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v. a~t.,.r v nl. e r91-. \, r C Mf T RO OM ib r ;, r• WO R K S P R OG R E S S A DM I N I S T R A T I O N HARRY L. HOPKINS, ADMINISTRATOR • CORRINGTON GILL HOWARD SOCIAL ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR R E S E A R C H 8. MYERS, DIRECTOR RESE ARCH DIVISION BULLETIN SOURCE OF INCOME OF FORMER UR BAN RELIEF CASES l" SEPTEMBER , 1936 SERIES I Or g,nc 'rorr NOR HWE-STE:R~ L~IVE!:l.Sl1Y No. 22 Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY PREFACE This bulletin is tased upon prelimin o ry the Economic St a tus Atlanta, Geor g ia; Montana; Chica go, of Furmer Baltimore, u'r ban di=ita Relief Maryland; from Cases Omaha, San Francisco, California; Survey of Trends conducted Aridgeport, 111 inois; Detroit, Michigan; New Hampshire; the in Connecticut; Houston, in 13 cities: Butte, Texas; Manchester, Nebraska; Paterson, New Jersey; 5t. Louis, Missouri; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Statistical tests disclose that these cities provide a good cross-section of the urban relief population. As a first step in the selection of cases for the present survey, a random sample was taken of all cases that were on relief in the 13 cities for all or part of the period May throu~h October 1935. The 6,144 cases examined in this report were selected from the random sample, for study on a monthto-month basis. They include unemployable as well as employable cases. The information concerning each case is obtained monthly from official relief and Works Program records and from personal contacts with the family. This report summarizes the changes which took place during the 10-month period October 1935 through July 1936 in the distribution of cases receiving their support from one or more (or none) of three sources - relief, Works Program, and private employment. Any case in the study may have received income from sources other than the three mentioned, e.g., dividends from investments, rent from property, pensions, and g lfts from purpose of this report, any such income is disregarded. friends. For the Relief, as the term is used herein, includes both general public relief and private relief distributed through organized agencies such as emergency re1 ief aaministrations, county or municipal departments of public welfare, and private charities. Categorical relief laid to the blind, old age pensions, mothers' aid, etc.) is not included. The term "Works Program" refers to the broad employment plan of the Federal Government carried on under the Works Progress Administration, Civi I ian Conservation Corps, Pub I ic Works Administration, and other agencies which operate under the Relief Appropriation Act of 1935. Private employment may be defined as work for private individuals or o.rganizations, "regular" employment of governmental agencies, and work for self in such capacity as store proprietor and contractor. The figures presented in the fol lowing pages are based upon unweighted data for the 13 cities. Application of weights, determined so as to represent the case load of the several cities, results ~ in comparatively smal I changes in the proportions of cases fal I ing in the various source-of-income groups. Al I data refer to the case 01 household, not to individuals. Prepared by F, L. Carmichael and J. C. Bevis under the supervision of John N, Webb Coordinator of Urban Research Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY -1SOURCE OF INCOME OF FORMER URBAN RELIEF CASES OCTOBER 1935 THROUGH JULY 1936 That an increasing number of for- income or not, decreased during each mer urban rel iefcases are being supported entirely by income from pri- month of the survey. In October, 85.1 percent of the cases studied received vate employment is revealed by a study now being made in 13 cities. Of the assist ance in the form of Works Program earnings or relief. In March 6,144 cases examined, the proportion from private the percentage was 79.7. Between March and July the rate of decrease employment showed a smal I but steady in the size of this group was greatly increase from October 1935 to March 1936, when it comprised 17.1 percent of the tot a I. A more rapid increase accelerated with the result that more than twice as many cases left the relief or Works Program rel ls during occurred during the next four months; by July the proportion had reached 25.6 percent (See the chart and the table I. that period as during the preceding five months. This sharp decrease during the later months Is attributable to increasing avallablllty of jobs in private employment, to reduct Ions in Works Program quotas, and to curtailment of relief in some cities because of lack of funds. whose sole income came A number of the cases examined had a member employed in private Industry and received add it i ona I income from relief or the Works Program, or both, during the month. 1 Cases that were wholly or partially supported by private emp I oyment in October formed nearly one-third of the tota I. There was I it t I e change in the size of this group unt i I the spring of 1936. From March to July, however, the proportion of cases having one or more membe rs employed in private industry, whether supplemented by other income o:- not, rose from 31.9 percent to 39.3 percent of the cases studied. The growing importance of this group of cases reflects seasonal improvement In business. The number of former urban relief cases receiving aid from re I i ef agencies or the Works Program, whether supplemented by private employment 1Tbroughout tbls report, the month is used as the unit or measurement. This means that, even though a case had two or more sources or Income 1n a given month, it did not necessarily receive the income from those sources concurrently. A sizeable but decreasing proportion of the cases studied derived Income f rem both private emp I oyment and relief. This group includes cases supported by relief for a portion of the month and by private employment for the remainder of the month, as wel I as cases In which earnings were insufficient to meet minimum budgetary needs and were supplemented by re I i ef. Cases whose tot a I sup po rt came jointly from private employment and relief dropped from 15.6 percent of the cases examined in October to 4.1 percent in July. Much of this declin e was caused by the transfer of employable relief cases to the Works Program and by the closing of relief cases which had one or more members in private employment. The Works Program, which was deve I oped to provide work for the desti t ute unerrp I oyed, began ope rat i ens during the summer of 1935. By the end of the yPar, it h3d 3.bsorb ed the Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 100 73 90 25 .6 80 70 4 .1 60 9 .1 5 .8 c Q) u ~ 50 Q) a... 40 34.8 30 20 10 16 . 8 0 Oc t. Nov. Dec. Jon. 1935 Feb. Mor. Apr. Moy June July 1936 SOURCE OF INCOME OF FORMER URBAN RELIEF CASES (Coses wh i ch rece ived rel ief al any time from Moy\ lo October 31, 1935) Source Study of Trend s in the Econ omic Status of Former Relief Coses- 13 C, t ,es O,v1s1on of Soci al Research, W. P. A. AF-13B7 Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY -2- major portion of l i ef I oad. The the employable re- trend of emp I oyment re I ief cases that had em p I o y me n t , found t hat under the Works Program is reflected vember in the assignment, monthly proportions of Works cases in the present study. Prag ram it 1935, relief in October, 19.2 percent the month i n No- of heaviest the cases which received addition employme nt In is Works Program to Works Program comprised somewhat over of all two-thirds of al I Works Program cases cases examined had a member employed examined, and one-s ixth of these also ori a Works Program project. This pro- had some income from private employ- port ion morethandoubled inNovember, ment. and by December over half of the cases during December and January as a re- studied sult of the decreasing number of re- the were Works receiving Program. income The from number of The group fel I off sharply 1 ief-to-Works-Program transfers. Works Program cases continued to increase until March when the group Throughout months the comprised 55.6 percent of studied. This amounted July amounted to only 4.9 percent of all cases to almost the next six proportion declined gradually and a I I cases on the Works Program. in The three-fourths of al I cases certified majority of the as during the later months were fami I ies eligible Program. for employment the re11aining Of on the quarter cases in this group which we re certified but not emp I oyed, which, because of their size, or because of the existence of spec ia I approximr\tely three-fifths needs vate employment, an::1 had pri- one-sixth con- taine::1 noworkers who were physically able, at that time, to accept assignment. Subsequent men t to March, employ- on the Program declined, and Jul y 46.2 percent of a member employe j the in cases had on a Works Program projec t. During each of the earlier months granted Works are of ca ses derived income from both Works Prag ram emp I oyment and relief. In the proc ess of transferring cases from relief rolls to the Works Prag ram, re I ief was usua I I y continued until the pay NOrker check. received his first This practice accounts for most of the cases having these two sources of income during the same month. Restricting the moment, the discussion, to those form er for urban as medical relief to Program ings from odd recorded earnings, it care, were supplement their income. 2 jobs, however as Since earn- private sma 11, employment is, not $urprising that a few of the c~ses having both Works Program employment and relief received additional income from private emp I oyme nt. of the survey a considerable proportion such Througnout the period covered by this report, Works Program and pri- vate ernployment contributed jointly to the support of a number of cases. A special veals, analysis however, of June data re- that many of these cases lost either their Works Program or their private employment, or both, 2 A rurther analysis or the data ror two months (March and April) reveals that only about three-rltths or the cases deriving their support rrom both sources actually rece 1ved incorne concurrent iy rrom relief and the Works Program. Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY before the end of the month. 21.1 percent of 3.II Althou3h 14.'orks Program of a I I of vate industry early some t i me only 14.6 percent employment ures on had during June, both types of June 30. !These fig- include thecaseswhichreceived cases studied. increased opportunities cases had a member employed in private at the emp I oyment summer , decl lned unt i I of the cases in this in the for pri- spring group July Because and gradually 53.4 percent subsisted entirely on income from these two sources. relief in addition to income from the other two sources. l That many of these private jobs either were parttime jobs or, I ow ea r n i n g s if full-time, yielded is i n d i cat e d amination of the private by an ex- employment As would be expected, of cases whose only the number income came from the Works Program incre3.sed as the number of cases which were entirely dependent upon relief decreased. In July the former group comprised 34.8 earnings of these cases. percent of al I cases examined and the About two-fifths of the cases ha vi ng both Works Program employment on June and private 30 received less than $25 fro,,, privateemploymentduring the month. Only a smal I proportion 12.0 percent l of the total group of Works Prag ram cases received as much as $75 from private employment during June and st i II had a member employed on the Works Program on the last day of the month. This indicates that the percentage of cases st i I I on the Works Program which have sufficient private employment earnings latter group 16.8 percent. One-half of the cases in the "relief only" category contain no person 16 years of age or over who is able to work. Cases which receive no relief and have neither Works Program nor pri- vate emp I oyment have comprised an increasing p ropo rt ion of tot a I cases. 3 From June to July this group increased from 5.2 percent to 7.3 percent of the cases examined. A large part of this increment consists of cases which had relief in June but no employment of any kind. These relief cases were closed mainly for two reasons - re- t o s up po rt t hem i s v e r y s ma I I • increasing number of ceipt ofa soldiers' bonus and receipt of an old age pension. The other former re I ief cases, there st i 11 remains a large number of people en- cases coming into the "no employment or re Ii ef" group were about equa 11 y tirely dependent upon public or private aid in one form or another for divided between those which held private jobs and those which held Works support. This is shown by the fact that, throughout the 10-month peri- Program jobs in June, each instance having emp I oyment in been I ost by od, wet I over half of the cases studied had no income other than relief July. the the Works Program cases resulted very or largely from physical Despite the absorption by private industry of Works an Prag ram. From October to The change in status of incapacitation February the proportion of cases wholI y dependent upon these two sources of income remained substantially unchanged and comprised about two-thirds 3 ttany cases in t he •no employment or re11er• category receive support rrom pensions and rrom relatives and rriends. Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY -4 - of the workers and fromcompletion of may be the Works Program private projects on which they had been employed. The Veteran's tion, distributed ceived by included Compensa- June, 5.0 percent in the survey. of was re- al I cases The propor- tion of bonus recipients among the Works Prog ra,,., cases was the sa,,,e as War veterans, between would to i ndustry from the present Adjusted in attributed the be the draws age most fact that extensively range of World of whom ages of 35 expected, and are now 50. As proportionately fewer of the cases having no employment of any kind, either on the Works Progra m or in private industry, re- the general average. Former relief cases which had private employment ceived a bonus. Since this group con- but no Works Program employment fared somewhat better, nearly 6 percent of proportion having male members between these cases receiving a bonus. sma Iler than average. This tains the many ages unemployable of 35 and 50 is cases, the doubt I ess Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SOURCE OF INCOME OF FORMER URBAN RELIEF CASES OCTOBER 1935 THROUGH JULY 1936 z 0 ~ 1935 I Source of Income ~ mo l/l -- ---l lO m rt :;;o ;:::;· z~ C z o- ~ Total Total Total Total Total z 0 ~ I ~ Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 6,144 100.0 50. 3 3.9 II. 9 2.2 I •2 I 5. 6 13.7 I .2 29.5 10.7 25.6 4.8 2.8 9.8 15.0 I .8 23.5 23.0 20.0 3.0 4.7 7.7 16. I 2.0 21.9 38.0 7.2 I. 5 6.6 5.6 16. I 3.1 20 . 2 41.4 5.8 I •2 7. I 4.7 16.3 3.3 19.2 42.0 3.7 I. I 8.8 4.9 I 7. I 3.2 19.4 38.8 2.5 .8 10.0 4.9 19.2 4.4 18. 7 36.7 2. I .6 9.9 4.3 22.5 5.2 18.8 35.6 I .8 .7 9.3 4.4 24.2 5.2 16.8 34.8 I. 8 .5 9.1 4. I 25.6 7.3 85.1 19.2 80.0 66. I 32.7 83.2 43. 9 69. 7 65.8 32.4 81. 9 50.7 54.2 66.5 3 I. 5 80.8 53.3 36.2 67. I 29.8 80.4 55.5 31 .9 67.4 29.3 79.7 55.6 28.9 64.9 31. 9 76.4 52. I 27 .6 60. 7 34.9 72.3 49.3 25. 7 57.5 3 7. 3 70.6 4 7 .4 25.7 56 . 2 38.6 67. I 46.2 23.2 53.4 39.3 Number Percent I, 182 100.0 2,697 100.0 3, 112 100.0 3,272 100.0 3,411 100.0 3,414 100,0 3,202 100.0 3,032 100.0 2,914 100.0 2,840 100.0 Program on Iy Program and re I ief Program, re I ief, and private employment Program and private employment 20.4 61. 8 II . 5 6.3 24.5 58.2 10.9 6.4 45.4 39.4 6.0 9.2 7 I ,4 13.5 2.8 12.3 74.4 10.5 2.2 12.9 75.5 6.6 2.1 15.8 74.3 4.9 I •5 19.3 74.4 4.2 I .3 20.1 75.1 3.8 I .5 19.6 75.3 3.8 I•I 19.8 Re I ief only Works Program only Works Program and re 11 ef Works Program, re I i e f, and private employment Works Program and private employment Private employment and re I ief Private employment only No employment or re I i ef :;;o l/l Nov. 6,144 100.0 Total cases stud l ed: '-< < m Number Percent Oct. 1936 Works Program and re I lef Works Program re I ief Works Program and re I ief onlyt privatP. employment mo l/l -, ---l u:i" m 3· :;;o OJ z::;; co z3 Works Program cases: < m :;;o l/l ~ Works Works Works Works t Cases wholly dependent on relief and/or Works Program employrrent. Digitized by Original from NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY