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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. N. DOAK, Secretary

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
ETHELBERT STEWART, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES\
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B U RE A U O F L A B O R S T A T I S T I C S /.................... 1N 0•

r AO

E M P L O Y M E N T AND U N E M P L O Y M E N T SERIES

REPORT OF THE
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

MAY, 1931

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON s 1931

For sale by the Superintendent pf Documents, Washington, D. C.




Price 10 cents




Contents
Page

Introduction______________________ _______ ______ ______________________
P a r t 1.— Measurement of employment and unemployment_____________
I. Measurement of the course of employment_____________________
1. Improvement of the indexes of employment________________
2. The measurement of part-time employment________________
3. The timeliness of the series of employment of railroad labor.II. Measurement of the course of unemployment__________________
P a r t 2.— Studies in “ technological unemployment” ____________________
I. Basic data_____________________________________________________
II. Special studies_________________________________________________
P a r t 3.— Administrative recommendations_____________________________
Memorandum on technological unemployment, by Ewan Clague________
Causes of unemployment__________________________________________
Types of productivity and technological unemployment studies which
have been made_________________________________________________
Advantages and disadvantages of the various methods of study_____
Suggested recommendations_______________________________________




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BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
no.

542

WASHINGTON

m ay

, m i

REPORT OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Introduction
On August 12, 1930, the following committee was appointed by
the President to advise him “ on methods by which we should set up
statistics of employment and unemployment ” :
James J. Davis,1 ex officio; Noel Sargent; R. P. Lamont, ex officio; W. M.
Steuart; Harold F. Browne; Ethelbert Stewart; John P. Frey; Arthur O.
Wharton; P. W. Litchfield; Leo Wolman; Joseph H. Willits, chairman.

The committee, called together on October 22, 1930, was asked
by the President also to consider the subject of “ technological un­
employment,” and, if it seemed wise, to make recommendations con­
cerning the studies which should be made of this problem.
For the exploration of these two subjects two subcommittees were
appointed and to each a considerable number of technical experts
were added as advisers. These two subcommittees with their techni­
cal advisers were as follows:
Subcommittee on measurement of employment and unemployment.—Leo Wol­
man, chairman; Noel Sargent; Harold F. Browne; Arthur O. Wharton.
Technical advisers.—W. O. Berridge; Thomas S. Holden; Otto B eyer; R. Hurlin ; Meredith Givens; Bryce M. Stewart; E. F. Hartley; Matthew Woll.
Subcommittee on technological unemployment.—Joseph H. Willits, chairman;
John P. F rey; P. W. Litchfield.
Technical advisers.—Anne Bezanson; William Green; Ewan Clague; H. S.
Person; J. M. Clark; Sumner Slichter; Benjamin Squires.

It is a privilege to record the debt which the committee is under to
its technical advisers, who, although not technically members of the
committee, contributed fundamentally to the committee’s analysis of
its problem.
It is a pleasure also to record the contribution which was made to
the work of the committee by the Social Science Besearch Council,
not only for the assistance which was rendered by their staff and for
the use of their offices as a meeting place, but also because they made
available funds with which to meet the traveling expenses of certain
members of the subcommittees.
Part I represents, therefore, the report of the subcommittee on
measurement of employment and unemployment, with such slight
modifications as were made by the entire committee.
Part II represents the report of the subcommittee on technological
unemployment, with such modifications as were made by the entire
committee.
1 The place of Secretary James J. Davis was later taken by Secretary W. N. Doak when
the latter became Secretary of Labor.




1

P art 1.— Measurement of Employment and
Unemployment
The terms of reference on this problem are indicated in the fol­
lowing statement of President Hoover issued on July 29,1930:
I am to-day appointing a committee to advise the governmental departments
on methods for revision of the statistical services for the determination of
unemployment and to establish the method of cooperation between Government
departments and business. Congress at the last session added somewhat to
the requirements of this service, the purpose of such information being not
only a barometer of business but the necessary information as to measures
which need to be taken by local agencies as well as the Government in any
constructive relief of unemployment.
The question is not as simple as it appears on the surface. The inclusion
of a determination of the amount of unemployment in the census taken April 1
gives us for the first time an accurate base on which to formulate plans and a
knowledge on the whole problem which we have never hitherto possessed.
But if we were to attempt such an absolutely accurate determination of employ­
ment once every three months it would require a house-to-house canvass of
the entire Nation and would be practically the equivalent of the census, and
might cost us ten or fifteen million dollars per annum * * *.

Measuring the course of employment and unemployment involves
two distinct problems. Only when there is a complete and con­
tinuous record of the changes in all known sources of employment
in the country is it possible to draw from the statistics of employ­
ment satisfactory inferences as to the probable volume and course of
unemployment. Lacking such a perfect record of employment, esti­
mates of changes in the volume of unemployment must be based
(a) upon a count of the total numbers unemployed on a date or
during a specified period, and (&) upon changes in indexes of em­
ployment that are regarded as representative of the available sources
of employment. When two such bodies of data are available, the
statistical procedure of estimating the numbers unemployed from
time to time consists in applying indexes of employment to the base
count of the unemployed. Error in the final results of this pro­
cedure or differences of opinion as to validity of alternative esti­
mates of unemployment arise, naturally, from variations in the defi­
nition of unemployment used in the base count of the unemployed,
and from doubts concerning the representative character of the
indexes of employment.
I. Measurement of the Course of Employment
Statistics of the number of persons employed have a significance
of their own, aside from their use as a factor in estimating the
volume of unemployment. Thev are a valuable indicator of business
activity; they reveal the shift oi labor from one industry to another;
and where they are accompanied by the statistics of wage disburse­
ments, as they usually are, they are a valuable index of the pur­
chasing power of employees. Our statistics of employment have
2




REPORT OK EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

3

been vastly extended and improved during the past 10 years. At
the beginning of the period the Federal statistics of employment
covered only manufacturing industries and rail transportation.
Since 1920, and particularly m the past several years, new industrial
roups have been added, and the United States Bureau of Labor
tatistics and the Interstate Commerce Commission now supply the
employment records of the following industries:

f

DATE OF BEGINNING, AND INDUSTRY

December, 1914---------------------------------------- Manufacturing.
July, 1921________________________________ Railroads.
July, 1928________________________________ Wholesale and retail trade.
August, 1928_____________________________ Public utilities.
September, 1928---------------------------------------- Coal mining.
October, 1928_____________________________MetaUiferous mining.
May, 1929________________________________ Quarrying and nonmetallic mining.
October, 1928_____________________________ Hotels.
April, 1930_______________________________ Crude petroleum producing.
April, 1929_______________________________ Canning and preserving.
November, 1930_______________________ :_ Dyeing and cleaning.
_
Do___________________________________ Laundries.

During the month of December, 1930, therefore, the employment
data published by departments of the Federal Government cover
the foregoing comprehensive list of industries, representing a sample
of approximately 6,150,000 recipients of wages and salaries.
In the use of these materials for the interpretation of the state of
employment throughout American industry two serious difficulties
are encountered. Since many of the series now published have
become available in the past year or two, while some are much older,
it is not possible to obtain that perspective which is essential to a
sound understanding of the relative flow of -employment in various
industries. The index of employment, therefore, does not over the
past 10 years always include the same items. This defect, however,
is not remediable, since it is difficult and costly, if not impossible, to
go back far into the records of industry. The second and more
serious weakness of the present series is that they still omit large
and important categories of employment, notably the various
branches of the construction industry, a great variety of service oc­
cupations that have become increasingly important in the occupa­
tional structure of American industry and agriculture. The seri­
ousness of these gaps becomes evident when the attempt, such as has
been made often since 1921, is made to account for the drop in em­
ployment that took place in the manufacturing and rail transporta­
tion industries after 1921. In the absence of employment records
for other industries and services, it proved to be impossible, except
by processes of broad estimate, to discover how far reduction in em­
ployment in one group of industries was accompanied by a growth
of employment, and therefore by the absorption of displaced
employees, in others.
Federal employment data, as they now stand, afford no satisfac­
tory measure of the amount of unemployment that arises out of the
part-time operation of industry. The statistics of wage disburse­
ments, which are generally published with the numbers employed,
are not satisfactory for this purpose since they reflect changes in the
rate of wages, as well as in the volume of employment.



4

REPORT OK EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

Current statistics of employment are, necessarily, only samples of
the total volume of employment. It follows, therefore, that new
series are more defective samples in the early period of their collec­
tion than in the later. Since the gathering of employment data
for new industries is a task of considerable magnitude this diffi­
culty can only be handled by constant effort to improve the size
and quality of the sample. For all of the industries included in
the employment series published by the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics, the samples bear evidence of marked and consistent
improvement. In a changing industry, also, even a large sample
may be misleading if it does not take into account such developments
in industry as the replacement of established firms by new ones, and
the rise of wholly new fields of employment. Particularly in a
period like that of the last decade, when many new industrial and
service occupations were created and grew to substantial propor­
tions, the failure to account for them m the employment series at
the proper time is bound to produce an inadequate, if not a mislead­
ing, picture of the true state of employment in the country.
Any measure of employment which is essentially a sample may,
in the course of time, develop a statistical bias, either upward or
downward, which acts to conceal the actual trend of employment.
It is the opinion of the statisticians concerned with the preparation
of the index of employment published by the Federal Keserve Board,
which is based on the data supplied by the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics, that the bureau indexes of manufacturing employ­
ment exhibit, over long periods of time? a downward bias. Where
past studies tend to support this view it is essential that arrange­
ments be made to compare, at frequent intervals, the sample data
published by the bureau with total counts, such as were in the past
available in the biennial reports of the Census of Manufactures. In
making these comparisons much remains to be done toward recon­
ciling the classifications of industry employed by separate and inde­
pendent statistical agencies of the Government.
Much of the value of indexes of employment depends upon their
timeliness. Considerable progress has been made in the prompt pub­
lication of the current series. It is unfortunate that the series of
employment and wages of railroad employees, compiled by the Inter­
state Commerce Commission, becomes available two months later than
the series for other industries, published by the United States Bureau
of Labor Statistics.
In view of these observations of the character of the present
statistics of employment published by the statistical agencies of
the Federal Government, this committee makes the following recom­
mendations for the improvement and greater accuracy of our meas­
ures of the course of employment:
1. Improvement of the Indexes of Employment

(a)
Manufacturing industries.—Shortly after the depression of
1921 the bureau began increasing not only the size of the sample in
those few manufacturing industries which it had theretofore been
measuring but also (even more important) it greatly expanded the
number of manufacturing industries represented. By the middle of
1923 the number of separate manufacturing industries represented



REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

5

had been raised to 50, or more than four times as many as had been
sampled a year earlier. At the present time the number of such
industries sampled each month is in excess of 60, including some
which have only become important in recent years, such as rayon,
radio, and aircraft, some of which were, however, previously included
in other categories in the bureau’s employment statistics. Over 14,000
plants, employing about 3,000,000 workers, reported in November,
1930. As a whole, this sample is now very adequate—about 40 per
cent of all manufacturing wage earners.
In recent years the bureau has classified these manufacturing indus­
tries into major industrial groups comparable with the system of
classification used by the Bureau of the Census. It also classifies the
plants into regional groups, according to the nine standard geo­
graphic divisions long used by the Bureau of the Census. Both the
major industrial classification and the geographic grouping of the
data each month are features which greatly increase the practical
usefulness of the current data to the business men of the country and
to other users of employment and pay-roll statistics.
This committee feels that it is important to urge upon the Bureau
of Labor Statistics certain technical improvements which might well
be made in the character of the index numbers computed by the
bureau from the month-to-month changes which it records.
The Federal Reserve Board has carried out the tests necessary to
bring the bureau indexes into alignment with the data on employment
in the biennial census of manufactures.
Since the carrying out of these various types of test and adjust­
ment necessarily involve considerable labor, we would recommend
that the proper authorities consider the possibility of directly utiliz­
ing in the Bureau of Labor Statistics the results obtained by the
Federal Reserve Board’s division of research and statistics since it
first studied the problem in 1923. That organization has already
completed the tests and adjustments through the census of 1927, and
is doubtless contemplating doing so for that of 1929. Some such
labor-saving arrangement would seem especially commendable in
view of the large amount of other work which the Bureau of Labor
Statistics is engaged upon and under limited appropriations.
One other project concerning factory employment data impresses
this committee as worthy of consideration. This is the possibility
that the bureau could tabulate emploj^ment data for at least some
leading cities, and possibly for entire States, in those areas where no
State department of labor is conducting local tabulations. It is true
that many important cities are already on record through the work
of State bureaus, but in many other areas, particularly in the South,
no suitable data are being collected locally. Through such a segre­
gation the Federal bureau might find that the localized data thus
made available would arouse such interest as to stimulate such an
undertaking by official local organizations in cooperation with the
bureau.
(b)
Nonrrmnufacturing employments.—The committee wishes to
place on record its appreciation of the initiative shown by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics in beginning the collection of employment
and pay-roll data for various nonmanufacturing activities. From
1928 to date these additional activities included coal mining, both
47941°— 31------2




6

REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

bituminous and anthracite; m<' 1
*
"
*
lie mining; crude petroleum
types; trade, both wholesale
7
,
o
serving; laundries; and dyeing and cleaning establishments. These
data greatly broaden and clarify the public’s view of what is hap­
pening currently to the employment and buying power of wage earn­
ers throughout the country.
The committee strongly urges, however, that the Bureau of Labor
Statistics commence at the earliest possible moment to compile and
issue employment indexes for building and other construction activ­
ities. We understand that this project has been on the bureau’s
agenda for some time, and hope that it will be expedited to the
utmost. Private and public construction activity in its many forms
has in late years assumed a very great importance, and should be
a matter of employment and pay-roll record.
The practicability of a construction employment index on a na­
tional scale is suggested by the fact that it has already been carried
on locally in six States, and with some degree of success in Wis­
consin, Ohio, and Massachusetts, for periods ranging from two to
nine years. We assume that the importance of subcontractors will
not be overlooked in this connection, and also that the data now being
tabulated for the construction contracting division of the 1929 Cen­
sus of Distribution will be utilized as fully as possible—for example,
the monthly figures showing the number of skilled and unskilled
workmen on pay roll at the 15th of each month in 1929, and the year’s
total wages. That census will also be helpful in solving the sam­
pling ana other problems for the various divisions of construction
recognized by the census.
In regard to other employments, we recommend that (as rapidly
as opportunity arises) a similar project be launched for each of the
following, which besides covering some additional manual employ­
ments include also certain of the more important groups in the
“ white-collar class,” so called; we have not attempted to set up
these additional employments in order of priority: Investment bank­
ers and brokers; commercial banks and trust companies; mortgage
and title companies; mutual and stock savings banks; building and
loan organizations; life, casualty, and property insurance companies;
advertising agencies; real estate brokerage and building mainte­
nance; restaurants; shipping and stevedoring; taxicab, bus, and
trucking companies; garages and automobile service stations; public
employment exclusive of public works.
(c)
The census of manufactures as a source of employment sta­
tistics.—Consideration of the factors involved in a proper under­
standing of employment conditions necessarily includes data com­
piled by the United States Census Bureau in connection with the
Census of Manufactures. From 1840 to 1900 these data were gath­
ered at 10-year intervals. From 1900 to 1920 they were compiled at
5-year intervals and since 1920 they have been published bien­
nially. These changes in frequency of gathering manufacturing
statistics have reflected the increasing importance of this branch of
industry in our national life. In the opinion of your committee,
the growing importance of manufactures in our social and economic
life has now reached a point where the collection of manufactures
data should be on an annual basis.



REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

7

It may be pertinent to point out that the lack of yearly data se­
riously affects the comparability of indexes of activity and expansion
of our leading basic industries, and that monthly employment, as
recorded in the biennial census, affords a most useful check on cur­
rent indexes of employment. Again, total wage payments by indus­
tries, States, cities, and other areas are needed, against which the
samples of wages collected at monthly or other intervals may be
measured.
It is scarcely necessary to emphasize the fact that the acceleration
of business, due to vastly improved methods of transportation and
communication, requires more timely data on industrial operations.
The change recommended in frequency of manufactures reports from
a biennial to an annual basis is not so great as the change involved in
the transition from the quinquennial to the biennial census of
manufactures.
Size of establishments by average number of wage earners em­
ployed: This table has been a feature of census returns up to and
including the 1923 biennial Census of Manufactures. It was omitted
from the 1925 and 1927 volumes on manufactures, but will again be
included in the 1929 reports. In this connection, we may say that
not only studies of labor problems but also any market analyses or
any research looking to the extension of business activity should
take into account such data on the number of wage earners employed
by size groups along with other factors.
Monthly employment of wage earners: Data showing the number
of wage earners employed in each month in the year were not com­
piled for the census of 1927, except for 13 selected industries. While
monthly wage-earner-employment figures are (we understand) prom­
ised for all industries in future censuses, it is not understood that
this applies to figures for States and other areas. It would be very
helpful and desirable indeed to have available monthly statistics
for: (1) The United States by States (as in 1921 and previously);
(2) each State by leading industries; (3) each industry by leading
States. Among many uses to which such data would be put, an im­
portant one is the testing by State bureaus of the seasonal soundness
and reliability of their respective samples, within each manufactur­
ing industry important witnin a particular State.
County statistics of manufactures: Statistics of manufactures by
counties are found in Volume VIII, Census of Manufactures, 1919,
(pages 239 to 277), and also in the reports of the Census of Manu­
factures for 1909/ The presentation of manufactures data by cities
and States does not give a sufficient breakdown to be of much assist­
ance in any use of the figures for sales analyses, market studies, or for
other purposes. Beside their use for labor purposes, advertising
agencies and other business interests throughout the United States
would like to see the bureau supply manufactures information by
counties, at least with respect to establishments, wage earners, wages,
cost of materials, value o f products, and value added by manufacture.
This information will be included, for all counties for which it is
possible to supply it without disclosing the data for individual
establishments (which is prohibited by the census law), in the pub­
lished census report for 1929. Similar information was published for




8

REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

1927 in mimeographed form but was not included in the census report
proper.
Statistics by industries: These will be published, for the first time,
for industrial areas (each comprising two or more important indus­
trial counties) and for individual counties of industrial importance.
Hours of labor in manufacturing industries: These statistics were
omitted from the 1925 and 1927 censuses, but will be included in the
1929 census. Prior censuses have carried tables showing the hours
of labor, by individual industries, and the average number of wage
earners distributed according to the prevailing hours of labor per
week. These data were useful in showing the trend of the working
day in different branches of industry, and in presenting a comparison
of conditions in different industries.
Statistics of automobile repair shops: No data for this industry
have been included since the 1919 Census of Manufactures. It
scarcely need be pointed out that this industry, giving employment
to many thousands of wage earners, was omitted from census in­
quiries on the ground of expediency. Although automobile repair
shops were covered by the recent Census of Distribution, the industry
should be restored to the biennial Census of Manufactures.
The foregoing illustrations of the omission of census inquiries are
by no means inclusive, but they are sufficient to show that a process
of attrition has been followed in the presentation of statistics of
manufactures, and especially of the labor data therein.
2. The Measurement of Part-Time Employment

The committee recommends that the Bureau of Labor Statistics
proceed slowly in attempting to obtain man-hours from cooperating
business establishments. It has already been demonstrated that the
collection of man-hours is practicable. While the wording of the
Wagner Act makes it mandatory for the bureau to gather data
showing hours of employment from all of the seven general classi­
fications of business effort that are enumerated, and this must be the
ultimate goal of the bureau’s efforts, it would seem advisable that its
first efforts be confined to manufacturing industries and railroad
transportation. The reasons for singling out these two fields of
work are: (1) That already many manufacturing establishments are
accustomed to compiling man-hours and these can serve as a nucleus
upon which to build; (2) in spite of the fact that some companies
can readily furnish this information, there are many more that can
not do so from their regular records and the field staff of the bureau
will be fully occupied for some time in educating such companies to
believe in the value and feasibility of furnishing such data, since
the Wagner bill does not make it mandatory for companies to report;
(3) conditions of manufacturing operation, in so far as they apply
to the accurate compilation of man-hours, are more nearly standard­
ized than in some other fields of work and consequently present
fewer statistical problems; and (4) since the Interstate Commerce
Commission already compiles hours of employment on railroads, it
would seem that a clear understanding of what is included under
their various classifications of man-hours is all that is needed to
make these data available for us, It is believed that the experience




RBPOBt OK EMFLOYMEKT STATISTICS

9

gained by the bureau in obtaining and computing man-hours data
from these more readily available and standardized sources will be
of material assistance in suggesting solutions for problems of pro­
cedure which will inevitably be encountered when the attempt is
made to obtain similar data from other business groups.
It should be recognized that for some time many of the establish­
ments in any group, except railroads, which report employment will
not be able to report man-hours. There is a possibility of a sort of
self-selection in this regard which will tend to make the establish­
ments which report man-hours not representative of all those which
report employment. It is suggested that, for a time at least, the
bureau make special tabulations of the employments of the estab­
lishments returning man-hours. If, after a period of several months,
both sets of employment indexes are in substantial agreement, the
extra tabulation may be dropped. If not, it should be continued
until the sample is increased sufficiently to be typical. Only by some
such check as this can the bureau determine accurately how large a
sample it should obtain.
The committee recommends that the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
so far as possible, obtain hours of employment for all employees in
a company, but that figures be obtained separately for (1) wage
earners, and (2) salaried employees. In the case of the latter it
may be simpler to obtain “ man-days,” and because of the sub­
stantial agreement of working periods of such employees with the
established hours of work, man-hours could easily be computed.
Overtime, moreover, does not affect earnings of salaried employees
in the same way that it affects earnings of wage earners, and short
time does not result in temporary lay-off. To avoid confusion in
classifying certain employees, it is suggested that wage earners
include all those whose compensation is on a daily, hourly, or unitof-output basis and that all others up to but excluding officers of
the company be regarded as salaried employees.
The committee recommends that in addition to man-hours, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics secure data showing the number of
hours in the normal work week of the establishment. While manhours will indicate the trend of employment, they can not, by them­
selves, indicate the extent of unemployment. However, contrasted
with full-time hours they will show the extent of part-time employ­
ment during periods of depression and also the amount of overtime
operations during periods of peak operation.
The committee recommends that in drafting its schedule for
securing data the Bureau of Labor Statistics be more explicit in
its questions than is now the case. A few clear instructions might
advantageously be placed upon the schedule. Space should be pro­
vided for indicating the suspension of compensated employment on
account of holidays, labor troubles, or other reasons not connected
with the business conditions.
The committee also recommends that the Bureau of the Census
consider the desirability of extending its work of securing manhours in order to make possible the same periodic adjustment of
figures for man-hours that is now possible for employment series.




REPORT OK EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

10

3. The Timeliness of the Series of Employment of Railroad Labor

It is recommended that the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the
statistical division of the Interstate Commerce Commission confer
with a view to hastening the monthly publication on the employ­
ment and wages paid to Class I railroad employees, so that they
may be incorporated monthly into the series now published monthly
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
II. Measurement of the Course of Unemployment
The only perfectly satisfactory method for measuring the volume
of unemployment at any specified time and for determining the
changes in its volume is through some system of the universal
registration of the unemployed. Such systems exist in countries
which have universal unemployment insurance. Under the adminis­
tration of such insurance, provision is made for the continuous defi­
nition of unemployment, and for the registration of the unem­
ployed. In this country no such machinery exists.
In the absence of registration a comprehensive view of the extent
of unemployment can only be had by a count of the unemployed
through a country-wide census. This method is, of necessity, inad­
equate because it must be limited to the conditions prevailing during
a short period of time and because the fact of unemployment is not
established after investigation or by a search of the records of
industry, but by personal inquiries made by thousands of census
enumerators throughout the country. How important these sources
of error are can only be determined by a most careful examination of
the results of the census. Since it is much too expensive to take
frequent censuses of unemployment, the determination of changes
in the volume of unemployment must be arrived at by reducing or
increasing the volume of unemployment, found to exist on the base
date, in the proportion that the available indexes of employment
show a rise or fall in employment since then. Unless these indexes
of employment are exhaustive, in the sense of including at least
all the principal fields of employment in the country, and making
continuous provision for the inclusion of new and rapidly growing
establishments in each industry or occupational field, they may
fail to reveal the growth of employment in some occupations and its
decline in others. The confidence which such estimates should in­
spire will depend, as has already been pointed out, on the adequacy
of our indexes of employment.
For a view of the current unemployment situation in the United
States, we have now available the partial results of the census of
unemployment taken in April, 1930. In this census a serious effort
has been made to ascertain the number of unemployed, within the
terms of the categories set up, making allowance for the errors inci­
dent to any enumeration of the kind, the inexperience of the Bureau
of the Census in the field, and the character of the field personnel it
had to employ for this much more technical inquiry than the census
of population. The staff employed by the bureau at Washington was
probably the best it ever had, and the editing on the unemployment
census seems to have been well done. If errors crept in, they were




REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

11

probably due mainly to the inexperience of the enumerators and
to lack of adequate supervision in the field.
Accepting these census data as they are now reported, estimates
of the numbers fully unemployed in April, 1930, must be made by
adding together the numbers reported by the census in Class A
(persons out of a job, able to work, and looking for a job) and the
numbers in Class B (persons having jobs, but on lay-off without pay,
excluding those sick or voluntarily idle). The total for either of these
groups alone gives an inadequate »and misleading picture of the vol­
ume of unemployment in the census period. The Bureau of the
Census has completed its tabulation of Class A and finds the numbers
included in this group to be 2,508,151. The tabulations for Class B
are not yet completed and the published data show a wide degree of
variation in the relation between these two classes in various parts
of the country and in various industrial areas. On the basis of the
tabulations of Class B already available estimates of the combined
total of Classes A and B run from 3,000,000 to 3,350,000, depending
upon whether deductions are made from Class B of persons esti­
mated to be employed on part time.
The projection of these census data in the future would require
either another complete census, which is impracticable, or sample
censuses, or the use of the indexes of employment for estimating
changes in the volume of unemployment since April, 1930. Although
current estimates of the volume of unemployment in December,
1930, which place the numbers then unemployed at near 5,000,000
would seem reasonable in view of the available data, no scientific
conclusion regarding the matter can be had without a detailed anal­
ysis of the. complete returns of the census of 1930, of the recent
sample census in selected cities taken by the Metropolitan Life Insur­
ance Co., and of the sample census made by the United States Bureau
of the Census as of January 15,1931.
For the more satisfactory and reliable measurement of unemploy­
ment in the future, the committee recommends the following:
1. The prompt extension of employment statistics in the direction
and in the manner described in the first part of this report.
2. The continuance of the decennial census of unemployment.
3. Serious consideration of the desirability of a quinquennial
census of employment, so that we shall have a more frequent and
more reliable record than is now available of the shifts in occupa­
tions and employment in the great categories of industry.
4. The latest data collected by the United States Bureau of the
Census on unemployment, manufactures, occupations, and distribu­
tion constitute invaluable material for explorations into the volume
and character of unemployment in this country. This committee
strongly recommends, therefore, that the Bureau of the Census
be instructed to arrange for the immediate preparation of census
monographs of the following subjects: (a) Occupational changes;
(b) unemployment; (c) age changes of American workers; (d)
man-hours; (e) changes in employment as revealed by the Census of
Manufactures; (/) the relation between value of output, value added
by manufacture, and wages; (g) the distribution of employees by
size of establishment; (h) employment in distributive trades.




P art 2.— Studies in “ Technological Unemployment”
In considering the subject of “ technological unemployment ” the
committee recognized the complicated character of that problem.
On few subjects are terms used more loosely than in the discussion
of the direct or indirect displacement of labor due to the introduc­
tion of machinery, to the improvement of processes, or to the in­
crease of productivity for other causes. It is more difficult still to
measure the effect or such technological improvements on the dis­
placement of labor, since displacement may occur in the plant in
which the improvements occur, in a competing plant several thou­
sand miles away, or in a plant or plants manufacturing totally dif­
ferent products. Under these circumstances relating cause to effect
is an exceedingly complicated task.
In view of these facts, the committee sought and obtained the
services of Mr. Ewan Clague, then of Yale University, to make a
preliminary survey which might serve as a basis for the committee’s
discussions. Mr. Clague was asked to survey the entire area and
indicate the types of studies which have been or are being made, the
basic data available, the studies needed, and the basic data essential
to their successful prosecution. The committee is under obligations
to Doctor Clague for an able and scholarly piece of work. His
memorandum is appended to this report (pp. 16-31). It was on the
basis of this memorandum that the committee discussions proceeded.
The committee was unanimously of the opinion that because of
the acceleration of the rate of technological advance, the subject of
“ technological unemployment ” was of vital importance in the
analysis and discussion of the entire problem of unemployment. It
therefore recommended that the collection of fundamental data and
the prosecution of specific studies should be a continuing part of the
responsibility of the Federal Government and especially of the
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The committee recommendations fall under two categories—those
referring to the collection of basic data and those referring to
specific studies.
I. Basic Data
The committee recognized that the first responsibility of the Fed­
eral Government is to provide the fundamental data upon which de­
finitive studies of “ technological unemployment” must be based.
If technological displacement is to be considered in definite terms,
it is first essential that the basic data for continuous and current
measurement of industrial productivity should be available. Part
of this essential data is already being collected by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics and the United States Census. The collection of
additional essential data is recommended in Part I of this report.
But the committee further recommends the collection by appropri­
ate agencies of such further basic data as are necessary for the con­
12




REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

13

tinuous and current measurement of industrial productivity; i. e.,
output per man-hour for as many manufacturing industries as possi­
ble and for certain highly industrial areas, including important
States and cities. It considers that this will involve three things:
1. The improvement and expansion of the existing data on em­
ployment and pay rolls in manufacturing industries, with the
addition, as rapidly as they may become available, of data on actual
man-hours of labor time, all these data being collected and published
at monthly intervals for all industries combined, for individual
industries and for certain geographic areas.
2. The improvement and expansion of the current statistics of
industrial production both for individual industries and for geo­
graphic areas similar to those adopted for employment statistics.
With these data covering statistics of employment and industrial
production available, it will be possible to compute and develop
continuous series of indexes on output per man-hour, showing the
long-time trend of productivity for as many industries as possible
and for certain geographic areas.
It was recognized by the committtee that the data on employ­
ment, pay rolls, man-hours, and industrial production should be
collected from identical firms, should cover the same period of time,
and should be on a comparable basis.
3. Finally, it is suggested that data on the capacity of industry
in terms of equipment and plant be collected and compiled for
industries and geographic areas.
II. Special Studies
The committee recommends that from time to time, in cases which
the basic facts of productivity or unemployment warrant, special
intensive surveys of particular industries for the purpose of deter­
mining the exact processes or machinery responsible for the increased
productivity and the type of labor affected by it. Such studies
should be sufficiently comprehensive and thorough to justify the time
and effort required to make them, and it is the recommendation of
the committee that they should be broad enough to include—
1. The calculation of the amount, kind, and cause of labor dis­
placement brought about by the introduction of machines, improve­
ments in processes, etc.
2. The tracing down, in a sampling study, of individual workers
permanently laid off as a result of these technological improvements,
tor the purpose of finding out the average length of time required
for the reabsorption of the technologically unemployed workers,
the average loss in wages and income suffered, the reduction in
skill, etc.2
3. The assembling of the above data by geographic areas in all
cases where such segregation would give significant contrasts be­
tween different parts of the country.
2 The committee suggests that other studies of this phase of the problem involving the
unemployment experience of workers displaced as a result of mechanization and other
technological factors be made with particular attention being directed to local situations,
such as plant shutdowns, bankruptcies, wholesale lay-offs, etc.

47941°—31------ 3




14

REPOET ON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

4. A thorough economic analysis of the industry to be surveyed—
its rate of growth, present size, existing markets, corporate organi­
zation, volume of employment, etc.—should be included as an in­
tegral part of every special study of productivity, since the results
of such studies are of little use in the absence of these types of
information.
5. The development of further studies directed toward the prob­
lem of reabsorption and readjustment of the displaced workers.
These should cover, among many others, the two following points:
(a) The effect of the hiring policies of nrms and corporations upon
the reabsorption of displaced workers; and (&) what individual
plants and labor organizations are doing to retain workers whose
jobs have been permanently eliminated.




P art 3.— Administrative Recommendations
In order to carry into practical effect the preceding recommenda­
tions contained in this report, the committee submits certain admin­
istrative recommendations as follows:
1. It recommends that the sum of $200,000 additional be made
available in the budget in the next fiscal year to the United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics for the carrying out of such of the above
recommendations concerning the measurement of employment and
unemployment and the study of “ technological unemployment ” as
fall within its jurisdiction.
2. It is recommended also that of this sum $50,000 be made avail­
able at once so that the work may begin without delay.
3. The committee also recommends that steps be taken within
the Government looking toward a more effective coordination of the
various statistical services of the Government. Specifically, it sug­
gests that there be appointed a permanent coordinating committee
composed of the heads of the various statistical services of the Gov­
ernment, whether in executive departments, independent commissions,
or elsewhere, this committee to have authority to study and make
recommendations directly to some central authority on such matters
as the following: (a) The elimination of duplication among the
statistical branches of the Government; (&) methods of insuring
still closer cooperation among the different statistical branches of
the Government, especially on studies in which two departments
have an interest; (c) the encouragement of uniformity of methods
(when such is desirable).
4. The committee further considers that both in the collection of
data and the analysis of such material, an extension of the policy
of cooperation witn responsible outside agencies is to be encouraged,
providing it is clearly understood that agencies cooperating in collec­
tion shall use schedules determined by the Government and that the
cooperation of outside agencies in studies shall be of such a charac­
ter as to preserve inviolate the confidential nature of the Govern­
ment data.
Dated February 9, 1931.




15

MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

By

E w a n C laque

Causes of Unemployment
The basic causes of unemployment can, for most purposes, be
classified as follows:
1. Seasonal changes in individual industries.
2. Cyclical swings in business, affecting at once the entire indus­
trial structure of the country.
3. Long-time trend factors, particularly (a) technological im­
provements, such as increased mechanization, improved processes,
production reorganization, etc.; (&) major industrial changes, in­
volving either decreasing demand for the products of a dying indus­
try, or rapid geographical shifts in manufacturing activities.
4. Frictional factors, especially the disorganization of the labor
market, and the utter lack of facilities for aiding the rapid transfer
of displaced workers to new industries and new occupations.
5. Miscellaneous factors, mostly of a personal, individual nature;
illness, unemployability, personal characteristics, etc.
Admittedly, these classes are not always sharply defined; at times
they so merge into one another as to be practically indistinguishable.
When an automobile plant laid off men last month (December), the
resulting unemployment could have been described either as seasonal,
due to the normal year-end let down in that industry, or as cyclical,
due to the current depression. Perhaps the employers themselves
could not have said which was the predominant cause.
Again, in any given case, there is frequently considerable crossing
between unemployment due to improved technology and that due to
business depression. When times are prosperous and industry is
expanding, no workers are laid off, but when the boom period is
over and retrenchment is necessary, then the surplus workers are
laid off, and the resulting unemployment appears to be wholly cycli­
cal in its origin. This is equivalent to saying that there may be a
considerable lag in time, a long distance in space, and even an actual
difference in the industry affected, between the installation of laborsaving machinery and the eventual unemployment.
Or, to take still another example, personal and individual factors
may frequently be confused with the technological, in that the work­
ers first laid off as the result of an efficiency campaign in the factory
would, in all probability, be the least efficient, the least adaptable,
and the hardest to manage, etc. In the subsequent search for a job
these personal factors might prove decisive, and the worker himself
would eventually become convinced that his failure to obtain work
was due to individual handicaps.
Therefore, any attempt to study the long-time trend factors in
unemployment must mean the elimination, so far as possible, of all
16




MEMORANDUM OK TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

17

the remaining causes. This requires the most careful restriction of
the problem at the very beginning of the inquiry. Thus, it would be
foolhardy to take up such a study under present conditions, because
the abnormal volume of unemployment existing at this particular
time is due in large measure to the normal midwinter unemploy­
ment, resulting from seasonal slackness, and the additional unem­
ployment resulting from the business depression. The segregation
of the long-time factors, under present conditions, would be wellnigh impossible. So, too, the problems of employment offices, of in­
dustrial transfer, and of all the other factors making for sluggish­
ness in the reabsorption of the unemployed workers into industry
must be pushed into the background; these could only be introduced
into the study after the preliminary work on the long-time factors
had been completed. It is true, of course, that the seriousness of the
problem of technological unemployment is very greatly enhanced
by the lack of facilities for transferring and adapting unemployed
workers to new jobs. Finally, there is no place in a technological
unemployment study for a detailed analysis of illness, unemployabil­
ity, etc., with all the allied problems centering around the question
as to who shall be permitted to work. Whenever unemployment
becomes at all acute, the problem of allocating jobs comes to the
front. With it goes the whole range of problems arising out of the
competition of groups of workers. In this class of cases are found
the typical disputes as to men versus women, married men versus
single men, married women versus single women, white versus col­
ored, citizens versus aliens, and so on. These disputes have nothing
to do with the case of technological unemployment and must be
eliminated.
The problem of technological unemployment (and for the pur­
poses of this paper the term “ technological unemployment5 will be
5
used to designate all the long-time trend factors) can be approached
in two ways: (1) From the side of increasing productivity or out­
put per man-hour, on the assumption that increased efficiency, under
most circumstances, must mean at least some displacement of labor;
and (2) from the side of unemployment itself, by analyzing and
studying those unemployed workers who owe their displacement to
increased mechanization or declining demand. This report will
examine both these approaches to the problem. The first step is the
listing of the major studies which have been or are being made.
Types of Productivity and Technological Unemployment
Studies Which Have Been Made
I. Indirect approach to technological unemployment—measurement
of productivity:
A. Continuous measurement—
(a) Kinds of studies—
(1) United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Pro­
ductivity indexes for 11 industries, 1914^1925—
Monthly Labor Keview, July, October, Novem­
ber, December, 1926, and January, 1927, with the
addition of later years, March, 1930.




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

(2) United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of
the Census: Indexes of productivity 1899-1925,
for all industry, for manufacturing, mining and
agriculture, and for major industrial groups, by
Woodlief Thomas, then with the Federal Reserve
Board, published in American Economic Review,
March, 1928.
(&) Essential data—
(1) Statistics of employment and man-hours, monthly
or annually.
(2) Statistics of industrial production, monthly or an­
nually.
(3) Considerable improvement in such productivity
data might be effected if employment and pro­
duction statistics for identical 'firms could be put
together.
(4) A certain amount of reclassification of industries
by the Census Bureau would make possible a
wider extension of this method.
B. Special surveys of productivity, changes by industries, or
individual processes—
{a) Blinds of studies—
(1) United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Hand
and machine labor, 1896—a comparison of out­
put per man-hour in 1895 by machine methods
with corresponding output by the hand methods
of 40 to 50 years earlier.
(2) United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Series
of bulletins on productivity of labor and indus­
try, covering such industries as brick, glass, pot­
tery, steel, etc. Examples are Bulletin 441, Pro­
ductivity of Labor in the Glass Industry, or
Bulletin 474, Productivity of Labor in Merchant
Blast Furnaces; a four-year study of productiv­
ity in longshoring in the leading ports of this
country, is now nearing completion.
(3) Bureau of Economic Research: Professor Harry
Jerome of the University of Wisconsin has for
some years been gathering data on productivity
in individual industries in connection with his
study of mechanization.
(4) University of Pennsylvania, Department of Indus­
trial Research: Under the direction of Professor
Joseph H. Willits, a number of studies of pro­
ductivity changes in certain industries have been
and are being undertaken.
(5) The Institute of Human Relations, Yale University:
Professor Eliot Dunlap Smith, of Sheffield Scien­
tific School, has just begun an intensive study of
the “ stretch-out ” in the textile industry; al­
though primarily directed toward managerial
problems, this study will concern itself to some




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

19

extent with the problem of measuring increased
output per man-hour through the use of this
labor-saving device.
(&) Essential data—
Generally speaking, this method involves the collection
at individual plants of detailed statistics of output and
labor time for the purpose of comparing at least two dis­
tinct methods of production. The study of the glass
industry by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
compared output per man-hour under conditions of (1)
hand labor, (2) semiautomatic machinery, and (3) auto­
matic machinery. In the steel study annual data were
obtained for the period 1911-1926, so as to make a con­
tinuous series of productivity indexes for the entire
industry over a period of 16 years.
It is not absolutely essential to use the industry as a
unit in this method; a special process or even a particular
machine can be isolated for study, although the signifi­
cance of the results is greatly decreased by each such nar­
rowing of the coverage.
X . Direct approach to technological unemployment:
T
A. The direct approach to technological unemployment has been
made through the study of the experiences of the unem­
ployed workers themselves.
(a) Kinds of studies—
(1) Dr. Isador Lubin, Institute of Economics, Wash­
ington, D. C.: “Absorption of the unemployed by
American industry,” a study covering the unem­
ployment experiences of 750 workers, laid off be­
cause of technical improvements, in Baltimore,
Worcester, and Chicago; these workers repre­
sented many industries.
(2) Dr. Robert J. Myers, University of Chicago, in the
Journal of Political Economy, August, 1929, has
analyzed the unemployment experiences of over
500 skilled cutters displaced from the clothing
industry in Chicago during the period 1922-1926.
The features of Myers’s study are (1) the fact
that one particular highly skilled trade was in­
volved, and (2) that a number of the displaced
workers received a dismissal wage.
(3) Professors Clague and Couper, Institute of Human
Relations, Yale University: An extensive anal­
ysis of the experiences of some 1,200 ex-rubber
workers laid off in two factory shutdowns in
Connecticut in 1929; to be published in part
in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Feb­
ruary, 1931. Important points in connection
with this study are: (a) The payment of a
dismissal wage to long-service workers by the
company; (&) the concentration upon two en­
tire work forces in a particular industry; (c)




20

MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL, UNEMPLOYMENT

the inclusion of workers of both sexes; (d) the
collection of data on the families of the displaced
workers.
(4) Miscellaneous analyses of the unemployed register­
ing at employment offices or charitable organiza­
tions have frequently been made, but these can
seldom be so sharply differentiated into the vari­
ous classes of unemployment. All three studies
listed above followed a common method, in that
the workers to be surveyed were identified
through specific lay-offs involving technological
displacement. The worker himself is a very
poor judge of the reasons for his lay-off, and
therefore a good study of technologically unem­
ployed workers must begin with an analysis of
the lay-off itself.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Various Methods of Study
Although some progress has been made in each of the three lines of
attack listed above, it is safe to say that comparatively little has
been accomplished, especially when the magnitude and uncertainty
of the problem are taken into consideration. Perhaps the basic rea­
son for this situation is that no one of these methods is free from
serious disadvantages, both of a practical and a theoretical nature.
In order to present all three methods in their true light, both the
advantages and disadvantages of each have been listed below. The
briefest kind of treatment is all that can be attempted in this report.
A. Continuous measurement of productivity:
(a) Advantages—
(1) The development of continuous, current data on rates
of change in output per man-hour, which will keep
our information on the subject more up to date than
is otherwise possible. The calculation of annual in­
dexes of productivity might make possible the con­
struction of trend lines that would forecast the rise
of unemployment problems which are at the present
only in the early stages of development.
(2) It can be argued that rates of increase in productivity
furnish at least a rough approximation of the rate
of change or turnover in employment due to tech­
nological factors. This does not mean that the extent
of technological unemployment is thus being meas­
ured; it only indicates the extent of potential labor
displacement, much of which may never eventuate
in unemployment. (For elaboration of certain fea­
tures of this point, see under “ Disadvantages ”
below.) In answering the question whether this*
is worth measuring it may be urged that the deter­
mination of the maximum risk of technological unem­
ployment in industry might be of considerable value.
(3) It seems very likely that the development of this type
of productivity data would have a very important




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

21

indirect influence upon our knowledge of unemploy­
ment problems in that it would make possible a
great deal of research work by economists and others.
The effect of increased productivity upon total social
costs, the influence of mechanization upon wage rates
and on the total wage bill of an industry, the relation­
ship between efficiency and foreign trade—these are
only a few of the problems which could be examined
if more productivity data were available to economic
students.
(b) Disadvantages—
Unfortunately, over against the above must be set a
formidable list of disadvantages which seriously curtail the
value of this type of work.
(1) There are many technical statistical difficulties en­
countered in attempting to measure output per manhour on a large scale.
(aa) If the method used by Clague in constructing the
Bureau of Labor Statistics indexes is followed,
then many industries have to be eliminated from
consideration because satisfactory estimates of
production or of labor time can not be obtained.
(This is a technical point which need not be
pursued here.)
(bb) The Woodlief Thomas method avoids some of the
difficulties of measuring the physical product of
an industry by substituting a value product
deflated in accordance with the price level.
But in avoiding one problem this method runs
into others, such as the uncertainty of census
valuations and the further uncertainty of the
deflating index.
(ico) The collection of these production and employ­
ment data, and the issuance of production in­
dexes of this type, can only be done through
governmental agencies. It would be impossible
for any nongovernmental body to undertake
work of this character. This point does not
imply that the Government is incapable of doing
such work, but merely suggests that outside
help, other than that of a purely technical or
advisory character, can not be enlisted.
(dd) The improvement of this type of index can only
be brought about, under present conditions, by
a higher degree of cooperation between Govern­
ment departments than has yet been attained.
(For ^detailed discussion, see section below on
“ Suggested recommendations.” )
(2) In the second place, increases in productivity are after
all only indirectly and rather remotely connected
with unemployment.
(aa) For example, the two industries in the Bureau
of Labor Statistics series which showed the




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

most rapid increase in output per man-hour
between 1914 and 1925 (automobiles and rub­
ber tires) are industries in which up to the
latter year there had been no pronounced un­
employment other than that of a seasonal or
cyclical character. The census data show no
shrinkage in the number of employees in
either of these industries between 1914 and
1925. In other words, either the mechaniza­
tion did not cause any unemployment to speak
of, or, as seems more likely, the displaced
workers were speedily reabsorbed in the rapid
expansion of the industry.
The relationship between rapid expansion
and high productivity in an industry is a
very close one, but also a very complex one.
Sometimes the initiating factor making for
change is potential demand, as in the case of
the automobile industry; while occasionally a
remarkable improvement in productivity, e. g.,
in the glass industry, reduced costs and opened
up new markets which had never been tapped.
It is clear, of course, from these two examples
that once the start has been made there has
been considerable interaction of the one
factor on the other. If, in the automobile
industry, it can be said that the enormous de­
mand for the product led to the development
of maximum efficiency in production, it must
also be pointed out that Ford’s mass produc­
tion technique opened up new markets which
might have lain untouched for decades.
(&&) As with industries, so with concerns. The
rapidly expanding concern which is achieving
new records in output per man-hour may
actually be taking on workers; the blow is
likely to fall on the inefficient concern which
has not introduced a new machine into the
plant for many years, but which is compelled
to shut down as a result of the pressure of
competition. The ostensible reason for the
shutdown may be far removed from tech­
nology; in fact, it is almost certain to be
largely financial, thus obscuring the real basic
causes of the unemployment.
(3) In the next place, Professor Slichter has stressed the
point that when the probleih is split up into its ele­
ments, it will probably be found that shifting demand
for products is a far more potent cause of unemploy­
ment than is labor-saving machinery. If such is the
case, the measurement of productivity in the rapidly
expanding industries would be of little or no help,
since the unemployment would appear in just those




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

23

industries for which the productivity indexes would
be colorless and insignificant.
(4) Again, productivity measurement must run the gaunt­
let of certain basic principles of economic theory.
Prof. Paul H. Douglas, of the University of Chicago
and of the Swarthmore Unemployment Institute,
made this point, in an article in the American Federationist for August, 1930. Professor Douglas sum­
marizes the viewpoint of a large class of economists
when he insists that, strictly speaking, there is no
such thing as technological unemployment. Mecha­
nization does produce change, and jobs are lost in
the process, but “ in the long run ” the displaced labor
is reabsorbed somewhere else in the system. Thus,
any unemployment resulting from the use of ma­
chinery must be wholly temporary in character, and
even at the very time that men are being displaced
by labor-saving machinery in one industry, workers
are being hired in another.
(5) Lastly, there is still another basic theoretical difficulty.
When the relationship existing between the produc­
tive operations of industry and the unemployment of
labor is brought into focus, it will be seen that in­
creased efficiency represents only one side of the pic­
ture. There is the reverse side—decreased efficiency
and restriction of output. It is only when the rela­
tionship is studied under both these conditions that
a full and complete understanding can be obtained.
Therefore, any attempt to study technological un­
employment through an analysis of productive opera­
tions might have to be widened to include not only
a preliminary survey of increasing productivity, but
also one of restriction of output. The tremendous ex­
pansion of the problem implied in this suggestion will
be apparent to every one.
B. The method of special surveys of productivity in particular in­
dustries and even in special processes offers much more scope for
research than the preceding method. Its advantages are numerous
and important.
(< Advantages—
a)
(1) This method makes possible a detailed study of just
how increased productivity and improved efficiency
affect the workers in an industry. Is the improve­
ment in technology very spotted and uneven? Do
its burdens fall heavily on special groups of workers
while its benefits are reaped by others ?
(2) The relation of improved technology to the growth
(or decline) of skill, and the substitution of women
for men in industry, are vital matters which can only
be studied in this intensive way.
(3) I f a direct study of unemployed workers is desired, this
method furnishes the means of getting access to the
necessary data; analysis of the technological change




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

would reveal the group or groups of workers directly
affected, and the plant records of these men would
furnish valuable data on their history prior to their
lay-off.
(4) Because of the intimate contact between research work­
ers and industrial managers established in the course
of studies such as these, there is the powerful prac­
tical advantage that the research may cause indus­
trial leaders to become interested in the problem of
the displacement and reabsorption of labor. Indus­
try itself, whether by dismissal wage payments or by
transfer and retraining, must necessarily play a very
important part in easing the transition of displaced
workers to new industries or new occupations.
(b) Disadvantages—
(1) First and foremost is the element of discontinuity or
isolation. Such studies, however valuable they may
be at the time they are made, speedily become anti­
quated and out of date. The increase in productivity
is a constant, continuous thing; its measurement
should not be irregular and discontinuous. In this
connection, it is pertinent to stress the fact that these
studies are exceedingly difficult to duplicate, to say
nothing of linking them up in some way with suc­
ceeding ones. The monumental study of hand and
machine labor, made by the United States Bureau of
Labor in 1893-1895, is now wholly useless except as
a historical document. It would be next to impos­
sible to link any modern study up with it. Only a
measurement of rate of change in productivity, such
as that attempted in the merchant blast furnace
study, is of any use as a landmark to later research
workers.
(2) There are serious technical difficulties in studies of this
kind, particularly those involved in obtaining satis­
factory measures of output and in calculating the
volume of overhead labor. It is a simple matter
to measure the man-hours of direct labor on a process,
and from this to arrive at an estimate of the amount
of theoretical labor displacement. It is not an insur­
mountable obstacle to estimate roughly the appor­
tionment of such indirect labor as that of cleaning,
repairing, supervising, etc. But when it becomes a
question of allowing for engineering research, for
tool making, and for all the other forms of overhead
labor, the problem becomes very formidable. And in
proportion as the process to be studied is narrowed
in the interests of definiteness, the overhead assign­
ments become more complex and indefinite.
(3) To carry the last point still further, there is a give and
take between whole industries which can not be
properly taken into consideration, because of the nar­
rowing of the problem which is so essential in this




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

25

type of work. The decline in employment consequent
to technical discoveries in the glass industry is partly
balanced by the rapid expansion of employment in
the electrical manufacturing industry. Yet how
could any possible combination of these two industries
be established for purposes of measuring produc­
tivity ?
C. The analysis of the unemployed:
(a) Advantages—
(1) This type of study makes a direct hit on the problem
of technological unemployment. The problems of
productivity measurement are entirely eliminated at
the outset. Sufficient study of the originating circum­
stances is necessary to establish beyond doubt the
nature of the unemployment, but after this prelimi­
nary groundwork all subsequent attention and effort
can be directed toward the solution of the problems
of the reabsorption of the unemployed by industry.
(2) In the second place, this type of study furnishes the
answer to the argument that there can not “ in the
long run ” be any technological unemployment. How
long is the “ long run ” ? If temporary unemploy­
ment is continually being created by labor-saving
machinery, and the average length of time out of
work after such displacement is about six months,
then it is quite clear that there is at any one time in
the country a substantial volume of unemployment
due to the introduction of machines. We need to
know what the average length of the period of dis­
placement is.
(3) Studies such as these have a very important practical
aspect in that they focus community interest on unem­
ployment problems and make it possible to capitalize
that interest for the furtherance of remedial meas­
ures. Industrial interest, as pointed out above, is
aroused by special productivity studies, but if the
community, or the geographic area, is ever to become
a vital factor in meeting the problem of technological
unemployment, it must be through studies which ap­
peal to community rather than industry interest.
(4) There is still another practical aspect to these studies.
If dismissal wage systems, or unemployment reserves,
or unemployment insurance are ever up for consid­
eration, the results of these analyses of the unem­
ployed will furnish data by which to judge the ade­
quacy or the advisability of various proposals.
(5) Over against these powerful advantages must be set a
number of very serious disadvantages—
(1) The time and expense involved in making studies of
this kind are such that only occasional surveys can
be made.
(2) The necessity of restricting and narrowing the case so
as to have a clean-cut situation absolutely prohibits




26

MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

large-scale work and practically insures that the cov­
erage will be very small.
(3) There is the further difficulty that the “ representative ”
qualities of the case are generally doubtful. It is
hard to say whether or not a given case is “ typical ”
of the vicinity or the industry; and the freakish cases
are likely to prove more interesting and so may be
more frequently surveyed. Thus it will be exceed­
ingly dangerous to generalize from one or more of
these special cases.
(4) Even when the case as such is fairly representative, a
serious problem of sampling is likely to arise. When
practically all displaced workers are located (92 per
cent in the New Haven case—Institute of Human
Relations, Yale University, study), there is no diffi­
culty at all, but if the survey coverage is only about
50 per cent (as in the Hartford shutdown) then
many of the basic results of the survey are open to
doubt because there is no assurance that the “ lost ”
workers would not have differed widely in their job
experiences from the scheduled workers.
(5) Lastly, it is very probable that clean-cut cases of tech­
nological unemployment will be hard to find; for the
most part, shutdowns and lay-offs are rather mixed
in their origins^ and many of them, therefore, would
have to be eliminated from any proposed survey.
Suggested Recommendations
The final question then becomes, What, if anything, remains to
be done? To begin with, there need be no question of curtailment
of any of the existing work. There is some value in each type of
study now being made, and the various agencies now engaged in or
contemplating such work should be urged to carry on. However,
the foregoing analysis has consistently emphasized the point that
the present studies are far from perfect either in scope or in method.
There is plenty of room for improvement. There are two general
ways in which this can be brought about: (1) By a general stiffening
up of the standards and improvement of the quality of the work now
being done; and (2) by the development of new projects which
may lead to the exploration of entirely new phases of the problem.
I. The improvement of the quality of studies now being made:
A. Continuous measurement of productivity—
1. The first prerequisite is the expansion and improvement
of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on employ­
ment, and the inclusion, if feasible, of data on manhours of labor time. Some industrial plants have al­
ready begun to compile man-hours tor their own
accounting purposes, and many plants do so in
the course of preparation of accident statistics. It is
not beyond possibility that a considerable volume of
man-hour data could be obtained by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics in connection with the collection of
employment data.




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

27

2. There is even greater need for the improvement of data on
industrial production. The chief source of current
data on production is the Survey of Current Business,
published by the United States Department of Com­
merce. In some series the data are collected from
firms reporting to the department itself, but in the
vast majority of cases the survey data are obtained
from trade association offices. Obviously, the collec­
tion of statistics is an important function of any trade
association, and a great deal of such work is being
done, but the quality of the work leaves much to be
desired. In only a few cases, apparently, is there a
really competent statistician in charge of the work of
collecting trade statistics; these few supply noteworthy
examples of what could be accomplished in trade asso­
ciation statistics. It is difficult to see how the Gov­
ernment could do very much about this, and, of course,
the Survey of Current Business must use the data as
they come in, but here at least is a field in which a
great deal remains to be done.
3. The development of satisfactory current indexes of pro­
ductivity will further require greatly increased co­
operation between the various Government depart­
ments in the use of data. A typical example ox the
present situation is found in the Bureau of Labor
Statistics study of productivity in iron and steel. The
field schedule, among other things, called for data
on the annual output of pig iron. Time and again
the field workers were met with the statement, “ Why,
you have that—we send it in to Washington every
year.” One manufacturer insisted that at least five
Government bureaus had called for his production
figures. Such useless duplication is not only wasteful
of time and money, but it has a very bad effect on
manufacturers and others who supply data.
Admittedly, firms which supply data for one pur­
pose might refuse to supply it for another; it is also
true that the larger the number of agencies which
have access to the data, the smaller is the chance
that the data will remain confidential. Nevertheless it
should be perfectly feasible for Government depart­
ments to cooperate to a far greater extent than is
now done. Thus, if the Bureau of Labor Statistics
had gone out into the field and collected data on
labor time, and had then drawn up a list of firms,
the Bureau of Mines might well have supplied the
total annual production of pig iron of those firms
without in any way violating the confidential pledge.
So, too, at present there is no reason why employment
data in the Bureau of Labor Statistics and production
data in the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Com­
merce could not be compared for a list of identical
firms.




mem orandum

on

t e c h n o l o g ic a l

UNEMPLOYMENT?

4. It is further suggested that, in such an unexplored field
as productivity, at least, access to the data should be
given more freely to nongovernmental organizations
and agencies interested in making studies. The reason
for this is that the Government is generally restricted
too much by its responsibilities in making the utmost
possible use of the material. Another example from
the productivity work of the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics may be cited. When the productivity data were
being worked up, the question of the relationship of
productivity and wages came to the front. The bureau
was publishing data on both productivity and wages;
and yet it would scarcely have dared to venture into
the problem of the relationship of these two. But
some outside agency might piece the results together
and draw conclusions, if there were any opportunity
for checking over the original work.
5. In view of the numerous statistical and theoretical diffi­
culties involved in productivity measurement, it may
be in point to suggest that some nongovernmental com­
mittee of statisticians and engineers be formed for the
purpose of keeping in touch with this work and mak­
ing suggestions. Since this touches so closely on the
work of the Committee on Governmental Labor Statis­
tics, and since this committee is already functioning,
the best move in this direction might be for the Com­
mittee on Governmental Labor Statistics to add this to
its present duties. However, if such were done it
would be desirable to enlarge the committee so as to
include some engineers or experts in production
measurement. Perhaps the simplest solution would be
the formation of a new committee.
B. Special surveys of productivity—
1. There are sound reasons for continuing and even for
further expanding the work on special studies now
being done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. These special surveys should be used to supplement the
productivity indexes. In many industries the latter
are difficult or impossible to obtain; in others they seem
to show nothing of importance taking place. Yet
these are the very places at which further effort should
be applied. This point means simply that careful
judgment in the selection of industries for study is
required.
3. The scope and content of the special studies should be
broadened considerably.
4. Lastly, in cases where increased productivity appears to
be leading directly to unemployment, some attempt
should be made to enlist the cooperation of the industry
in a comprehensive study of both phases of the prob­
lem. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has not hesi­
tated to take positive action on occasion, as in the case
of the conference of the paper box-board industry, on




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

29

the 7-day week. The cooperative study of produc­
tivity might well lead to the formation of labor boards,
as suggested by Professor Slichter, which might serve
as continuing agencies for meeting unemployment and
adjustment problems arising out of the mechanization
of industry.
C. Analysis of unemployed workers—
1. This type of study gets closer probably than any other to
the fundamentals of the problem. So little has as yet
been done along this line that our knowledge on the
subject is extremely meager. A considerable expansion
of this type of work is greatly needed.
2. These studies, by their very nature, must remain essen­
tially local and decentralized in character. Unemploy­
ment, however widespread it may be, always finds
expression locally, and its relief has always remained
essentially a community problem. What is needed,
therefore, is a large number of small, district studies
along the lines of the Lubin, Myers, or Clague-Couper
surveys.
3. Since there is little need for centralization beyond the es­
tablishment of some mildly coordinating organization
(such as perhaps the Social Science Research Council),
the effort here should be to encourage as many munici­
pal or university groups as possible to undertake small,
carefully chosen, narrowly restricted studies of unem­
ployment caused by plant shutdowns or widespread
lay-offs attributable to long-time trend factors. There
is the distinct advantage that declining markets as
well as increasing productivity can be brought into
the picture by this type of research.
4. A minor point arises in connection with the dismissal
wage. This device has been used but rarely in the past,
but there are indications that it may spread rapidly.
It would be very valuable to have much additional data
along the lines of the Chicago and Yale studies, and
local bodies should be urged to set in motion studies
of this kind whenever dismissal wages cases occur in
a community.
II. Possible new projects:
It is not absolutely necessary to go beyond the above program.
The gradual tightening up of the work in productivity measure­
ment and the encouragement of coordinated research on unem­
ployment may be as far as it is advisable to go at the present
time. However, if further analyses of the problem are to be at­
tempted, a few suggestions as to the nature of these projects may
now be in order.
1. One group of studies which has long since been contemplated
and which has been held up for lack of data will be pushed
forward in half a dozen directions as soon as the 1930 cen­
sus data on occupations becomes available. There is some
ground for thinking that the best approach to the problem
of technological unemployment may be through the study




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

of occupational shifting. Intensive research into occupa­
tional changes will require no prompting once the data are
published by the Census Bureau; and, on the other hand,
in the absence of such data, any pretentious study of tech­
nological unemployment may go off half-cocked.
2. Since, whatever the basic, origmating cause may be, most
unemployment attributable to trend factors actually comes
into existence through wholesale lay-offs, plant shutdowns,
bankrupt companies, etc., it may well be that the most fruit­
ful attack on the problem could be made through a study of
such shutdowns, bankruptcies, lay-offs, etc. This would
mean concentrating on shifts in demand, in markets, and in
•manufacturing areas rather than on productivity.
3. It is clear that the burning practical problem at the present
time is that of the transfer and retraining of displaced
workers. Eliminating for the moment the question of em­
ployment offices, there is much to be done to focus the atten­
tion of both industry and the community on the problem of
the readjustment of unemployed workers. The part which
industry itself is playing and should play needs to be
thoroughly and critically examined, while the extent to
which the community should take steps to assist in this
matter must be carefully surveyed.
4. Others might be added to the list, but these few should be
sufficient to illustrate the types of studies which could be
made. The suggestion of other projects may safely be left
to the ingenuity of research workers in this neld. There is,
however, one last project worthy of examination—a projosal for a sort o f superstudy which would cut across at
east three or four of the more specific studies discussed
above. Such a project woiild of necessity have to be a spe­
cial productivity survey; it would have to include both
productivity and unemployment, but it would concern itself
much less with the measurement of productivity than it
would with (1) the relationship of increased productivity
to unemployment, and (2) the transfer or reabsorption into
industry of technologically unemployed workers.
Such* a study, if undertaken at all, must be outlined in a
comprehensive way. It would require a set-up somewhat
analogous to that of the E. D. Smith study, now under way
at the Institute of Human Relations, although it would
have to be focused on a different point, for the Smith study
is primarily concerned with the influence of the machine on
the worker on the job.
Briefly outlined, a study of the type suggested should be
confined to one or two important and significant industries
(glass industry of six or seven jrears ago would have fur­
nished an excellent example); it should begin with the
introduction of machinery or improved processes, trace the
results of these through the individual plants to the industry
as a whole and even to other related industries, try to
locate cases of large-scale lay-offs and shutdowns involving
direct and indirect displacement of labor, and eventually

{




MEMORANDUM ON TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

31

follow up these displaced workers with some kind of a sam­
pling study; concurrently with the last mentioned should go
a thorough examination into the facilities available to the
worker for transfer, placement, retraining, etc., and, in
closing, the project might well concern itself with the prob­
lem of setting up machinery within industry to meet future
cases.
Such a study would necessarily involve an enormous
expenditure of time and money; it would require the hearty
cooperation of industry, of labor organizations, of Govern­
ment bureaus, and of research agencies. It should be funda­
mentally a research project, and yet it would have to relate
its own findings to practical ends. Unless it is to be given
a sufficiently comprehensive scope, such a project had better
not be undertaken, and this subcommittee had better con­
tent itself with the more modest program of improving the
quality of existing studies in this field and of encouraging
further research by interested agencies.







LIST OF BULLETINS OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
The following is a list of all bulletins of the Bureau of Labor Statistics published since
July, 1912, except that in the case of bulletins giving the results of periodic surveys of the
bureau only the latest bulletin on any one subject is here listed.
A complete list of the reports and bulletins issued prior to July, 1912, as well as the bulle*
tins published since that date, will be furnished on application. Bulletins marked thus (* )
are out of print.
Conciliation and arbitration (including strikes and lockouts).
♦No. 124. Conciliation and arbitration in the building trades of Greater New York.
[1913.]
*No. 133. Report of the industrial council of the British Board of Trade on its
inquiry into industrial agreements. [1913.]
No. 139. Michigan copper district strike. [1914.]
♦No. 144. Industrial court of the cloak, suit, and skirt industry of New York City.
[1914.]
♦No. 145. Conciliation, arbitration, and sanitation in the dress and waist industry
of New York City. [1914.]
♦No. 191. Collective bargaining in the anthracite-coal industry. [1916.]
♦No. 198. Collective agreements in the men’s clothing industry. [1916.]
No. 233. Operation of the industrial disputes investigation act of Canada. [1918.]
No. 255. Joint industrial councils in Great Britain. [1919.]
No. 283. History of the Shipbuilding Labor Adjustment Board, 1917 to 1919.
No. 287. National War Labor B oard: History of its formation, activities, etc.
[1921.]
♦No. 303. Use of Federal power in settlement of railway labor disputes. [1922.]
No. 341. Trade agreement in the silk-ribbon industry of New York City. [1923.]
No. 402. Collective bargaining by actors. [1926.]
No. 468. Trade agreements, 1927.
No. 481. Joint industrial control in the book and job printing industry. [1928.]
Cooperation.
No. 313. Consumers' cooperative societies in the United States in 1920.
No. 314. Cooperative credit societies (credit unions) in America and in foreign
countries. [1922.]
No. 437. Cooperative movement in the United States in 1925 (other than agri­
cultural).
No. 531. Consumers', credit, and workers' productive cooperative societies, 1929.
Employment and unemployment.
♦No. 109. Statistics of unemployment and the work of employment offices in the
United States. [1913.]
♦No. 172. Unemployment in New York City, N. Y. [1915.]
♦No. 183. Regularity of employment in the women's ready-to-wear garment industries.
[1915.]
♦No. 195. Unemployment in the United States. [1916.]
♦No. 196. Proceedings of Employment Managers’ Conference held at Minneapolis,
Minn., January 19 and 20, 1916.
♦No. 202. Proceedings of the conference of Employment Managers’ Association of
Boston, Mass., held May 10, 1916.
♦No. 206. The British system of labor exchanges. [1916.]
♦No. 227. Proceedings of the Employment Managers’ Conference, Philadelphia, Pa.,
April 2 and 3, 1917.
♦No. 235. Employment system of the Lake Carriers' Association. [1918.]
♦No. 241. Public employment offices in the United States. [1918.]
♦No. 247. Proceedings of Employment Managers’ Conference, Rochester, N. Y., May
9-11, 1918.
♦No. 310. Industrial unemployment: A statistical study of its extent and causes.
[1922.]
No. 409. Unemployment in Columbus, Ohio, 1921 to 1925.
No. 520. Social and economic character of unemployment in Philadelphia, April,
1929.




(I)

Foreign labor laws.
•No. 142. Administration of labor laws and factory inspection in certain European
countries. [1914.]
No. 494. Labor legislation of Uruguay. [1929.]
No. 510. Labor legislation of Argentina. [1930.]
No. 529. Workmen’s compensation legislation of Latin American countries. [1930.]
Housing.
♦No. 158. Government aid to home owning and housing o f working people in foreign
countries. [1914.]
No. 263. Housing by employers in the United States. [1920.]
No. 295. Building operations in representative cities in 1920.
No. 524. Building permits in the principal cities of the United States in [1921 to]
1929.
Industrial accidents and hygiene.
♦No. 104. Lead poisoning in potteries, tile works, and porcelain enameled sanitary
ware factories. [1912.]
No. 120. Hygiene of painters’ trade. [1913.]
♦No. 127. Danger to workers from dusts and fumes, and methods of protection.
[1913.]
♦No. 141. Lead poisoning in the smelting and refining of lead. [1914.]
♦No. 157. Industrial accident statistics. [1915.]
♦No. 165. Lead poisoning in the manufacture of storage batteries. [1914.]
♦No. 179. Industrial poisons used in the rubber industry. [1915.]
No. 188. Report of British departmental committee on the danger in the use of
lead in the painting of buildings. [1916.]
♦No. 201. Report of the committee on statistics and compensation insurance costs of
the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Com­
missions. [1916.]
♦No. 209. Hygiene of the printing trades. [1917.]
♦No. 219. Industrial poisons used or produced in the manufacture of explosives.
[1917.]
No. 221. Hours, fatigue, and health in British munition factories. [1917.]
No. 230. Industrial efficiency and fatigue in British munition factories. [1917.]
♦No. 231. Mortality from respiratory diseases in dusty trades (inorganic dusts).
[1918.]
♦No. 234. The safety movement in the iron and steel industry, 1907 to 1917.
No. 236. Effects of the air hammer on the hands of stonecutters. [1918.]
No. 249. Industrial health and efficiency. Final report of British Health of Muni­
tions Workers’ Committee. [1919.]
♦No. 251. Preventable death in the cotton-manufacturing industry. [1919.]
No. 256. Accidents and accident prevention in machine building. [1919.]
No. 267. Anthrax as an occupational disease. [1920.]
No. 276. Standardization of industrial accident statistics. [1920.]
♦No. 280. Industrial poisoning in making coal-tar dyes and dye intermediates.
[1921.]
♦No. 291. Carbon monoxide poisoning. [1921.]
No. 293. The problem of dust phthisis in the granite-stone industry. [1922.]
No. 298. Causes and prevention of accidents in the iron and steel industry, 19101919.
No. 306. Occupation hazards and diagnostic signs: A guide to impairments to be
looked for in hazardous occupations. [1922.]
No. 392. Survey of hygienic conditions in the printing trades. [1925.]
No. 405. Phosphorus necrosis in the manufacture of fireworks and in the prepara­
tion of phosphorus. [1926.]
No. 427. Health survey of the printing trades, 1922 to 1925.
No. 428. Proceedings of the Industrial Accident Prevention Conference, held at
Washington, D. C., July 14-16, 1926.
No. 460. A new test for industrial lead poisoning. [1928.]
No. 466. Settlement for accidents to American seamen. [1928.]
No. 488. Deaths from lead poisoning, 1925-1927.
No. 490. Statistics of industrial accidents in the United States to the end of 1927.
No. 507. Causes of death, by occupation. [1929.]
Industrial relations and labor conditions.
No. 237. Industrial unrest in Great Britain. [1917.]
No. 340. Chinese migrations, with special reference to labor conditions. [1923.]




(H)

Industrial
$ 0.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.

relations and labor conditions— Continued.
349. Industrial relations in the West Coast lumber industry. [1923.]
361. Labor relations in the Fairmont (W. Va.) bituminous-coal field. [1924.)
380. Postwar labor conditions in Germany. [1925.]
383. Works council movement in Germany. [1925.]
384. Labor conditions in the shoe industry in Massachusetts, 1920-1924.
399. Labor relations in the lace and lace-curtain industries in the United
States. [1925.]
No. 534. Labor conditions in the Territory of Hawaii, 1929-1930.

Labor laws of
No. 211.
No. 229.
No. 285.
No.
No.
No.
No.

321.
322.
343.
370.

No. 408.
No. 517.
No. 528.

the United States (including decisions of courts relating to labor).
Labor laws and their administration in the Pacific States. [1917.]
Wage payment legislation in the United States. [1917.]
Minimum wage laws of the United States: Construction and operation.
[1921.]
Labor laws that have been declared unconstitutional. [1922.]
Kansas Court of Industrial Relations. [1923.]
Laws providing for bureaus of labor statistics, etc. [1923.]
Labor laws of the United States, with decisions of courts relating thereto.
[1925.]
Laws relating to payment of wages. [1926.]
Decisions of courts and opinions affecting labor, 1927-1928.
Labor legislation. 1929.

Proceedings of annual conventions of the Association of Governmental Officials in Industry
of the United States and Canada. (Name changed in 1928 from Association of Governmental
Labor Officials of the United States and Canada.)
♦No. 266. Seventh, Satttle, Wash., July 12-15, 1920.
No. 307. Eighth, New Orleans, La., May 2-6, 1921.
♦No. 323. Ninth, Harrisburg, Pa., May 22-26, 1922.
♦No. 352. Tenth, Richmond, Va., May 1-4, 1923.
♦No. 389. Eleventh, Chicago, 111., May 19-23, 1924.
♦No. 411. Twelfth, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 13-15, 1925.
♦No. 429. Thirteenth, Columbus, Ohio, June 7-10, 1926.
♦No. 455. Fourteenth, Paterson, N. J., May 31 to June 3, 1927.
♦No. 480. Fifteenth, New Orleans, La., May 21-24, 1928.
No. 508. Sixteenth, Toronto, Canada, June 4-7, 1929.
No. 530. Seventeenth, Louisville, Ky., May 20-23, 1930.
Proceedings of annual meetings of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards
and Commissions.
No. 210. Third, Columbus, Ohio, April 25-28, 1916.
No. 248. Fourth, Boston, Mass., August 21-25, 1917.
No. 264. Fifth, Madison, Wis., September 24-27, 1918.
♦No. 273. Sixth, Toronto, Canada, September 23-26, 1919.
No. 281. Seventh, San Francisco, Calif., September 20-24, 1920.
No. 304. Eighth, Chicago, 111., September 19-23, 1921.
No. 333. Ninth, Baltimore, Md., October 9-13, 1922.
♦No. 359. Tenth, St. Paul, Minn., September 24-26, 1923.
No. 385. Eleventh, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 26-28, 1924.
No. 395. Index to proceedings, 1914-1924.
No. 406. Twelfth, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 17-20, 1925.
No. 432. Thirteenth, Hartford, Conn., September 14-17, 1926.
♦No. 456. Fourteenth, Atlanta, Ga., September 27-29, 1927.
No. 485. Fifteenth, Paterson, N. J., September 11-14, 1928.
No. 511. Sixteenth, Buffalo, N. Y., October 8-11, 1929.
No. 536. Seventeenth, Wilmington, Del., September 22-26, 1930. (In press.)
Proceedings of annual meetings of the International Association of Public Employment Services.
No. 192. First, Chicago, December 19 and 20, 1913; second, Indianapolis, September
24 and 25, 1914; third, Detroit, July 1 and 2, 1915.
♦No. 220. Fourth, Buffalo, N. Y., July 20 and 21, 1916.
No. 311. Ninth, Buffalo, N. Y., September 7-9, 1921.
No. 337. Tenth, Washington, D. C., September 11-13, 1922.
No. 355. Eleventh, Toronto, Canada, September 4-7, 1923.
No. 400. Twelfth, Chicago, 111., May 19-23, 1924.
No. 414. Thirteenth, Rochester, N. Y., September 15-17, 1925.
No. 478. Fifteenth, Detroit, Mich., October 25-28, 1927.




(in)

Proceedings of annual meetings of the International Association of Public Employment Serv­
ices— Continued.
No. 501. Sixteenth, Cleveland, Ohio, September 18-21, 1928.
No. 538. Seventeenth, Philadelphia, September 24-27, 1929, and eighteenth, Toronto,
Canada, September 9-12, 1930. (In Dress.)
Productivity of labor.
No. 326. Productivity costs in the common-brick industry. [1924.]
No. 360. Time and labor costs in manufacturing 100 pairs of shoes, 1923.
No. 407. Labor cost of production and wages and hours of labor in the paper boxboard industry. [1926.]
•No. 412. Wages, hours, and productivity in the pottery industry, 1925.
No. 441. Productivity of labor in the glass industry. [1927.]
No. 474. Productivity of labor in merchant blast furnaces. [1928.]
No. 475. Productivity of labor in newspaper printing. [1929.]
Retail prices and cost of living.
♦No. 121. Sugar prices, from refiner to consumer. [1913.]
♦No. 130. Wheat and flour prices, from farmer to consumer. [1913.]
♦No. 164. Butter prices, from producer to consumer. [1914.]
No. 170. Foreign food prices as affected by the war. [1915.]
No. 357. Cost of living in the United States. [1924.]
No. 369. The use of cost-of-living figures in wage adjustments. [1925.]
No. 495. Retail prices, 1890 to 1928.
Safety codes.
♦No. 331. Code of lighting: Factories, mills, and other work places.
No. 336. Safety code for the protection of industrial workers in foundries.
No. 350. Rules for governing the approval of headlighting devices for motor
vehicles.
♦No. 351. Safety code for the construction, care, and use of ladders.
No. 375. Safety code for laundry machinery and operations.
No. 382. Cede of lighting school buildings.
No. 410. Safety code for paper and pulp mills.
♦No. 430. Safety code for power presses and foot and hand presses.
No. 433. Safety codes for the prevention of dust explosions.
No. 447. Safety code for rubber mills and calenders.
No. 451. Safety code for forging and hot-metal stamping.
No. 463. Safety code for mechanical power-transmission apparatus— first revision.
No. 509. Textile safety code.
No. 512. Code for identification of gas-mask canisters.
No. 519. Safety code for woodworking plants, as revised, 1930.
No. 527. Safety code for the use, care, and protection of abrasive wheels.
Vocational and workers' education.
♦No. 159. Short-unit courses for wage earners, and a factory school experiment.
[1915.]
♦No. 162. Vocational education survey of Richmond, Va. [1915.]
♦No. 199. Vocational education survey of Minneapolis, Minn. [1917.]
No. 271. Adult working-class education in Great Britain and the United States.
[1920.]
No. 459. Apprenticeship in building construction. [1928.]
Wages and hours of labor.
♦No. 146. Wages and regularity of employment and standardization of piece rates in
the dress and waist industry of New York City. [1914.]
♦No. 147. Wages and regularity of employment in the cloak, suit, and skirt industry.
[1914.]
No. 161. Wages and hours of labor in the clothing and cigar industries, 1911 to
1913.
No. 163. Wages and hours of labor in the building and repairing of steam railroad
cars, 1907 to 1913.
♦No. 190. Wages and hours of labor in the cotton, woolen, and silk industries, 1907
to 1914.
No. 204. Street-railway employment in the United States. [1917.]
No. 218. Wages and hours of labor in the iron and steel industry, 1907 to 1915 :
With a glossary of occupations.
No. 225. Wages and hours of labor in the lumber, millwork, and furniture indus­
tries, 1915.




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Wages and hours of labor— Continued.
No. 265. Industrial survey in selected industries in the United States, 1919.
No. 297. Wages and hours of labor in the petroleum industry, 1920.
No. 356. Productivity costs in the common-brick industry. [1924.]
No. 358. Wages and hours of labor in the automobile-tire industry, 1923.
No. 360. Time and labor costs in manufacturing 100 pairs of shoes, 1923.
No. 365. Wages and hours of labor in the paper and pulp industry, 1923.
No. 394. Wages and hours of labor in metalliferous mines, 1924.
No. 407. Labor cost of production and wages and hours of labor in the paper boxboard industry. [1926.]
♦No. 412. Wages, hours, and productivity in the pottery industry, 1925.
No. 416. Hours and earnings in anthracite and bituminous coal mining, 1922 and
1924.
No. 476. Union scales of wages and hours of labor: Supplement to Bulletin 457.
No. 484. Wages and hours of labor of common street laborers, 1928.
No. 497. Wages and hours of labor in the lumber industry in the United States, 1928.
No. 498. Wages and hours of labor in the boot and shoe industry, 1910 to 1928.
No. 499. History of wages in the United States from colonial times to 1928.
No. 502. Wages and hours of labor in the motor-vehicle industry, 1928.
No. 503. Wages and hours of labor in the men’s clothing industry, 1911 to 1928.
No. 504. Wages and hours of labor in the hosiery and underwear industries, 1907
to 1928.
No. 513. Wages and hours of labor in the iron and steel industry, 1929.
No. 514. Pennsylvania Railroad wage data. From report of Joint Fact Finding
Committee in wage negotiations in 1927.
No. 516. Hours and earnings in bituminous coal mining, 1929.
No. 522. Wages and hours of labor in foundries and machine shops, 1929.
No. 523. Hours and earnings in the manufacture of airplanes and aircraft engines,
1929.
No. 525. Wages and hours of labor in the Portland cement industry, 1929.
No. 526. Wages and hours of labor in the furniture industry, 1910 to 1929.
No. 532. Wages and hours of labor in the cigarette manufacturing industry, 1930.
No. 533. Wages and hours of labor in woolen and worsted goods manufacturing, 1910
to 1930.
No. 534. Labor conditions in the Territory of Hawaii, 1929-1930.
No. 535. Wages and hours of labor in the slaughtering and meat-packing industry,
1929. (In press.)
No. 537. Wages and hours of labor in the dyeing and finishing of textiles, 1930. (In
press.)
No. 539. Wages and hours of labor in cotton-goods manufacturing, 1910 to 1930. (In
press.)
No. 540. Union scales of wages and hours of labor, May 15, 1930. (In press.)
Welfare work.
♦No. 123. Employers’ welfare work. [1913.]
No. 222. Welfare work in British munitions factories. [1917.]
♦No. 250. Welfare work for employees in industrial establishments in the United
States. [1919.]
No. 458. Health and recreation activities in industrial establishments, 1926.
Wholesale prices.
♦No. 284. Index numbers of wholesale prices in the United States and foreign coun­
tries. [1921.]
No. 453. Revised index numbers of wholesale prices, 1923 to July, 1927.
No. 521. Wholesale prices, 1929.
Women and children in industry.
No. 116. Hours, earnings, and duration of employment of wage-earning women In
selected industries in the District of Columbia. [1913.]
♦No. 117. Prohibition of night work of young persons. [1913.]
♦No. 118. Ten-hour maximum working-day for women and young persons. [1913.]
No. 119. Working hours of women in the pea canneries of Wisconsin. [1913.]
♦No. 122. Employment of women in power laundries in Milwaukee. [1913.]
♦No. 160. Hours, earnings, and conditions of labor of women in Indiana mercantile
establishments and garment factories. [1914.]
♦No. 167. Minimum-wage legislation in the United States and foreign countries.
[1915.]
♦No. 175. Summary of the report on condition of woman and child wage earners in
the United States. [1915.]




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Women and children in industry— Continued.
♦No. 176. Effect of minimum-wage determinations in Oregon. [1915.]
•No. 180. The boot and shoe Industry in Massachusetts as a vocation for women.
[1915.]
♦No. 182. Unemployment among women in department and other retail stores of Bos­
ton, Mass. [1916.]
No. 193. Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts. [1916.]
No. 215. Industrial experience of trade-scbool girls in Massachusetts. [1917.]
♦No. 217. Effect of workmen's compensation laws in diminishing the necessity of
industrial employment o f women and children. [1918.]
♦No. 223. Employment of women and juveniles in Great Britain during the war.
[1917.]
No. 253. Women in the lead industries. [1919.]
No. 467. Minimum wage legislation in various countries. [1928.]
Workmen’s insurance and compensation (including: laws relating thereto).
♦No. 101. Care o f tuberculous wage earners in Germany. [1912.]
♦No. 102. British national insurance act, 1911.
No. 103. Sickness' and accident insurance law in Switzerland. [1912.]
No. 107. Law relating to insurance of salaried employees in Germany. [1913.]
♦No. 155. Compensation for accidents to employees of the United States. [1914.]
•No. 212. Proceedings of the conference on social insurance called by the International
Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, Washington,
D. C., December 5-9, 1916.
♦No. 243. Workmen’s compensation legislation in the United States and foreign coun­
tries, 1917 and 1918.
No. 301. Comparison of workmen’s compensation insurance and administration.
[1922.]
No. 312. National health insurance in Great Britain, 1911 to 1921.
No. 379. Comparison of workmen’s compensation laws of the United States as of
January 1, 1925.
No. 477. Public-service retirement systems, United States and Europe. [1929.]
No. 496. Workmen’s compensation legislation of the United States and Canada as of
January 1, 1929. (With text of legislation enacted in 1927 and 1928.)
No. 529. Workmen’s compensation legislation of the Latin American countries. [1930.]
Miscellaneous series.
♦No. 174. Subject index of the publications of the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics up to May 1, 1915.
No. 208. Profit sharing in the United States. [1916.]
No. 242. Food situation in central Europe, 1917.
No. 254. International labor legislation and the society of nations. [1919.]
No. 268. Historical survey of international action affecting labor. [1920.]
No. 282. Mutual relief associations among Government employees in Washington,
D. C. [1921.]
No. 319. The Bureau of Labor Statistics: Its history, activities, and organization.
[1922.]
No. 326. Methods of procuring and computing statistical information of the Bureau
of Labor Statistics. [1923.]
No. 342. International Seamen’s Union of America: A study of its history and prob­
lems. [1923.]
No. 346. Humanity in government. [1923.]
No. 372. Convict labor in 1923.
No. 386. Cost of American almshouses. [1925.]
No. 398. Growth of legal-aid work in the United States. [1926.]
No. 401. Family allowances in foreign countries. [1926.]
No. 461. Labor organizations in Chile. [1928.]
No. 462. Park recreation areas in the United States. [1928.]
♦No. 465. Beneficial activities of American trade-unions. [1928.]
No. 479. Activities and functions o f a State department of labor. [1928.]
No. 483. Conditions in the shoe industry in Haverhill, Mass., 1928.
No. 489. Care of aged persons in the United States. [1929.]
No. 505. Directory of homes for the aged in the United States. [1929.]
No. 506. Handbook of American trade-unions: 1929 edition.
No. 518. Personnel research agencies: 1930 edition.
No. 541. Handbook of labor statistics: 1931 edition. (In press.)




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