. Justice Stone said
th a t the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce was
plenary and extended to all commerce of such a nature “be it great
or small.” He also declared th a t the language of the N ational Labor
Relations Act “seems to make it plain th a t Congress has set no re­
strictions upon the jurisdiction of the Board to be determined or
fixed exclusively by reference to the volume of interstate commerce
involved.” (National Labor Relations Board v. Benjamin Fainblatt,
59 Sup. Ct. 668.)

Sit-Down Strike and the Antitrust Laws
A Federal district court in Pennsylvania recently rendered a judg­
m ent for $711,932 against the American Federation of Hosiery
Workers in favor of the Apex Hosiery Co. in an an titru st suit growing
out of a so-called sit-down strike. The am ount of damages as deter­
mined by the jury was $237,311. Under the Sherman A ntitrust Act,
triple damages were awarded.
The action grew out of a sit-down strike in the Philadelphia plant
of the company in 1937, which lasted approximately 47 days. The
company at th a t time sought an injunction against the union, but
the court refused it on the ground th a t the controversy was a labor
dispute within the meaning of the Norris-LaGuardia Anti-injunction
Act. Subsequently the Circuit C ourt of Appeals held such a decree
should have been granted, since the strike was a conspiracy in restraint
of trade and in violation of the an titru st law.


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1336

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

The company, in its action against the union, asked for triple
damages of about $3,500,000, allegedly caused by damages to the
plant and goods, as well as by loss of trade during the strike. The
court had ruled, during the course of the trial, th a t a sufficient showing
had been made to establish the responsibility of the union for the
sit-down strike. In charging the jury, the court said th a t there
was no dispute as to the criminality or illegality of this type of strike
under the laws of Pennsylvania, and “no court has ever said a sitdown strike is legal.” In a case arising under the Sherman Act, the
court pointed out th a t it was necessary to shown an intent to restrain
interstate commerce. If the union did certain things in violation of
th a t law, the court remarked, then the jury was obliged to hold
“ th a t they did intend to restrain interstate commerce.”
In connection with this case, a suit has been brought by the com­
pany against the City of Philadelphia in which the company seeks
damages of approximately $1,000,000 for the city’s alleged failure to
provide police protection during the strike. (Apex Hosiery Co. v.
American Federation of Hosiery Workers.)

Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Workmen s Compensation Act
In considering the constitutionality of the Pennsylvania W orkm en’s
Compensation Acts of 1937 and 1938, the State supreme court
recently held portions of the acts invalid, and declared th a t the
constitutionality of the acts would depend on whether the rates of
compensation were reasonable. In this connection, it was pointed
out by the court th a t if the rates were fixed so high th a t capital did
not receive a fair return or if the rates were fixed so high as to wipe
out “th a t margin of a just return to which capital is entitled,” the
compensation rate would be unreasonable and therefore the act pre­
scribing it would be invalid and unconstitutional. The court ob­
served th a t a decision as to this depended on the facts in the cases
presented, and for this reason the court ordered the return of the
record to the lower court for a fuller development of the facts.
The court, nevertheless, held certain provisions of the two acts
unconstitutional, namely, the prim ary employer’s liability to a sub­
contractor’s employee regardless of the place where the injury occurred;
the employee’s right to compensation notw ithstanding a violation
of a law or an order of the employer; the presum ption of the employer’s
negligence in an accidental-injury case against an employer electing
not to be bound by the act, and the admissibility, as competent
evidence, of the employee’s declarations made within 12 hours after
his injury; the presum ption of the employer’s negligence in an oc­
cupational-disease action against an employer electing not to be bound
by the act, as well as the denial of the right to prove th a t the employee


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Labor Laws and Court Decisions

1337

was exposed to the disease in any other employment more than 2
years prior to the date of the suit; and the authorization by which a
member of a labor union who was not a lawyer could represent a
claimant for compensation. (Rich Hill Co. v. Bashore.)

Necessary Procedure in Compensation Cases
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin, in a workmen’s compensation
case, has held th a t an employer would be denied due process of law
by the failure of all the members of the industrial commission to read
the evidence produced a t a hearing before an examiner. The court
declared th a t the workmen’s compensation act of the State provided
for a review of the evidence in each case by the “Commission” and
th a t a review of the evidence by only one of the commissioners was
not sufficient.
In this case two different examiners heard the testim ony, signed and
filed their findings, and awarded compensation. The commission
affirmed the findings and order of the examiners, stating th a t its action
was taken after a review had been made of the entire m atter. The
employer instituted a suit to compel the members of the commission
to correct the record and make it conform to the facts, and to show in
the record as corrected, th a t the commission did not consider the
testim ony presented to the examiners before approving the examiners’
findings as a basis for the award. The court held th a t the allegations
of the employer were sufficient in this case to show a denial of due
process of law. (State ex rel Madison Airport Co. v. Wrabetz, 285
N. W. 504.)

Constitutionality of Arkansas Unemployment Compensation Act
The Arkansas Unemployment-Compensation Act has been held
constitutional by the State supreme court. In the decision, the court
showed th a t the statu te was enacted for the alleviation of economic
insecurity on account of unemployment, which is described in the
statu te as a serious menace to the health, etc., of the people of Arkan­
sas. The act provides for contributions by employers, based on pay
rolls, which, in the opinion of the court, are taxes in the form of excises.
The court declared th a t the statu te was a valid exercise of the police
and taxing powers, and therefore was not unconstitutional on the
ground th a t the power to enact the statu te had been conferred on the
State by the Federal Social Security Act. The statu te was also held
to be applicable, as in this case, to an Arkansas corporation operating
a bathhouse on a U nited States Government Reservation, even
though an instrum entality of the United States. {Buckstaff Bath
House Co. v. M cKinley, 127 S. W. (2d) 802.)


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Industrial Disputes

TR EN D OF STRIKES
A CCO RDIN G to preliminary estimates there were 220 strikes which
began in April 1939, with 430,000 workers involved. These strikes,
with 125 which continued into April from preceding months, resulted in
about 6,000,000 man-days of idleness during April. The unusually
high num ber of workers and man-days of idleness was due primarily
to the suspension of work in the Appalachian coal fields upon the
expiration of a union contract on April l .1
Trend of Strikes 1933 to A pril 1939 1
Number of strikes—

Year and month

1933.
1934.
1935.
1936.
1937.
1938.

Con­
tinued
from
preced­
ing
month

Beginning in
month
or year
1,695
1,856
2,014
2,172
4, 740
2,772

In progress
during
month

Workers involved in
strikes—

Man-days
idle durEnded In effect Beginning In progress in|
in
at end in month
during
or y (iar
month of month or year
month

1,168,272
1,466,695
1,117,213
788, 648
1, 860,621
688,376

16,872,128
19, 591,949
15, 456, 337
13,901,956
28,424,857
9,148,273

1938

1939

1 This cessation of work has been termed variously as a “lock-out,” a “strike,” and a “stoppage.” The
Bureau uses the term “strike” in a generic sense to include all stoppages of work due to labor disputes
Important legal questions in connection with the suspension of work in the coal fields have turned on the
matter of classification and terminology; the classification as a strike in this report conforms to the general
practice of the Bureau which compiles data on all stoppages, whether initiated by the employers or workers.

1338


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1339

Industrial Disputes

There was a substantial increase in strike activity during April in
addition to the suspension of work in the coal fields. W ith figures for
the coal dispute eliminated, the remaining strikes indicate increases of
8 percent in num ber of strikes as compared with the preceding m onth,
175 percent in num ber of workers involved, and 33 percent in man-days
idle. A 2-day stoppage of several thousand workers in the New York
dress industry on April 20 and 21 accounted principally for such a large
number of workers involved. As compared with April 1938 the
figures for April 1939, with the coal suspension still eliminated, indi­
cate a decrease of 22 percent in num ber of strikes, an increase of 40
percent in num ber of workers involved, and a reduction of 5 percent in
man-days of idleness.
The figures given for M arch and April in the preceding table are
preliminary estimates based on newspaper reports and other informa­
tion available as this goes to press. An analysis of strikes in each of
these months, based on detailed and verified information, will appear
in subsequent issues of the M onthly Labor Review.

ANALYSIS OF STRIKES IN FEBRUARY 19391
T H E Bureau has received detailed information on 173 strikes which
began in February 1939, involving more than 64,000 workers. These,
with 123 which continued into February from preceding months, made
296 strikes in progress during all or a p art of February. More than
83,000 workers were involved in these disputes and as a result there
were 545,000 man-days of idleness during the m onth. The largest
strike of the m onth was at the Plym outh plant of the Chrysler Cor­
poration in D etroit, Mich., where more than 10,000 workers were
idle for about 2 days due to a dispute as to which of the United Auto
W orkers’ unions the company should grant sole bargaining rights.
Leaders of the striking faction ordered the men back to work and
decided to petition the National Labor Relations Board for an election
to determine which union represents the m ajority.
Sixty percent of the strikes (105 of 173) beginning in February
were in the following five industry groups: Textiles (principally
women’s clothing shops) 35; transportation (mostly maritime) 24;
trade 16 (retail 13 and wholesale 3); domestic and personal service 15;
and building and construction 15.
There were more workers involved (14,800) in the textile industries
than in any other industry group, due to the large num ber of work­
ers involved in the women’s clothing industry. Other groups in
which comparatively large numbers of workers were involved in
i Detailed information on a few strikes has not yet been received.
Data on missing strikes will be included in the annual report.


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(See footnote to preceding table.)

1340

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

strikes during the m onth were: Transportation-equipm ent m anu­
facturing (11,500), extraction of minerals (9,000),'domestic and per­
sonal service (8,000), and transportation (6,000). The strikes in
these five groups accounted for more than three-fourths of the total
workers in the strikes beginning in February.
There were more than three times as many man-days of idleness
(187,000) because of strikes in the textile industries as in any other
industry group. In building and construction there were 51,000
man-days idle, about the same number in extraction of minerals,
40,000 in the lumber industries, and 37,000 in the transportation
industries. The strikes in these industries accounted for more than
65 percent of the total idleness because of strikes during February.
T able

1.— Strikes in February 1939, by Industry
Beginning in
February

Industry

All industries..................................................................... ...........

Mandays idle
during
N um ­ Workers N um ­ Workers February
ber involved
ber involved
173

64, 499

296

83, 382

544,862

250
179
71

8
1
2
1
1

1,363
179
148
161
28

4,152
895
758
805
644

1
1
1

736
105
6

736
200
114

1,400
158
49
500

11
1
3
3
1
3

3, 524
535
2,125
195
49
620

23,066
1,605
13,473
2,510
147
5,331

2
1
1
35

11,529
498
10,326
705
973
273
13
60
627
3, 888
270
429
3,018
171
70
42
28
14,843

5
1
3
1
5
1
1
1
2
21
3
5
5
8
2
1
1
77

11,529
498
10,326
705
973
273
13
60
627
4,313
291
597
3, 018
407
70
42
28
19, 350

23,088
996
21,387
705
3,219
546
143
780
1,750
40,428
1,899
5,479
30,358
2,692
504
336
168
187,397

1

100

1
2
1
3

233
376
762
1,065

1
2
1
2
3
1
4

311
600
9
252
475
762
1,105

622
9,700
63
1,293
3,861
4,572
12,874

2
22

240
11,611

1
2

136
320

4
53
1
1
3
1

316
14, 354
80
136
350
600

2,612
138, 544
160
816
880
11, 400

Iron and steel and their products, not including machinery
Blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling mills...... ............
Hardware........................................ ............ ........................... .
Plumbers’ supplies and fixtures........ .............................. .
Structural and ornamental metal work______________
Tools (not including edge tools, machine tools, files,
and saws)................................................... ............. ............
Wire and wire products..... ........................... .......................
Other___________ ______ _______ _______
Machinery, not including transportation equipment.
Agricultural implements_______ ____ ___ _____
Electrical machinery, apparatus, and supplies..
Foundry and machine-shop products...................
Machine tools.............................................................
O th er ..______ ______ ___________
Transportation eq u ip m en t.................
Aircraft_________ ____ _______
Automobiles, bodies and parts__
Shipbuilding__________________
Nonferrous metals and their products.
Aluminum manufactures............
Jewelry..............................................
Lighting equipment___________ _
Stamped and enameled ware____
Lumber and allied products____
Furniture__________ ______
Millwork and planing_____
Sawmills and logging camps.
Other........................................
Stone, clay, and glass products.........................
Brick, tile, and terra cotta.................... .......
Marble, granite, slate, and other products.
Textiles and their products_________
Fabrics:
Carpets and rugs........ .............
Cotton goods...........................
Cotton small wares________
Dyeing and finishing textiles.
Silk and rayon goods_______
Woolen and worsted goods..
Other_________________ ___
Wearing apparel:
Clothing, men’s ...................... .
Clothing, women’s....... .......... .
Hats, caps, and millinery___
H osiery......................................
Knitgoods................................
O th er .........................................


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In progress dur­
ing February

2, 107

5
1
3
1
5
1
1
1
2
12
2

3
5
2

1341

Industrial Disputes
T able

1 . —Strikes

in February 1939, by Industry — Continued
Beginning in
February

Industry

Leather and its manufactures.
Boots and shoes-----------Leather_______________
Other leather goods.........

In progress during February

Mandays idle
during
N um ­ Workers Num- Workers February
ber involved ber involved
4
2

276
168

6

388

3

210

1

2

ÎÔ8

2

5
Food and kindred products...........................................................
Baking..............................................
3
Beverages.......................................................... ....................................
Confectionery...................................................................................... Flour and grain mills...........................................................................
Ice cream— ------- ------------------------------------------- ------------Slaughtering and meat packing.....................................................
O th er ........................................................................................
2

252

12

81

4

Paper and printing...............................
Boxes, paper..................................
Paper and pulp..............................
Printing and publishing:
Book and job___- .............. .
Newspapers and periodicals.
Other____________ _______ ___

70
108

171

3

615
189
50
50
97
9
11
209

5

386

12

2, 202

2

295'

2

91
295

1
1

1
1

1

19

2

72

Chemicals and allied products......................
3
C hem icals............................- ..............................................- ..........
Cottonseed oil, cake, and meal— .................. —--------------------Paints and varnishes............ .................................................
1
Petroleum refining.............. - .................................................
1
Other..........................................................................................
1
Rubber products....... ... ................ .
Rubber boots and shoes------Rubber tires and inner tubes
Other rubber goods-------------

3
1
1
1

Miscellaneous manufacturing.
Furriers and fur factories
Other..... .............................

7

Extraction of minerals________________
Coal mining, anthracite---------------Coal mining, bituminous................. .
Quarrying and nonmetallic mining.

7
2
4
1

1

1
1

19

3,929
1,387
1,330
1, 212

9, 486
2,919
650
550
1,843
9
55
3,460
24,133
637
1, 054
95
12, 831
9,521

3
5

888

345

6
1
1

2,304
1,145
14

20

1

20

160
165

2
1

960
165

3,840
2,400
1,080
360

5
1
2
2

4,478
2,400
1,630
448

465

13

12, 590
5,170
7,420

909

20, 238
3,435
238
60
15,680
825
14, 532
2,400
10,100

2,032

1

20

2

6

445

11

915
290
625

7
2
4
1

9,102
6,205
1,397
1,500

50, 745
7,480
16, 265
27,000
36, 719
20, 398
15,271

9,102
6,205
1,397
1,500

Transportation and communication.
Water transportation------------Motortruck transportation----Motorbus transportation-------Taxicabs and miscellaneous—

24
13
8
1
2

6,360
4,638
1,472
60
190

29

2

8,218
4, 638
3, 330
60
190

Trade----------Wholesale.
Retail___

16
3
13

670
67
603

25
8
17

985
257
728

8,120

Domestic and personal service.......... .........................................
Hotels, restaurants, and boarding houses....... ..................
Laundries......................... ............ ........................................ .
Dyeing, cleaning, and pressing...................... ...................
Elevator and maintenance workers (when not attached
to specific industry)— ......................................................

15
7
4

8,001

2

19
10
5
2

8,177
2,615
282
156

22,001

2,469
252
156

2

5,124

2

5,124

15,444

1
7
Professional service--------------------------------------- - - - ............
Recreation and amusement-........ ...................................... ........................ ...........
Semiprofessional, attendants, and helpers-----------------1
7

2
2

171
124
47

2, 906
2,852
54

515
146

26

6

11

4,058
314

51,328
3,102

9

369

15

3,744

48, 226

1
1

27
27

216
216

Building and construction........................ ...................................
Buildings, exclusive of P. W. A ........................................ .
All other construction (bridges, docks, etc., and P. W.
A. buildings)....................................................................... .

15

Agriculture, and fishing.
Agriculture...............

13
13

1

120

930
2,630
5,490
2,540
3,825
192

W. P. A., relief, and resettlement projects.

1

575

1

575

5,700

Other nonmanufacturing industries---------

1

45

1

45

360


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1342

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

More than half of the 173 strikes beginning in February were in
New York (48), Pennsylvania (24), California (12), and New Jersey
(11). In strikes not extending across State lines more workers were
involved in Michigan (13,000) than in any other State during Feb­
ruary, due to the short strike a t the Plym outh auto plant in D etroit.
In Pennsylvania there were 10,000, in New York 8,000, and in Cali­
fornia 6,000 workers involved in new strikes during the month. The
strikers in these four States accounted for more than half of the total
for the country in February. The most man-days of idleness because
of strikes during the m onth were in California (95,000), New York
(60,000), Pennsylvania (49,000), and Indiana (42,000).
Four of the 173?strikes beginning in February extended into two
or more States. The largest of these was a strike early in the m onth,
in the women’s clothing industry in New York and New Jersey, and
a strike against a linen-thread m anufacturing company, with plants
in Paterson and Kearny, N. J., and Greenwich, N. Y., which began
February 6 and was still in progress a t the end of the month.
T a ble 2 — Strikes in February 1939, by States
Beginning in February

In progress during
February

State
Number
All States__________ _
Alabama, . . . _ . .
California________ _
Colorado_______ _ .
Connecticut________
District of Columbia
Florida_______
Georgia. __________
Illinois___________
Indiana............ .............
Iowa _____ _ _
K entu ck y.. .
Louisiana___ _
M aine______________
Massachusetts.
M ichigan...
Minnesota__
M issouri. . . .
. .
Nebraska___
N ew Jersey___ _ .
N ew Y ork...
North Carolina_____ _
Ohio______ _
Oklahoma..
Oregon_______ .
Pennsylvania______________
Rhode Islan d... . . . .
South Carolina. . . .
Tennessee_____ .
Texas_________
Virginia__________
W ashington..
West Virginia__________
Wisconsin___
Interstate . .


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Workers
involved

Number

Workers
involved

Man-days
idle during
February

173

83,382

544,862

12

627
9, 516

10,143
94, 656

2,502
2,380
50
74
1, 272
2,798
31
62
70
28
971
13, 332

4
i
i

2, 353

1
927
6

9

11
48
o
24
1

439
136

1
6

547

1
1

827

2, 952
1, 280
1,022
858
12, 994
42,179
252
2/8
140
28
6,151
24, 831
2,814
8, 093

3,578
9,902
100
3, 211
808
232
11,022
439
136
161
230

23, 935
60,962
200
7, 861
15, 208
822
49,241
2, 374
816
2, 576
1,450

1,906
556
1,512
14,204

14, 348
2,744
18, 502
132, 94S

Industrial Disputes

1343

The average num ber of workers involved in the 173 strikes begin­
ning in February was 373. About 64 percent of the strikes involved
fewer than 100 workers each, 29 percent involved from 100 to 1,000
workers each, and 7 percent involved 1,000 or more workers each.
The only strike involving as many as 10,000 workers was the auto
strike in D etroit referred to previously.
T a ble 3. — Strikes Beginning in February 1939, Classified by Number of Workers

Involved
Number of strikes in which the number of workers
involved was—
Industry group

Total

173

All industries

100
500
1,000
5.000
6 and 20 and and
and
and
and 10,000
under under under
and
under
under
under
20
100
500
1,000 5,000 10.000 over

33

77

41

3

1

M a n u fa c tu r in g

Iron and steel and their products, not includ­
ing machinery__________________________
Machinery, not including transportation
equipment____ _______ _______ __________
Transportation equipment_________________
Nonferrous metals and their products..............
Lumber and allied products.---------- -----------Stone, clay, and glass products_____ _____ _
Textiles and their products________________
Leather and its manufactures....... .....................
Food and kindred products_____________. . . .
Paper and printing..-------------- ------------------Chemicals and allied products.................... .......
Rubber products_____________________ ____
Miscellaneous manufacturing............................
N o n m a n u fa c tu r in g

Extraction of minerals..........................................
Transportation and communication..................
Trade..................... ............................................
Domestic and personal service.........................
Professional service...............................................
Building and construction.----------- ------------W. P. A., relief, and resettlement projects___
Other nonmanufacturing industries____ ____

7
24
16
15

1
15
1
1

1

2
2

1
1

...

-

1

___
-

1

In more than half (55 percent) of the strikes beginning in February
the m ajor issues were union-organization m atters—recognition, closed
shop, discrimination, etc. Wages and hours were involved also in
some of these disputes. Wages and hours were the m ajor issues in
about 20 percent of the strikes and in 25 percent the m ajor issues were
such m atters as union rivalry, jurisdiction, sym pathy, and various
grievances over working conditions. Nearly half of the total workers
involved were in the latter group of strikes; 38 percent were in the
union-organization disputes; and 20 percent were in strikes over
wages and hours.


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1344

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939
T a ble 4. —Major Issues Involved in Strikes Beginning in February 1939
Strikes

Workers involved

Major issues
Number
All issues_______________________
Wages and hours___________
Wage increase________ _ . . .
Wage decrease__________ ____
Wage increase, hour decrease_____
Union organization_________
Recognition______________
Recognition and wages____ . . .
Recognition and hours.. _. . . . .
Recognition, wages, and hours. . . .
Closed shop_________________
Discrimination_______ . .
Other____________________
Miscellaneous________________
Sym pathy___________ _____ ___
Rival unions or factions__________
Jurisdiction_______________ _ _
Other______________ . . .
Not reported______________

Percent of
total

Number

Percent of
total

173

64,499

100.0

34
20
8

12,834
4,981
2,345
5,508

19.9
7.7
3. 6
8.6

24,431
1,614
2,177
237
9,448
3, 575

37.9
2.5
3.4
.4
14.7

6,925

.7
10.7

3.5
29
19
1
9
19
8
11
43
3
8
4
24

11.0
.6

1.7
4.6

27,234
3,061
12,391
11,216

5. 5

42.2
4.7
19.3
.5
17.4
.3

Nearly 60 percent (174) of the 296 strikes in progress during
February were term inated during the month. The average duration
of these strikes was about 26 calendar days. About 33 percent were
term inated in less than a week after they began, 44 percent lasted
from a week to a m onth, 17 percent from 1 up to 3 months, and 6
percent (11 strikes) had been in progress for 3 months or more.
The largest of these was a midwestern trucking strike directed prin­
cipally against members of the Nebraska Commercial Truckers’
Association. This strike had been in progress since September 1938.
In i ebruary the team sters’ union succeeded in obtaining signed agree­
m ents with the larger companies covering both local and over-theroad drivers and providing for an upward revision in wages.
Government officials or boards assisted the disputing parties in
negotiating settlem ents for 43 percent of the strikes ending in Febru­
ary, which included 37 percent of the total workers involved. About
37 percent of the strikes, including 44 percent of the workers involved,
were settled through negotiations directly between the employers
and representatives of organized workers. There were no formal
settlem ents in the cases of 16 percent of the strikes which were ter­
m inated during February. Some of these strikes were ended by the
return of employees to work without formal settlem ents and, in other
cases, employers replaced the strikers with new workers, moved to
another locality, or went out of business.


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1345

Industrial Disputes
T

able

5 . — Duration

of Strikes Ending in February 1939
Number of strikes with duration of-

Industry group

Total

11

36

40

20

10

4

1

1

1

1

8

2

2

1

1

1

3

2

1

2

8
1

7

2

2
1

1

3
1
1

174

All industries.

2 and
1 week
and 1 and
3
Less
less
less
less less
months
than 1 and
than
y ¡ than 1 than 2 than 3 or more
week month month months months
57

M a n u fa c tu r in g

Iron and steel and their products, not including
machinery....................... - .............- .........—------Machinery, not including transportation equip­
m ent......... .................................................. ............
Transportation equipment............................... .
Nonferrous metals and their products-----------Lumber and allied products.-------- ---------------Stone, clay, and glass products........... ............. .
Textiles and their products.------- -----------------Leather and its manufactures-----------------------Food and kindred products_________ ____ —
Paper and printing—............................................. Chemicals and allied products--------- ------------Rubber products.........................................- ...........
M is cellaneous manufacturing................ .............

H

1
1
1
3

39

11

7

1

1
8
1
3
i

2

3
i
1
3

1

N o n m a n u fa c tu r in g

Extraction of minerals...................... ......................
Transportation and communication........ ...........
Trade_________________ _________- ............ --Domestic and personal service............. .............
Professional service....... ..........................................
Building and construction...................................
Agriculture and fishing..........................................
W . P. A ., relief, and resettlement projects------

T able

6 . — Methods

2
13

2
7
5
1

1

1

4
4
3

1
1
1

2

5

3

1
1

i

1

of Negotiating Settlements of Strikes Ending in February 1939
Workers involved

Strikes
Negotiations toward settlements carried on by—

Percent cf
total

Number

Total_____________ ____ _________- ................................
Employers and representative's of organized workers

Number

Percent of
total
100.0

100.0

63.744

2

1.1

1,337

2.1

64
75
4
28
1

36.8
43.1
2.3
16.1
.6

28,060
23, 285
3,172
7,855
35

44.0
36.5
5.0
12.3
.1

174

Of the 174 strikes ending in February, 40 percent—small strikes on
the average—-resulted in substantial gains to the workers, 30 percent
resulted in partial gains or compromises, and 19 percent brought little
or no gains to the workers. About 14 percent of the total workers
were involved in the successful strikes, 45 percent were in the com­
promised group, and 11 percent were involved in the strikes which
brought little or no gains. About 20 percent of the total workers
were involved in rival-union, factional, or jurisdictional disputes,
the Plym outh strike in D etroit accounting for most of these. The
results, insofar as 9 percent of the workers involved in strikes were
concerned, were indeterm inate or not reported.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1346

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
T a ble 7.—Results of Strikes Ending in February 1939
Strikes

Workers involved

Results
Number
T otal__________
Substantial gains to workers
Partial gains or compromises______
Little or no gains to workers___
Jurisdiction, rival-union, or faction settlements
Indeterminate___
N ot reported_____

Percent of
total

Percent of
total

Number

174

100.0

63,744

100.0

70
52
33
13
3
3

40.2
29.9
19.0
7.5
1.7
1.7

9,008
28,924
6,829
12, 991
5, 850
142

14.1
45.4
10.7
20.4
9.2
.2

In terms of num ber of strikes, the disputes over wages and hours
were a little more successful from the workers’ viewpoint than those
over union-organization m atters. Of the wage-and-hour strikes,
about 49 percent were substantially won by the workers, 35 percent
were compromised, and 13K percent brought little or no gains to the
workers. The corresponding figures for the union-organization
strikes were 47 percent won, 31 percent compromised, and 22 percent
which resulted in little or no gains.
T a ble 8.

Results of Strikes Ending in February 1939, in Relation to Major Issues
Involved
Strikes resulting in—

Major issues

Total

Sub­
stan­
tial
gains
to
workers

Partial
gains or
compro­
mises

Little or
no gains
to
workers

Jurisdic­
tion, rival
union, or
faction
settle­
ments

Inde­
N ot
termi­
re­
nate
ported

Number of strikes
All issues.
Wages and hours...........................
Wage increase...........................
Wage decrease_____________
Wage increase, hour decrease.
Wage decrease, hour increase.
Hour increase,.........................
Union organization.___ _______
Recognition.................... ..........
Recognition and wages_____
Recognition, wages, and
hours______________ _____
Closed shop____ __________
Discrimination_____________
Other_________________
Miscellaneous_____________
Sym pathy____ ______ 7
Rival unions or factions.
Jurisdiction ................. .
Other__________ ______
Not reported__________


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

174

70

52

33

37
20
9
6
1
1

18
8
5
4

13
10
1
2

5
1
3

94
25
15

44
14
7

29
5
5

21
6
3

16
17
9
12

6
7
4
6

6
8
3
2

4
2
2
4

43
3
9
4
25
2

8
1

10
1

7

13

3

—

1
1

1

1

13
9

7

3

9

7
1

3
1
2

2

Industrial Disputes
T a b l e 8 . — R e s u lts o j S tr ik e s E n d in g in F e b r u a r y

1 9 3 9 , in R e la tio n to M a jo r I s s u e

In v o lv e d —Continued
Strikes resulting in—

Major issues

Total

Sub­
stan­
tial
gains
to
workers

Partial
gains or
compro­
mises

Little or
no gains
to
workers

Jurisdic­
tion, rival
union, or
faction
settle­
ments

Inde­
termi­
nate

N ot
re­
ported

N u m b e r o f w orkers in v o lv e d

All issues..... ......................................

63,744

9,008

28,924

6,829

Wages and h o u rs............................
Wage increase............................
Wage decrease...........................
Wage increase, hour decrease.
Wage decrease, hour increase.

13,024
5,261
1,759
5,363
91
550
23,914
2,203
3,471

3,060
734
1,532
244

9,670
4,452
99
5,119

259
40
128

550
5,336
1,182
1,143

14,009
855
2, 221

4,569
166
107

9,949
1,145
1,540
5,606
26,806
3,061
12,680
311
10, 647
107

420
402
656
1,533
612
35

9,370
675
854
34
5,245
3,000

159
68
30
4,039
2,001

577

2,245

2,001

Union organization..........................
Recognition__________ _____
Recognition and wages-------Recognition, wages, and
h o u r s ......................................
Closed shop................................
Discrimination..........................
Other...........................................
Miscellaneous....................................
Sym pathy..................................
Other...... ....................................

12,991

5,850

142
35
35

91

12,991
12,680
311

5,850
26
5,824

107

107

Of the workers involved in the strikes over wages and hours, 23%
percent won substantially all th a t was demanded, 74 percent obtained
compromise settlements, and 2 percent gained little or nothing.
About 22 percent of the workers involved in strikes over unionorganization m atters won substantially w hat was demanded, 59
percent obtained compromise settlem ents, and 19 percent gained
little or nothing.

A C TIV ITIES OF U N IT E D STATES CONCILIATION
SERVICE, A PR IL 1939
T H E United States Conciliation Service in April disposed of 288
situations involving 66,749 workers. The services of this agency were
requested by the employees, employers, and other interested parties.
Of these situations, 159 were strikes, threatened strikes, lock-outs,
and controversies, involving 60,150 workers. The remaining situa­
tions, involving 6,599 workers, were services rendered, such as filling
requests for information, adjusting complaints, holding conferences
regarding labor conditions, etc.
The facilities of the Service were used in 24 m ajor industrial fields,
such as building trades and the m anufacture of foods, iron and steel,
textiles, etc. (table 1), and were utilized by employees and employers
in 35 States and the D istrict of Columbia (table 2).

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1348

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

T able

1 — Situations Disposed of by U. S. Conciliation Service in A pril 1939, by
Industries
Disputes

Other situations

N um ­ Workers
ber
involved

N um ­ Workers
ber
involved

Total

Industry

All industries______
A gricu ltu re.____ ____
Automobile___________
Building trades__________
Chemicals___ ______
Communication_____
Domestic and personal service..
Food____________
Iron and ste e l... _ ______
Leather_______
Lumber:
Furniture_____ ______
Other______________
Machinery_____ ______
Maritime________
M ining_____________
Motion pictures___ .
Nonferróus metals_______
Paper and printing__________
Petroleum. ____
_____
Professional____ _____
Rubber____. . . _______
Stone, clay, and glass______
Textile_____ _______
Trade____________ .
Transportation___ _____ _
Transportation equipment___
Unclassified____________ _

T able

2.

159
3

50,150
9,120

20

3,133

2
7

716
396

129
2

1,519
428
546
5, 398
3, 308
12
236

1
1

1

5
8
19

15
1,182
165
874
1,023
771
5, 757

12
2
3

17,151
846
259

15
1

1

N um ­
ber

6, 599
2

288
5
10
38

------- 511
1,593

12

1
1

16

Workers
involved
66, 749
9,122
1,012
3,589
2,020
716
907
3,673
1,610
430
547
5,399
3.316
2, 518
248

2,506

25
1,183
452
877
1,023
775
5,795
2,396
17,172
846
1,096

1
27

Situations Disposed of by U. S. Conciliation Service in A pril 1939, by States
Disputes

1

Other situations

Total

State
N um ­
ber
All States______
Arizona______
Arkansas_________
California____
Colorado_____
Connecticut..
District of Colum bia...
Florida____
Georgia______ .
Indiana_________
Iowa_______
Illin o is..........
Kansas_______
K en tu ck y ... . .
L ouisiana_____
M a ry la n d _____
M assachusetts...
M ic h ig a n ...___
Minnesota_____
M ississip p i............
Missouri________
New Jersey.
N ew M exico...
N ew Y o r k _____
North Carolina____
Ohio_____
Oklahoma______
Pennsylvania____
South Carolina.
Tennessee _______
Texas_______
V ir g in ia ..___
Washington___
West Virginia____
W isconsin...
Wyoming______


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

159
2
5
i
15
1
3
12

Workers
involved
60,150
425
1,771
640

N um ­
ber

Workers
involved

N um ­
ber

1

288
3

66, 749
426

576

30
1

12, 888

54

23
11
3
13

«™

1

537
15, 940
1,370

1
736
10
1
3
2
8

913
850
915

20

1

1

3101
i
1,716

14
3
10

i

1

4
15
1
15
3
1

230

4
2
4

2

i
30

1

3,426
406
1

i

2,037
32
80
466

Workers
involved

15, 969
1,424
2,466
33
3, 911
268
1,813
115
913
3,101
851
918
3,045
780
1
106
1,292
1
2,591
232
2,493
2
3,438
406
451
1,246
35
82

1

i

1

1

Industrial Disputes

1349

STR IK ES AND LOCK-OUTS IN CANADA, 1938
T H E num ber of strikes and lock-outs in Canada in 1938 was 147,
slightly over one-half of the num ber in the preceding year but some­
w hat higher than in most of the years since 1931. The num ber of
workers involved—20,395—was substantially below th a t of any year
since 1931. In 1938 the time loss in working days was only onesixth of the 1937 record and below th a t of any year since 1931. In
1938 as in 1937 m any of the disputes involved relatively small num ­
bers of workers for brief periods. In 1938 only 9 disputes involved
over 500 workers; in 1937 strikes involving more than 500 workers
numbered 32 and several of these resulted in comparatively heavy
time loss.
The above data and the statistics in the following table are taken
from the Canadian Labor Gazette (Ottawa) of M arch 1939:
Strikes and Lock-Outs in Canada, 1919 to 1938
Number of disputes—
Year

D isputes in progress in year

In progress Beginning
in year
in year

Number of
employers
involved

Total num­
ber of work­
ers involved

Time lost
(in mandays)

1919
1920
192Ì
1922
1923

___________________________
........ - ...........- _____ __________
______________ ____ _______
...... ..................... .............. .........
________________ ____ ___

336
322
168
104
86

332
310
159
89
77

1,967
1,374
1, 208
732
450

148,915
60,327
28,257
43,775
34, 261

3,400,942
799,524
1,048,914
1, 528,661
671,750

1924
1925
1926
1927
1928

______________ ______ _____
__________________________
_________________________
_____________ ____ _______
___________________ ____

70
87
77
74
98

64
86
75
72
96

435
497
512
480
548

34,310
28,949
23,834
22,299
17, 581

1,295,054
1,193,281
266,601
152, 570
224,212

1929
1930
1931
1932
1933

___________________ ____
__________________________
_________ ______ _______
............... .............................
........................... ......................

90
67
88
116
125

88
67
86
111
122

263
338
266
497
617

12,946
13,768
10, 738
23,390
26, 558

152,080
91, 797
204, 238
255,000
317, 547

1934
1935
1936
1937
1938

________________ _____
______ __________ _____
_______ ____ _______ - .........
..............- ..................- ..............
...................................- ............

191
120
156
278
147

189
120
155
274
142

1,100
719
709
630
614

45,800
33, 269
34,812
71, 905
20,395

574,519
284,028
276, 997
886,393
148,678

The m ajor disputes of 1938 involved, respectively, the sawmill
workers a t F ort Frances, Ontario; fishermen at Lunenberg, Nova
Scotia; lim e-plant workers a t Blubber Bay, British Columbia; cottonfactory workers a t Cornwall, Ontario; restaurant workers a t Toronto;
automobile-parts factory workers a t Windsor, Ontario; taxicab drivers
in Toronto; and coal miners at M into, New Brunswick—a strike
which started in October 1937. More than one-half of the time loss
in 1938 was reported for m anufacturing industries. A substantial
am ount of time was also lost in fishing, mining, and local transporta­
tion.
1 4 9 0 0 1 -3 9 -

-8


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1350

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

As in the two preceding years the proportion of disputes in 1938
concerning union recognition, employment and discharge of union
workers, etc., was high, as was also the percentage of disputes regarding
wages.
Almost 50 percent of the workers in all disputes were partially
successful, 30 percent were successful, and 18 percent failed to attain
their objectives.
In 1938 “sit-down” or “stay-in” strikes were of little importance
and were confined to a few cases in which the men in the lumber or
mining camps remained in the bunkhouses for a short period, bu t in
one coal mine the workers stayed underground for some hours. As
usual, factory workers in some instances did not leave their working
places for a few hours, in expectation of an immediate settlem ent.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Cost and Standards o f Living

CHANGES IN COST OF LIV IN G IN T H E U N IT E D
STATES, M ARCH 15, 1939
T H E cost of living for families of wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in the 32 large cities of the United States surveyed by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics was nine-tenths of 1 percent lower on
M arch 15, 1939, than on December 15, 1938.
All groups of items included in the quarterly survey of the cost of
goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried workers declined
in cost, with the exception of fuel and light. Food costs were con­
siderably lower. In addition to the usual seasonal declines in some
items, bread also showed a marked decrease. Costs for clothing,
rent, house-furnishing goods, and miscellaneous items dropped but
slightly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ index of the cost of all goods pur­
chased by wage earners and lower-salaried workers, based on costs in
1923-25 as 100, was 82.0 on M arch 15, 1939, as compared with 82.7
on December 15, 1938. The current survey showed living costs in
these cities 1.2 percent below the level of the year before, and 17.7
percent below the peak point in December 1929. They were 10.1
percent higher than at the low point of June 1933.
Average living costs declined over the quarterly period in all bu t one
of the 32 cities surveyed. In Pittsburgh, substantially lower food
costs resulted in a net decrease of 2.1 percent. A new schedule of gas
rates caused an advance in Cleveland, the only city reporting an
increase.
Food costs averaged 2.7 percent lower a t the end than at the be­
ginning of the quarter, reflecting the customary seasonal decline in
the cost of many of the items. In each of the 32 cities, the index of
food costs was lower a t the end of the quarter. In m ost cities, this
drop did not exceed 4 percent. In Pittsburgh, however, food costs
were 6.8 percent below the level on December 15, 1938, due not only
to the seasonal drop in the cost of dairy products and eggs, but also to
a substantial decline in the cost of cereals and bakery products. In
Savannah, the only other city in which food costs were reported to be
more than 4 percent below their December 15 level, lower prices were
noted in all food groups except meat.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1351

1352

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Clothing costs over the quarter dropped five-tenths of 1 percent,
reflecting declines in 28 cities and increases in 4. All these changes
were less than 1 percent, except in Philadelphia where the decline of
2.9 percent resulted from the discontinuance of the municipal sales
tax.
R ent costs remained at approximately the same level as at the be­
ginning of the quarter. Slight increases in 13 cities and decreases in
19 resulted in a net decline in average rental cost of one-tenth of 1
percent. In no city was the change as great as 1 percent.
Fuel and light costs increased one-half of 1 percent on the average
in the 32 cities. The introduction of a new rate schedule for natural
gas in Cleveland resulted in a net increase of 11.9 percent, the only
increase of more than 2 percent in fuel and light costs in any of the
32 cities. The gas rate in Cleveland has been one of the lowest in
the country and the new schedule still leaves Cleveland gas rates below
the average for the cities for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics
secures rates. The only decline of more than 2 percent in fuel and
light costs occurred in Portland, Oreg., where a decrease in wood
prices was responsible for the movement of fuel and light costs.
The average decrease of 0.1 percent in the housefurnishing goods
index reflected lowered costs in 13 cities and increased costs in 19.
In no case was there a change of as much as 2 percent. Prices were
generally lower for suites of furniture, sewing machines, and sheets,
while rug prices advanced in most cities.
The miscellaneous group also reflected a 0.1 percent drop. Seven­
teen cities shared in this decline, while 11 cities reported increased
costs. In 4 cities there was no change. In Birmingham, a 1.1 percent
increase resulted from the application of a city sales tax on tobacco
products sold a t retail. Jacksonville costs of the miscellaneous group
of items also showed a 1.1 percent rise, in this case due to the higher
cost of laundry services. This rise did not compensate for the decline
which occurred between September and December and the cost of
these services in M arch 1939 was still below the September level.
Percentage changes in the cost of goods purchased by wage earners
and lower-salaried workers from December 15, 1938, to M arch 15,
1939, are shown in table 1 for 32 large cities of the United States,
separately, and for these cities combined, by groups of items.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Cost and Standards of Living

1353

T a b l e 1 . —Percentage

Change from Dec. 15, 1938, to Mar. 15, 1939, in the Cost of Goods
Purchased by Wage Earners and Lower-Salaried Workers

All items

City

Food

Clothing

Rent

Average: 32 large cities_______

- 0 .9

1 -2 .7

- 0 .5

N ew England:
Boston______ ___________
Portland, M aine_________

-.8
-.9

- 1 .9
- 2 .6

-.6
+ .1

-. 1
-.2

Middle Atlantic:
Buffalo___________ _____
New York______ _ _ ........
Philadelphia___ ____ _____
Pittsburgh_____ ________
Scranton._______________

- .7
- 1 .3
-.9
-2 . 1
-.8

- 2 .3
- 3 .7
- .7
- 6 .8
- 2 .4

-. 1
-.3
- 2 .9
-. 1

-. 2
+ .1
+ .2
“K 1

East North Central:
Chicago_________________
C in cin n a ti...........................
Cleveland___ . . . ____
Detroit__________________
Indianapolis_____ ____ ___

-1 .1
- 1 .1
+ .1
-.7
-.4

- 3 .2
- 3 .0
- 2 .3
- 1 .9
- 1 .5

- .3
-.9
-.6
-.3
-.3

West North Central:
Kansas C ity_____________
M inneapolis. ______
St. Louis________________

- .5
-.1
-.1

- 1 .7
- .3
-.9

South Atlantic:
A tlanta____ ____ _________
Baltimore__________ . . . .
Jacksonville______ _ ____
Norfolk_________________
Richmond______________
Savannah . . . . . . _______
Washington, D . C _ .............

- 1 .2
- .6
- .5
-.9
-.8
-1 . 1
- 1 .0

East South Central:
Birmingham________ ____
M em phis___ _________ . .
M obile_________________
West South Central:
Houston_________________
N ew Orleans___ _______
Mountain: D enver. ._

___

Pacific:
Los Angeles______________
Portland, O reg __________
San Francisco____________
S e a ttle..___________ _____

+ 0.5

Miscel­
laneous

- 0 .1

- 0 .1

-. 1
-. 1

-.9
-.3

-.1
-.1

(2)
-.2
- 1 .7
+• 1
(3)

+ .3
- 1 .6
- 1 .2
-.8
- .5

(!)
(3)

(3>
- .8
-.4
-.8
(3)

(3)
(3)
+11.9
-H l
+ 1.2

+ .4
+ .6
(4)
+ .8
+ 1.5

- .3
(3>
(2)
(4)
-.5

-. 1
-, 1
+ .2

(4)
+ .1
- .2

+ .2
—. 3
+ 1 .0

+ 1.5
+ .5
+ .2

-. 1
(4)
+ .2

- 3 .7
- 1 .8
- 3 .7
- 2 .7
- 2 .9
- 4 .3
- 2 .7

- .5
+ .2
- .2
-.5
-.2
(4)
-. 1

(4)
(0
(4)
-.1
(3)
4-, 1
-.2

+ .2
(2)
+ 1.9
- .3
+ .6
- 1 .1
-.2

- .2
-.1
-.1
- 1 .3
+ 1.2
+ .1
+ .3

-.2
(!)
+1.1
(3)
(4)
(2)
-. 1

- .4
- .9
-. 2

- 2 .6
- 3 .5
- .8

-.1
- .3
-.6

-. 2
- .3
(3)

- .3
(3)
-.5

+ .4
+ .7
+ .4

+1.1
+ .1
+ .7

- 1 .0
-.2

- 4 .0
-.7

+ .6
-.7

+ .4
+ .2

+1. 5
+ .5

-.4
+ .4

-.5

- 1 .7

-.3

-1 .7

+ .2

+ .5

-.8
-.8
- .9
-. 1

-3 . 1
- 1 .7
- 2 .9
-. 5

-.2
-.2
-. 2

- .2
- 2 .7
+ .2
-.1

+ .9
+ .3
(4)
+ .8

(4)
-.3
+ •1
-.1

(*)

«

- 0 .1

HouseFuel and furnish­
light
ing goods

«

(3)
-. 1
- .4
+ .1
-.1

- .5
-.2

(4)

(4)
(31

1 Includes 51 cities.
3 No change.
3 Increase less than 0.05 percent.
4 Decrease less than 0.05 percent.

Percentage changes in the cost of goods purchased by wage earners
and lower-salaried workers from a peak point in June 1920, from
December 1929, from the low point June 1933, and from M arch 15,
1938, to M arch 15, 1939, in 32 cities, are presented in table 2.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1354

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 2. —Percentage Change in Cost of A ll Goods Purchased by Wage Earners and

Lower-Salaried Workers for Specified Periods
Percentage change fromCity

Average: 32 large cities..

..

June 1920 December
June 1933
1929 to
to Mar. 15, Mar.
15,
15, to Mar.
1939
1939
1939
_____

Mar. 15,
1938, to
Mar. 15,
1939

-3 2 .4

-1 7 .7

+10.1

- 1 .2

New England:
Boston ____
Portland, M a i n e .. ______. .

-3 3 .0
-3 3 .7

—19 5
-1 7 .0

+ 6.6
+ 5.9

- 1 .0
- 2 .0

Middle Atlantic:
Buffalo
... . _
N ew York . . ..
Philadelphia.. . . _ _
Pittsburgh. _ . . . . .
Scranton________ ____

-3 0 .0
-2 9 .2
-3 1 .7
-3 3 .0
-3 3 .7

-1 7 .3
-1 7 .6
-1 8 .7
-1 9 .6
-2 0 .7

+ 9.8
+7.1
+ 8.4
+10.1
+ 6.3

- 1 .1
-.4
- 1 .5
- 2 .2
- 1 .7

East North Central:
Chicago________ . . .
Cincinnati___
Cleveland .. . . . ____ .
Detroit_____ ________ . .
Indianapolis___ ______

-3 2 .9
-3 2 .5
-2 8 .7
-3 7 .5
-3 6 .4

-2 1 .3
-1 8 .8
-1 2 .1
-18.1
-1 7 .6

+11.0
+ 8.3
+14.3
+20.8
+11.1

-1 . 2
- 2 .4
-, 1
- 3 .2
-1 .0

West North Central:
Kansas C ity___
Minneapolis________. . .
St. Louis___ _ _____ _

-3 7 .6
-3 1 .3
-3 3 .6

-1 5 .6
-1 5 .0
-1 8 .5

+ 7.9
+12.8
+10.1

-. 7
-.8
-.9

South Atlantic:
A tlanta________ _ _____
Baltimore_________
Jacksonville.. . . . _. .
N orfolk.. . . . . .
Richmond__ . . . _.
Savannah __
Washington, D . C_ . .

-3 9 .4
-2 9 .0
-3 6 .6
-3 6 .0
-3 4 .4
-3 8 .3
-2 9 .9

-1 8 .6
-1 4 .8
-1 8 .1
-1 6 .8
-1 6 .2
-1 9 .1
-1 3 .1

+11.2
+10.3
+10.5
+10.3
+ 9 .2
+7.1
+10.0

- 1 .4
-. 8
- 1 .6
-1 . 6
- 1 .6
—1. 8
- 1 .3

East South Central:
Birmingham.............
M em phis___
M obile______ _ . . . .

-3 9 .7
-3 5 .1
-3 5 .5

-2 0 .4
-1 7 .0
-1 9 .1

+13.8
+ 9.6
+ 9.8

- 1 .4
- 1 .8
- 1 .6

West South Central:
Houston____
New Orleans. _____

-3 4 .1
-2 8 .9

-1 7 .5
-1 5 .7

+13.7
+10.7

-1 . 5
- .6

Mountain: Denver

-3 4 .2

-1 4 .7

+10.6

- 1 .9

Pacific:
Los Angeles.. ______
Portland, Oreg________
San Francisco.. . ___ ______
Seattle________________

-2 9 .5
-3 5 .2
-2 6 .0
-3 0 .9

-1 6 .8
-1 3 .7
-1 2 .8
-1 2 .8

+12.0
+13.8
+11.3
+11.2

+• 1
- 1 .9
-.4
-.8

Indexes on 1923-25 Base
Indexes of the average cost of all goods purchased by families of
wage earners and lower-salaried workers are constructed for each of
the 32 cities surveyed and for these cities combined, using an average
of the years 1923-25 as the base.' These indexes, from 1913 through
M arch 15, 1939, for the 32 cities combined, are shown in table 3.
The accompanying charts present these data in graphic form.
1 Indexes of food costs based on costs in 1923-25 as 100 are computed monthly for 51 cities (including the
32 cities in this report). Percentage changes from month to month are calculated for 7 additional cities,
These data will be sent upon request.


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Cost and Standards of Living
1355


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

AVERAGE OF 32 LA R G E

1356

CITIES

Monthly Labor Review-—June 1939


UNITED STATES
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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

COST OF GOODS PURCHASED BY WAGE E A R N E R S
AND L O W E R - S A L A R I E D W O R K E R S

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

1357

Cost and Standards of Living

T able 3.— Indexes of Cost of Goods Purchased by Wage Earners and Loner-Salaried

Workers in 32 Large Cities Combined, 1913 through Mar. 15, 1939
[Average 1923-25=100]

Date

Septem ber.. . .

1939—March 15

_________

57.4
58.9
60.1
66.9
79.4
95.8

63.1
66.3
66.3
79.5
99.1
118.2

55.7
56.3
58.3
66.9
83.1
118.9

61.4
61.4
62.3
62.8
61.5
64.7

53.9
54.5
54.5
58.5
66.9
78.7

47.7
49.6
52.8
61.0
71.8
97.8

50.1
51.6
53.9
56.8
70.4
81.9

98.2
109.8
121.2
112.2
102.8
101.7
100.3

117.3
126.4
146.1
115.7
95.8
102.1
99.7

128.8
159.5
168.6
151.0
129.8
112.2
107.2

67.3
73.1
79.4
87.5
92.7
93.3
94.8

77.8
82.6
91.3
103.7
98.4
98.2
99.1

104.0
123.0
137.0
132.8
114.3
103.2
100.4

84.3
92.9
99.2
103.2
103.2
102.5
102.0

96.8
97.0
96.4
97.7
97.6
98.7
99.9
100.2

93.5
95.6
93.3
96.7
94.6
97.7
100.0
99.5

102.4
100.4
99.3
99.4
100.8
101.1
101.9
101.8

94.6
95.0
95.2
95.8
96.3
97.3
98.2
99.7

96.3
95.9
100.9
102.2
101.5
98.7
99.8
101.1

95.0
93.2
93.4
96.3
100.7
102.8
102.9
102.9

100.4
99.5
99.2
98.9
99.0
99.1
99.6
100.0

99.0
98.9
99.2
100.0
101.4
104.0

95.9
95.9
97.3
99.5
104.2
111.1

101.5
100.6
99.5
98.9
98.5
97.9

100.2
101.3
101.4
101.7
101.4
101.3

99.9
97.6
98.9
99.5
97.9
105.8

102.1
99.4
98.6
99.1
97.9
97.8

99.7
99.8
99.8
100.2
100.8
101.1

102.5
102.3
101.9
100.4
99.2
99.4

108.9
108.1
108.7
104.7
102.5
103.2

97.1
96.2
95.3
94.0
93.8
93.3

100.4
100.0
99.0
97.9
96.5
95.5

100.0
103.4
99.4
100.6
97.7
99.7

95.8
94.7
93.4
93.0
91.1
90.5

101.0
101.4
101.7
102.1
102.1
102.8

99.1
99.6
97.7
93.8
88.3
85.1

103.7
105.7
101.2
92.1
80.6
76.2

92.8
92.2
91.5
88.1
83.4
77.6

94.3
93.3
92.0
90.1
87.3
83.9

97.0
99.1
95.9
98.1
93.7
95.3

90.2
89.9
88.8
85.1
79.3
74.9

103.0
103.4
103.7
103.4
102.8
101.8

79.7
76.6
’ 74. 5
77.2
78.4
79.1

67.6
64.7
64.9
69.6
73.4
75.3

73.5
69.5
68.4
76.2
77.9
77.8

78.5
72.7
66.8
63.9
62.7
62.7

88.8
89.8
84.9
90.0
87.7
89.0

68.4
65.6
65.8
73.5
75.0
75.5

100.4
98.8
96.4
96.8
96.6
96.7

80.6
80.4
80.7
81.3
80.6
82.0
82.4
82.4

79.8
80.2
80.2
81.6
79.4
84.0
84.3
82.9

78.0
77.8
78.0
78.3
78.6
78.4
78.6
79.6

62.6
62.7
63.3
63.5
63.7
64.2
64.6
65.4

89.3
84.9
87.7
88.3
88.0
86. 1
87.4
87.8

76.0
76.2
77.0
77.0
77.3
77.5
78.2
79.2

96.8
96.7
96.6
96.6
96.5
96.4
96.5
96.8

83.8
84.5
85.0
84.5
83.0
83.3
82.7
82.7
82.0

85.4
86.3
85.8
82.6
78.6
80.2
78.7
78.6
76.4

80.9
8?. 1
84.0
84.0
82.8
82.3
81.7
81.5
81.1

65.9
67.5
68.1
69.3
69.4
69.7
69.6
69.6
69.6

88.1
84.9
86.0
87.3
88.0
85.5
86.8
88.0
88.4

83.1
85.1
86.7
87.5
85.4
84.6
83.4
83.3
83.2

97.3
97.7
98.1
98.6
98.5
98.7
98.6
2 98.6
f 98.5
IP;

1 Covers 51 cities since June 1920.
2 Corrected figure.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Miscel­
laneous

Clothing

1935—March 15______________

___________

HouseFuel and furnish­
Jight
ing goods

Food 1

...

1938—March 15

Rent

All items

1

1

1358

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

The indexes of the cost of goods purchased by wage earners and
lower-salaried workers prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
show relative costs as of particular dates. For various purposes,
however, it is often necessary to have estimates of annual average
indexes. These estimates are, therefore, presented in table 4, for 32
cities combined, from 1913 through 1938. The annual average
indexes have been computed as follows: The annual average food
index is an average of the indexes (monthly, most years) falling within
each year; the annual average indexes for clothing, rent, fuel and light,
housefurnishing goods, and miscellaneous items are indexes of the
weighted average of the aggregates for each pricing period affecting the
year, the weights representing the relative importance of each pricing
period. When these goods were priced only twice a year, in June and
again in December, it is evident th a t prices in December of the
previous year were more indicative of prices in the next m onth,
January, even though it fell in a new year, than were the prices of the
succeeding June. Therefore, costs in December of the preceding year
and in June and December of the given year are all considered in
arriving at an average cost for the year. The relative importance of
each of these costs is expressed for December of the previous year by
2%, for June of the given year by 6, and for December of the given
year by 3%. W eights for years in which pricing was done a t other
intervals will be furnished on request.
T a ble 4.— Estimated 1Annual Average Indexes of Cost of Goods Purchased by Wage

Earners and Lower-Salaried Workers in 32 Large Cities Combined, 1913-38
[Average 1923-25=100]
Year

HouseFuel and furnish­
light
ing goods

Miscel­
laneous

All items

Food 2

Clothing

1913________________
1914 _______ _
1915___ __
. . .
1916_____________
1917________________

57.4
58.2
58.8
63.2
74.4

63.1
64.6
63.9
71.7
92.4

55.7
56.1
57.4
62.9
75.6

61.4
61.4
61.9
62.6
62.1

53.9
54.3
54.5
56.6
63.0

47.7
49.0
51.3
57.2
66.9

50.1
51.2
52.8
55.5
64.2

1918________________
1919_____________
1920_____________
1921_________
1922___________

87.2
101.1
116.2
103.6
97.2

106.2
120.2
133.1
101.6
95.0

102.5
135.7
161.6
124.4
101.0

63.2
68.4
80.4
92.4
95.1

73.3
79.4
93.1
99.3
98.6

85.9
108.2
132.8
111.8
94.8

76.7
86.3
99.1
102.8
99.7

1923_____________
1924_________
1925___________ _
1926... . ____
1927_______________

99.0
99.2
101.8
102.6
100.6

97.9
97.0
105.0
108.5
104.5

101.2
100.4
98.4
97.0
95.1

97.5
101.0
101.5
100.5
98.9

100.3
99.1
100.6
102.2
100.6

101.8
100.1
98.1
95.9
93.6

99.3
99.9
100.8
101.1
101.7

1928_______________
1929___________
1930_____________
1931______
__
1932_______________

99.5
99.5
97.0
88.6
79.8

103.3
104.7
99.6
82.0
68.3

93.7
92.7
90.7
82.7
73.2

96.5
94.3
91.7
86.9
78.0

98.9
98.2
97.2
95.1
90.4

91.3
90.2
87.9
79.2
68.9

102.3
103.1
103.5
102.7
100.2

1933_______________
1934___________
1935 _ _____ _______
1936______________
1937________________
1938______________

75.8
78.6
80.7
81.6
84.3
83.0

66.4
74. 1
80.5
82.1
85.1
78.9

70.9
77.5
77.9
78.7
82.4
82.3

67.2
62.9
62.9
64.2
67.4
69.5

87.4
88.6
87.5
87.5
86.6
87.0

68.0
74.9
76.4
77.8
84.9
84.5

97.0
96.7
96.7
96.5
97.8
98.6

i For explanation of method used, see above.


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Rent

2 Covers 51 cities since June 1920.

1359

Cost and Standards of Living

Table 5 presents M arch 15, 1939, indexes of living costs for families
of wage earners and lower-salaried workers based on average costs in
the years 1923-25 as 100, for each of the 32 cities, by groups of items.
T a b le 5.— Indexes of the Cost of Goods Purchased by Wage Earners and Lower-Salaried

Workers, by Groups of Items, Mar. 15, 1939
[Average 1923-25=100]

City

All items

Food

Clothing

Rent

HouseFuel and furnish­
light
ing goods

M iscel­
laneous

Average: 32 large cities-----------

82.0

' 76.4

81.1

69.6

88.4

83.2

98.5

New England:
Boston__________________
Portland, M aine--------------

81.6
83.3

73.1
74.8

85.2
82.3

75.3
76.5

87.5
79.2

81.3
89.8

98.1
103.0

Middle Atlantic:
Buffalo__________________
New York______ ______
Philadelphia_____________
Pittsburgh_______________
Scranton_______________ -

84.1
83.7
81.2
80.6
80.6

76.8
78.9
77.9
72.7
73.1

80.5
78.9
76.3
80.8
83.0

73.6
77.7
69.3
70.5
72.1

97.8
87.3
82.1
101.0
76.3

90.9
77.3
79.9
83.7
85.6

99.3
99.7
97.2
95.9
96.4

East North Central:
Chicago.
--------------------Cincinnati_______________
Cleveland......................... .
Detroit__________________
Indianapolis_____________

78.5
84.8
85.9
79.3
81.1

76.3
76.0
78.9
75.2
76.8

74 2
80.6
84.4
81.9
79.4

60.8
76.6
68.9
66.6
66.0

96.0
94.4
113.0
79.3
85.7

74.2
94.0
79.2
82.3
89.1

99.8
101.0
104.2
95.1
93.2

West North Central:
Kansas C ity_____________
Minneapolis____________
St. Louis________________

81.5
84.2
82.7

78.5
83.2
82.0

81.0
79.1
82.1

61.5
72.2
58.2

80.6
90.7
88.5

79.0
87.8
90.3

100.5
96.6
101.5

South Atlantic:
Atlanta__________________
Baltimore_________ _____
Jacksonville_______ ______
N orfolk.________________
Richmond_________ ____ _
Savannah. ________ ____
Washington, D . C ____ . . .

79.3
85.7
78.7
83.7
82.6
79.9
85.9

70.5
81.6
73.7
73.5
69.4
74.5
78.0

83.5
82.0
80.6
87.4
89.6
83.9
82.6

65.3
76.2
59.6
64.8
73.3
64.2
86.8

73.7
83.7
88.1
81.6
83.4
83.0
84.6

89.1
82.6
81.4
85.5
91.6
86.4
89.5

95.1
103.8
90.2
104.0
99.1
91.4
99.7

East South Central:
Birmingham_____________
M em phis________ _____
Mobile__________________

76.5
80.2
82.2

65.7
71.7
73.4

86.7
87.0
88.5

59.5
62.7
67.5

82.9
85.6
71.1

81.4
93.5
89.0

93.9
94.9
98.0

West South Central:
Houston----------- ------New Orleans_________ . .

81.4
83.4

74.7
82.2

76.8
80.5

74.2
73.4

77.8
74.6

92.5
93.7

94.6
92.7

Mountain: Denver___________

82.4

81.2

77.8

64.4

76.4

88.8

99.6

Pacific:
Los Angeles______________
Portland, Oreg---- --------San Francisco— _________
Seattle—----------------------

78.2
82.7
87.5
86.8

71.4
78.4
79.5
78.1

85.9
81.5
92.2
88.9

55.2
61.8
73.8
70.9

81.6
83.8
78.9
97.6

82.9
85.2
89.3
91.6

94.8
99.8
106.4
101.0

1 Includes 51 cities.

Indexes of the cost of all goods purchased by wage earners and lowersalaried workers in each of the 32 cities, for each date from June 1926
through M arch 15, 1939, on the 1923-25 base are given in the M arch
15, 1939, pamphlet. I t is planned to publish these indexes for each
group of items in each December report, and to publish only the in­
dexes of the cost of all goods in the M arch, June, and September
reports. M imeographed tables of indexes for individual cities, as
well as the pamphlet, are available upon request.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1360

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Description of the Indexes
A summary discussion of the method of preparing these indexes
and of their uses in showing temporal changes in the cost of goods and
services purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried workers in
each of 32 large cities of the United States and in these cities com­
bined is presented in the December 1938 issue of this pamphlet and
the M arch and July 1938 issues of the M onthly Labor Review.
In th at discussion, it is pointed out th a t the only comparison between
cities th at can be drawn from the B ureau’s indexes is a comparison
of the extent of change in living costs in different cities over given
periods. Thus, the index of the cost of all items as of M arch 15,
1939, based on costs in 1923-25 as 100, was 85.9 in W ashington
and 78.2 in Los Angeles. A comparison of these two indexes indi­
cates that on M arch 15, 1939, living costs in Los Angeles were 21.8
percent lower than the average for the years 1923-25, but th at in
W ashington, costs on this date were only 14.1 percent lower. This
comparison does not indicate th at costs on M arch 15, 1939, were 10
percent higher in W ashington than in Los Angeles. In order to
secure figures showing a comparison of actual living costs between
cities, expenditures serving as the weights for items priced in the dif­
ferent cities would have to be representative of identical levels of liv­
ing. Differences between the average costs from which the indexes
are computed in different cities are due to differences in standards and
in purchasing habits in those cities as well as to varying prices for
goods of given grades. Differences between the indexes of costs from
time to time in the various cities a t any particular date are due en­
tirely to differences in the percentage of change in living costs in each
city.
The comparison of the cost of the same level of living from one
part of the country to another presents serious technical difficulties
for which wholly satisfactory techniques have not yet been developed.
This is particularly true in attem pting to measure differences in living
costs from large to very small cities or from urban to rural communi­
ties, where consideration m ust be given not only to differences in such
factors as climate and consumption habits, but also to differences in
housing, the fuels available, and the means of transportation. In large
cities with similar climate, comparisons are possible with the use of
an identical budget and descriptive specifications to facilitate pricing
identical commodities and services from city to city. Such studies,
because of their great expense, are beyond the present resources of
this Bureau.
The Division of Social Research of the Works Progress Adm inistra­
tion made a study of the comparative cost of living at a “maintenance
level” and at an “emergency level” in 59 cities, as of M arch 15, 1935.


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1361

Cost and Standards of Living

The results of this study were published in the report of the Works
Progress Adm inistration “Intercity Differences in Costs of Living in
M arch 1935, 59 C itie s/’ Research M onograph X II, a copy of which
m ay be secured by writing to th a t Division. No attem pt has been
made to repeat this study for a later date. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics, using the “m aintenance” budget, has made approximations
for later dates for 31 cities, and the results thus obtained, as of
M arch 15,1939, will be sent upon request either to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics or to the Works Progress Administration.

COST OF LIV IN G IN FO R E IG N C O U N T R IE S 1
T H E principal index numbers of the cost of living (official and un­
official) published in the different countries are given in the following
table. A brief discussion of these indexes is presented in earlier issues
of this pamphlet.
I n d e x e s o f C o st o f L iv in g f o r S p e c ifie d P e r io d s f o r th e
F o re ig n C o u n trie s

U n ite d S ta te s a n d C e rta in

1

[Series recalculated by International Labor Office on base 1929=100;2 a=food; 6 = heating and lighting;
c=clothing; d=rent; e = miscellaneous]
Bel­
Aus­
Country_____ Argen­
tina tralia Austria gium

Bra­
zil

Bul­
garia

Bur­
ma

Can­
ada

Chile

China

Bue­
T o w n s and
nos
localities___ Aires

Rio de
Ja­
12-67
neiro

Ran­
goon

60

San­
tiago

Peip­ Shang­ Tien­
tsin
hai
ing

30

Vienna

59

July
1914

1921

192829

1914

1931

1926

Mar.
1928

1927

1926

1926

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -d

Original base
(=100)-------

Oct.
1933

192327

C om position
of index____

a -e

a -e

1930_________
1931_________
1932,.... ............
1933....... ...........
1934_________
1935_________
1936_________

101
87
78
83
78
83
91
93

95
85
81
78
80
81
83
85
87

4 gg

6 92

4 88

100
96
97
95
95
95
95
95
94

104
93
84
83
79
80
85
92
94

94
94
93
92

94
94
94
95
7 95

91
88
88
87
94
99
114

92
80
73
68
64
60
57
58
60
60
60
* 01
61
7P I

«

98
90
87
89
88
89
88

99
90
81
78
79
79
81
83
84

99
98
104
130
130
132
144
162
169

88
87
87
85
» 82

84
84
84
84
7 83

165
171
171
168

100

103
90
86
76
75
81
94

113
117
110
99
98
99
105
122
139

103
98
91
80
78
86
98

139
132
143
134
8140
-

See footnotes at end of table.
1 Data are from International Labor Review, Geneva, April 1939, pp. 559-562.


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1362

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Indexes of Cost of Living for Specified Periods for the United States and Certain
Foreign Countries— Continued

Country-------

Co­
lom­
bia

Costa Czecho­
Dan­
slo­
Bica vakia
zig

T o w n s and
localities___

Bo­
gota

San
Jose

Prague

Dan­
zig

100

Original base
(=100)-------

Feb.
1937

1936

July
1914

July
1913

a -e

C om position
of index___
1930_________
1931_________
1932...........
1933.......... .......
1934_________
1935_________
1936_________
1937_________
1938..................
1938—Mar___
June___
Sept___
D ec__
1939—M ar.. .

a -e

0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
100
US
110

m

«110
m

m

Country_____ Greece Hun­
gary
Towns and
localities.—

44

Original base
( = 100)-------

Dec.
1914

Com position
of index____

36

Paris

45

72

24-509

1931

Jan.
1913July
1914

1913

1935

1914

1930

19131914

July
1914

a -e

a , c -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

98
91
87
83
84
86
86
85
87

89
86
80
75
74
75
84
89
94

97
98
99
102
7 105

97
97
98
97
«98

« 107
105
106
106

86
87
8«
87
» 86

95
94
93
93
f 95

Indo­
china

India

July
1933June
1934

med­ Saigon
abad

Aug.
1926July
1927

a, d, e

1930_________
1931.......... .......
1932_________
1933_________
1934_________
1935_________
1936_________
1937_________
1938_________

88
» 100
106
114
116
117
121
131
ISO

91
86
83
77
76
78
82
87
88

(«)
(3)
(8)
100
il 99

1938—Mar___
June___
Sept___
D e c... .
1939—Mar___

131
128
ISO
ISO
7 130

88
87
88
87
?86

107
105
105
104
« 104

100
101
106
106

0
0
0
0
0

France

105
102
95
94
93
87
91
111
126

100
100
106
108

»107
1» 1 0 6
i« 109
w 109

4 124
4 124

»124

* 130

96
88
78
77
79
80
81
81
82

96
90
88
85
86
87
90
94
95

81
82
»82
81
«82

94
97
95
95
« 93

100
97
91
87
83
78
86
102
117
4 113
4 116
4 117

4m

Iran

Ire­
land

Italy

7

105

50

24

13

Tokyo

Riga

Mar.
21,
1936Mar.
20.
1937

July
1914

June
1928

July
1937

July
1914

July
1914

___

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -c, e

a -e

L a t­
via

Japan

1 Ah­

CL d


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Tal­
linn

96
»90
90
92
96
99
101
104
106

Buda­ Bom­
pest
bay

See footnotes at end of table.

Cairo

95
88
80
77
76
85
93
97
97

100

107
107
108
1106

Esto­
nia

Den­ Egypt
mark

98
93
92
91
90
92
93
94
99

106
107

Great
Brit­
ain
Ger­
many and
N.
Ire­
land

Fin­
land

90
77
78
74
73
73
73
78
73

107
93
81
75
69
69
70
83
95

(3)
(3)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
100

73
73
73
74

<90
4 93
4 96
4 97

1S5
130
ISO
12129

115

97
91
89
86
87
89
91
97
98

97
87
83
80
76
77
83
91
98

(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
100

(3)
» 98
100

4 98
4 97
4 98
4 100
4 99

98
98
97
99
7 99

107
109
11S
« 11S

124
126
129
129
7 129

103
106
110
US
118

86
75
75
80
82
84
88
96

100

106
109
113
117
«118

81
93
87

110

91
79
76
72
73
73
79
87

86
«84

1363

Cost and Standards of Living

Indexes of Cost of Living for Specified Periods for the United States and Certain
Foreign Countries— Continued
Country____

N eth­
Lithu­ Lux­
ania emburg erlands
104

9

Original base
(=100)____

1913

1914

Composition
of index___

a -e

3

Lima

War­ Whole
coun­
saw
try

1928

June
1914

a -e

a, 6, e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a, b, e

a, c -e

a -e

a, b, e

57
57
57
58
8 58

81
82
81
82
8 81

82
84
83
82

46
44
43
43

Ru­ South­
Pun­ mania
ern
Rhode­ Spain
jab
( 13)
sia 14

1939-Mar .

31

1913

1938—M a r....
June .
Sept— _
Dec. .
1939—M a r ....

6

Madrid

1929

1914

1914

a -c

a, b, d

a , b, e

108
104
108
8 106

4-25

Jan.
1922

e

Towns and lo­ La­ Buch­
calities____ hore arest

Por­
tugal

July
1914

97
65
48
39
39
41
38
44
44

90
73
62
57
53
56
58

Po­
land

192630

96
90
84
83
83
81
79
82
83

1930_________ (3)
1931_________ 0
1932_________ (3)
1933_________ (3)
1934_________
(s)
1935_________
100
1936 . . ______ 115
1937_________
128
1938 . . . —

Peru

Jan.
1929

102
91
79
79
76
74
75
79
81

a -e

Pales­
tine

1913

89
83
71
61
57
50
51
56
57

Com position
of index____

Nor­
way

Oct.
1923Sept.
1924

1930
1931 _______
1932. _____
1933
1934
1935_________
1936_________
1937________
1938_________

Original base 1931(=100)_____ 1935

New
Zealand

Bata­
Amster­ Java
and
via
dam Madura

Towns and
localities__

a-c,

Netherlands
Indies

100
96
92
87
86

85
85

66

88

75

89

74
76
74
76
7 75

89
90
88

89

103
107
103
100
102
99

52
u 49
52
53

98
90
84
79
81
83
86
92
95

97
92
90
89
89
91
93
100
103

89
80
82
79
80
79
84
88
85

96
90
86
83
85
86
90
96
98

92
82
74
67
62
60
58
62
61

95
84
83
83
83
84
86
89
86

53
52
53
53
7 53

94
95
95
96
7 96

103
104
102
102
8 102

86
83
85
86
7 86

98
99
96
95
8 95

60
60
60
60
8 60

86
86
85
83

Union United
States
of
Swe­ Swit­
zer­ Tur­
key South
den land
Africa B. L. S.

49

49

July June
1914 1914
a -e

a -e

97
94
9 92
91
91
92
93
95
98

98
93

97
98
98
98

85
85
85
85
8 84

86

81
80
80
81
85
85

Uru­
guay

Yugoslavia

Monte­ Bel­
video grade

3 (Cro­
atia
and
Sla­
vonia)

Istan­
bul

9

32-51

Jan.June
1914

1914

1923-25

1929

1926

July
1914

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -e

a -c , e

a -e

98
94
90

92
87
85
76
75
69
70
71

89

72
70
70
« 70

94
94
93
94

88
88
88

91
94

98
89
80
76
79
81
82
85
83

100
100
99
93
93
96
96
98
98

92
87
81
79
75
74
74
78

92
85
77

83
84
83
83
82

95
99
100
99
7 102

84

69
71
69
70
869

88

87

66

61
60
61
65
70

1 T a b le fro m I n t e r n a t i o n a l L a b o r R e v ie w , G e n e v a , A p r il 1939, p p . 559-562.
2 E x c e p t fo r s e rie s in ita lic s , w h ic h a r e o n o rig in a l b a s e , o r r e c a lc u la te d o n n e a r e s t p o s s ib le y e a r j o 1929.
3 N o in d e x e s c o m p u te d .
« I n d e x e s c o m p u te d a s o f F e b r u a r y , M a y , A u g u s t, a n d N o v e m b e r .
8 C o r r e c te d fig u re .
8 N o v e m b e r.
7 Ja n u a ry .
8 F e b ru a ry .
3 N e w o r r e v is e d s e rie s b e g in n in g t h i s y e a r.
10 I n d e x e s c o m p u te d a s o f J a n u a r y , A p r il, J u l y , a n d O c to b e r.
11 A v e r a g e c a lc u la te d for a p e r io d le ss t h a n 1 y e a r.
72 O c to b e r.
73 N e w s e rie s s u p p le m e n te d b y t h e in c lu s io n o f c e r t a in it e m s o f c lo th in g e x p e n d itu r e .
h R e v is e d se rie s e m b o d y in g t h e r e s u lt s o f a r e c e n t i n q u i r y in t o r e n t s .


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Minimum Wages and Maximum Hours

R E C E N T WAGE D E T ER M IN A T IO N S U N D ER PU BLIC
CONTRACTS ACT
WAGE determ inations for the tobacco and furniture-m anufacturing
industries, establishing prevailing minimum wages of workers engaged
in the m anufacture of these products to fulfill Government contracts,
became effective on M ay 2 and 13, 1939, respectively, under the
public contracts law (Walsh-Healey A ct).1 These two determinations
bring the total num ber of determinations issued to 23.2
For the purposes of this decision, the tobacco industry is defined
as including the m anufacture of cigarettes, chewing and smoking
tobaccos, and snuff, but excluding the m anufacture of cigars. In
the branches of the tobacco industry covered by the determination,
34,524 persons were employed in 1935, according to the Census of
M anufactures. A survey was made in connection with this deter­
mination to ascertain existing conditions in the industry. I t covered
90 percent of the num ber of persons in the industry as of 1935. Stemmers were found to be the lowest-paid workers in the industry. In
this occupation 24.64 percent of the wage earners received pay of
less than 35 cents an hour, as compared w ith 4.32 percent of the
employees in the preparation departm ent and 1.21 percent of those
in the fabrication departm ent. The lowest significant concentration
of stemmers was in the interval between 30 and 35 cents an hour,
accounting for 17.75 percent of the total.
On the basis of the facts disclosed, the Secretary of Labor rendered
a decision on April 17, establishing the minimum wage for employees
in the tobacco industry engaged in the performance of contracts
with agencies of the United States Government subject to the pro­
visions of the Public C ontracts Act, a t 32.5 cents an hour or $13 per
week of 40 hours. This determ ination became effective on or after
M ay 2. Wages m ay be arrived a t either on a time- or piece-work
basis.
The determ ination affecting employees engaged in furniture m anu­
facturing covers the following branches of the industry: (1) Wood
1 U . S. Department of Labor. Division of Public Contracts. Press releases Nos. 731 and 756. Wash­
ington, 1939.
2 For earlier decisions see M onthly Labor Review, July and December 1938 and February and March 1939.

1364


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1365

Minimum Wages and Maximum Hours

furniture; (2) public seating such as is used in theaters, auditoriums,
and schools; and (3) m etal furniture, including office, hospital shelving,
and locker equipment.
Following established practice, representatives of all branches of
the furniture industry were given an opportunity to state their knowl­
edge of the existing level of wages. A survey was also m ade of
average hourly earnings in the three branches of furniture m anu­
facture already listed. This study covered conditions as of October
1937 and was made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. D a ta were
compiled concerning the wages of 43,428 workers in 373 establish­
ments. The approximate degree to which the sample represented the
different branches of the industry is shown below.
P e r c e n t o f to ta l
e m p lo y e e s

Public seating_____________________________________________ 100
Wood and metal office furniture____________________________ 50
Wood household furniture_________________________________ 25

The sample included workers in all of the principal producing
States, and is believed by the Secretary of Labor to represent suf­
ficiently the existing wage conditions in the industry. Investigation
showed th a t prevailing minimum wages varied in different parts of
the country and the industry.
I t was found th a t a minimum wage of 30 cents an hour prevailed
in the wood-furniture m anufacturing industry of the South. For all
the States outside the South, the Pacific Coast States, and New
York and New Jersey, the first substantial concentration of employees
was in the wage class between 35 and 37.5 cents an hour. For New
York and New Jersey the prevailing minimum recommended by the
Public Contracts Board was 40 cents, b u t the Secretary of Labor
established the minimum at 35 cents. For the States of California
and W ashington the prevailing minimum wage was determined as
50 cents. Over 14 percent of the employees in those States whose
wages were studied earned between 47.5 and 52.5 cents an hour.
The same minimum was established for Oregon, notw ithstanding
th a t a higher rate was recommended to the Secretary. In ordering
the lower rate, the Secretary was guided by briefs showing th a t
unfair competition would result if a higher prevailing minimum wage
was determined for Oregon than for the other two Pacific Coast
States.
Investigation showed th a t in the public-seating furniture branch
of the industry there was no reason for granting a lower wage in the
South than elsewhere. However, regardless of geographic location,
certain plants were paying subnormal wages when tested by the
standards prevailing in the industry. Over 9 percent of the em­
ployees engaged in the m anufacture of public seating earned between
35 and 40 cents an hour.
149001— 39-------9


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1366

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

A 45-cent minimum was determined to be the proper prevailing
rate. Six percent of the employees surveyed in the m etal furniture
industry earned between 42.5 and 47.5 cents an hour, and only 3.1
percent earned less.
Although the Upholsterers’ International Union requested a sep­
arate determ ination for the upholstered-furniture industry, the study
failed to show th a t the minimum wage paid for such labor was differ­
ent from th a t paid in other kinds of work on wood furniture. The
Secretary, however, stated th at further study would be made to deter­
mine whether or not a higher minimum is justified.
The Secretary of Labor on M ay 3 made the following determination
effective M ay 13:
(1) That the prevailing minimum wages for persons employed in the manufac­
ture or furnishing of the products of the wood furniture branch of the furniture
manufacturing industry are the amounts indicated for each of the following groups
of States, whether arrived at on a time- or piece-rate basis:
For the States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connec­
ticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Maryland, West Virginia,
Delaware, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming,
Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and the District of
Columbia, 35 cents an hour, or $14 per week of 40 hours, arrived at either upon a
time or piece-rate basis.
For the States of Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina,
Florida, Alabama," Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mis­
sissippi, 30 cents an hour or $12 per week of 40 hours, arrived at either upon a
time or piece-rate basis.
For the States of California, Washington, and Oregon, 50 cents an hour, or
$20 per week of 40 hours, arrived at either upon a time or piece-rate basis.
(2) That the prevailing minimum wages for persons employed in the manu­
facture or furnishing of the products of the public-seating branch of the furniture
manufacturing industry are 37.5 cents an hour, or $15 per week of 40 hours,
arrived at either upon a time or piece-rate basis.
(3) That the prevailing minimum wages for persons employed in the manufac­
turing or furnishing of the products of the metal furniture branch of the furniture
manufacturing industry are 45 cents an hour, or $18 per week of 40 hours, arrived
at either upon a time or piece-rate basis.

HOURS OF W ORK D E F IN E D U N D E R WAGE AND
HOUR ACT
IN G EN ERA L, hours of work include all time during which an em­
ployee is required to be on duty or to be on the employer’s premises
or at a designated workplace, and all time during which the employee
is working, whether or not he is required to do so, according to an
interpretation of the Adm inistrator of the Fair Labor Standards Act,
1938, issued on M ay 3, 1939.1 Interpretative Bulletin No. 13, dealing
1 U . S. Department of Labor. Wage and Hour Division. Press releases R-271 and R-272.


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Minimum Wages and Maximum Hours

1367

with the determ ination of hours for which employees are entitled to
compensation under the wage and hour legislation, establishes reason­
able rules for computing hours of work, as the law contains no express
guide on this subject.
Although it is usually easy to calculate working time by deducting
from the scheduled num ber of hours periods during which employees
eat their meals, the bulletin here summarized deals with special prob­
lems arising in connection with use of time clocks, waiting time and
employees subject to call, travel time, meetings and lectures, and
employees having more than one job.
Time clocks.—Nothing in the Wage and Hour Division regulations
specifies the m anner in which employers shall keep records of the hours
worked by their employees. Time-clock records are considered a
satisfactory basis for keeping time only if they record the actual
period of work as defined above. If the employer requires employees
to punch a time clock and they are required to be present for a con­
siderable time before doing so, such time is to be considered as working
time.
Waiting time; employees subject to call.—Time lost by employees,
because of a break-down of machinery or waiting for- m aterials, or for
the loading or unloading of railroad cars or other vehicles of transporta­
tion, is to be considered as working time for the purpose of computing
wages. The determining factors are whether the inactivity is due to
conditions beyond the employee’s control, if the imminence of the
resum ption of work requires the employee’s presence a t the place of
employment, or if the interval is too brief to be utilized effectively in
the employee’s own interest. The employer is not relieved from the
responsibility of paying for time losses of this kind by reason of telling
the employees th a t they are free to leave the premises.
Messenger boys and chauffeurs, for example, pursue occupations in
which the work is interm ittent on occasions, but their time is not their
own and waiting time is calculated as a p art of the hours worked.
Periods of inactivity need not be considered hours of work in a few
occupations, even though the employee is subject to call. This will
depend upon the degree of freedom the employee has to engage in
personal activities during periods of idleness when on call and upon
the num ber of consecutive hours he is on call but not required to per­
form active work. In such cases the employee has time for uninter­
rupted sleep, transaction of personal business affairs, etc. The work
of an operator in a small telephone exchange is cited as an example of
an employee having interm ittent employment of this kind. If an
operator answers only a few night calls in several months, the bulletin
states th a t a segregation of such hours from hours worked will prob­
ably be justified.


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1368

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Pum pers of stripper wells in oil fields and caretakers, custodians, or
watchmen of lumber camps during the off season, all of whom live on
the premises, are also mentioned. They have a regular routine of
duty but are subject to call at any time, in the event of an emergency,
during the 24 hours of the day.
Hours of employees required to remain on call in or about the
place of business of their employers, in cases such as those requiring
emergency service, are entitled to have their hours considered as
having been spent a t work. If the employee is merely required to
leave word as to where he m ay be reached and is not required to stay
in a particular place, such time need not ordinarily be counted as
working time. Hours spent traveling to and from a call covered by
this paragraph m ust be considered as p a rt of the working time.
Travel time.—Calculation of travel time is not possible under a
precise m athem atical formula. If this time is reasonably described
as “all in a day’s work,” it should be considered as working time under
this legislation.
If a crew reports at a given place and is transported to and from the
working place the transport time is considered as hours worked. If
employees are directed to report a t the workplace a t a given time, the
working time begins when they report to work unless the travel time
to th a t place is unreasonably long in relation to the travel time to
the employer’s headquarters.
For employees required to travel continuously for more than a full
working day to reach the assigned working place, the hours of travel
during regular working hours are considered hours worked but the
additional time need not ordinarily be considered as such.
Generally any employer is required to treat time spent by an
employee in travel pursuant to the employer’s instructions as time
worked.
No precise formula is fixed to cover cases such as those of employees
accompanying shipments of cattle, poultry, or machinery by ship or
rail and who are subject to call 24 hours a day, and any agreement
entered into between the parties according to established custom or
usage is acceptable to the Wage and Hour Division.
Meetings.—Meetings and lectures sponsored by the- employer are
calculated as a p a rt of the working time of employees, if they are
related to the employees’ work and if attendance is not wholly vol­
untary on the p a rt of the employees.
More than one employment.—If an employee, such as a watchman,
is employed by two companies concurrently, the two companies
jointly are responsible for the paym ent of the minimum wage rate of
25 cents an hour for all the hours the employee works. They are
considered as the joint employer of the employee. If the employee
works 40 hours for one company and 15 hours for the other and they


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Minimum Wages and Maximum Hours

1369

are acting independently, each employer is privileged to disregard all
work performed by the employee for the other. If the employment
for each employer is not completely, disassociated from th a t with the
other, the entire employment m ust be considered as a whole for the
purposes of the statute.
The Wage and H our Division expects to scrutinize all cases involv­
ing more than one employment and, in at least the following situations,
an employer will be considered as acting in the interest of another
employer in relation to an employee: (1) If the employers arrange
for the interchange of employees; or (2) if one company controls, is
controlled by, or is under common control with, directly or indirectly,
the other company.

IN C R EA SED W O RK IN G HOURS IN FRA N CE
A SE R IE S of decree-laws was issued April 21, 1939,1 in France in
accordance w ith the law of M arch 19, 1939, giving the Government
special powers in connection with the program of national defense.
The m ost im portant of these laws from the labor standpoint was the
law lengthening the workweek. Other laws in the series affecting
the interests of labor were the law providing for a general tax for
arm am ent of 1 percent on all commercial transactions, covering all
commodities except bread, milk, and newspapers; the decree limiting
the right of employers in certain categories of industrial and commer­
cial enterprises to hire additional workers or to discharge employees
w ithout giving the public employment office notice a t least 10 days
in advance; and a decree guaranteeing men called to the colors, either
as a result of a call for certain m ilitary classes or as a result of general
mobilization, the right to their former positions unless conditions
affecting the industry or the health of such workers make reinstate­
m ent impossible. (The 1-percent tax is in addition to the 2-percent
tax levied on all revenue including wages, provided by law of November
1938.)
The 40-hour week established by the law of June 21, 1936, was
modified by the decrees for the economic rehabilitation of France,
issued November 12, 1938,2 which provided for the m aintenance of
the legal duration of the workweek of 40 hours b u t increased the week
from 5 to 6 days and authorized extra hours up to a maximum of 50
per week when necessary. This decree fixed the overtime rates for
work in excess of 40 hours per week. Several decrees issued Decem­
ber 31, 1937 dealt w ith the details of application of the modified
working hours under different employment conditions and in various
industries.3
1 Journal Officiel (Paris), April 22,1939.
J See M onthly Labor Review, January 1939, p. 137.
* See M onthly Labor Review, March 1939, p. 662.


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1370

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Although the present decree does not abrogate the 1936 law, the
normal week is fixed at 45 hours and the supplem entary hours from
the forty-first to the forty-fifth are effective w ithout an increase in
pay. This provision, however, m ay not have the effect of decreasing,
for a same duration of work, the total average wages paid during the
m onth which preceded the publication of the present decree.
The overtime rate for supplem entary hours above the forty-fifth
is fixed uniformly a t 5 percent above the regular hourly wage.
The provisions of the preceding articles m ay not lead to an increase
in the total rem uneration for supplem entary hours when the latter
are actually compensated a t a lower rate.
In enterprises in which the num ber of employees is smaller than the
num ber employed during the second pay period in November 1938,
the total increase in hours between the forty-first and forty-fifth m ay
not exceed the total allowable under the decree of November 12, 1938,
except with the authorization of the labor inspector.
Establishm ents in which the workweek is 40 hours or over, or in
which it is longer than in the m onth preceding the publication of the
present decree, m ay not reduce their personnel w ithout the authoriza­
tion of the labor inspector.
In all Government services (both adm inistrative and industrial),
State concessions, D epartm ents, communes, and public establish­
ments, the hours of work are fixed at 45 per week unless the legal
hours are longer, w ith no extra compensation. The conditions of
application of these hours to the railroads will be fixed by the M inisters
of Public Works and of Labor.
Under exceptional circumstances the labor inspectors m ay au­
thorize longer hours for establishments concerned with the national
defense and in which the work is organized by shifts.
A rbitrators and umpires before whom demands for wage increases
are brought, subject to the law of M arch 4, 1938,4 m ust take into
account any increases in pay received for supplem entary hours by the
employees of the establishments concerned.
A decree of M arch 20, 1939, provided for a 60-hour week for estab­
lishments working directly or indirectly in the interest of the national
defense. Necessary hours above 60 m ay be authorized by the M inis­
ter of Labor. Unemployed workers registered w ith the unemploy^m ent funds m ust accept employment offered by the public employ­
m ent office in enterprises working for the national defense wherever
situated, the penalty for refusal being withdrawal of unemployment
allowances for 1 year. Such labor m ust be paid for at the normal
and current rate for the occupation and locality. If the distance is
greater than 25 kilometers from his place of residence the worker is
assisted in the costs of removal.
4 See M onthly Labor Review, June 1938, p. 1352.


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Wages and Hours o f Labor

EA R N IN G S AND HOURS IN T H E M AN U FACTURE OF
ELEC TR IC A L PRODUCTS 1
PA R T 1.----DATA FO R T H E IN D U STRY AS A W H O L E

W ORKERS engaged in the m anufacture of electrical products were
earning, on an average, 71.0 cents an hour in August 1937. In the
14 different divisions of the industry, the average hourly earnings
ranged from 49.5 cents in the branch making fuses, wiring devices,
and specialty transformers to 86.2 cents in th a t making transformers
and switchgear.
There was found to be a wide spread in the earnings of the various
occupational groups, mainly because of variations in the degree of skill
required. W hereas all skilled workers received an average of $1,012
an hour, the average for semiskilled workers was 72.8 cents and for
unskilled workers only 56.5 cents. Thus, there was a margin of 44.7
cents between the skilled and unskilled earnings.
There was also considerable difference between the earnings of men
and women in each skill group. There were too few skilled female
workers to justify com putation of a separate average for them.
Among the semiskilled employees, the average for males was 75.5
cents, as compared with 54.1 cents for females. For the unskilled,
the corresponding averages were 60.9 and 49.9 cents.
The weekly working time in the industry averaged 40.5 hours, but
more than a tenth of all the workers were employed for less than 36
hours per week during the pay-roll period studied.
Weekly earnings averaged $28.78 for all workers—$31.59 for males
and $19.46 for females.
In recent years, trade-unionism has made considerable headway in
the electrical m anufacturing industry. Judging from the sample,
most of the agreements a t the time of the survey were with the In te r­
national Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of America and the United
Electrical, Radio and M achine W orkers of America, the former be­
longing to the American Federation of Labor and the latter to the Con­
gress of Industrial Organizations. Other A. F. of L. unions having
1 Prepared b y J. Perlman, 0 . E . Mann, H. O. Eogers, and D . L. Helm, of the Bureau’s Division of Wage
and Hour Statistics.


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1371

1372

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

agreements are the International Association of M achinists, Sheet
M etal W orkers’ International Association, and some Federal labor
unions. Of the C. I. O. unions, there were several agreements w ith
the Steel W orkers’ Organizing Committee and United Automobile
Workers of America.

Extent of Survey
In 1937, according to the Census of M anufactures, the electrical
m anufacturing industry was fifth in rank among all m anufacturing
industries in term s of employment (with an average of 257,660 wage
earners) and third in terms of wages. Wages constituted 21.9 percent
of the total value of products and 36.4 percent of the value added by
m anufacture. The B ureau’s survey covered 233 establishments and
63,394 wage earners—approximately one-fourth of the total employed
in the industry.
M ost of the electrical m anufacturing industry is located in m etro­
politan areas of 1,000,000 population and over. Of the 233 plants
covered in the survey, 151 establishments and more than one-half (54.5
percent) of all wage earners were found in these large communities.
Moreover, a considerable proportion of the industry is located in other
large centers, namely from 250,000 to 1,000,000, which accounted for
43 plants and over one-fifth (21.5 percent) of the workers. The
rem ainder of the industry, including 39 establishments and less than
one-fourth of the wage earners (24.0 percent), was found in communi­
ties of'less than 250,000, but very little of the industry was located in
small towns.
Large companies occupy a dom inant position in the electrical m anu­
facturing industry. In fact, 54 establishments with more than twothirds (68.6 percent) of the wage earners belonged to companies with
1.000 or more employees. By contrast, in the rem ainder of the
industry, 95 plants with 4.6 percent of the workers belonged to com­
panies with less than 100 employees, 68 establishments with 17.9
percent of the workers to companies with 101 to 500 employees, and
16 plants with 8.9 percent of the workers to companies with 501 to
1.000 employees. Among the largest concerns in the industry, by far
the greatest employment is concentrated in the “Big Three” com­
panies. Of the total sample, 22 establishments with 44.7 percent of
the wage earners belonged to those companies.
Diversity of product is one of the principal characteristics of the
industry. The plants included in the B ureau’s study were m anu­
facturing carbon products, domestic appliances, electric lamps, elec­
trical measuring instrum ents, industrial controls, fractional- and
integral-horsepower motors and generators, fuses, wiring devices and
specialty transformers, signaling apparatus, dry and storage batteries,
transformers and switchgear, wire and cable, and miscellaneous prod
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1373

Wages and Hours of Labor

ucts. Establishm ents m anufacturing the following groups of prod­
ucts were not covered: Certain electrical domestic appliances (such as
clocks, ranges, refrigerators, sewing machines, washing machines,
and minor household food appliances), radio parts, tubes, transm it­
ters, receiving sets, and related products,2 electrical construction m a­
terial (except carbon products), electrical illumination products (except
lamps), electrical transportation equipment, and X-ray equipment
and related products. M ost of the excluded groups are classified by
the Census Bureau under other industries, either because the electri­
cal work in them is minor or because they are of such importance th a t
their m anufacture constitutes another industry.
The sample studied was selected taking into consideration such
factors as product, corporate affiliation, size of establishment,3 unioni­
zation, geographical distribution, and size of community. All States
of any importance in the industry, except California,4 were included.
According to the Census of M anufactures in 1935, these States em­
ployed 96.4 percent of the total workers in the industry. Very little
of the industry is found in the South.
The following table shows the coverage of the Bureau’s survey, by
States.
T a b le 1.—Geographical Coverage of Survey of Electrical Manufacturing Industry,

August 1937

State

All States...........
Connecticut____
Illinois..................
Indiana
and
K entucky2 . . .
M assachusetts...
Michigan______
Missouri_______
N ew Jersey_____
N ew York-------Ohio___________
Pennsylvania__
Rhode Island___
Wisconsin______

Unskilled
Semiskilled
All workers
N um ­
Skilled:
ber of
Male
plants Total Male Female
Total Male Fem ale1 Total M ale Female
233 63, 394 48, 709

14, 685

11, 255 24,439 21,193

3,246 27, 700 16, 261

11,439

2,055
4,431

997
2,260

1,058
2,171

1,188
2,247
614
943
3,061
3,154
4,079
3,555
1,001
1, 372

631
1,737
222
547
1,534
2,125
2,175
2,670
506
857

557
510
392
396
1,527
1,029
1,904
885
495
515

16
35

3, 972
8, 883

2, 631
6, 342

1,341
2,541

483
1, 352

1, 434
3,100

1,151
2, 730

283
370

5
17
6
9
27
38
39
25
5
11

2, 953
6,000
1, 307
1,770
8,302
7, 770
8, 977
9,424
1, 361
2, 675

2, 272
5, 294
815
1,322
5, 718
6, 637
6,347
8,408
841
2,082

681
706
492
448
2,584
1,133
2,630
1,016
520
593

412
1,237
201
221
1,443
1,779
1,406
2,338
65
318

1, 353
2,516
492
606
3, 798
2, 837
3,492
3,531
295
985

1, 229
2,320
392
554
2,741
2, 733
2,766
3,400
270
907

124
196
100
52
1,057
104
726
131
25
78

>Includes a small number of skilled workers.
2Includes 1 plant in Kentucky.

The study was started in September 1937 and completed early in
1938. The information was collected by representatives of the Bureau,
who visited the various plants and obtained data by copying pay rolls
and other records and by interviewing company officials.
2 Covered in a separate study (see M onthly Labor Review, issues of August and September 1938).
2 No establishment with fewer than 6 wage earners was included in the Bureau’s study. Although such
plants are numerous in the industry, their employment is relatively insignificant.
4 According to the Census of Manufactures of 1935, the number of wage earners in this State constituted
only 1.5 percent of the total in the industry.


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1374

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Inform ation was obtained on wages and hours, annual earnings,
occupational descriptions, and general plant policies. The wages
and hours data covered all wage earners, including working foremen
and factory clerks, b u t excluded higher supervisors and office employ­
ees. For each person the Bureau obtained his occupation, sex,
color,5 m ethod of wage paym ent, num ber of actual hours worked,
and total earnings for one pay-roll period.
In nearly all cases, the wages and hours data cover a pay-roll period
during August 1937—in other words, for a period prior to the effective
date of the Fair Labor Standards Act (October 24, 1938). However,
since relatively few workers were found earning under 25 cents an
hour in this industry, the adoption of th a t minimum evidently did not
disturb the wage structure.

Average Hourly Earnings
VARIATIONS B Y SE X A N D

SKILL

For all 63,394 wage earners for whom data were obtained, hourly
earnings averaged 71 cents in August 1937. The variations in earnings
in the different divisions of the industry, according to sex and skill,
are shown in table 2.
T a b le 2. —Average Hourly Earnings in Electrical Manufacturing, by Industry Division,

Skill, and Sex, August 1937
All workers
Industry division
Total

Male

Fe­
male

Semiskilled
Skilled:
Male
Total

Unskilled

Male mFe­
ale1 Total

Male

Fe­
male

All industry divisions...... ......... $0. 710' $0. 767 $0. 508 $1,012 $0. 728 $0. 755 $0. 541 $0. 565 $0. 609 $0.499
Carbon products____________
. 581
.606
.461
.788
.630
.633
(»)
.514
. 536
. 460
Domestic appliances.................. .637
.708
.461
.941
.648
.680
.480
.513
. 564
. 457
D ry batteries_______________
.536
.608
.448
.784
.564
.609
.455
.511
.582
446
Electric lamps___ _ _______
.600
.781
.535
.934
.566
.704
.541
.555
.656
.527
Electrical measuring instruments________________
.636
.723
.502
.902
.665
.713
.517
.529
. 592
Fractional-horsepower motors. .668
.714
.533
.938
.712
.707
.606
.558
.584
.528
Fuses, wiring devices, and
specialty transformers______ .495
.621
.411
.858
.574
.610
.459
.426
.494
. 406
Industrial controls__________
.743
.780
.545
1.006
.739
.758
.570
.594
.619
.537
Integral - horsepower motors
and generators___________
.882
.857
.579
1.097
.800
.810
.601
.647
.672
. 573
Signaling apparatus........ ........... .533
.566
.413
.803
.559
.562
.433
.451
.408
(2)
Storage batteries.. ______
.783
.541
.788
.928
.798
.800
.697
. 513
. 705
(2)
Transformers and switchgear.. .862
.883
.597
1.096
.864
.870
.646
.670
.690
. 589
Wire and cable________
.629
.649
.451
.861
.677
.685
.499
.549
.442
. 571
Miscellaneous p ro d u cts.......... .749
.789
.588
1.057
.755
.774
.572
.603
.610
.592
1 I n c l u d e s a s m a l l n u m b e r o f s k ill e d w o r k e r s .
2 N o t a s u f f ic ie n t n u m b e r of w o r k e r s to p r e s e n t a n a v e ra g e .

In five divisions of the industry, namely industrial controls, inte­
gral-horsepower motors and generators, storage batteries, transformers
and switchgear, and miscellaneous products, the average hourly
earnings were higher than for the industry as a whole. The general
‘ The number of colored workers in the plants covered was not sufficient to justify separate tabulation.


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1375

Wages and Hours of Labor

averages for these divisions ranged from 86.2 cents for transformers
and switchgear to 74.3 cents for industrial controls. N ext came
domestic appliances, electric lamps, electrical measuring instrum ents,
fractional-horsepower motors, and wire and cable, with averages
ranging from 66.8 cents for fractional-horsepower motors to 60.0
cents for electric lamps. The average hourly earnings were lowest
in the carbon products, dry batteries, fuses, wiring devices and speci­
alty transformers, and signaling apparatus divisions of the industry.
The range in hourly earnings in this lowest-paid group was from 58.1
cents in carbon products to 49.5 cents in fuses, wiring devices, and
specialty transformers. A detailed description of the wage structure
of each of the 14 divisions of the industry will be presented in a forth­
coming article.
Table 3 shows the percentage distribution of hourly earnings of
individual employees, by sex and skill. The chief fact th a t emerges
from this table is the extensive range of individual hourly earnings.
Even om itting the extreme wage classes, which together account for
only 3.8 percent of the entire labor force, the spread in individual
earnings is from 35 cents to $1,325. Moreover, there is no very
pronounced concentration, the employees being fairly well scattered
throughout this range.
T a b le 3.—Distribution of Workers in Electrical Manufacturing, According to Average

Hourly Earnings, by Skill and Sex, August 1937

Skilled:
Male

Total Male Female

122.5 and under 132.5 cents___

0.1
.3
.2
.9
.6
2.1
1.5
3.4
6.7
8.9
9.7
9.0
8.7
7.2
6.6
5.7
5.3
4.4
3.8
3.5
4.9
3 1
1.7

142.6 and under 152.5 cents___

.5

27.5 and under 30.0 cents_____
30.0 and under 32.5 cents_____
37.5 and under 40.0 c en ts.........
40.0 and under 42.5 cents_____
42.5 and under 47.5 cents..........
47.5 and under 52.5 cents_____
52:5 and under 57.5 cents_____
57.5 and under 62.5 cen ts.........
62. 5 and under 67.5 cents_____
67.5 and under 72.5 cents_____
72.5 and under 77.5 cents_____
77.5 and under 82.5 cents_____
82.5 and under 87.5 cents_____
87.5 and under 92.5 cents_____
92.5 and under 97.5 cen ts.........
97.5 and under 102.5 cents____
102.5 and under 112.5 c e n ts ...

(2)
0.1
.1
.4
.2
.7
.6
2.1
4.7
6.6
7.0
8.1
9.4
8.2
8.0
7.1
6.7
5.7
4.9
4.5
6.3
4.1
2.3
11
.6
J3

0.5
.8
.9
2.5
2.0
6. 5
4.6
7.8
13.6
16.5
17.7
12.0
6.5
4.1
2.0
1.1
.5
.2
.1
.1
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)

J2

T otal................................... m o

100.0

i Include a small number of skilled workers.
1Less than a tenth of 1 percent.


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Unskilled

Semiskilled

All workers
Average hourly earnings

100.0

(2)

(2)
0.1
.4
.4
.8
1.5
2.6
3.3
5.1
6.3
7.2
8.4
8.5
9.5
16.6
12. 8
7.8
4.1
2.6
1. 2
.8

Total Male Fem ale1 Total Male Female
(2)
0.1
(2)
.3
.2
.7
.7
1.9
4.4
7.2
8.2
9.1
9.8
9.9
8.6
8.3
8.0
6.1
4.9
4.0
4.4
2.0
.8
.3
.1
(2)
(2)

(2)
(2)
(2)
0.2
.1
.3
.5
1.3
3.4
5.1
6.1
8.3
10.1
10.6
9.6
9.3
9.2
7.0
5.7
4.5
5.0
2.4
.9
.3
.1
(2)
(2)

100.0 100.0 100.0

(2)
0.3
.2
1.0
.6
1.8
1.2
4.6
9.2
12.8
12.5
12.3
13.3
8.4
8.0
4.9
3.2
2.0
1.4
.9
.9
.3
.1
.1
(2)
(2)

0.7
1.0
1.0
2.9
2.3
7.4
o. 4
8.4
14. 5
15.3
16.4
11.4
6.0
3.6
1.9
1.0
.4
.2
.1
.1
(2)
(2)
(2)

100.0 100.0 100.0

100.0

(2)
0.2
.3
1.2
1.0
3.1
1.8
5.6
10.8
20.6
22.3
14.0
8.3
5.9
2.4
1.4
.8
.2
(2)
.1

_____
__ .._
(2)

0.3
.6
.5
1.8
1.3
4.1
3.0
6.2
11.4
13.8
14.2
12.0
10.2
6.4
5.5
3.2
2.0
1.2
.9
.6
.5
.2
.1
(2)
(2)
(2)

1376

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Despite the wide spread of individual earnings, some tendency
toward a concentration within certain broad limits in the total dis­
tribution is apparent. Approximately one-third (34.3 percent) of the
workers were found within a 20-cent range from 42.5 to 62.5 cents an
hour. Another third (33.5 percent) received between 62.5 and 87.5
cents. In other words, about two-thirds of the entire labor force
(67.8 percent) earned between 42.5 and 87.5 cents, which is a spread
of 45 cents.
Relatively few employees were found in the lower-wage classes,
only 2.1 percent earning under 35 cents an hour, although as m any
as one-tenth (9.1 percent) received below 42.5 cents. On the other
hand, some of the workers in this industry ranked with the highestpaid employees in the country. Nearly one-fourth (23.1 percent)
were paid 87.5 cents and over, and 14.9 percent earned 97.5 cents and
over. There were 6.5 percent receiving $1,125 and over, and 1.7
percent were paid $1,325 and over.
Although the workers in electrical m anufacturing are predom i­
nately males, 23.2 percent of the employees in the industry are
females.
Substant al differences are found between the earnings of males and
of females, their hourly averages being respectively 76.7 and 50.8 cents.
Because of the preponderance of males, the distribution of their
individual earnings resembles th a t for all workers. The range for
male employees is only slightly wider than th a t for all workers, with
96.8 percent of the males earning between 40 cents and $1,425 an
hour. Also, no single class stands out in sharp relief within the male
distribution. A relatively small num ber of males are found in the
lower wage classes, as only 4.2 percent received under 42.5 cents. At
the other extreme, there is a substantial proportion in the higher wage
classes, with exactly three-tenths earning 87.5 cents and over.
In contrast with the distribution of male hourly earnings, th a t for
women covers a much narrower range, with 96.9 percent of the females
earning between 30.0 and 82.5 cents an hour. Moreover, the dis­
tribution of female hourly earnings shows a well-defined central
tendency, as three-fifths of all workers (59.8 percent) were concen­
trated within a relatively narrow spread from 42.5 to 62.5 cents.
Compared with males, a considerably larger proportion of females
was found in the lower-wage classes. Only 2.2 percent received less
than 30 cents, but 25.6 percent were paid below 42.5 cents. On the
other hand, hardly any females were in the higher-wage classes, and
less than 1 percent were earning 82.5 cents and over.
The industry’s labor force is predom inantly composed of semi­
skilled and unskilled employees. Of the total num ber scheduled,
38.5 percent were classed as semiskilled and 43.7 percent as unskilled,


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Usages and Hours of Labor

1377

and only 17.8 percent as skilled. Among the entire labor force 17.8
percent were skilled males, 33.4 percent semiskilled males, and 25.6
percent unskilled males, as compared with 5.1 percent semiskilled
females and 18.1 percent unskilled females.
Among males, the hourly earnings averaged $1,012 for skilled, 75.5
cents for semiskilled, and 60.9 cents for unskilled employees. This
was a difference of 25.7 cents between skilled and semiskilled, as
against 14.6 cents between semiskilled and unskilled workers. Com­
paring the respective distributions, it will be seen th a t the num ber
earning less than 62.5 cents (i. e., just above the unskilled average)
formed considerably over one-half (56.5 percent) of the unskilled,
one-fourth (25.3 percent) of the semiskilled, but only 3.2 percent of
the skilled employees. On the other hand, if $1.025 (a figure somewhat
above the skilled average) is taken as the lower limit, the number
earning this am ount or more constituted 45.9 percent of the skilled,
as compared with only 8.7 percent of the semiskilled and 1.4 percent
of the unskilled workers.
As regards females, the average hourly earnings were 54.1 cents for
semiskilled and 49.9 cents for unskilled workers—a difference of only
4.2 cents. Comparing the respective distributions, the num ber re­
ceiving less than 47.5 cents (somewhat below the unskilled average)
formed over two-fifths (43.6 percent) for unskilled, as against nearly
one-fourth (24.0 percent) for semiskilled employees.
I t should be noted th a t the semiskilled males averaged 21.4 cents
more than semiskilled females, while the difference between unskilled
males and females was 11.0 cents.
PLANT AVERAGES

As was shown in table 2, for all 63,394 wage earners scheduled in
233 electrical m anufacturing plants covered in the survey, hourly
earnings averaged 71.0 cents in August 1937. In an industry as
diversified as the electrical-product industry, however, a general aver­
age throws little light on the existing wage structure. Some idea of
the variations hidden in the general average m ay be obtained from
table 4, which presents the distribution of establishments according
to average hourly earnings. I t will be seen th a t the plant averages
ranged from less than 30 cents to over $1 and th a t the distribution
was quite irregular. However, 168 establishments, or seven-tenths
of the total number, had average hourly earnings within the fairly
wide spread from 45 to 75 cents. There were 33 plants with averages
under 45 cents, and 32 averaged 75 cents and over.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

1378
T able

4 . - —Distribution

of Electrical Manufacturing Plants, by Average Hourly
Earnings in August 1937

Average hourly earnings

65.0 and under 67.5 cents______________
67.5 and under 70.0 cents______________

Number
of plants
2
2
2
4
8
7
8
13
15
15
18
15
25
12
7
13
16

Average hourly earnings

Number
of plants
9
10
6
4
5
2
4
2
2
2
1
4

T otal___ ______________________

233

E A R N I N G S IN R E L A T I O N T O F A I R L A B O R S T A N D A R D S A C T

The Fair Labor Standards Act set a minimum of 25 cents an hour,
effective on October 24, 1938, for plants engaged in interstate com­
merce. This minimum will advance to 30 cents on October 24, 1939.
In the meantime, the minimum m ay be raised by the A dm inistrator
to any point not to exceed 40 cents, upon the recommendation of an
industry committee.
As mentioned previously, relatively few workers in the electrical
m anufacturing industry were in the lower-wage classes a t the time of
the survey, which was approxim ately 1 year before the law went into
effect. H ardly any earned under 25 cents an hour, and less than 1
percent received below 30 cents. Only 5.7 percent were paid less
than 40 cents.
The minima provided in the Fair Labor Standards Act affect6
relatively few male workers. For all males, only 2.1 percent earned
below 40 cents an hour. H ardly any skilled employees were found in
this category, and the proportion of semiskilled workers was only 1.1
percent. Among unskilled employees, only one-half of 1 percent
received less than 30 cents, but those paid under 40 cents constituted
5.1 percent.
A somewhat different situation was found among female workers.
For all females, one-half of 1 percent earned under 25 cents, and 2.2
percent received less than 30 cents. However, there were as m any as
17.8 percent paid below 40 cents. The minima affect the semiskilled
considerably less than the unskilled females. As regards semiskilled,
only one-half of 1 percent received below 30 cents, and 7.6 percent
earned less than 40 cents. By contrast, there were 2.7 percent under
M It should be remembered that any adjustment of the wage structure to the 25-cent minimum, as well
as to higher minima in the future, m ay affect not only the workers earning under these minima but also
those in the higher-wage classes. This is due to the fact that plants frequently find it necessary to maintain,
in whole or in part, existing occupational and other differentials in hourly earnings.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wages and Hours of Labor

1379

30 cents and one-fifth (20.7 percent) below 40 cents among unskilled
women.
In only 5 of the 14 branches of the electrical m anufacturing in­
dustry were there any workers earning under 25 cents an hour in
August 1937, and in none of them did the figure exceed 1.5 percent.
Considering the distribution of the num ber receiving below 30 cents,
it was found th a t there were some employees under th a t lim it in
almost every division, but the proportion was less than 1 percent in
all but two divisions—fuses, wiring devices and specialty transformers
(4.1 percent) and domestic appliances (4.5 percent).
On the other hand, if 40 cents is taken as the upper limit, the pro­
portion of workers affected varied considerably among the several
branches of the industry. I t was still less than 1 percent in storage
batteries and miscellaneous products. The proportion was only about
1 to 2 percent in 3 divisions, namely transformers and switchgear,
integral-horsepower motors and generators, and industrial controls.
I t was 5 to 7 percent in 4 branches, which are fractional-horsepower
motors, wire and cable, electric lamps, and electrical measuring in­
strum ents. In 2 divisions, carbon products and dry batteries, the
proportion under 40 cents amounted to 9 percent. I t was 14 to 15
percent in signaling apparatus and domestic appliances, but it was as
much as 33 percent in fuses, wiring devices and specialty transformers.
Very few skilled males earned less than 40 cents an hour in any of
the industry divisions. For semiskilled males, all but 2 branches
reported employees under th a t limit, but in none was the proportion
as great as 5 percent. There were unskilled males paid below 40
cents in all divisions, but the proportion was relatively small except
in 3 branches. These were fractional-horsepower motors (11.3 per­
cent), domestic appliances (18.7 percent), and fuses, wiring devices
and specialty transformers (20.3 percent). In domestic appliances,
6.0 percent received under 30 cents, which m ay be compared with
13.5 percent earning below 35 cents. By contrast, in fuses, wiring
devices and specialty transformers, the num ber paid less than 30
cents was only 1.0 percent, and only 6.7 percent earned under 35
cents, so th a t 13.6 percent received between 35 and 40 cents.
Of 13 industry divisions for which the num ber of females was
sufficiently large to present data, every one showed some workers 7
earning under 40 cents an hour. However, the proportion was fairly
small in 6 branches, amounting to 2 percent or less in miscellaneous
products and transformers and switchgear and from 5 to 9 percent in
industrial controls, electric lamps, fractional-horsepower motors, and
integral-horsepower motors and generators. In the remaining divi­
sions, the figures amounted to 14.4 percent in electrical measuring
t Because of the small number of semiskilled workers, no separate figures are shown here by skill for
females.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1380

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

instrum ents, one-fifth (19.9 percent) in dry batteries, less than onethird in domestic appliances (30.2 percent), carbon products (32.2
percent), and wire and cable (32.2 percent), and less than one-half in
signaling apparatus (46.2 percent), and fuses, wiring devices and
specialty transformers (46.9 percent). In m ost instances, the m ajor­
ity of these employees received between 35 and 40 cents.
OCCUPATIONAL DIFFERENCES

Table 5 presents the average hourly earnings in selected occupational
classes, which appeared in three or more divisions of the electrical
m anufacturing industry.8
T able

5 .— Average Hourly Earnings, Weekly Hours, and Weekly Earnings in Selected
Occupations in Electrical Manufacturing, August 1937, by Skill and Sex

Males
Skill and occupation

Females

Aver­
Aver­
Aver­ Aver­ Aver­
N um ­ age Aver­ age N um ­ age
age
age week­ ber of
age week­
ber of hour­ week­
hour­ week­
work­
work­
ly
ly
ly
ly
ly
ly
ers
earn­
earn­
ers
earn­ hours
earn­
ings hours ings
ings
ings

Skilled workers:
Assemblers, skilled____________ _______
372
Blacksmiths_________________________
39
Boring-mill operators, skilled....................
167
Bricklayers_______ ______ _____ _______
45
Carpenters, skilled.......... .............. ...........
202
Coremakers_____________ ______ _____
70
Drill-press operators, skilled___________
177
Electricians, maintenance_____________
412
Engineers, powerhouse............ ................ .
84
Foremen, working____________________ 2,101
Grinding-machine operators, skilled____
185
Hardeners. . ______ _____ ___ _______
38
Inspectors, skilled_________ ________
161
Lajthe operators, engine, skilled________
292
Lathe operators, turret, skilled________
184
Layout men, skilled........... .........................
117
M achinists________________________
798
Mechanics, machine-repair____________
334
Milling-machine operators, skilled____
207
Millwrights and other maintenance
w o r k e rs..._______________ _______
373
Model makers................................................
92
Molders, foundry.......................................
193
Pattern makers____________________
143
Pipefitters and plumbers____________
203
Screw-machine operators, automatic,
skilled_______________ . . .
162
Set-up men, machine, skilled_________
211
Sheet-metal workers, skilled___________
195
Shippers, head...........................................
91
Testers, skilled_____________________
92
Tinsmiths and sheet-metal workers____
81
Tool and die makers............. ....................
1,487
Welders and brazers_____________ ____
615
Welders, maintenance.............................
56
Winders, skilled..........................................
37

$1.149
.935
1. 229
.963
.926
1.031
.908
.971
.957
1. 038
1.019
1.057
1.099
1.066
1.002
1.115
.942
.956
1.110

42.3
41.3
41.0
41. 7
42.0
38.3
41.3
43.6
44.7
43.1
40.7
39. 8
41.2
41.5
41.1
43.7
42.0
41.7
40.2

$48.63
38.58
50.33
40.15
38.88
39. 52
37.45
42. 35
42.76
44.68
41.44
42.09
45. 24
44. 25
41.19
48.69
39.62
39.88
44. 60

.857
.972
1.007
1.156
1.009

43.9
40.4
37.5
39.8
42.8

37.59
39. 27
37.82
46.07
43.19

.998
.961
.98,7
.825
1.084
.957
1.051
1.018
.955
1.119

39.4
41.6
40,7
43.7
44.6
42.4
41.5
40.0
42.4
40.9

39.28
39.97
40.20
36.11
48.37
40.56
43.67
40.72
40.45
45. 76

Semiskilled workers:
A p p r e n tic e s ...____________ _________
613
.545
40.9
Assemblers, semiskilled___ ______
3,333
.819
41.5
Balancers__________________ . . .
56
.684
42.9
Boring-mill operators, semiskilled______
63
.821
42.4
Boxmakers......................................................
92
.780
41.5
Buffers and polishers____________ _____
235
.782
40.3
Carpenters, semiskilled................................
182
.738
41.7
Checkers_______________________
234
.788
40.8
1N ot a sufficient coverage to permit computation of an average.

22.28
34.01
29. 34
34.80
32.40
31.52
30.77
32.21

476 $0.529
0)
16

3S.2
(i)

$20.19
(l)

19

(»)

(i)

(!)

70

.487

39.4

19. 22

• Detailed data on the earnings in the various occupations in each of the 14 divisions of the industry will
appear in Part 2 of this article, in a later issue of the M onthly Labor Review.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1381

Wages and Hours of Labor
T

5 .— Average Hourly Earnings, Weekly Hours, and Weekly Earnings in Selected
Occupations in Electrical Manufacturing, August 1937, by Skill and Sex— C on tin u ed

able

Females

Males

Skill and occupation

Aver­ Aver­ Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
age
age N um ­ age
N um ­ age Aver­
age week­
age week­
ber of hour­ week­
ber of hour­ week­
work­
work­
ly
ly
ly
ly
ly
ly
earn­ hours
earn­
earn­
earn­ hours
ers
ers
ings
ings
ings
ings

Semiskilled workers—Continued.
Clerks, factory........................................ .......

293 $0. 683
. 882
292
.856
83
.817
45
.818
189
.740
Drill-press operators, semiskilled_______
79,5
117
.700
.819
Grinding-machine operators, semiskilled253
.751
1,121
Inspectors, semiskilled_______________
.745
349
Lathe operators, engine, semiskilled____
278
. 780
.853
Layout men, semiskilled_________ _
64
.775
Milling-machine operators, sem iskilled..
373
Miscellaneous furnace and ovenmen,
.834
semiskilled------- ----------------------- . . .
357
171
699
294
.845
Molder», plastic__________________ ___
726
135
.761
Painters, brush_______________________
79
834
120
.775
339
Painters, spray_______________________
809
232
.730
Punch-press operators, semiskilled_____ 1,346
.687
Repairmen, product_________________
320
41
.731
Salvage workers, semiskilled___________
88
.837
Screw-machine operators, automatic,
.772
182
Screw-machine operators, hand, semi.805
347
skilled________ ______
. .......
843
64
.820
164
. 725
76
.635
Shipping and receiving clerks____
403
824
.651
Stock clerks..................................... . . . .
.787
252
Storekeepers_________ ________ ________
.747
648
Testers, semiskilled_____________
..
.586
69
Timekeepers_________________________
.719
138
Tool-crib attendants__________________
174
.739
299
748
.645
81
U tility m en______________ . . . . . . . .
489
.611
.802
227
Welders, spot________________________
.850
464
Winders, semiskilled....................... ........ .

Unskilled workers:
Assemblers, unskilled_________________ 3,106
503
Burrers and rough grinders---------. . . -207
Cleaners, parts_________ ___
___ _
74
Cleaners, machine and eq u ip m en t------1,066
Common laborers________
______
534
Drill-press operators, unskilled________
140
Elevator operators__________________
152
118
535
537
262
Helpers, production line_____ _______ _
377
Inspectors, unskilled ........................ .
741
Janitors--------------------------------- ------87
Lathe operators, engine, unskilled_____
867
861
Material handlers------------- ----------------Miscellaneous furnace and ovenmen,
103
716
Packers and wrappers________________
117
Painters, dip------- --------- ---------- --------228
Platers’ helpers____
_______ ______
Punch-press operators, u n sk illed ______ 1 347

41.8 $28. 51
43. 7 38. 50
40.0 34.22
40.4 32.99
40.1 32.79
40.6 30.03
44. 3 31.05
40.3 33.02
41.0 30. 80
41.7 31.08
42. 5 33.10
40.2 34. 34
40.9 31.65
40.8
40. 6
39.7
41.4
44.1
41 4
41.8
39 4
39.8
39.7
39.7
41. 2

34. 07
28.36
33.53
30.06
33.51
34.51
32.37
31. 89
29.00
27.30
29.05
34.43

39. 6

30.55

39.5
40. 7
40.0
40. 5
42; 9
42.3
42.4
42.1
42.9
40.8
42. 8
40. 4
42. 1
45.7
39.2
42.6

31.80
34. 29
32.79
29.40
27. 25
27.53
33.35
31.45
25.11
29. 32
31.62
30.23
27.16
27.94
31.46
36. 22

.583
.660
.717
.649
.589
.572
.618
.711
772
698
.650
.640
.597
.600
.620
.505
.632

40.8
40.2
39.9
39.5
40.7
40.6
41.7
36.8
42.4
41. 2
42.1
40.3
40.2
41.4
39.9
39.3
40.0

.579
.670
.683
.624
.570

44.9
42.3
41.4
40.9
39.1

1 N ot a sufficient coverage to permit computation of an average.
149001— 39------- 10


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

162 $0.504

39.9

$20.13

41

.527

39.8

20.97

17
144
11

0)
.536
(0

(0
39.5
(>)

(0
21.15
(0

1
16

0)
0)

(■)
(0

(0
(0

16

(0

0)

(0

18

(0

0)

(0

5

(0

0)

(0

17

(0

(0

(0

154
50
10

.530
.507
(0

37.4
38.1
0)

19.80
19.29
(0

(0

0)

(0

0)
(0
(0
.548
.521
(0

0)
0)
C1)
39.0
40.2
«

(0
(0
(0
21.35
20.95
(0

1

24
34
2
227
48
1
i

(0

«

(0

193
159

.554
.577

39.0
38.2

21.58
22.06

23.76
26.51
28.60
25. 66
23.97
23.23
25.77
26.17
32. 72
28.75
27.39
25.79
24.01
24.83
24. 77
19.84
25. 24

5,707
24
38
5
11
249
2

.486
0)
0)
(0
0)
.499
0)

37.9
(0
(0
(0
w
37.2
(0

18.41
(0
(0
(0
(*3
18. 57
(0

20
482
111
104
374
29

(0
. 495
.529
.516
.369
(0

0)
38. 6
35.6
38.3
37.6
0)

0)
19.11
18.84
19. 76
13.88
(0

25. 99
28.35
28.28
25.51
22.30

1
368
30
2
434

.460
(0
0)
. 515

(0
38.6
(0
CO
38.0

(0
17.76
(0
(0
19.54

1382

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

5.— Average Hourly Earnings, Weekly Hours, and Weekly Earnings in Selected
Occupations in Electrical Manufacturing, August 1937, by Skill and Sex— C on tin u ed

T able

Males

Skill and occupation

Unskilled workers—Continued.
Rackers and unrackers________________
Riveters_____________ _______ ______
Salvage workers, unskilled______ ______
Screw-machine operators, hand, unskilled________________ ____________
Solderers. _______ - - ____________
Stampers, markers, labelers____________
Stock- and shipping-room laborers_____
Tapers___ _
_____________________
Testers, u n sk illed ______________ ___ _
Truckers, hand. . ______________ ____
Winders, unskilled______________ _ . . .

Females

Aver­ Aver­ Aver­
Aver­ Aver­ Aver­
N um ­ age
age N um ­ age
age
age
age week­
week­ ber of hour­ week­
ber of hour­ week­
work­
work­
ly
ly
ly
ly
ly
ly
ers
earn­ hours
earn­
earn­ hours
earn­
ers
ings
ings
ings
ings

61 $0.522
52
.602
.652
135
69
.879

38.9 $20.30
39.3 23.64
40.2 26. 24
41.2 36.17

21
0)
99 $0.448
13
(0

44
126
76
564

.567
.654
.766
.599

40.8
40.5
39.2
42.1

23.16
26.51
30.03
25. 21

2
380
50
4

30
416
406
369

0)
.6 3 3
.5 6 1
.6 4 6

(>)
4 0 .8
4 1 .7
4 1 .7

(0
2 5 . 79
2 3 .4 1
2 6 .9 4

(>)

39.0
(>)

0)
$17.48
(»)

.504
.439

0)

0)
38.6
38.5

19.46
16. 92

244
437

( ')
.5 6 2
.5 3 0

C1)
3 8 .2
3 9 .5

0)
2 1 .4 8
20. 96

1 ,2 9 7

.5 7 0

3 8 .5

2 1 .9 3

(>)

1 N ot a sufficient coverage to permit computation of an average.

Among skilled males, the highest-paid occupational class was th at
of boring-mill operators, who averaged $1,229 an hour. By contrast,
the lowest-paid skilled occupational classes were millwrights and other
maintenance workers and shippers, whose averages amounted respec­
tively to 85.7 and 82.5 cents. Between these extremes, the occupa­
tional averages ranged from $1,156 for pattern makers to 90.8 cents
for drill-press operators. There were 5 occupational classes averaging
between $1.10 and $1.16, 5 between $1.05 and $1.10, 7 between $1
and $1.05, 10 between 95 cents and $1, and 4 between 90 and 95
cents. The largest occupational classes in this group of skilled
workers were working foremen and tool and die makers, the former
averaging $1,038 and the latter $1,051.
As regards semiskilled males, the average hourly earnings of 50
occupational classes covered a spread from 88.2 cents for crane
operators to 54.5 cents for apprentices. An analysis of the distribu­
tion of these averages shows th a t 4 were over 85 cents, 14 between 80
and 85, 10 between 75 and 80, 12 between 70 and 75, 5 between 65
and 70, 3 between 60 and 65, and only 2 under 60 cents. The leading
occupational classes, numerically, were assemblers, punch-press op­
erators, and inspectors, whose respective averages were 81.9, 73.0,
and 75.1 cents.
Among unskilled males, the highest occupational average was 87.9
cents for sandblasters. The averages of the other 39 occupational
classes ranged from 77.2 cents for freight loaders and unloaders to
50.5 cents for learners. There were 5 occupational classes averaging
over 70 cents, 7 between 65 and 70, 10 between 60 and 65, 9 between
55 and 60, and only 2 under 55 cents. The averages of the 2 largest


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Wages and Hours of Labor

1383

occupational classes were 58.3 cents for assemblers and 58.9 cents for
common laborers.
There was considerable overlapping between the distributions of
average hourly earnings between occupational classes of semiskilled
and unskilled females. Of 25 occupational classes for which figures
are shown, the spread in averages was 57.7 cents for semiskilled
winders to 43.9 cents for unskilled stampers, markers, and labelers,
with learners averaging 36.9 cents an hour. There were 4 occupa­
tional classes with averages over 55 cents, 13 between 50 and 55, 5
between 45 and 50, and 3 under 45 cents. The leading occupational
class was th a t of unskilled assemblers, which included more than
one-third of all females in the industry. This class averaged 48.6
cents. Another im portant occupational class from the numerical
standpoint was th a t of unskilled winders, the average for which was
57.0 cents.
In 24 occupational classes, averages are shown for both females
and males, b u t in every case the former averaged less than the latter,
the differences ranging from 5.5 cents for unskilled punch-press
operators to 32.7 cents for stampers, markers, and labelers.

Average Weekly Hours
FULL-TIME W E E K L Y

HOURS

The 8-hour day and 40-hour week generally prevailed in the elec­
trical m anufacturing industry in August 1937. Of the 233 plants
covered, 128 worked their employees 40 hours per week, with all but
1 of these also having an 8-hour day.
Only 10 establishments had scheduled hours of less than 40 per
week. In 3 of these, the full-time hours were under 36%, the lowest
being 30 hours. There were 5 plants with scheduled hours of 36%.
The regular hours were between 36% and 40 in 2 establishments.
In 5 plants, the scheduled hours were over 40 and under 44 per week.
As m any as 28 establishments had 44 as their full-time hours, and all
but 1 of these worked 8 hours per day and 4 hours on Saturday. The
regular hours were 45 in 14 plants, over 45 and under 48 in 4, 48 in
12, over 48 and under 50 in 6, 50 in 6, and over 50 in 2 establishments.
In the remaining 18 plants, the scheduled hours varied by sex or
departm ent, with a substantial num ber of employees working 40
hours.
I t should be remembered th a t the full-time hours in practically all
establishments apply m ostly to direct workers; indirect employees in
the maintenance and service departm ents usually work longer hours.
ACTUAL W E E K L Y

HOURS

At the time of the survey, the actual weekly hours of all wage earners
in the electrical m anufacturing industry averaged 40.5.

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1384
T able

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939
6 . — Average

Actual Weekly Hours in Electrical Manufacturing, August 1937,
by Industry Division, Skill, and Sex
All workers

Industry division
Total Male Female

Semiskilled

Unskilled

Skilled:
Male

Total Male Fem ale1 Total Male Female

All divisions________________

40.5

41.2

38.3

41.7

40.9

41.2

38.9

39.7

40.8

38.1

Carbon products____________
Domestic ap p lia n ces...............
D ry batteries ______________
Electric lamps . . _________
Electrical measuring instruments________ ______ _____
Fractional-horsepower motors.
Fuses, wiring devices, and specialtv transformers________
Industrial controls___________
Integral-horsepower motors
and generators____________
Signaling apparatus_________
Storage batteries____________
Transformers and switchgear..
Wire and cable______________
Miscellaneous products______

45.2
39.3
42. 1
39.6

46.3
39.6
43.2
41.2

40.4
38.5
40.7
39.0

50.2
40.0
49.2
41.1

46.5
40.5
42.9
39.4

46.6
40.6
43.5
41.7

(J)
39.8
41.4
39.1

43.7
38.3
41.4
39.4

45.2
38.3
42.3
40.7

40.4
38.3
40.6
39.0

39.9
40.8

40.4
41.7

39.3
38.5

40.7
43.0

40.1
41.2

40.3
41.3

39.3
39.3

39.6
39.9

40.3
41.4

39.3
38.4

39.2
40.3

41.8
41.1

37.6
36.3

43.7
41.3

40.4
40.8

40.9
41.3

38.7
36.5

38.3
39.2

41.6
40.6

37.5
36.3

41.5
39.0
40.6
41.0
40.2
40.7

41.8
40.9
40.6
41.3
40.6
41.0

38.0
33.6
39.3
37.7
36.9
39.6

41.3
43.4
41.5
42.0
41.8
41.3

41.9
41. 7
40.7
41.2
40.3
40.9

42.1
41.8
40.7
41.3
40.5
41.0

38.4
(’)
(3)
38.8
38.0
39.8

40.9
36.1
40.2
39.9
39.8
40.3

42.1
38.4
40.2
40.5
40.5
40.9

37.9
33.5
39.5
37.5
36.8
39.6

1 Include a small number of skilled workers.
* N ot a sufficient number of workers to present an average.

An examination of the total distribution of all employees according
to actual weekly hours, as shown in table 7, discloses the fact th at
one-half (50.2 percent) worked exactly 40 hours during the week
scheduled. Over one-tenth (11.6 percent) were employed less than
36 hours, most of these having worked part time during the week as
a result of absenteeism and labor turn-over. Another ten th (9.6 per­
cent) had a workweek of between 36 and 40 hours. A substantial
portion (16.5 percent) worked over 40 and under 48 hours, with most
of these being employed exactly 44 hours. The remaining workers,
constituting 12.1 percent of the total, worked 48 hours and over,
m any of these being in the service and m aintenance departm ents.
Male workers averaged. 2.9 hours more per week than females, the
respective figures being 41.2 and 38.3. Comparing the distributions,
it will be seen th at, whereas two-thirds (67.9 percent) of the males
had a workweek of 40 hours and less, five-sixths (83.4 percent) of the
females were in th a t category. In other words, one-third (32.1 per­
cent) of the males worked over 40 hours, as against one-sixth (16.6
percent) of the females.
The differences between the sexes are especially striking at the
extremes of the distributions. There were 9.7 percent of the males
working under 36 hours, as compared with 17.7 percent of the females.
As most of these employees worked p art time during the week sched­
uled, it appears th a t absenteeism and labor turn-over are relatively
more extensive among females than males. On the other hand, as
m any as 14.9 percent of the males worked 48 hours and over, as
against only 2.7 percent of the females. This was due to the fact
th a t few females are found in the m aintenance and service occupations.

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1385

Wages and Hours of Labor

Aside from the carbon-products division, there was very little
difference in the average actual hours worked per week of all employ­
ees among the various industry divisions, the figures ranging from
39.0 in signaling apparatus to 42.1 in dry batteries. In the carbon
products branch, the average amounted to 45.2 hours, which was
probably due to overtime worked during the week scheduled. In
each branch, the males worked longer hours than females, the differ­
ences ranging from 0.4 in miscellaneous products to 7.3 in signaling
apparatus.
T able

7 .— Percentage

Distribution of Workers in Electrical Manufacturing, According
to Actual Weekly Hours August 1937, by Skill and Sex
All workers

Weekly hours
Total Male Female
2.3
2.8
4.6
8.4
49.8
5.2
12.0
8.9
2.8
2.4
.8

4.1
5.6
8.0
13.7
52.0
4.6
9.3
2.4
.3
(2)

T otal_________________ 100.0 100.0

100.0

Under 24 hours______________ 2.7
24 and under 32 hours------------ 3.5
5.4
32 and under 36 hours_______
9.6
36 and under 40 hours_______
Exactly 40 hours____________ 50.2
Over 40 and under 44 hours. _ 5.1
44 and under 48 hours___ ____ 11.4
7.4
48 and under 52 hours_______
2.2
52 and under 56 hours_______
1.9
.6

Unskilled

Semiskilled
Skilled:
Male

1.9
1.8
3.6
6.4
52.8
4.9
10.7
11.1
3.4
2.7
.7

Total Male Fem ale1 Total Male Female
1.9
2.8
4.7
9.7
51.9
4.7
11.4
7.6
2.4
2.2
.7

1.9
2.8
4.4
9.3
49.6
5.1
12.1
8.6
2.8
2.6
.8

100.0 100.0 100.0

3.0
3.6
5.6
8.5
47.5
5.6
12.9
7.9
2.5
2.0
.9

4.6
6.3
8.5
14.1
48.2
5.3
10.0
2.7
.3
(2)

100.0 100.0 100.0

100.0

2.2
3.1
6.3
12.3
65.8
1.8
7.1
1.3
.1

3.7
4.7
6.8
10.8
47.7
5.5
11.7
5.7
1.6
1.2
.6

1 Includes a small number of skilled workers.
2 Less than a tenth of 1 percent.

Generally speaking, the average actual weekly hours varied inversely
w ith the degree of skill, although the differences were not very pro­
nounced in most instances. For the industry as a whole, the averages
were 41.7 for skilled, 40.9 for semiskilled, and 39.7 for unskilled work­
ers. On a sex-skill basis, the figures for males am ounted to 41.7
for skilled, 41.2 for semiskilled, and 40.8 for unskilled employees.
The females averaged 38.9 for semiskilled and 38.1 hours for unskilled.

Average Weekly Earnings
The average weekly earnings of all wage earners in the electrical
m anufacturing industry amounted to $28.78 in August 1937 (table 8).
On a sex-skill basis, the average weekly earnings for males were $42.21
for skilled, $31.14 for semiskilled, and $24.83 for unskilled workers.
The females averaged $21.05 for semiskilled and $19.01 for unskilled
employees.
In terms of weekly earnings, the highest-paid industry divisions
were those m anufacturing integral-horsepower motors and generators
and transformers, and switchgear, whose averages for all workers
amounted respectively to $35.54 and $35.31. N ext came the m anu­
facture of storage batteries, of miscellaneous products, and of

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Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

1386

industrial controls, w ith averages of $30 to $32. The lowest-paid
branches were fuses, wiring devices, and specialty transform ers ($19.39),
signaling apparatus ($20.81), dry batteries ($22.56), and electric
lamps ($23.76). The remaining industry divisions averaged $25 to $27
a week.
T able

8 . — Average

Weekly Earnings in Electrical Manufacturing, August 1937, by
Industry Division, Skill, and Sex
All workers

Semiskilled

Industry division
Total Male Female
All divisions________________ $28. 78 $31. 59
Carbon products____________
Domestic appliances_________
D ry batteries___________ . . .
Electric lamps................ . . .......
Electrical measuring instru­
m en ts.,. ________________
Fractional-horsepower motors.
Fuses, wiring devices, and
specialty transformers_____
Industrial controls_____ _ . .
Integral-horsepower motors
and generators. . . ________
Signaling apparatus_________
Storage batteries____________
Transformers and switchgear..
Wire and cable_____________
Miscellaneous products............

26.27
25.00
22. 56
23. 76

Skilled:
Male

$21.05 $22.43 $24.83

$19.01

22.45
19. 66
21.16
21.83

24.25
21.62
24. 62
26. 72

18. 57
17.48
18.13
20.58

36. 70 26. 65 28. 76
40.35 29.12 29. 40

20.29 20.96 24.84
23.86 22.28 24.21

19. 54
20. 27

15.44
19.80

37.51 23.18 24.96
41.54 30.16 31.31

17. 77 16.32 20.58
20. 80 23. 25 25.16

15.24
19.45

22.01
13.89
21.24
22. 53
16.67
23. 29

45.33
34.82
38. 56
46.07
36.03
43. 68

28.09
28.02
26. 24
32.15

18. 64
17.74
18. 24
20.91

39.53
37. 68
38. 57
38. 39

25.42 29. 22
27.28 29. 78

19.74
20.49

19. 39 25.94
29.95 32.05
35.54
20.81
31.78
35. 31
25. 28
30. 53

36.91
23.15
32.01
36.44
26.36
32. 38

Total Male Female1 Total Male Female

$42. 21 $29.80 $31.14

$19. 46

Unskilled

■

29. 32
26. 23
24.18
22.32

33. 57
23.29
32.45
35.61
27. 33
30.84

29.51
27.61
26. 53
29.33

34.11
23.50
32. 55
35. 93
27.70
31.74

«
19.10
18.87
21.12

23. 07
00
(2)
25. 04
18.90
22.80

26.49
15.60
27. 98
26.72
21.85
24.33

28.28
17.34
28.35
27.92
23.11
24.93

21.71
13. 67
20.24
22.09
16.27
23.41

•

1 Includes a small number of skilled workers.
2 N ot a sufficient number of workers to present an average.

As indicated in table 9, two-fifths (39.5 percent) of all workers
earned between $20 and $30 a week. Over three-fourths (77.1 per­
cent) received between $15 and $40. There were 7.4 percent paid
under $15, m any of these employees having worked p a rt time during
the week scheduled. The num ber earning $40 and over amounted to
15.5 percent, b u t only 5.2 percent received $50 and over.
For males, the average earnings were $31.59 a week. According to
the distribution, over one-half (54.9 percent) earned between $20
and $35. As m any as 84.4 percent were found within the range from
$15 to $45. Only 3.8 percent received less than $15, which m ay be
compared with 11.8 percent paid $45 and over.
The average weekly earnings of females amounted to $19.46. As
shown by the distribution, over two-thirds (67.0 percent) earned be­
tween $15 and $25, and more than nine-tenths (92.4 percent) received
between $10 and $30. There were 4.8 percent paid under $10, as
against only 2.8 percent earning $30 and over.


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Wages and Hours of Labor
T able

1387

9 . — Percentage

Distribution of Workers, by Skill and Sex, According to Weekly
Earnings, in Electrical Manufacturing, August 1937
Semiskilled

All workers
Weekly earnings
Total Male Female
Under $5____________ _______
$5 and under $10............ ............
$10 and under $15.......................
$15 and under $20.......................
$20 and under $25...................
$25 and under $30.......................
$30 and under $35.....................
$35 and under $40___________
$40 and under $45.......... .............

$60 and under $65.......................
$65 and under $70___________
$70 and under $75____ _______

0.5
1.6
5.3
13.8
21.4
18.1
13.9
9.9
6.4
3.9
2.3
1.3
.8
.4
9

.2

0.3
1.0
2.5
8.5
17.0
20.4
17.5
12.7
8.3
5.1
2.9
1.7
1.0
.5
.3
.3

T otal.................................. 100.0 100.0
1 Includes a small number of skilled workers.
8 Less than a tenth of 1 percent.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1.0
3.8
14.8
31.4
35.6
10.6
2.3
.4
.1

(9

100.0

Skilled:
Male

0.1
.5
.5
1.0
2.5
6.8
14.6
19.5
19.0
13.8
8.7
5.4
3.4
1.8
1.1
1.3

Unskilled

Total Male Fem ale1 Total Male Female
0.2
.9
2.3
9.1
19.0
22.4
20.2
13.1
6.6
3.1
1.6
.7
.4
.2
.1
.1

0.2
.7
1.6
6.1
15.1
23.8
22.9
15.1
7.5
3.6
1.8
.8
.4
.2
.1
.1

100.0 100.0 100.0

0.4
1.8
6.7
28.7
43.9
14.9
2.9
.5
.2

0.8
2.7
9.9
23.2
31.2
18.8
8.2
3.1
1.2
.5
.3
.1
(2)
(2)
f2)

(9

0.6
1.6
4.9
16.8
29.7
25.5
12.5
5.0
1.9
.8
.4
.2
.1

i 1-2
4.4
17.1
32.1
33.2
9.4
2.1
.4
.1
(9 '

(9
(9
(9

100.0 100.0 100.0

100.0

1388

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

EARNINGS AND HOURS IN THE MANUFACTURE
OF SEAMLESS HOSIERY, 1938
T H E level of earnings was decidedly lower in 1938 in the m anufacture
of seamless hosiery than in the branch of the industry making fullfashioned hose.1 For the 18,270 wage earners in the 97 seamlesshosiery plants covered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its survey,
hourly earnings averaged only 35.1 cents, as compared with 65.8
cents for the full-fashioned hosiery workers. The males engaged in
the making of seamless hose had average earnings per hour of 42.5
cents and the females 31.4 cents; the corresponding averages in the
full-fashioned plants were 83.5 and 50.9 cents. These differences
are largely due to the lesser degree of skill required in the m anufacture
of seamless hose.
For the country as a whole skilled workers composed only 6.4
percent of the total force of the seamless plants (as compared with
63.9 percent for full-fashioned). Their hourly earnings averaged
64.2 cents, those of semiskilled workers 33.4 cents, and those of un­
skilled 29.9 cents. For each skill group, the average earnings were
considerably higher in the N orth than in the South.
The working hours m ost commonly found were the 8-hour day and
40-hour week. In the northern region weekly hours in the seamlesshosiery plants studied averaged 37.4 and in the southern region 37.3.
For the country as a whole the average was 37.4 hours.
Because of the low average hourly earnings, weekly earnings in the
seamless plants am ounted to only $13.11 in September 1938—
$11.37 for females and $17.04 for males. More than one-sixth of all
the employees were receiving less than $8 per week, and only 6.2
percent had as much as $24 or more.
Very little trade-union organization was found among employees
in seamless-hosiery establishments. Of the 97 plants included in the
sample, only 5 reported w ritten agreements w ith independent labor
organizations, of which 4 were with the American Federation of
Hosiery W orkers and 1 w ith a federal union directly affiliated with
the American Federation of Labor. The workers scheduled in these
mills am ounted to 7.2 percent of the total coverage. M ost of the
trade-union plants were located in the northern territory.

Nature of Product and Manufacturing Processes
The seamless stocking is so named because it is knit in tubular form.
It differs from the full-fashioned stocking in having all the rows of
loops parallel throughout its length. Consequently, the seamless
product has approxim ately the same diam eter a t the ankle as a t the
1 For information on earnings and hours in the manufacture of full-fashioned hosiery, see M onthly Labor
Review, M ay 1939.


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Wages and Hours of Labor

1389

top. A slight degree of shape m ay be given to the stocking by tighten­
ing the yarn during the knitting of the ankle section. Such variation
is quite limited, however, and results in lessening the elasticity of the
finished product. Moreover, the seamless stocking m ay be shaped
by cutting out p a rt of the fabric in the ankle section after seaming,
b u t the result is not so satisfactory as th a t produced by full-fashioning.
I t is a common practice to make a mock-seam up the back of women’s
seamless hosiery, thus giving them the appearance of full-fashioned
stockings.2
In contrast with the full-fashioned hosiery industry, the seamless
branch makes a wide variety of products. Its output in 1935, the
latest year for which Census data are available, included 42.6 million
dozen pairs of m en’s hose, 14.6 million dozen pairs of boys’, misses’
and children’s, 13.7 million dozen pairs of women’s, and 5.5 million
dozen pairs of infants’ hose. These products included m en’s half
hose, both flat-knit and ribbed, women’s full-length stockings and
anklets, and a variety of children’s stockings. Rayon (with cotton
tops, heels, and toes), all-cotton, and rayon and cotton mixtures were
the principal m aterials used in m en’s hosiery, but substantial amounts
were also made of cotton and wool mixtures, pure-thread silk (mostly
with lisle or cotton tops, heels, and toes), and silk and rayon mixtures.
In the m anufacture of women’s hosiery, the principal m aterials were
all-cotton, pure-thread silk (with lisle or cotton tops, heels, and toes),
rayon (with cotton tops, heels, and toes), all-rayon, and all-purethread silk. All-cotton was by far the most im portant raw m aterial
used in making boys’, misses’, children’s, and infants’ hosiery, but
rayon and cotton mixtures were also used in substantial amounts.
M ost of the athletic and golf hose were made o u t of all-cotton m aterial.
M ost of the work in seamless-hosiery mills consists of knitting
operations. A large proportion of the hosiery produced in this branch
contains two or more colors. The method of m anufacturing these
products usually requires a previously dyed yarn, although some of
the m en’s and women’s seamless stockings are dyed and finished by
methods similar to those used in full-fashioned establishments. How­
ever, because of the wide variety of styles and color combinations,
m ost seamless-hosiery plants find it impractical to dye their own
yarns. Instead, they purchase the yarns from textile-dyeing firms.
The Bureau found no evidence th a t the dyeing of seamless stockings
was carried on in independent finishing plants.

Extent of Survey
The survey of the seamless branch of the hosiery industry covered
97 representative plants (with 18,270 wage earners), giving a
fairly accurate picture of the seamless industry as to geographical
2 The mock-seam is sometimes also used on men’s seamless hosiery.


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1390

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

distribution of mills, size of community, size of establishm ent, and
unionization.
The sample covered 65 mills w ith 13,805 wage earners (76 percent)
in the southern and 32 plants with 4,465 employees (24 percent) in
the northern region (table 1). In the South, nearly one-half of the
workers were located in N orth Carolina, less than one-fourth in
Tennessee, and about one-eighth in Georgia, with the rem ainder
scattered over 7 States. By contrast, about two-fifths of the northern
employees were in Pennsylvania, approxim ately a fifth in Illinois,
one-sixth in Wisconsin, and the rem ainder in 7 other States. Very
few plants are found west of the Mississippi River.
T

able

1 .— Coverage

of Survey in Seamless-Hosiery Branch of Hosiery Industry, by
Region and State, 1938

Region and State

Workers

Number of
plants
Number

Percent

United States.____________ ______ _____________ _____

97

18,270

100.0

N orth_______ ____ ____________ ___________________
Illinois_________________________________________
Pennsylvania_________ _____ ___________ ________
Wisconsin_________ ______ _____________________
Other States 1______ _____ _______________ _______

32
3
19
3
7

4,465
850
1,738
726
1,151

24.4
4.7
9.4
4.0
6.3

South______ ________
_ . __________________
Georgia____________________ _______ ____________
North Carolina________________________________ _
Tennessee-____ _______________ __________ ______
Other S ta tes2__________________________________

65
7
38
12
8

13,805
1,782
6, 622
3,219
2,182

75.6
9.8
36.3
17.6
11.9

1 Includes 1 plant in Connecticut, 1 in Delaware, 1 in Indiana, 1 in Massachusetts, 1 in N ew Hampshire,
1 in N ew York, and 1 in Ohio.
3 Includes 1 plant in Alabama, 1 in Kentucky, 1 in Louisiana, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Mississippi, 1 in South
Carolina, and 2 in Virginia.

The m ajority of the seamless mills in the southern territory are
located in relatively small communities. Of the 65 establishments, as
m any as 46 were found in places of under 25,000 population, this
group accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total wage earners in
th a t region. All but 7 of the plants and about seven-eighths of the
employees were in communities of less than 100,000. On the other
hand, 21 of the 32 northern establishments, which included nearly
three-fifths of the workers in this territory, were located in m etro­
politan areas of 100,000 and over.
As in the full-fashioned branch, the single-plant company predomi­
nates in the seamless industry. Although there are several large cor­
porations having more than 1 mill, a m ajority of the industry’s out­
p u t is produced by single-establishment companies.
The m ajority of the plants in the seamless branch are of medium
size. Of the 65 southern establishments, 36 were found to have from
101 to 500 employees. Similarly, in the northern region, the group
of medium-sized plants (101 to 500 employees) included 17 of the 32

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1391

Wages and Hours of Labor

mills.3 The chief difference between the northern and southern dis­
tributions according to size of establishm ent is th a t the former cov­
ered a somewhat wider range than the latter.4

Composition of Labor Force
M ost of the knitting machines used in the seamless branch are highly
autom atic in operation. Several types of circular latch-needle m a­
chines are employed, b u t they all require very little attention and
relatively limited skill on the p art of the operators. I t is customary
to employ a male machine fixer to make adjustm ents and repairs on
a large num ber of machines. The machines themselves are operated
by women whose duties consist largely of tying broken yarn, remov­
ing completed stockings, and transferring rib tops for certain types of
hosiery. M ost of the seamless stockings are then completed by a
looping operation, which is quite similar to th a t performed in the
m anufacture of full-fashioned hosiery. On the whole, however, the
looping of seamless stockings is somewhat less difficult than in the
case of full-fashioned hosiery because most of the seamless product is
made of relatively coarse yarns, which are less susceptible to damage
in handling and are more easily placed on the needles of the looping
machine.
An outstanding feature of the m anufacture of seamless hosiery is
the large proportion of female employees. They constituted 69 percent
of the total wage earners scheduled (table 2). Another character­
istic of the industry is the predominance of workers in occupations
regarded by employers as semiskilled. Semiskilled workers consti­
tuted 73 percent of the total labor force in the plants studied. U n­
skilled employees formed 21 percent. The num ber of skilled women
was too lim ited to justify their separate treatm ent in the data, while
the skilled males were only 6 percent of the total labor force. Both
the semiskilled and unskilled workers were predom inantly females.
T

able

2.— Number and Percent of Seamless-Hosiery Workers^Covered in Survey, by
Region, Skill, and Sex, 1938
All workers

Region
Total
Number: United States.
North_____________
South...... ....................
Percent: United States..
North_____________
South__________ _

18,270
4,465
13,805
100.0
100.0
100.0

Skilled:
Male

Male Female

Total

12, 643
3,381
9,262
69.2
75.7
67.1

1,178 13, 293
313 3,320
865 9, 973
6.4
72.8
74.4
7.0
72.2
6.3

5,627
1,084
4, 543
30.8
24.3
32.9

Unskilled

Semiskilled
Male Female Total
3,642
628
3, 014
19.9
14.1
21.8

>9, 651
»2, 692
»6, 959
52.9
60.3
50.4

3, 799
832
2,967
20.8
18.6
21.5

Male

Female

807
143
664
4.4
3.2
4.8

2,992
689
2,303
16.4
15.4
16.7

1Includes 49 workers who were reported as skilled.
1 Includes 23 workers who were reported as skilled.
»Includes 26 workers who were reported as skilled.
»Analysis of the plant averages for both regions indicated that there was no correlation between average
hourly earnings and size of community or size of establishment.
*Some of the large establishments manufacture both full-fashioned and seamless hosiery. In classifying
by size, regard was had to total number of employees, including office workers, irrespective of product.


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1392

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

There was very little difference in the distributions by skill between
the northern and southern regions. The proportion of women among
the semiskilled workers was considerably higher in the N orth than in
the South. In the case of unskilled employees, however, the propor­
tion of females was about the same in both regions.

Average Hourly Earnings
METHODS

OF W A G E

PAYMENT

As in full-fashioned hosiery plants, the great m ajority of the em­
ployees in the seamless branch are paid on a straight piece-rate basis.
W ith the exception of one establishment, this m ethod of wage pay­
m ent was found in all mills surveyed. In three plants, including the
one with no piece workers, some of the wage earners worked under
production-bonus plans. The num ber of employees affected by
straight piece rates and production-bonus systems constituted about
75 percent of the total coverage. The remaining workers were either
hourly or salaried employees, some of whom were found in every one
of the establishments covered.
The paym ent of regular rates for overtime generally prevailed in
this branch of the industry. Of the 96 mills having piece workers, 91
paid the regular rates for overtime; piece workers did not work over­
time in the remaining establishments. Hourly employees were paid
for overtime at the regular rates in 91 plants. In another mill, those
workers did not work overtime. Time and one-half was allowed to
all hourly employees by only 2 plants, while 2 mills paid this higher
rate only to their machine fixers.5
Penalties of various types for faulty work were provided in 38 of
the 97 mills. In 29 establishments the employees received no pay for
unsatisfactory stockings, and 3 mills applied penalties for poor work
in excess of a small maximum tolerance. One plant required the
employees to repair bad work on their own time, and in another the
workers were charged the cost of repairing. One establishment
charged the knitters for broken needles and wasted materials, and in
another mill the knitters were charged 10 cents per pound for damaged
goods. The loopers were penalized for unsatisfactory work in 2
plants, receiving no paym ent a t all for seconds in one and only half
pay in the other. All but one of the mills providing penalties were
located in the South.
VARIATIONS B Y S EX A N D

SKILL

The hourly earnings of the 18,270 wage earners in the seamless
hosiery mills included in the survey averaged 35.1 cents in September
1938.
* Overtime compensation earned either at regular or extra rates usually does not apply to salaried employ­
ees, who are expected to work above full-time hours without additional remuneration.


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Wages and Hours of Labor

1393

The male employees in the country as a whole averaged 42.5 cents
an hour, or 11.1 cents more than the average of 31.4 cents for females.
A considerable p a rt of this difference was attributable to the relatively
high earnings of skilled males, who averaged 64.2 cents. Among the
semiskilled workers, the difference in hourly earnings between males
and females was 5.5 cents, whereas in the unskilled group the earnings
of males and females averaged about the same.
Although skilled males in the entire country had considerably higher
earnings than did semiskilled males, the difference between the earn­
ings of the latter and the unskilled males amounted to only 6.9 cents
an hour, the respective averages being 37.4 and 30.5 cents. On the
other hand, there was very little difference between the averages of
the semiskilled and unskilled females, the former averaging 31.9 and
the latter 29.8 cents.
Similar differences in average earnings per hour were found among
the sex-skill groups in each region. Furtherm ore, for each sex-skill
group, the average was considerably higher in the northern than the
southern territory.
T a b le 3.—Average Hourly Earnings of Seamless Hosiery Workers, by Region, Sex, and

Skill, 1938
All workers

Semiskilled

Region
Total

Male

United States................... $0.351 $0.425
North________________
South_________ _______

.412
.331

Female
$0.314

.538
.398

.367
.295

Skilled:
Male

Total

Male

$0.642 $0.334 $0.374
.693
.624

.395
.314

.490
.349

Unskilled
Male

Female

$0. 319 $0. 299 $0.305

$0. 298

Female Total

1.372
».299

.356
.283

.387
.286

.348
.283

1 Includes 23 workers reported as skilled.
2 Includes 26 workers reported as skilled.

The distribution of hourly earnings covering all workers in the coun­
try as a whole ranged from under 17.5 cents to over $1.00 (table 4),
but the largest concentration (18.7 percent) occurred between 27.5
and 32.5 cents. In fact, more than one-third (36.8 percent) of the
employees received between 27.5 and 37.5 cents. However, the
num ber earning under 27.5 cents formed three-tenths of the total.
Those paid between 37.5 and 57.5 cents constituted about one-fourth
(26.6 percent) of the total. Only 6.5 percent received 57.5 cents and
over, and 2.0 percent were paid 72.5 cents and over.


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1394

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

T a ble 4. —Percentage Distribution of Seamless-Hosiery Workers, According to Average

Hourly Earnings, by Skill and Sex, 1938
Unskilled

Semiskilled

All workers
Average hourly earnings

Total

Male

Fe­
male

Under 17.5 cents____ _____
17.5 and under 22.5 c e n ts ...
22.5 and under 25.0 cents__
25.0 and under 27.5 c e n ts ...
27.5 and under 30.0 c e n ts ...
30.0 and under 32.5 c e n ts ...
32.5 and under 35.0 cents__
35.0 and under 37.5 c e n ts ...
37.5 and under 40.0 c e n ts ...
40.0 and under 42.5 c e n ts ...
42.5 and under 47.5 c e n ts ...
47.5 and under 52.5 cen ts.. .
52.5 and under 57.5 c en ts.. .
57.5 and under 62.5 cen ts.. .
62.5 and under 67.5 cen ts.. .
67.5 and under 72.5 c en ts.. .
72.5 and under 77.5 c e n ts ...
77.5 and under 82.5 cen ts.. .
82.5 and under 87.5 c e n ts ...
87.5 and under 92.5 cen ts.. .
92.5 and under 100.0 cen ts..
100.0 cents and over______

4.7
8.9
6.9
9.6
8.2
10.5
9.7
8.4
6.5
5.6
7.3
4.4
2.8
1.8
1.5
1.2
.8
4
.1
.3
.2
.2

1.8
5.8
4.4
5.8
5.3
10.2
7.1
6.7
5.7
6.5
9.4
8.0
5.4
3.8
4.0
3.4
2.4
13
.4
1. 0
.7
.9

6.0
10.3
8.0
11.2
9.5
10.6
10.8
9.1
6.9
5.3
6.3
2.8
1.6
.9
.4
.2
.1
(2)
(2)
(2)

T otal______________

100.0

100.0

Skilled:
Male

Total

Fe­ Total
Male male
1
1.4
6.5
5.1
6.6
7.2
10.1
8.5
8.3
7.4
8.2
11.7
8.0
5.2
2.1
1.8
.9
.6
.1
.1
.1
.1

4.8
9.2
8.3
11.3
9. 7
10.8
11.0
9.4
7.2
5.4
6.6
3.0
1.7
.9
.4
.2
.1
(2)
(2)
(2)

(2)

.3
.3
1.2
.9
1.7
1.4
2.5
5.3
11.2
8.7
10.8
13.3
13.3
9.8
5 7
1.6
4.7
3.1
4.1

3.9
8.5
7.4
9.9
9.0
10. 7
10.4
9. 1
7.3
6.2
8.0
4.4
2. 7
1.2
.7
.4
.2
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)
(2)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

0.1

Male

Fe­
male

9.0
13.1
7.2
11.5
7.7
13.1
10.3
7.8
5.4
4.6
5.3
2.3
1.2
.9
.3
.1
.1
1

5.9
11.2
8.1
10.4
4.1
24.7
10.0
6.6
4.1
4.1
5.2
3.1
1.1
1.2
.1
.1

9.8
13.5
6.9
11.9
8.7
10.0
10.4
8.2
5.7
4.8
5.4
2.1
1.2
.8
.4
(2)
.1
.1

100.0

100.0

100.0

(2)

1Includes 49 females classed as skilled.
2Less than a tenth of 1 percent.
PLANT AVERAGES

On the basis of the averages of individual plants, the hourly earn­
ings in the 97 mills varied from 17.9 to 55.1 cents. Table 5 reveals
th a t there was no very large single concentration within these limits,
but there were several im portant groupings. The concentration
between 32.5 and 35.0 cents represents prim arily the principal group
in the southern territory. The grouping between 37.5 and 40.0
cents is the result of relatively minor concentrations in each region.
Lastly, the concentration between 42.5 and 45.0 cents is due largely
to a relatively im portant grouping in the N orth, as well as a m inor one
in the South.
T a ble 5.-—Classification of Seamless-Hosiery Plants by Average Hourly Earnings and

Region, 1938
Average hourly earnings
(in cents)

United North
States

2

35.0 and under 37.5_______

Average hourly earnings
(in cents)

2

3
5
27.5 and under 30.0_______

South

12

3
5

8
9
9

3

4

2

8
6
2

9

United
States
5
15
4

47.5 and under 50.0_______

2
3

T otal____ ____ _____

97

North South

6

3
9

2
1
2
32

6
2
6
2
1
1
65

GEOGRAPHICAL DIFFERENCES

Geographical differences in wages account in p a rt for the rela­
tively wide dispersion found in the hourly earnings of employees in
seamless mills. For all workers, the averages were 41.2 cents in the
northern and 33.1 cents in the southern region—a difference of 8.1
cents (table 3).

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1395

Wages and Hours of Labor

An examination of the regional distributions of individual plant
averages also indicates a difference in wage levels between the N orth­
ern and Southern States. No establishment in the N orth averaged
under 30 cents an hour, but 27 of the 65 southern mills had averages be­
low th a t figure. Roughly, in 20 to 25 percent of the establishments in
both regions the average hourly earnings were 30 to 35 cents. Al­
though more than two-thirds of the establishments in the South
averaged less than 35 cents, it is significant th a t 25 (of 32) northern
mills and 20 (of 65) southern mills paid an average of 35 cents or
more. In a sense, therefore, the low southern average reflects the
presence of a large group of low-wage mills not found in the N orth,
rather than an exclusively regional difference.
Comparing the northern and southern distributions based on hourly
earnings of individuals, it is seen th a t less than one-fourth (22.5 per­
cent) of the northern employees earned below 32.5 cents, as compared
w ith considerably over one-half (57.4 percent) in the South. On the
other hand, 11.8 percent were paid 57.5 cents and over in the N orth,
as against only 4.9 percent in the southern territory.
Compared to 33 cents for the entire southern region, the hourly
earnings for N orth Carolina averaged about 36 cents, while the
averages for Tennessee and Georgia were each about 31 cents. In
the northern territory, Pennsylvania averaged around 40 cents, as
against 41 cents for the entire region. None of the other States had a
sufficiently large coverage to present averages.
T a b le 6.—Percentage Distribution of Seamless-Hosiery Workers According to Average
Hourly Earnings, by Region, 1938
NORTH
A ll w o r k e r s
A v e r a g e h o u r l y e a rn in g s

S e m is k ille d

Fe­
m a le

T o ta l

M a le

U n d e r 17.5 c e n t s __________
17.5 a n d u n d e r 22.5 c e n t s . . .
22.5 a n d u n d e r 25.0 c e n t s . . .
25.0 a n d u n d e r 27.5 c e n t s . . .
27.5 a n d u n d e r 30.0 c e n t s . . .
30.0 a n d u n d e r 32.5 c e n t s . . .
32.5 a n d u n d e r 35.0 c e n t s . . .
35.0 a n d u n d e r 37.5 c e n t s . . .
37.5 a n d u n d e r 40.0 c e n t s . . .
40.0 a n d u n d e r 42.5 c e n t s . . .
42.5 a n d u n d e r 47.5 c e n t s . . .
47.5 a n d u n d e r 52.5 c e n t s . . .
52.5 a n d u n d e r 57.5 c e n t s . . .
57.5 a n d u n d e r 62.5 c e n t s . . .
62.5 a n d u n d e r 67.5 c e n t s . . .
67.5 a n d u n d e r 72.5 c e n t s ___
72.5 a n d u n d e r 77.5 c e n t s . . .
77.5 a n d u n d e r 82.5 c e n t s . ._
82.5 a n d u n d e r 87.5 c e n t s ___
87*5 a n d u n d e r 92.5 c e n t s ___

0 .3
1 .8
2 .5
5 .5
5 .6
6 .8
13.4
11.3
9 .6
7 .9
11.4
7 .2
4 .9
3 .7
2 .3
2. 5
1 .5
.5
.4
.5
J2
.2

0 .1
.2
.1
.8
1 .3
2 .3
5 .3
4 .3
5 .0
6 .5
13.6
11.9
10 .7
9 .1
7 .3
8. 9
5 .4
1 .8
1 .4
2 .1
1.0
.9

0 .3
2 .3
3 .2
7 .0
7 .0
8 .2
16.1
13.6
11.0
8 .3
10.7
5 .7
3 .1
2 .0
.7
.4
.3
.1
(2)
(2)

T o t a l _________________

100.0

100.0

100.0

S k ille d :
M a le

0 .3
.3
2 .2
6 .4
6 .4
14.1
11.2
2 4 .0
12 .8
5 .4
3 .8
6 .7
3. 2
3. 2
100.0

T o ta l

M a le

0. 2
1 .1
2 .6
5 .7
6 .2
7 .1
13.1
11.4
10.5
8 .5
12.7
8 .0
5 .7
3 .1
1 .9
1.1
.8
.1
.1
.1
(2)

Ó.2
.8
.8
2 .2
5 .6
5 .3
6 .5
7 .6
17 .7
15 .8
14 .8
8 .3
6 .8
3 .3
3 .0
.3
.5
.3
.2

100.0

100.0

1 Includes 23 females in the North and 26 in the South reported as skilled.
2 Less than a tenth of 1 percent.


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U n s k ille d

Fe­
m a le 1 T o t a l
0 .3
1 .3
3 .1
6 .8
7 .4
8 .2
14 .9
13.0
11.4
8 .8
11.6
6 .2
3 .5
1 .9
.7
.6
.3

0. 6
5 .2
3 .0
6 .7
5 .5
8 .2
19.7
15.0
9 .3
8 .1
9 .9
4 .2
1 .6
2 .0
.7

M a le
0. 7
1 .4
2 .8
6 .3
7 .7
1 4 .7
9 .8
8 .4
16.1
2 0 .2
7 .0
2 .1
2. 1
.7

.1
.2

F e­
m a le
0 .6
6 .0
3 .6
7 .5
5 .4
8 .3
2 0 .8
16.1
9 .4
6 .4
7 .7
3 .6
1 .5
2 .0
.7
.1
.3

(2)
(2)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1396

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a b le 6. —Percentage Distribution of Seamless-Hosiery Workers According to Average
Hourly Earnings, by Region, 1938— Continued
SOUTH

Total

Male

Fe­
male

17.5 and under 22.5 c e n ts ...
22.5 and under 25.0 c e n ts ...
25.0 and under 27.5 c e n ts ...
27.5 and under 30.0 cents__
30.0 and under 32.5 c en ts.. .
32.5 and under 35.0 c e n ts ...
35.0 and under 37.5 cen ts..
37.5 and under 40.0 c e n ts ...
40.0 and under42.5 c e n ts ...
42.5 and under 47.5 c e n ts ...
47.5 and under 52.5 c e n ts ,..
52.5 and under 57.5 c en ts.. .
57.5 and under 62.5 c en ts.. .
62,5 and under 67.5 cents. . .
67.5 and under 72.5 c e n ts ...

6.1
11.2
8.3
11.0
9.0
11.8
8.4
7.4
5.5
4.9
6.0
3.5
2.0
1.2
1.2
.7
6

8.1
13.3
9.7
13.0
10.4
11.4
8.9
7.5
5.3
4.1
4.7
1.8
1.0
.5
.2
.1

82.5 and under 87.5 c e n ts ...

,i

2. 2
7.1
5.5
7.0
6.3
12.2
7.6
7.2
5.9
6.4
8.5
7.0
4.1
2.5
3.2
2.0
1 7
1 i
.2
6
.9

T otal.............. ............... 100.0

100.0

Unskilled

Semiskilled

All workers
Average hourly earnings

Skilled:
Male

0.1

( 2)
( 2)

.3
.5
1.6
1.2
2.3
1.8
3.5
6.5
13.1
9.5
9.6
14.1
9.5
8. 7
5 8

(2)

.8

( 2)

100.0

3 9
3.0
4 2
100.0

Total

Male

Fe­
male

Total

Male

5.1
10.9
9.1
11.4
10.0
11.7
9.3
8.3
6.2
5.4
6.5
3.2
1.7
.6

1.7
7.8
6.1
7.8
8.6
11.7
9.1
8.9
7.6
8.4
10.5
6.4
3.3
.8
.7
.3
.1
.1

6.6
12.3
10.4
12.7
10.6
11.7
9.4
8.1
5.6
4.1

11.3
15.2
8.3
12.9
8.4
14.5
7.7
5.8
4.3
3.7
4.1
1.8
1.1
.6

7.1
13.2
9.8
12.0
3.6
28.2
9.0
5.9
3.2
1.5
2.0
2.3
.9
1.1

.2
.1

.2

.4

.2
( 2)

(2)
( 2)
( 2)
( 2)

( 2)

.1

1.8
1.0
.6
.2
.1
( 2)

( 2)

12.5
15.9
7.9
13.2
9.7
10.5
7.3
5.8
4.6
4.3
4.7
1.7
1.2
.4
.3
( 2)
( 2)

( 2)

( 2)

«

100.0

4.8

Fe­
male

( 2)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

2Less than a tenth of 1 percent.
O C C U PA T IO N A L D IF F E R E N C E S

The average hourly earnings of the various occupational classes in
the seamless branch of the industry are shown in table 7.
The highest-paid occupations were those of working foremen and
machine fixers, the former averaging 76.9 cents and the latter 62.1
cents in the country as a whole.
Among the semiskilled males, the highest-paid individual occupa­
tions in the country as a whole were machine fixers’ helpers (43.1
cents), factory clerks (42.0 cents), and string knitters (41.7 cents).
Among other knitter occupations, autom atic knitters averaged 38.1
cents, but rib knitters averaged 32.7 cents and transfer knitters only
29.0 cents. Of the dyeing and finishing occupations, the averages
were 39.7 cents for dye machine operators, 37.6 cents for boarders, and
35.9 cents for packers. Boarders constituted the most im portant
occupation numerically, unless one counts the various knitter occupa­
tions as a single occupational group.
The leading occupations numerically among the semiskilled females
were loopers, transfer knitters, and inspectors and examiners, their
respective averages in the country as a whole being 32.6, 29.9, and
31.2 cents. Among the other k nitter occupations, the averages were
35.5 cents for string knitters, 33.6 cents for autom atic knitters, and
31.3 cents for rib knitters. The highest-paid occupation was th at of
boarders, w ith an average of 39.1 cents. M ost of the remaining
occupations averaged from 31 to 33 cents, the lowest-paid occupation
being th a t of miscellaneous finishers (27.2 cents).

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T a ble 7.—Average Hourly Earnings, Weekly Hours, and Weekly Earnings of Seamless-Hosiery Workers, by Occupation, 1938
149001— 3 !

Skill, sex, and occupation

South

North

United States

Average
weekly
earnings

Number
of work­
ers

Average
hourly
earnings

Average
weekly
hours

Average
weekly
earnings

Number
of work­
ers

Average
hourly
earnings

Average
weekly
hours

Average
weekly
earnings

Number
of work­
ers

Average
hourly
earnings

Average
weekly
hours

212
873
93

$0. 769
.621
.551

45.0
43.3
48.0

$34.61
26. 88
26. 43

48
217
48

$0.764
.689
.636

44.8
42.0
44.6

$34. 21
28.95
28. 36

164
656
45

$0. 771
.599
.472

45.0
43. 7
51.6

$34. 72
26. 20
24.38

1,203
113
104
607
213
292
354
158
92
235
162
109

.376
.420
.397
.381
.327
.417
.290
.431
.341
.359
.412
.383

34.8
45.0
44.6
38.4
40.4
37.0
39.0
45.4
39.7
44.4
41.8
48.7

13.07
18.90
17. 71
14. 65
13.22
15.42
11. 30
19. 57
13.54
15. 93
17. 20
18.66

169
21
22
36
55
77
7
40
33
72
55
41

.491
(0
(>)
.470
.426
.593
0)
.478
.449
.451
.510
.489

34.3
0)
(0
29.6
41.8
32.6
0)
48.6
42.5
45.9
39.8
45.3

16. 86
0)
(0
13. 94
17.83
19.33
0)
23. 26
19.07
20. 71
20. 30
22.15

1,034
92
82
571
158
215
347
118
59
163
107
68

.357
.394
.360
.377
.291
.363
.288
.413
.274
.317
.365
.327

34.9
44.8
44.4
39.0
39.9
38.6
39.0
44.3
38.2
43.7
42.8
50.7

12.45
17.63
15.97
14.70
11. 61
14.02
11.22
18. 32
10.45
13.82
15. 61
16. 55

.391
.332
.312
.336
.313
.355
.299
.272
.326
.312
.336
.318
.334
.352

36.6
41.8
36.0
39.1
35.1
39.2
36.6
30.7
36.5
35.9
32.4
42.6
33.3
40.2

14.30
13.86
11.24
13.11
10.97
13.88
10.92
8.33
11.90
11.21
10.87
13.57
11.13
14.15

138
40
249.
60
46
93
675
2
778
168
181
41
76
» 145

.398
.369
.359
.383
.329
.378
.357
(0
.383
.369
.392
.342
.395
.374

37. 0
42.8
37.2
37.2
38.6
38.2
37.5
0)
36.2
35.4
31.8
42.4
29.8
39.2

14.72
15. 79
13. 38
14. 24
12. 67
14. 45
13.38
0)
13.87
13.07
12.44
14.50
11.74
14. 65

76
69
797
70
23
44
1,939
80
2,687
353
548
49
54
* 170

.377
.309
.297
.299
0)
.308
.278
.265
.309
.285
.317
.299
.268
.334

35.9
41.2
35.6
40.7
0)
41.2
36.2
30.4
36.6
36.2
32.6
42.8
38.3
41.1

13.55
12. 75
10. 57
12.14
(0
12. 68
10.07
8.05
11. 33
10.32
10. 35
12.79
10. 27
13.73

S k ille d w o rk e rs

Males:
Foremen, working.......................................................
Machine fixers.. ___________________________
Miscellaneous, skilled, indirect................................


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of an average.

1397

Miscellaneous, semiskilled, indirect___________
Females:
214
Boarders....................................... ................................
109
Clerks, factory............................ ................................
1,046
Inspectors and examiners___ _________________
130
Knitters, automatic__________ ____ ____ ____
69
Knitters, rib.......................... ..................................
137
Knitters, string...... .....................................................
2,614
Knitters, transfer------ ----- --------------- ------------82
Finishers, miscellaneous---- ----------------- ---------3,465
Loopers........ ......................................................... .......
521
Menders_______ ___________________________
729
Seamers________ _______________________ ____
90
Stock handlers____________ ____________ _____
130
Winders_________________ ______ ____________
2 315
Miscellaneous, semiskilled............................. ...........
• N ot a sufficient number of workers to justify the computation
> Includes 49 workers who were reported as skilled.
5 Includes 23 workers who were reported as skilled.
< Includes 26 workers who were reported as skilled.

Wages and Hours of Labor

S e m is k ille d w o rk e rs

Males:
Boarders__________ ____ ____________________
Clerks, factory___________________ _____ _____
Dye-machine operators................................... -------Knitters, automatic.............................. - ....................
Knitters, rib______________ _______ ______ ____
Knitters, string------------- ------------ ------------------Knitters, transfer--------------------- -------------------Machine fixers’ helpers-------- --------- ---------------Machine operators, miscellaneous.............. ...........
Packers____________________________________

United States
Skill, sex, and occupation

North

1398

T a ble 7.—Average Hourly Earnings, Weekly Hours, and Weekly Earnings of Seamless-Hosiery Workers, by Occupation, 1938— Continued
South

Number
of work­
ers

Average
hourly
earnings

Average
weekly
hours

Average
weekly
earnings

Number
of work­
ers

Average
hourly
earnings

Average
weekly
hours

Average
weekly
earnings

Number
of work­
ers

Average
hourly
earnings

Average
weekly
hours

75
83
79
93
114
214
115
34

$0.333
.298
.285
.281
.311
.313
.295
.326

32.6
42.7
43.1
36.9
51.0
39.6
32.0
40.3

$10. 86
12.70
12. 27
10. 36
15. 87
12.40
9. 42
13.15

4
10
16
7
37
35
23
11

(0
(0
0)
(>)
$0. 383
.405
0)
0)

(')
0)
0)
(■)
47.4
38.8
(')
(0

(■)
0)
(1)
(0
$18.16
15. 73
(0
(>)

71
73
63
86
77
179
02
23

$0.331
.282
.261
.283
.280
. 295
2S0
0)

32.0
43.1
42.8
36. 7
52.8
39 8

415
591
290
699
237
452
308

.295
.334
.157
.322
.316
.304
.280

33.6
35. 7
34.7
37.0
34.4
37.1
34.3

9. 88
11.91
5.44
11. 91
10. 87
11.27
9. 59

64
180
44
157
58
89
97

.371
.371
.209
.370
.342
.351
.322

33.8
33.8
34.0
35.5
35.5
39.9
38.5

12. 55
12. 55
7.11
13.15
12.12
13.97
12. 39

351
411
246
542
179
363
211

.281
.319
. 148
.309
. 307
.292
.257

Average
weekly
earnings

U n s k i ll e d w o r k e r s

1 N ot a sufficient number of workers to justify the computation of an average.


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co
33. 5
36. 5
34.8
37.4
34 0
36.4
32.3

$10. 59
12 15
11 19
■*0 37
14 77
11 75
(>)
9 40
11 63
5.14
11. 55
10 46
in 6i
8. 30

Monthly Labor Review—June 1930

Males:
Clippers_________ _______ ___ _____
Dye-house laborers_________________
Janitors and cleaners..-..............................
Learners and apprentices__________________
Watchmen_____________ ______ ____ ______
Work distributors_____________ . . . . .
Miscellaneous, unskilled, direct.. ______ .
Miscellaneous, unskilled, indirect_____ _____
Females:
Clippers___________ ____ ________________
Folders, wrappers, and b o x e r s ...____________
Learners and apprentices___ _______________
Pairers_________________ . .
Separators_________________________ .
Stampers and labelers________________________
Miscellaneous, unskilled. . . .......................... .

Wages and Hours of Labor

1399

In several of the semiskilled occupations, both sexes are represented
in substantial numbers. Comparing the respective occupational
averages, the differences favored males among factory clerks (8.8
cents), string knitters (6.2 cents), autom atic knitters (4.5 cents), and
rib knitters (1.4 cents). They favored females among boarders
(1.5 cents) and transfer knitters (0.9 cents).
Among the individual male unskilled occupations, the averages in
the country as a whole ranged from 33.3 cents for clippers to 28.1
cents for learners and apprentices. For females, the averages of the
individual occupations (except learners and apprentices), varied from
29.5 cents for clippers to 33.4 cents for folders, wrappers, and boxers.
Female learners and apprentices averaged only 15.7 cents, or 12.4
cents less than for males. Male clippers also bad a higher average
than did females.
The occupational averages ranged from 76.4 cents for working fore­
men to 20.9 cents for female learners and apprentices in the N orth,
while in the South they varied from 77.1 to 14.8 cents for the same
occupations. W ith the exception of working foremen, the northern
averages were higher than those in the South for all occupations. The
difference in favor of southern as against northern working foremen
am ounted to less than 1 cent. For the 4 leading occupations, the
differences favoring the N orth as compared with the South amounted
to 7.4 cents for female loopers, 7.9 cents for female transfer knitters,
13.4 cents for male boarders, and 6.2 cents for female inspectors
and examiners.
E A R N IN G S IN R E L A T IO N TO F A IR L A BO R S T A N D A R D S ACT

Since a considerable proportion of the workers in the seamless-hosiery
branch of the industry was found in the lower-wage classes, a greater
adjustment was required to meet the various minima provided by the
Fair Labor Standards Act than in the full-fashioned branch.
One-fifth (20.5 percent) of all workers in the seamless industry
averaged under 25 cents an hour in September 1938. Nearly twofifths (38.3 percent) received less than 30 cents, and almost threefourths (73.4 percent) were paid below 40 cents. These proportions
differed considerably among the various sex-skill groups. For skilled
males, the num ber earning under 25 cents was practically negligible,
w ith less than 1 percent receiving below 30 cents and only 5.9 percent
paid under 40 cents. For both semiskilled and unskilled employees,
however, the proportions earning less than 25 cents were quite sub­
stantial, ranging from 13.0 percent for semiskilled males to 30.2 per­
cent for unskilled females. Taking 30 cents as the upper lim it, the
proportions varied from 26.8 percent for semiskilled males to 50.8
percent for unskilled females. The adjustm ent to a minimum of 40
cents would directly affect the hourly earnings of over 60 percent of

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Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

1400

the semiskilled males, more than 80 percent of the semiskilled females,
and 85 percent of the unskilled males and females.
In the northern region, the proportion of employees earning under
25 cents an hour was only 4.6 percent, b u t as m any as 15.7 percent
were paid less than 30 cents and considerably over half (56.8 percent)
below 40 cents. Less than 1 percent of the skilled males earned under
40 cents. Very few of the semiskilled and only 2.1 percent of the
unskilled males were paid below 25 cents, b u t 4.7 percent of the semi­
skilled and 10.2 percent of the unskilled females were found in th a t
category. A very small proportion (less than 2 percent) of the semi­
skilled males received under 30 cents, whereas the figures were 11.2
percent for unskilled males, 18.9 percent for semiskilled females, and
23.1 percent for unskilled females. On the other hand, each of the 4
sex-skill groups showed a considerable num ber of workers paid below
40 cents, the percentages being 21.4 for semiskilled males, 51.8 for
unskilled males, 66.4 for semiskilled females, and 77.7 for unskilled
females.
One-fourth (25.6 percent) of the southern employees were paid under
25 cents an hour, less than one-half (45.6 percent) below 30 cents,
and nearly four-fifths (78.7 percent) under 40 cents. In this region
also, relatively few of the skilled workers were found in the lower-earn­
ings classes, those receiving under 30 cents constituting less than 1
percent; 7.8 percent received below 40 cents. By contrast the propor­
tion in the lower-wage classes was fairly high in all of the remaining
skill groups. Taking 25 cents as the upper lim it, the percentages
ranged from 15.6 for semiskilled males to 36.3 for unskilled females.
The percentage earning under 30 cents varied from 32.0 for semiskilled
males to 59.2 for unskilled females, and those paid below 40 cents
ranged from 69.3 percent for semiskilled males to 92.0 percent for
unskilled males.
I t should be pointed out th a t in both the northern and southern
regions, w ith few exceptions, the proportion of workers in the lowerwage classes was higher for females than for males and for unskilled
than semiskilled employees. In the southern territory, however, the
proportion of workers earning under 40 cents an hour was greater for
males than for females in the unskilled group. Moreover, exactly
the same proportion of semiskilled and unskilled females earned under
40 cents. I t should also be noted th a t the semiskilled and unskilled
employees in this industry, of whom the highest proportion was
found in the lower-wage classes, constitute by far the greatest pBrt
of the total labor force.
E A R N IN G S O F L E A R N E R S A N D A P P R E N T IC E S

Only 2.1 percent of all wage earners included in the sample of the
seamless branch were classed by the employer as learners and ap
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Wages and Hours of Labor

1401

prentices, these groups forming 2.3 percent of all females and 1.7
percent of all males.6 The learners and apprentices constituted 1.1
percent of all employees in the northern establishments and 2.4 percent
in the southern mills. In the class of unskilled workers, they formed
6.1 percent in the N orth and 11.2 percent in the South.
E ighty percent of the learners and apprentices earned less than 25
cents an hour in the country as a whole (76 percent were in this group
in the N orth, and 81 percent in the South), and 89 percent (92 percent
in the N orth and 88 percent in the South) received under 30 cents.
All bu t 4 percent of the learners and apprentices in the entire country
earned less than 40 cents; all b u t 2 percent in the northern and all
but 5 percent in the southern territory were in this group.
W eekly Hours
F U L L -T IM E O P E R A T IO N

The m ajority of the establishments included in the sample of the
seamless branch were operating on a 2- or 3-shift basis in September
1938. Of the 97 plants scheduled, 60 were on 2 or 3 shifts, relatively
few having a third shift. In the mills having more than 1 shift,
however, the second and third shifts were usually confined to selected
occupations, m ost frequently in the knitting departm ent. About
three-fourths of the southern plants had at least some employees on
second or third shifts, but only a third of the northern mills worked
more than 1 shift.
As in the full-fashioned industry, the 8-hour shift and 40-hour week
were common.
Of the 32 seamless mills scheduled in the N orth, 20 had a 40-hour
week for all employees, while in 6 m ost of the workers were on th a t
basis. One establishm ent operated on a 37%-hour basis for all em­
ployees. In the remaining plants, the normal hours of work amounted
to 42% in 1 mill, 44 in 2, 45 in 1, and 50 in 1 establishment, these
hours applying to all or nearly all of the workers.
Of the 65 southern mills, 36 had a 40-hour week for all workers,
and in 13 others m ost of the employees worked 40 hours. In the
remaining plants, the full-time hours were 44 in 3 establishments, 45
in 5, 48 in 4, 50 in 3, and 51% in 1 mill, these hours covering m ost of
the employees in each case.
ACTUAL H O URS W ORKED

The actual weekly hours of all workers in the seamless branch for
the country as a whole averaged 37.4 in September 1938. They were
slightly more in the northern than in the southern region—37.4 as
compared with 37.3 hours.
• Of the 383 learners and apprentices scheduled, 290 were females and only 93 males.


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1402

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

M ale employees in the country as a whole averaged 40.1 hours,
which m ay be compared w ith 36.2 hours for females.
The highest averages of actual hours worked per week were found
for skilled males. Among the females, the semiskilled averaged more
than the unskilled, but the opposite was true of the male workers.
T a ble 8.—Average Actual Weekly Hours of Seamless-Hosiery Workers, by Skill, Sex,

and Region, 1938
All workers
Region
Total

M ale

United States_____

37.4

40.1

36.2

N orth____________
South________ __

37.4
37.3

40.4
40.0

36.5
36.0

Female

Skilled:
Male

Semiskilled
Total

Male

44.0

37.0

38.8

42.8
44.4

37.1
37.0

39.2
38.8

>Includes 23 workers reported as skilled.

Unskilled

Female

Total

Male

Female

36.3

36.5

39.9

35.5

i 36.6
2 36. 2

36.6
36.4

40.6
39.7

35.8
35.5

2 Includes 26 workers reported as skilled.

Table 9 indicates th a t one-third (33.4 percent) of the total em­
ployees worked fewer than 36 hours; most of those worked only part
time during the week scheduled, as a result of labor turn-over and
absenteeism. Only one-tenth (10.2 percent) of the total worked 36
and under 40 hours. Less than one-third (31.9 percent) were found
in the class of 40 and under 44 hours, and most of these worked
exactly 40 hours. The remaining one-fourth of the labor forfie worked
44 hours and over, but only 3.3 percent worked 52 hours and over.
Nearly one-half (49.0 percent) of the females, as against one-third
(32.1 percent) of the males, worked under 40 hours. The num ber
working 40 and under 48 hours was practically the same for both
sexes, the proportions being 45.2 percent for females and 47.9 percent
for males. On the other hand, those working 48 hours and over con­
stituted only 5.8 percent for females, as compared with 20.0 percent
for males. Similar differences between males and females in actual
weekly hours were found in both the northern and southern regions.
T able

9 . —Percentage

Weekly hours
Under 8 hours____________
8 and under 16 hours______
16 and under 20 hours_____
20 and under 24 hours_____
24 and under 28 hours_____
28 and under 32 hours______
32 and under 36 hours_____
36 and under 40 hours_____
40 and under 44 hours_____
44 and under 48 h o u r s ..___
48 and under 52 hours_____
52 and under 56 hours_____
56 hours and over. ________
T otal........ ................. .


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Distribution of Seamless-Hosiery Workers, by Actual Weekly
Hours, 1938
United States

North

Total

Male

Female

Total

0.9
2.5
2.6
2.8
5.8
6.9
11.9
10.2
31.9
14.4
6.8
1. 8
1.5

0.4
1.8
1.9
2.2
5.3
5.4
7.9
7.2
33.4
14.5
10.5
4.9
4.6

1.1
2.9
3.0
3.1
6.0
7.6
13.7
11.6
30.9
14.3
5.2
.5
.1

0.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
6. 6
5.4
12.5
10.9
34.1
11. 7
7.9
1.4
1.3

0.6
2.3
2.2
2.7
5.3
2.4
7.1
4.4
37.3
14.4
10.2
5. 7
5.4

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Male

South
Total

Male

Female

0.3
2.6
2.7
2.7
7.0
6.4
14.2
13.0
33.2
10.8
7.1

1.0
2.5
2.7
2.8
5.5
7.4
11.8
10.0
31.0
15.2
6.5
2. 0
1. 5

0.4
1.6
1.8
2.0
5.3
6.1
8.1
7.8
32.6
14.6
10.6
4 7
4.4

1.3
3.0
3.1
3.2
5.6
8.0
13.5
• 11.1
30.2
15.6
4.5
7
.2

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Female

1403

Images and Hours of Labor

In the various occupational groups, the highest averages appeared
for supervisory, m aintenance, and service occupations, in which most
of the employees are males. For example, watchmen reported the
highest average, namely 51.0 hours. Miscellaneous skilled and semi­
skilled indirect employees, most of whom work in the m aintenance
departm ents, averaged 48 to 49 hours. Working foremen and male
factory clerks both showed an average of 45.0 hours.

Weekly Earnings
The average earnings per week covering all employees in the seamless
industry amounted to only $13.11. Nearly three-fifths (59.4 percent)
of the total earned between $8 and $16 a week. More than one-sixth
(17.7 percent) received under $8, b u t some of these for various reasons
worked part-tim e during the week scheduled. Another sixth (16.7 per­
cent) were paid between $16 and $24, thus leaving only 6.2 percent
earning $24 and over.
As was shown in table 7, the average earnings per week for males
varied from $34.61 for working foremen to $9.42 for miscellaneous
unskilled direct employees. For females, the average weekly earnings
ranged from $14.30 for boarders to $5.44 for learners and apprentices.
The average weekly earnings for all workers in the northern area
exceeded those in the southern area by $3.05, the figures being re­
spectively $15.42 and $12.37. Whereas more than one-half (53.5
percent) of the southern employees earned under $12 a week, the
num ber found in this classification in the N orth amounted to less
than three-tenths (29.2 percent) of the total. At the other extreme
only 5.0 percent were paid $24 and over in the southern territory
compared with 10.1 percent in the N orth. Since there was little
variation in weekly hours worked between the 2 regions, the difference
in earnings per week reflect largely those in hourly earnings.
For the country as a whole, the average weekly earnings were $17.04
for all males and $11.37 for females. In terms of sex-skill groups,
the averages ranged from $29.66 for skilled males in the N orth to
$10.02 for unskilled females in the South.
T

able

10.—Average Weekly Earnings of Seamless-Hosiery Workers, by Skill, Sex, and

Region, 1938

Total

Male

Female

United States_____ $13.11

$17.04

$11.37

North........................
South ___________

15.42
12.37

21.76
15. 91

13.39
10.63

Skilled:
Male

$28.24
29. 66
27. 72

1 Includes 23 workers reported as skilled.


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Unskilled

Semiskilled

All workeis
Region

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

$12.37

$14.50

$11.61

$10.91

$12.14

$10.58

13.03
10.32

15. 75
11.36

12.47
10.02

14.63
11.62

19.19
13.53

1 13. 63
2 10.83

2 Includes 26 workers reported as skilled.

1404

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

HOURS AND EARNINGS IN THE CEREAL-PREPARA­
TIONS INDUSTRY, 1938
MEDIAN hourly earnings in the cereal-preparations industry in 1938
were 61.5 cents, but there was a great variation in hourly earnings, the
range being from less than 30 cents to $1.10 or more. Large quantities
of cereal preparations are purchased by the Government, and a survey
was made in April and May 1938, by the United States Women’s
Bureau, of wages and hours in the industry, preliminary to proceedings
by the Public Contracts Board to fix minimum wages under the Public
Contracts Act.
The survey covered 33 establishments whose principal products
were breakfast cereals (rolled oats; shredded wheat; puffed wheat and
rice; wheat, bran, and corn flakes; etc.), various prepared flours (pan­
cake and waffle flour; buckwheat flour; etc.), and similar food prod­
ucts made from wheat, oats, and other grain products. Two-thirds
(67 percent) of the 4,610 employees covered were men. The estab­
lishments surveyed represented a t least one-third of those in the in­
dustry, and the employees covered represented 60 percent of the total
employees.

Hours of Work
Over half of the establishments which reported a regular schedule of
hours had a scheduled week of 40 hours. In the other establishments,
the weekly hours ranged from 36 to 48, where the hours were the same
for both men and women. In 4 establishments, a different hourly
schedule was in effect for men and women, the hours being, respec­
tively, 48 and 40 ; 48 and 45; 50 and 44; and 54 and 48.
Almost half of the employees worked less than 40 hours in the pay­
roll week recorded, and about one-sixth (16 percent) worked 40 hours.
Only one-eighth (13 percent) worked longer than 44 hours.
The num ber of hours worked varied in the different States, the
proportion of employees working less than 40 hours being as great as
76 percent in N ebraska and Missouri and 80 percent in Iowa, and as
small as 16.2 percent in California and Oregon and 16.8 percent in
New York and New Jersey. The proportion of the employees work­
ing 48 hours or longer ranged from 3 percen t in N ebraska and Missouri
to 30 percent in Illinois and Indiana. A m ajority of the employees
(51 to 60 percent) in each occupational group (except the processing
departm ent and foremen) worked less than 40 hours a week. In the
processing departm ent, the largest group (39 percent) worked from 40
to 44 hours, inclusive, and 29 percent worked less than 40 hours.
In table 1 is shown the percentage of the emplojmes who worked
specified weekly hours in the various occupational groups.


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Wages and Hours of Labor

1405

T a ble 1.—Hours Worked by Employees in Cereal-Preparations Industry, by

Occupational Group

Occupational group

Percent of employees whose actual weekly hours
were—
N um ­
ber of
em­
Over 48 and 56 and
Over 44
ployUn­
and under under 60 and
40 to under
40
ees
der 40
over
44
56
60
48

All groups..................................... .......................... 4, 518

47.5

15.1

23.9

3.3

8.8

1.0

0.4

88
Processing----------------------------------------------- 1,135
Packing and labeling_____________________ 1,916
557
Shipping and general utility_______________
Engineers, firemen, and mechanical workers
571
in manufacturing---- ------------- ---------------66
Foremen_______ ________________________
185

60.2
29.0
52.6
52.4

10.2
11.9
17.7
23.7

5.7
39.0
21.0
14.5

3.4
3.5
3.2
2.3

17.0
14.4
4.8
6.5

3.4
1.2
.4
.4

.9
.2
.2

60.2
39.4
50.8

6.0
16.7
10.3

19.1
19.7
15.1

2.1
4.5
8.1

9.5
16.7
13.5

2.8
1.5
2.2

.4
1.5

i Includes workers in printing, carton and box, can, and wax-paper departments.

Hourly and Weekly Earnings
Almost one-half (45 percent) of the 4,569 employees in the cerealpreparations industry for whom hours were reported earned 45 and
under 65 cents an hour. Approximately 6 percent earned less than 40
cents an hour. The median (midpoint) hourly earnings were 61.5
cents and the mean (arithm etic average) earnings were 66.2 cents.
The highest average earnings (78.9 cents) in any State or State group
were in M ichigan and the lowest (49.1 cents) in N ebraska and M is­
souri combined (see table 3).
There was considerable variation in hourly earnings in the different
occupations. Engineers, firemen, and mechanical workers employed in
the m anufacturing processes had the highest earnings, their average
being 84.7 cents an hour. Workers in the processing occupations 1
earned an average of 79.3 cents an hour; shipping and utility workers,
65.1 cents an hour; and receiving and cleaning workers, 59.9 cents an
hour. Filling, packing, and labeling workers earned the lowest hourly
average—52.3 cents.
Average (mean) hourly earnings in the various occupational groups
are shown, by States, in table 2.
! Cookers, bakers, dryers, sterilizers, mixers, rollers or flakers, shredders, puffers or shooters, and graders,
according to machine on which workers are employed.


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1406

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a b le 2. —Average Hourly Earnings in Cereal-Preparations Industry, by Occupational

Group and State
Employees re­
ported
State

Receiving and
cleaning

Processing

Packing and
labeling

um ­ Average
N um ­ Average
um ­ Average N um ­ Average
hourly Nber
hourly Nber
hourly
hourly
ber
ber
earnings1
earnings1
earnings1
earnings1
C e n ts

Total............. _..................................

66.2
61.0
59.1
54.1
78.9
46.5
49.1
61.5

4, 518
204
448
1,084
1,970
90
207
515

Shipping and
general utility
T o ta l..................................... ...........

557
40
65
207
148
15
21
61

Ì

65.1
66.8
57.6
53.7
85.1

C e n ts

C e n ts

88

59.9

16
58
7

56.6

3
4
Engineers, fire­
men, and m e­
chanical workers
in manufacturing
571
2
37
141
371
5
15

84.7
68.2
93.6

69.8

79.3
67.1
63.8
61.6
90.5

1,135
55
124
159
622
7
48
120

53.8
77.8

Foremen
71.2

66
1
14
27
1
4
6
13

C e n ts

52.3
54.9
51.7
47.0
58.1
37.1
45.0
51.6

1,916
106
192
444
703
59
114
298

Others 1
185

77.1

48
118

49.6
89.2

19

1 Arithmetic mean; not computed where base less than 40.
> Includes workers in printing, carton and box, can, and wax-paper departments.

The median week’s earnings in the industry in the pay-roll period
scheduled were $24.00 and the average (mean) earnings were $25.65.
Approximately two-thirds (65 percent) of the employees for whom
earnings were reported earned $15.00 and under $35.00, and over onefifth (21 percent) earned $20.00 and under $25.00. There was a
wide range in average week’s earnings as between the various State
groups. The lowest average was $16.55 in N ebraska and Missouri,
and the highest, $31.15, in Michigan. The average week’s earnings in
the industry in the different State groups, and also the average hourly
earnings, are presented in table 3.
T a b le 3. —Average Week's and Hourly Earnings in Cereal-Preparations Industry ,

by State
H ourly earnings 1

W eek’s earnings
State

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

N ew York and New Jersey...

N um ­
ber of
em­
ployees
4, 610
204
456
1,085
1,970
125
207
563

First
quartile 2

Me­
dian 3

$17. 95
19. 45
17. 40
14.40
23.80
12.45
11.25
19. 75

$24.00
26.00
22. 40
18.10
31.65
21.75
15. 85
24. 00

N um ­
of
Mean 4 ber
em­
ployees
$25. 65
26. 00
24. 55
18. 65
31.15
20. 90
16. 55
25.00

4, 569
204
454
1,084
1,970
125
207
525

First
quartile 2

M e­
dian 3

C e n ts

C e n ts

50.8
49.4
50.5
45.4
61.2
37.1
.42.2
50.2

61.5
62.3
55.1
54.6
81.4
50.8
47.4
57.3

1 Extra pay for overtime not included.
1 One-fourth of the workers earned less and three-fourths earned more than the figure shown.
* One-half of the workers earned less and one-half earned more than the figure shown.
4 Simple arithmetic average.


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Mean 4
C e n ts

66.2
61.0
59.2
54. 1
78.9
53.0
49.1
61.2

1407

Wages and Hours of Labor

INCOMES OF DENTISTS AND OSTEOPATHIC
PHYSICIANS, 1937
T H E average annual net income from professional services, including
professional salaries, of dentists practicing in the U nited States in
1937, was $2,914, as compared w ith $4,273 in 1929 and $2,251 in
1933. Osteopathic physicians in 1937 had an average net profes­
sional income of $2,584.

Incomes of Dentists
Table 1, which also includes the median net incomes representing
the levels above and below which an equal num ber of cases are re­
ported,1 shows the great variation in incomes among members of the
profession, as well as the changing distribution of percentages in the
different income groups, by years.
T

able

1.— Cumulative Percentage Distribution of Dentists According to Total Net

Income From Professional Services
B y type of practice,
1937

B y years
Item
1929

1933

1935

1936

1937

Gen­
eral

B y type of income re­
cipient, 1937

Partly Whol­ Nonspe­ ly spe­ salcial­ aried
cial­
ized
ized

Part
sal­
aried

100
per­
cent
sal­
aried

Percentage of total reporting net income
of less than—
$0.............................

0.4

1.6

1.3

1.1

1.0

1.0

1.5

1.2

1.1

0.4

0.0

$500____________
$1,000___________
$1,500......... ............
$2,000___________
$2,500___________
$3,000......................

2.2
5.1
10.2
18.6
27.9
37.5

6.9
20.3
37.1
53.6
66.8
76.7

6.1
15.5
30.4
45.2
59.1
69.9

5.2
13.9
25.9
39.9
53.5
64.6

4.5
13.0
24.9
37.1
50.4
61.8

4.6
13.4
21.5
38.0
51.5
63.2

3.8
9.5
17.6
28.1
39.5
49.8

2.0
5.2
8.8
13.8
22.3
28.1

4.7
13.5
25.6
37.9
51.0
62.4

2.8
9.1
20.1
33.0
44.8
56.2

.9
1.2
10.0
17.6
38.1
50.4

$4,000..__________
$5,000'___________
$6,000.__________
$7,000..............— .
$8,000— ........ .......
$9,000......... ............
$10,000__________

56.0
70.6
80.6
86.6
90.4
93.4
95.2

88.5
93.5
96.1
97.6
98.5
99.0
99.4

84.6
91.4
95.1
97.1
98.1
98.9
99.3

80.4
88.9
93.3
96.0
97.6
98.5
99.0

78.1
87.2
92.1
95.2
97.0
98.1
98.7

79.6
88.7
93.3
96.1
97.7
98.7
99.1

65.5
75.3
81.9
89.8
92.1
94.7
96.3

41.5
58.9
66.9
74.3
79.9
86.0
90.0

78.5
87.3
92.2
95.4
97.1
98.2
98.8

71.9
84.0
89.0
92.2
93.4
95.9
96.8

76.6
89.4
94.1
96.6
98.4
98.4
98.8

100.0

100.0

$20,000....................
$50 non

99.6 1100.0
100.0

100.0

99.9

99.9

99.9

99.9

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

98.4

99.9

99.6

100.0

100.0

100.0

Average income_____ $4,273 $2,251 $2, 546 $2,769 $2,914 $2,809 $3,671 $5,451 $2,883 $3, 386
Median income_____ $3,676 $1,880 $2,173 $2, 371 $2,485 $2,444 $3,011 $4,489 $1,962 $2.228
5.9
92.5
4.8
91.6
2.5
388
472
231 7,345
Number in sample— 4,967 6,185 7,028 7,455 7,963 6,876

$3,178
$2.484
2.7
230

l Less than a twentieth of 1 percent of the returns reported $20,000 or more.

From table 2 it will be noted th a t dentists in the Pacific States
received higher average and median incomes in 1937 than in any other
State group. The average income for the M iddle Atlantic States is
1 U . S. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Survey of Current Business, Washington, April
1939: Incomes of Dentists and Osteopathic Physicians, by Herman Lasken.


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1408

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

reported as almost equal to th at of the Pacific group, but their median
income was ranked fourth among the geographic divisions, “indicating
a higher dispersion of individual incomes in th a t group of States.”
Figures on average income of dentists by size of place will be given in
a later report. I t will be noted th a t the average incomes for the se­
lected States within geographical divisions tend to be most substantial
in those States w ith the heavier proportions of urban population.
T a ble 2. —Average and Median N et Income of Dentists, by Geographic Divisions and

by Selected States, 1937

Geographic division or State

Number in
sample

N et income from professional
services
Average

New England........... ..................
Massachusetts.....................
Other.....................................
M iddle Atlantic....................... N ew York...... ......................
N ew Jersey........ ..................
Pennsylvania....... _.............
East North Central...................
Ohio.......................................
Indiana................................
Illinois_____ ____________
Michigan_______________
Wisconsin............ ................
West North Central..................
Minnesota............. _..............
Iowa............... .........................
Missouri...................... ..........
Other........................ .............
South Atlantic______________
District of Columbia_____
North and South Carolina.
Georgia and Florida_____
Other........................ ..............
East South Central...................
West South C entral........... ......
Texas.....................................
Other_______ _____ _____
M ountain......................................
Pacific______ ____ ___ ______ _
Washington...........................
Oregon....................... ...........
California...............................

519
277
242
2,042
1,121
313
608
1,844
435
187
617
329
276
1,166
321
226
281
338
467
57
73
125
212
208
369
203
166
263
986
180
102
704

$3,155
3, 212
3,090
3,209
3,393
3,159
2,844
2,818
2,908
2,541
2,752
3,291
2,491
2,240
2,688
2,257
1,932
2,111
3,158
3, 527
2,431
3,609
3,043
2,496
2, 768
3,030
2, 364
2, 642
3,214
2, 633
2,410
3, 426

Median
$2,722
2,640
2,806
2,690
2,821
2,522
2,419
2,476
2, 575
2, 309
2, 366
3,105
2,187
1,981
2,497
1,982
1,679
1,899
2, 716
3, 348
2,184
2,970
2,600
2,268
2,476
2,749
2,009
2, 324
2,777
2, 492
2, 332
2, 950

Incomes of Osteopathic Physicians
Osteopathic physicians practicing in the United States in 1937
received an average net income from professional services, including
professional salaries, of $2,584, the corresponding figure for 1929 being
$3,620 and for 1933, $1,943, as recorded in table 3. In 1937 almost
two-thirds of the general practitioners had incomes under $2,500 while
only slightly over one-third of the wholly specialized group had less
than th a t income.


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Wages and Hours of Labor

1409

T a b l e 3.— Cumulative Percentage Distribution of Osteopathic Physicians According to

Total N et Income From Professional Services
B y type of practice,
1937

B y years
Item
1929

1933

1935

1936

Gen­
eral

1937

B y type of income
recipient, 1937

Partly W hol­ Nonspe­ ly spe- salcial­
cial- aried
ized
ized

Part
sal­
aried

100
per­
cent
sal­
aried

Percentage of total reporting net incomes
of less than—
$0.............................

1.0

2.6

2.3

2.8

1.8

2.3

0.5

0.0

1.9

0.0

0.0

$500............ .............
$1,000___________
$1,500___________
$2,000___________
$2,500 _________
$3,000.................

4.9
11.7
19.2
30.5
39.5
48.9

12.3
30.9
49.4
63.7
74.1
80.9

10.5
27.0
42.7
56.9
67.5
76.3

10.2
24.3
37.8
51.5
63.3
71.5

9.5
21.3
33.9
49.1
61.4
68.9

10.6
23.9
37.1
54.2
65.9
73.7

7.4
16.3
26.8
38.1
50.7
56.9

0.0
2.3
9.1
15.9
34.1
38.6

9.8
21.5
34.1
49.2
61.6
68.8

2.7
15.1
30.1
45.4
55.0
65.9

10.6
27.7
38.3
55.4
70.4
81.0

$4,000___________
$5,000___________
$6,000___________
$7,000___________
$8,000___________
$9,000___________
$10,000__________

65.3
76.9
84.6
90.1
93.5
95.7
96.5

89.8
94.1
96.9
98.2
98.8
99.2
99.7

87.3
92.2
95.4
96.9
98.1
98.9
99.2

84.2
91.0
94.1
96.3
97.7
98.2
98.8

82.5
89.1
92.9
95.4
96.7
97.9
98.6

85.1
91.8
94.7
96.7
97.7
98.3
98.9

74.6
81.9
89.3
92. 7
95.0
97.2
98.9

56.8
70.5
70.5
79.6
81.8
88.7
88.7

82.2
89.3
93.1
95.6
96.9
98.1
98.9

81.0
83.7
87.8
91.9
93.2
96.0
97.3

85.3
95.8
95.8
97.9
97.9
97.9
97.9

$15,000__________ 99.3
$20,000........... ......... 99.8
$25,000__________ 100.0

100.0

100.0

99.7
99.9
99.2

99.9
99.9
99.9

99.9
99.9
100.0

100.0

97.7
97.7
97.7

99.9
99.9
99.9

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Average income_____ $3,620 $1,943 $2,190 $2.425 $2, 584 $2, 348 $3,058 $5, 309 $2,579 $2,943
Median in c o m e ____ $3,067 $1, 521 $1, 757 $1,945 $2, 037 $1,877 $2,472 $3,626 $2,032 $2, 240
24.4
73.1
2.5
93.6
3.9
Number in sample__
704
873 1,088 1,240 1,472 1,018
349
38 1, 374
61

$2,147
$1,842
2. 5
37

$50,000 . _______

The highest average and median incomes of osteopathic physicians
in 1937 were received in the Pacific States, and the lowest average
incomes of this professional group were reported for the W est N orth
Central and M ountain States, according to table 4.
T a b le 4. —Average and Median Net Income of Osteopathic Physicians, by Geographic
•

Divisions, 1937

Geographic division

Number in
sample

N et income from professional
service
Average

N ew England....... .....................................................................
M iddle Atlantic....................- .............. ....................................
East North Central_____________________________ ___
West North Central_____ ___________________________
South Atlantic-------- ------ ------------------------ ---------------South Central---------- ----------------------------------- ----------M o u n ta in ....................... .........................................................
P acific..____________________ ______ ______ __________


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105
221
323
284
73
121
67
255

$2,495
2,737
2, 640
2,300
2,597
2,394
2,291
2,990

Median
$2,185
2,096
2,167
1,740
2,075
1,912
1,720
2,393

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

1410

SALARIES IN PU BLIC LIB R A R IES, 1938
OF 45 L IB R A R IE S serving more than 200,000 population, 21 showed
increases of from 2 to 25 percent in salaries for the year 1938, as
compared w ith the preceding year; and in 13 of this class of libraries,
salary restorations of from 1 to 15 percent were made. In 10 libraries,
increases of from 2 to 16 percent were expected for the current fiscal
year, and 2 reported th a t salary restorations were to be effected.
Complete restoration of salaries was reported by 30 libraries, while 8
were operating under a salary reduction in am ounts which ranged as
high as 22% percent. These figures and the data which follow were
secured by the American Library Association in a survey of salaries
paid in 1938.1
In table 1 a comparison is made of 1938 median salaries with those
of 1937, in libraries serving a population of over 200,000.
T a ble 1 .— Median Salaries in Libraries Serving More than 200,000 Population, 1937

and 1938
1938

1937
O c c u p a tio n
M in im u m

$ 2 ,0 1 0
1 ,9 0 0
1 ,5 6 0
1 ,5 6 8
1 ,8 0 0
1 ,4 4 0
1 ,3 2 0
1 ,2 7 6
1 ,2 4 2
900

M a x im u m

$2, 746
2 ,2 9 0
2 ,0 8 5
1 ,9 7 7
1 ,9 9 0
1 ,7 6 3
1 ,8 3 7
1 ,7 4 0
1 ,9 0 0
1 ,3 1 0

M in im u m

$ 2 ,1 0 0
1 ,8 6 0
1 ,5 3 0
1 ,6 2 0
1 ,6 2 0
1 ,3 2 0
1 ,3 2 0
1 ,3 2 0
1 ,2 0 0
900

M a x im u m

$ 2 ,8 0 2
2 ,2 2 6
2 ,0 5 9
1 ,9 8 0
1 ,9 5 8
1 ,7 1 0
1 ,8 0 0
1 ,7 5 5
1 ,8 6 0
1 ,2 6 0

The salaries of chief librarians in November 1938 in selected cities
in the United States having a population of more than 200,000 ranged
from $3,000 in Dallas, Tex., to $10,000, the latter rate being paid in o
both Brooklyn, N. Y., and Newark, N. J. The salary of the chief of
the New York City library was not given.
The lowest salary reported for a departm ent head was $900 in
Birmingham, Ala., and the highest $4,500, which was paid in the city
of Los Angeles and in Milwaukee. Catalogers’ salaries ran from
$960 in New Orleans to $2,880 in Chicago.
Salaries for five classes of library employees in the United States and
Canada, grouped according to population served, are recorded in
table 2.
1 A m e r ic a n L i b r a r y A s s o c ia tio n B u ll e ti n , C h ic a g o , A p r il 1939, p p . 271, 275, 278, 281, 28 2 .


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wages and Hours of Labor

1411

T a b le 2. — Summary of Public Library Salary Statistics, as of November 1938

L ib r a r ie s s e r v in g —

C h ie f
lib ra ria n

M o r e t h a n 2 0 0 ,0 0 0 p o p u l a t i o n :
H i g h .................................................... ..................... $ 1 0 , 0 0 0
6 ,0 0 0
M e d i a n _________________________________
2 ,9 8 8
L o w ____ _________ _______________________
1 0 0 ,0 0 0 - 1 9 9 ,9 9 9 p o p u l a t i o n :
6 .0 0 0
H i g h . . . --------- ---------------------------------------3 ,6 0 0
M e d i a n __________ ______________________
L o w _____ ______ _________________________
2 ,7 0 0
3 5 ,0 0 0 -9 9 ,9 9 9 p o p u l a t i o n :
5 ,4 0 0
H i g h ------- -----------------------------------------------3 ,1 0 0
M e d i a n _______________ ______ __________
2 ,0 0 0
L o w _________________________ ___________
1 0 ,0 0 0 - 3 4 ,9 9 9 p o p u l a t i o n :
4 ,0 0 0
2 ,1 0 0
'9 6 0

A s s is t­
ant
c h ie f
lib ra ­
ria n

$5, 720
3 ,0 0 0
1, 5 6 0

D e p a rtm e n t
heads

B ra n c h a n d
su b b ra n ch
lib ra r ia n s

P ro fe s sio n a l
a s s is ta n ts 1

M in i­
m um

M a x i­
m um

M in i­
m um

M a x i­
m um

M in i­
m um

$3, 200
2 ,1 0 0
900

$4, 500
2 ,8 0 2
1, 5 0 0

$2, 520
1 ,5 3 0
600

$ 3 ,4 0 0
2 ,0 5 9
1, 3 2 0

$ 2 ,4 7 7
1, 210H
780

M a x i­
m um

$3, 500
1 ,8 6 0
1 ,0 5 5

3 ,0 0 0
2 ,2 5 0
1 ,9 5 0

2 ,2 8 0
1 ,6 2 2 ^
900

3 ,0 0 0
2, 054
1 ,2 0 0

1 ,8 2 4
1 ,2 7 0
720

2 ,2 2 0
1 ,6 8 0
1 ,0 2 0

1 ,6 9 2
1 ,2 0 0
600

2 .2 0 0
1 ,4 4 0
1 ,0 8 0

3, 200
2 ,2 1 0
1 ,2 6 0

2 ,5 0 0
1 ,5 5 5
960

3 ,0 4 0
1 ,9 3 5
1 ,1 4 0

2 ,4 1 0
1 ,5 0 0
600

2, 8 0 0
1 ,6 0 5
1 ,0 0 4

1 ,6 8 0
1 ,267H
824

2 ,3 0 0
1, 5 6 0
1 ,0 1 7

2 ,1 0 0
1 ,5 0 0
L 260

1 ,9 8 0
1 ,3 4 0
720

2 ,1 6 0
1 ,5 7 5
1 ,0 2 0

2 ,1 0 0
1 ,4 8 5
985

1 ,6 2 0
1 ,0 0 0
720

1 ,6 0 0
1 ,3 4 0
720

i E x c l u s i v e o f f i r s t a s s i s t a n t s i n d e p a r t m e n t s , d i v i s i o n s , a n d b r a n c h e s ; c a t a l o g e r s ; a n d c h i l d r e n ’s l i b r a r i a n s .

********

WAGES AND HOURS OF W H IT E AND NEGRO
W ORKERS IN GEORGIA, 1938
W EEK LY wages of white males in inspected establishments in
Georgia in 1938, listed in the following table,1 ranged from $15 in
canneries to $37.50 in film companies, while the wage range for white
females was from $8.70 in restaurants and cafes to $27.50 in film
companies. The weekly wages of colored males were as low as $4.85 in
foundries and as high was $18 in film companies. The range for
colored females was from $6 in creameries and dairies to $13.20 in a
sugar refinery.
This tabulation brings out strikingly the wide differences between
the wages of white and colored workers. However, consideration
m ust be given to the fact th a t in m any cases occupational status m ay
account for these seeming wage discriminations.
1 G e o rg ia D e p a r t m e n t o f L a b o r .


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

S e c o n d A n n u a l R e p o r t, 1938.

A t l a n t a , 1938.

1412

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Wages and Hours of White and Negro Workers in Specified Kinds of Establishments in
Georgia, 1938
W h ite s

C la s s o f e s ta b lis h m e n t

A
B
B
B

N um ­
ber
W eek­
of
ly
em ­
h o u rs
p lo y ­
ees

u t o a n d g a r a g e .................... ..........
2 ,7 4 2
a k e r i e s ___________________
1 ,8 4 9
e a u t y s h o p s _____________
536
o ttlin g a n d s o ft-d r in k m a n u f a e t u r e r s ..................................
736
C a n n e r i e s .................... ................
397
C o t t o n - o i l c o m p a n i e s _____
989
C r e a m e r i e s a n d d a i r i e s ________
54
F e e d m i l l s __________________ .
154
F e r t i l i z e r p l a n t s ___________ ______
548
F i l l i n g s t a t i o n s ........... ..........................
632
F o u n d r i e s _________ _______ _
1 ,5 3 4
F i l m c o m p a n i e s ............................
285
F o o d a n d p r o d u c e . — ....................
318
F u r n i t u r e c o m p a n i e s ___________
467
G a rm e n t m a n u fa c tu re rs
12, 991
I c e - c r e a m a n d ic e m a n u f a c t u r e r s _______________
140
I n s u r a n c e c o m p a n ie s .
1 ,3 8 5
D r y c le a n e rs a n d l a u n d r ie s .. .
4 ,2 6 2
L u m b e r _________
100
M a r b l e q u a r r i e s _____ ______
36
M i s c e l l a n e o u s ______________
6 ,1 6 4
O i l ( g a s ) c o m p a n i e s _____________
301
P a c k i n g p l a n t s ___________________ 1 , 9 0 2
P a p e r a n d p r i n t i n g p l a n t s ____ 3 , 1 8 1
R e s ta u r a n ts a n d c a fe s .. .
901
S u g a r r e f i n e r i e s __________
425
S to r e s :
D e p a r t m e n t .....................
7 ,0 1 9
D r u g ___________________
1 ,2 3 5
5 - a n d 1 0 - c e n t _______________
X, 3 0 4
S t o v e m a n u f a c t u r e r s ___________
137
T e x t i l e m i l l s .......... ..................
4 3 ,6 5 9
T r u c k c o m p a n i e s ______________
255

1 H o u rs v ary .


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

46
41

F e m a le s

N um ­
ber

W eek­
ly
w ages

N e g ro e s

M a le s

N um ­
ber

W eek­
ly
w ages

122
671
415

$ 2 1 .3 1
1 2 .4 9
2 3 .1 0

2 ,1 8 4
1 ,0 0 2
88

$ 2 3 .9 0
2 0 .5 4
2 7 .9 0

39
250
147
1

1 5 .7 8
1 0 .0 0
12. 50
2 0 .0 0

46
7
2
151
136
48
8 ,8 0 4

17. 58
1 6 .0 0
1 8 .0 0
2 7 .5 0
1 4 .3 6
2 0 .0 0
1 4 .0 0

480
121
453
45
68
140
357
1, 2 0 7
114
144
300
3 ,4 9 3

2 6 91
1 5 .0 0
1 9 .1 3
20. 34
15 40
18. 25
23. 50
3 0 15
37. 50
1 9 .4 0
2 3 .5 0
1 6 .5 0

48
40
46
48
40
44
42
45
40
54
40

4
685
1 ,0 2 6
4

1 2 .0 0
2 0 .0 0
1 1 .7 8
2 0 .0 0

30 00
3 6 . 50
2 2 .7 2

1 ,4 7 8
145
400
787
325

1 5 .1 8
22. 50
16. 75
2 1 .0 6
8 .7 0

87
717
801
45
19
3 ,8 7 1
108
1 ,0 6 4
2 ,2 6 7
222
210

16. 00
20. 02
2 6 .5 0
3 4 .0 0
33. 50
1 2 .5 0
2 4 .0 0

48
56
48
38
40
45

3, 918
467
1 ,0 6 3

1 5 .7 6
1 4 .9 6
1 3 .5 2

1 8 ,1 7 1
15

1 4 .9 0
2 0 .0 0

2 ,7 7 6
498
150
102
2 3 ,1 2 1
225

22. 65
23 50
2 1 .5 0
30. 94
1 7 .5 6
2 6 .5 0

0)
44
44
44
56
48
43
63
43
40
52
47
44

F e m a le s

N um ­
ber

W eek­
ly
w ages

M a le s

N um ­
ber

W eek­
ly
w ages

63
25

$ 7 .0 0
1 0 .0 0

436
113
8

$ 1 3 .5 2
1 1 .8 5
9 .0 0

13
11
1

9 .0 0
8. 50
6 .0 0

13
378
7

1 2 .0 0
1 2 .1 5
10. 50

6
364

9 .0 0
9 .0 0

38
113
330

1 2 .1 6
1 0 .2 5

1 ,7 9 2

8 .4 6

10
463

11 2 5
11. 74

1 8 .0 0
1 4 .6 8
7 .5 0
1 3 .2 0

4

138

6. 50

40

1 1 .0 0

96
53

6 .0 0
1 3 .2 0

677
48
398
137
258
162

84

8 .7 8

241

9 .8 6

40

7 .2 6

51

9 33

482

8 .4 2

1 ,8 8 5
15

1 1 .5 8
1 3 .0 0

1 2 .1 6

Wages and Hours of Labor

1413

WAGES IN FRA N CE, OCTOBER 1938
T H E general average of wages in France in 1938 followed the upward
trend of the two preceding years. The annual wage study 1 made
by the General Statistical Bureau of France in October each year
shows the general trend of wages, although the m ethod of securing
the inform ation m ay not result in entire accuracy in certain individual
instances. The data are secured through questionnaires addressed
to officers of trade councils and mayors of the principal towns of the
D epartm ents, and in Alsace-Lorraine and in the region of Paris, to
various trade organizations. The wages reported are an approxi­
m ate evaluation of the rates most frequently paid in each occupation
and the information reported on each of the questionnaires is checked
with similar information for neighboring localities and w ith th a t
furnished in preceding years, and if any anomalies are discovered the
questionnaires are returned for correction. W ith these checks and
because of the fact th a t the information is secured from the same
organizations each year and in the same m anner, the data are regarded
as giving an essentially correct picture of the general wage movement.
Prior to 1937 the year 1930 showed the highest average wages. In
October 1938 the average hourly wage of men in cities other than
Paris was 6.19 francs, or 10.5 percent above the 1937 figure, 63 percent
above the average for 1935, and 51 percent higher than in 1930. The
average hourly wage of women in 1938 was 3.42 francs, the corre­
sponding increases over 1937, 1935, and 1930, being 11 percent, 51
percent, and 41 percent, respectively. In Paris and its environs the
average hourly wage of men in 20 occupations was 10.50 francs in
October 1938. This rate was 69 percent higher than in 1935 and 58
percent higher than in 1930 but only 4.5 percent above the rate in
October 1937, as in a num ber of occupations the increases which were
to become effective November 1, 1937, were included in the October
reports. Among women in the dressmaking and lingerie shops there
was a 10-percent increase in the weekly wages paid in 1938 as com­
pared with 1937. Workers in fashionable dressmaking shops were
receiving the same wages as in 1937, but a recent award by the umpire
granted them a 5-percent increase.
Table 1 gives the average hourly wages in 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938
in Paris and other cities.
1 B u l l e t i n d e l a S t a t i s t i q u e g é n é r a le d e l a F r a n c e , P a r i s , J a n u a r y - M a r c h 1939.

149001— 39------- 12


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1414

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

T a ble 1 .— Average Hourly Wages in French Cities in October of Each Year, 1935 to 1938

by Occupation
[ A v e r a g e e x c h a n g e r a t e o f f r a n c i n O c t o b e r 1 9 3 5 = 6 .5 9 c e n t s ; O c t o b e r 1 9 3 6 = 4 .6 7 c e n t s ;
c e n t s ; O c t o b e r 1 9 3 8 = 2 .9 7 c e n t s ]

O c to b e r

1 9 3 7 = 3 .3 5

A v e ra g e h o u r ly w a g e s in —

O c c u p a tio n

•

M a le s
A v e r a g e ___ _______ __________________________
B r e w e r s __________ _________ __________________
P r i n t e r s , c o m p o s i t o r s . . .................... ................
B o o k b i n d e r s ___ ______ ____________________
T a n n e r s ___________________________ _______ _
S a d d l e r s , h a r n e s s m a k e r s ________________
S h o e m a k e r s ..................................... .............................
T a i l o r s ....... .....................................................................
D y e r s , c l e a n e r s ......... ................................................
W e a v e r s _____________________________________
R o p e m a k e r s ............... ........................................ ..
W h e e l w r i g h t s .................. .................. .......................
W o o d t u r n e r s . . ....................................................
C o o p e r s ...................................... .....................................
C a b i n e t m a k e r s ________________ ______ _____
U p h o l s t e r e r s .............................................................. ..
P i t s a w y e r s . .................. ....................... .....................
C a r p e n t e r s _______ __________________________
J o i n e r s ______________________ ___________ _____
C o p p e r s m i t h s ______________ ______________
T i n s m i t h s .......................................................................
P l u m b e r s ___________________________ ________
B l a c k s m i t h s .................................................................
F a r r i e r s __________ _______ ______ _____________
S t o v e m a k e r s _______________ _______________
L o c k s m i t h s __________________________ ______
F i t t e r s _______________ ___________ ______ _____
M e t a l t u r n e r s ______________________ _______
E l e c t r i c a l f i t t e r s ____________________ ______
W a t c h m a k e r s _______________________ ______
Q u a r r y m e n _________________________ _______
S t o n e c u t t e r s ________________________________
M a s o n s . ............ .....................................
N a v v i e s ( t e r r a s ie r s ) __________ __________ _
R o o f e r s ...................................................................... ..
H o u s e p a i n t e r s ___________ ______ __________
O r n a m e n t a l - s t o n e c u t t e r s ..............................
B r i c k m a k e r s ................................... .........................
P o t t e r s ................................................. .............................
G l a z i e r s _______________________ ____________
M o t o r m e n , t r a m w a y s _______ _______ _
C o n d u c t o r s , t r a m w a y s ______ ___________
T r u c k d r i v e r s .............................................................
L a b o r e r s . . ............................ .......................................

Cities other than Paris

P a r is a n d its e n v iro n s

1938

1937

1936

1935

1938

1937

F ran cs

F ran cs

F ra n cs

F ran cs

F ran cs

F ran cs

F ran cs

1 0 .5 0

1 0 .0 6

6 .2 3

6 .1 9

5 .6 0

4 .4 2

3 .8 0

5 .5 4
6 .8 7
6 .8 4
5. 86
5 .4 8
5 .4 5
5 .8 7
5 .5 6
5 .1 3
5 .3 1
5 .9 6
6 .3 7
5 .9 0
6 .4 2
6 .3 2
6. 04
6 .4 4
6 .3 5
6 .9 0
6 .2 8
6 .4 7
6. 59
6 .0 8
6 .3 5
6 .3 5
6 .8 8
6 .9 2
6 .5 6
6. 56
5. 93
6. 72
6 .4 3
5 .6 7
6. 50
6 .3 3
7 .7 8
5 .7 2
6 .0 1
6. 34
6. 20
5 . 91
6 .1 5
4 .9 2

5 .1 7
6 .0 9
5 .9 9
5 .1 2
4. 96
4 .8 5
5 .4 3
5 .1 5
4 .6 3
4. 95
5. 40
5 .7 2
5 .4 5
5 .7 9
5 .6 1
5 .2 9
5 .8 4
5 .7 6
6 .1 4
5. 76
5 .9 1
5 .8 4
5 .4 5
5. 78
5 .7 8
6 .1 1
6 .1 4
5 .9 4
6. 00
5 .3 7
6. 05
5 .8 5
5 .1 1
5 .9 5
5 .7 7
6 .8 5
5. 06
5. 25
5. 75
5 .6 7
5 .4 0
5 .7 8
4 .4 4

4 .0 2
4 .7 0
4 .5 6
4 .0 6
4. 20
3 .9 5
4 .4 2
4 .1 2
3 .6 2
3. 92
4 .3 3
4. 57
4 .3 4
4. 55
4 .6 0
4 .4 1
4. 63
4 .5 3
4 .8 1
4 .5 3
4 .6 3
4 .5 7
4 .3 2
4. 53
4 .4 8
4 .7 4
4 .8 4
4 .7 7
4 .8 3
4 .1 6
4 .8 4
4. 59
3 .9 6
4. 63
4 .4 8
5. 50
4 .1 0
4. 52
4 .4 7
4 .4 6
4 .1 0
4 .4 4
3 .4 6

3 .3 9
4. 24
4 .1 3
3 .4 9
3 .4 2
3 .4 0
3 .8 4
3. 56
2 .9 0
3 .3 3
3 .7 2
3 .9 4
3 .7 5
3 .9 7
4 .0 0
3 .7 8
4 .0 2
3 .8 8
4 .1 6
3 .8 3
3 .9 6
3 .8 9
3 .7 4
3 .8 3
3 .7 7
4 .0 1
4 .0 3
4 .0 3
4. 26
3 .5 8
4 .1 6
3 .9 2
3 .3 1
4 .0 2
3 .8 3
4. 95
3 .4 8
3 .5 6
3 .8 2
3 .9 8
3 .8 6
3 .8 3
2 .8 7

7 .0 6

1 1 .9 0
1 1 .9 0

1 0 .5 0
1 0 .5 0

7 .2 5
6. 75

6 .1 5
5. 05

8 .4 9

8 .4 9

6 .3 8

5 .5 0

9. 80

9 .1 0

7 .5 0

6. 25

1 0 .1 0

9 .4 0

6 .5 0

5 .8 7

9 .8 5
9 .8 5

9 .6 5
9 .6 5

6 .5 0
6 .5 0
6 .7 5

5 .8 7
5 .8 7

10.45
11.70

10.28
10. 50

7.25
7.50

6.25
6.10

9.85

9.65

7.25

6.00

11.90
9.91

10.35
9.70

7.20
6.80

6. 05
6.00

8.55
12.85
10.15
9.55
10.45
9.85
11.35

12.10
10.60
9. 55
10.28
9. 65
11.05

6.50
9.25
7.00
6.50
7. 25
7.00
7.67

6. 25
9. 25
6.37
6.25
6.25
6. 00
7.12

7.00

6.12

11.45

1936

1935

F ran cs

F e m a le s
A v e r a g e ............ ............. . ................................................

3 .4 2

3 .0 8

2. 62

2. 26

I r o n e r s ............... ............. ..................................................
D r e s s m a k e r s . . ......................................................
S e a m s t r e s s e s . . .......................... ................................
W a i s t c o a t m a k e r s ...............................................
L a c e m a k e r s ............................................
E m b r o i d e r e r s ______________________________
M i l l i n e r s . ___________ _______________________

3 .3 6
3 .4 0
3 .3 0
3 .5 9
3 .5 5
3 .4 2
3 .3 1

3 .1 0
3 .0 9
2 .9 7
3 .2 4
3 .0 9
3 .0 4
3 .0 5

2. 63
2. 67
2 . 53
2 . 71
2. 63
2 .6 2
2 .5 8

2 .3 3
2 .3 3
2 .1 5
2 .3 3
2. 27
2 .1 9
2 .2 0

Table 2 shows the average weekly wages paid in Paris to female
workers in dressmaking and lingerie shops and in fashionable dress­
making shops in 1936, 1937, and 1938.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wages and Hours of Labor

1415

T a b le 2. — Average Weekly Wages in French Dressmaking Shops, 1936 to 1938
[ A v e r a g e e x c h a n g e r a t e o f f r a n c i n O c t o b e r 1 9 3 6 = 4 .6 7 c e n t s , O c t o b e r 1 9 3 7 = 3 .3 5 c e n t s , O c t o b e r 1 9 3 8 = 2 .6 7 c e n t s ]

O c c u p a tio n

D r e s s m a k in g a n d lin g e rie s h o p s :
F i r s t h a n d s - . . ................................................................... ...............................
S e c o n d h a n d s _______ _______________________ _______ ___________
H e l p e r s ______________________ __________________________________
A p p r e n t i c e s ______ ______________________________________________
F a s h io n a b le d re s s m a k in g s h o p s :
S k i l l e d w o r k e r s ....................................................... ..........................................
W o r k e r s o f m e d i u m s k i l l .............................. ...........................................
H e l p e r s ________________________ ______ ____________________ ______
A p p r e n t i c e s — _________________________________________________

> 1 9 4 .4 4 f r a n c s f o r b e g i n n e r s .
1 1 7 6 .7 7 f r a n c s f o r b e g i n n e r s .
1 1 4 8 .8 0 f r a n c s f o r b e g i n n e r s .

1938

1937

1936

F ran cs

F ran cs

F ra n cs

271.80
i 203. 85-225.81
* 166.00
62. 72-84. 67

247.10
» 185. 33
125.45
57.02-76. 98

208.00
* 156. 00
105. 60
48.00-64.80

231. 00
176.00
110.00
55.00-66.00

231.00
176.00
110.00
* 238. 70-286.45

210.00
160. 00
100.00
1 217.00-260.00

« 1 3 7 .9 9 f r a n c s f o r b e g i n n e r s .
* P e r m o n th .

The effect of the wage increases in different localities which resulted
from the social laws of 1936 is shown most clearly by the index num ­
bers of hourly wages weighted according to the numerical importance
of the different occupational groups in the various cities. Exam ina­
tion of the questionnaires returned by the trade councils showed th a t
the conditions of application of the social laws varied as between small
and large industries and the different classes of occupations in small
localities and the large cities. In October 1938, the weighted average
wages of skilled workers were: 6.72 francs per hour in the Provinces;
11.04 francs in Paris; and 7.50 francs for the entire country. The
corresponding wages of laborers were 5.38 francs, 8.25 francs, and 5.91
francs. The weighted indexes of wages in October 1938, based on the
wages paid in 1935, show th a t the hourly wages of skilled workers had
increased 70 percent in the Provinces and 83 percent in Paris, and of
unskilled workers, 81 percent and 101 percent, respectively.
Wages of coal miners were rem arkably stable from 1933 to June
1936, averaging from 35 to 36 francs per day for underground workers
and nearly 27 francs for surface workers. The wages of underground
workers averaged 39.61 francs in the third quarter of 1936 and in­
creased in each quarter thereafter to 64.69 francs in the last quarter
of 1938. The increases for surface workers in the same period were
from 31.11 francs to 50.68 francs. These raises in pay included an
increase of approximately 6 percent on February 15, 1938, which
included an increase in family allowances of not to exceed 2 percent,
and another 6-percent increase, effective September 1, 1938. This
increase was granted as the result of a collective agreement between
representatives of employers and workers and the M inister of Public
Works which provided for working a certain num ber of supplem entary
hours up to M arch 1, 1939.
The total num ber of days worked and the total earnings in the coal
mines of France is shown in the following table for the 9-year period
1930 to 1938.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

1416

T a ble 3. — Total Number of Days Worked and Total Earnings in French Coal Mines,

1930 to 1938
[ A v e r a g e e x c h a n g e r a t e o f f r a n c i n 193 0 a n d 1 9 3 1 = 3 .9 2 c e n t s ; i n 1 9 3 2 = 3 .9 3 c e n t s ; i n 1 9 3 4 = 6 .5 7
1 9 3 5 = 6 .6 0 c e n t s ; i n 1 9 3 6 = 6 .1 1 c e n t s ; i n 1 9 3 7 = 4 .0 5 c e n t s , a n d i n 1 9 3 8 = 2 .8 8 c e n ts ]

Y ear

D a y s w o rk ed

E a rn in g s

Y ear

D a y s w o rk ed

7 9 .4 0 0 .0 0 0
70 , 5 0 0 ,0 0 0
6 0 .1 0 0 .0 0 0
5 7 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
56, 6 0 0 ,0 0 0

2, 9 3 5 ,8 0 0 ,0 0 0
2, 5 1 9 ,4 0 0 ,0 0 0
1 ,9 7 5 ,3 0 0 ,0 0 0
1 ,8 5 6 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
1 , 8 4 6 , 5 0 0 ,0 0 0

in

E a rn in g s

F ran cs

F ran cs
1930
....................
1931
1932
1933
1 9 3 4 . . . ________________

c e n ts ;

1 9 3 5 ____________________
1 9 3 6 ______ ______________
1 9 3 7 ____________________
1 9 3 8 ..........................................

5 3 .9 0 0 .0 0 0
53, 6 0 0 ,0 0 0
5 4 .2 0 0 .0 0 0
57, 0 0 0 ,0 0 0

1, 7 4 9 , 7 0 0 , 0 0 0
2 ,0 0 5 , 3 0 0 ,0 0 0
i 2 ,8 2 9 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
i 3 ,4 2 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0

1 In c lu d e s th e a m o u n ts p a id fo r v a c a tio n s .

Wages in Relation to Cost of Living
Although the wage data are not sufficiently complete to perm it a
satisfactory study of the purchasing power of wages, some figures are
given on the variation in wages in relation to the cost of living. From
November 1937 to November 1938 the cost-of-living index of a family
of four persons, based on 1930 as 100, rose from 110.0 to 120.3, or an
increase of 9.4 percent. The cost of board and lodging of a worker liv­
ing alone, as determined by the replies to the questionnaires, averaged
643 francs per m onth in October 1938 as compared with 597 francs in
1937, 473 francs in 1935, and 537 francs in 1930. The increase from
1937 to 1938 amounted to 7.7 percent, which is much below the
calculations of the departm ental cost-of-living committees. This is
accounted for by the fact th a t the determ inations by the committees
are based on expenses resulting from a fixed standard of living, which
is not necessarily true of the costs of board and lodging since, in a
period of notable and rapid price increases, the increase in living costs
can be checked by a decrease in the quality or quantity of the services
furnished.
The law of M arch 4, 1938, on conciliation and arbitration procedures
to a certain extent adjusted wage rates to changes in the cost of living.
I t provided th a t in case of a variation of at least 5 percent in the
official cost-of-living index, the arbitrators or the umpire in cases of
demands for wage increases m ust adjust the wages and family allow­
ances in proportion to the variation in the cost of living unless the
economic condition of the particular industry does not perm it. This
provision was applied in a num ber of decisions rendered during 1938.
Wages cannot be revised more frequently than every 6 m onths unless
the rise in the index amounts to 10 percent, when the revision may
be made as soon as the index is published for the departm ent in which
the dispute has occurred.


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Wages and Hours of Labor

1417

M IN IM U M WAGES IN FR E N C H M ETA L IN D U ST R IES,
1936 TO 1938
T H E G REAT increase in the num ber of collective agreements in
France, as a result of the social laws of the 3 past years, has created
a considerable documentation upon wages according to industries,
occupations, and localities. The wages established as a result of the
agreements are minimum hourly rates; but in the m ajority of cases,
particularly among time workers, the rates thus established are the
effective wages. A recent study 1 deals with wages in the various
branches of the light and heavy m etal industries, including iron
and steel, wire mills, m etal construction, naval construction, foundries,
mechanical construction, electrical construction, etc., in the most
representative regions and geographical districts, and covers about
four-fifths of the total num ber of workers employed in these industries.
The wages reported are for three periods, i. e., June or July 1936 or
the second half of 1936; December 1936 when the hours were reduced
from 48 to 40 per week, with a 20-percent increase in hourly wages
(in the heavy metals the hours were reduced from 56 to 42 per week,
which gave a 33-percent increase in the hourly rates) ; and wages in
force on November 15, 1938, representing the changes which had taken
place in the interval as a result of decisions, agreements, etc. As
exact comparisons for specific occupations are not possible in most
cases because of different occupational terminology in different
parts of the country, a broad classification has been used.
Among male workers there are five classifications: (1) M anoeuvres;
(2) manoeuvres et ouvriers spécialisés; (3) ouvriers secondaires, semiprofessionnels, ouvriers professionels de 3e catégorie; (4), ouvriers
professionnels (ou qualifiés) ; and (5) catégories exceptionnelles. The
female workers are divided into four classes. M anoeuvres; ouvrières
de troisième, deuxième, et première catégories.
Among male workers those in the first group, “manoeuvres,” are,
as a general rule, workers not having any special occupational quali­
fication who are given work which does not require any training or at
most very little and excluding work in any m anufacturing processes.
This classification is divided into ordinary laborers and “les manoeuvres
de force,” th a t is, laborers engaged in heavy physical work or exposed
to dust, heat, or gases. In some cases these workers are engaged in
simple m anufacturing processes which do not require any apprentice­
ship. This accounts for a certain degree of confusion between the
first and second groups.
Those in the second group, “manoeuvres et ouvriers spécialisés,”
are workers able to work with machine tools or in other processes which
do not require the knowledge of a trade for which a certificate of skill
B u ll e ti n d e l a S ta t is t i q u e g é n é r a le d e l a F r a n c e , P a r i s , J a n u a r y - M a r c h 1939.


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1418

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

is given a t the end of apprenticeship. This group is divided, in m any
of the collective agreements, into two or three classes.
Group 3, designated as “ouvriers secondaires, semiprofessionnels,
ouvriers professionnels de 3e catégorie,” is composed of workers hav­
ing the experience or titles of skilled or qualified workers but whose
occupation is not related directly to the m anufacturing processes of
the industry. This group frequently includes m aintenance employees
such as joiners, plumbers, masons, painters, etc. Also the “semiprofessionnels” or “ouvriers professionnels de 3e catégorie” are workers
who cannot be classified as skilled but who are superior in ability to
the second group. The wages given in the tables for this group are,
in general, the averages of the wages fixed for the occupations repre­
sented.
Skilled or qualified workers, “ouvriers professionnels (ou qualifiés)”
in the fourth group, are those exercising a trade requiring a period of
apprenticeship for which a certificate is given or who have acquired
this standing through practice equivalent to an apprenticeship.
Among these workers are those capable of doing precision work, such
as p attern makers, tool fitters, milling-machine operators, etc. Others
in this group include general mechanics, especially machine operators
such as m etal turners, boring-machine operators, planers, etc. In the
collective agreements which do not provide for a uniform rate for
workers in this classification the rates in the tables represent averages.
A few of the collective agreements provide for a fifth group— “ caté­
gories exceptionnelles”—consisting of highly skilled workmen and fore­
men.
Among women, the group classified as “m anoeuvres” includes, in
addition to ordinary laborers, a lower grade—charwomen—and a
slightly higher grade— “manoeuvres adapté”—or laborers with some
training. Workers of the third class include laborers and specialized
workers; the second class includes workers on different machines which
do not require special skill or training; and the first class includes,
not only skilled or qualified workers, but also workers on different
machines and large presses which are particularly dangerous or diffi­
cult to operate. In m any cases there was no clear differentiation
between these groups. In addition to the four grades 'specified, a
few agreements added a fifth group—forewomen.
The following table gives the wages of the various grades of work­
ers in different sections of the country fixed by collective agreements
a t different periods from June 1936 to November 1938.


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1419

Wages and Hours of Labor

Minimum Hourly Wages Fixed by Collective Agreements in the Metal Industries in Various
Districts of France, 1936 to 1938
C o lle c tiv e a g r e e m e n ts c o n c lu d e d —

D is tr ic t a n d o c c u p a tio n a l c la ss ific a tio n

A f te r J u l y 5,
1936

A f te r a p p lic a ­
tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E f f e c tiv e ,1
A u g . 10, 1938

F ra n cs

F rancs

F rancs

B o r d e a u x D is tr ic t
M e ta llu rg ic a l, m e c h a n ic a l, a n d r e la te d in d u s tr ie s :
M a le s , o v e r 20 y e a rs o f ag e :

6 .5 0
5. 50
5 .2 0
4. 80
4 . 50
4 .2 0
3 .9 0

7. 8 0
6 .6 0
6 .2 4
5. 76
5 .4 0
5 .0 4
4 .6 8

9 .4 0
8 .1 0
7. 65
7 .1 0
6 .6 5
6. 30
5 .9 5

5 .2 0 - 5 .3 5
4. 9 0 - 5 .0 5
4. 5 0 - 4 .6 5
4. 2 0 -4 . 35
1 .8 5 - 3 . 25

6 .2 4 - 6 .4 2
5 .8 8 - 6 .0 6
5 .4 0 - 5 . 58
5 .0 4 -5 .2 2
2 .2 2 - 3 . 90

7. 6 5 -7 .8 5
7 .2 0 -7 .4 0
6 .6 .5 -6 .8 5
6 .2 0 - 6 .4 0
2. 7 5 -4 . 75

4 .0 0
3 .3 5
3 .1 0
2 .7 5
1 .8 5 -2 .5 0

4 .8 0
4 .0 2
3 .7 2
3 .3 0
2 .2 2 -3 .0 0

5 .8 5
4 .9 0
4. 55
4 .0 5
2. 7 5 -3 . 70

B o y s , 1 8 -2 0 y e a r s o f a g e :

F e m a l e s , o v er* 1 8 y e a r s o f a g e :

E ffe c tiv e , J u n e
8 ,1 9 3 6

A f te r a p p lic a ­
tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E ffe c tiv e , M a r .
1 ,1 9 3 8

F rancs

F rancs

F rancs

N a n t e s D i s tr i c t
M e c h a n ic a l a n d n a v a l c o n s tru c tio n :
M a l e s , o v e r 21 y e a r s o f a g e :

6 .0 0
6. 00
5 .4 7
5 .0 5
4. 50
4 .3 0

7 .2 0
7 .2 0
6. 56
6 .0 6
5 .4 0
5 .1 6

9 .0 2
8 .9 0
8 .3 5
7. 76
7 .1 0
6 .8 6

7 5 -5 . 00
7 5 - 5 .0 0
7 5 -4 . 78
7 5 - 4 .6 0

3. 7 5 - 6 .0 0
3. 7 5 -6 .0 0
3. 7 5 -5 . 74
3 .7 5 - 5 . 52

1. 5 0 - 3 . 7 5
3 .0 0

1. 5 0 -3 . 75
3 .6 0

6. 7 6 - 8 .6 2
6. 6 4 -8 . 50
6. 5 2 -8 .0 6
6. 3 4 -7 . 57
5. 5 4 - 7 .1 0
5 .5 4 - 6 .8 6
2 . 4 3 -5 . 54
4. 88
2 .1 7 - 4 . 38

B o y s , 1 7 -2 1 y e a r s o f a g e : 5
3.
3.
3.
3.

J u n e 12, 1936

A f te r a p p lic a ­
tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E ffe c tiv e , M a y
2 ,1 9 3 8

F ra n cs

F ra n cs

F rancs

P a r i s D i s t r i c t ( S e i n e e t S e in e - e t- O i s e )
M e ta llu r g ic a l, m e c h a n ic a l, a n d r e la te d in d u s tr ie s :
M a l e s , o v e r 18 y e a r s o f a g e :

7 .7 8
7 .1 8
6 .5 2
6 .1 2
5 .4 0
5. 0 0
3 .0 0 -5 .0 0

9. 34
8 .6 2
7 .8 2
7 .3 4
6. 4 8
6 .0 0
3. 6 0 - 6 .0 0

1 1 .5 9
10. 78
9 .8 0
9. 36
8. 38
7 .8 6
5 . 1 1 - 7 . 71

5 .3 0
4 .9 0
4. 2 5
2. 5 0 - 4 .2 5

6. 36
5 .8 8
5 .1 0
3 .0 0 -5 .1 0

8 .1 5
7 .6 2
6 .7 8
4 .4 5 - 6 . 73

F e m a l e s , o v e r 18 y e a r s o f a g e :

1D e c is io n b y a r b i t r a t o r .
1R a te s v a r y a c c o rd in g to a g e .
* C e rtific a te o f o c c u p a tio n a l s k ill (C . A . P .) o r p a s s e d a n o c c u p a tio n a l e x a m in a tio n -


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1420

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

M inimum Hourly Wages Fixed by Collective Agreements in the Metal Industries in
Various Districts of France, 1936 to 1938— C o n tin u ed
C o lle c tiv e a g r e e m e n ts c o n c lu d e d —

D is tr ic t a n d o c c u p a tio n a l c la ss ific a tio n

A f te r a p p lic a ­
E ffe c tiv e , A u g . tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
2 2 ,1 9 3 6
1936

E ffe c tiv e , J u n e
1 6, 1938

R o u e n D is tr ic t
M e ta llu r g ic a l, m e c h a n ic a l c o n s tr u c tio n , f o u n d r ie s , a n d
r e la te d in d u s tr ie s :
M a l e s , o v e r 18 y e a r s o f a g e :
F o r e m e n ___________________________________________________
S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , f i r s t c l a s s ------------------------- —
-S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , s e c o n d c l a s s ----------------------------- ---------L a b o r e r s , s p e c i a l i z e d ...................... - ................................................
L a b o r e r s ________________ _________ - -----------------------------------B o y s , 1 5 t o 1 8 y e a r s o f a g e 2.................................................. ............. F e m a l e s , o v e r 18 y e a r s o f a g e :
F o r e w o m e n ____________________________ ______ _____________
W o r k e r s , s e c o n d a n d t h i r d c l a s s --------------------------------L a b o r e r s ------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------G i r l s , 1 5 t o 1 8 y e a r s o f a g e 2...................................................................

F rancs

F ra n cs

F ra n cs

5. 6 5 -6 . 40
5 .5 0
5 .0 0
4. 20
3 .8 0
1. 5 0 - 3 . 1 0

6. 7 8 -7 . 68
6 .6 0
6 .0 0
5 .0 4
4. 56
1 .8 0 - 3 . 72

8 . 5 8 - 9 . 53
8. 30
7 .7 0
6. 64
6 .1 6
2 .6 0 - 4 . 52

4 .4 0
3 .0 5
2. 75
1 .1 5 -2 .2 5

5 .2 8
3. 6 6
3. 30
1. 3 8 - 2 . 7 0

6 .5 3
4 .9 1
4. 55
2 .1 8 - 3 . 50

J u n e 26, 1936

A f te r a p p lic a ­
tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E ff e c tiv e ,1
J u n e 1, 1938

F rancs

F rancs

F rancs

H a v r e D i s tr i c t
M e c h a n ic a l c o n s tr u c tio n , c o p p e r s m ith s , a n d fo u n d r ie s :
M a le s , o v e r 18 y e a r s o f a g e :
F o r e m e n ...........................................................- -------------------------------S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , f i r s t c l a s s . ---------------------------------------S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , s e c o n d c l a s s . --------- ---------------------------S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , t h i r d c l a s s . ------------- -------------------------L a b o r e r s , s p e c i a l i z e d .............. ............................ .........................
L a b o r e r s , o r d i n a r y ------------------------------------------- ---------------B o y s , 1 4 t o 1 8 y e a r s o f a g e * --------- ---------------------------------------F e m a l e s , o v e r 18 y e a r s o f a g e :
F o r e w o m e n ........... ............................................................... - ...................
W o r k e r s , f i r s t c l a s s . . ....................................................................
W o r k e r s , s e c o n d c l a s s . --------- -----------------------------------------W o r k e r s , t h i r d c l a s s . ----------------------------------------------------L a b o r e r s . --------------------- -------------------------------------------------------G i r l s , 1 4 t d 1 8 y e a r s 2....................................................................................

6. 5 0 - 7 .0 0
6 .0 0
5 .5 0
4 .8 0
4 .5 0
4 .0 0
1 .5 0 - 3 .7 5

7 .8 0 -8 .4 0
7 .2 0
6 .6 0
5 .7 6
5 .4 0
4 .8 0
1 .8 0 - 4 .5 0

9 .6 0 - 1 0 .2 5
8 .9 5
8. 30
7 .3 6
6 .9 5
6. 30
2 .4 0 - 5 .6 6

4 .7 5
4 .0 0
3 .5 0
3 .2 5
3 .0 0
1 .0 0 -2 . 50

5 .7 0
4 .8 0
4 .2 0
3 .9 0
3 .6 0
1 .2 0 -3 .0 0

6 .9 8
5 .9 8
5 .3 8
5 .0 3
4. 73
1 .7 1 - 3 .8 1

J u l y 23, 1936

A f te r a p p lic a ­
tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E ff e c tiv e ,1
F e b . 1 5 ,1 9 3 8

F rancs

F ra n cs

F ra n cs

L i l l e D i s tr i c t
M e c h a n ic a l c o n s tr u c tio n , iro n w o r k s , fo u n d r ie s , m e ta l
c o n s tru c tio n , a n d c o p p e r w o rk s:
M a l e s , o v e r 18}$ y e a r s o f a g e :
S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , f i r s t c l a s s -------------------------- -----------------S k i l l e d w o r k e r s , s e c o n d c l a s s . .................................................
L a b o r e r s , s p e c i a l i z e d - ----------------- -----------------------------------L a b o r e r s , o r d i n a r y ..............................................................................
B o y s , 1 3 t o 18}$ y e a r s o f a g e 2. . . .....................................................
F e m a l e s , o v e r 18}$ y e a r s o f a g e :
W o r k e r s , f i r s t c l a s s ............................. ................................................
W o r k e r s , s e c o n d a n d t h i r d c la s s
---------------------------L a b o r e r s ________________ ____________________________ _______
G i r l s , 1 3 t o 1 8 } $ y e a r s o f a g e 2. . .......................................................

4 .8 5
4 .3 5
4 .1 0
3 .8 5
1 .0 0 -3 .5 0

5 .8 2
5 .2 2
4 .9 2
4 .6 2
1 .2 0 -4 .2 0

3 .2 0
2 .9 0
2 .7 0
1 .0 0 - 2 .7 0

3 .8 4
3 .4 8
3 .2 4
1 .2 0 -3 .2 4

1Decision by arbitrator.
2 Rates vary according to age.
* Rates vary according to age—young workers who do not have an apprenticeship contract.


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7 .4 3
6 .6 9
6. 32

5.95
1 .4 8 -5 .4 4
4 .8 2

4 .3 8
4 .0 8
1 .4 8 - 4 .0 8

1421

Wages and Hours of Labor

Minimum Hourly Wages Fixed by Collective Agreements in the Metal Industries in
Various Districts of France, 1936 to 1938— C o n tin u ed
C o lle c tiv e a g r e e m e n ts c o n c lu d e d —

D is tr ic t a n d o c c u p a tio n a l c la ss ific a tio n

E ffe c tiv e ,
N o v . 1 ,1 9 3 6

A f te r a p p lic a ­
tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E f f e c tiv e ,1
F e b . 1 5 ,1 9 3 8

F ran cs

F ran cs

F ran cs

M a u b e u g c D i s tr i c t

Blast furnaces, steel mills, rolling mills, wire mills, etc.:
Males over 18 years of age:
Highly skilled workers..............................................

Skilled workers, first class............................... .

Skilled workers, second c la ss ........... ............. —
Semiskilled workers...................................................
Laborers, specialized------------------------------------Laborers, ordinary.....................................................
Boys, 14 to 18 years of age * ...........................................
Females, over 18 years of age:
Workers, first class__________________________
Workers, second class....................................... ........
Workers, third c la s s ............................................... .
Laborers—................................................................... .
Girls, 14 to 18 years of age J. . ........................................
Mechanical and metal construction, foundries, etc.:
Males, over 18 years of age:
Highly skilled workers...................... .......................
Skilled workers, first class--------------- ------------Skilled workers, second class-------------------------Semiskilled workers. .........................................
Laborers, specialized-------- ------- -------------------Laborers, ordinary.................................................... .
Females *.............................................................................

6 .2 5
5 .7 5
5. 25
4 .8 0
4 .5 5
4 .0 0
1 .3 5 -3 .4 0

7 .5 0
6 .9 0
6 .3 0
5 .7 6
5 .4 6
4 .8 0
1 .6 2 - 4 .0 8

9 .1 6
8 .4 5
7 .7 4
7 .0 9
6 .7 4
5 .9 6
1 .9 2 -4 .8 3

3 .2 5
3 .0 0
2 .5 0
2 .2 5
1 .2 5 -2 .1 5

2 .9 0
3 .6 0
3 .0 0
2 .7 0
1. 5 0 - 2 .5 8

4 .7 2
4 .3 7
3 .6 5
3 .3 0
1 .7 8 -3 .0 6

5. 50
5 .2 5
4 .8 0
4 .5 0
4 .3 0
4 .0 0

6 .6 0
6 .3 0
5 .7 6
5 .4 0
5 .1 6
4 .8 0

8 .0 9
7 .7 4
7 .0 9
6 .6 7
6 .3 8
5 .9 6

J u n e 2 5, 1936

A f te r a p p lic a tio n o f 4 0 -h o u r
la w , D e c e m b e r
1936

E ff e c tiv e ,1
O c t o b e r 1 ,1 9 3 8

F ran cs

F ran cs

F ran cs

L y o n D is tr ic t

Mechanical construction:
Males, over 18 years of age:
Skilled workers, first class............
Skilled workers, second class........
Laborers and specialized workers.
Laborers, heavy w o rk ..................
Laborers, ordinary..........................
Boys, 14 to 18 years of age 2------------Females, over 18 years of age:
Workers, first class..........................
Workers, second class.....................
Workers, third class.......................
Laborers............................................
Girls, 14 to 18 years of age ' . . ..............
Automobiles:
Males, over 18 years of age:
Skilled workers, first class.............
Skilled workers, second class-----Semiskilled, specialized workers..
Laborers, heavy work....................
Laborers, ordinary........................Boys, 14 to 18 years of age 2— --------Females, over 18 years of age:
Workers, first class........................Workers, second class................. .
Workers, third class .......................
Laborers............... .............................
Electrical construction:
Males, over 18 years of age: .
Skilled workers, first class.............
Skilled workers, second class........
Semiskilled workers........................
Laborers, specialized......................
Laborers, heavy work........... ........
Laborers, ordinary_____________
Boys, 14 to 18 years of age 2------------Females, over 18 years of age:
Workers, first class..........................
Workers, second class....................
Workers, third c la s s .....................
Laborers....................................... —
Girls, 14 to 18 years of age 2. . .............
1 D e c is io n b y a r b it r a t o r .


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

6 .4 0
5 .9 6
5 .4 0
4 .5 0
4 .1 5
2 .5 0 -4 .1 0

7 .6 8
7 .1 5
6 .1 2
5 .4 0
4 .9 8
3 .0 0 -4 .9 2

9 .3 0
8 .7 0
7 .6 5
6 .9 0
6 .5 0
3 .9 0 -6 .0 0

4 .4 0
4 .1 0
3 .7 5
3 .4 0
1 .9 0 - 2 .5 0

5 .2 8
4 .9 2
4 .5 0
4 .0 8
2 .2 8 - 3 .0 0

6. 55
6 .1 5
5 .7 0
5 .3 0
2 .9 5 - 4 .5 0

6 .5 0
6 .0 0
5 .5 0
4 .5 0
4 .1 5
2 .5 0 -4 .1 0

7 .8 0
7 .2 0
6 .6 0
5 .4 0
4 .9 8
3 .0 0 -4 .9 2

9 .3 0
8 .7 0
8 .1 0
6 .9 0
6 .5 0
3 .9 0 -6 .0 0

4 .5 0
4 .1 5
3. 75
3 .4 0

5 .4 0
4 .9 8
4 .5 0
4 .0 8

6 .6 0
6 .2 0
5 .7 0
5 .3 0

6 .4 0

9 .3 0

5 .1 0
4 .5 0
4 .1 5
2 .5 0 - 4 .1 0

7. 68
7 .0 0
6 .4 4
6 .1 2
5 .4 0
4 .9 8
3 .0 0 - 4 . 92

7 .6 5
6 .9 0
6 .5 0
3 .9 0 -6 .0 0

4 .4 0
4 .1 0
3 .7 5
3 .4 0
1 .9 0 - 2 .5 0

5 .2 8
4 .9 2
4 .5 0
4 .0 8
2 .2 8 - 3 .0 0

6 .5 5
6 .1 5
5 .7 0
5 .3 0
2. 9 5 - 4 .5 0

R 83
R 37

2 R a te s v a r y a c c o rd in g to a g e .

* S a m e r a te s a s fo r b la s t fu rn a c e s-!

1422

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Minimum. Hourly Wages Fixed by Collective Agreements in the Metal Industries in Various
Districts of France, 1936 to 1938— C o n tin u ed
C o lle c tiv e a g r e e m e n ts c o n c lu d e d —

District and occupational classification
Sept. 26, 1936

After applica­
tion of 40-hour Effective 1 Apr.
law, December
1, 1938
1936

I s è r e D i s tr i c t

Mechanical construction, foundries, iron work, button
manufacturing, etc.:
Males, over 18 years of age:4
Highly skilled workers..............................................
Skilled workers, first class_____ ______________
Skilled workers, second class.. _____________
Semiskilled workers, first class__________ . . .
Semiskilled workers, second class_____________
Laborers, specialized, first class_______________
Laborers, specialized, second class.............. ......
Laborers, heavy work_________ . .
Laborers, ordinary________________________
Boys, 14 to 18 years of age 2___________ ____ ______
Females over 18 years of age:
Button manufacture:
Workers on large machines_____________
Workers on small machines_______________
Girls, 14 to 18 years of a g e 2______________________

F rancs

F rancs

F rancs

5.85
5.50
5.00
4.60
4.50
4.40
4.30
4.00
3.70
2.00-3.60

7.02
6.60
6.00
5.52
5.40
5.28
5.16
4.80
4.44
2.40-4.32

7.97
7.55
6.95
6.47
6.35
6.23
6.11
5.75
5. 39
3.20-5.12

3.05
2.80
1. 80-2. 60

3.66
3.36
2.16-3.12

4.46
4.16
2.81-3.92

1 D e c is io n b y a r b itr a to r .
2 R a te s v a r y a c c o rd in g to ag e .
4 C e rtific a te o f o c c u p a tio n a l s k ill (C . A . P .) o r p a s s e d o n o c c u p a tio n a l e x a m in a tio n .
f i c a t e , t h e r a t e s a r e 4 . 0 0 , 4 . 8 0 , a n d 5 .7 5 f r a n c s p e r h o u r .

W ith o u t th is c e rti­

EA R N IN G S IN COAL M IN ES IN GERM ANY, 1937
AND 1938
CO AL-M IN E workers in Germany in the third quarter of 1938
received cash earnings per shift, ranging from 6.08 reichsmarks in the
mining of soft coal to 6.97 reichsmarks in anthracite.1 In all three
branches of the industry the 1938 earnings represented an increase
over 1937.
Average Cash Earnings per Shift in German Coal Mines, Third Quarter of 1937 and 1938
[ A v e r a g e e x c h a n g e r a t e o f r e i c h s m a r k i n S e p t e m b e r 1 9 3 7 = 4 0 .1 c e n t s ; i n S e p t e m b e r 1 9 3 8 = 4 0 .0 c e n t s ]

A n th ra c ite
( S te in k o h l)

B itu m in o u s

(P e c h k o h i)

L ig n ite
( B ra u n k o h l)

C la s s o f w o r k e r s

T o t a l n u m b e r o f w o r k e r s ____ ______ __________
A v e ra g e e a rn in g s , a ll w o rk e rs :
P e r m o n t h ...........................................................
P e r s h i f t ..................................................
U n d e r g r o u n d w o r k e r s ____________ p e r s h i f t .
M i n e r s __________ _____________________ d o
H a u l e r s _____________ ______ _____ ______ d o . .
S u r f a c e w o r k e r s ............... ...................
do
S k i l l e d .................... ............................. ............. d o
O t h e r ______________ __________________ d o
B r u s h e r s __________ _______________ _______ d o

1938

1937

4 6 9 ,2 1 3

447, 255

5 ,5 9 0

1937

5 ,6 5 7

1938

6 8 ,2 5 0

1937

66, 544

R M

R M

R M

R M

R M

1 6 7 .0 0
6 .9 7
7 .4 5
8 .2 3
6 .6 9
6 .1 4
6 .9 9
5 .6 9

1 7 0 .0 0
6 .8 9
7 .3 4
8 .0 6
6 .6 0
6 .1 2
6 .9 3
5 .6 9

1 4 4 .0 0
6 .0 8
6 .5 2
7 .2 6
5 .8 1
5 .5 1
6 .4 7
5 .0 5

1 4 2 .0 0
5 .8 8
6 .3 6
7 .1 2
5 .7 6
5 .2 4
6 .1 4
4 .8 2

1 7 5 .0 0
6 .7 0
8. 66

1 6 9 .0 0
6. 50
8 .3 4

7 .4 5

7 .4 5

6 .5 1

6 .3 1

1 W i r t s c h a f t u n d S t a t i s t i k , B e r l i n , J a n u a r y 2, 1939.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1938

R M

Wages and Hours of Labor

1423

WAGES IN HUNGARY IN 1937 AND 1938
A SLIG H T increase was shown in the average hourly wages of certain
groups of industrial workers in H ungary in December 1938, as com­
pared w ith the same m onth in 1937. The average hourly earnings
(in pengos)1in the two periods are shown in the following sta te m e n t:2
19S7

Plumbers_______________________________________ 0. 59
Cabinetmakers__________________________________ .5 3
Tailors_________________________________________ .5 5
Bricklayers_____________________________________ .6 7
Day laborers, m ale______________________________ .3 6
Day laborers, female____________________________
.2 9
Factory workers, female_______ _______________________

19S8

0. 65
.5 7
.6 8
.7 8
.4 1
.3 0
.2 5

********

WAGES IN N ETH ER LA N D S IN D IE S, 1935 TO 1937
D U R IN G the 3-year period, 1935 to 1937, average earnings in the
sugar industry in Java decreased slightly in m ost occupations. The
same was true in agriculture on the east coast of Sum atra; in tobacco
plantations, however, a slight increase in wages occurred.3
Average daily wages of workers in the sugar industry of Jav a are
given in table 1.
T a b l e 1 .— Average

Daily Images in the Sugar Industry in Java, by Years, 1935 to 1937

[ A v e r a g e e x c h a n g e r a t e o f g u i l d e r (1 0 0 c e n t s ) i n 1 9 3 5 , 1 9 3 6 , a n d 1 9 3 7 , r e s p e c t i v e l y = 6 8 , 6 4 , a n d 5 5 c e n t s ]

1935

Group of workers

Number
of work­
ers

Daily
wage

Number
of work­
ers

Daily
wage

Number
of work­
ers

Daily
wage
C e n ts

C e n ts

C e n ts

Regular__________ ____________ ____ ____ ____
Workers............................ - ...................... ...........
Foremen, fie ld .....................................................
Helpers............................ ................... ..................
Seasonal:
M en....................................... ........................
Women 1....... .................................................
Foremen, factory................ ................................
Coolies, factory...................................................
Assistant foremen, field.....................................
Guards, field____ _______ _____ __________
Coolies, railway_________________________

1937

1936

7 ,3 0 6
3 ,6 2 1
2 ,1 9 1
1 ,4 9 4

63
83
48
39

9 ,5 5 9
3 ,9 8 8
4 ,0 4 1
1, 530

56
73
47
35

1 2 ,3 3 1
5 ,4 8 2
4 ,1 6 4
2 ,6 8 5

1 6 ,2 6 0
1 ,5 4 7
1, 5 4 3
11, 287
876
1 ,0 4 6
3 ,0 5 5

26
21
47
24
21
20
22

1 6 ,6 3 1
1 ,3 4 5
1 ,4 5 0
1 0 ,1 7 9
2 ,0 7 6
1 ,6 0 0
2 ,6 7 1

23
21
39
23
22
19
20

3 8 ,6 5 1
3 ,1 7 2
3 ,1 4 9
2 5 ,8 5 2
2 ,9 9 4
2 ,4 4 4
7 ,3 8 4

54
72
44
35
24
21

41
24
21
19
21

i T h e w o m a n w o r k e r s a r e a ll i n c l u d e d i n t h e c la s s if ic a tio n “ C o o lie s , f a c t o r y .”

Table 2 presents the average daily wages of native laborers in
agriculture on the east cost of Sum atra for the years 1935-37.
1 A v e r a g e e x c h a n g e v a l u e o f p e n g o i n 1 9 3 9 = 1 9 .8 c e n t s .
1 D a ta a re fro m
* N e th e rla n d

C e n t r a l C o r p o r a t i o n o f B a n k i n g C o m p a n i e s , E c o n o m i c B u l l e t i n ( B u d a p e s t ) , N o . 1.

In d ie s .

In d is c h v e r s la g , 1938.

D e p a rtm e n t
B a t a v i a , 1938.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

van

E c o n o m is c h e

Z aken.

C e n tra a l K a n to o r v o o r d e

S ta tis tie k .

1424

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

T a ble 2. —D aily Wages of Native Laborers in Agriculture, East Coast of Sumatra, by

Years. 1935 to 1937
[Average exchange rate of guilder (100 cents) in 1935, 1936, and 1937, respectively =68, 64, and 55 cents]
D aily cash
wages

Housing

Food

Total daily
wage

M edicine

Year

1935______________
1936______________
1937...........................

Males

F e­
males

Males

F e­
males

Males

F e­
males

Males

F e­
males

Males

F e­
males

C e n ts

C e n ts

C e n ts

49.1
50.0
51.6

C e n ts

C e n ts

29.7
28.6
29.0

0.07
.07
.43

C e n ts

C e n ts

0.07
.07
.43

2.47
2.18
2.34

C e n ts

C e n ts

2.47
2.18
2.34

C e n ts

3.34
3.01
2. 63

3. 34
3.01
2.63

55.01
55.15
56.96

35.53
33.83
34. 38

In the average m onthly wages paid on tobacco plantations on the
east coast of Sum atra, 1935-37, there was in m ost cases a slight in­
crease, as indicated by table 3.
T a b le 3. —Average Monthly Wages of Workers on Tobacco Plantations, East Coast of

Sumatra, 1935 to 1937
[Average exchange rate of guilder in 1935, 1936, and 1937, respectively =68, 64, and 55 cents]
Javonese laborers

Chinese laborers

Enterprise

Plantation
Plantation
Plantation
Plantation
Plantation
Plantation
Plantation

A __________________________
B . . . ................... ................ ...........
O______ _____ _______ _______
D ________________________
F _____________________ ____
G _____________ _____ _______
J __________ _______ _________


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1935

1936

1937

1935

1936

1937

G u ld e n

G u ld e n

G u ld e n

G u ld e n

G u ld e n

G u ld e n

20.12
21.41
20.10

18.81

19. 77
19.43
21.67
20.81

20.89
20.09
21.73
20.81

17.27

21. 99
17.27

19 96
18.82

18.89
22.08
19.91
20.29
19.50
22. 97
17.41

19.03
21.51
18.90
19.40
20.39
23. 91
16.93

19.38
22.24

20.01

19.84
20.35
22.62
18.28

Labor Turn-Over

LABOR TU RN -O V ER IN M A N U FA CTU RIN G , M ARCH
1939
M A N U FA C TU R IN G establishments of the United States hired 3.34
persons per 100 employees on their pay roll during M arch 1939, ac­
cording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ m onthly survey of labor
turn-over. During the same m onth, 3.18 persons per 100 employees
left their employment. As compared with the rates for M arch 1938,
accessions were higher. There was a considerable decrease in total
separations due largely to the marked reduction in the lay-off rate.
Quits and discharges were slightly higher.
The M arch 1939 rates for all classes of separations and for accessions
rose over February. This was partially due to the fact th a t there were
fewer working days in February.
A ll M anu fa ctu rin g
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ survey of labor turn-over covers
more than 5,500 representative m anufacturing establishments, which
in M arch employed nearly 2,500,000 workers. The rates represent
the num ber of changes in personnel per 100 employees on the pay rolls
during the m onth.
The rates shown in table 1 are compiled from reports received from
representative plants in 144 industries. In the 28 industries for which
separate rates are shown (see table 2) reports were received from rep­
resentative plants employing at least 25 percent of the workers in each
industry.
Table 1 shows the total separation rate classified into quit, discharge,
and lay-off rates and the accession rate for each m onth of 1937 and
1938 and January, February, and M arch 1939 for m anufacturing as a
whole. The averages of the m onthly rates for 1937 and 1938 are also
presented.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1425

1426
Monthly Labor Review— June 1939


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1427

Labor Turn-Over

T a b le 1.— M o n th ly L a b o r T u r n -O v e r R a te s in R e p r e s e n ta tiv e F a c to r ie s in 1 4 4 I n d u s tr ie s
Class of turn-over
and year
Separations:
Quits—
1939
1938_________
1937_________
Discharges—
1939
1938_________
1937_________
Lay-offs J—
1939
1938........ ...........
1937_________
Total—
1939

1938_________
1937_________
Accessions:
1939
1938_________
1937............

Apr. M ay June July Aug. Sept.

Oct. N ov. Dec. Aver­
age

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

0.85
.52
1.27

0. 64
.49
1.19

0.82
.61
1.43

0.59
1.38

0.62
1.37

0.61
1.89

0.59
1.25

0.65
1.23

0.82
1.59

0.78
1.05

0. 60
.72

0.58
.60

0.62
1.25

. 10
.11
.21

. 10

.11
.22

.13
.11
.24

.10
.23

.13
.21

.11
.19

.09
.21

.10
. 19

.12
.19

.12
.10

.10
.16

.09
.14

.11
.20

2.24
5.45
1.90

1.87
3.79
1.44

2.23
3.74
1.53

3.85
1.48

3.82
1.79

3.69
1.94

3.13
2.06

2.33
2.57

2.62
2.84

2. 40
4.45

2.44
5.99

3.21
7.77

3.37
2.98

3.19
6.08
3.38

2 61
4.39
2.85

3.20

4. 54
3.09

4.57
3.37

4.41
4.02

3.81
3.52

3.08
3.99

3.56
4.62

3.30
5.69

3.14
6.87

3.88
8.51

4.10
4.43

4.09
3.78

3.06
3.13
4.71

3.34
3.13
4.74

2.58
4.04

2.84
3.56

3.44
3.69

4.81
3.36

5.29
3.36

4.51
3.78

5.19
2.84

4.24
1.79

3.22
2.12

3.85
3.55

4 .6 0

3.18
4. 46

1 T h e v a r i o u s t u r n - o v e r r a t e s r e p r e s e n t t h e n u m b e r o f q u i t s , d is c h a r g e s , la y -o ffs , t o t a l s e p a r a t io n s , a n d
a c c e s s io n s p e r 100 e m p lo y e e s .
2 I n c l u d i n g t e m p o r a r y , i n d e t e r m i n a t e , a n d p e r m a n e n t la y -o ffs .

Detailed turn-over rates for 28 selected m anufacturing industries
are listed in table 2, which gives the num ber of quits, discharges, and
lay-offs, total separations, and total accessions per 100 employees in
reporting firms in M arch and February 1939 and M arch 1938.
T a b le 2. — M o n th ly T u r n -O v e r R a te s (p e r 100~ E m p lo y e e s ) in S p e c ifie d M a n u fa c tu r in g
I n d u s tr ie s

C la s s o f r a t e s


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

M ar.
1939

F eb.
1939

M ar.
1938

A u to m o b ile s a n d
b o d ie s
0 .5 9
.0 7
4 .4 4
5 .1 0
2 56

1.23
.0 4
2.31
3 .5 8
1.81

0. 65
.1 4
11.57
12.36
2 .4 4

M ar.
1939

0 .4 7
.1 0
3 .7 0
4 .2 7
3 .3 6

0 .4 7
.1 3
6 .0 7
6 .6 7
11.16

0 .5 8
.1 4
3 .7 0
4 .4 2
4 .3 1

1.0 4
.2 5
1.23
2 .5 2
3 .1 8

0 .8 2
.1 5
3 .0 9
4 .0 6
3 .4 9

0 .5 0
.1 0
5 .0 3
5 .6 3
4 .4 8

0 .4 9
.1 0
8 .9 3
9. 52
6.61

M ar.
1939

0 .2 7
.0 5
2 .4 2
2 .7 4
15.21

0 .2 7
.1 1
.7 6
1.1 4
7 .9 2

0 .4 9
.0 4
1.4 7
2 .0 0
3 .4 2

M a r.
1938

0 .8 2
.1 9
1.3 6
2 .3 7
2. 21

0. 71
.1 4
.8 4
1 .6 9
3 .5 7

0 .7 3
.1 2
1 .4 2
2 .2 7
2 .4 4

C ig a r s a n d
c i g a r e tt e s
0 .8 4
.0 7
5 .3 6
6. 27
9 .0 3

E le c tric a l
m a c h in e r y
0 .5 8
.0 5
1.53
2 .1 6
3 .2 3

F eb.
1939

B o o ts a n d sh o e s

C em ent

C o tto n m a n u fa c ­
tu rin g
1 .4 7
.2 0
2.21
3 .8 8
3 .0 8

TM a r .
' 1938

A u to m o b i le p a r t s

B r ic k , ti l e , a n d
t e r r a c o t ta
0. 59
.1 1
2 .0 4
2 .7 4
8. 90

F eb.
1939

1 .2 0
.1 3
2.3 9
3 .7 2
3 .6 3

1 .0 2
.1 2
2 .9 9
4 .1 3
2 .9 1

0.8 1
.1 3
2 .6 8
3 .6 2
2 .9 4

F o u n d r ie s a n d
m a c h in e s h o p s
0. 65
.0 5
6 .0 0
6 .7 0
1.4 2

0 .5 4
.0 9
1. 29
1 .9 2
3 .0 4

0 .4 1
.0 8
2 .0 3
2 .5 2
3 .1 5

0 .3 9
.0 9
5.3 9
5 .8 7
2 .1 0

1428

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 2. — M o n th ly T u r n -O v e r R a te s (p e r 1 0 0 E m p lo y e e s ) in S p e c ifie d M a n u f a c tu r in g
I n d u s tr ie s —Continued

C la s s o f r a te s

M ar.
1939

F eb.
1939

M ar.
1938

M ar.
1939

F u rn itu r e

0 . 72
.3 2
2 .4 3
3 .4 7
4 .4 5

0 .3 9
.3 0
4 .1 2
4 .8 1
3 .4 0

0 . 67
.2 1
2. 27
3 .1 5
3 .5 1

0 .2 8
.0 4
1 .0 5
1 .3 7
1 .1 9

0. 56
.0 8
2 .6 3
3. 27
.9 2

M e n ’s c l o t h i n g

0 . 73
.1 4
2. 97
3 .8 4
3 .9 2

M ar.
1938

M ar.
1939

G la s s

0 .2 1
.0 4
2 .6 8
2. 93
2 . 65

0 .6 2
.0 4
1 .2 6
1. 9 2
4 .0 1

0 . 61
.0 3
4 .1 9
4 .8 3
4 .3 3

0 .2 3
.0 8
2 .2 1
2 .5 2
1 .7 3

0 . 93
. 11
1 .2 7
2 .3 1
3 .0 4

0. 90
. 13
.8 2
1 .8 5
3. 30

0 .6 6
. 11
3 .3 0
4 .0 7
2 .9 0

0. 58
.0 8
.5 1
1 .1 7
1 .2 8

M ar.
1938

0 .5 6
.2 0
1 .5 7
2. 33
2 .3 7

0. 40
.1 0
1 .2 7
1 .7 7
2 .5 3

0 . 56
.0 6
3 .1 1
3 .7 3
1 .3 2

M a c h in e to o ls

0 .6 2
.0 7
3 .0 7
3. 76
3. 91

P a p e r a n d p u lp

0 . 55
.1 2
.9 4
1 .6 1
2 .0 2

F eb.
1939

H a rd w a re

K n it goods

I r o n a n d s te e l

0 .3 8
.0 4
.9 1
1 .3 3
1. 5 2

F eb.
1939

0 .4 8
. 11
1 .3 6
1 .9 5
1 .4 0

0 . 56
.1 3
.6 7
1 .3 6
3 .6 3

0 .5 2
.0 4
.9 6
1. 52
3 .3 7

0 .3 8
.0 5
4 .1 0
4. 53
.3 8

P e tro le u m re fin in g

0 .1 9
.0 6
1. 2 2
1 .4 7
2 .0 8

0 .2 7
.0 8
1. 2 8
1. 6 3
2 .3 6

0 .2 5
.0 6
1 .4 2
1 .7 3
1 .3 3

P rin tin g a n d p u b lish in g
R a d io s a n d
p h o n o g ra p h s
B o o k a n d jo b

0 .3 8
.2 1
4. 27
4. 86
3 .8 8

0 .3 4
.1 7
3 .0 1
3 .5 2
3 .6 9

0 .3 9
. 16
2 .3 3
2 .8 8
2 .6 2

0 .3 4
.0 8
.4 7
.8 9
2 .1 0

0 . 51
.6 9
4. 28
5 .4 8
2 .4 6

3 .5 2
. 17
3 .4 8
7 .1 7
5 .7 8

0 .8 5
. 13
3. 72
4 .7 0
4. 32

1 .6 7
.2 5
4 .1 0
6. 02
9 . 51

W o o le n a n d w o rs te d
goods

Q u i t ________________________ _______________
D i s c h a r g e _____________ ____________________
T o t a l s e p a r a t i o n ___________________________


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

0 .7 4
.1 8
9 .3 4
1 0 .2 6
3 .5 1

1 .1 0
.1 5
5 .1 7
6 .4 2
3 .6 8

0 .3 4
.0 2
.5 4
.9 0
1 .8 2

0. 22
. 12
1 .1 2
1 .4 6
2 .0 6

0 .8 3
.0 3
.5 5
1 .4 1
2 .2 6

0 .6 4
.0 7
.4 5
1 .1 6
2. 59

0 .6 1
.0 2
2 . 91
3 .5 4
1 .9 4

S la u g h te rin g a n d
m e a t p a c k in g

S a w m ills

Q u i t _______ __ ___________________
_______
D is c h a rg e ...
_
. . . .
____

0 .1 7
.2 2
1 .7 5
2 .1 4
2 .9 1

R u b b e r b o o ts a n d
sh o es

R ayon

0. 55
.0 9
1. 2 5
1 .8 9
1. 5 7

N e w sp a p e rs

1 .1 9
.0 8
1 7 .0 5
1 8 .3 2
3 .9 3

0. 46
. 13
6. 65
7. 24
6 .1 4

0 .5 3
. 15
10. 34
1 1 .0 2
5. 56

0 . 51
. 19
8 .2 3
8. 93
5. 69

1 .2 2
. 17
4. 09
5 .4 8
4 .5 8

1 .1 1
.3 1
7 .0 5
8 .4 7
2. 55

0. 85
.0 6
1 1 .8 7
12. 78
2 .5 7

R u b b e r tire s

0 .5 7
.0 5
. 85
1 .4 7
2. 46

0 .4 3
. 05
. 79
1 .2 7
1 .5 3

0 .8 3
. 05
3 .7 4
4 .6 2
1 .3 7

S te a m a n d h o t- w a te r
h e a tin g a p p a r a tu s

0. 59
.0 5
.8 2
1. 4 6
2 .2 4

0 .3 5
.0 7
.4 0
.8 2
1 .6 4

0 .6 3
.0 7
3. 09
3 .7 9
2. 77

Employment Offices

O PERATIONS

OF U N IT E D STATES EM PLO Y M EN T
SERVICE, A PR IL 1939

PLA CEM EN TS made by offices of the U nited States Em ploym ent
Service during April 1939 were one-quarter higher than in April
1938. April placements totaled 270,496, m arking the sixth consecu­
tive m onthly increase over the corresponding period a year earlier.
Despite a small seasonal gain in the volume of applications for work,
increased placements and a large volume of cancelations of job appli­
cations from persons previously registered brought the active file at
the m onth end to the lowest point since January 1938.
Private industry accounted for most of the jobs filled, taking 195,001
placements, 17.2 percent higher than the daily rate in M arch and
26.7 percent above April 1938. The m ost notable improvement in this
field occurred in the placement of men in jobs of regular duration.
The 46,208 placements of this character were more than 50 percent
above the level of April 1938. Placements of men in both regular
and tem porary jobs in private industry num bered 104,830 and place­
m ents of women with private employers num bered 90,171, of which
over half were of regular duration. In addition to private placements,
75,495 jobs in public employment were filled.
Although gains in job opportunities were general throughout the
country, the greatest seasonal expansion in private jobs occurred in
the M ountain States area, 43.5 percent higher than in M arch. Sea­
sonal gains in public employment were largest in the New England
States. Every region showed improvement over the record of last
year in the num ber of private jobs filled. The largest gain in con­
tinental United States occurred in the South A tlantic States with
53.7 percent more placements than in April 1938, closely followed by
the M ountain and W est N orth Central groups. Smallest gains were
reported for the E ast South Central region, an increase of only 1.5
percent. The only seasonal decrease in private placements occurred
in the E ast South Central area. Greatest improvement in public
placements over a year ago was found in the New England area.
T otal current applications for work received a t the employment
offices num bered 1,172,720, a m oderate increase over M arch and the
same level as a year ago, b u t 82 percent higher than the num ber reported
in April 1937. Two-fifths of these applications represented previously
149001— 39------- 13


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1429

1430

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

unregistered persons. Applications were received from 863,958 men
and 308,762 women. The greatest seasonal increases in both new
applications and renewals occurred in the Middle A tlantic States.
The M ountain States area was the only region to show a gain in new
applications above a year ago, but gains in renewals were reported
in every region, the 74.5 percent increase in the Middle Atlantic States
being the largest in continental United States.
A t the end of April, 6,547,051 active registrations for work were
on file at the employment offices, a decline of 3 percent from the level
of M arch 31 and of 9.8 percent from the total for April 1938. Regis­
trations of men num bered 5,137,468 and those of women, 1,409,583.
Registrations of men were 11 percent lower than for April 1938; regis­
trations of women dropped only 5.3 percent. Despite the general
decline in the size of the active file, three geographic areas in conti­
nental United States reported increases from the total of a year ago,
the W est South C entral region leading with a gain of 11.3 percent.
During the m onth the 1,655 offices and 2,797 itinerant points of the
Service made 169,797 solicitations of employers, received 10,475,000
visits, and assisted in making 42,523 supplem ental placements.
T a ble 1.— S u m m a r y o f O p e r a tio n s o f U n ite d S ta te s E m p lo y m e n t S e rv ic e , A p r i l 1939
Percent of change from—
Activity

Total applications_______________
N ew applications ________ _ __
Renewals_________________ _
Total placements_____ ___________
Private____ ____ __________
Public____________________
Active file (end of month)___________

Number

1,172, 720
478,277
694,443
270,496
195,001
75,495
6, 547, 051

March
19391
+ 5 .3
+ 6 .2
+ 4 .7
+18.5
+17.2
+21.9
- 3 .0

April
1938

April
1937

+ 0 .5
-2 8 .3
+39.0

1 „
+66.0
+94.9
22. o

- 9 .8

+18.6

1 Adjusted for number of working days in month.

Placements of veterans during April showed sizable seasonal gains
but aside from placements in private jobs of regular duration showed
little improvement over the record of a year ago. The volume of
applications for work from veterans declined almost one-third from
M arch. At the end of April 357,280 veterans were actively seeking
work through employment office facilities.
T a ble 2.— S u m m a r y of V e te ra n s' A c tiv itie s , A p r i l 1939
Percent of change from—
Activity

Number
March 19391 April 1938

Total applications___________
N ew applications________________
R enewals.............
Total placements__
Private..........................
Public........................
Active file (end of m onth)..
1 Adjusted for number of working days in month.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

47,678
12,476
35, 202
12,809
7,246
5,563
357,280

-3 0 .7
- 2 .5
-3 7 .2
+21.4
'

- .9

-5 7 . 1

-2 1 .0

April 1937
+37.8
+16.7
+47.2
-4 2 .8
-3 5 .8
-4 9 .8
+14.8

1431

Employment Offices
T a ble 3 . — O p e r a tio n s o f U n ite d S ta te s E m p lo y m e n t S e rv ic e , A p r i l 1 9 3 9
TOTAL
Applications

Placements
Private
Division and
State

Field
Pub­ visits
Per­
Total
cent of Regular lic
N um ­ change
(over 1
ber
from month)
March 1

United States 270,496 195,001 __ +17

Total

Sup­
Active
ple­
file, Apr. Personal
mental
visits
30,
1939
place­
New
ments

91,687 75,495 169, 797 1,172, 720 478,277 6, 547,051 10,474, 711 42, 523

8,945
1,197
1,139
573
2,067
714
3,255

+20
-4
+4
-3
+16
+17

M id. A tl____ 34,427 27,391
New Y ork., 17, 735 13,295
New Jersey. 8,314 7, 435
8,378 6, 661
Pa________

+16
+21
+34
-5

14, 757 7,036 29,072
6, 238 4,440 8,172
879 13, 259
4, 520
3, 999 1,717 7,641

E. N . Cen___ 46, 786 40, 219
Ohio. ___ 11, 642 10, 354
6, 725 6,444
Indiana___
Illinois____ 11, 596 11,209
M ichigan... 9,617 6, 837
W isconsin.. 7,206 5, 375

+20
+33
+2
+15
+20
+33

19, 407
4, 636
3, 328
4,848
3,742
2,853

6,567 35,936
1, 288 14, 367
281 3,399
387 5, 779
2,780 9, 654
1, 831 2, 737

W. N . C e n ... 30, 953 20,015
M innesota. 5, 475 4,098
Iowa______ 8, 557 5, 488
Missouri__
5, 961 4,627
2, 216 1,656
N . D ak.......
S. D ak____
1, 739 1,067
N ebraska... 4,177 1, 359
Kansas____ 2,828 1,720

+22
+38
+14
+17
+43
+18
+14
+26

9,439
2,297
2,188
2,263
956
461
615
659

10, 938 21, 765
1, 377 7,200
3,069 4,005
1, 334 3,891
560
938
672
698
2,818 2,146
1,108 2,887

86,198 35, 731
17, 521 6,434
16, 624 6, 251
27,174 13,109
4,247 1, 824
2, 777 1,139
7,084 2, 752
10, 771 4,222

S. A tla n tic ... 38, 279 22,172
805
Delaware— 1,037
M aryland.. 3, 621 2, 378
Dist. of Col. 3,483 3,259
Virginia___ 5,736 3,265
2,964 2,160
W. Va.........
N . C ______ 8, 950 4,646
3, 282 1,165
S. C______
Georgia___
7, 325 4, 052
442
Florida____ 1,881

+17
+25
+19
+35
+33
-1
+4
+13
+22
+9

11, 443
362
1,171
1,374
2,169
1,157
2, 256
590
2,130
234

16,107 16, 392
232
305
1,243 2,373
224
571
2,471 2,035
804 1, 340
4, 304 2,195
2,117 1,154
3,273 5, 215
1,439 1,204

142, 786 60, 230
3,117
765
17,009 4, 947
7, 668 3,160
20, 305 8, 446
29,179 11,553
21, 620 8,789
10,313 4,730
20,880 10,022
12,695 7,818

6,971
1,437
2, 630
2,171
733

-1
+29
-1 2
-3
+7

3,816
565
1,471
1,299
481

W. S. C e n .... 47, 716 37, 082
Arkansas... 3,834 2, 551
Louisiana.. 6,033 4,999
Oklahoma.. 7, 225 5,512
Texas_____ 30, 624 24,020

+10
-2 2
-2
+126
+5

10,758
883
2,742
874
6,260

9,401
971
1, 534
413
2,490
1,118
1,453
668
754

+44
+34
+48
+34
+30
+77
+61
+78
+14

Pacific______ 28,859 22,525
Wash_____
3,997 3, 346
Oregon____ 3, 895 2,212
California.. 20,967 16,967

+24
+50
-1 5
+27

110
170

+116
-2

N ew E ng----- 12,942
Maine_____ 1,677
1, 662
N . H _____
994
Vermont__
3,330
M ass_____
957
R. I ______
Conn____
4, 322

E. S. Cen___ 14, 680
K entucky. _ 2, 573
Tennessee.. 3,963
A labam a... 3,718
Mississippi- 4,426

M ountain. . . 14,918
M ontan a... 2, 680
Idaho. ___ 2,234
W yom ing.. 1,007
C olorado... 3,012
1,660
N . M ex___
1,814
Arizona___
U tah............ 1,358
N e v a d a .... 1,153

Alaska______
Hawaii______

349
587

5,468 3,997
917
480
664
523
354
421
1,365 1, 263
409
243
1, 759 1,067

7,709
1,136
1, 333
1,547
3,693

77, 292 29,040
11, 613 2, 752
8, 349 1,733
3,043
862
29,445 15, 709
8,036 3, 553
16,806 4,431

6,835
878
1, 264
326
1,605
916
1,846

751, 715
80, 737
42,838
17, 795
362,486
111, 061
136,798

737
234
132
18
130
69
154

315,828
154,773
52, 609
108,446

127,634 1,616,215 2, 991, 565
68,381 467,049 2 1,576,000
23, 373 231, 527
311,023
35,880 917, 639 1,104, 542

1,670
858
203
609

230, 229
88, 809
40, 741
33,860
41, 516
25, 303

84,398 1,328, 752 1, 593,167
32, 958 429, 917
722,885
13, 389 203, 504
230, 661
13, 904 161,075
131,372
16,978 367,872
366, 379
7,169 166,384
141, 870

4, 331
2, 787
794
232
263
255

631,186
197,879
99, 908
160, 388
33,448
35, 524
52,152
51,887

827, 324
256, 778
167, 327
194, 723
40,438
22,837
64, 402
80,819

1, 695
602
150
160
95
87
111
490

744,582 1,115, 563
11, 741
22, 345
69,942
122, 785
47, 534
66, 517
54, 930
147,806
114, 914
225,120
115,253
225, 111
108,839
106, 790
109, 648
178, 434
42, 995
89,441

1, 766
22
76
59
226
406
550
60
151
216
1, 971
387
276
516
792

6,139
911
2,012
1,915
1,301

65, 549 33,168
22,468 13, 703
12,425 6,863
14, 218 5,884
16,438 6, 718

423,433
91, 215
132, 690
137, 505
62,023

592, 485
154, 272
160,825
191, 860
85,528

10, 634 27,070
1,283 2,416
1,034 3,966
1,713 3, 610
6, 604 17,078

85,913 42,024
7,940 4,001
16,497 7, 578
15, 523 7,089
45,953 23, 356

522,223
78,090
113,794
64,057
266,282

976,191 19, 589
111, 175 1, 641
149,077
617
167, 594
742
548,345 16, 589

9,366
1,597
1,274
322
2,379
1,397
734
1,033
630

46,397 15,788
4, 622 1,389
5, 703 2,121
3„ 644 1,302
11, 965 4, 730
3,246 1,459
4, 982 2,113
9, 628 1, 765
909
2, 607

219,129
29,975
18,783
14,243
69, 707
32,976
25,047
23, 759
4,639

375, 293
36,106
64, 621
30, 741
118,155
26,277
36, 743
43, 643
19,007

4,702
335
38
50
91
56
3, 380
650
102

11,099 6,334 16,921
651 2,892
2,020
1,446 1,683 2,117
7,633 4,000 11, 912

120,028 48, 483
12,384 5, 365
9,032 3,769
98,612 39,349

582,283 1,235, 503
164,329
101,778
124,458
63, 685
416,820
946, 716

5,635
1,041
1,405
3,189

5, 392 5,517
692 1,709
821
700
240
594
1, 266
522
865
542
852
361
227
690
429
399

36
72

239
417

126
175

1 Adjusted for number of working days in month.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

467,320
41,404
31, 334
19, 366
252, 736
36,410
86,070

1,119
1,381

722
1,059

3,463
8, 465
2 Estimated.

11,813
4,092

22
405

1432

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

T a ble 3. — O p e r a tio n s o f U n ite d S ta te s E m p lo y m e n t S e rv ic e , A p r i l 1 9 3 9 —Continued
M EN
Placements

Applications

Private
Division and State
Total

New

Per­
cent of Regular Public
N um ­ change
(over 1
ber
from month)
March 1

United States_____ ____ . . 179,711 104,830

Total

Active
Per­ file, Apr.
N um ­ cent of 30, 1939
change
ber
from
March 1

+25

46, 208

N ew E n g la n d ----------------M aine________ ____
N ew Hampshire........ .
Vermont------------------M assachusetts---------Rhode Island________
Connecticut_________

8,234
999
1,194
692
2,122
526
2,701

4,257
520
680
272
866
284
1,635

+10
+12
-1 3
-3
-2
+42
+31

2,699
391
329
174
629
172
1,004

3,977
479
514
420
1,256
242
1,066

50,228
8, 200
5,951
2,275
18,022
4, 529
11, 251

16,801
1,722
1,128
641
8,838
1,924
2,548

+2
+13
+13
+2
+5
-1 5
-4

Middle Atlantic_________
New York___________
New Jersey ............... . .
Pennsylvania-------------

17, 598
9, 721
3, 558
4,319

10,729
5,421
2,689
2,619

+28
+39
+54
-4

6,458
2,897
1,952
1,609

6,869 223, 363
4,300 101,014
869 35,085
1,700 87,264

82, 322
43,645
12, 575
26,102

+32 1, 228,665
+56
316,109
-1 4
167, 412
+31
745,144

East North Central---------- 25,399
Ohio............. .................. - 5,989
Indiana______________ 2,960
5,826
Illinois______________
Michigan____________
6,228
Wisconsin___________
4, 396

18,937
4,715
2,692
5,460
3,456
2,614

+32
+53
+14
+17
+34
+57

9,058
2, 210
1,215
2,302
1,884
1,447

6,462 175, 283
1,274 72,091
268 29,456
366 24, 385
2, 772 31, 689
1,782 17, 662

60,073
25,412
8,849
9, 624
11,374
4,814

+16 1,097,881
+37
361,732
+23
164,818
+9
130,224
-7
304,331
-4
136,776

West North Central--------- 21,417
M innesota..------ -------- 3, 333
Iowa............................
5,956
Missouri_____________ 3,777
North Dakota------------ 1,466
South D akota. ______ 1,234
Nebraska____________
3. 583
Kansas______________
2,068

10, 562
1,972
2,904
2,443
927
572
782
962

+34
+56
+20
+34
+60
+26
+18
+40

4, 763
1,188
1,171
1,057
556
259
282
250

10,855
1,361
3,052
1,334
539
662
2,801
1,106

63, 333
12,673
12, 268
18, 819
3,324
2,154
5, 511
8, 584

23,443
4, 305
4,103
7,894
1,325
766
1,848
3,202

-8
+5
-5
-1 2
+40
-6
-1 2
-2 6

509,675
161,269
79,195
126, 598
27,436
28, 681
42, 561
43,935

South Atlantic___________ 18, 462
Delaware____ ________
622
M aryland. -------------2,764
District of Colum bia... 1, 556
Virginia. ___________
4,291
West Virginia-----------1, 660
North Carolina---------- 7,069
South Carolina_______ 2,866
Georgia______________ 5,946
Florida______________
1,688

12,413
391
1,524
1,346
1,823
861
2,780
755
2,681
252

+22
+58
+31
+45
+37
-1 3
+18
+29
+14
+14

5,947
209
751
540
1,118
491
1,119
333
1,270
116

16,049 108,900
231
2,284
1,240 12, 500
210
4,485
2,468 14,639
799 26,606
4,289 15,204
2,111
7, 768
3,265 15,128
1,436 10, 286

43, 384
435
3,117
1,888
6,146
10,451
5,955
3,075
6,221
6,096

+11
-1 7
-7
-1 0
-4
+144
-1 1
+7
-1 7
+12

563, 285
8, 334
54,189
32, 524
40, 564
101,456
76,060
85, 343
130,207
34,608

East South Central______ 11,395
K en tu ck y.---------------- 1,751
Tennessee___________
2,566
Alabama____________
2,971
M ississippi__________
4,107

3,698
618
1,233
1,431
416

+2
+43
-5
-2
-3

1,863
229
580
805
249

7,697
1,133
1,333
1,540
3,691

51, 562
17,970
8,882
11,206
13, 504

24,995
10,808
4,837
4,219
5,131

+11
+24
+9
-4
+4

344,485
76,430
104, 769
110, 751
52, 535

West South Central ____ 34,870
Arkansas_________ . .
3,023
Louisiana____________ 4,259
Oklahoma______ ____ 5, 316
T exas.............................. 22,272

24,298
1,746
3,244
3, 609
15, 699

+14
-2 2
-5
+192
+8

5,296
398
1,546
294
3,058

10, 572
1,277
1,015
1,707
6, 573

68,472
6, 370
12,912
12,144
35,046

31,381
3,164
5, 528
5,308
17,381

-6
-1 6
-1
-2 5
+3

429,185
67; 734
92,773
55; 170
213, 508

M ountain. _____________ 11, 512
M ontana____________
2, 433
Idaho.-_________ ____
1,627
Wyoming____________
883
Colorado____________
2,035
New Mexico_________
1,309
A rizon a...___________
1,250
U tah________________
1,020
N evada______________
955

6,041
739
930
293
1, 526
772
892
330
559

+68
+59
+64
+77
+44
+122
+126
+124
+22

3, 566
526
435
180
730
633
609
114
339

5,471
1,694
697
590
509
537
358
690
396

38,224
4,122
4,696
3,062
9, 414
2,607
3,997
8,151
2,175

11,911
1,130
1,578
1,067
3,524
1,058
1,567
1,265
722

-3
+20
+26
+46
+1
-6
-3 5
-2 6
+23

185,046
2A 685
16,607
12,128
57,132
27,879
21, 537
20,076
4,002

74,881 863,958 326, 515

+ 8 5,137,468
331,884
33,058
24,257
15, 400
177,952
21,053
60,164

Pacific...... ................ ...........
Washington ________
Oregon______________
California____________

20,009
3,168
3,432
13,409

13,728
2,523
1,755
9,450

+32
+58
-1 8
+43

6, 504
1,509
1,159
3,836

6,281
645
1,677
3,959

84, 331
9,140
6,834
68,357

30, 622
3,475
2, 783
24,364

-1 5
-2 3
-1 0
-1 4

436,959
88| 309
51, 536
297; 114

Alaska__________________
Hawaii.............. .................. .

316
499

79
88

+93
-1 9

25
29

237
411

1,046
1,216

668
915

+83
-2 5

3,162
7,241

1 Adjusted for number of working days in month.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1433

Employment Offices

T a b le 3. — O p e r a tio n s o f U n ite d S ta te s E m p lo y m e n t S e rv ic e , A p r i l 1 9 3 9 —Continued
WOMEN
Applications

Placements

New

Private
Division and State

Total

Percent Regular
of
(over
Number change
1
from
month)
March 1

Total

Active
file,
Percent Apr. 30,
of
1939
Number change
from
March >

90, 785

90,171

+9

45,479

308,762

151,762

+2

1,409,583

4,708
678
468
302
1,208
431
1,621

4,688
677
459
301
1, 201
430
1,620

+7
+27
+15
+10
-3
+4
+6

2,769
526
335
180
736
237
755

27,064
3,413
2,398
768
11,423
3,507
5,555

12,239
1,030
605
221
6,871
1,629
1,883

+3
+46
+11
-1 7
+10
-2 8
+3

135,436
8,346
7,077
3,966
74,784
15,357
25,906

16,829
8,014
4,756
4,059

16, 662
7,874
4, 746
4,042

+10
+11
+25
-6

8,299
3,341
2, 568
2,390

92,465
53, 759
17, 524
21,182

45,312
24, 736
10, 798
9,778

+20
+50
+16
-1 7

387,550
150, 940
64,115
172,495

Indiana______________
Illinois_____________ .
Michigan_____________
W isconsin........................

21,387
5.653
3,765
5, 770
3,389
2.810

21, 282
5, 639
3, 752
5, 749
3,381
2, 761

+11
+20
-4
+13
+9
+17

10,349
2,426
2,113
2, 546
1,858
1,406

54,946
16, 718
11, 285
9,475
9,827
7,641

24,325
7,546
4,540
4, 280
5, 604
2,355

-5
-6
+4
-1 1
-5
-3

230,871
68,185
38, 686
30,851
63, 641
29,608

West North Central______
Minnesota____ _______
Iowa..................................
M issouri.. .....................
North Dakota...... ..........
South Dakota________
Nebraska..___________
Kansas.............................

9, 536
2,142
2,601
2,184
750
505
594
760

9,453
2,126
2, 584
2,184
729
495
577
758

+11
+24
+7
+2
+25
+10
+9
+11

4,676
1,109
1,017
1,206
400
202
333
409

22,865
4,848
4, 356
8,355
923
623
1,573
2,187

12, 288
2,129
2,148
5,215
499
373
904
1,020

-4
-1 3
-7
+6
-5
-9
-1 2
-1 2

121,511
36,610
20, 713
33, 790
6,012
6, 843
9, 591
7,952

South Atlantic___________
D elaw are____________
Maryland________ . . .
District of Columbia. . .
Virginia.......................... .
West Virginia________
North Carolina..........
South Carolina..............
Georgia______________
Florida_____ ______ _

9,817
415
857
1,927
1,445
1,304
1,881
416
1,379
193

9,759
414
854
1,913
1,442
1,299
1,866
410
1,371
190

+12
+5
+3
+28
+28
+10
-1 1
-7
+41
+3

5,496
153
420
834
1,051
666
1,137
257
860
118

33,886
833
4,509
3,183
5, 666
2,573
6,416
2,545
5,752
2,409

16,846
330
1,830
1,272
2,300
1,102
2.834
1,655
3, 801
1,722

-1 0
-2 5
-8
-1 5
-1 1
-1 5
-1 8
+2
-1 3
+21

181,297
3,407
15, 753
15,010
14,366
13,458
39,193
23,496
48,227
8,387

East South Central_______
Kentucky____________
Tennessee____________
Alabama_____________
M ississippi___________

3,285
822
1,397
747
319

3,273
819
1,397
740
317

-3
+20
-1 7
-4
+24

1,953
336
891
494
232

13,987
4,498
3, 543
3,012
2,934

8,173
2,895
2,026
1,665
1,587

+2
+7
-6
-9
+20

78,948
14,785
27,921
26,754
9,488

West South Central______
Arkansas.................... .
Louisiana____________
Oklahoma____________
Texas____ ____ _______

12,846
811
1,774
1,909
8,352

12,784
805
1,755
1,903
8,321

+4
-2 3
+4
+57
-0

5,462
484
1,196
580
3,202

19,441
1, 570
3,585
3,379
10,907

10, 643
837
2,050
1,781
5,975

-6
-7
-7
-5
-6

93,038
1U, 366
21,021
8,887
52,774

M ountain________________
Idaho________________
W yoming____ ________
C olorado.......................
New Mexico....... ............
Arizona______________
U ta h .._______________
Nevada.............. ..............

3,406
247
607
124
977
351
564
338
198

3,360
232
604
120
964
346
561
338
195

+14
-1 0
+30
-1 6
+12
+22
+10
+48
-4

1,826
166
386
60
536
232
243
113
90

8,173
500
1,007
582
2,551
639
985
1,477
432

3,877
259
543
235
1,206
401
546
500
187

-6
-8
+6
-1 8
-1 0
+15
-1
-1 7
+1

34,083
4,290
2,176
2,115
12, 575
5,097
3,510
3, 683
637

Pacific________ _________
Washington__________
Oregon. _____________
California.............. ..........

8,850
829
463
7,558

8,797
823
457
7,517

+12
+29
-0
+12

4, 595
511
287
3,797

35,697
3,244
2,198
30,255

17,861
1,890
986
14,985

-7
-9
-6
-6

145,324
13,469
12,149
119,706

Alaska___________________
Hawaii------ ------ ---------------

33
88

31
82

+182
+26

11
43

73
165

54
144

+29
-9

301
1,224

United States____________
New England___________
N ew Hampshire---------Vermont_____________
Massachusetts________
Rhode Island_________
Connecticut__________
Middle Atlantic__________
New Jersey___________
Pennsylvania________
East North C entral........... .

i Adjusted for number of working days in month.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1434

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
T a ble 4. — O p e r a tio n s o f U n ite d S ta te s E m p lo y m e n t S e rv ic e , A p r i l 1 9 3 9
VETERANS
Placements

Applications

Total

Active
file,
Apr.
Per­
30,
1939
N um ­ cent of
change
ber
from
March

Private

New

D ivision and State
Total

United States............. ......... 12,809

Per­
Public
N um ­ cent of Regular
(over
change
ber
from 1 month)
March
7,246

+19

2, 543

5, 563

47,678

12,476

-2

357,280

N ew E n g la n d _______ .
M aine, . . . _______
N ew Hampshire_____
Vermont____________
M assachusetts______
Rhode Island______
Connecticut_________

634
82
71
37
168
41
235

283
28
52
19
46
21
117

+23
-3
+27
+12
+15
+110
+24

186
21
31
14
31
13
76

351
54
19
18
122
20
118

2, 711
441
356
118
930
189
677

706
72
59
28
391
42
114

-7
+38
+11
4-17
—17
4-2
+i

25, 616

M iddle A tlantic________
N ew Y o r k ____
New Jersey...... ..........
Pennsylvania_______

877
434
183
260

513
236
140
137

+17
+30
+20
-4

292
112
101
79

364
198
43
123

8,369
2, 298
1,680
4,391

2, 213
892
282
1,039

+17
+35
—17
+16

61,030
11, 578
8 614
40, 838

East North C en tra l____
Ohio___ _____. . .
Indiana.____________
Illinois______________
Michigan___________
W isconsin_____ ____

1,728
423
205
474
335
291

1,231
315
183
408
183
142

+27
+35
+16
+41
+1
+33

506
111
80
156
96
63

497
108
22
66
152
149

10, 602
3, 765
1,855
2,410
1,443
1,129

2, 639
1,086
380
461
492
220

+12
+ 34
+27
+9
-1 1
-1 7

92,021
765
12,047
20, 516
22, 630
10,063

West North Central_____
M innesota_________
I o w a ,_________
Missouri____
North D akota. _____
South Dakota_______
Nebraska_________
Kansas_____________

2,027
225
893
318
76
114
250
151

1,004
98
478
202
33
39
84
70

+34
+7
+50
+31
+50
+30
+31
+4

265
50
95
59
18
10
18
15

1,023
127
415
116
43
75
166
81

4,193
' 855
867
1,248
109
135
393
586

1,051
146
247
344
39
38
91
146

—18
-2 6
-6
-2 1
+29
4-3
-1 2
-3 4

41 460
13, 678
6, 474
10 217
1 788
2, 267
3 593
3,452

South Atlantic_____
Delaware____
Maryland __ ________
District of C olum bia.
V irginia............. .......
West Virginia_______
North Carolina.......... .
South Carolina______
G eorgia... . _______
Florida_______

1,642
44
196
125
242
117
376
161
275
106

746
22
118
106
94
57
143
48
134
24

+10
+10
+39
+31
-1 0
-1 5
+2
+14
+10
+41

296
13
58
29
51
28
37
9
59
12

896
22
78
19
148
60
233
113
141
82

5, 477
159
588
306
587
1, 540
753
288
546
710

1,585
21
119
124
130
446
176
79
160
330

4-3
+62

36 127
628

-1 7
—10
+201
—22
-2 9
-3 0
-1 8

3, 879
2 618
6* 587
3 875
4 ,158
5,962
3,136

639
176
182
162
119

206
49
65
73
19

-1 3
+75
-2 1
-2 2
-4 4

77
15
26
29
7

433
127
117
89
100

2,849
1,228
562
500
559

885
383
243
154
105

+14
+27
+28
—3
-1 8

22, 720
6' 449
6,929
6 404
2 ,938

West South Central
Arkansas________
Louisiana_____
Oklahoma____
Texas________

2,117
208
176
562
1,171

1,460
129
128
357
846

+13
-1 5
+6
+173
-5

222
32
63
21
106

657
79
48
205
325

2,955
333
491
841
1,290

904
111
144
263
386

-2 5
-2 7
—5
-3 5
-2 4

24, 601
4 020
5,106
5,466
10,009

M ountain_______
M ontana______
Idaho______
W yoming__________
Colorado_________
New Mexico_____
Arizona__________
U tah_____ . . .
N evada____________

1,165
220
272
72
188
65
131
135
82

599
68
170
13
134
33
96
38
47

+56
+66
+38
+44
+65
+136
+140
+41
-4

249
43
49
6
49
26
45
10
21

566
152
102
59
54
32
35
97
35

2,517
304
389
209
542
137
302
465
169

629
63
98
59
173
50
91
55
40

—6
+3
+17
+28
+6
+9
-3 6
-4 1
+18

13, 682
2,003
1, 321
883
3, 893
1, 866
1,985
1 ,393
'338

Pacific, _ . _____
W ashington__
Oregon___________
California___________

1,918
256
297
1,365

1,199
171
143
885

+31
-1 4
+9

446
80
74
292

719
85
154
480

7,878
638
390
6, 850

1,806
' 121
84
1, 601

-1 8
-3 8
-3 0
-1 5

39, 305
7,018
4 ,429
27,858

28
34

3
2

+50
-7 8

2
2

25
32

47
80

30
28

0
-5 8

247
462

East South Central . . .
K entucky.............
Tennessee .
A labam a_____
M ississippi_______

Alaska_____________ .
Hawaii_______________

1 Adjusted for number of working days in month.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

238

2

15 534
628
3, 665

26,

Building Operations

SUM MARY OF B U IL D IN G CONSTRUCTION
IN PR IN C IP A L C IT IE S, A PR IL 19391
IN A P R IL the volume of new residential construction for which per­
m its were issued was 43.0 percent greater than in the corresponding
m onth in 1938. All geographic divisions participated in the increase
with the m ost substantial gain being made in the W est South Central
States. Perm its issued for additions, alterations, and repairs to exist­
ing structures increased 3.0 percent. There was a decline of 3.3
percent in new nonresidential construction. Total construction as
measured by the value of building perm its issued was 19.0 percent
greater than in April a year ago.
Comparing April with M arch, there was a decrease of 6.7 percent in
perm it valuations for all types of construction. Indicated expendi­
tures for additions, alterations, and repairs were 10.1 percent greater
than in M arch. New residential construction was 7.4 percent
lower th an in M arch and nonresidential building activity declined
15.1 percent.

Comparison of A pril 1939 with March 1939 and A pril 1938
A summ ary of building construction in 2,052 identical cities in
April 1939, M arch 1939, and April 1938 is given in table 1.
T a b l e 1.— S u m m a r y o f B u ild in g C o n s tr u c tio n f o r W h ic h P e r m its W e re I s s u e d
in 2 ,0 5 2 I d e n tic a l C itie s , A p r i l 1 9 3 8 , M a r c h a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 9
Number of buildings
Percentage
change from—

Class of construction

All construction ____ - -------------------

April
1939

------

New nonresidential________________________
Additions, alterations, and repairs--------- ------

March
1939

Permit valuation
Percentage
change from—
April
1939

April
1938

March
1939

April
1938

64,449

+ 5 .6

+ 6 .1

$161,573, 507

- 6 .7

+19.0

17, 268
11,286
35,895

- 5 .0
+ 9 .8
+10.1

+37.2
+ 4 .1
-3 .8

87, 619,578
42,446, 666
31, 507, 263

- 7 .4
-1 5 .1
+10.1

+43.0
- 3 .3
+ 3 .0

i More detailed information by geographic divisions and individual cities is given in a separate pamphlet
entitled “ Building Construction, April 1939,” copies of which w ill be furnished upon request.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1435

1436

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

A summ ary of perm it valuations of housekeeping dwellings and the
num ber of families provided for in new dwellings in 2,052 identical
cities, having a population of 1,000 and over, is shown in table 2 for
April 1939 compared with M arch 1939 and April 1938.
T a b le 2.

P e r m i t V a lu a tio n o f H o u s e k e e p in g D w e llin g s a n d N u m b e r o f F a m ilie s P r o ­

v id e d f o r i n 2 ,0 5 2 I d e n tic a l C itie s , A p r i l 1 9 3 8 , M a r c h a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 9

Permit valuation of house­
keeping dwellings
Type of dwelling

Number of families pro­
vided for in new dwell­
ings

Percentage
change from—
April
1939

April 1939
March
1939

April
1938

Percentage
change from—
March
1939

April
1938

All types_______ ____ ____

$86,252,418

-7 .8

+41.9

23,671

- 8 .1

+45.5

1-family__________
2-family «____ ____ ______
Multifamily >_______

63,079,582
3,087,811
20,085,025

-5 .5
-6 .2
-1 4 .7

+34.1
+ 7 .7
+84.9

16,042
1,269
6, 360

- 4 .6
+• 6
-1 7 .2

+36.8
+11.8
+86.7

1 Includes 1- and 2-family dwellings with stores.
1 Includes multifamily dwellings with stores.

Construction During First 4 Months, 1938 and 1939
Cum ulative totals for the first 4 m onths of 1939 compared with the
same m onths of the preceding year are shown in table 3. The data are
based on reports received from cities having a population of 1,000 and
over.
T a b le 3. — P e r m i t V a lu a tio n o f B u ild in g C o n s tru c tio n , F ir s t 4 M o n th s o f 1 9 3 8 a n d o f
1 9 3 9 , b y C la s s o f C o n s tru c tio n
Permit valuation of building construction, first
4 months of—
Class of construction
1939
All construction...................................
New residential___________________
N ew nonresidential_______________
Additions, alterations, and repairs................

1938

Percentage
change

$641,386,176

$536,837,277

+19.5

341,874, Oil
188,344, 772
111, 167,393

250,453,726
180, 508,856
105, 874, 695

+36.5
+ 4.3
+ 5 .0

Table 4 presents the perm it valuation of housekeeping dwellings
and num ber of family-dwelling units provided in cities w ith a popula­
tion of 1,000 and over for the first 4 m onths of 1938 and 1939.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1437

Building Operations

T a b le 4. — P e r m it V a lu a tio n a n d N u m b e r o f F a m ily - D w e llin g U n its , F ir s t 4 M o n th s o f
1 9 3 8 a n d o f 1 9 3 9 , b y T y p e o f D iv e llin g
Permit valuation of housekeeping
dwellings
Type of dwelling

First 4 months of— Per­
Percentage
centage
change
change
1938
1939

First 4 months of—
1939

Number of families provided
for

1938

All typ es----------------- ---------------------- $337,742,031

$248, 915, 734

+35.7

94,966

71,054

+33.7

211, 546, 592
10, 562,827
115, 632,612

144, 274,404
10, 662,169
93,979,161

+46.6
-.9
+23.0

54,139
4,201
36, 626

37, 201
4, 231
29,622

+45.5
-.7
+23.6

1 family___________________ ______
2-family1__________________________
M ultifam ily2- . . . -------------------------

1 Includes 1- and 2-family dwellings with stores.
2 Includes multifamily dwellings with stores.

,

Analysis by Size of City April 1939
Table 5 shows the value of permits issued for building construction
in April 1939 compared with M arch 1939 and April 1938, by size of
city and by class of construction.
T a b le 5.— P e r m it V a lu a tio n o f B u ild in g C o n s tru c tio n in 2 ,0 5 2 I d e n tic a l C itie s , b y S i z e
o f C ity , A p r i l 1 9 3 8 , M a r c h a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 9
N ew residential buildings

Total construction

Size of city

Number
of cities

2,052

Total, all reporting c itie s...

Permit
valuation,
April 1939

$161, 573,507

14
79
95
160
430
378
432
464

500,000 and over.. _______
100,000 and under 500,000...
50,000 and under 100,000___
25j000 and under 50,000____
10,000 and under 25,000____
5,000 and under 10,000___ _
2,500 and under 5,000.........
1,000 and under 2,500---------

47,722,644
36,440,023
14, 700,197
15,226,437
25,059,148
12,898,626
6, 346, 321
3,180, 111

Percentage change
from—
March
1939
-6 .7
-1 6 .9
+ .5
-1 7 .1
+ 2 .9
+ 4 .6
+13.9
-2 4 .2
-4 .3

N ew nonresidential buildings

Size of city

Permit
valuation,
April 1939

Percentage change
from—
March
1939

April
1938

April
1938
+19.0
+12.6
+31.1
-2 0 .9
+22. 1
+47.5
+86.9
-2 1 .0
+21.3

Permit
valuation,
April 1939

$87,619,578
26,252,090
20,037,060
7,063,735
8,083,098
13,060,778
7,239,742
3, 929,671
1,953, 404

Percentage change
from—
April
1938

March
1939
-7 .4

+43.0

-2 7 .1
—6. 4
+. 1
+14.3
+16.3
-j-26. 5
-2 .9
-3 .6

+41.7
+57.6
-j-25. 3
+34. 4
+46. 5
+69.7
+ 9 .7

Additions, alterations, and
repairs

Permit
valuation,
April 1938

Percentage change
from—
March
1939

Population
(census of
1930)

April
1938

Total, all reporting cities.

$42,446, 666

-1 5 .1

-3 .3

$31, 507,263

+10.1

+ 3 .0

59,991,651

500.000 and over...... ...........
100.000 and under 500,000.
50.000 and under 100,000..
25.000 and under 50,000-.10.000 and under 25,000...
5.000 and under 10,000___
2,500 and under 5,000........
1.000 and under 2,500____

7,672,226
10,646,581
5,086,490
4,229,066
8, 334,467
4,116,136
1, 568,432
793, 268

-3 7 .0
+29.5
-2 1 .8
-1 5 .9
-1 1 .9
+ 1 .9
-5 7 .0
-1 4 .9

-4 2 .7
+29.2
-3 9 .3
+26.2
+81.2
+207.4
-6 1 .3
+45.5

13,798,328
5,756,382
2, 549,972
2,914, 273
3,663,903
1, 542,748
848,218
433,439

+49.0
-1 3 .2
-3 8 .8
+ 8 .4
+12.4
- 1 .3
+24.0
+19.8

+32.1
-1 5 .9
-4 4 .0
-6 .2
+ 5 .6
+19.2
+49.8
+47.0

21,449,853
15,017,880
6,328,302
5,660,718
6,596,295
2, 652, 265
1,545,968
740,370


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1438

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

The perm it valuation of housekeeping dwellings in the 2,052 identi­
cal cities reporting for M arch and April 1939, together with the num ber
of family-dwelling units provided in new dwellings, by size of city,
is given in table 6.
T

able

6 . — P e r m i t V a lu a tio n o f H o u se k e e p in g D w e llin g s a n d N u m b e r o f F a m ilie s P r o ­

v id e d f o r in 2 ,0 5 2 I d e n tic a l C itie s , b y S i z e o f C ity , M a r c h a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 9
Permit valuation of house­
keeping dwellings

Size of city
April
1939

March
1939

Per­
centage
change

Number of families provided for in—

All types

1-family
dwellings

M ulti­
2-family
family
dwellings i dwellings
2

Apr. Mar. Apr. Mar. Apr. Mar. Apr. Mar.
1939 1939 1939 1939 1939 1939 1939 1939
Total, all reporting cities. $86,252,418 $93, 582,318
500.000 and over______
26, 244, 090 35,944,772
100.000 and under 500.000. 19,999, 560 21,402, 381
50.000 and under 100,000.. 6,877, 735 6,496, 292
25.000 and under 50,000.. 7,998,938 7, 048, 795
10.000 and under 25,000.. 12,977,078 11,082, 235
5.000 and under 10,000... 6,301,942 5, 593,918
2,500 and under 5,000___ 3,902,671 4, 029, 663
1.000 and under 2,500___
1,950,404 1,984, 262

- 7 .8 23, 671 25, 762 16, 042 16,816 1,269 1,262 6,360 7, 684
-2 7 .0
- 6 .6
+ 5 .9
+13.5
+17.1
+12.7
- 3 .2
- 1 .7

6,810
5,470
1,873
2,353
3,746
1,862
1,014
543

10,015
5,623
i, 837
1,994
3, 061
1,606
1,084
542

3,634
3, 543
1,517
1,643
2,925
1,358
924
498

4,743
3, 379
1, 513
1,614
2,671
1,422
974
500

303
298
192
140
153
118
45
20

396 2, 873 4, 876
268 1, 629 1,976
167 164 157
120 570 260
153 668 237
86 386
98
48
45
62
24
25
18

1 Includes 1- and 2-family dwellings with stores.
J Includes multifamily dwellings with stores.

The information on building perm its issued is based on reports
received by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2,052 identical cities
having a population of 1,000 and over.
The information is collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from
local building officials, except in the States of Illinois, M assachusetts,
New Jersey, New York, N orth Carolina, and Pennsylvania, where
the State departm ents of labor collect and forward the information
to the Bureau. The perm it valuations shown in this report are esti­
m ates made by prospective builders on applying for permits to build.
No land costs are included. Only building projects within the cor­
porate limits of the cities enumerated are included in the B ureau’s
tabulation. The data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
show, in addition to private and municipal construction, the value of
buildings for which contracts were awarded by the Federal and State
Governments in the cities included in the report. For April 1939 the
value of these buildings amounted to $11,051,000, for M arch 1939
to $12,856,000, and for April 1938 to $9,123,000.

Construction From Public Funds
The value of contracts awarded and force-account work started
during April 1939, M arch 1939, and April 1938 on construction proj­
ects financed wholly or partially from various Federal funds is shown
in table 7.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1439

Building Operations

T a ble 7.— V a lu e o f C o n tr a c ts A w a r d e d a n d F o r c e -A c c o u n t W o r k S ta r te d o n P r o je c ts
F in a n c e d f r o m F e d e r a l F u n d s , M a r c h a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 9 a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 8

1

Contracts awarded and force-account work
started—
Federal agency
March 1939 2

April 1939

$64,618, 210

$72,575,480

$116, 730,457

1,349,124

2, 758,764

994,736

732
3, 553,830
21, 221, 503
1,108,804
39,229, 806
6, 111, 681

1.373.066
1, 230, 608
50,718,802
6.684.066
48,955, 678
5,009,473

4, 283,664
16,242,814
(3)
11,026,661
32,070,335
(3)

Public Works Administration:
Non-Federal:
N . 1. R. A
_____________________________
E. R. A. A
. .
______________________
P. W. A. A ________________________________
Federal projects under The Works Program___________
Regular Federal appropriations______________________
U . S. Housing A u th o rity ............ ....................................... .
i Preliminary, subject to revision.

April 1938 2

2 Revised.

3 No data until July 1938.

The value of public-building and highway construction awards
financed wholly from appropriations from State funds, as reported
by the various State governments for April 1939, M arch 1939, and
April 1938 is shown in the following statem ent:
P u b l i c b u i ld i n g s

A pril 1939____________________ $3, 485, 181
M arch 1939___________________ 1, 684, 325
A pril 1938____________________
1, 257, 407


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

H ig h w a y
c o n s tr u c ti o n

$2, 563, 411
993, 021
8, 748, 603

Retail Prices

SUM M ARY OF FOOD AND COAL PR IC E S
R E T A IL costs of food advanced slightly between M arch and April
with higher costs reported for three m ajor commodity groups and
lower costs for five. The most significant changes were the increases
recorded for m eats and for fruits and vegetables and the sharp drop
for dairy products. Prices of bituminous coal remained practically
unchanged between December 1938 and M arch 1939. The net
result of price changes was an increase of 0.1 percent. Slight de­
creases were shown for Pennsylvania anthracite. Compared with
M arch 1938 bituminous prices and prices of stove and chestnut sizes of
Pennsylvania anthracite were generally lower, while prices of pea and
buckwheat sizes of Pennsylvania anthracite advanced.
########

FOOD PR IC E S IN A PR IL 1939
Retail food costs for 51 cities combined advanced 0.2 percent be­
tween M arch and April due in large measure to higher prices for im­
p ortant fresh fruits and vegetables and for fresh meats. Potatoes
increased 12.9 percent and cabbage rose 35.7 percent. There were
m arked decreases in prices of fresh milk and butter.
The all-foods index for April was 76.6 percent of the 1923-25 aver­
age. I t was 3.6 percent lower than in April 1938 when the index
stood a t 79.4. Costs for seven of the eight m ajor commodity groups
were lower, while fruits and vegetables showed an increase.
The April index for all foods was 27.4 percent above the level of the
corresponding m onth of 1933 when the index was 60.1. I t was 24.0
percent lower than in April 1929 when the index stood a t 100.8.

Details by Commodity Groups
The cost of cereals and bakery products was 0.3 percent lower in
April than in M arch. This decrease was a continuation of the down­
ward movement begun in August 1937 and brought the index to the
lowest level since August 1933. The decrease for the m onth was due
principally to price reductions of 1.1 percent for flour and 0.3 per1440


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Retail Prices

1441

cent for white bread. Average prices for these items were 13.1 per­
cent and 9.6 percent lower, respectively, than in April 1938.
The cost of m eats advanced for the fourth consecutive m onth. The
increase for the group amounted to 0.6 percent, due to higher prices
for all fresh m eats except plate beef and veal cutlets. The cost of the
beef items advanced 0.8 percent and lamb rose 4.0 percent. There
was a net decrease of 0.2 percent in the cost of the pork products. The
cost of fresh pork was 1.1 percent higher due to price increases of 1.4
percent for chops and 0.7 percent for loin roast. The cured products
declined 1.1 percent with lower prices reported for all items except
whole ham. Increases of 0.6 percent were recorded both for roasting
chickens and for canned salmon.
The cost of dairy products dropped sharply between M arch and
April and brought the index 9.6 percent below the level of April 1938.
The decrease of 4.6 percent for the m onth reflected lower prices for
all items in the group. B utter showed a seasonal decline of 4.9 per­
cent as a result of lower prices in 50 of the 51 cities. The average
price of fresh milk dropped 5.2 percent due to lower prices in 9 cities.
In 5 of these cities the reductions amounted to about 2 cents per
quart. Increases of about 1 cent per quart, reported for Cincinnati
and Omaha, m arked an upturn following reductions shown for earlier
months.
The seasonal decrease in the cost of eggs amounted to 2.8 percent
and brought the level 2.6 percent below th a t of April 1938.
The index for fruits and vegetables, which has shown little change
since January, advanced 6.4 percent between M arch and April. This
was due to greater than seasonal price increases for some of the fresh
items, thereby increasing the cost for this subgroup 7.3 percent. Po­
tatoes, the most im portant item, rose 12.9 percent with higher prices
reported for 43 of the 51 cities. Thè greatest relative change was an
increase of 35.7 percent in the price of cabbage. The seasonal advance
for this item occurred later than usual. Onion prices were 11.6 per­
cent higher and lesser increases were reported for carrots, celery, and
sweetpotatoes. Prices of apples and oranges increased 5.7 percent
and 4.5 percent, respectively. Lower prices were recorded for 5 of
the 13 fresh items. Green vegetables showed the following decreases:
Beans, 24.8 percent; lettuce, 9.7 percent; and spinach, 8.2 percent.
Prices of lemons and bananas declined slightly. The cost of canned
products declined 0.2 percent while dried items advanced 0.4 percent.
Price changes for individual items in these subgroups were unimpor­
tant.
The cost of beverages and chocolate declined 0.1 percent due mainly
to a decrease of 0.1 percent in the price of coffee. The price of tea
advanced 0.2 percent while chocolate declined 0.4 percent and cocoa
remained unchanged.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1442

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

RETAIL COST OF FOOD
192 3 -2 5 = 100
INDEX
140

100

80

60

40
1 40

40
140

40
14 0

UNITED STATES BUREAU OF LABOR ST AT IST IC S


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1443

Retail Prices

A decrease of 0.9 percent was recorded for fats and oils. The aver­
age price of lard again moved downward showing a decrease of 2.7
percent between M arch and April. Oleomargarine declined 0.3 per­
cent and price changes for other items were relatively unim portant.
The average price of sugar showed a nominal increase between
M arch and April. This, together with small increases for other items
in the group resulted in an advance of 0.1 percent in the cost of sugar
and sweets.
Indexes of retail costs of food for April and M arch 1939 together
with indexes for April 1938, 1933, and 1929, are shown in table 1. The
accompanying chart shows the trend in the cost of all foods and of each
m ajor commodity group for the period from January 1929 to April
1939, inclusive.
T able

1 .— Indexes

of Retail Food Costs in 51 Large Cities Combined,1 b y Commodity
Groups, April and March 1939 and April 1938, 1933, and 1929
[1923—
25 = 100]
1938

1933

1929

Mar. 14

Apr. 12

Apr. 15

Apr. 15

1939
Commodity group
Apr. 18 1
____________ ____________ ____ ________

76.6

76.4

79.4

60.1

100.8

Cereals and bakery products-------------------- -----------M eats______________ ________________ ___________
Dairy products............... ...................................................
Eggs----------------------------------------------------- -----------Fruits and vegetables_______________ ______ ______
Fresh_____________________________ _____ ____
Canned_____________________________________
D ried_________
___________________________
Beverages and chocolate.------ ------------------------------Fats and oils----------------- -----------------------------------Sugar and sweets________________________________

85.1
94.1
72.2
55.4
64.9
64.4
73.9
56.8
66.0
63.0
62.0

85.4
93.6
75.7
57.0
61.0
60.0
74.1
56.6
66.0
63.6
61.9

92.5
94.8
79.8
56.9
62.4
61.0
78.9
59.8
67.2
68.6
64.9

69.8
63.4
60.4
40.7
54.4
54.0
65.2
48.2
68.4
44.7
58.1

98.2
120.7
102.9
76.4
87.3
85.1
97.3
101.7
111.0
93.7
72.8

All foods

1 Aggregate costs of 42 foods in each city prior to Jan. 1,1935, and of 84 foods since that date, weighted to
represent total purchases, have been combined with the use of population weights.
2 Preliminary.

Prices of each of the 84 foods for 51 cities are combined with the use
of both consumption and population weights. Q uantity weights for
each food include the average family consumption in each city, not
only of the food priced, but for groups of foods which are related in
kind and which seem to follow the same price trend. These weights
are based on the cost of living study of 1917-19. Population weights
are averages of the population in 1920 and 1930 for each city, including
adjacent m etropolitan areas and cities of over 50,000 in the same
region.
Prices of 40 of the 84 foods included in the index were higher in
April than in M arch, 40 were lower, and 4 showed no change. Com­
pared with April 1938, 61 foods cost less, 22 cost more, and 1 was
unchanged.
Average prices of each of the 84 foods for 51 cities combined are
shown in table 2 for April and M arch 1939, and April 1938.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1444

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

T a b l e 2 . — Average

Retail Prices of 84 Foods in 51 Large Cities Combined, April and
March 1939 and April 1938

[’ Indicates the foods included in indexes prior to Jan. 1, 1935]

1939

1938

Article

Cereals and bakery products:
Cereals:
’ Flour, w heat..........................
’ Macaroni....... .............. ..........
’ Wheat cereal...........................
’ Corn flakes..............................
’ Corn meal...............................
Hominy grits........................
’ Rice............................... ............
’ Rolled oats—. .........................
Bakery products:
’ Bread, w hite_____________ _
Bread, whole-wheat_______
Bread, rye_______ ______ _
Cake______ _____ ________
Soda crackers_____________
Meats:
Beef:
’ Sirloin steak.............................
’ Round stea k ...........................
’ Rib roast.......................... ........
’ Chuck roast................. ............
’ Plate............................ ..............
Liver____________________
Veal:
Cutlets________ _____ _____
Pork:
’ Chops____________________
Loin roast________________
’ Bacon, sliced______________
Bacon, s tr ip __________ _
’ Ham, sliced................... ..........
Ham, whole______________
Salt pork____________ _____
Lamb:
Breast_________ __________
C h u c k .._________________
’ Leg............................................
Rib chops________________
Poultry:
’ Roasting chickens_________
Fish:
Salmon, pink_____________
’ Salmon, red_______________
Dairy products:
’ B u tte r .............................................
’ Cheese...............................................
Cream............................................
M ilk, fresh (delivered and store)
’ Milk, fresh (delivered)..................
M ilk, fresh (store).................... .
’ Milk, evaporated_____________
’ Eggs------ ----------------------------------Fruits and vegetables:
Fresh:
Apples........ ...............................
’ Bananas..... .................. ............
L em on s..................................
’ Oranges.....................................
Beans, green______________
•Cabbage................ ............. .
Carrots.......................................
Celery.......... ................... ..........
Lettuce__________ ________
•Onions___________ ________
•P o ta to e s..................................
Spinach..................... ................
Sweetpotatoes_____________
Canned:
Peaches..................... ...............
Pears...........................................
Pineapple_________ _______
Asparagus________________
Beans, g r e e n ...........................
> Preliminary.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

.............pound ..
_____. ..d o ____
.28-oz. package..
..8-oz. package..
_______pound..
.24-oz. package..
_______pound..
................. do___

Apr. 18 1

Mar. 14

Apr. 12

C e n ts

C e n ts

C e n ts

3.6
14.3
24.2
7.3
4.5
8.4
7.5
7.1

3.6
14.3
24.1
7.2
4.5
8.4
7.5
7.1

8.0
9.2
9.2
25.1
15.2

8.0
9.2
9.3
25.1
15.2

39.5
36.2
30.3
23.9
15. 7
26.7

39.2
35.8
30.0
23.7
15. 8
26. 1

15. 1
25.2

43.2

42. 1

.d o ...
.do__
.do___
do___
do___
do___
do___

30.6
24.3
33.4
28.2
46.6
28.2
18. 7

30.2
24.2
34. 1
28.9
46.6
28.2
19.1

33.3
27.1
37.1
31.4
45.3
28.7
20. 7

do___
do___
do___
d o ...

12.7

12.2

22.0

21.1

28.5
36.4

27.5
35.0

12.9
22. 5
28.5
36.0

do___

31.1

30.9

36. 1

16-oz. can..
____ do___

12. 6

12.5

13.9
26.8

..d o ___
.-d o ___

.do___
.do___
do___
do___
.do___
.do___
-do.__

------- pound..
----------do___
------H p in t..
-------- quart..
______ do___
______ do___
14)4 oz. can..
_____dozen..
.pound..
...d o ___
.dozen..
...d o ___
.pound..
...d o ___
.bunch..
..s ta lk ..
..h e a d ..
.pound..
.—do___
...d o ___
...d o ...
No. 2Y-i can..
______ do___
______ do___
..N o . 2 can..
.............d o___

22.9

22.8

30.0
24.4
13.7
11. 5
11.7
10.9

31.5
24.7
14.3

6.8

28.1
5.7

6.2

23.5
24.4
12.6

5.1
5.4
8.5
7.7
4.6

2.6
5.9
4. 5
16.7
20.2

21. 3
27.8
10.3

12. 1

12.4
11.4

6.8

29.0

4.2
14.9
24.5
7.4
4.8

8.8
7.7
7.2

8.9
9.8
10.0

24.8
16.4
36.5
33.9
28.6
22.2

35.6
27. 4
14.8
12.3
12.6

11.7
7.3
29.0

5.4

4.5

24.3
23.4
16.7
3.8
5.3
7.9

27.9
24.0
10.7
4.3
5.3

8.6

4.1
2.3
6.5
4.2

12.4
4.6
2.4
5.9
39

16.7
20.3
21.3
27.8
10.4

19.4
21.7
23.1
30.6
11.5

6.2

6.1

8.2

1445

Retail Prices
T

able

2 . —Average

Retail Prices of 84 Foods in 51 Large Cities Combined, A pril and
March 1939 and A pril 1938— Continued
1938

1939
Article

Fruits and vegetables—Continued.
C anned—C ontinued.
♦Beans with pork____ _____________

..............16-oz, can..

*Peas. ____ ____ __________________ ........... .................. do___
♦Tomatoes _____________________ _______________do___
Tomato soup----------- ------ ------ ------ ...... ..........10J^-oz. can..
Dried:
Peaches_______________ _____ _____ _____________ pound..
♦Prunes___________________________ ............................d o ___
♦Raisins__________________________ _____ 15-oz. package..
Black-eyed peas---------------------------- __________ ...p o u n d ..
Lima beans............................................. _______________do___
♦Navy beans............... ............................. ...... ........................do___
Beverages and chocolate:
♦Coflee________ _______________ _______ ............... .............. do___
♦Tea_________________________________ ..................... pound..
C o c o a ._________ ____________________ ________ ...8-oz. can..
Chocolate_____________ _______ ______ _______ 8-oz. package..
Fats and oils:
♦Lard________________________________ ..........................pound..
Shortening, other than lard:
In cartons________________________ ............................. do___
In other containers----------- ------------ ................... ..........do___
Salad o i l ------------------------------------------ _______________p in t..
M ayonnaise-------------------------------------- .........................H p in t..
*Oleomargarine________________ ____ _ _____________ pound..
Peanut butter_____________ ____ ______ _______________do___
Sugar and sweets:
♦Sugar. _________________ _________--- ........................___do___
Corn sirup_______________ _______ ___ __________ 24-oz. can..
__________ 18-oz. can..
Strawberry preserves...... ............................ ........ ..................pound..

Apr. 18

Mar. 14

Apr. 12

C e n ts

C e n ts

C e n ts

7.3
10.3
13.4
8.6
7.3

7.3
11.4
13.5
8.5
7.4

7.5
11.8
15.5
8.9
7.5

15.0
9.1
9.4
7.7
8.9
5.8

14.9
9.1
9.4
7.7
9.0
5.8

15.7
9.3
10.0
7.8
9.2
6.4

22.6
17.6
8.5
16.1

22.8
17.6
8. 5
16.1

23.4
17.6
8.7
16.2

10.7

11.0

13.1

12.4
20.3
24.3
17.2
16.3
18.0

12.5
20.3
24.3
17.2
16.4
18.0

13.1
19. 5
24.9
17.5
17.4
18.6

5.1
13.8
13.6
20.8

5.1
13.8
13.5
20.8

5.4
14.0
13.9
21.8

2 The April price of canned corn is based upon quotations of cream style only. It is not strictly compara­
ble with average prices for earlier months which included both cream style and whole-kernel corn.

Details by Regions and Cities
The cost of all foods for April was higher than in M arch in 32 of the
51 cities, lower in 18, and showed no change in 1 city. In the cities
reporting the greatest increases—W ashington, 3.1 percent; Baltimore,
2.7 percent; and Kansas City, 2.5 percent—the advance in the cost
of fresh fruits and vegetables was considerably greater than the aver­
age for the country. The price of potatoes went up 38.9 percent in
W ashington, 49.1 percent in Baltimore, and 31.7 percent in Kansas
City. Higher prices for eggs and some of the fresh m eats contributed
to the increase for W ashington. Decreases in food costs were greatest
in Los Angeles, B utte, and New York City. The decrease of 2.2
percent for Los Angeles was due in large p art to a drop of 7.2 percent
in the price of b utter and a decrease of 0.8 cent per quart for fresh
milk. Costs of m eats and of fruits and vegetables were also lower in
th a t city, contrary to the general movement. Food costs in B utte
declined 1.9 percent largely as a result of lower prices for b utter and
eggs. In New York City the chief factor in the decrease of 1.6 per­
cent was the drop of 2.2 cents per quart for fresh milk.
Indexes of retail food costs by regions and cities are presented in
table 3 for April and M arch 1939 and April 1938.
1 4 9 0 0 1 — 3 9 --------14


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1446

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

T a b le 3.— Indexes of the Average Retail Cost of A ll Foods, by Regions and Cities,1

A p ril and March 1939 and A pril 1938
[1923-25 = 100]
1939

1938

1939

Region and city
Apr.
18 s

Mar.
14

1938

Region and city
Apr.
18 2

Apr. 12

United States___________

76.6

76.4

79.4

New England__________
Boston_____________
Bridgeport....... ...........
Fall River_________
Manchester________
New H aven________
Portland, Maine____
Providence________

75.4
73.9
79.1
78.7
79.1
78.3
75.5
74.5

74.6
73.1
78. 7
77.8
78.1
77.8
74.8
73.3

77.0
74.7
82.9
80.1
79.8
81.7
77.3
76.5

Middle Atalntic________
Buffalo___ _________
Newark___________
N ew York______ _
Philadelphia_______
Pittsburgh_________
Rochester_________
Scranton____ _____ _

77.0
76.5
80.1
77.6
78.4
73.6
76.2
73.5

77.3
76.8
79.6
78.9
77.9
72.7
76.8
73.1

79.9
78.0
81.7
80.1
80.9
78.9
80.3
76.3

East North Central______
Chicago____________
Cincinnati_________
Cleveland__________
Columbus, Ohio........
Detroit____________
Indianapolis_______
M ilwaukee______
Peoria____________
Springfield, 111______

77.0
78.0
77.4
78.7
76.2
74.7
76.0
79.3
78.1
75.3

76.6
76.3
76.0
78.9
77.2
75.2
76.8
80.2
78.0
75.8

81.4
82.7
79.8
80.6
77.6
81.8
79.1
84.8
80.1
77.6

West North Central............
Kansas C ity______
Minneapolis_______
Omaha_________ _
St. Louis__________
St. Paul___________

80.7
80.4
83.2
75.5
82.7
79.2

79.8
78.5
83.2
74.4
82.0
79.0

81.9
80.3
84.2
77.5
84.3
80.5

Mar.
14

Apr. 12

South Atlantic__________
Atlanta_________
Baltimore________
Charleston, S. C____
Jacksonville_______
___
Norfolk..
Richmond . . .
Savannah___ ____
Washington, D . C ...

76.6
70.3
83.8
76.1
73.9
74. 1
70.4
75.5
80.4

75.3
70.5
81.6
75.8
73.7
73. 5
69.4
74.5
78.0

77.5
72. I
83.8
78. 3
76.1
76. 3
72.1
77.3
79.6

East South Central______
Birmingham___. . .
Louisville___
M emphis__________
M obile____________

70.6
65.6
80.5
72.8
73.5

70.5
65.7
80.6
71.7
73.4

72.9
67.8
82.9
75.6
74.2

West South Central______
Dallas__________
Houston________
Little Rock_____
N ew Orleans______

75.3
70.2
75.8
72.1
82.7

74.2
68.5
74.7
71.3
82.2

77.5
74. 7
76.8
75.3
82.7

Mountain______________
Butte_____
D e n v e r... ___
Salt Lake C ity____

78.8
73.2
82.4
73.9

78.5
74.5
81.2
74.7

81.8
77.2
84.7
77.8

Pacific______________
Los Angeles____
Portland, Oreg____
San Francisco______
Seattle____________

74.8
69.8
78.2
78.9
77.4

75.8
71.4
78.4
79.5
78.1

77.3
73.0
80. 7
80. 7
80.0

i Aggregate costs of 42 foods in each city prior to Jan. 1, 1935, and of 84 foods since that date, weighted to
tion weights purehases’ have been combmed for regions and for the United States with the use of popuia1 Preliminary.

»#####+*

COAL PRICES IN MARCH 1939
RETAIL prices of coal are collected in 51 cities as of March, June,
September, and December. There was an increase of 0.1 percent in
the price of bituminous coal during the quarter ended March 15, 1939.
This was the net result of comparatively small increases and decreases
for the various sizes in the reporting cities. Average prices of bitu­
minous coal were, however, 1.7 percent lower than in March 1938.
This decrease may have been due in part to the fact that there was an
advance in coal prices for the quarter ended March 1938 contrary
to the usual price movement at that season.
All sizes of Pennsylvania anthracite decreased in price between
December 1938 and M arch 1939. These decreases ranged from 0.4
percent for buckwheat to 1.2 percent for chestnut. Compared with
M arch 1938, prices were higher for the larger sizes, with advances of 1.1

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1447

Retail Prices

percent for stove and 0.4 percent for chestnut. On the other hand,
prices of pea decreased 2.7 percent and for buckwheat the decline
was 1.3 percent. W estern anthracite remained almost unchanged in
price between December 1938 and M arch 1939. Over the yearly
interval, there was a decrease of 4.1 percent for Arkansas coal, but
no change was shown for the Colorado or New Mexico coal.
Average prices of coal, together with price indexes for bituminous
and Pennsylvania anthracite compared with the average for the
3-year period, October 1922 through September 1925 as 100, are
presented in table 4 for M arch 1939 and December and M arch 1938.
T a b le 4. —Average Retail Prices of Coal in Large Cities Combined, March 1939 and

December and March 1938

Average retail price per
ton of 2,000 pounds

Index of retail prices
(O ctober 1922-September 1925=100)

Percentage
change
Mar. 15,1939
compared
with—

Article

Pennsylvania anthracite (25 cities),
new series:3

Western anthracite:2

Mar.
15 1

Dec.
15

Mar.
15

$8.68

$8.68

$8.83

89.4

11. 28
11. 35
9.03
7.71

11. 37
11. 49
9.10
7.75

11.15
11.31
9.28
7.82

80.2
80.8

12. 82
15.81
23. 69

12. 85
15.81
23. 69

13. 37
15. 81
23. 69

Mar.
15 1
Bituminous coal (38 cities), old

1939

1938

1939

1938

1938
Mar.
15

Dec.
15

89.3

91.0

+ 0.1

- 1 .7

80.8
81.8

79.3
80.5

-.8
- 1 .2
-.8
-.4

+ 1.1
+ .4
- 2 .7
- 1 .3

-.2
0
0

- 4 .1
0
0

Dec.
15

Mar.
15

1 Preliminary.
2 Unweighted average. Weighted composite prices are in preparation.
* Weighted on the basis of the distribution by rail or rail and tidewater to each city during the 12-month
period from Aug, 1, 1935, to July 31, 1936.

Details for Kinds of Coal
Bituminous coal.—Prices of one or more kinds of bituminous are
collected from 47 of the 51 cities. Low volatile coal prices are re­
ported for 28 cities located along the Atlantic Seaboard and in the
Central States. E astern high volatile is represented by 27 cities in
the A tlantic and Central areas. Fourteen of these cities also report
for low volatile. Prices of western high volatile coals are collected in
20 cities in the Central and Pacific Coast States. Nine of these cities
are not represented in the other bituminous series.
Between December 1938 and M arch 1939, there were no m ajor
price changes for these coals. No increases or decreases amounted to
as much as 50 cents a ton. Average prices of low volatile were prac­
tically unchanged. For the high volatile coals, increases and de-


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1448

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

creases very nearly offset each other. The price changes were some­
w hat greater for high volatile than for the other kinds.
Compared with M arch 1938, the price tendency was downward for
all kinds of bituminous coal. Few cities and few sizes showed changes
of more than 50 cents. For low volatile, the greatest changes were
decreases in Portland, M aine, of $2 a ton on both stoker and run of
mine. In Milwaukee, where prices were lower on all sizes, there was
a decline of $1.10 for run of mine. In Kansas City lump and egg
declined 70 cents and $1, respectively. The greatest increase was 80
cents for stoker in Baltimore. For eastern high volatile, the greatest
change was a decrease of $1.25 for n u t in New Orleans. For western
high volatile, decreases of about 50 cents were reported for various
sizes in Indianapolis, Omaha, and Houston. In Portland, Oreg.,
the declines for lump and stove were slightly greater.
Pennsylvania anthracite.—Seven of the twenty-five reporting cities
are in New England, 11 in the Middle and South Atlantic areas, and
seven in the N orth Central States. There was little price change
between December 1938 and M arch 1939. In Newark, there was a
decline of $1 for stove and chestnut and of 75 cents for pea. Changes
for other cities were negligible. Compared with M arch 1938, prices
were slightly higher for stove and chestnut with increases of from 40 to
60 cents shown for Boston, Providence, Baltimore, and Washington.
Prices of smaller sizes declined. Decreases of from $1 to $1.75 were
shown for pea size in Fall River, Portland, M aine, and Newark.
Decreases ranging from 40 to 85 cents were shown for Buffalo, M il­
waukee, and St. Louis.
Western anthracite.—There were no changes of as much as 25 cents a
ton for the quarter ended M arch 1939. Compared with M arch 1938,
prices of Arkansas anthracite declined in all of the eight reporting
cities, but the Colorado coal in Denver and the New Mexico coal in
San Francisco showed no change.

R ET A IL PR IC E S OF FOOD IN PU ER TO RICO, 1937-38
OF 41 foods m ost extensively used in Puerto Rico, the retail prices
of 18 increased and of 17 decreased in 1938 as compared with 1937.
No change in price was reported for the 6 remaining foods. The
increases ranged from 0.2 cent per pound on Puerto Rican dry hulled
corn and also on white flour, to 8.3 cents per liter on olive oil. The
decreases were as small as 0.1 cent per pound on potatoes and secondgrade rice and sugar, and as much as 8.2 cents per pound on tub
butter, as shown in the table following.1
1 Puerto Rioo Labor News, San Juan, January-February, 1939.


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Retail Prices

1449

A v e r a g e R e ta il P r ic e s o f 41 F o o d A r tic le s in P u e r to R ic o , 1 9 3 7 - 3 8

Commodity

Price

Increase
or de­
crease
since
1936-37

Beef:
Boneless.......................
Dried............................. ___ d o ...
Bread__________ _____ . . ___ do—
Cheese, American............. ___ d o ...
Codfish, salted................... ___ do—
Coflee, first grade, not roasted-do. . _
Corn, dry hulled, P. R .. ___ d o ...
Corn meal, y e llo w ........... ___ d o ...
Flour, w hite___________ ___ d o ...
Ham, smoked shoulders—___d o ...
Lard, m ix e d ..................... ___d o ...
M ilk, cow_____________ ...lit e r ..
Meat, s o u p ....................... .p o u n d ..
Olive oil...................... ....... ...lit e r ..
O nions................................ .p o u n d ..
Rice, broken___________ ___ d o ...
Soap____________ ______ ___d o ...
V erm icelli......................... ___d o ...
Beans:
White:
American______ ___ d o ...
Puerto Rican___ ___ d o ...
Kidney (red):
American.............. ___ d o ...
Puerto Rican___ ___ d o ...

C e n ts

C e n ts

1 No change.


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22.0
19.5
8.0
29.0
8.4
18.2
2.8
3.5
4.3
26.6
11.6
11.9
11.5
82.6
5.0
3.5
5.7
8.5

+ 1.9
+ .6
+ 4 .0
+2.9
+ .2
+ .5
+ .2
+ .4
+ 1.4
+ 2.6
+• 4
+ 8.3
+ .6
+1.1
+ .7
+ .6

6.2
8.3

- 2 .1
-.9

7.4
8.2

- 2 .0
- 1 .0

Commodity

Price

Increase
or de­
crease
since
1936-37

Butter:
Brookfield................
T u b . . ....................... ........ do___
Eggs................................. ........ each..
Kerosene o i l ................. ..........liter..
Lard, pure....................... ...p o u n d ..
Milk:
Condensed........... . 16-oz. can .
Evaporated-............ _4-oz. can..
Oil, mixed cooking___ ......... liter..
P o rk ..______ ________ ...p o u n d ..
Potatoes_____________ ____do___
Rice:
First grade............. ____do___
Second grade_____ ____do___
Sugar, second grade___ ____do___
Chicken............ .............. ____do___
Coflee, roasted and ground-do___
Fish.......... ..................... ____do___
Oleomargarine........ ....... ____do___
Salt, com m on................ ........ do___
Sugar, best grade_____ ........ do___

C e n ts

C e n ts

49.1
19.1
2.9
5.9
14.0

- 0 .5
- 8 .2
- .3
- .2
-1 .6

12.5
4.2
50.4
19.4
2.6

-1 .2
- .2
- 3 .9
-.8
-. 1

4.7
4.2
4.0
50.0
30.0
10.9
19.5
1.9
5.0

-.3
-. 1
-. 1
(>)
(>)
(')
0)
(>)
0)

Wholesale Prices

W HOLESALE PR IC ES IN A PR IL 1939 1
C O N TIN U ED declines in wholesale prices of farm products and foods
brought the Bureau of Labor Statistics index of wholesale commodity
prices for April down 0.7 percent to the lowest point reached since
July 1934. The decrease placed the all-commodity index of 813 price
series at 76.2 percent of the 1926 average. Compared with April of
last year, commodity prices at wholesale declined 3.2 percent.
Farm products registered the largest group decline, 3.2 percent;
foods decreased 2.3 percent; hides and leather products, 1.0 percent;
chemicals and drugs, 0.7 percent; metals and m etal products, 0.3 per­
cent; and building materials, 0.2 percent. The textile products group
advanced 0.5 percent; fuel and lighting m aterials and miscellaneous
commodities increased 0.4 percent; and housefurnishing goods rose
0.2 percent. E ach of the commodity groups, except miscellaneous
commodities, was below its vear-ago level. The decreases ranged
from 0.4 percent for textile products to 6.9 percent for farm products.
The miscellaneous commodity group was 1.4 percent higher than it
was a year ago.
Largely because of weakening prices for agricultural commodities,
crude rubber, and a seasonal decline in anthracite prices, the raw
m aterial group index fell 2.3 percent to a point 3.9 percent below a
year ago. The semimanufactured commodity group index declined
0.3 percent during the m onth and finished products decreased 0.1
percent.
Average wholesale prices of industrial commodities advanced 0.1
percent during April, according to the index for “All commodities
other than farm products and foods.” Nonagricultural commodity
prices, as measured by the index for “All commodities other than farm
products,” declined 0.3 percent.
The decline of 3.2 percent in the farm products group index was
largely the result of decreases of 4.1 percent in the subgroup “Other
farm products,” and 3.5 percent in livestock and poultry. Quota­
tions were lower for calves, hogs, poultry, rye, apples, lemons, fresh
milk, peanuts, and wool. The subgroup of grains advanced 1.3 per­
cent because of higher prices for corn, oats, and wheat. Higher prices
i More detailed information on wholesale prices is given in the Wholesale Price pamphlet and will be
furnished upon request.

1450

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wholesale Prices

1451

were also reported for sheep, oranges, onions, and potatoes. The
April farm products index, 63.7, was 6.9 percent below the level of a
year ago.
A sharp decline in prices of dairy products, together with smaller
decreases for meats and cereal products, caused the food group index
to decline 2.3 percent. Lower prices were reported for butter, cheese,
milk, flour, cured beef, fresh and cured pork, veal, cocoa beans, lard,
oleo oil, pepper, edible tallow, and vegetable oils. The fruit and
vegetable subgroup index advanced 1.7 percent because of higher
prices for canned fruits and vegetables. Wholesale prices for lamb,
m utton, and poultry also were higher. The April index for the food
group, 68.6, was 5.1 percent below the corresponding m onth of last
year.
The index for the hides and leather product group declined 1.0
percent to 90.9 percent of the 1926 average, largely because of lower
prices for hides and skins. Prices for sole leather averaged higher,
and those for shoes and other leather m anufactures did not change.
Advancing prices for raw silk, silk yarns, silk hosiery, burlap, raw
jute, and jute yarns largely accounted for an increase of 0.5 per­
cent in the textile products group index. Lower prices for duck,
print cloth, unbleached flannel, drillings, and percale caused the
cotton goods subgroup to decline 0.5 percent.
In the fuel and lighting m aterial group, higher prices for gasoline
and bitum inous coal more than offset lower prices for anthracite
and kerosene with the result th a t the group index rose 0.4 percent.
The metals and m etal products group declined 0.3 percent because
of lower prices for scrap steel, electrolytic copper, and copper and
brass manufactures. Prices for quicksilver were higher and a minor
advance was recorded for farm machinery.
The slight decline in the building m aterial groups was brought
about by lower prices for yellow pine timbers, Ponderosa pine lumber,
and paint m aterials. Prices for silica brick and China wood oil
averaged higher.
Average wholesale prices of chemicals and drugs dropped 0.7
percent to the lowest level reached since August 1934. Lower prices
were reported for alcohol, tallow, copper sulphate, camphor, citric
acid, castor oil, tankage, and mixed fertilizers
In the housefurnishing goods group higher prices were reported for
window shades. Cotton blankets, pails, and tubs were lower.
Average wholesale prices of cattle feed advanced 9.5 percent during
April. Crude rubber declined 2.3 percent and paper and pulp dropped
0.2 percent.
Index num bers for the groups and subgroups of commodities for
M arch and April 1939 and April 1938 are shown in table 1.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1452
T able

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939
1.— I n d e x

N u m b e r s o f W h o le sa le P r ic e s , b y G r o u p s a n d S u b g r o u p s o f C o m m o d itie s
[1926 = 100]

Group and subgroup
All commodities__

Apr.
1939

Mar.
1939

Apr.
1938

_ _ _

78.2

76.7

78.7

Farm products________ _ _
Grains_____
... ... _
Livestock and pou ltry..
Other farm products___

63. 7
55.2
75.5
58.5

65. 8
54.5
78. 2
61.0

68.4
66.0
79.3
62.0

Foods.
_
____
Dairy products______ .
Cereal products____ .
Fruits and vegetables.. .
M eats___ ______
_. .
Other foods___________

68. 6
58.1
72.2
64.3
81.0
61. 6

70.2
64.8
72.3
63.2
82.5
61.9

72. 3
71.7
79.8
56.8
82. 2
64. 5

Hides and leather products.. 90.9
Shoes_______
___
101. 2
Hides and skins______
68.3
Leather____ _____
82.8
Other leather products.. 95.6

91. 8
101.2
73.8
82.7
95.6

92. 1
104.5
62. 6
82. 2
102.2

66.6
81.5
63.7
59.9
36.1

67.2
84. 6
65.7
60. 6
28.9

Textile products... _ .
Clothing.. . . . . . . .
Cotton goods___ ______
Hosiery and underwear.
Silk and rayon___ ____
W oolen and worsted
goods_______________
Other textile products . .

66.9
81. 6
63.4
60.2
37.8
75.2
64.9

75.1
64.3

77. 1
66.0

Fuel and lighting materials.. 73.4
Anthracite___ . . . ___
74.7
Bituminous coal_______ 98.6
Coke_____________ _ 104.2
Electricity_____ _____
(>)
Gas__________________
(>)
Petroleum products___
51.9

73. 1
79.4
97.9
104. 2
50.9

76.8
76.0
97.5
105.5
87.0
85.2
57.5

94.0

94.3

96.3

93.3
94.6
96.1
93.4

93.2
94.5
96.1
93.4

96. 3
97.8
100.4
95.6

Metals and metal products..
A gricultural im ple______
ments____
Farm machinery___
Iron and steel_________
Motor vehicles 2_______

0)
(0

Apr.
1939

Mar.
1939

Plumbing and heating _

74 7
79.3

79.3

77.2

Building materials- _ . . . _
Brick and tile___ ____

89.6
93.0

89.8
92.5

91.2
90.4

91.5

92.1

91.1

81.3
79.3
107.3

81.5
79.3
107.3

81.4
77.2
114.9

Group and subgroup
Metals and metal products—
Continued.

Paint and paint materials__ . . ___ __
Plumbing and heatingOther building materials___ _____ _ _ ____

Drugs and pharmaceuticals.. _____
Fertilizer materials _
Housefurnishing goods
Furniture __
Miscellaneous
..............
Automobile tires and
tu bes,.

89.7

89.8

94.8

76 0
79.3

76 5
79.9

77 5
8b 9

71.9
69.6
72.8

72.2
69.7
73.8

73. 8
70.1
69.7

85.4
89 6
81.0

80.5

85.2

Semimanufactured articles .
Finished products__ . . . _
All commodities other than
All commodities other than
farm products and foods. _

87.3

89 7

83. 6

74.4

74.1

73.4

60.5

60.5

57. 4

81 1
33 3
81.4

81 3
84 1
81.3

87' ñ

68. 5
74.4
80.1

70.1
74.6
80,2

3
75.3
82.7

78.8

79.0

80.8

80. 5

80.4

82.0

92 1

Other miscellaneous___

Apr.
1938

8 1 .8
71

1 Data not available.
2 Preliminary revision.
3 Preliminary revision; see pages 11 and 12 of March 1939 “Wholesale Prices.”

,

Index Numbers by Commodity Groups 1926 to April 1939
Index num bers of wholesale prices by commodity groups for
selected years from 1926 to 1938, inclusive, and by m onths from
April 1938 to April 1939, inclusive, are shown in table 2.


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1453

Wholesale Prices
T a b le 2. — I n d e x N u m b e r s o f W h o le sa le P r ic e s , b y G r o u p s o f C o m m o d itie s
[1926=100]
Hides Tex­
Farm
and
tile
prod­ Foods leather prod­
prod­ ucts
ucts
ucts

Year and month

B y years:
1926____________ 100.0
1929......................- 104.9
48.2
1932.......... ..............
1933.............. ........... 51.4
1936.............. .......... 80.9
1937.......... .............. 86.4
1938_____ _______ 68.5
B y months:
1938:
April_______
68.4
M ay.............. . 67.5
June................. 68.7
July.................
August______
September__
October..........
November___
December___
1939:
January_____
February........
March______
April........ .......

MisChem­ HouseFuel Metals
furand Build­
celicals nishing
and
laneand
mate­
light­ metal
ing
prod­ rials drugs
ous
ing
goods
ucts

All
com­
modi­
ties

100.0
99.9
61.0
60.5
82.1
85.5
73.6

100.0
109.1
72.9
80.9
95.4
104.6
92.8

100.0
90.4
54.9
64.8
71.5
76.3
66.7

100.0
83.0
70.3
66.3
76.2
77.6
76.5

100.0
100.5
80.2
79.8
87.0
95.7
95.7

100.0
95.4
71.4
77.0
86.7
95.2
90.3

100.0
94.2
73.5
72.6
80.4
83.9
77.6

100.0
94.3
75.1
75.8
81.7
89.7
86.8

100.0
82.6
64.4
62.5
70.5
77.8
73.3

100.0
95.3
64.8
65.9
80.8
86.3
78.6

72.3
72.1
73.1

92.1
91.3
90.1

67.2
66.1
65.5

76.8
76.2
76.4

96.3
96.7
96.1

91.2
90.4
89.7

77.5
76.8
76.3

87.3
87.2
87.1

73.4
73.1
72.9

78.7
78.1
78.3

69.4
67.3
68.1
66.8
67.8
67.6

74.3
73.0
74.5
73.5
74.1
73.1

91.5
91.9
92.0
93.4
94.6
93.1

66.1
65.9
65.8
66.2
66.2
65.8

76.8
76.8
76.6
75.4
73.7
73.2

95.2
95. 4
95.5
95.3
94.9
94.6

89.2
89.4
89.5
89.8
89.2
89.4

77.7
77.7
77.3
77.1
76.6
76.7

86.4
86.4
86.2
85.7
85.8
86.0

72.7
72.4
72.4
72.6
73.0
73.1

78.8
78.1
78.3
77.6
77. 5
77 0

67.2
67.2
65.8
63.7

71.5
71.5
70.2
68.6

93.1
91.9
91.8
90.9

65.9
66.1
66.6
66.9

72.8
73.0
73.1
73.4

94.4
94.3
94.3
94.0

89.5
89.6
89.8
89.6

76.7
76.3
76.5
76.0

85.4
85.2
85.2
85.4

73.2
73.5
74.1
74.4

76.9
76.9
76.7
76 2

The price trend for specified years and m onths since 1926 is shown
in table 3 for the following groups of commodities: Raw materials,
semimanufactured articles, finished products, commodities other than
farm products, and commodities other than farm products and foods.
The list of commodities included under the classifications “Raw
m aterials,” “ Semimanufactured articles,” and “Finished products”
was given in the December 1938 issue of the Wholesale Price pamphlet.
T a b le 3. — I n d e x N u m b e r s o f W h o le sa le P r ic e s , b y S p e c ia l G r o u p s o f C o m m o d itie s
[1926=100]

Raw
Year and month mate­
rials

B y years:
1926__________
1929
1932
1933______ ____
1936
1937__________
1938__________
B y months:
1938:
April_______
M ay- --------June________

Semimanufactured
arti­
cles

Fin­
ished
prod­
ucts

All
com­
mod­
ities
other
than
farm
prod­
ucts

All
com­
mod­
ities
other
than
farm
prod­
ucts
and
foods

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
97. 5 93.9 94.5 93.3
55.1 59.3 70.3 68.3
56.5 65.4 70.5 69.0
79.9 75.9 82.0 80.7
84.8 85.3 87.2 86.2
72.0 75.4 82.2 80.6

100.0
91. 6
70.2
71.2
79.6
85.3
81.7

80.8
80.3
80.3

82.0
81.6
81.3

71.3
70.7
71.4

75.3
75.4
74.1


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82.7
82.1
82.2

Year and month

B y months:
1938:
July________
August______
September__
October_____
November___
December___
1939:
January_____
February........
March______
April-----------

SemiRaw manufacmate­ tured
rials arti­
cles

Fin­
ished
prod­
ucts

All
com­
mod­
ities
other
than
farm
prod­
ucts

All
com­
mod­
ities
other
than
farm
prod­
ucts
and
foods

72.3
71.4
72.0
70.9
71.5
70.9

74.3
74.4
74.7
75.9
76.2
75.2

82.5
81.8
81.8
81.1
80.5
80.2

80.8
80.3
80.4
79.9
79.5
79.0

81.4
81.4
81.3
81.1
80.6
80.3

70.9
70.9
70.1
68.5

74.9
74.4
74.6
74.4

80.0
80.2
80.2
80.1

78.9
78.9
79.0
78.8

80.2
80.2
80.4
80.5

1454

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

Weekly Fluctuations
Weekly fluctuations in the m ajor commodity group classifications
during M arch and April are shown by the index numbers in table 4.
T

able

4 . — W e e k ly I n d e x N u m b e r s o f W h o le sa le P r ic e s b y C o m m o d ity G r o u p s , M a r c h

a n d A p r il 1939
[1926=100]

Commodity group

All commodities_____ ____ ______ _

Apr.
29,
1939

Apr.
22,
1939

Apr.
15,
1939

Apr.
8,
1939

Apr. Mar. Mar. Mar. Mar.
1,
25,
18,
4,
11,
1939 1939 1939 1939 1939

76.1

76.0

75.8

75.9

76.5

76.6

76.7

77.0

76 7

Farm products_____________________ _
63.9
Foods________ _____ _____________
68.6
Hides and leather products___________
91.2
Textile products_______________ . __
66.6
Fuel and lighting materials____________ ___ 74.4

63.9
68.7
91.3
66.7
73.7

63.8
68.2
91.4
66.2
73.6

63.8
68.4
91.8
66.1
73.6

66.6
70.5
92.0
66.0
73.7

66.7
70.8
92.3
66.1
73.6

67.1
70.7
92.6
66.1
73.7

68.0
71.4
92.5
66.0
73.6

67.2
71.5
92.3
65.9
73.3

Metals and metal products ________ .
Building materials____________________
Chemicals and drugs__ __________
Housefurnishing g o o d s .______
Miscellaneous_____________ . .

89.4
75.8
86.6
74.7

94 1
89.8
75.8
86.5
74.2

94.2
89.7
75.9
86.5
74.0

94.4
89.9
75.9
86.5
73.9

94.4
90.0
76.0
86.5
73.9

94.4
89.9
76.0
86.5
73.9

94.4
90.2
76.2
86.6
73.9

94.5
90. 2
76.3
86.6
73.4

94.5
89.6
76.2
86.6
73.2

68.6
74.1
80.4
78.8

68.3
74.4
80.4
78.7

68.0
74.4
80.2
78.5

68.3
74.5
80.2
78.6

70.2
74.6
80.3
78.8

70.3
74.7
80.3
78.8

70.6
74.5
80.3
78. 8

71.2
74.5
80.5
79.0

70.7
74. 5
80.4
78.9

80.8

80.7

80.5

80.6

80.7

80.6

80.7

80.6

80.4

Raw materials________ ______
Semimanufactured articles_________ ______
Finished products_______ ____
All commodities other than farm products
All commodities other than farm products and
foods________________________
...


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Trend o f Employment and Pay Rolls

SUM MARY OF REPO RTS FOR A PR IL 1939
Total Nonagricultural Employment
T H E D E C L IN E of approximately 280,000 workers in bituminouscoal mining between m id-M arch and mid-April, as indicated by reports
supplied to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than offset the
estim ated increase of over 200,000 workers in other fields of nonagri­
cultural employment and resulted in a new loss of 76,000 workers over
the m onth interval. W ith the exception of bituminous-coal mining,
the employment changes conformed generally to the usual April
pattern. Compared with April of last year, there were approximately
185,000 more workers employed in nonagricultural industries in April
of this year. These figures do not include emergency employment
which decreased approximately 295,000 in M arch, as follows: 286,000
on projects operated by the Works Progress Adm inistration, 1,000 in
the Civilian Conservation Corps, and 8,000 on work projects of the
National Y outh Administration.

Industrial and Business Employment
Em ploym ent increases were shown by 40 of the 87 m anufacturing
industries and by 11 of the 16 nonm anufacturing industries surveyed
m onthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gains in pay rolls were
shown by 30 m anufacturing and 11 nonm anufacturing industries.
For all m anufacturing industries combined there was an employ­
m ent decline of 0.2 percent or 8,500 wage earners since M arch and a
pay-roll drop of 2.3 percent or $3,800,000 per week. Typically, there
was no change in factory employment in April as compared with
M arch, and factory pay rolls declined 0.8 percent. The April factory
employment index (91.2 percent of the 1923 to 1925 average) was, with
b u t one exception, at the highest level for any m onth since December
1937 and was 6.4 percent above the figure for the same m onth of 1938.
The corresponding pay-roll index (84.9) was, w ith 3 exceptions, like­
wise a t the highest level for any m onth since December 1937 and stood
13.8 percent above the level of last year. Em ploym ent in the durablegoods group of industries as a whole advanced for the third consecu­
tive m onth, the increase of 0.7 percent raising the April index for this


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1455

1456

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

group to 84.1, the highest point recorded since December 1937. The
pay-roll index for this group (80.2) showed no change over the m onth
interval. In the nondurable industries employment fell 0.9 percent,
the April index (98.0) being below the levels reached in the latter half
of 1938 and the early m onths of 1939. Pay rolls for this group fell
4.7 percent to an index level of 90.2.
Substantial gains in num ber of workers, largely seasonal, were
shown in sawmills (13,000); canning and preserving (11,700); fertilizers
(5,100); brick, tile, and terra cotta (4,000); aircraft (3,300); cigars and
cigarettes (3,000); cement (2,200); beverages (2,200); and shipbuild­
ing (2,000). Em ploym ent and pay rolls in the aircraft industry were
a t the highest levels of all time, more than twice as m any workers
being employed in April of this year than in 1929. Industries for
which the April employment indexes were a t the highest levels since
the latter m onths of 1937 were engines, turbines, and w ater wheels;
shipbuilding; textile m achinery; brick, tile, and terra cotta; marble,
granite, and slate; pottery; and paints and varnishes. The employ­
m ent index for steel was a t the highest level since February of last
year; and the indexes for electrical machinery, foundries and machine
shops, and machine tools were a t the highest levels since M arch 1938.
The employment gain of 2.2 percent in the last-nam ed industry was
the eighth consecutive m onthly increase. Among the industries
showing sizable declines, most of which were of a seasonal nature,
were woolen and worsted goods (13,900); women’s clothing (9,400);
boots and shoes (8,500); automobiles (6,800); m en’s clothing (5,100);
cotton goods (4,500); and confectionery (3,300). Declines, also
seasonal, ranging from 2,100 to 2,300 were shown in the silk, knit
goods, and cottonseed oil industries.
Retail trade establishments reported an employment gain of 1.7
percent or 55,400 workers. This increase did not reflect the E aster
rise in employment, since the E aster peak of 1939 occurred too early
to affect employment in the April fifteenth pay period reported to the
Bureau. The increase, however, was slightly greater than th a t which
has taken place in earlier years with a similar early E aster season.
As the employment level of April of last year reflected full E aster
activity, the April 1939 index (85.2 percent of the 1929 average)
stood 3.4 percent below the index of April 1938. The more im portant
retail groups which showed gains in employment were food, auto­
motive, general merchandising, apparel, furniture, hardware, farm ers’
supplies, and lumber and building material.
The employment decline of 0.2 percent in wholesale trade followed
the usual seasonal trend between M arch and April. The m ost pro­
nounced percentage decrease in employment was a seasonal loss of 24.2
percent reported by firms dealing in farm products. Dealers in
dry goods and apparel, in groceries, in furniture and housefurnishings,

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Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls

1457

and in metals and minerals reported declines ranging from 0.4 percent
to 3.1 percent. Em ploym ent increases were reported in the following
wholesale lines: Autom otive; chemicals and drugs; food; iron and steel
scrap; machinery, equipment, and supplies; and petroleum products.
In bituminous-coal mines the suspension of operations pending the
signing of new agreements resulted in an employment decrease of
70.0 percent or 280,000 workers and a pay-roll loss of 77 percent or
$6,600,000 per week. A nthracite mines took on 2.9 percent or 2,200
more workers in April and increased pay rolls by 32.3 percent, indi­
cating increased production because of orders received during the
shut-down of bituminous mines.
M etal mines increased their forces by 0.8 percent, quarries reported
a seasonal pick-up of 7.2 percent or 2,800 workers, and oil wells cur­
tailed employment slightly (0.5 percent). Telephone and telegraph
companies showed an increase of less than 1 percent in employment
as did light and power concerns, while the num ber of workers engaged
in the operation and m aintenance of electrical railroads was reduced
slightly. Seasonal employment gains in hotels, laundries, and dyeing
and cleaning establishments resulted in a net gain of 7,000 workers
in these industries. Brokerage firms curtailed employment 2.2 per­
cent and insurance companies increased their personnel by 0.1 percent.
Em ploym ent in private building construction showed an increase of
10.8 percent from M arch to April, according to reports received from
14,877 contractors employing 123,989 workers. This increase fol­
lowing the substantial seasonal gain reported in M arch, was larger
than the April gains reported in 4 of the past 7 years. Pay rolls
increased 14.9 percent. Em ploym ent gains were reported for all
sections of the country, the New England and M ountain States
showing increases of 21.9 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively.
The substantial seasonal pick-up in the Middle Atlantic and the E ast
and W est N orth Central States in M arch was continued in April with
percentage gains of 13.5, 10.1, and 16.6, respectively. Increases of
8.6 percent, 4.4 percent, and 3.6 percent were reported in the E ast
South Central, the South Atlantic, and the Pacific States, respectively,
and a gain of 1.4 percent was reported in the W est South Central
States. The reports on which the figures are based do not cover
construction projects financed by the Works Progress Administration,
the Public Works Administration, and the Reconstruction Finance
Corporation, or by regular appropriations of the Federal, State, or
local Governments.
A preliminary report of the Interstate Commerce Commission
showed a gain since M arch of 0.2 percent or 1,718 persons in the num ­
ber employed by class I railroads. The total num ber employed in
April was 950,130. Corresponding pay-roll figures were not available


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1458

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

when this report was prepared. For M arch they were $153,890,102
as against $140,178,409 for February, a gain of 9.8 percent.
Hours and earnings.—The average hours worked per week by wage
earners in m anufacturing industries were 36.4 in April, a decrease of
2.1 percent since M arch. The average hourly earnings of these
workers were 64.8 cents, a decrease of 0.2 percent as compared with
the preceding m onth. Average weekly earnings declined 2.1 percent
to $23.82.
Of the 14 nonm anufacturing industries for which man-hour data
are available, 4 showed increases in average hours worked per week,
and 10 showed gains in average hourly earnings. Ten of the 16
nonm anufacturing industries surveyed reported higher average weekly
earnings.
Em ploym ent and pay-roll indexes, and average weekly earnings in
April 1939 for all m anufacturing industries combined, for selected
nonm anufacturing industries and for class I railroads, with percentage
changes over the m onth and year intervals are presented in table 1.
T a b l e 1.— Employment, P ay Rolls, and Earnings in A ll Manufacturing Industries

Combined and in Nonmanufacturing Industries, A pril 1939 (Preliminary Figures)
Employment
Industry

All manufacturing industries com­
bined 1________________________
Class I steam railroads2__________

Percentage
Percentage
Index change from— Index change from—
April
April
1939 March April
1939 March April
1939
1938
1939
1938
(1 9 2 3 -2 5
= 100)

91. 2
53.2

- 0 .2
+ .2

Aver­ Percentage
age in change from—
April
1939 March April
1939
1938

(1 9 2 3 -2 5
= 100)

+ 6 .4
+ 4 .0

(1 929=
100)

84.9

0

H
£$0*0

Coal mining:
Anthracite4_________ ________
Bituminous 4______ __________
Metalliferous mining_____________
Quarrying and nonmetallic mining.
Crude-petroleum producing______
Public utilities:
Telephone and telegraph______
Electric light and power and
manufactured gas__________
Electric-railroad and motorbus
operation and m aintenance,,
Trade:
W holesale............. .......................
Retail____ ____ _____________
General merchandising___
Other than general mer­
chandising_______ _____
Hotels (year-round) 48_....................._
Laundries 4_____________________
Dyeing and cleaning 4_.......................
Brokerage...........................................
Insurance............... ...........................
Building construction____________ I

Average weekly
earnings

Pay roll

- 2 .3

0

+13.8 $23. 82

0

53.2 + 2 .9 - 6 . 6
26.2 -7 0 .0 -6 9 .5
61.5
+ .8
-. 1
43.0 + 7 .2 + 3 .1
65.9
- . 5 -1 0 .7

+32.3 +16.2
17.9 -7 7 .0 -6 8 .2
52.6 - 1 .8
- 1 .3
35.9 + 8 .2 + 5.8
60.8
- . 8 -1 0 .5

- 2 .1

+ 7 .0

26.95 +28.5
18. 09 -2 3 .2
27.03 - 2 . 6
21.11 + 1.0
33.98
- .3

+24.4
+ 4.1
- 1 .2
+ 2 .6
+ .1

0

0

0

74.1

+ .9

-.9

92.1

+ .3

+ .6 330.81

-.6

+ 1 .5

90.3

+ .8

- 1 .6

97.0

+ .2

- .6

433. 47

-.6

+ 1 .0

69.1

-.6

-2 .9

69.6

- 1 .3

-.6

332.83

-.7

+ 2 .3

87.3
85.2
95.8

-.2
+ 1 .7
+ 2 .8

- 1 .3
- 3 .4
- 5 .1

74.8
71.2
85.9

+■ 1
+ 2 .2
+ 3 .0

+ .3 529. 75
- 1 .4 521. 73
- 3 .9 518. 46

+ .2
+ .5
+ .3

+ 1 .6
+2. 1
+ 1.3

82.4
93.2
93.5
102.2

+ 1 .4
+ .6
+ .6
+ 7 .1
-2 .2
+• 1
+10.8

-2 .9
-.2
-2 .0
-8 .6
-5 .2
+ .8
+ .7

68.1
81.9
79.9
73.3

+ .6
+ .5
+ .1
+ 1.1
+ .9
+ .6
+ 3 .7

+2.1
+ 2 .0
+ 1 .2
- 8 .1
+ 1.7
+ 1 .4
+ 5.7

0
0

(3)

0
0
0

+ 2 .0
-.8
+ 1.1 + 1 .8
+ .7
-.8
+ 8.3 -1 6 .0
- 1 . 3 - 3 .6
+ . 6 + 2 .2
+ 14.9 + 6.9

s 24.31
515. 01
17. 57
19. 71
536. 02
s 36. 71
29.92

1 Revised indexes. Adjusted to 1935 Census of Manufactures.
2 Preliminary. Source: Interstate Commerce Commission.
2 N o t available.
4 Indexes adjusted to 1935 Census. Comparable series back to January 1929 presented in January 1938
issue of the pamphlet, Employment and Pay Rolls.
4 Average weekly earnings not strictly comparable with figures published in issues of the M onthly Labor
Review dated earlier than April 1938 (except for the January figures appearing in the March issue), as they
now exclude corporation officers, executives, and other employees whose duties are mainly supervisory.
6 Cash payments only; the additional value of board, room and tips cannot be computed.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls

1459

Public Employment
Em ploym ent on projects financed from Public Works Adm inistra­
tion funds showed a seasonal increase of 26,800 over M arch, bringing
the total num ber of men working on this program to 248,900. This
was 136,500 larger than the employment figure for April a year ago
and higher than in any m onth since December 1936. Pay-roll
disbursements for April were $20,141,000.
For the m onth ending April 15, there were approximately 5,700
men working on projects of the United States Housing A uthority; and
pay rolls amounted to $689,000. These figures cover new construc­
tion and demolition and pertain only to those projects started under
the United States Housing A uthority; those formerly under the Public
Works Adm inistration are shown with P. W. A. building construction
projects in this report.
On projects financed from regular Federal appropriations employ­
m ent increased from 171,000 in M arch to 191,000 in April. This
increase of 20,000 was brought about by a m arked increase in the
num ber of workers employed on public-road projects, and on ship
construction. Increases were also reported on the following types of
projects: Building construction, rural electrification, forestry, heavy
engineering, reclamation, and locks and dams. The level of employ­
m ent declined on water and sewerage, streets and roads, and dredging,
dike, and revetm ent projects. Pay-roll disbursements for the m onth
ending April 15 increased by $867,000 to $19,150,000.
Em ploym ent on construction projects financed by the Reconstruc­
tion Finance Corporation increased to approximately 2,300 for the
m onth ending April 15; pay rolls for the period were $252,000.
Because of curtailed funds employment in April on projects operated
by the Works Progress Adm inistration dropped to 2,629,000, a de­
crease of 286,000 as compared with M arch. There were 46,000 more
workers employed on these projects in April than in the same m onth
in 1938. Pay-roll disbursements of $146,388,000 were $11,429,000
less than in M arch and $14,969,000 more than in April 1938. On
Federal projects under The Works Program there was an increase in
employment; on work projects of the National Youth Adm inistration
there was a decrease. No change in employment on Student Aid
was reported.
In April there were 314,000 workers in camps of the Civilian Con­

servation Corps, 1,000 less than in March and 6,000 more than in
April 1938. Of the total number in camps during this month 277,000
were enrollees, 5,000 reserve officers, 300 nurses, 1,600 educational
advisers, and 30,000 supervisory and technical employees. Pay-roll
disbursements in April for all groups of employees were $14,169,000.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

1460

In the regular services of the Federal Government increases were
reported in the executive, legislative, and m ilitary services and a de­
crease in the judicial service. Of the employees in the executive
service in April, 122,000 were employed in the D istrict of Columbia
and 763,000 outside the D istrict. Force-account employees (employ­
ees who are on the Federal pay roll and are engaged on construction
projects) were 9 percent of the total num ber of employees in the
executive service. Increases in employment in adm inistrative offices
of the W ar and N avy D epartm ents were caused by the expansion of
the m ilitary services. Increases in employment were also reported
in the D epartm ent of Agriculture and the Post Office D epartm ent;
decreases were reported in the adm inistrative offices of the Works
Progress Adm inistration and the D epartm ent of Commerce.
There was an increase of 400 in employment on State-financed road
projects for the m onth of April. Of the 122,000 a t work, 13,000 were
engaged on the construction of new roads and 109,000 on maintenance
work. Pay rolls for both types of road work were $9,166,000.
A summ ary of Federal employment and pay-roll data for April 1939
is given in table 2.
T a ble 2. — S u m m a r y o f F e d e r a l E m p lo y m e n t a n d P a y R o lls , M a r c h a n d A p r i l 1 9 3 9 1
(.P r e lim in a r y F ig u r e s )
Employment
Class
April

March

Federal Services:
885, 262 3 879, 504
E xecutiveJ__________________
2,123
2,317
Judicial.........................................5,315
5, 292
Legislative___________________
344,848
M ilitary...................... ....................
350, 610
Construction projects:
248,864
222,061
Financed by P .W .A .4------------U .S.H .A . low-cost housing_____
5,681
4,293
2,255
Financed by R.F.C.*_________
2,133
Financed by regular Federal
171,130
appropriations---- ------ --------190, 581
Federal projects under The Works
119, 692
116, 721
Program---- --------- -------------------Projects operated by W .P .A ______ 2,629, 206 32,915,509
National Youth Administration:
227,113
234,918
Work projects ............................
378,692
(6)
314,343
314,990
Civilian Conservation C orps.......... .

Per­
centage
change

+ 0 .7
- 8 .4
+ .4
+ 1 .7

Pay rolls
April

March

$133,467,310 3$134, 622,972
503,895
566, 058
1, 214, 714
1, 216, 315
26, 731,905
26,899,254

Per­
centage
change

- 0 .9
-1 1 .0
-.1
-.6

+12.1
+32.3
+ 5 .7

20,141,196
689,141
252,382

16, 377, 207
467,860
244, 675

+11.4

19,150,441

18,282, 989

+ 4 .7

+ 2 .5
- 9 .8

5,658,478
146, 388,042

5,171,042
3 157, 817, 401

+ 9 .4
-7 .2

- 3 .3

4, 332, 530
(•)
14,169,329

4,437,479
2,443,022
14,205,352

- 2 .4

-.2

+23.0
+47.3
+ 3.1

-.3

1 Includes data on projects financed wholly or partially from Federal funds.
> Includes force-account and supervisory and technical employees shown under other classifications to the
extent of 108,754 employees and pay-roll disbursements of $13,677,161 for April 1939, and 108,104 employees
and pay-roll disbursements of $14,007,976 for March 1939.
* Revised.
* Data covering P. W . A. projects financed from National Industrial Recovery Act funds, Emergency
Relief Appropriation Acts of 1935, 1936, and 1937 funds, and Public Works Administration Appropriation
Act of 1938 funds are included. These data are not shown under The Works Program. Includes 22,497
wage earners and $2,031,383 pay roll for April 1939; 25,672 wage earners and $2,208,700 pay roll for March
1939, covering Public Works Administration projects financed from Emergency Reh'ef Appropriation Acts
of 1935, 1936, and 1937 funds. Includes 219,034 wage earners and $17,159,655 pay roll for April 1939; 188,923
wage earners and $13,283,402 pay roll for March 1939, covering Public Works Administration projects financed
from funds provided by the Public Works Administration Appropriation Act of 1938.
* Includes 682 employees and pay-roll disbursements of $58,225 for April 1939; 186 employees and pay-roll
disbursements of $11,116 for March 1939 on projects financed by the RFC Mortgage Co.
6 April data not available.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Trend of Employment and P ay Rolls

1461

DETAILED REPORTS FOR MARCH 1939
A M O N TH LY report on employment and pay rolls is published as
a separate pam phlet by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This gives
detailed data regarding employment, pay rolls, working hours, and
earnings for the current m onth for industrial and business establish­
m ents and for the various forms of public employment. This pam ­
phlet is distributed free upon request. Its principal contents for the
m onth of M arch, insofar as industrial and business employment is
concerned, are reproduced in this section of the M onthly Labor
Review.

Industrial and Business Employment
M onthly figures on employment and pay rolls are available for the
following groups: 87 m anufacturing industries; 16 nonm anufacturing
industries, including private building construction; and class I
steam railroads. The reports for the first two of these groups—
m anufacturing and nonm anufacturing—are based on sample surveys
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figures on class I steam rail­
roads are compiled by the Interstate Commerce Commission and are
presented in the foregoing summary.
EM PL O Y M E N T , PAY R O LLS, H O U R S , AND E A R N IN G S

Em ploym ent and pay-roll indexes, as well as average hours worked
per week, average hourly earnings, and average weekly earnings for
January, February, and M arch 1939, where available, are presented
in table 1. The January and February figures, where given, m ay differ
in some instances from those previously published, because of revisions
necessitated by the inclusion of late reports and other causes.
The average weekly earnings shown in table 1 are computed by
dividing the total weekly pay rolls in the reporting establishments by
the total num ber of full- and part-tim e employees reported. As all
reporting establishments do not supply man-hours, average hours,
worked per week and average hourly earnings are necessarily based on
data supplied by a smaller num ber of reporting firms. The size and
composition of the reporting sample varies slightly from m onth to
m onth. Therefore the average hours per week, average hourly
earnings, and average weekly earnings shown are not strictly compar­
able from m onth to m onth. The sample, however, is believed to be
sufficiently adequate in virtually all instances to indicate the general
movements of earnings and hours over the period shown.

1490 01 — 39-------15


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Employment index

Average weekly
earnings 1

Pay-roll index

Average hours worked
per week 1

1462

T able 1.—E m p lo y m e n t, P a y R o lls , H o u r s , a n d E a r n in g s in M a n u f a c tu r in g a n d N o n m a n u fa c tu r in g I n d u s tr ie s
[Indexes are based on 3-year average, 1923-25=100, and are adjusted to 1935 Census of Manufactures. N ot comparable to indexes published in pamphlets, prior to August 1938.
Comparable series available upon request]
Average hourly
earnings 1

Industry
Janu­
March Febru­
ary
ary
1939
1939
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

91.4
83. 5
98.9

90.7
82.6
98.4

89.5
81.6
97.1

88.9
80.1
94.6

85.5
78. 5
93.3

83.4
76.6
91.0

$24.23
27. 12
21.61

$24.07
26. 86
21.49

$23. 86
26. 65
21.28

37.1
36.7
37.5

36.9
36.4
37.3

C e n ts

C e n ts

36.3
35.8
36.8

65.1
72.7
58.6

64.9
72.6
58.6

65.1
72.9
58.5

88.3
92.1
91.9
66.8

87.2
91.5
91.8
65.7

85.9
90.9
90.8
65.8

81.6
84.8
92.3
55.4

79.8
83.3
94.7
55.4

77.7
82.1
89.4
52.9

27.01
28. 81
25.64
19.80

23.71
28. 50
26. 33
20. 06

26. 37
28.18
25.11
19.15

35.8
34.4
36.9
33.7

35.3
34.0
37.9
34.3

34.8
33.7
36.1
32.5

75.2
83.5
69.5
58.0

75.4
83.8
69.6
57.8

75.5
83.,)
69. 7
58.3

84.4
48.0
83.0
74.0
137.4

82.9
48.6
83.2
73.7
131.3

81.4
48.3
84.7
72.0
129.4

76.7
45.9
81.9
63.3
137.0

74.4
47.0
78.9
64.8
128.8

73.9
45.6
81.8
60.7
126.6

22.94
28.10
23. 93
24. 28
23. 92

22. 65
28. 48
23.04
24. 95
23.55

22. 95
27. 74
23.42
23.95
23.50

38.7
37.3
36.6
36.1
38.1

38.3
37.4
35.4
37.1
37.6

38.1
36.3
35.5
35.9
36.9

60.0
75.2
65.5
67.2
62.7

59.9
76.0
65.1
67.2
62.5

60.9
76.3
66. 0
6 '..8
63.7

69.1
78.4
66. 2
85.5

68.2
74.7
64.0
83.7

65.8
65.2
61.7
82.8

56.2
66.6
57.6
92.6

57.1
62.2
54.6
85.8

53.8
49.9
51.8
86.6

24. 56
25. 21
27. 54
23. 57

25.24
24. 72
26.93
22. 33

24.71
22. 78
26. 59
22.78

36.0
38.3
37.7
38.7

36.3
37.4
37.0
36.8

35.4
35.0
36.5
37.4

68.2
66.7
73.1
60.8

69.5
66.9
72.9
61.0

69.7
65.9
73.1
61.3

85.4
161.4
94.7
124.8

84.7
160.6
93.4
121.5

83.4
162.8
91.4
111.4

84.2
169. 5
94.3
136.7

83.9
163.5
91.8
131.9

80.2
161.9
87.4
112.7

24.45
25. 36
27.71
30.19

24. 45
24.60
27.31
29. 96

23.75
2 4 .01
26. 55
27.92

40.0
37.7
38.0
37.8

39.9
36.8
37.6
37.5

39.3
35.9
36.6
35.3

61.4
67.5
72.8
80.3

61.5
66.9
72. 5
80.4

60.4
67.1
72.4
79.4

133.3
85.2

133.6
83.6

133.3
82.1

120.3
86.9

119.6
83.9

117.4
80.6

29.17
28. 22

28.93
27. 77

28.47
27.17

35.9
38.0

35.7
37.5

35.0
36.6

82.0
74.5

81.9
74.3

82.2
74.4

93.8
84.1
128.4
98.9

90.6
83.4
125.1
102.5

87.1
81.8
121.1
108.4

112.1
79.5
135.0
85.1

106.9
78.0
131.2
87.7

98.4
74.8
120 0
96.8

30. 92
27.02
29.83
21.14

30. 50
26. 69
29. 75
21.15

29.21
26.11
28.17
22.15

39.5
37.8
40. 2
36.6

39.0
37.5
39.9
36.7

37.2
36.6
38.1
37.7

78.8
71.5
74.2
57.8

78.7
71.1
74.6
57.7

78.8
71.3
74.0
59.1

C e n ts

D u r a b l e go o d s

Iron and steel and their products, not including
machinery___________ ____ _______ ____ ____ Blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling m ills. .
Bolts, nuts, washers, and rivets_____________
Cast-iron pipe_____________________________
Cutlery (not including silver and plated cut­
lery) and edge tools______________________
Forgings, iron and steel-___________________
Hardware_____ ___________ _______ _______
Plumbers’ supplies________ ________ ________
Stamped and enameled ware___________ _ Steam and hot-water heating apparatus and
steam fittings____________________________
Stoves___________________________________
Structural and ornamental metalwork_______
Tin cans and other tinware_________________
Tools (not including edge tools, machine
tools, files, and saws)___________________ Wirework___________ ___________ . . . . . . .
Machinery, not including transportation equipment.
Agricultural implements (including tractors)_
Cash registers, adding machines, and calculat­
ing machines.. . . . . ____________________
Electrical machinery, apparatus, and supplies.
Engines, turbines, water wheels, and wind­
m ills____________________ ______________
Foundry and machine-shop products________
Machine tools_____________________________
Radios and phonographs.. . ________________


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

All manufacturing_____________________________
Durable goods..........................................................
Nondurable goods_______________________ . . .

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939

70.3
127.6
95.7
961.7
103.8
33.4
16.5
108.7
94.3
153.1
99.2
83.6
92.7
87.5
66.7
71.5
62.6
78.9

69.9
125.4
95.9
940. 9
104.4
34.3
17.5
106.6
93.6
145.3
98.8
83.6
92.3
89.0
65.3
71.9
62.6
78.8

67.5
125.9
95.8
876.4
106.1
29.4
18.6

53.4
49.1
69.6
49.7
60.2
90.6
44.8
81.2

53.3
49.1

69.4
136.2
92.1
989.1
97.2
32.3
13.7
115.5
89.5
159.8
98.6
85.5
76.9
80.3
64.7
66.1

66.0

48.0
54.8
89.5
37.7
80.0

53.0
49.1
66.4
48.9
53.4
89.6
36.6
78.6

43.7
42.4
61.6
37.1
55.5
95.3
34.3
73.8

43.5
41.1
58.0
35.6
48.9
93.3
26.5
72.3

42.7
42.4
56.8
36.7
47.0
92.0
25.6
66.3

101.2
92.1
82.7
87.9
85.7
116.6
85.7
114.1
146.4
72.9
71.6
151.7
64.3
82.9

97.5
90.8
80.8
86.9
83.9
113.3
83.9
110.4
143.9
65.3
68.5
146.8
63.0
84.4

89.0
79.4
75.3
75.7
82.6

87.8
81.2
71.5
76.0
83.0

101.0

102.0

120.2

111.0

104.9
172.9
102.3
137.6
77.7
119.6

96.7
159.6
99.8
123.0
67.1
114.3

81.0
78.9
68.1
74.6
79.5
96.9
79.7
111.7
157.4
58.6
58.3
118.9
50.7
70.9
82.4
68.6
111.7
99.0
101.0
55.3
93.1

66.6

101.0

92.2
138.7
98.3
82.9
87.4
89.8
63.3
72.0
61.9
76.3

66.6

88.0

25. 68
25.63
31.00
31.38
31.11
26.44
26. 67
31.78
25.67
26.68
26.98
21.63
23.03
25.82
26.64
26. 23
20.02
20. 20

25.32
23.45
30. 69
31.18
30.80
26.00
24.22
31.65
25.48
26. 77
26.42
22. 25
22.82
26.13
25.56
26.27
19.80
20.26

24.89
22.60
31.32
31. 61
31.55
25.21
26.38
31.60
24. 85
26.35
25. 79
20.41
22. 77
24.47
24.58
26. 68
19.81
19.13

39.0
39.0
34.6
42.1
33.7
35.4
34.4
37.9
38.3
39.5
38.3
37.1
39.3
35.9
41.4
37.8
37.9
38.5

38.2
36.6
34.3
41.8
33.3
35.5
31.5
37.6
38.3
39.3
37.6
38.0
39.2
37.6
40.1
37.9
37.9
39.1

38.1
35.4
34.8
41.7
34.3
34.5
33.9
37.5
37.0
38.3
36.9
35.0
38.7
35.2
38.8
38.6
37. 1
36.9

65.9
65.7
89.8
76.1
92.4
74.8
77.5
83.8
63.9
67.6
70.5
58.3
57.9
71.8
64.8
69.1
53.3
52.7

66.5
64.1
89.7
75.8
92.4
73.2
76.9
83.3
66.5
68.1
70.4
58.5
57.4
69.5
64.1
69.0
52.5
52.0

65.4
63.7
89.9
76.8
92.1
73.0
77.7
83.7
66.8
68.7
70.1
58.2
58.1
69.3
63.7
69.1
54. 1
52.1

21.65 ' 21.64
19.34
Ì8.83
23. 70
23.41
19.59
19. 39
25. 56
24.97
25. 30
25.04
25.92
23. 68
23. 23
23.46

21.33
19.86
22. 98
19. 65
24.54
24. 72
23. 62
21.83

39.9
37.0
36.2
36.1
36.9
35.4
36.3
37.5

40.0
36.7
35.7
36.1
36.4
34.8
34.6
37.2

39.0
36.7
35.1
36.5
35.7
34.0
34.1
35.5

54.4
53.3
65.1
54.4
69.2
71.6
71.8
62.7

54.2
52.3
64.8
53.9
68.6
72.0
68.8
62.9

54.8
55.0
65. 1
54.0
69.0
72.8
69.8
62.8

17. 39
16.56
23. 64
14.06
18.21
21.22
22.07
18.09
19.38
16.89
15.14
17. 53
15. 93
18. 66
19. 91
21.07
21.51
17.61
14.20
27.80
13.69

16. 75
16. 55
22.38
13.93
18.07
20.85
24.58
17.83
19.14
16.89
14.39
18.03
15.45
19.48
17.38
18.52
18.70
16. 54
13.03
21.16
12.61

36.2
36.6
37.4
36.5
39.5
39.3
30.6
37.0
37.0
36.8
36.7
37.6
37.5
34.3
35.7
35.1
35.6
39.3
36.3
39.2
35.2

36.1
37.0
36.6
36.6
39.9
39.6
35.5
37.1
37.0
37.2
37.1
38.2
37.6
36.8
34.5
33.7
34.4
38.6
36.6
35.3
34.8

34.9
36.4
35.7
36.4
38.8
38.3
34.5
35.6
35.7
35.4
34.5
38.3
36.4
37.0
32.3
31.2
32.7
36.2
33.6
31.7
32.6

49. 1
46.2
63.3
38.5
46.8
53.4
69.5
50.0
53.0
45.9
41.4
46.3
42.1
54.4
54.1
59.9
54.6
45.1
37.6
67.9
39.6

48.9
46.1
62.7
38.4
47.0
53.8
71.4
50.2
53.2
47.2
40.7
46.6
42.2
53.0
53.9
59.5
55.1
45.5
35.9
65.3
39.6

48.4
46.2
62.7
38.3
47. 5
54.1
71.4
50.9
53.8
47.5
41.8
46.8
42.0
52.6
52.5
58.6
52.2
45.7
36.3
64.5
39.4

N o n d u r a b le goods

Textiles and their products................. .......................
Fabrics.............. .........................................................
Carpets and r u g s ..........................................
Cotton goods.................. ...................................
Cotton small wares_____________________
Dyeing and finishing textiles____________
Hats, fur-felt________ __________________
Knit goods.___________________________
Hosiery___________ ________________
Knitted outerwear__________________
Knitted underwear_________________
Knitted cloth.......................................... .
Silk and rayon goods______ ____ ________
Woolen and worsted goods______________
Wearing apparel......................................................
Clothing, m en’s . . _____________ _________
Clothing, women’s . . . .....................................
Corsets and allied garments..........................
M en’s furnishings_______ ______ ________
M illinery.......... ....................................... .........
Shirts and collars_____ ____ ____________
See fo o tn o tes a t end of table.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

101.4
91.2
84.6
87.7
86.3
116.0
82.8
116.0
148.5
75.5
72.4
153.3
63.8
76.8
123.0
106.7
178.5
103 7
137.1
83.4
121.5

71.2
119.4
165.3
68.3
64.9

82.2
118.7
164.4
68.2

63.8

120.6

121.0

52.7
61.9
104.8

53.2
69.8
97.7
80.2
134.8
106.3
123.8
71.1
103.3

86.2

143.4
108.9
122.2

89.6
106.9

17. 36
16. 82
22.94
14.08
18.48
21.38
24.75
18.28
19.63
17.72
15.00
17. 83
15.97
19.50
19.07
20.17
20.81
17.45
14.22
23.35
13.49

1463

53.9

76.1
82.7
60.7
67.1
53.0

64.6
118.6
93.5
907.8
101.3
27.1
15.3
106.7
84.6
142.8
93.0
80.0
71.9
78.2
56.6
68.0
52.0
60.3

68.1

122. 5
91.8
961.3
97.3
32.6
13.2
112.9
88.3
152.1
96.4

Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls

Textile machinery and parts...............................
Typewriters and parts_____________________
Transportation equipment______________________
Aircraft______ ____ _________________ ______
Automobiles........ .....................................................
Cars, electric- and steam-railroad____ _______
Locomotives........ .....................................................
Shipbuilding__________________ ___________
Nonferrous metals and their products..........................
Aluminum manufactures___________________
Brass, bronze, and copper products......................
Clocks and watches and time-recording devices
Jewelry___________ _______________________
Lighting equipment__________ ______ _____
Silverware and plated w a r e .._______________
Smelting and refining—copper, lead, and zinc. _
Lumber and allied products____ ____ _______ ____
Furniture.............................. ..................................
Lumber:
Millwork___ ______ ____________ _______
Sawmills........................ . . . . ______________
Stone, clay, and glass products__________________
Brick, tile, and terra cotta..... ............................ .
Cement________________ __________________
Glass_____________________________________
Marble, granite, slate, and other products____
Pottery...................... ........................................... .

Average weekly
earnings

Pay-roll index

1464

Employment index

Average hours worked
per week

Average hourly
earnings

Industry
March Febru­
ary
1939
1939


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

March
1939

Febru­
ary
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939

Janu­
ary
1939

March Febru­
ary
1939
1939
C e n ts

C e n ts

Janu­
ary
1939
C e n ts

97.6
98.4
86.0
112.0
142.1
227.8
92.0
78.8
77.5
76.8
69.8
92.5
40.8
S8.3
59.5
60.6
59.4
105.9
101.6
105. 9

96.6
97.1
86.8
111.0
141.5
223. 7
90.5
72. 2
77.3
75.7
67.8
94.6
39.8
85.3
62.4
61.4
62.5
105.9
99.7
106.3

92.9
92.7
86.0
113.7
140.3
223.2
93.1
78.6
78.0
77.2
67.9
99.8
85.4
84.7
59.2
60.5
59.0
105.7
98.1
105.5

83.2
80.0
87.9
113.9
138.0
265.2
79.3
74.0
75.0
74.4
61. 2
100.6
45. 7
85.8
51. 5
66. 5
49. 6
104.2
107. 1
105. 5

83.3
79.5
90.0
112. 1
136.6
254. 8
79.1
70.2
75.7
71.3
59.3
101.3
46.7
71.8
50.9
63. S
49.3
102.3
103. 5
105. 1

77.5
72.6
88.3
115.3
136.1
253.9
80.5
70.5
75.7
74.7
59.6
111. 1
73.2
74.7
49. 7
66.5
47.5
102.2
99. 5
102.6

$20.12
19.17
24.47
25. 00
25. 52
32. 15
22.47
17.13
17. 96
25. 13
29.47
27. 32
28. 62
26.21
16.22
17.18
15.98
28.37
21. 54
24. 43

$20. 34
19.31
24.67
24, 83
25.40
31.69
22.52
17. 75
18.15
24.57
29.52
26.98
30.07
22.67
15.20
16.37
14. 91
27. 89
21. 24
24. 16

$19.71
18.54
24. 76
24. 96
25. 47
31.61
22. 37
16.47
18.02
25.18
29.46
28.05
22.08
23. 77
15. 59
17. 29
15.14
27. 80
20. 68
23.82

38.2
38.0
38.9
40. 1
41.8
37.8
46.0
35.5
37.0
41.9
46.0
39.8
40.1
40.8
34.2
33.9
34.2
38.3
39.8
39.8

39. 1
39.1
39.3
39.8
41.0
37.2
45.7
35.6
37.3
40.6
45 4
39.5
40.9
35.0
32.0
32.4
32.0
37.9
39.2
39.6

38.1
37.9
39.0
40.0
41. 6
37.1
45.5
34. 7
37.4
41.6
45.3
41.3
33.5
36.3
32.2
34.3
31.9
37. 9
38.4
38.7

51.7
49.2
63.0
62.9
61.5
85.8
48.8
49.4
48.5
59.8
03.4
68.9
75.6
64.2
47.4
51.0
46.9
77. 1
54.6
61. 4

52.0
49.5
63.0
63.2
61.5
85.9
49.2
51.5
48.4
60.0
64.4
68.4
77.1
64.8
47.4
50.7
47.0
76. 8
54.7
61.1

52.5
49.8
63.9
62.8
61.7
85.9
49.8
48.6
48.2
60.1
63.9
68.3
65.6
65.4
48.1
50.6
47.7
76. 5
54.4
61.6

100.3
106. 1

101.3
105. 3

102.5
104.7

92.0
108.2

90.0
106.2

93.6
104.9

30. 55
37.65

29. 58
37. 30

30.37
36. 85

38.2
36.2

37. 5
36.0

38.6
36.0

81. 1
99.4

80.2
99.6

79.9
98.2

114.4
116. 2
114.0
116.5
88. 1
108.0
81.3
132.2
114.9
317.3
90.5
82.8
61.7
67.2
134.0

112. 1
116.4
111. 1
116. 1
85.3
107. 6
80.8
98. 0
112. 5.
319. 1
89. 7
81.5
60.7
66.1
131.9

112.0
117. 1
110.7
115.5
94.7
107.6
82.0
94.2
111.8
313.2
88.8
81. 1
58.4
67.1
129.8

121.6
131.3
118.6
130.9
73.6
119. 1
91.5
105.6
120.4
313.9
92. 5
85.4
58.8
76. 1
130.4

119.8
132. 1
116. 0
129.6
69.4
117.9
92.6
77. 1
115.7
314.4
91.2
83.0
59.8
72.9
127.9

119.8
134. 5
115. 3
127.9
78.9
118.5
90.7
77.1
113. 1
309.5
91.2
83.9
56.8
76.2
125.1

28.46
35. 17
25. 73
31.08
12. 93
24. 86
30.96
14. 76
28.30
24.26
29.01
27.42
21.65
32. 64
22.91

28.45
35. 18
25. 75
30. 89
12. 57
24.73
31.52
14. 63
27. 84
24.15
28. 87
27.28
22.05
31.68
22. 88

28. 63
35. 75
25. 66
30. 63
12.61
24.93
30.40
15. 17
27. 34
24. 22
29. 33
27. 72
21.78
32.59
22. 75

38.5
36.3
39.3
39.9
43.9
39.2
38.5
37.4
40.6
37.6
39.4
36. 1
35.9
33.9
38.6

38.2
36.6
38.8
39. 7
41. 7
39.2
39. 1
34.6
40.0
37.7
39. 1
36.0
37.7
33.2
38. 5

38.3
36.6
38. 9
39.3
43. 1
39. 1
37.7
35.8
39.2
38.0
39.1
35.9
36.5
34.2
37.9

73.4
97.3
65.0
78.0
29.1
59.3
80.4
39. 5
69.8
64.6
73.9
76.5
60.3
96.1
59.9

74.2
96.7
66.1
78.0
29.7
59.6
80.6
42.3
69.7
64.0
74.0
76.0
58.4
95.3
59.9

74.4
98.0
65.8
78.0
28.8
60.3
80.6
42.4
69.9
63.7
75.2
76.8
59.7
95.7
60.5

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

N o n d u r a b l e g o o d s —Continued
leather and its manufactures________ ____ . . . . .
Boots and shoes____________ ______ _____ ___
L eather... _________ ____________________
Food and kindred products_____ ____ __________
Baking__ _____ . . . _______________________
Beverages_________________________________
Butter____ ____ ______________ _________ . . .
Canning and preserving____ ______________
Confectionery__________________________ . .
Flour_______________ ___________ . . . . . .
Icecream __________________________ . . . _ _
Slaughtering and meat packing__ _________
Sugar, beet____ . . .
--------------Sugar refining, cane________________________
Tobacco manufactures. . . . .
___ ___ . . . . . . .
Chewing and smoking tobacco and snuff_____
Cigars and cigarettes_______________________
Paper and printing______________________ ___ .
Boxes, paper________ .
. ___________
Paper and pulp__________ _________________
Printing and publishing:
Book and job. . ______ ___________ .
Newspapers and periodicals_____________
Chemicals and allied products, and petroleum
refining_____ ____ . . .
..........
Petroleum refining______ _ ___________ _
Other than petroleum refining....... . . . . . .
C hem icals......... ..............................................
Cottonseed—oil, cake, and meal. _______
Druggists’ preparations_________________
Explosives____________________________
Fertilizers____ ____ ________ _________
Paints and varnishes___________________
Rayon and allied products............................
S o a p ...................... ............ ..............................
Rubber products.___ _____ ____ ________________
Rubber boots and shoes____________________
Rubber tires and inner tubes................ ...............
Rubber goods, other__________ . ...................

Janu­
ary
1939

NONMANUFACTURING
[Indexes are based on 12-month average, 1929=100]
Coal mining:

Public utilities:

Electric-railroad and motorbus operation and
Trade:

73.5

52.2
88.6
60.9
37.9
66.4
73,3

C e n ts

34.2
77.8
53.6
33.1
61.5

45.2
81.2
53.4
29.7
62.7

38.0
78.2
55.3
30.2
60.9

$21. 55
23.49
27.66
20.80
33.47

$28. 20
24.29
27. 38
19. 52
34.70

$24.74
23.29
27. 69
19. 76
33. 60

23.3
26.5
40.2
37.5
38.8

30.9
27.6
39.9
35.4
38.7

27.0
26.5
40.4
36.1
37.6

92.0

92.0

55.4
86.5

87.5

74.1

92.2

91.7

92.0

30.88

31.09

30.90

39.0

38.9

39.0

82.0

82.6

82.3

95.9

33.82

33.67

33. 37

39.8

39.5

38.6

85.4

85.4

86.6
71.5

89.6

89.6

90.0

96.8

96.4

69.5

69.3

69.2

70.5

69.9

71.1

33.12

32.87

33. 53

45.7

45.4

46.3

71.5

71.5

88.3
82.2
90.7
80.0
91.8
93.3
94.2
+■4
+ .4
-1 1 .5

74.8
69.6
83.4
66.8
81.1
79.3
67.7
- 1 .1
+ 1.0
+13.4

74.6
68.4
81.0
65.8
82.8
78.6
63.2
-.6
- 1 .1
- 6 .1

75.5
69.7
84.0
66.7
80.2
79.6
65. 8
—. 5
—. 3
—14.0

29.48
21.28
17.84
24.18
15.09
17. 54
19.48
36. 05
36. 32
28.98

29.54
21. 55
18.19
24. 34
15. 29
17. 32
18.95
35. 71
36.11
27. 38

29. 72
21. 71
18. 38
24.46
14. 95
17. 41
19.12
35. 93
36.49
28.18

42.1
42.5
39.0
43.5
46. 7
42.3
41.1
(8)
(8)
30.4

41.5
42.7
39.2
43.8
46.9
42.2
39.7
(8)
(8)
29.1

41.6

70.0

71.1

87.3
83.8
93.2
81.3
92.7
92.9
95.4
- 1 .2
+ 6 .4

87.9
81.5
88.8
79.6
92.6
92.8
92.1
-.8
(7)
- 2 .5

C e n ts

C e n ts

50.0
88.7
62.6
38.3
67.0

i Average weekly earnings are computed from figures furnished by all reporting estab­
lishments Average hours and average hourly earnings are computed from data supplied
by a smaller number of establishments, as all reporting firms do not furnish man-hours.
The figures are not strictly comparable from month to month because of changes m the
size and composition of the reporting sample. Hours and earnings for all manufacturing
industries now relate to 87 industries instead of 89 which were covered in the July and
prior issues of the pamphlet. The 2 industries excluded are electric- and steam-railroad
repair shops. The averages for the durable-goods group have also been affected by this

43.8
46.4
42.1

56.7
31.7

56.8
32.1

(8)
(8)

(8)
(8)

(8)
94.3

92.8

71.1
48.4
57.1
31.7
41.4
48.7
(8)
93.2

3 Average weekly earnings, hourly earnings, and hours not strictly comparable with
figures published in pamphlets prior to January 1938 as they now exclude corporation
officers, executives, and other employees whose duties are mainly supervisory.
4 Cash payments only; the additional value of board, room, and tips cannot be com­
puted.
8 Indexes of employment and pay rolls are not available, percentage changes from
preceding month substituted.
» N ot available.
7 Less than Ho of 1 percent.

Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls

Electric light and “power and manufactured

51.7
87.4
61.0
40.1
66.1

^ I n d e x e s adjusted to 1935 census. Comparable series back to January 1929 presented
In January 1938 issue of this publication.

1465


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1466

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

INDEXES OF EMPLOYMENT AND PAY ROLLS, MARCH 1938 THROUGH
MARCH 1939

Indexes of employment and pay rolls are given in table 2 for all
m anufacturing industries combined, for the durable- and nondurablegoods groups of m anufacturing industries, and for each of 13 non­
m anufacturing industries, including 2 subgroups under retail trade,
by months from M arch 1938 to M arch 1939, inclusive. The accom­
panying chart indicates the trend of factory employment and pay
rolls from January 1919 to M arch 1939.
The indexes of factory employment and pay rolls are based on the
3-year average 1923-25 as 100. They relate to wage earners only and
are computed from reports supplied by representative m anufacturing
establishments in 87 m anufacturing industries. These reports cover
more than 55 percent of the total wage earners in all m anufacturing
industries of the country and more than 65 percent of the wage
earners in the 87 industries included in the m onthly survey of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The indexes for the nonm anufacturing industries are based on the
12-month average for 1929 as 100. Figures for mining, laundries,
and dyeing and cleaning cover wage earners only, but the figures for
public utilities, trade, and hotels relate to all employees except cor­
poration officers, executives, and other employees whose duties are
mainly supervisory. For crude-petroleum producing they cover
wage earners and clerical field force. The coverage of the reporting
samples for the various nonm anufacturing industries ranges from 25
percent for wholesale trade to 90 percent for quarrying and nonmetallic mining.
D ata for both m anufacturing and nonm anufacturing industries are
based on reports of the num ber of employees and am ount of pay rolls
for the pay period ending nearest the 15th of the m onth.


https://fraser.stlouisfed.org
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

EMPLOYMENT AND PAY ROLLS
ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES
IN D EX

1923-25= 100

INDEX

140

100

80

60

Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls

120

40

20


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1467

UNITED STATES BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

1468

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939
of Employment and P ay Rolls in Selected Manufacturing 1 and Non­
manufacturing 2 Industries, March 1938 to March 1939, Inclusive

T a b l e 2 . —Indexes

Employment
In d u s tr y

1938

1939

M a r . A p r. M a y J u n e J u l y A u g . S e p t. O c t. N o v . D e c .

Jan . F e b . M a r.

A v.
1938

M a n u fa c tu r in g

A ll in d u s t r i e s ______________
D u r a b le g o o d s 3_______
N o n d u r a b l e g o o d s 4___

86 .8
77.3
96 .0

8 7 .7
79.3
9 5 .8

8 5 .7
77.0
9 4 .0

83.4
75.0
91 .5

8 1 .6
72.4
90.3

8 1 .9
70.3
9 2 .9

85 .7 8 8 .8
71 .7 75.3
9 9 .0 101.7

8 9 .5
79.0
9 9 .4

9 0 .5
82.1
98 .4

91.2
83.1
9 8 .8

89 .5
81.6
97.1

90 .7
8 2 .6
98 .4

9 1 .4
83 .5
98 .9

A n th r a c i te m i n i n g ________ 52.3 59.3 57.0 52.8 56.0 44. 6
B itu m in o u s - c o a l m i n i n g . . . 86.7 93 .2 8 5 .8 82. 2 80 .2 78. 5
M e ta llif e r o u s m i n in g ______ 59.0 62.3 6 1 .6 58.8 56.0 49 .7
Q u a r r y in g a n d n o n m e ta llic
m i n i n g . _ _ _____________ 42.3 3 8 .9 41 .7 43.7 4 3 .6 44.1
C r u d e - p e t r o le u m p r o d u c m g ----------------------------------- 72.1 73.6 73 .8 7 3 .2 72 .8 72.3
T e le p h o n e a n d t e l e g r a p h . . 75.1 74.9 74.8 7 5 .0 74.8 74.9
E le c tric li g h t a n d p o w e r,
a n d m a n u f a c tu r e d g a s . . . 92 .3 9 2 .0 91 .8 9 1 .7 9 2 .2 92 .3
E le c tric - r a ilr o a d a n d m o to r b u s o p e r a t io n a n d
m a i n t e n a n c e _____________ 70.3 7 0 .8 71.1 7 0 .6 70.4 70. 1
W h o le s a le t r a d e ....................... 8 8 .8 89.1 8 8 .5 87 .3 8 7 .2 86 .8
R e t a il t r a d e _______________ 85 .2 8 3 .0 88 .2 8 3 .8 8 3 .6 81.1
G e n e r a l m e r c h a n d is i n g ----------------------------- 9 8 .0 9 0 .5 101.0 92 .4 91 .9 87.9
O th e r t h a n
g e n e ra l
m e r c h a n d is in g ...........
8 1 .8 8 1 .0 84 .9 81. 5 81 .4 79.3
Y e a r - r o u n d h o t e l s _________ 9 2 .7 9 3 .4 93 .5 9 3 .7 9 2 .2 9 0 .7
L a u n d r i e s _________________ 95 .7 9 4 .8 95 .4 96 .2 96 .6 9 7 .8
D y e in g a n d c le a n in g ............. 104.3 9 8 .5 111.8 109.9 110.8 108.6

37 .6 4 6 .4
80. 1 83.4
51.4 5 5 .2

52.4
8 7 .2
57.9

51.0
88 .6
61.9

51.3
89.3
62.3

50 .0
88 .7
62.6

52.2
88.6
60.9

51.7
87.4
61 .0

4 4 .6

44 .6

44 .4

44.4

41.4

3 8 .3

37 .9

40.1

72.4
7 4 .8

71 .5
74.9

69. 5 68.3
74.7 74.4

67.8
74.3

6 7 .0
74.1

66.4
73.3

66.1
7 3 .5

9 2 .7

92. 5 92 .5

9 1 .9

91.4

90 .0

89.6

89 .6

6 9 .5
87 .6
80 .0

69.3
8 8 .5
84.7

69.9
89.1
85 .9

6 9 .5
8 9 .8
86.9

69.4
9 0 .0
98.1

69.2
88.3
82 .2

69.3
8 7 .9
81.5

69 .5
87.3
8 3 .8

86 .4

97 .0

9 9 .4 104.5 144.1

N o n m a n u f a c t u r in g

78.3 81. 5
9 0 .4 91 .8
9 7 .5 9 6 .5
105.0 107.8

90 .7

88 .8

9 3 .2

82.3 82.3
9 2 .9 9 2 .5
9 4 .4 9 3 .7
106.8 102.5

86.0
92.0
93.4
97.9

80 .0
91 .8
9 3 .3
9 4 .2

79.6
9 2 .6
92 .8
92.1

8 1 .3
9 2 .7
9 2 .9
95 .4

83 .8
75 .2
93 .4

84.1
78.3
9 0 .6

8 6 .5
80.4
93.4

83.4
76 .6
91 .0

8 5 .5
78.5
93.3

8 6 .9
80.1
9 4 .6

Pay rolls
M a n u f a c tu r i n g

A ll i n d u s t r i e s ______________
D u r a b l e g o o d s 3 ____
N o n d u r a b l e g o o d s 4___

7 7 .5
6 8 .2
88.0

77.1
67.4
8 7 .9

74 .6
65.6
84 .7

72.9
64.2
8 2 .6

70.8
61.7
8 0 .9

70.6 76 .9
58.6 63.7
84. 1 91 .7

81 .0
6 8 .7
9 4 .9

3 8 .2
67.9
50.4

4 7 .3
68.4
56.3

39.0
56.3
53.3

38.3
55.3
51.2

49. 7 20.2
57.0 56.8
46. 1 38.0

20.0
64.2
4 3 .7

29.4 43.4
71.9 78.3
46. 1 49 .2

3 6 .2
81.4
52.3

4 2 .5 38.0
80 .9 78.2
54. 1 55.3

45.2
81 .2
53.2

3 4 .2
77.8
5 3 .6

35.1

3 0 .2

33 .9

38.3

37.3

37.0

39.2

38.4

39 .2

3 7 .2

3 3 .7

30 .2

29.7

33.1

6 6 .5
92.1

68.0
9 2 .6

68.0
9 1 .6

6 6 .7
91 .3

67.6
90.9

66.7
90 .9

6 6 .8
91 .3

6 6 .5
9 2 .6

63.7
95 .3

63.3
93.0

62.5
9 2 .5

60.9
92 .0

62.7
91 .7

6 1 .5
9 2 .2

98 .5

9 8 .6

97 .6

97.4

98 .6

98.3

98.9

98 .4

99.9

98.6

9 8 .2

95 .9

9 6 .4

9 6 .8

69.7
74.7
70.4

69.9
74.7
68.6

70.0
74 .6
72 .2

7 1 .2
75.1
70.0

6 9 .7
73.8
69.5

69.0
73.6
68.1

69 .5
73 .7
66.8

68.4
74.3
69.4

68.9 68.8
75. 1 75.4
70.8 7 1 .5

69.7 71.1
75. 7 75 .5
79.2 69.7

69.9
7 4 .6
68.4

7 0 .5
74 .8
6 9 .6

87 .8

8 2 .2

8 9 .4

84.4

84.3

80.4

78.8

85 .3

88 .3

9 1 .8 122.9

84.0

8 1 .0

83.4

67.0
80 .5
80 .9
80 .7

66.4
7 9 .6
8 1 .8
83 .3

65.6
77.4
83 .0
77.5

64. 3
77.4
83.1
74.3

66.1
78.9
8 1 .4
8 1 .7

67 .2
80.8
79 .5
78.0

6 7 .3
8 1 .3
7 9 .3
7 3 .9

66 .7
80 .2
79 .6
65.8

65.8
8 2 .8
78.6
63. 2

6 6 .8
8 1 .1
79.3
67.7

N o n m a n u f a c t u r in g

A n t h r a c i t e m i n i n g . . . ____
B it u m in o u s - c o a l m i n i n g . . .
M e ta llif e r o u s m i n i n g ______
Q u a r r y i n g a n d n o n m e ta llie m i n i n g _______________
C r u d e - p e t r o le u m p r o d u c m g ----------------------------------T e le p h o n e a n d t e l e g r a p h . .
E l e c t r i c li g h t a n d p o w e r ,
a n d m a n u f a c tu r e d g a s . . .
E l e c tric - r a ilr o a d a n d m o to r b u s o p e r a t io n a n d
m a in te n a n c e .
_________
W h o le s a le t r a d e .....................
R e t a il t r a d e ______________
G e n e r a l m e r c h a n d is i n g ----------------------------O th e r t h a n g e n e ra l
m e r c h a n d is in g ______
Y e a r - r o u n d h o te ls _________
L a u n d r i e s _________________
D y e in g a n d c l e a n in g ______

66 .8
80.3
80 .6
75.3

65.8
80 .9
78.2
68.2

68 .6
80. 5
80 .6
87 .2

70. 1
81.1
8 0 .0
68.3

1 3 -y e a r a v e ra g e , 1923-25= 100— a d j u s t e d to 1935 C e n s u s o f M a n u f a c t u r e s . C o m p a r a b le in d e x e s fo r e a rlie r
m o n t h s a re in A u g u s t 1938 is s u e of p a m p h l e t a n d N o v e m b e r 1938 is s u e of M o n t h l y L a b o r R e v ie w .
1 1 2 -m o n th a v e ra g e fo r 1929= 100. C o m p a r a b le in d e x e s a re in N o v e m b e r 1934 a n d s u b s e q u e n t is s u e s of
E m p l o y m e n t a n d P a y R o lls , o r in F e b r u a r y 1935 a n d s u b s e q u e n t is s u e s o f M o n t h l y L a b o r R e v ie w , e x c e p t
fo r a n t h r a c i t e a n d b itu m in o u s - c o a l m i n in g , y e a r - r o u n d h o te ls , la u n d r ie s , a n d d y e in g a n d c le a n in g . I n d e x e s
f o r th e s e in d u s tr i e s f r o m J a n u a r y 1929 f o r w a r d h a v e b e e n a d j u s t e d to t h e 1935 c e n s u s a n d a r e p r e s e n t e d in
t h e J a n u a r y 1938 a n d s u b s e q u e n t is s u e s o f E m p l o y m e n t a n d P a y R o lls.
* I n c l u d e s : I r o n a n d s te e l, m a c h in e r y , t r a n s p o r t a r o n e q u i p m e n t , r a i lr o a d r e p a i r s h o p s , n o n f e r r o u s m e ta ls ,
l u m b e r a n d a llie d p r o d u c t s , a n d s to n e , c la y , a n d g la ss p r o d u c ts .
4 I n c l u d e s : T e x tile s a n d t h e i r p r o d u c t s , l e a th e r a n d i t s m a n u f a c tu r e s , fo o d a n d k i n d r e d p r o d u c t s , to b a c c o
m a n u f a c tu r e s , p a p e r a n d p r i n t i n g , c h e m ic a ls a n d a llie d p r o d u c t s , p r o d u c t s of p e t r o le u m a n d co a l, r u b b e r
p r o d u c t s , a n d a n u m b e r of m is c e lla n e o u s in d u s tr i e s n o t i n c lu d e d i n o th e r g r o u p s .


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1469

Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls

T R E N D O F IN D U ST R IA L AND B U S IN E S S EM PL O Y M E N T , BY STATES

A comparison of employment and pay rolls, by States and geo­
graphic divisions, in February and M arch 1939 is shown in table 3
for all groups combined and for all m anufacturing industries combined
based on data supplied by reporting establishments. The percentage
changes shown, unless otherwise noted, are unweighted—th a t is, the
industries included in the m anufacturing group and in the grand total
have not been weighted according to their relative importance.
The totals for all m anufacturing industries combined include figures
for miscellaneous m anufacturing industries in addition to the 87
m anufacturing industries presented in table 1. The totals for all
groups combined include all manufacturing industries, each of the
nonm anufacturing industries presented in table 1 (except building
construction), and seasonal hotels.
Similar comparisons showing only percentage changes are available
in mimeographed form for “All groups combined,” for “All m anufac­
turing,” for anthracite mining, bituminous-coal mining, metalliferous
mining, quarrying and nonmetallic mining, crude-petroleum produc­
ing, public utilities, wholesale trade, retail trade, hotels, laundries,
dyeing and cleaning, and brokerage and insurance.
T able

3 . — Comparison

of Employment and P ay Rolls in Identical Establishments in
February and March 1939, by Geographic Divisions and by States

[ F ig u r e s in ita lic s a r e n o t c o m p ile d b y th e B u r e a u o f L a b o r S ta tis tic s , b u t a r e ta k e n fro m r e p o f ts is s u e d b y
c o o p e r a tin g S ta t e o rg a n iz a tio n s ]

T o t a l — a ll g r o u p s

G e o g ra p h ic d iv i­
sio n a n d S ta te

N um ­
b e r of
e s ta b ­
lis h ­
m e n ts

N e w E n g l a n d ______
M a i n e .................. ..
N e w H a m p s h ire
V e r m o n t ________
M a s s a c h u s e tts .
R h o d e I s la n d ..
C o n n e c t i c u t ____

1 3 ,0 8 8
760
596
445
» 7 , 767
1 ,1 5 1
2 ,3 6 9

M i d d l e A t l a n t i c _____
N e w Y o r k ______
N e w J e r s e y _____
P e n n s y lv a n ia ..
E a s t N o r th C e n tr a l..
O h i o . ......................
I n d i a n a .................
I l l i n o i s _____ . . .
M i c h i g a n _______
W i s c o n s i n ______

M a n u fa c tu rin g

P e r­
P e r­
c e n t­
c e n t­
N um ber
A m ount
age
age
on p ay
o f p a y ro ll
change
change
ro ll
(1 w e e k )
fro m
fro m
M arch
M arch
F eb­
F eb­
1939
1939
ru a ry
ru a ry
1939
1939

N um ­
b e r of
e s ta b ­
lish ­
m e n ts

P er­
P e r­
c e n t­
cent
N um ber
A m ount
age
age
on p ay
o f p a y ro ll
change
change
ro ll
(1 w e e k )
fro m
fro m
M arch
M arch
F eb­
F eb­
1939
1939
ru a ry
ru a ry
1939
1939

D o lla rs
8 6 2 ,4 1 9
5 0 ,8 1 1
4 1 ,0 2 2
1 6 ,0 8 5

D o lla rs

+ 0 . 4 19, 9 3 8 , 2 3 7
- 3 2 1 ,0 0 1 ,7 8 3
- 3 .2
8 2 1 ,0 0 6
+ 1 .3
3 3 6 ,1 3 6

+ 0 .5
-4 .5
-6 .6
+ 1 .6

3, 574
271
215
155

5 9 5 ,0 3 5
4 2 ,8 5 2
3 5 ,5 2 2
1 0 ,6 7 9

4 6 4 ,2 3 7

+ 1 . 4 1 0 ,9 7 9 , 744

+ 1 .2

1, 776

2 6 6 ,8 9 9

+ .3

5 ,9 6 5 ,5 2 8

9 2 ,6 9 5
1 9 7 ,5 6 9

- 1 .3
+ .3

1 ,9 1 9 ,1 7 8
4 ,8 8 0 ,3 9 0

- 2 .0
+ 2 .0

431
726

76', 3 3 1
1 6 2 ,7 5 2

-2 .0
+ .6

1 ,5 2 2 ,6 1 9
3 ,9 1 9 ,4 9 1

-3 .0
+ 2 .6

3 1 ,9 3 9 2 , 0 6 7 ,1 5 8
2 0 , 274
932, 969
3 .9 3 8
3 4 8 ,4 3 0
7 , 727
7 8 5 ,7 5 9

+ . 7 5 4 , 7 8 9 ,4 9 6
+ 1 . 2 2 6 ,0 3 1 ,4 5 8
+ . 7 9 ,1 7 6 ,0 8 4
+ . 1 1 9 ,5 8 1 ,9 5 4

+ 1 .1
+ 2 .5
+ 1 .6
- 1 .0

+ . 7 3 1 , 1 8 8 ,2 4 8

+ 2 .2

2 4 , 591 2 ,0 5 1 ,9 7 2
5 1 4 ,1 3 5
6 ,7 4 3

+ .8
+ 1 .3

5 5 ,4 7 2 , 3 0 7
1 3 ,8 4 5 ,8 3 1

+ 1 .4
+ 2 .2

2 ,9 1 8
* 6 ,9 1 5

2 4 8 ,1 8 4
6 8 9 ,6 1 7
4 7 3 ,5 6 6

* 4 ,8 7 1

2 2 6 ,4 7 0

+ 1 . 2 6 ,2 8 6 ,1 2 5
+ 1 . 0 1 5 ,6 8 0 ,6 1 0
- . 3 1 3 ,92 2 , 751
+ 1 . 1 6 ,7 3 6 ,9 9 0

+ 1 .6
+ 1 .9

3, 644

See footnotes at end of table.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

+ .3

+ .6

6 , 4 7 9 1 ,1 9 6 , 6 0 7

- 0 .5
-3 .8
-3 .8
+ 1 .5

1 3 ,1 4 8 , 2 5 7
8 2 1 ,4 2 0
7 0 0 ,4 3 3
2 1 6 ,7 6 6

22 ,5 9 6

4 3 7 ,2 7 0

+ 1 . 0 1 2 ,0 9 0 ,7 2 5

1 ,6 2 1

2 8 0 ,9 6 9

7, 2 6 2 ,8 7 2

2 ,2 6 2

4 7 8 ,3 6 8

8 , 4 1 4 1, 5 5 2 , 0 6 5
2 ,3 7 2
3 9 4 ,6 0 1

1 ,0 8 9
2 ,4 4 2
1 ,0 5 6
« 1 ,4 5 5

1 9 7 ,6 2 6
3 8 7 ,7 2 5
4 1 8 ,9 9 1
1 5 3 ,1 2 2

3 + .S

1 1 ,8 3 4 ,6 5 1

- 0 .2
-5 .4
- 6 .9
+ .4

+ 3.4

+ 1 .8

3+

1.4

4 2 , 7 5 8 ,0 7 8
+ 1 . 3 1 0 ,8 7 1 ,6 3 1

+ 1 .5
+ 2 .4

+ 1 . 8 5 ,1 4 0 ,3 6 4
+ 1 . 3 1 0 ,3 2 0 ,7 0 5
- . 8 1 2 ,4 8 0 , 831
s + .5
3 ,9 4 4 ,6 4 7

* + 1 .9
+ 3 .4
- .5
3 + .7

Monthly Labor Review—June 1939

1470

3 . — Comparison of Employment and P ay Rolls in Identical Establishments in
February and March 1939, by Geographic Divisions and by States— Continued

T able

Manufacturing

T otal—all groups

Geographic divi­
sion and State

Per­
N um ­ Number cent­
age ofAmount
pay roll
ber of on pay change
(1 week)
roll
estab­
March
lish­ March from
Feb­
1939
1939
ments
ruary
1939

Per­
cent­
age
change
from
Feb­
ruary
1939

Per­
N um ­ Number cent­
age ofAmount
pay roll
ber of on pay change
estab­
roll
0 week)
from
March
March
lish­
Feb­
1939
ments
1939
ruary
1939
D o lla rs

D o lla rs

West North Central. 11, 747
M innesota____ 72 , 759
1,830
Iow a.. ______
M issouri.. . . . . 2, 676
544
North Dakota..
South D akota..
413
Nebraska_____
1,029
Kansas_______ « 2 ,4 9 6

425,135

+ 0 .8 10,398,212

+ 1 .0

2,478

210, 649

126, 710

+ 2 .0

+ 2 .1

653

4 9 ,8 4 6

58,567
151,135
4,305
7, 262
24,706

+ .3
+ 1 .0 1,407,489
+ .2
+ 8 3, 561,020
+ 1 .4
101, 769 - 2 .6
189,689 - 1 .5
- .6
563,058 + 1 .2
+ .9
i ° - . l 1 ,2 1 8 , 765 s + 2 . 0

357
788
29
31
136

34, 240
93,176
426
2,125
8, 324

484

2 2 ,5 1 2

5 2 ,4 5 0

3 ,3 5 6 ,4 8 2

871, 763
15,310

+ 1.5 16, 638, 885
356,986
+ 1.5

+ 1.3
+ 2 .9

2,952

602, 674

84

I S S , 338

+ 2 .1

3 ,2 2 6 ,1 7 7

+ 2 .8

648

1 0 ,9 0 0
9 3 ,3 6 1

39,819
114,707
129,719
176,365
93,796
118,409
50, 300

+ 2 .5
+ 1.5
+ .3
+ 1 .5
+ .3
+ 1 .0
+ 4 .7

1,050,306
2,125,716
3,179,452
2, 636,426
1,337, 223
1,851,212
875,387

+ 1 .6
+ .9
+ .3
+ 1 .0
+ .9
+ .3
+ 3.7

43
456
216
674
250
397
184

4, 238
1,305
1,235
1,206
492

282,298
75,312
98,937
90,881
17,168

+ .5
- 1 .3
+ 1 .2
+ 1 .1
+ 1 .1

5,126, 396
1,542,127
1,744,964
1,585,878
253,427

- .8
- 2 .5
+ .4
- .5
- .5

1,017
277
366
291
83

181,590
31, 529
73, 345
64,850
11,866

West South Central. 6,051
Arkansas_____ » 1 ,0 0 6
993
Louisiana_____
O klahom a___
1,299
Texas...... ........... 2 ,7 5 3

217,840

- .2

4,800, 964

105,658

Mountain__ ______
M ontana_____
Idaho______
W yoming_____
Colorado_____
New M ex ico ...
Arizona______
U ta h ..................
Nevada..............

4, 123
617
471
315
1,316
280
395
561
168

113,260
16,070
9,048
7. 776
38, 556
6, 271
13,825
19,378
2, 336

+ .2 2, 897, 931
-.9
446,941
221, 244
+ 1 .8
+ .2
220,790
975,048
+ 1 .3
+ 1.5
137,716
- 2 .1
368,482
-.2
457,887
69,823
+ .6

Pacific........................ 10, 444
Washington___ 2, 540
1, 217
O reg o n ............
California.......... 12 6 ,6 8 7

444, 367
82,498
43,147

+ 1.0 12, 849, 309
+ 2 .4 2,254,538
+ 2 .9 1,140, 323
+ •4 9 ,4 5 4 ,4 4 8

South Atlantic....... . 10, 807
242
D elaw are..........
Maryland____
1 ,6 1 1
District of Co­
lumbia........... 1,059
2,014
Virginia______
West Virginia.. 1,147
North Carolina. 1,602
South Carolina.
778
G eorgia........... 1,422
932
Florida_______
East South Central..
Kentucky____
Tennessee.........
A la b a m a .____
M ississippi.......

Per­
cent­
age
change
from
Feb­
ruary
1939

+ 0 .2 5,110, 685

+ 0 .6

+ 1 .6

+ 2 .0

1 ,8 0 4 ,8 5 4

859,486
+ .6
- . 6 2,103,309
11,348
- .5
50,521
-3 .7
208,640
+■2

+ .2
-.6
+ 2 .7
-6 .0
+ 3.8

5 7 2 ,5 2 7

+ 2 .6

+ 1 . 7 10, 555, 588

+ 2.1

+ •4
+ 1 .0

3 + 2 .3

3,403
- .3
80,066 + 1.9
48,969 +1.1
162,721 + 1.7
86,218
+ .1
93,987
+• 8
23,049 +10.8

2 5 8 ,9 6 6
2 ,2 4 1 ,5 8 2

+ 2 .6

3+S.O

115,338 + 1.4
1,425,922 + 2.1
1, 227,154 + 3.0
2, 395,115 +1.1
1,198, 569 + 1.0
-.2
1, 342,588
350,354 +11.6

+ .7 3,117, 869
640,317
+ .4
+ .8 1, 262,370
+ .5 1,050,293
164,889
+ 1 .2

-.2
- 1 .2
+ .4
-.6
+ .6

2, 258, 055

-.5
+ .9
- .7
+1-7

- .2

1,242

2 9 ,8 2 5

- .5

5 0 2 ,0 6 3

- .2

270

1 9 ,2 6 9

- 2 .3

3 1 5 ,6 2 2

49,153
37,452

-.8

941,929
917, 247

-.1
-.4

233
134

28,407
10,066

- 1 .2
~f~l. 3

520,658
225,911

+ .1

2 ,4 3 9 , 725

- .2

605

4 7 ,9 1 6

- 1 .6

1 ,1 9 5 ,8 6 4

-.4
+ 1 .3
+ .8
-.5
+ .2
- 4 .7
- 1 .9
- 1 .3
+ .4

554
74
59
39
195
28
38
107
14

30,157
4,275
2,273
1,097
13,367
697
2, 381
5, 793
274

+ .2
- 5.9
+ 5.4

767,431
108,179
49,102
37,000
359,841
12,857
56,110
137, 231
7,111

+ 1.2
- 4 .3
+ .6
- .1
+ 4.7
+ 4.3
- 9 .2
+ 2 .2
- 2 .4

+1.5
+ 3 .0
+ 3 .2

2,658
544
296

+ 1.9 224, 001 6, 285,018
47,636 + 4.5 1,276,464
25, 269 + 4 .0
650,323

+ 2 .9
+ 5 .8
+ 4 .5

+ .9

1 ,8 1 8

4 ,3 5 8 ,2 3 1

+ 1 .8

101,410

8 1 8 ,7 2 2

151, 096

- 1 .3

+• 1
+ 2.5
+ 4.2
- 8 .8
+1.1
+ 5 .8

+ .8

- 1 .1

1 Includes banks and trust companies; construction, municipal, agricultural, and office employment;
amusement and recreation; professional services; and trucking and handling.
1 Includes laundering and cleaning; and water, light, and power.
• Weighted percentage change.
4 Includes automobile and miscellaneous services; restaurants; and building and contracting.
' Includes construction but not public works.
• Does not include logging.
7 Includes banks; real estate; pipe-line transportation; motor transportation (other than operation and
maintenance); water transportation; hospitals and clinics; and persona], business, mechanical repair, and
miscellaneous services.
8 Less than Mo of 1 percent.
• Includes financial institutions, miscellaneous services, and restaurants.
10 Weighted percentage change including hired farm labor.
” Includes automobile dealers and garages; and sand, gravel, and building stone.
12 Includes banks, insurance, and office employment.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1471

Trend of Employment and Pay Rolls
IN D U ST R IA L AND B U S IN E S S EM PLO Y M EN T IN P R IN C IP A L
M ETRO PO LITA N AREAS

A comparison of employment and pay rolls in February and M arch
1939 is made in table 4 for 13 m etropolitan areas which had a popula­
tion of 500,000 or over in 1930. Cities within these areas, but having a
population of 100,000 or over, are not included. Footnotes to the
table indicate which cities are excluded. D ata concerning them are
presented in a supplem entary tabulation which is available on request.
The figures represent reports from cooperating establishments and
cover both full- and part-tim e workers in the m anufacturing and non­
m anufacturing industries presented in table 1, with the exception of
building construction, and include also miscellaneous industries.
Revisions made in the figures after they have gone to press, chiefly
because of late reports by cooperating firms, are incorporated in the
supplem entary tabulation mentioned above. This supplem entary
tabulation covers these 13 m etropolitan areas as well as other m etro­
politan areas and cities having a population of 100,000 or more, accord­
ing to the 1930 Census of Population.
T a b le 4. — Comparison of Employment and P ay Rolls in Identical Establishments in

February and March 1939, by Principal Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan area

Percentage Amount of Percentage
Number of Number on
change
change
pay roll (1 from
establish­
pay roll
Feb­
from Feb­ week)
March
March
ments
ruary
ruary

N ew York i ............ ........................................
Chicago 2_____________
___________
Philadelphia 3.................................. ..............
D etroit_______________ ______ ________
Los Angeles 4_________________________

14, 350
4,475
2,096
1,533
3,012

625,867
415, 770
200,184
302, 502
149, 586

+ 2.1
+ .6
+ .3
-.6
+ .3

$17,283, 516
11,613,602
5, 434, 689
9, 443,178
4, 404, 369

+ 2.5
+ 1.9
+ 1.4
+ .8
+ .7

Cleveland---------. . . --------- ------------------St. L ouis......... ........................... ............... .
B altim ore.. . ________________________
Boston 8_____________________________
Pittsburgh------------------ ----------------------

1,583
1,415
1,179
1,451
1,072

108, 777
112,134
98,995
98, 624
164, 729

+ .9
1
+ 2 .6
+ 1 .0
- .2

3,062, 796
2, 773,157
2,426,834
2, 642,856
4+94, 783

+ .9
4-. 4
+3.1
+ 2 .7
+ .7

San Francisco 6_______________________
Buffalo.........................................................
M ilw aukee..----------------- --------------------

1,626
822
1,006

79,774
65,042
99,455

+ 1.7
- .9
+ 2 .3

2, 386,020
1, 697,887
2, 754, 699

+ 2 .5
-.5
-|-i. 0

1 Does not include Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, or Paterson, N . J.; nor Yonkers, N . Y .
2 Does not include Gary, Ind.
3 Does not include Camden, N . J.
4 Does not include Long Beach, Calif.
8 Figures relate to city of Boston only.
6 Does not include Oakland, Calif.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Recent Publications o f Labor Interest

MAY 1939
Consumer Pr oblems
The consumer and the economic order. By Warren C. Waite and Ralph Cassady, Jr.
New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1939. 389 pp., charts*
Textbook whose purpose is to present the comprehensive character of consumer
problems—the broad implications of particular actions by specific groups as well
as the ultimate results of various types of governmental action— together with
some of the more restricted issues.
The consumer movement. (In Business Week, New York, April 22, 1939, dd. 3952.)
General discussion of the origin and development of consumer interest in
merchandise (its prices and quality); the work of various agencies in this field
(including that of cooperatives); and the attitude of business toward the whole
consumer movement.
Distribution services and costs. Washington, Chamber of Commerce of the United
States, Domestic Distribution Department, 1939. 47 pp.
_Brings together considerable material, from various surveys and studies, on
distribution of the purchaser’s food dollar, distribution costs of different com­
modities, advertising expenses, and total operating expenses of wholesalers and
retailers in merchandising different lines of goods.
Scientific consumer purchasing: A study guide on buying problems. By Alice L.
Edwards. Washington, American Association of University Women, 1939.
81 pp. (Social Studies Series.)
Canvasses the various sources of information that can be used as guides by
consumers, including reports of testing laboratories, grades and specifications,
labels, etc. Contains one chapter on consumers’ cooperatives as a means of
supplying consumer needs.
Consumer credit bibliography. Compiled by Ernestine Wilder. New York,
Consumer Credit Institute of America, Inc., 1938. 142 pp.
The references cover material on illegal lending, and on credit facilities available
through credit unions, industrial banks, remedial loan societies, personal finance
companies, and other agencies.

Cost and Standards of Living
Living costs in 1938. By Faith M. Williams. Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics, 1939. 7 pp., chart. (Serial No. R. 907, reprint from March 1939
Monthly Labor Review.)
Consumer purchases in Chicago. Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
1939. 29 pp., charts. (Serial No. R. 904, reprint from May 1939 Monthly
Labor Review.)
Preliminary report on forthcoming Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 642,
Volume II, Family expenditures in Chicago, 1935-36.
1472


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Recent Publications of Labor Interest

1473

Family income and expenditures— Pacific region: Part 1, Family income. Wash­
ington, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1939. 380 pp., charts. (Mis­
cellaneous Publication No. 339.)
One of a series of reports covering incomes and expenditures of small city and
village families. It is based on the consumer-purchases study made by the Bureau
of Home Economics of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with
the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U. S. Department of Labor, the National
Resources Committee, and the Central Statistical Board. The first volume in the
corresponding income series published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is “Fam­
ily income in Chicago, 1935-36” (Bulletin No. 642, Volume I).
Current living costs as related to standards of public assistance in Pennsylvania.
Harrisburg, Department of Public Assistance, 1938. 52 pp., charts.
Final [sixth] report of Advisory Council on Nutrition, Australia. Canberra, De­
partment of Health, 1938. 166 pp.
Report of a study of food consumption among 1,789 families in five cities in
different parts of Australia. The data cover expenditures for food, amount of food
consumed, and food value of the different diets. A special study was made of the
nutritional status of children in inland Australia and the metropolitan areas of
Sydney.
Inquerito sobre as condigoes da alimentagao popular no Distrito Federal. By Joño
de Barros Barreto, Josué de Castro, and Almir Castro. . (In Boletim do
Ministério do Trabalho, Indùstria e Comércio, Rio de Janeiro, December 1938,,
pp. 263-284; January 1939, pp. 298-324.)
Account and analysis of a budgetary and nutrition study of 12,106 families
(60,149 persons) living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the suburbs, and adjacent rural
areas, made in the period from September 1936 to October 1937. The question­
naire used is reproduced, together with the instructions and definitions supplied
for the guidance of those who collected the information.

Domestic Service
Domestic workers in private homes. By Rae L. Needleman. (In Social Security
Bulletin, U. S. Social Security Board, Washington, March 1939, pp. 10-20;
charts.)
This article gives data on sex, age, and racial distribution of domestic workers
as recorded in the census of 1930, and of applicants for employee account numbers
under the Social Security Act, prior to 1938. It is stated that nearly 5 percent of
all gainfully occupied persons in the United States are customarily engaged in
domestic service in private homes.
Domestic service in various countries. (In Industrial and Labor Information, Inter­
national Labor Office, Geneva, April 3, 1939, pp. 423-427; April 10, 1939,
pp. 459-464.)
Shows what has been done through legislative and other measures to improve
conditions in domestic service in the United States and 10 foreign countries.
The servant problem. By Charles S. Myers. (In Occupational Psychology,
London, April 1939, pp. 76-88.)
Describes the causes of the existing defective quality and quantity of the domes­
tic labor supply in Great Britain and stresses the need for improvement in the
social status of domestic servants and in their working conditions, selection, and
training. Mechanization in household work and other modern changes are also
discussed.
Arbeidsvilk&rene for hushjelp i norske byer. Oslo, Statistiske Centralbyrá, 1938.
119 pp.
Report on working conditions of domestic servants in Norway, including data
on training and experience, wages, working hours, and social insurance. In
Norwegian, with table of contents and main table heads also in French.
Help wanted. By Cara Cook. New York, Women’s Trade Union League, 1939.
24 pp.
Prepared to focus some of the thinking and discussion concerning domestic
workers’ problems on a legislative solution. Contains a proposed model agree­
ment for household employment.


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1474

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Economic and Social Problems
Investigation of concentration of economic power. Hearings, December 1-3, 1938,
before Temporary National Economic Committee, 75th Congress of the
United States, 3d sess., pursuant to Public Res. No. 113 (75th Cong.).
Part I, Economic prologue. Washington, 1939. 252 pp., charts.
Volume 1 consists of a statement by the chairman of the committee, and of
testimony by the executive secretary, by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics,
who is a member of the committee, and by the advisor on economic studies of
the Department of Commerce. The testimony dealt broadly with the measure­
ment of the performance of the national economy in terms of its efficiency in
meeting the requirements of the people; the nature of the country’s economic
system and of the machinery by which it operates; and an analysis of the signifi­
cance of the testimony presented in relation to the work of the committee. The
testimony was summarized in the Monthly Labor Review, January 1939, pages
1-15 (reprinted as Serial No. R. 865).
Labor, machines, and depressions. By Alfred Baker Lewis. (In Industrial De­
mocracy, League for Industrial Democracy, New York, December 1938,
pp. 3-29.)
The author explains depressions not as a result of the use of machines but
rather as a result of “inner contradictions” in our economy, such as the problem
of reconciling wages as cost of production with wages as consumer income.
He states that the effects of the contradictory features of our economy have
been counteracted historically by the opportunities for almost uninterrupted
expansion, but that changed conditions require changes in the economic system
more vital than those as yet undertaken.
Labor’s stake in trade agreements and foreign trade. By Lynn R. Edminster. (In
Press Releases, U. S. Department of State, Washington, April 22, 1939, pp.
353-361.)
Address by special assistant to the Secretary of State, discussing the advantages
to American labor of the foreign-trade-agreements program.
Seven shifts. Edited by Jack Common. London, Seeker & Warburg, 1938.
xi, 271 pp.
This unusual volume is a result of observations by the editor that workers are
usually “mute as far as print goes, though exceedingly vocal in public houses.”
He induced seven workers to set down their experiences and impressions for
publication. The workers are a plasterer, a steam worker, a gas worker, a man
in charge of a stall in a market, a blast-furnace worker, a railway fireman, and a
World War veteran whose main experience is described as a quest for work. The
editor claims that in the main the narratives are “plain fact, the little details of
the daily job,” giving the reader a good idea of what it would be like to take the
places of the writers on their jobs.
Economic conditions in France and the United States. By Harrison F. Houghton.
New York, National Industrial Conference Board, Inc., 1939. 16 pp. (Con­
ference Board Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 9.)
A study of economic conditions in the two countries as they have been affected
by the measures of Government intervention and control of economic life instituted
as a result of the depression. Comparisons are made of national income, indus­
trial production, trends in the volume of building activity, expenditures for
national defense, employment and unemployment, wages, cost of living, whole­
sale prices, strikes and lock-outs, agricultural production, the capital structure,
and foreign trade. The program of the Popular Front Government in France
and recent changes modifying that program are discussed and data given on the
public debt in the two countries.
The economic recovery of Germany from 1933 to incorporation of Austria in March
1938. By C. W. Guillebaud. London, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1939. xiv,
303 pp.
The author, who disclaims any political bias, makes use of official statistics in
describing the economic policies of the present government in Germany, especially
the rearmament and public works programs and the control of wages and of the
working classes. He believes that in place of militarization and the rearmaments
program other employment measures may be substituted, but he does not discuss
any expected political adjustment of the regime on a nonmilitary basis.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Recent Publications of Labor Interest

1475

Employment and Unemployment
Revised, estimates of total nonagricultural employment. By Loring Wood. Wash­
ington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 13 pp.; mimeographed.
Estimates by months from January 1929 to February 1939, by 7 major classi­
fications, namely, manufacturing and mining; construction; transportation and
public utilities; trade and finance; service and miscellaneous; government, educa­
tion, and professional services; and domestic service and related employment.
Wage earners and salaried workers are combined. There are also estimates by
years of the number of officials, proprietors, and self-employed persons for each
of the classifications except domestic service and related employment.
Indexes of employment and pay rolls in Kentucky. By Edgar Z. Palmer and Ray­
mond Celia. Frankfort, Unemployment Compensation Commission, 1939.
37 pp., charts; mimeographed. (Research Report No. 8.)
Seasonal employment in agriculture. By Benjamin J. Free. Washington, U. S.
Works Progress Administration, 1938. 58 pp., charts.
Seasonal variations are computed for the country as a whole and for the im­
portant farming areas, the computations covering family workers and hired
workers, separately and in combination, for the period 1925-36. Variations in the
employment of family workers are partly the result of a mere transfer from school
or from household work during periods of peak demand for labor. The most
extreme variations are in the employmeiit of hired workers and the effects are most
serious in the case of hired workers because of their dependence on wages.
Employment and its seasonality in Tasmania. By H. J. Exley and F. R. E. Mauldon. Hobart, State Finance Committee, 1938. 27 pp., charts. (Studies of
the Tasmanian Economy, No. 7.)
A discussion of available measures of employment and unemployment and an
interpretation of them.

Health and Industrial Hygiene
Disabling industrial morbidity, third and fourth quarters of 1988 and entire year.
By William M. Gafafer. (In Public Health Reports, U. S. Public Health
Service, Washington, April 28, 1939, pp. 691-695; charts.)
The frequency of sickness and nonindustrial injuries lasting more than 1 week
is shown for male employees in 26 industrial sick-benefit organizations. The
frequency rate for all causes in 1938 was 80.8 per 1,000 which was 19 percent
below the 1937 figure and the lowest rate since 1934. The favorable showing was
due largely to the decrease in frequency of influenza and grippe.
Time lost by industrial workers from disabling sickness and accidents during the
early days of disability. By William M. Gafafer. (In American Journal of
Public Health, American Public Health Association, New York, April 1939,
pp. 359-370; charts.)
Analysis of records of disabilities lasting 1 day or longer that occurred among
employees of a public utility company in Massachusetts during the 5-year period
1933-37. As the majority of sick-benefit organizations require a 7-day waiting
period before payment of benefits, the data presented in the report are of interest
from the standpoint of the effect of a waiting period of this length on recorded lost
time from disability. Data are also presented showing the possible effect of a
waiting period of any length up to and including 21 days.
Evaluation of industrial hygiene problem of State of Utah. By Richard T. Page
and J. J. Bloomfield. Washington, U. S. National Institute of Health,
Division of Industrial Hygiene, 1938. Various paging; mimeographed.
A survey made by the U. S. Public Health Service and the Utah State Board of
Health of the exposure of workers to specified materials in about 300 plants and
mines. The study shows the extent of the provisions for medical and health
services, and gives data on sickness and accidents among the workers surveyed,
the extent of exposure to various substances, and exposure-control methods.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

1476

Report of director of Saranac Laboratory for Study of Tuberculosis, and financial
report for year ending September SO, 1938; reprints of scientific papers. Sar­
anac, N. Y., [1939?]. Various paging.
The subjects treated in the papers include dust and pulmonary disease; the
influence of silica on the natural and acquired resistance to the tubercle bacillus;
suggestions for the control of silicosis in mining; and the etiology of pneu­
moconiosis.
Toxikologie und hygiene der technischen losungsmittel. Herausgegeben von K. B.
Lehmann und F. Flury. Berlin, Verlag von Julius Springer, 1938. 295 pp.,
charts.
Deals with the use of chemical solvents, their injurious effects on workers, and
methods of protection.

Housing
The farm-housing survey. Washington, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1939.
42 pp., chart (map). (Miscellaneous Publication No. 323.)
Results of a canvass made in 1934 in order to measure the potential demand
for improved housing.
Housing the metropolis. New York, Citizen’s Housing Council of New York,
Inc., 1938. 47 pp.
Progress report on housing and neighborhood conditions, especially as affecting
families of low income throughout the city, and some recommendations for their
improvement by public and private action.
One-half of a hemisphere: Ill-housed. By Bertram M. Gross. (In Quarterly
Journal of Inter-American Relations, Cambridge, Mass., April 1939, pp.
88-96).
This article on the housing problem in the United States and the Latin-Ameri­
can countries cites the need for more educational work in order to establish a
housing program for the Americas.
Housing construction and the building industry. (In Bulletin of Hamburg World’s
Economic Archives, Vol. V, No. 9, 1939, pp. 134-137.)
A discussion of the housing shortage with particular reference to the needs of
Germany and the methods being employed in providing dwellings.
Report of Committee on Scottish Building Costs. Edinburgh, Department of Health
for Scotland, 1939. 44 pp. (Cmd. 5977.)
Findings of the committee’s study of the reasons for the increase in the cost
of building working-class dwellings in Scotland.
Data concerning housing agencies, their functions and organization, in Chile and
Argentina, Denmark and Spain, France, Italy, and Soviet Union. New York,
New York City Housing Authority, 1938. Five volumes, various paging;
mimeographed.
Reports prepared by Division of Foreign Housing Studies of New York City
Works Progress Administration. The report for each country contains a list of
housing agencies and a bibliography.
Mopin system of housing construction. By Arthur Bassin and Victor C. Gifford.
New York, New York City Housing Authority, 1938. 15 pp., diagrams;
mimeographed.
Technical report on a system of low-cost multiple-dwelling buildings originated
in France. The first in a series of studies, by Division of Foreign Housing Studies
of New York City Works Progress Administration, of new developments in
design and construction of housing projects abroad.

Industrial Accidents and Workmen’s Compensation
Industrial injuries in the United States during 1937. By Max D. Kossoris and
Swen Kjaer. Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 19 pp.
(Serial No. R. 909, reprint from March 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Recent Publications of Labor Interest

1477

liv e .
By Stewart H. Holbrook. New York, Macmillan Co., 1938.
178 pp.
A nontechnical sketch of the indifference of past generations to accident factors,
relying on anecdote rather than statistics. A pungent analysis of the callousness
which attributed accidents, and sometimes catastrophes, to Divine Providence.
The focus of the book is the slow development of a safety movement based on the
recognition that accidents are preventable and that it is up to mankind to do the
preventing.
L e t th e m

By Pierre Boulin.
Paris, J.-B . Baillière et Fils, 1939. 157 pp.
The author considers the causes of industrial accidents, the value of statistics
in promoting accident prevention, education of the workers in safety measures,
first-aid, and programs of free factory inspection.

O r g a n is a tio n d e la s é c u r ité d u tr a v a il p r é v e n tio n d e s a c c id e n ts .

F o u r te e n th r e p o r t o f B o a r d o f C o m p e n s a tio n C o m m is s io n e r s , C o n n e c tic u t, c o v e r in g
p e r io d N o v e m b e r 1 , 1 9 8 6 - N o v e m b e r 1 , 1 9 8 8 .
Hartford, 1938. 12 pp.

Mainly a discussion of the general problem of workmen’s compensation adminis­
tration in Connecticut. Indicates that the silicosis problem in that State has been
solved by preventive measures.
T h ir te e n th b ie n n ia l r e p o r t o f W o r k m e n ’s C o m p e n s a tio n S e r v ic e , I o w a , f o r p e r io d
e n d in g J u n e 8 0 , 1 9 3 8 .
Des Moines, 1938. 444 pp.
A n n u a l r e p o r t o f C o m m is s io n o f L a b o r a n d I n d u s t r y ( W o r k m e n ’s C o m p e n s a tio n
D e p a r t m e n t) , K a n s a s , f o r f is c a l y e a r e n d in g J u n e 8 0 , 1 9 3 8 .
Topeka, 1939.

12 pp., pasters.
M a j o r i t y a n d m i n o r i t y r e p o r ts o f R e c e s s C o m m itte e , 8 8 th L e g is la tu r e , M a i n e , o n
C o m p e n s a tio n f o r O c c u p a tio n a l D is e a s e s , a n d a c t r e c o m m e n d e d \ b y m a j o r i t y .

Augusta, 1939. 54 pp.
The proposed law provides for extension of the present workmen’s compen­
sation law of Maine to cover occupational diseases.
E ia h th b ie n n ia l b u lle tin o f C o m p e n s a tio n I n s u r a n c e B o a r d , M in n e s o ta .
[1 9 3 9 ].

St. Paul,

24 pp.

A discussion, from the point of view of State regulatory officers, of the history,
basis, and methods of workmen’s compensation insurance rating.
E le v e n th a n n u a l r e p o r t o f M i s s o u r i W o r k m e n ’s C o m p e n s a tio n C o m m is s io n , f o r
s t a t i s t ic a l y e a r o f 1 9 8 7 a n d o p e r a tin g y e a r o f 1 9 3 8 .
Jefferson City, [1939].

22 pp.
A n n u a l r e p o r t o f I n d u s t r i a l C o m m is s io n o f O h io a n d O h io S ta te W o r k m e n ’s C o m ­
p e n s a tio n I n s u r a n c e F u n d , f o r y e a r s e n d e d D e c e m b e r 3 1 , 1 9 2 8 - 1 9 8 7 .
Colum­

bus, 1938. 37 pp.
Compiled to cover “the most difficult economic era in the history of workmen’s
compensation,” the 10-year period from 1928 to 1937. The report indicates the
sound financial condition of the fund, but emphasizes the need for more adequate
facilities for its expanding operations.
By Arnold
Wilson and Hermann Levy. New York, Oxford University Press, 1939.
xxi, 328 pp.
Review of the social and political development of workmen’s compensation in
England. In examining the operation of the legislation in England, the authors
emphasize the meager benefits to injured workers and the unsatisfactory procedure
under the present system of court administration. A second volume will point
out the methods and arrangements proposed for remedying the situation and inau­
gurating a new system of administration by officers who are specialists in
workmen’s compensation.
W o r k m e n ’s c o m p e n s a tio n : V o lu m e I , S o c ia l a n d p o l i t i c a l d e v e lo p m e n t.

Industrial Relations
By Florence Peterson. Washington,
U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 13 pp. (Serial No. R. 893, reprint
from February 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)

E le c tio n s u n d e r S t a t e la b o r r e la tio n s a c ts .

1 4 9 0 0 1 — 3 9 ------- 16


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1478

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Problems of the National Labor Relations Board. Washington, American Associa­
tion for Economic Freedom, [1939J. 66 pp.
Compilation of material, from Bulletin of the International Juridical Associa­
tion, based upon the assumption that “a democractic society must avow in deed
as well as word the right of workingmen to organize as they choose and to bargain
in industry through such organizations of their choice.”
Preliminary report of New York State Joint Legislative Committee on Industrial
and Labor Relations. Albany, 1939. 87 pp., charts. (Legislative Document,
1939, No. 57.)
Report of committee appointed to study methods of providing self-government
of industry through self-regulation, the English method of dealing with industrial
self-regulation, and profit-sharing systems in the United States.
The closed shop. New York, National Industrial Conference Board, Inc., 1939.
11 pp. (Studies in Personnel Policy, No. 12.)
Expressions of employers’ opinion regarding the closed shop, based on replies
from 102 companies which have agreements with labor organizations.
Machinery for industrial peace. By John J. Stonborough. (In The Sign, Passionist Missions, Inc., Union City, N. J., May 1939, pp. 603-605.)
Outlines the principles underlying systems for settling labor disputes in foreign
countries, suggests study of existing machinery here and abroad, and recommends
wider application of certain methods already proven to be effective.
Decasualization of longshore work in San Francisco: Methods and results of control
of dispatching and hours worked, 1935—37. By Marvel Keller. Washington,
U. S. Works Progress Administration, 1939. xx, 157 pp., charts, bibliog­
raphy. (Studies of Effects of Industrial Change on Labor Markets, National
Research Project, Report No. L-2.)
The port of San Francisco was decasualized in 1934 following the award of the
U. S. National Longshoremen’s Board appointed by President Roosevelt to
arbitrate the issues of the 1934 longshore strike on the West Coast. This study
on decasualization of longshore work in San Francisco contains a detailed descrip­
tion of the operations of the longshore dispatch system and its effect on employ­
ment and earnings of longshoremen in San Francisco. The study may be regarded
as a logical follow-up to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 550, on
“Cargo handling and longshore labor conditions,” from which much of the statis­
tical information, particularly on ports other than San Francisco, was adapted.
Strikes— a study in quantitative economics. By John I. Griffin. New York,
Columbia University Press, 1939. 319 pp., bibliography. (Studies in
History, Economics, and Public Law, No. 451.)
Reworking of strike data issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, together
with State data, particularly in Massachusetts, not heretofore published.
Arbetsinstdllelser och kollektivavtal samt forlikningsmannens verksamhet dr 1937.
Stockholm, Socialstyrelsen, 1939. 140 pp.
Annual report on industrial disputes, collective bargaining, and conciliation in
Sweden in 1937. In Swedish, with table of contents and resume in French.
Labor and

Social Legislation

Chapters in the history of social legislation in the United States to 1860. By Henry
W. Farnam. Edited by Clive Day. Washington, Carnegie Institution of
Washington, 1938. xx, 496 pp. (Publication No. 488.)
A history of criminal syndicalism legislation in the United States. By Eldridge
Foster Dowell. Baltimore, 1939. 176 pp. (Johns Hopkins University
Studies in Historical and Political Science, Series LVII, No. 1.)
Home-work laws in the States. (In Wage and Hour Reporter, Bureau of National
Affairs, Washington, March 27, 1939, pp. 5-10.)
Summarizes the laws of the 18 States which now have legislation regulating
the employment of persons performing manufacturing and related work at home.
Small loan laws of the United States— a condensed summary. By Le Baron R.
Foster. Newton, Mass., Poliak Foundation for Economic Research, 1939.
23 pp. (Poliak Pamphlet 37.)


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Recent Publications of Labor Interest

1479

Colegao das leis trabalhistas [Brazil], Rio de Janeiro, Minist^rio do Trabalho,
Industria, e Comercio, Departamento de Estatistica e Publicidade, 1939.
5 pamphlets; various paging.
Collection of Brazilian laws, decrees, and orders, through May 26, 1938, relat­
ing to hours of work in commerce and offices, industry, and public utilities; dis­
charge without just cause; and the collective labor contract.
Labor legislation in Canada as existing December 81, 1987. Ottawa, Department
of Labor, 1938. 756 pp.
Protective legislation for shop and office employees. By J. Hallsworth. London,
George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., 1939. 253 pp. 3d ed., revised.
Outlines the existing British legislation, evaluates its effectiveness, and sug­
gests needed amendments.
L a b o r O r g a n i z a t i o n a n d Activities

The United Rubber Workers of America. By S. H. Dalrymple. (In Labor Informa­
tion Bulletin, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, April 1939,
pp. 4-7, illus.)
Trade unionism. By John A. Mahon. London, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1938. 95 pp.
(New People’s Library, Vol. IX.)
Covers the growth and methods of trade-unions in Great Britain.
The trade-unions and labor policy in Scandinavia — Denmark, Norway, Sweden.
(In International Trade-Union Movement, International Federation of
Trade-Unions, Paris, January-February 1939, pp. 9-33.)
Den svenska fackforeninqsrorelsen. By Sigfrid Hansson. Stockholm, Tidens
forlag, 1938. 459 pp.
A study of the trade-union movement in Sweden.
Migratory Labor

Depression pioneers. By David Cushman Coyle. Washington, U. S. Works
Progress Administration, 1939. 19 pp. (Social Problems, No. 1.)
This pamphlet is described as the first of a series designed to present reliable
nontechnical information on social problems of general interest. The first number
deals with migratory labor, especially the displaced farmers who have moved in
recent years in large numbers to new regions in quest of opportunities for establish­
ing themselves anew as farm operators. A brief bibliography is appended.
“I wonder where we can go nowf” (In Fortune, New York, April 1939, pp. 91-100,
et seq.; maps, illus.)
The title of this article expresses a question which, it is stated, “a million-odd
migrant farm workers and their families ask, and nobody has the answer. Under­
employed, underfed, they are a national problem—most crucial in California.”
Fortune sent a reporter to California to work and live among the migrants in
order to get first-hand information on their way of living; the present article
describes the conditions he found. An account is also given of the work of the
Farm Security Administration in trying to cope with the problem.
Preliminary report on transient program of California State Relief Administration,
Los Angeles County, California, February 1939. By James B. Reese. [San
Francisco?], State Relief Administration, 1939. 26 pp.; mimeographed.
Based on a study of policy, techniques, and facilities for the care of transients,
as worked out through conferences with staff members of the State Relief Adminis­
tration, the Council of Social Agencies, public and private agencies, and interested
citizens.
Research memorandum on migration differentials. By Dorothy Swaine Thomas.
New York, Social Science Research Council, 1938. 423 pp. (Bulletin 43.)
The emphasis in the report is on certain characteristics which allegedly dif­
ferentiate migrants from the general or nonmigrating populations. The differ­
entials considered are age, sex, family status, physical and mental health, intel­
ligence, and occupation. A section is devoted to motivation and assimilation of
migrants, and some material on migrants in foreign countries is included. A
considerable part of the volume is devoted to bibliographies.


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1480

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939

Transients and migrants. By Victor Jones. Berkeley, University of California,
Bureau of Public Administration, February 27, 1939. 67 pp., bibliography;
mimeographed. (1939 Legislative Problems, No. 4.)
Points out some of the far-reaching ramifications of the socio-economic problems
of agricultural labor and emphasizes the inadequacy of the data on the subject
M i n i m u m

W a g e

Progress of State minimum-wage legislation, 1988. By Louise Stitt and Florence
P. Smith. Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 16 pp.
(Serial No. R. 892, reprint from February 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)
Selected list of recent references on minimum wage for women in the United States.
Compiled by Edna L. Stone. Washington, U. S. Department of Labor,
Library, April 1939. 9 pp.; mimeographed.
Salario minimo, lei e regulamento [Brazil], Rio de Janeiro, Ministerio do Trabalho,
Indùstria, e Comercio, Departamento de Estatistica e Publicidade, 1938.
58 pp.
The Brazilian minimum-wage law of January 14, 1936, and regulatory decree-law
of April 30, 1938, with some commentary documents.
British wages boards—a study_ in industrial democracy. By Dorothy Sells. Wash­
ington, Brookings Institution, 1939. 389 pp. (Institute of Economics,
Publication No. 77.)
Deals with the three types of wage-fixing machinery in Great Britain—volun­
tary, quasi-voluntary, and statutory. The history of the necessary legislation
to establish wage boards is reviewed and the administration of the system is
described. Appendixes contain illustrative material including wage orders and
forms of different kinds used by wage-fixing bodies.
The minimum wage—an international survey. Geneva, International Labor
Office (American branch, 734 Jackson Place NW., Washington), 1939. 257
pp. (Studies and Reports, Series D, No. 22.)
This monograph covers the experience with minimum-wage regulation in
Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand,
Peru, and the United States. References to source material are included for each
country. The introduction to the volume states that the International Labor
Office hopes to publish similar analyses of the experience of other countries,
together with a general survey of the principles and problems of minimum-wage
regulation.
O l d e r W o r k e r in I n d u s t r y

Influence of age on employment opportunities. By Dwight L. Palmer and John A.
Brownell. Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 16 pp.
(Serial No. R. 889, reprint from April 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)
Problem of older worker in United States and Europe. Washington U. S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 1939. 14 pp. (Serial No. R. 890, reprint from February
1939 Monthly Labor Review.)
R e l i e f M e a s u r e s a n d S t a tistics

Changing aspects of rural relief. By A. R. Mangus. Washington, U. S. Works
Progress Administration, Division of Social Research, 1938. xxiii, 238 pp.,
charts. (Research Monograph XIV.)
Federal aid for relief. By Edward Ainsworth Williams. New York, Columbia
University Press, 1939. 269 pp.
Analysis of Federal relief activities during the depression and of earlier methods
of caring for persons in need.


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Recent Publications of Labor Interest

1481

Reports on public assistance, to Administrator, Works Progress Administration for
City of New York, of advisory council and research staff. New York, 1939.
268 pp., charts.
Report of a study which, though instituted to assist the Works Progress Admin­
istrator of New York City on problems connected with the local administration of
work relief, was enlarged to include the whole subject of public assistance. The
study led to the conclusion that the only solution of the unemployment problem
lies in increased activity on the part of private enterprise, and that so long as
public assistance is necessary, it should be carried out in a way to maintain the
initiative, industry, and thrift of relief recipients, and also in a way which will not
militate against the ability of private enterprise to increase employment.
The report gives the detailed findings of the study on all phases of public assist­
ance in New York City.
U n e m p l o y m e n t I n s u r a n c e a n d Relief

Problems and procedures of unemployment compensation in the States. By Walter
Matscheck and Raymond C. Atkinson. Chicago, Public Administration
Service, 1939. 85 pp. (Publication No. 65.)
Deals with matters in the administration of the unemployment-compensation
laws which raise procedural or legislative problems. These questions include
coverage and contribution collection, benefit procedure, employee earnings
records, base period and benefit year, weekly benefit rate, partial unemployment,
seasonality, and merit rating.
The case for experience rating in unemployment compensation and a proposed
method. By Herman Feldman and Donald M. Smith. New York, Industrial
Relations Counselors, Inc., 1939. 66 pp. (Industrial Relations Monograph
No. 1.)
The study is an argument in favor of “experience rating,” or “merit rating”
as it has been called, and a formula is suggested which is considered practical
from the standpoint of administration.
Report of Dominion Commissioner of Unemployment Relief. Ottawa, Department
of Labor, 1939. 44 pp.
Covers the various relief activities under the Canadian Unemployment and
Agricultural Assistance Act of 1938 and earlier legislation.
Report of Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee [Great Britain ] as to
holidays and suspensions in relation to unemployment insurance. London, 1938.
21 p p .

The committee discusses questions which have arisen in regard to payment of
unemployment benefits and contributions during holidays or suspensions of work,
and suggests amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act to define the posi­
tion of claimants for benefit in regard to such periods.
A short history of the unemployed [Great Britain]. By Wal Hannington. London»
Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1938. 94 pp. (New People’s Library, Vol. XV.)
Recor'ds important events in connection with unemployment, and the influence
of organized labor on governmental action in alleviating the condition of the
unemployed.
Vacations

With P a y

Developments in company vacation plans. New York, National Industrial Con­
ference Board, Inc., 1939. 23 pp. (Studies in Personnel Policy, No. 13.)
Analysis of the extent and operation of vacation plans for wage earners in 210
companies.
Vacations with pay in industry, 1937. By Frances Jones and Dorothy Smith.
Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 38 pp. (Serial No.
R. 903, reprint from Monthly Labor Review, August and December 1938,
June 1939.)
Workers’ holidays in Belgium. By Henri James. (In International Labor
Review, Geneva, February 1939, pp. 184-208.)
In this article the director of the Belgian National Office for Workers’ Holidays
discusses the problems involved in the granting of paid holidays in Belgium, legal
regulation of paid holidays, administration of the system, and vacation facilities.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1482

Monthly Labor Review— June 1939
Usages a n d H o u r s

of L a b o r

Wages and hours in 1938. By Witt Bowden. Washington, U. S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 1939. 22 pp., charts. (Serial No. R. 906, reprint from
March 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)
Earnings of full-fashioned hosiery workers in union mills, 1938. Philadelphia,
Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, Industrial Research Depart­
ment, 1938. 60 pp.; mimeographed.
Union scales of wages and hours of motortruck drivers, June 1, 1938. Washington,
U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 12 pp. (Serial No. R. 912, reprint
from March 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)
Second report on wages, working conditions, etc., in paper-making industry of certain
countries. Amsterdam, International Federation of General Factory Work­
ers, 1939. 55 pp.
Wages and hours of union street-railway employees, 1938. Washington, U. S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1939. 10 pp. (Serial No. R. 896, reprint from
February 1939 Monthly Labor Review.)
Wages in Mexico, 1937 and 1938. Washington, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
1939. 22 pp. (Serial No. R. 897, reprint from February 1939 Monthly
Labor Review.)
Wages in Yugoslavia, December 1935 and 1937. Washington, U. S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 1939. 3 pp. (Serial No. R. 913, reprint from March 1939
Monthly Labor Review.)
Relative movements of real wages and output. By J. M. Keynes. (In Economic
Journal, London, March 1939, pp. 34-51.)
In this article, the author tentatively modifies his view, as expressed in his
volume on the “General theory of employment,” that increased output is usually
associated with a falling real wage. His new views are based largely on the
work of Lorie Tarshis in an article on “ Changes in real and money wages” in
the same number of the Economic Journal (pp. 150-154) and on the work of
J. G. Dunlop in articles on “The movement of real and money wage rates”
(Economic Journal, September 1938), and “Real wages in the United States
and Great Britain” (Canadian Journal of Economics, August 1938).
W a g e rates, investment, and employment.
By E. M. Bernstein. (In Journal of
Political Economy, Chicago, April 1939. pp. 218-231.)
An argument, based on assumptions of competitive production and prices, to
the effect that during a depression general reductions of wages do not promote
the employment of labor, but that reductions of wages in the industries that
produce capital goods, combined with reductions in interest rates, would tend to
stimulate employment by inducing businessmen to increase investment.


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