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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND LABOR

BUREAU OF LABOR
CHAS. P. NEILL, Commissioner

STATISTICS OF UNEMPLOYMENT
AND THE WORK OF
EMPLOYMENT OFFICES




BULLETIN OF THE UNITED
STATES BUREAU OF LABOR
WHOLE NUMBER 109

MISCELLANEOUS SERIES
No. 1

OCTOBER 15, 1912

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1913




CONTENTS.
Page.

Introduction......................................... ............................................................
5, 6
Statistics of unemployment...................... ...... ................................................. 6-34
United States census.................................................................................. 6-11
Report on cost of living by the United States Bureau of Labor................. 11-13
Unemployment of organized labor in New York....................................... 13-23
Unemployment of organized labor in Massachusetts.................................. 23-25
Statistics from the American Federationist................................................ 25,26
Census of unemployed in Rhode Island in 1908......................................... 26, 27
Unemployment in coal mines, as shown by reports of United States Geo­
logical Survey.......................................................................................... 27-29
Comparison of statistical data.................................................................... 29-34
Distribution of labor........................................................................................ 34-140
Free public employment offices.................................................................35,36
Private employment offices......................................................................... 36,37
Other agencies............................................................................................ 37-39
Indiana...................................................................................................... 39-46
State free employment office............................................................... 39-42
Private employment offices................................................................ 42-44
Free employment bureau of employers’ association............................44,45
Other agencies for the distribution of labor......................................... 45,46
Illinois........................................................................................................46-61
State free employment offices............................................................. 46-53
Private employment offices.................................................................53-58
Other agencies for the distribution of labor......................................... 58-61
Massachusetts.............................................................................................. 62-78
State free employment offices............................................................. 62-72
Labor supply and demand as indicated by reports of free employment
offices............................................................................................... 72-74
Private employment offices................................................................. 74-77
Other agencies in Boston.................................................................... 77,78
Michigan..................................................................................................... 78-91
State free employment offices............................................................. 78-86
Employers’ association of Detroit........................................................ 86,87
Private employment offices in Detroit................................................
88
Young Men’s Christian Association employment office........................ 89, 90
Other agencies in Detroit engaged in the distribution of labor............ 90,91
Minnesota................................................................................................. 91-101
State free employment offices............................. '...............................91-98
Private employment offices in Minneapolis....................................... 98-100
Other agencies in Minneapolis engaged in the distribution of labor. 100,101
New Y ork ............................................................................................... 101-117
State free employment office...............................................................
101
Private employment offices............................................................. 101-107
Division of Information of the Federal Bureau of Immigration and
Naturalization.............................................................................. 108,109
Bureau of information and statistics of the New York Department of
Agriculture.......................................................................................
110
National Employment Exchange..................................................... 110-113
3



4

CONTENTS.

Distribution of labor—Concluded.
New York—Concluded.
Page.
Employment bureaus of the Young Men’s Christian Association___113-115
Other philanthropic agencies............................................................ 115-117
Other agencies for distributing immigrants.................................. ..
117
Rhode Island.......................................................................................... 118-120
State free employment office............................................................118-120
120
Other employment agencies.............................................................
Other States having free public employment offices............................... 121-140
California.......................................................................................... 121,122
Colorado............................................................................................ 122,123
Connecticut....................................................................................... 123-125
Kansas.............................................................................................. 125,126
Maryland.......................................................................................... 127-129
Missouri............................................................................................ 130,131
Montana............................................................................................
131
Nebraska..........................................................................................
131
New Jersey....................................................................................... 131,132
Ohio................................................................................................. 132-134
Oklahoma........................................................................................ 135,136
Washington....................................................................................... 136,137
West Virginia...................................................................................
137
Wisconsin.........................................................................................137-140




BULLETIN OF THE

UNITED STATES
w h o l e n o . 109 .

BUREAU OF

WASHINGTON.

LABOR.
o c t o b e r 15, 1912 .

STATISTICS OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE WORK
OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.
BY FRANK B. SARGENT.

INTRODUCTION.

This article enumerates such statistics as are available upon the
subject o f unemployment in the United States, presents these sta­
tistics in part, describes the methods o f obtaining them, and discusses
their value and comparability. It then proceeds to a consideration
o f one o f the remedies for unemployment, that o f the distribution of
labor by means of employment agencies, and describes the activities
of such agencies in various States.
A full discussion o f remedies for unemployment would require a
classification of the unemployed and an analysis of the causes of idle­
ness in each class. No satisfactory classification is possible from a
statistical standpoint, however, and as a discussion o f remedies is not
contemplated, no classification o f the unemployed is attempted.
The nature o f this report does not demand a reconciliation of the
various definitions of the term “ unemployment,” nor does it permit,
on account o f the varied meaning o f the term in the statistics pre­
sented, the formulation of a hard and fast definition to which the dis­
cussion will conform throughout. It is important, however, to keep
in mind the significance o f the term in each set of statistics on the sub­
ject, as its varied meaning may easily lead to confusion. For instance,
the percentage o f unemployment among organized workers in Eng­
land has sometimes been compared with similar reports for the State
of New York. Yet the New York reports include as unemployed mem­
bers o f labor unions idle from all causes, while the English reports
include only those who are idle through inability to obtain work.




5

6

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

To avoid confusion o f this character care is taken in the presentation
of each set of statistics in this report to set forth the exact meaning
of “ unemployment ” or “ the unemployed ” as used therein.
It may be briefly said that the subject of unemployment has re­
ceived but a limited amount of attention in the United States, and
that such statistics as have been gathered concerning it must be con­
sidered with very careful limitations, both as to their reliability and
the inferences which may be drawn from them. To the frequent
question as to the amount of unemployment in this country the reply
must be that the statistics do not make possible any estimate of the
number of unemployed persons in the United States at any time.
STATISTICS OF UNEMPLOYMENT.

The sources of statistical information concerning the amount of
unemployment in the United States during recent years are the fol­
lowing, which will be discussed in the order given:
1. The United States census reports.
2. A report on the cost o f living contained in the Eighteenth An­
nual Report of the Commissioner o f Labor.
3. Reports of unemployment among organized workmen in New
York and in Massachusetts, issued by the department of labor in New
York and the bureau o f statistics in Massachusetts.
4. Reports of unemployment among organized workmen, by the
American Federationist.
5. State census o f the unemployed in Rhode Island in 1908.
6. Reports of the Geological Survey, showing the days of enforced
idleness in coal mines in the United States.
UNITED STATES CENSUS.

The statistics on unemployment furnished by the United States
census reports are very meager, and are presented with careful warn­
ing by the Bureau of the Census as to their reliability. Inquiries con­
cerning unemployment were first made in the census o f 1880, but the
results were not compiled on account of lack of funds and also because
the census officials doubted the reliability of the returns. In 1890 and
1900 inquiries as to unemployment were again made, and the results
appear in the census reports for those years. The census returns deal
only with persons 10 years o f age and over who are ordinarily en­
gaged in gainful labor. They do not indicate what proportion of the
population is habitually out of work on account of incapacity, unwill­
ingness to work, or constant inability to find work.
In the census o f 1890 inquiry was made as to the number o f months
unemployed at usual or regular occupation, and the number of
months unemployed at any occupation. The returns on the second



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

7

question were not considered complete enough to warrant their
compilation, but the answers concerning the usual or principal occu­
pation were tabulated. The 1890 census report states, therefore, that
the figures presented “ show the number and approximate length of
time unemployed with regard to the principal occupation in which
persons so reported were usually engaged and upon which they de­
pended for a livelihood. They do not show the actual length of
time for which they were unemployed in any form o f remunerative
labor.” 1 The 1900 census report states, however, that although the
returns tabulated and published in 1890 are presumably the answer
to the first question, so much confusion existed in the minds o f enu­
merators concerning the second that it is probable that the published
statistics actually represent a combination of answers to both ques­
tions.2
In the census of 1900, on the other hand, the inquiry concerning
unemployment aimed only “ to find out the number of months or
parts o f months during which a person ordinarily engaged in gain­
ful labor was not employed at all.” 3 The number not employed at
all at some time during the year would be less than the number not
employed at their usual occupations. Yet the percentage reported
unemployed in 1900 exceeded that so reported in 1890. According
to the census o f 1890, 15.1 per cent o f all persons having gainful
occupations were not employed at such occupations at some time
during the year. In 1900, 22.3 per cent o f such persons were re­
ported as not working at their regular occupations or any other occu­
pations at some time during the census year.
The census report observes that the apparent increase in unem­
ployment in 1900 affects all classes to about the same extent and
states that it is probably due to improvements in the work o f enu­
merators. The report explains that the form o f the schedule was
superior in 1900 and that the 1900 instructions to enumerators were
plainer, briefer, and more direct. Furthermore, the confusion inci­
dent to two similar questions on the same subject was avoided in
1900. For these reasons and because o f a general improvement in
census returns, it is concluded that the 1900 report is the more
accurate. A t the same time the report states that while further
census inquiry may obtain complete and satisfactory information
concerning months unemployed, the reliability o f the returns so far
secured is still undetermined.4
The following table shows by sexes and by classes of occupations
the number and per cent reported unemployed in 1890 and 1900:
1 Eleventh Census o f the United States, 18 90: Population, Pt. II, p. cxxxvi.
2 T w elfth Census o f the United States, 19 00: Occupations, p. ccxxvii.
8 Idem, p. cclii.
4 Idem, p. ccxxv.




8

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

NUMBER OF PERSONS IN EACH M AIN CLASS OF OCCUPATIONS UNEMPLOYED
DURING ANY PORTION OF TH E CENSUS YEAR COMPARED W IT H TH E TOTAL
NUMBER SO OCCUPIED, FOR BOTH SEXES AND FOR EACH SEX SEPARATELY,
1890 AND 1900.
[From Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900: Occupations, p. ccxxviii.]
Males 10 years of age and
over engaged in gainful
occupations.
Census year and
classes of occu­
pations.

Unemployed.
Total.

1890.
Agricultural pur­
suits....................
Professional serv­
ice.......................
Domestic and per­
sonal service.......
Trade and trans­
portation............
Manufacturing and
mechanical pur­
suits....................

Females 10 years of age
and over engaged in
gainful occupations.

Per
Number. cent.

Unemployed.
Total.

Per
Number. cent.

8,378,603

911,456

10.9

769,845

108,749

14.1

632,646

54,654

8.6

311,687

87,920

28.2

2,553,161

668,503

26.2 1,667,651

130,769

3,097,701

247,757

228,421

4,650,540 1,130,747

All occupations. 19,312,651 3,013,117

19.5
13.5

1900.
Agricultural pur­
suits....................
Professional serv­
ice.......................
Domestic and per­
sonal service.......
Trade and trans­
portation............
Manufacturing and
mechanical pur­
suits....................

Persons 10 years of age and
over engaged in gainful
occupations.
Unemployed
Total.

Per
Number. cent.

9,148,448 1,020,205

11.2

944,333

142,574

15.1

7.8

4,220,812

799,272

18.9

15,114

6.6

3,326,122

262,871

7.9

24.3 1,027,928

168,061

16.3

5,678,468 1,298,808

22.9

15.6 4,005,532

510,613

12.7

23,318,183 3,523,730

15.1

977,336

313,886

32.1

10,381,765 2,144,689

20.7

430,597

219,019

50.9

1,258,538

330,566

26.3

3,485,208 1,209,787

34.7 2,095,449

358,334

17.1

5,580,657 1,568,121

28.1

4,263,617

10.4

503,347

55,907

11.1

4,766,964

10.5

28.3 1,312,668

294,346

22.4

7,085,309 1,925,403

27.2

22.0 5,319,397 1,241,492

23.3

29,073,233 6,468,964

22.3

9,404,429 1,830,803
827,941

111,547

444,278

5,7*72,641 1,631,057

All occupations. 23,753,836 j5,227,472

8.0

500,185

The following table classifies the persons reported unemployed in
1900, according to the months of unemployment, and also by sex and
classes of occupations:




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

9

DISTRIBU TION , B Y PERIODS OF MONTHS, OF M ALES AND OF FEM ALES IN
EACH M AIN CLASS OF OCCUPATIONS UNEMPLOYED DURING T H E CENSUS
YEAR, 1900.
[From Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900: Occupations, p. ccxxxv.]
Persons unemployed—
Classes of occupations.

1 to 3 months.

4 to 6 months.

7 to 12 months.

Total.

Per
Per
Number. cent. Number. Per Number. cent. Number. Per
cent.
cent.
MALES.
Agricultural pursuits..........................
Professional service.............................
Domestic and personal service...........
Trade and transportation...................
Manufacturing and mechanical pur­
suits..................................................

956,554
47,679
562,981
215,082
810,840

All occupations.......................... 2,593,136

52.3
42.7
46.5
48.4

729,476
44,294
510,424
158,606

49.7

39.8
39.7
42.2
35.7

144,773
19,574
136,382
70,590

7.9 1,830,803
17.6* 111,547
11.3 1,209,787
15.9
444,278

100
100
100
100

626,746

38.4

193,471

11.9 1,631,057

100

49.6 2,009,546

39.6

564,790

10.8 5,227,472

100

48.8
50.7
42.2
39.3

142,109
70,395
149,284
19,517

45.3
32.1
41.7
34.9

18,645
37,697
57,717
14,434

5.9
17.2
16.1
25.8

313,886
219,019
358,334
55,907

100
100
100
100

14.6

294,346

100

13.8 1,241.492

100

FEMALES.
Agricultural pursuits..........................
Professional service.............................
Domestic and personal service...........
Trade and transportation...................
Manufacturing and mechanical pur­
suits..................................................

153,132
110,927
151,333
21,956
147,269

50.0

104,074

35.4

43,003

All occupations..........................

584,617

47.1

485,379

39.1

171,496

The two tables above, so far as they relate to the returns for 1900,
are briefly summarized in the census report as follows: “ It appears
that approximately four persons out of five who claimed gainful
occupations were continuously employed throughout the census year,
while the fifth person was idle for a period varying from one to
12 months.” 1 O f the persons reported idle, 22.3 per cent of all
ordinarily employed, nearly half were out of work three months or
less, and nearly 80 per cent o f the remainder were unemployed from
four to six months. O f the males 10.8 per cent and o f the females 13.8
per cent were unemployed seven months or more. The agricultural
pursuits represent the largest proportion of unemployment for the
short period o f one to three months, and the smallest proportion for
the longest period designated in the table. The reason is obvious and
is due to the small amount of farm labor done in the winter months.
The table indicates that nearly 2,600,000 males and over half a
million females were out of work from one to three months; that
over 2,000,000 males and nearly half a million females were out o f
work four to six months; and that over half a million males were out
seven months or over. There is no means of knowing what per cent
o f these persons were idle from choice and what per cent wanted
work and were unable to secure it. The tables include all persons 10
years of age and over ordinarily employed and so include many
children attending school part of the year.
1 Tw elfth Census o f the United States, 1900: Occupations, p. ccxxxiv.




10

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOB.

Those idle one to three months constituted 10.9 per cent of all per­
sons ordinarily employed; those idle four to six months constituted
8.8 per cent; and those idle seven to twelve months, 2.5 per cent.
The Census of Manufactures also furnishes data which may be
considered in a study of unemployment. The number of persons
employed each month during the census year in each manufacturing
industry and in all such industries combined is shown in the census
reports. The fluctuations in the monthly demand for workers in
manufacturing do not show how many are unemployed during any
month, as they may find work in other lines. These fluctuations do
show, however, the discontinuous demand for labor, and are valuable
on this account.
The Census o f Manufactures of 1905 shows that the manufacturing
industries employed more persons in October than in any other
month of the census year. The number employed in October does
not indicate the total persons seeking a livelihood from manufactures,
as some workers were necessarily unemployed during the month on
account of sickness, disability, or strikes, and probably some were
unable to obtain work. For the purpose of comparison, however,
the following table, which shows the number of persons employed
in all manufacturing industries combined during each month of the
census year (1904), assumes that all such workers were employed in
October, and computes the number and per cent apparently unem­
ployed in each of the other months. The per cent unemployed each
month was obtained by dividing the number apparently idle by the
maximum number in the industry, the number at work in October,
and suggests only how much other months exceeded October in the
amount o f unemployment. The table follows:
NUMBER EM PLOYED IN M ANUFACTURES EACH MONTH IN 1904 W IT H T H E
NUMBER AND PER CENT OF TH E M AXIM UM NUMBER FOR TH E Y EAR NOT
SO EM PLOYED DURING EACH MONTH.
[From Special Reports of the Census Office: Manufactures, Part 1 ,1905, p. 72.]

Months.

January...
February.
March.......
April.........
May..........
June.........
July..........
August___
September
October...
November.
December.

Number Number Per cent
unem­
unem­
employed. ployed.
ployed.
263.000
331.000
451.000
496.000
516.000
468.000
328.000
425.000
611.000
678.000
587.000
491.000

415,000
347,000
227,000
182,000
162,000
210,000
350,000
253,000
67,000

7.3
6.1
4.0
3.2
2.9
3.7
6.2
4.5
1.2

91,000
177,000

1.6
3.1

As the table indicates, 415,000 workers engaged in manufacturing
in October, 1904, had not been so engaged the previous January,
This was 7.3 per cent of the number at work in October. In Feb­
ruary and July over 6 per cent o f the October workers were not



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

11

engaged in manufacturing. As January, February, and July are
months o f high unemployment in industries other than manufactur­
ing, it is not probable that many o f those thrown out o f manufac­
turing find other work. For this reason the table may be regarded
as a fairly accurate index o f the amount o f unemployment due to the
inability of manufacturing workers to find work.
Information as to monthly variations in the number employed in
manufacturing is also published by the bureaus of labor in several
States.
REPORT ON COST OE LIVING BY THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OE LABOR.

In 1901 the United States Bureau of Labor conducted an investiga­
tion into the cost of living of 25,440 workingmen’s families, represent­
ing 124,108 persons, distributed over 33 States. The investigation
was limited to families o f wageworkers and of persons on salaries
not exceeding $1,200 per year.1 The data obtained were gath­
ered by the experienced special agents o f the Bureau by personal in­
quiry, the information being given generally by the housewife, who
was often assisted by other members o f the family. For nearly
every family this information covered a year ending some time in the
calendar year 1901. In a few cases the year covered ended in the
latter part o f 1900 or the early part o f 1902. Among other sub­
jects, inquiry was made as to the amount o f nonemployment during
the year o f the head o f each family visited. The answers obtained
were verified or corrected by data given concerning earnings, in­
come, and expenditure, so that the information may be regarded as
reliable. In the report of this investigation in the Eighteenth An­
nual Report of the Commissioner of Labor the tables relating to
nonemployment include 24,402 of the 25,440 families investigated.
Those families in which the husband did not work at all during the
year are omitted. In this respect the data are placed on the same
basis as those above discussed in the census reports, from which per­
sons not ordinarily engaged in gainful occupations are excluded. In
comparing the amount of idleness indicated by the two reports, how­
ever, it should be remembered that the investigation made by the
Bureau o f Labor, including, as it did, inquiry concerning total earn­
ings and expenditures, necessarily took notice of brief periods of
idleness. The census inquiry, on the other hand, asked the number
o f months unemployed, and short periods of idleness may easily have
been disregarded. Furthermore, the census inquiry may have been
interpreted to ask the number of months the worker was “ out o f a
job ” and to disregard short periods of voluntary absence from a per­
manent position. Such idleness may be termed nonemployment as
distinguished from unemployment, and is included in the Bureau of
Labor statistics.
1 Eighteenth Annual Report o f the Commissioner o f Labor, 1908, pp. 15, 16.




12

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The data obtained by the Bureau of Labor in 1901, although not
recent, may be taken as indicative of the amount of nonemployment
during a normal year. The statistics of unemployment o f the New
York department of labor, which will be considered later, indicate
that the year was not unusual with respect to the amount o f idleness,
and that in at least two years since that date— 1904 and 1908—the
percentage idle was greater than in 1901. The 1901 data may there­
fore be taken as fairly representative.
The following table shows, by States and geographical divisions,
the number and per cent of the heads of families who were not idle
during the year, and the number and per cent who were idle during
some portion of the year, with the average number of weeks of
idleness :
NUMBER AND PE R CENT OF HEADS OF F A M ILIE S IN V E STIG A TE D B Y UNITED
STATES BUREAU OF LABOR IN 1901 NOT IDLE DURING T H E Y EAR, AND NUM­
BER AND PER CENT IDLE DURING SOME PORTION OF TH E YEAR, W IT H TH E
AVERAGE NUMBER OF W EEKS IDLE, BY STATES.
[From Eighteenth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1903, pp. 42, 286, and 287.]
Per cent of heads
of families.

Heads of families.
States.

Total
idle and
Number Number Average not idle.
weeks
Not idle.
not idle.
idle.
idle.

14
273
Alabama.......................................................
322
132
California......................................................
106
84
Colorado.......................................................
Connecticut..................................................
325
457
92
98
Delaware......................................................
49
District of Columbia....................................
51
149
106
Georgia.........................................................
854
750
Illinois..........................................................
...................................
178
385
147
157
Iowa..............................................................
TTftnsajg....................................
144
49
116
178
Kentucky.....................................................
32
148
Louisiana.....................................................
204
142
Maine............................................................
Maryland.....................................................
246
316
1,951
Massachusetts..............................................
619
310
558
Michigan.......................................................
234
163
Minnesota....................................................
515
259
Missouri........................................................
202
97
New Hampshire..........................................
493
483
New Jersey..................................................
1,871
2,399
New York....................................................
124
69
North Carolina.............................................
1,129
657
Ohio..............................................................
2,023
1,507
Pennsylvania...............................................
296
149
Rhode Island...............................................
51
145
South Carolina.............................................
36
154
Tennessee.....................................................
86
98
Texas............................................................
221
135
Virginia........................................................
41
148
W ashington.................................................
142
56
West Virginia..............................................
421
256
Wisconsin....................................................

9.85
11.94
10.95
9.85
7.03
9.47
10.08
11.52
7.09
9.87
9.86
8.28
12.37
7.99
10.67
8.33
8.64
5.78
10.02
9.57
10.45
10.08
5.99
8.37
9.77
5.97
8.99
6.69
8.43
8.24
10.17
7.92
7.04

287
454
190
782
190
100
255
1,604
563
304
193
294
180
346
562
2,570
868
397
774
299
976
4.270
193
1,786
3,530
445
196
190
184
356
189
198
677

Idle.

4.88
70.93
55.79
41.56
48.42
51.00
58.43
53.24
31.62
48.36
74.61
39.46
17.78
58.96
43.77
75.91
35.71
41.06
66.5-1
67.56
50.51
43.82
64.25
63.21
42.69
33.48
26.02
18.95
46.74
62.08
78.31
28.28
37.81

95.12
29.07
44.21
58.44
51.58
49.00
41.57
46.76
68.38
51.64
25.39
60.54
82.22
41.04
56.23
24.09
64.29
58.94
33.46
32.44
49.49
56.18
35.75
36.79
57.31
66.52
73.98
81.05
53.26
37.92
21.69
71.72
62.19

Total- - ...............................................

12,248

12,154

9.43

24,402

50.19

49.81

North Atlantic States.................................
South Atlantic States.................................
North Central States...................................
South Central States...................................
Western States.............................................

6,702
990
3,696
284
576

6,516
1,060
3,470
851
257

9.59
9.01
8.83
9.22
11.33

13,218
2,050
7,166
1,135
833

50.70
48.29
51.58
25.02
69.15

49.30
61.71
48.42
74.98
30.85




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

13

This table indicates that approximately half o f the 24,402 heads of
families visited during this investigation were idle a portion o f the
year. In Alabama 95.12 per cent o f these men did not work all the
year, in Louisiana 82.22 per cent, and in South Carolina 73.98 per
cent. In the South Central States combined 74.98 per cent were un­
employed a part o f the year. The lowest percentage, 30.85, was in the
Western States, and the State o f Washington had the lowest propor­
tion o f heads o f families idle, 21.69 per cent.
The total number o f heads o f families idle some portion o f the
year was 12,154 and these persons were idle an average of 9.43 weeks.
In Louisiana, 148 out o f 180 heads o f families were idle an average
o f 12.37 weeks, or about one-fourth of the year. In the Western
States, where the per cent o f idleness was lowest, the average number
of weeks o f idleness is highest, 11.33 per cent.
The tables in this report also show the number and per cent idle
and not idle, by nativity, and the causes o f idleness in each industry.
UNEMPLOYMENT OF ORGANIZED LABOR IN NEW YORK.

The department o f labor o f the State of New York has published
data showing the extent o f unemployment among organized workers
in that State for a continuous period extending from March, 1897,
to the present time. These statistics, it must be kept in mind, are o f
two classes—those furnished by selected unions and those furnished
by all unions in the State. The former are received every month
and the latter at the end o f the first and third quarters o f each year.
The returns from the selected unions, which are considered the more
accurate, will be discussed first. These unions number slightly less
than 200 and they have a membership o f 90,000 to 100,000, or about
one-fourth o f the total organized laborers in New York. The aim
in their selection is to maintain as nearly as possible the same pro­
portionate representation of different industries as appears in the
total o f all unions. The secretary of each o f these unions reports
monthly the membership o f his union, the number at work, and the
number idle on the last working day of the month, and the causes o f
idleness. The following schedule is used:




14

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

S chedu le

used

by

S elected

U

n io n s

M onth
report for t h e m o n t h

in

in

R

e p o r t in g

New Y

on

U

nem ploym ent

each

ork.

o f __________________________________

Number of members in the union at the end of the month? il?T
en
[Women__________
Men___ _______
Women_________

{

How many members were idle at the end of the month on account o f :
Men.

Lack of work-------------------------------------------------Lack of material______________________________
Unfavorable weather__________________________
Strike or lockout______________________________
Sickness, accident, old age-------------------------------Other reasons (specify)-----------------------------------

-------------_________
_________
_________
---------------------------

Women.

-------------_______
_________
_________
---------------------------

Total number idle at the end of the month.
Occupation of members_______________________
Name of organization!________________________
Signature of secretary____
Address.

The chief points to be observed in the above schedule are that
inquiry is made as to the number at work and idle at the end of the
month and not during the month, and that the information is fur­
nished by the secretary o f the union. “ End of the month ” is de­
fined in a letter accompanying the schedule as “ the last working
day o f the month.” I f it appears from the schedule that persons
reported as idle at the end of the month were taking a vacation,
such individuals are dropped both from the number idle and the
number reporting.
Inasmuch as the unions selected for monthly reports ordinarily
have more intelligent secretaries than the average union, the sched­
ules are usually well filled out. Each schedule is carefully examined
by expert clerks in the department and if errors are apparent it is
returned for correction. This does not obviate all chance of error,
but no futher verification o f the returns is considered practicable.
Monthly returns from selected unions, beginning with December,
1901, have been received by the department, and the following table
shows the number o f unions reporting since that date, the aggregate
membership reporting, and the number and percentage reported idle
at the end o f each month:




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

15

STATE OF EMPLOYMENT OF ORGANIZED L A BO R IN NEW Y O R K , AS R E P O R T E D
B Y REPRESEN TATIVE TR AD E UNIONS, 1901 TO 1911.
[From New York Department o f Labor B ulletins.]

Years.

Month.

1901.......................................................................... December...
1902........................ ................................................. January.......
February...

June............
July.............
August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1903.......................................................................... January.......
February...
March..........
April............
May.............
June............
July.............
August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1904.......................................................................... January
February...
March..........
April...........
May............
June............
July............
August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1905.......................................................................... January.......
February...
March..........
April...........
May............
June............
August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1906......................................................................... January......
February...
April............
May.............
June............
July.............
August........
September..
October.......
November...
December...
1907.......................................................................... January.......
February...




April...........
May.............
June............
July.............
August........
September..
October.......
November...
December...

Idle at end of
month.
Number Aggregate
of unions member­
ship re­
. report­
porting. Aggregate
ing.
number. Per cent.
188
187
187
187
187
187
187
187
185
185
185
185
185
185
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
182
181
182
182
180
176
189
198
199
199
199
199
198
196
193
193
191
192
192
192
192
192
192
191
190
192
192
192
192
195
195
195
195
195
195
191
191
191
191
191
191
194
193
193
194
194
194

97,270
96,173
97,126
96,888
98,740
97,148
98,020
101,223
101,281
98,349
97,951
98,063
99,063
102,414
101,226
100,540
98,574
100,134
100,484
105,202
104,445
105,952
101,159
100,200
100,879
100,602
104,074
103,681
95,501
96,187
96,476
96,824
96,772
99,652
98,167
95,938
96,075
97,345
96,641
97,151
91,913
92,649
93,729
92,916
93.860
94,836
91,088
91,521
91,767
84,539
85,155
85,956
90,352
91,163
92,100
94,571
94,220
94,280
92,062
93,049
93,318
92,871
92,797
93,242
94,402
94,755
95,840
100,965
100,025
98,224
99,121
98,068
97,732

18,593
20,115
18,148
16,738
15,099
13,591
14,247
15,836
7,148
6,166
10,966
13,985
22,036
20,955
18,066
17,699
17,071
20,210
23,215
18,759
16,101
9,956
11,802
16,395
23,301
26,004
22,460
28,124
16,198
15,262
13,263
14,317
13,231
12,001
10,620
10,644
18,847
21,886
18,748
18,618
10,825
7,687
8,557
7,417
6,789
5,636
5,079
5,576
10,223
12,682
13,031
9,952
6,583
6,364
5,801
7,229
5,462
5,959
6,383
7,052
14,352
20,007
18,653
17,018
9,563
9,955
7,809
8,585
12,135
12,089
18,296
21,596
31,917

19.1
20.9
18.7
17.3
15.3
14.0
14.5
15.6
7.1
6.3
11.2
14.3
22.2
20.5
17.8
17.6
17.3
20.2
23.1
17.8
15.4
9.4
11.7
16.4
23.1
25.8
21.6
27.1
17.0
15.9
13.7
14.8
13.7
12.0
10.8
11.1
19.6
22.5
19.4
19.2
11.8
8.3
9.1
8.0
7.2
5.9
5.6
6.1
11.1
15.0
15.3
11.6
7.3
7.0
6.3
7.6
5.8
6.3
6.9
7.6
15.4
21.5
20.1
18.3
10.1
10.5
8.1
8.5
12.1
12.3
18.5
22.0
32.7

16

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

STATE OF EM PLOYMENT OF ORGANIZED LABOR IN NEW YORK, AS REPORTED
BY R E PR E SE N TA TIV E TR AD E UNIONS, 1901 TO 1911— Concluded.

Years.

Month.

1908.......................................................................... January.......
February...

August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1909.......................................................................... January.......
February...

August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1910.......................................................................... January.......
February...

June............
August........
September..
October.......
November..
December...
1911......................................................................... January___
February. . .
March.........
A p ril..........
June............
August.......
September..
O ctober___
November..
December .

Idle at end of
month.
Number Aggregate
of unions member­
report­
ship re­
porting. Aggregate
ing.
number. Percent.
192
192
192
192
192
192
193
193
193
193
193
193
192
192
192
192
192
192
190
190
190
190
190
190
193
193
193
193
193
193
192
192
192
192
192
192
190
190
190
190
190
189
188
188
188
188
188
188

96,727
95,696
94,542
94,148
93,532
92,814
92,112
90,872
90,708
89,275
89,426
88,746
88,604
89,396
90,619
89,039
89,241
89,227
89,551
90,429
90,783
91,247
91,977
91,162
90,998
91,944
95,388
96,074
97,358
100,418
103,875
111,730
114,365
114,147
116,581
118,317
120,859
120,235
121,828
120,877
121,132
121,237
116,801
118,445
119,724
118,007
117,826
115,430

35,684
35,924
35,436
31,956
30,152
28,013
24,693
22,389
22,315
20,631
19,232
24,879
25,964
23,727
20,836
18,042
15,228
15,503
12,459
10,799
13,171
12,468
12,206
18,791
22,253
20,610
21,524
15,413
14,121
15,497
20,172
24,967
14,262
17,122
20,378
32,304
32,312
29,804
31,187
25,798
32,996
27,793
18,128
13,879
13,350
13,657
23,620
39,530

36.9
37.5
37.5
33.9
32.2
30.2
26.8
24.6
24.6
23.1
21.5
28.0
29.3
26.5
23.0
20.3
17.1
17.4
13.9
11.9
14.5
13.7
13.3
20.6
24.5
22.4
22.6
16.0
14.5
15.4
19.4
22.3
12.5
15.0
17.5
27.3
26.7
24.8
25.6
21.3
27.2
22.9
15.5
11.7
11.2
11.6
20.0
34.2

The table indicates that the percentage of idleness at the end of
the month in the selected unions reporting each month was ordi­
narily over 10 per cent from 1902 to 1905 and that during 1904 it
did not fall below 10 per cent for any month. Several winter months
during the period, and also in May and June o f 1903, it ran over 20
per cent. A period o f high unemployment seems to have begun
about May, 1903, when 20 per cent of the union workers covered by
the table were idle, as against 14 per cent the preceding May, and, to
have extended well toward the end of 1904, reaching its highest
point in March, 1904, at which time 27.1 per cent o f the union
workers in selected unions w ere idle. The percentage idle during the
T




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

17

winter o f 1904-5 was lower than during the preceding winter, and
in May, 1905, the percentage of idleness fell below 10 per cent and
remained below that mark, except in the winter months, until the end
o f 1906. Even during the winter of 1905-6 the percentage o f un­
employment was no greater than in the spring and summer months
o f 1904.
In the early part of 1907 the amount o f unemployment as here
reported was somewhat higher than in the preceding year, and in
August, more than two months before the outbreak o f the panic of
1907, the beginning of a second period of high unemployment is
clearly shown. A t the end o f this month 12 out of every 100 union
men covered by the table were idle, as against less than 6 in August,
1906. The percentage of idleness rose rapidly, reaching its highest
point, 37.5 per cent, in February and March, 1908. Thus the table
indicates that during the period covered by it union labor in New
York experienced two periods o f high unemployment, one in 1903
and 1904 and one beginning in 1907 and extending through 1908 and
into 1909. Between these two periods there was a period o f low
unemployment. From the middle o f 1909 to near the end o f 1911 the
percentage o f idleness was lower than during the industrial depres­
sion, but was as high as during the first period o f high unemploy­
ment shown by the table in 1903-4.
The statistics relating to the unemployment of all organized work­
ers in the State as distinguished from those which concern selected
unions only are o f three classes, as follow s:
1. Number and percentage of all organized workers idle on the
last working day of the first and third quarters o f each year.
2. Number and percentage idle throughout the first and third
quarters o f each year.
3. Number o f members who worked each specified number o f days
during the quarter.
The supplying of this information by all unions is made compul­
sory by law, but it has very seldom been found necessary to use the
compulsory feature. About one-third of the unions supply the infor­
mation by mail, a higher percentage being received in this manner
from outside o f New York City than from the city itself. Unions
not returning schedules are visited by special agents o f the depart­
ment o f labor, and the desired information is obtained by personal
interviews. Schedules apparently inaccurate are also corrected by
personal visits. The information is always obtained from the secre­
tary or other officer of the union, and no attempt is made to verify
his statements. It is considered probable that the reports received
through special agents are more accurate than those made by the
secretaries o f the unions, except where the secretaries are above the
ordinary intelligence and particularly interested in making the re662690—Bull. 109—13----- 2



18

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

port. Not all reports can be collected in this manner, however,
because of the expense involved. None of the monthly reports from
selected unions above considered are collected or verified by personal
visits.
Quarterly returns from all unions in the State were received from
March, 1897, to September, 1901, since which time they have been
received for only two quarters of each year. The following table,
compiled from reports of the department, shows the number o f union
members and the number and per cent idle on the last working-day
of each quarter reported:
STATE OF EMPLOYMENT OF ORGANIZED LABOR IN NEW Y O R K AS R E PO RTED B Y
A LL UNIONS IN THE STATE FROM 1897 TO 1911.
{From New York Department of Labor Bulletins.]

!
Years,

1897.

1900..

1901.
1902..
1903..
1904..
1905.
1906..
1907..
1908..
1909..
1910..
1911.

Aggre­
gate
Quarter end­ member­
ing—
ship re­
porting.

March........
June..........
September.
December..
March........
June..........
September.
December..
March........
June...........
September.
December..
March........
June..........
September.
December..
March........
June..........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March........
September.
March.......
September.

142,570

179,955
174,751
173,516
188,455
202,004
212,844
221,917
239,691
237,157
223,642
228,327
245.492
268,573
270,855
321,082
347.492
369,093
368,522
373,022
363,155
375,107
377,283
376,355
404,027
405,114
387,450
358,756
353,035
359,787
389,501
462,466
475.890
467,825

Idle on last work­
ing day of quar­
ter.
Number. Percent.
43,654
27,378
23,230
39,353
38,857
35,643
22,485
46,603
31,751
20,141
9,590
41,707
44,336
49,382
31,460
49,110
42,244
29,181
18,617
36,710
18,377
41,941
33,063
101,886
36,605
54,916
17,903
37,237
21,573
77,269
42,653
138,131
80,576
74,543
36,968
62,851
63,106
96,608
50,390

30.6
18.1
13.8
22.6
21.0

20.7
10.3
26.7
18.3
10.7
4.7
19.6
20.0
20.6

13.3
22.0
18.5
11.9
6.9
13.6
5.7
12.1
9.0
27.6
9.8
15.1
4.8
9.9
5.7
19.1
10.5
35.7
22.5

21.1

10.3
16.1
13.6
20.3
10.8

This table, it should be remembered, relates to all union workers
in the State, who on September 30,1911, numbered 467,825, belonging
to 2,498 different unions. The table indicates that the percentage idle
in March has ordinarily greatly exceeded the percentage idle in Sep­
tember. The reports for 1897 to 1901 show that the per cent unem­
ployed was generally higher in March and December than in June
and September, and that in June o f these years a higher percentage
were idle than in September.



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

19

The amount o f unemployment reported at the beginning of the
period covered by the table was very high, and during the four years,
from 1897 to 1900, the reported percentage of unemployment fell
below 10 per cent only once. From 1901 to 1906 it was below 10 per
cent at the end of each September and it was above that mark at the
end o f March, except in 1906. Since September, 1906, it has not
fallen below 10 per cent. In September, 1903, March, 1904, and
September, 1904, a period of high unemployment as compared with
1902, 1905, and 1906 may be noted. The same period has been ob­
served in the preceding table relating to selected unions, as has the
succeeding period of low unemployment. The financial panic of
1907-8 brought the percentage of unemployment in all unions to
35.7 in March, 1908. The amount o f idleness fell during 1909, but
was higher in 1909,1910, and 1911 than in the latter part o f 1904 or
in 1905 or 1906.
The following table compares the returns from all unions and from
selected unions at the end o f March and at the end o f September of
each year:
NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF MEMBERS OF LABO R UNIONS IDLE IN THE STATE
OF NEW Y O R K AT END OF MARCH AND SEPTEM BER, 1897 TO 1911.
[From New York Department of Labor Bulletins.]
Idle at the end of March.

Years.

1897...............................................................
1898...............................................................
1899...............................................................
1900...............................................................
1901...............................................................
1902...............................................................
1903...............................................................
1904...............................................................
1905...............................................................
1906...............................................................
1907...............................................................
1908...............................................................
1909...............................................................
1910...............................................................
1911...............................................................
1

Idle at the end of September.

Percent­
Percent­
Number Percent­
age in
Number Percent­
age in
age in all represent­ in all
in all
age in all represent­
ative
unions. unions.
unions. unions.
ative
unions.
unions.
43,654
38,857
31,751
44,336
42,244
36,710
41,941
101,886
54,916
37,237
77,269
138,131
74,543
62,851
96,608

30.6
21.0
18.3
20.0
18.5
13.6
12.1
27.6
15.1
9.9
19.1
35.7
21.1
16.1
20.3

17.3
17.6
27.1
19.2
11.6
18.3
37.5
23.0
22.6
25.6

23,230
22,485
9,590
31,460
18,617
18,377
33,063
36,605
17,903
21,573
42,658
80,576
36,968
63,106
50,390

13.8
10.3
4.7
13.3
6.9
5.7
9.0
9.8
4.8
5.7
10.5
22.5
10.3
13.6
10.8

6.3
9.4
12.0
5.9
6.3
12.3
24.6
14.5
12.5
11.2

The higher percentage idle in March than in September is note­
worthy, as is also the fact that the selected unions nearly always
show a higher percentage o f idleness than do all unions. This may
indicate that these unions are not strictly representative; and again,
the higher percentage may be due to the more nearly accurate reports
of selected unions.




20

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The accuracy of the above returns can not be considered as entirely
above question. The information is furnished by the secretaries of
the unions, voluntarily in the case o f the selected unions, and through
requirement o f the law in the case o f all unions. The compulsory
feature is kept in the background, however, and probably does not
affect the accuracy o f returns. The authenticity of the reports de­
pends upon the knowledge the union secretary has o f his men and
his care in making reports. When out-of-work benefits are paid, the
number unemployed is positively known to the union secretary, but
very few unions pay such benefits. In small unions also the secre­
tary is likely to know how many men are idle on a given day, but
in a large union he can only estimate the number and in very large
unions guess at it. Individual slips to be filled out by each member
are furnished by the department o f labor if desired, but practically
no use is made o f them. Nevertheless, union officials who were inter­
viewed were unanimous in their belief that the returns are accurate.
They take the position that the secretary o f a union is always well
informed concerning the employment of the members o f the union
and that he is usually careful in preparing the reports. In the opin­
ion o f the chief statistician o f the New York department o f labor the
reports from selected unions are reliable and fairly accurate. He
doubts the accuracy o f the reports from some o f the unions.
As above stated, the New York reports show not only the number
reported idle on the last day of March and September by all unions
in the State, but also the number reported idle throughout the quarter
and the number o f days worked by each member. This information,
if reliable, would be o f far greater value than the reports of the num­
ber idle on a given day. Authentic information o f this character,
however, could be obtained only from the individual union members.
The union secretary can only guess at the truth, particularly in the
case o f large unions. The chief statistician o f the New York depart­
ment o f labor does not regard these returns as more than approximat­
ing the numerical truth as to unemployment, but he believes the
errors to be compensatory to some degree, and that the figures are o f
value, not as a measure o f unemployment, but as an index o f the trend
of employment from year to year.
The following table shows the percentage reported continuously
idle during the entire quarter for the first and third quarters o f each
year from 1897 to 1911:




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

21

PERCENTAGE OF MEMBERS OF LA BO R UNIONS ID LE THROUGHOUT THE
QU ARTER SPECIFIED IN THE STATE OF N EW Y O R K AS R E PO RT E D B Y THE
SECRETARIES OF A L L UNIONS IN THE STATE, 1897 TO 1911.
[From New York Department of Labor Bulletin 47, p. 204, and Bulletin 49, p. 473.]

During first
quarter.

During third
quarter.

Years.
Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.
1897..................................................................................................
1898..................................................................................................
1899..................................................................................................
1900..................................................................................................
1901..................................................................................................
1902..................................................................................................
1903..................................................................................................
1904..................................................................................................
1905..................................................................................................
1906....................................................;
.......................................
1907...........................................................................................
...............
1908...................................... ...................
1909..................................................
1910..................................................................................................
1911.................................................................................................

35,381
18,102
22,658
22,895
26,841
16,776
19,310
55,710
31,638
22,746
55,624
101,466
50,477
28,411
46,021

24.8
10.1
13.1
10.1
11.3
6.2
5.5
14.6
8.7
6.5
13.8
26.3
14.3
7.3
9.8

10,893
9,734
4,790
12,926
8,341
6,291
12,670
9,175
7,491
7,354
10,490
46,117
15,823
15,485
12,725

6.5
5.7
2.3
5.4
3.1
1.9
3.3
2.4
2.0
1.9
2.5
12.8
4.4
3.3
2.7

This table indicates that the lowest percentage o f unemployment
among organized workers in New York during the first three months
o f any year covered by the table was in 1903, when 5.5 per cent were
idle throughout the quarter. In 1908, 26.3 per cent were reported
out o f work during these three months, and in 1897, 24.8 per cent.
The proportion idle during the entire first quarter exceeded 10 per
cent in 9 o f the 15 years reported upon. The proportion o f idle­
ness during the third quarter—July, August, and September—was
much lower. It reached 12.8 per cent in 1908, but was over 5 per
cent in only three other years, 1897,1898, and 1900. The smallest per­
centage o f unemployment during this quarter was 1.9 per cent in
1902 and 1906.
The table shows the same periods o f high and low unemployment
which have been indicated by the two preceding tables. As the idle­
ness during the fourth quarter is not reported, the high unemploy­
ment at the end o f 1903 and o f 1907 is not shown, although the be­
ginning o f the 1903-4 period is indicated by the comparatively high
percentage idle throughout the third quarter o f 1903. This table
also indicates a large amount o f idleness during the third quarter
o f 1900, and it corroborates the preceding table by showing high
unemployment in 1897.
The following tables include persons employed a part or all o f the
quarter specified and show for the first and third quarters o f each
year from 1904 to 1911 the percentage o f such workmen reported
as working each specified number of days:




22

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

PER CENT OF ORGANIZED W AGE EARN ERS (M ALES) W ITHIN CERTAIN LPMITS OF
EMPLOYMENT IN FIRST Q U A R TER OF THE Y E A R , NEW Y O R K , 1904 TO 1911.
[From New York Department of Labor Bulletin No. 41, p. 118, and Bulletin No. 47, p. 208.]
Percentage.
Duration of employment. Number,
1911

1904

1905

1906

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

1 to 29 d a y s......................... 18,662
30 to 59 d a y s........................ 80,714
60 to 79 d a y s ....................... 217,270
80 days or over.................... 62,171

6.9
24.8
52.1
16.2

5.5
23.3
56.5
14.7

1.9
11.0
72.4
14.7

4.2
19.3
59.5
17.0

7.2
25.5
48.5
18.8

5.4
21.1
54.6
18.9

4.7
19.4
57.7
18.2

4.9
21.3
57.4
16.4

Total........................... 378,817

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

PER CENT OF ORGANIZED W AGE EARNERS (MALES) W ITHIN CERTAIN LIMITS OF
EMPLOYMENT IN THIRD QUARTER OF THE Y E A R , NEW Y O R K , 1904 TO 1911.
[From New York Department of Labor Bulletin No. 43, p. 16, and Bulletin No. 49, p. 477.]
|
Duration of employment. Number,1
1911

Percentage.
1904

1905

1906

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

1 to 29 days.......................... 10,880
30 to 59 days)....................... 64,915
60 to 79 days........................ 266,671
80 days or over.................... 66,625

4.0
15.3
63.5
17.2

1.0
7.8
76.5
14.7

0.8
9.8
74.4
15.0

1.0
11.8
69.4
17.8

5.0
24.5
53.4
17.1

1.3
13.7
66.2
18.8

14.3
14.1
55.1
16.5

2.6
15.9
65.2
16.3

Total........................... 409,091

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Here, as in all other tables presented, the large amount of unem­
ployment in the first quarter is in evidence, as is the high percentage
o f unemployment in 1904 and 1908. Those at work a month or less
during the first quarter constituted over 4 per cent of all workers
employed each year, except one, included in the table; and in 1908
they were 7.2 per cent. In the third quarter this group was approxi­
mately 1 per cent in four of the years, but reached 4 per cent in 1904,
5 in 1908, and over 14 in 1910.
The very low percentage working 60 to 79 days in each quarter
in 1904 and 1908 is striking when contrasted with the corresponding
percentages in other years. Still more striking is the fact that the
percentage working 80 days or over during a quarter in these years
was greater than in 1905 and 1906, when the aggregate amount of
unemployment was low.
It may be repeated that the information as to the amount of
unemployment during the first and third quarters, as distinguished
from the amount at the end of those periods as reported by all
unions, and from the amount at the end of each month as reported
by selected unions, is not more than an approximation of the
numerical truth. The information is not obtained monthly from the
selected unions, because of the great doubt as to its accuracy. The
large number of unions reporting the amount of idleness throughout




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

23

the quarter, however, makes it fairly probable, in the opinion of the
officials o f the New York department o f labor, that the errors in
reports by individual unions are largely compensated by errors by
other unions, and that the combined returns, although not indicating
exactly the amount o f idleness, show the general trend of unem­
ployment from year to year.
UNEMPLOYMENT OF ORGANIZED LABOR IN MASSACHUSETTS.

Beginning with March, 1908, the Massachusetts bureau of statistics
has also obtained statistics o f unemployment of organized labor. The
information gathered in Massachusetts differs from that above conv
sidered in the State o f New York in the following respects:
1. Monthly returns are not received from any union.
2. The filing of returns is not compulsory upon the unions, and
therefore not all unions are covered by the reports.
3. Quarterly returns are received for each quarter and not for
the first and third quarters only.
4. Inquiry is not made as to the number idle throughout the
quarter, nor as to the number o f days each member was idle.
5. A ll o f the information is received by mail, whereas in New York
some is gathered by special agents.
Like the New York returns, the Massachusetts data show the
amount o f unemployment on a given day, and therefore the statistics
of the two States are comparable in this respect. In New York the
number and percentage idle at the end o f each month in the selected
unions, and at the end of March and September in all unions, is
shown. In Massachusetts the returns show the number idle at the
end o f each quarter in the unions reporting. In both States the
information is received from the secretaries o f unions. Although
the return of the schedules in Massachusetts is not compulsory, re­
turns are now received from about 66 per cent o f all unions, repre­
senting, it is estimated, 67 per cent o f the aggregate membership o f
all unions in the State.
The schedules received are examined in the bureau and compared
with previous reports from the same unions. I f they appear to be
incorrect they are returned for correction. Beyond this no verifica­
tion is attempted.
The following table shows the number of unions reporting, their
membership, and the number and percentage idle at the end of each
quarter from March, 1908, to December, 1911:




24

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

NUMBER AND MEMBERSHIP OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS REPORTING AND NUMBER
OF MEMBERS AND PERCENTAGE OF MEMBERSHIP IDLE A T END OF QUARTERS
SPECIFIED, MASSACHUSETTS, 1908 TO 1911.
[From Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics Labor Bulletin No. 79, p. 1, and No. 89, p. 2.]
Number reporting.

Idle at end of
quarter.

Quarter ending—
Unions. Members. Members. Percent­
ages.
Mar. 31,1908.................................................................................
June 30,1908...................................................................................
Sept. 30, 1908...................................................................................
Dec. 31,1908....................................................................................
Mar. 31,1909...................................................................................
June 30,1909...................................................................................
Sept. 30,1909...................................................................................
Dec. 31,1909....................................................................................
Mar. 31,1910...................................................................................
June 30,1910...................................................................................
Sept. 30,1910...................................................................................1
Dec. 31,1910................................................................................... 1
Mar. 31,1911...................................................................................
June 30,1911...................................................................................
Sept. 30,1911..................................................................................1
Dec. 30,1911...................................................................................
I

256
493
651
770
777
780
797
830
837
841
845
862
889
897
975
905

66,968
72,815
83,969
102,941
105,059
105,944
113,464
107,689
117,082
121,849
118,781
122,621
122,002
135,202
133,540
125,484

11,987
10,490
8,918
14,345
11,997
6,736
5,451
10,084
8,262
8.518
6,624
12,517
12,738
8,927
7,527
12,167

17.90
14.41
10.62
13.94
11.42
6.36
4.80
9.36
7.06
6.99
5.58
10.21
10.44
6.60
5.64
9.70

Concerning the value of these statistics, the same comment must be
made as in connection with the New York returns. Inasmuch as they
are received from the secretaries of unions, and not directly from the
workers themselves, they can not be accurate. A union secretary can
not know positively what members were idle on the 30th day of a
given month, particularly in a large union, and his report must there­
fore be an estimate and sometimes only a guess. There is doubtless a
strong tendency to overstate the number of unemployed in times of
industrial depression, and perhaps to understate it in periods of pros­
perity. In the opinion of the statisticians of the Massachusetts
bureau, however, the reports received are fairly accurate. I f not
numerically correct at a given time, they show with reasonable
accuracy the fluctuations in the demand for labor, and for this infor­
mation alone are of great value.
The further question arises as to whether the per cent idle among
organized workers in Massachusetts and New York can be taken as
an indication of the amount of unemployment in industry as a whole
in those States. No answer to the question can be made. The usual
conclusion is that union men capable of performing high-grade
skilled labor are much more likely to be employed than unskilled
workmen, and that therefore the percentage idle among union men
is much lower than among industrial workers as a whole. Another
view is presented by an English writer on unemployment as follows:
It is by no means axiomatic that the proportion of unemployment
is lower amongst skilled men as a whole than amongst unskilled, or
amongst trade-unionists than among nonunionists. The skilled man
holds out for a job in his own particular line, the unskilled man will



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

25

take anything he can do. The unionist will rather be unemployed
than work below his rate * * *; the nonunionist more readily
adjusts himself to a falling market.1
Although written with reference to the situation in England, the
argument is not without point. The New York and Massachusetts
returns can not be used to estimate unemployment among industrial
workers as a whole in those States. The figures are valuable only for
the field covered by them. This is the position taken by the officials
of both the New York and Massachusetts bureaus.
STATISTICS FROM THE AMERICAN EEDERATIONIST.

Data concerning the amount of unemployment among organized
workers from 1899 to 1909 have been published by the American Fed­
erationist, the official organ of the American Federation o f Labor.
These data were received from such union secretaries as voluntarily
made reports in all parts o f the United States. The following table
shows the per cent of organized workers reported by the American
Federationist as unemployed each month beginning with October,
1902. It also shows the maximum and minimum numbers reported
upon each year:
PERCENTAGE OF UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG ORGANIZED W ORKERS REPORTING
TO THE AMERICAN FEDERATION IST, B Y MONTHS, 1902 TO 1909.
[From American Federationist, August, 1909.]
Months.

1902

1903

1904
6.4
7.3
1.4
4.2
1.3
5.1
1.6
3.2
1.5
1.2
3.9
2.1

1905
6.3
6.1
3.8
1.3

1906

1907

1908

1909

January.....................
February...................
March........................
April..........................
Mav...........................
tr“ v • • • • • ..............................
June...........................
July...........................
August.......................
September.................
October......................
November.................
December..................

6.9
1.8
1.3

Smallest number re­
porting....................
Largest number re­
porting...................

83,277

36,293

44,870

41,148

28,300

26,680

42,700

56,418

133,354

135,626

115,406

154,118

165,671

131,050

134,720

139,836

6.1
3.7
2.1
1.8
5.3
2.5
3.3
2.1
2.1
1.2
4.2
1.1

2.2
2.0
5.8
3.7
.9
1.2
1.3

7.8
4.6
1.9
2.3
.9
1.5
1.4
1.8
3.2
.8
1.8
4.1

2.3
3.2
1.3
.5
1.7
.2
1.7
5.8
2.2
1.4
2.3
1.2

8.8
8.2
8.6
6.6
7.1
4.1
6.4
9.6
8.4
6.9
6.8
6.2

9.8
7.4
8.6
5.6
6.7
5.3
5.7
5.6
4.8
1.2

It is noteworthy that the amount of unemployment as here re­
ported has at no time, even during the industrial depression o f
1907-8, reached 10 per cent, and several times it has gone below
1 per cent. Unemployment was reported for the end of the month
and therefore the returns should be comparable with those in New
York and Massachusetts.
The comparatively small number of workmen covered by the re­
turns to the Federationist, the great variation in the number reported
1 W. H. Beveridge, Unemployment, a Problem o f Industry, p. 21.




26

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

upon, and the lack of information as to the industries included
affect the value of the Federationist’s figures. Their chief value
lies in their suggestion that the New York returns may not be repre­
sentative of organized labor throughout the country in the amount o f
unemployment shown. The publication o f data on unemployment
has been discontinued by the American Federationist, because, in
the opinion o f the editor, the returns were so meager as to be of
uncertain value.
CENSUS OE UNEMPLOYED IN RHODE ISLAND IN 1908.

In March, 1908, a census of the unemployed was taken in Rhode
Island. This was during the industrial depression and therefore
its results show only temporary abnormal conditions and indicate
nothing as to the amount of unemployment in the State ordinarily.
The aim o f the census was to enumerate the breadwinners who were
usually at work, but who were entirely without employment. Care
was taken to avoid enumerating those who were habitually unem­
ployed. A house-to-house canvass of the entire State was impossible
because the census was to be taken in a single week, but such a
canvass was made in the five cities of the State by the police depart­
ment, and the occupation and sex, but not the names, of the unem­
ployed were ascertained. As the country and village districts could
not be canvassed in the short time allowed for the census, the per
cent o f unemployed found in the cities was applied to the total wage
earners o f the State in order to determine the total number of un­
employed.
The f o l lo A v in g statement shows the result o f this census: 1
POLICE CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYED IN RHODE ISLAND, IN MARCH, 1908.

* Number of wage earners in State---------------------------------------------------- 234,040
Number of wage earners in cities---------------------------------------------------- 157,921
Number of wage earners outside of cities__________________________ 76,119
Number of unemployed wage earners in cities_______________________ 12,355
Per cent of unemployed wage earners in cities_____________________
7.8
Number of unemployed wage earners outside of cities________________
5,937
Total unemployed wage earners in State______________________ 18,292

There were found to be 12,355 unemployed wage earners in the five
cities o f Rhode Island, which was 7.8 per cent o f the estimated num­
ber o f wage earners in those cities. The estimated number o f un­
employed in the State was 18,292. The estimated total number of
wage earners was based on the census of 1905. It should be remem­
bered that by the unemployed in the above table is meant those
usually at work and that the census aimed to measure only the effects
o f the industrial depression.
1 Twenty-second Report o f Industrial Statistics, Rhode Island, 1908, p. 19.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

27

At the time the census was taken inquiry was made of all manu­
facturing establishments in the State and other representative estab­
lishments as to the number employed February 28, 1907, and Feb­
ruary 28,1908. From the returns received the decrease in the number
o f persons employed in the State was found to be 19,121, which veri­
fies to a remarkable degree the census of the unemployed taken by
the police.
The census was, however, subjected to severe criticism and its
accuracy has been questioned. The canvass, it was charged, was not
thorough. The method of enumeration, the short time allowed for it,
and its performance by officers having other duties, it was claimed,
made accurate results impossible. The term “ unemployed” was
strictly construed, and men doing a few hours’ relief work provided
by charity organizations were counted as employed. It was con­
tended, therefore, that the census did not show the full extent o f
unemployment in the State.
Naturally, the census could take no account o f the number working
on short time, which was the usual method o f curtailment in the State
o f Khode Island in 1908.
UNEMPLOYMENT IN COAL MINES, AS SHOWN BY REPORTS OF UNITED
STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

Evidence o f a different character from that above considered is fur­
nished by the reports o f the United States Geological Survey concern­
ing the amount o f unemployment in coal mines. This information,
except where some other well-established agency already exists by
which the statistics are collected accurately, is obtained directly from
the producers. The reports show the average number o f days which
the coal mines o f each State and of the United States operate during
the year. These numbers represent the maximum possible employ­
ment o f coal miners in the mines, but they do not show the amount
of unemployment from causes other than lack o f work. Neither do
they show the amount of idleness due to operation for only a part o f
a day.
The following table shows the average number of days worked by
employees in coal mines in the United States from 1890 to 1908, and
in 1910, also the number and per cent o f days idle, assuming 300
working-days each year:




28

BULLETIN OF THE BTJBEAU OF LABOB.

EMPLOYMENT OF COAL MINERS IN TH E U N ITED STATES, 1890 TO 1908, AND IN 1910.
IFrom United States Geological Survey: Mineral Resources of the United States, Vol. 11,1910, p.42.J
Number of days
active.
Years.

Days idle.1

Anthracite.
Anthra­
cite.

1890...............................................................
1891...............................................................
1892..............................................................
1893...............................................................
1894...............................................................
1895...............................................................
1896...............................................................
1897...............................................................
1898...............................................................
1899...............................................................
1900..............................................................
1901..............................................................
1902...............................................................
1903.......................................................
1904...............................................................
1905............................................................
1906..............................................................
1907..............................................................
1908...............................................................
1910...............................................................

200
203
198
197
190
196
174
150
152
173
166
196
116
206
200
215
195
220
200
229

Bitumi­
nous.

226
223
219
204
171
194
192
196
211
234
234
225
230
225
202
211
213
234
193
217

j

Bituminous.

Number. Percent. Number. Percent.
100
97
102
103
110
104
126
150
148
127
134
104
184
94
100
85
105
80
100
71

33.3
32.3
34.0
34.3
36.7
34.7
42.0
50.0
49.3
42.3
44.7
34.7
61.3
31.3
33.3
28.3
35.0
26.7
33.3
23.7

74
77
81
96
129
106
108
104
89
66
66
75
70
75
98
89
87
66
107
83

24.7
25.7
27.0
32.0
43.0
35.3
36.0
34.7
29.7
22.0
22.0
25.0
23.3
25.0
32.7
29.7
29.0
22.0
35.7
27.7

1 The table assumes 300 working-days in the year.

It may be observed that the number of days worked by employees
in anthracite mines has varied from 116 in 1902, the year of the great
coal strike, to 229 in 1910. In bituminous mines the variation has
been from 171 in 1894 to 234 in 1899, 1900, and 1907. During the
best years coal mines are idle about one-fourth of the time, and both
anthracite and bituminous mines have often averaged less than 200
days each year. The amount of enforced idleness has varied, there­
fore, on the assumption that there are 300 working days in the year,
from 22.0 to 43.0 per cent o f the working time of employees annually
in the bituminous mines, and from 23.7 to 50 per cent, disregarding
the year 1902, in anthracite mines. This is a much higher percentage
of unemployment than has been reported in other industries and from
other sources, as above presented. At the same time it should be re­
membered that the unemployment here shown in the coal-mining
industry is only that due to lack of work. Unemployment due to
sickness, accidents, or other causes is not .shown.
Similar data concerning the coal mines in Illinois are shown in
the Illinois coal reports.
The following table is from the United States Geological Survey
and shows the average days of operation of coal mines in each State
from 1904 to 1908, and in 1910:




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

29

DAYS OF OPERATION OF COAL MINES IN EACH STATE DURING EACH Y E A R FROM
1904 TO 1908, AND IN 1910.
[From United States Geological Survey: Mineral Resources of the United States, Vol. II, 1908, p. 39, and
Vol. II, 1910, p. 41.]
States.

1904

1905

1906

1907

1908

1910

Alabama......................................................
Arkansas . . . ___ _ - - .................... ........
California.....................................................
Colorado......................................................
Georgia........................................................
Trisha ., „ __________ ________
Illinois____________________
_
-■
..........................
Indian a
«_
Iow a ............................................................
Kansas.........................................................
Kentucky....................................................
Maryland....................................................
Michigan.....................................................
Missouri........................................................
Montana......................................................
New M exico................................................
North Dakota.............................................
O h io.............................................................
Oklahoma................................................
Oregon.....................................................
Pennsylvania (bituminous).......................
Tennessee....................................................
T exas...........................................................
U tah............................................................
Virginia.......................................................
Washington.................................................
West Virginia.............................................
W yom ing....................................................

216
165
1282
261
2 223
3 112
213
177
213
213
197
226
183
206
243
228
192
175
199
149
196
217
220
294
238
243
197
262

225
177
J 294
255
2 266
3 107
201
151
209
212
200
252
186
194
243
234
187
176
188
242
231
222
238
247
241
227
209
236

237
165
1253
268
279
3 157
192
175
224
165
212
250
173
185
243
242
209
167
166
224
231
229
227
288
250
266
220
281

242
190
1 187
258
262
4 121
218
197
230
225
210
263
234
214
268
269
223
199
216
231
255
232
242
258
241
273
230
275

222
145
1 220
212
261
160
185
174
214
181
186
220
207
169
224
197
181
161
172
249
201
209
254
227
200
202
185
217

249
128
189
236
265
200
160
229
218
148
221
270
211
154
239
283
207
203
144
257
238
225
234
260
241
256
228
248

Total bituminous..............................
Pennsylvania (anthracite)..........................

202
200

211
215

213
195

234
220

193
200

217
229

Grand total.......................................

202

212

209

231

195

220

^Includes Alaska.
* Includes North Carolina.

8Includes Nevada.
4Includes Nebraska and Nevada.

COMPARISON OF STATISTICAL DATA.

A comparison o f the various sets of data above presented does not
assist materially in determining the accuracy of any. The New York
reports on the number idle at the end of each month in certain unions
and at the end o f the first and third quarters in all unions differ from
the Massachusetts reports only in the percentage o f unions reporting.
Yet the tables show a much higher precentage o f unemployment in
New York than in Massachusetts. In fact, the percentage reported
idle on the last working day o f each quarter in Massachusetts is ordi­
narily lower than the percentage reported idle throughout the same
quarter in New York. The American Federationist’s figures, which
also relate to union labor and were reported in the same manner as
those for New York and Massachusetts—by union secretaries—but
which cover only a small and varying percentage o f unions in various
States, show a much lower percentage o f unemployment than do the
Massachusetts reports.
The high percentage of unemployment among organized workers
in New York is unexplained. The only explanation offered is the
importance which the returns from seasonal trades assume in the
reported figures. The building trades include more than one-fourth



30

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

of all union men in the State, and the clothing trades are also of
greater importance than in Massachusetts. In the building trades 30
to 50 per cent are frequently idle in the winter months, and in the
clothing trades a high proportion at dull seasons. As already ob­
served, neither the Massachusetts nor the New York returns are com­
parable with the figures on unemployment in England, because the
latter exclude unemployment due to sickness, disability, or strikes.
The census figures for 1900 furnish no basis for comparison with
the New York returns for the same year. The New York returns
relate to union labor only while the census reports cover all persons
ordinarily engaged in gainful occupations. This fact alone would
not invalidate comparison were the two sets of data on the same basis.
The census, however, reports the number and percentage who were
unemployed at some time during the year, while the New York sta­
tistics show those idle on a certain day, or throughout a quarter. It
is interesting to note, however, as the above tables indicate, that the
percentage reported as unemployed at some time during the census
year, 22.3, is closely approached by the percentage o f union laborers
reported idle in New York on the last day of December, 1899, the last
day o f March, 1900, and the last day o f June, 1900. The percentage
o f all workers unemployed from one to three months during the en­
tire census year, as reported by the 1900 census, 10.9 per cent, was
slightly higher, and the percentage unemployed from four to six
months, 8.8 per cent, was only slightly lower than the percentage o f
union workers, 10.1 per cent, reported idle in New York throughout
the first quarter o f 1900.
The Bureau o f Labor returns for 1901 show a higher percentage
o f nonemployment than does the census of 1900. This may be due
in part to the fact that the former relate to the heads o f families only,
and in part to the methods o f enumeration, very brief periods of
idleness appearing in the Bureau of Labor report. The Bureau o f
Labor reported 38.9 per cent of the heads o f families investigated
as idle 13 weeks or less, while the census reported in 1900 that 10.9
per cent o f persons gainfully employed were idle from one to three
months. With this high percentage of nonemployment reported by
the Bureau of Labor when compared with the census returns, it is
interesting to observe that the percentage of union workers reported
idle throughout the first quarter of 1901 in New York was 11.3, while
the percentage reported by the Bureau o f Labor as idle 13 weeks or
over during the year was only 13.2 per cent of the heads o f families
visited.
Seasonal fluctuations in the demand for labor are well brought out
by the New York and Massachusetts statistics. As already noted,
the quarterly returns in New York show a high percentage o f un­
employment both during and at the end o f the first quarter. They



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

31

show a lower percentage o f unemployment for the third quarter o f
each year. The New York returns prior to 1901 and the Massachu­
setts returns add evidence of a high percentage o f unemployment at
the end o f the fourth quarter o f the year, which is supported by the
monthly returns from selected unions in New York. The monthly
returns in New York also show violent fluctuations in the amount o f
unemployment from month to month.
A more striking phenomenon brought out by the New York sta­
tistics is the return at fairly regular intervals of periods o f high
unemployment. These periods have already been mentioned in the
discussion o f the various tables relating to union labor in New York.
The statistics furnish unmistakable evidence of high unemployment
in the latter part o f 1903 and in 1904, and of very high unemploy­
ment in the latter part of 1907 and in 1908, with an intervening pe­
riod of low unemployment. Since 1908 there has been a falling off in
the percentage o f unemployment in both New York and Massachu­
setts. Prior to 1903 the periods of high and low unemployment are
not so marked as since that date, but the statistics suggest that in
1897 and in 1900 unemployment was greater than in the intervening
years, although the evidence is insufficient to warrant positive con­
clusions. While there are no statistics of unemployment earlier than
1897, there was, there can be no doubt, a large amount o f unemploy­
ment in 1893. It appears, therefore, that at least among union work­
ers in New York there are cyclical as well as seasonal fluctuations in
the amount o f unemployment and that periods o f high unemploy­
ment occur at intervals o f four years or a little less. The statistics
have not been gathered for a sufficient time to establish absolutely
that these cyclical fluctuations are likely to occur, but the data
forcibly suggest that such is the case.
Whether or not the New York data are sufficient to establish the
probability that periods o f high unemployment will recur every four
years or thereabouts, they do clearly establish that the amount o f un­
employment is by no means constant, but that it varies from month
to month, from season to season, and from year to year.
This fact is most instructive in view o f the assertion sometimes
made that the unemployment question in the United States is unim­
portant; that all desiring work in this country can obtain it; and
that those who are idle, although able to work, are idle from choice.
Were it true that the unemployment o f able-bodied persons is
due solely or largely to laziness, the amount o f unemployment would,
it is obvious, remain fairly constant. Not many more persons are
sick or disabled or lazy in winter than in summer, and certainly no
more in 1904 and in 1908 than in the intervening years. Yet among
union workers in New York and Massachusetts two or three times
as many are idle at the end o f March as at the end o f September



32

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

each year; and in New York only about half as many were idle in
1905 as in 1904, with a still lower percentage in 1'906. In 1908 nearly
four times as many were reported idle as in 1906 on the last days o f
both March and September. In September, 1905, only 4.8 per cent
o f all union workers in New York were reported idle. In March,
1906, the percentage was twice as great. By March, 1907, it had
doubled again, and by March, 1908, it had nearly doubled again.
Clearly incapacity or laziness, or both combined, do not vary to the
extent thus indicated.
The weather is doubtless an important factor in causing seasonal
fluctuations, but can not account for variations from year to year.
Labor disputes, the New York statistics show, were, a more important
factor in years of low unemployment than in other years.
It becomes obvious, therefore, that the great changes in the amount
o f unemployment are due primarily to variations in the demand for
labor. Industry needs more workers in September than in March,
and it needed more in 1905,1906, and 1907 than in 1904 and 1908.
This leads to a brief presentation o f statistics on the causes o f un­
employment. The two following tables show the causes of idleness
among organized labor in New York at the end o f March and the
end o f September o f each year from 1906 to 1911:
CAUSES OF IDLENESS AMONG ORGANIZED W O R K E RS IN N EW Y O R K A T THE END
OF MARCH, 1907 TO 1911.
[From New York Department of Labor Bulletin No. 51, p. 103.]
Number.

Per cent.

Causes.
1907

1908

Lack of work........... 52,031 123,706
576
Lack of stock........... 1,819
8,064
Weather................... 15,472
3,970
1,573
Labor disputes.........
3,811
Disability................. 3,563
274
315
Other reasons..........
127
100
Reason not stated...
T otal.............. 77,270 138,131

1909

1910

1911

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

60,585 42,010
804 2,667
7,890 7,329
1,498 6,864
3,467
3,838
151
56
148
87

79,866
548
8,544
3,289
3,752
450
159

67.3
2.4
20.0
5.2
4.6
.4
.1

89.6
.4
5.8
1.1
2.8
6.2
.1

81.3
1.1
10.6
2.0
4.6
.2
.2

66.8
4.2
11.7
10.9
6.1
.1
.2

82.7
.6
8.8
3.4
3.9
.4
.2

74,543

96,608

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

62,811

CAUSES OF IDLENESS AMONG ORGANIZED W O R K E RS IN NEW YO R K A T TH E END
OF SEPTEM BER, 1907 TO 1911.
[From New York Department of Labor Bulletin No. 49, p. 474.]
Number.

Per cent.

Causes.
1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

Lack of work............ 29,301
Lack of stock .......... 1,752
W eather...................
569
Labor disputes......... 6,916
Disability................. 3,442
343
Other reasons...........
233
Reason not stated...

71,532
2,043
500
2,288
3,082
466
665

27,225 39,307
2,517
2,450
894
163
2,867 17,646
3,000
3,216
175
181
290
143

39,959
680
493
5,699
3,336
128
95

68.9
4.1
1.3
16.3
8.1
.8
.5

88.8
2.6
.6
2.8
3.8
.6
.8

73.6
6.8
2.4
7.8
8.1
.5
,8

62.3
3.9
.2
28.0
5.1
.3
.2

79.3
1.3
1.0
11.3
6.6
.3
.2

42,556

80,576

36,968

50,390

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

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




63,106

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

33

The following table shows similar facts concerning organized
workers in Massachusetts:
CAUSES OF IDLENESS AMONG ORGANIZED W ORKERS IN MASSACHUSETTS ON
MARCH 31, 1909 TO 1911.
[From Bulletins of Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics.]
Number idle on
March 31—

Per cent of membership
idle on March 31—

Causes.
1909

1910

1911

9,980
138
172
1,354
353

6,186
113
96
1,646
221

9,120
831
178
1,691
918

9.50
.13
.16
1.29
.34

9.28
.10
.08
1.41
.19

7.47
.68
.15
1.39
.75

Total....................................................................... 11,997

8,262

12,738

11.42

7.06

10.44

Lack of work or material................................................
Unfavorable weather.......................................................
Strikes or lockouts...........................................................
Disability (sickness, accident, or old age)....................
Other causes....................................................................

1909

1910

1911

CAUSES OF IDLENESS AMONG ORGANIZED W ORKERS IN MASSACHUSETTS ON
SEPTEMBER 30, 1909 TO 1911.
[From Bulletins of Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics.]
Number idle on Sep­
tember 30—

Per cent of membership
idle on September 30—

Causes.
1909

1910

1911

1909

1910

Lack of work or material...............................................
Unfavorable weather.......................................................
Strikes or lockouts..........................................................
Disability (sickness, accident, or old age)....................
Other causes....................................................................

3,873
85
173
1,199
121

4,687
146
132
1,510
149

4,904
235
477
1,668
243

3.41
.07
.15
1.06
.11

3.95
.12
.11
1.27
.13

3.7
.2
.3
1.2
.2

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

5,451

6,624

7,527

4.80

5.58

5.6

1911

In each o f these tables it may be noted that the all-important cause
o f idleness is lack o f work. The number idle from disability remains
fairly constant, but the corresponding percentage necessarily rises
with the decrease o f unemployment from other causes. Weather
becomes an important factor in the winter months. The number
idle on account o f labor disputes varies greatly, but was smaller in
1908 than in any other year.
The returns as to the causes o f idleness here considered are made by
the union secretaries in New York and Massachusetts, and so are
subject to the same doubt as to their accuracy as the statistics already
considered o f the amount of unemployment. Nevertheless they are
strongly supported by the investigation made by the United States
Bureau o f Labor in 1901, wherein the inability to obtain work com­
bined with “ slack work ” was by far the leading cause o f un­
employment.
This brief consideration o f causes of unemployment is sufficient
to establish as fallacious the frequent assertion that all who desire
work in the United States can obtain it. Even if at the best seasons
66269°— Bull. 109— 13--- 3



34

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

o f the best years, industrially, all who wanted work were employed,
some would be out of work the next month, and many more, it is evi­
dent from the above considerations, the following year or within a
very few years. Those who became unemployed would, o f course,
be the less efficient, but if all were equally capable, some would lose
their jobs simply because industry could not use them.
DISTRIBUTION OF LABOR.

In a consideration of agencies for the distribution o f labor, it
should be remembered that such agencies deal with one phase, but
only one phase, o f the unemployment problem. I f men are out of
work because no work is available such agencies are o f no value.
Likewise, if men are idle because they are either unwilling or unable
to work, an employment office can accomplish nothing. Again, if
unskilled men are idle when skilled men only are wanted, there is no
place for an employment bureau. If, however, men with certain
qualifications are idle at a time when employers are seeking men with
those same qualifications, then an employment agency can be of serv­
ice. This most obvious limitation upon the usefulness o f employment
bureaus is important. Much o f the criticism to which these agencies,
particularly free public agencies, are subjected is due to a failure to
recognize the limits of their usefulness. They can not make work
and they can not give workmen energy or ability. They can serve
the public only when the condition of the labor market permits them
to do so.
Within the field thus defined employment offices have a great
opportunity for usefulness. An employer in need of help can not.
know what particular man is idle or in want of work. The unem­
ployed workman can not know which one of a thousand employers
needs his services. To bring these two persons together is the prov­
ince o f an employment agent, and whether his office is maintained by
the State or municipality, supported by a charitable society, or
operated for gain, if he accomplishes his purpose expeditiously and
satisfactorily he has performed a valuable service.
In the benefit accruing to both parties through the intermediation
o f an employment agency may be seen the justification for the com­
mercialized agency, which charges a fee. In the effect upon the char­
acter o f the workman, as well as the material benefit to him and
his family, is found the argument for the philanthropic agency.
And in the advantage accruing to the public through a lessening
o f unemployment is the justification for free public employment
bureaus. In addition to these three general classes of employment
agencies, two others of importance may be enumerated, those main­
tained by large firms or by associations o f employers, and those
maintained by labor unions.



U N E M P L O Y M E N T AND W O R K OF E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

35

FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

The establishment o f State free employment bureaus has been due
ordinarily to two principal causes: First, the desire to curb the evils
o f private agencies through competition, and, second, the belief
that it is the duty o f the State to make some provision for its unem­
ployed. Employment agencies maintained by the State and desig­
nated as either free employment bureaus or free employment offices
now exist in 15 States. Following is a list of these States, with the
year o f the passage o f the law providing for free employment*bureaus,
and the number and location of such offices:
Colorado, 1907, 3 offices; Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo.
Connecticut, 1905, 5 offices; Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven,
Norwich, Waterbury.
Illinois, 1899, 6 offices; 3 in Chicago, 1 each in Peoria, East St.
Louis, Springfield.
Indiana, 1909, 1 office; Indianapolis.
Kansas, 1901, 1 office; Topeka.
Maryland, 1902, 1 office; Baltimore.
Massachusetts, 1906, 3 offices; Boston, Fall River, Springfield.
Michigan, 1905, 5 offices; Detroit, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kala­
mazoo, Saginaw.
Three other offices, Bay City, Battle Creek, and
Muskegon, authorized in 1909, are not yet established.
Minnesota, 1905, 3 offices; Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Paul. Duluth
office was established as a municipal office in 1901.
Missouri, 1899, 3 offices; Kansas City, St. Joseph, St. Louis.
Ohio, 1890, 5 offices; Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton,
Toledo.
Oklahoma, 1908, 3 offices; Oklahoma, Muskogee, Enid.
Rhode Island, 1908, 1 office; Providence.
West Virginia, 1901, 1 office; Wheeling.
Wisconsin, 1901,4 offices; La Crosse, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Superior.
New York had a free employment office located in New York City
from 1896 to 1906, when the law providing for such a bureau was
repealed. Nebraska has a law providing for a free employment
bureau, but as no appropriation has ever been made for its mainte­
nance the bureau is inactive.
Free municipal employment bureaus are maintained, so far as
information was obtained, in the States and cities named below.
The date given in each case is the date o f establishment o f the bureau.
California : Los Angeles, established as municipal bureau in 1893;
transferred from the municipality to the Associated Charities in
1910; Sacramento, 1902.
Montana: Butte, 1902; Great Falls, 1905.
New Jersey: Newark, 1909.



36

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

Washington: Seattle, 1894; Tacoma, 1904; Spokane, 1905; Everett,
1909.
PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT OEFICES.

Private employment agencies, which charge a fee for their services,
are found in every city o f any size in the United States. The nature
o f their business is such as to make possible most iniquitous practices.
Their patrons are frequently men and women with only a dollar or
two, which they are eager to give up for the opportunity o f earning
more. They are often o f small intelligence and easily duped. Sto­
ries of how these agencies have swindled and defrauded those who
sought employment through them are heard universally. Some of
the more common of the fraudulent methods said to be used by these
agencies are the follow ing:
1. Charging a fee and failing to make any* effort to find work for
the applicant.
2. Sending applicants where no work exists.
3. Sending applicants to distant points where no work or where
unsatisfactory work exists, but whence the applicant will not return
on account o f the expense involved.
4. Collusion between the agent and employer, whereby the appli­
cant is given a few days work and then discharged to make way for
new workmen, the agent and employer dividing the fee.
5. Charging exorbitant fees, or giving jobs to such applicants as
contribute extra fees, presents, etc.
6. Inducing workers, particularly girls, who have been placed, to
leave, pay another fee, and get a “ better job.”
Other evils charged against employment agents are the congre­
gating of persons for gambling or other evil practices, collusion with
keepers o f immoral houses, and the sending of women applicants to
houses o f prostitution; sometimes employment offices are maintained
in saloons, with the resulting evils.
These iniquitous practices have caused the enactment in most States
o f laws regulating these agencies. These laws usually provide for a
license and bond, forbid location where liquors are sold, and require
registers to be kept. They sometimes prescribe the fee to be charged
and provide that receipts be given. Other provisions will be noted in
discussing the laws of the States visited. Experience has proved
that these laws do not accomplish the results desired unless provision
is also made for frequent inspection. Ineffective also, so far as the
regulation o f private agencies is concerned, has been the creation o f
free employment bureaus. The States which established such bureaus
with the expectation that they would drive private offices out o f
business, or at least bring about improvement in their methods, have
found further legislation essential.



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

37

With proper regulation, private employment offices are of great
service to the public, and where free offices do not exist may be re­
garded as a necessity. It is probable that in discussions relating to
private agencies too much emphasis has been laid upon the evil prac­
tices o f unprincipled agents, and too little upon the service rendered
by the properly conducted bureau. Until public employment agen­
cies have developed to a far greater usefulness than at present, and
until much more money is appropriated for their extension and sup­
port, the private agency will continue to fill a need and to charge for
its services. To legislate such offices out of existence, as has some­
times been proposed, would be disastrous, and to hope to drive them
out o f business by the competition o f free public offices is, for the
present at least, unwarranted.
Yery little statistical information concerning private employment
agencies is available, as, except in a few instances, no reports are
made by them. It is, therefore, impossible to judge their impor­
tance as compared with free agencies, except by their number. In
large industrial centers, like Chicago and New York, such agencies
are very numerous. In smaller cities, like Providence and Indian­
apolis, they are very few in number and their business is not o f great
importance.
OTHER AGENCIES.

Various philanthropic and semiphilanthropic agencies are en­
gaged in the distribution of labor in all cities of importance. Among
these are what may be roughly designated as immigrant societies,
which usually, though not always, deal with immigrants, or citizens
o f a specified nationality. Municipal lodging houses and the Salva­
tion Army find or provide temporary work for persons in need. The
Associated Charities ordinarily maintain free employment bureaus
as an adjunct to other work.
The Young Men’s Christian Association and the Young Women’s
Christian Association in cities o f importance usually conduct em­
ployment bureaus. They ordinarily charge for their services, and
sometimes confine their work to members o f the association. The
yearbooks of the Young Men’s Christian Association show the num­
ber o f positions secured by each association in the United States.
The following table is compiled from these reports, showing the
number o f persons placed in each State during the past two years:




38

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

POSITIONS SECURED IN EACH STATE THROUGH EMPLOYMENT BUREAUS OF
YOUNG MEN’ S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION DURING THE Y E A R S ENDING A P R IL 30,
1909 TO 1911.
1908-9

States.

1910-11

1909-10

Number
Number
Number
of asso­ Positions of asso­ Positions of asso­
ciations secured. ciations secured. ciations Positions
securing
securing secured.
securing
positions.
positions.
positions.

Alabama,_____ ______________ ________ _
Arizona.........................................................
Arkansas......... ............................................
California r_
_ . ...................... ................
Colorado.......................................................
Connecticut-... _________________ _____
Delaware......................................................
District of Columbia....................................
Florida....................................... .................
Georgia.........................................................
H awaii.........................................................
T d f l h o __________ _________- .............
Illinoi-S „ ,. t................. ........ .......... ......
Indiana............................... - __________
Iowa..............................................................
Transas..........................................................
Kentucky.....................................................
Louisiana.......... .................................. - ___
Maine-............................................................
Maryland......................................................
Massachusetts..............................................
Michigan.......................................................
Minnesota.....................................................
Mississippi....................................................
Missouri.................................. .....................
Montana.......................................................
Nebraska......................................................
New Hampshire..........................................
New Jersey...................................................
New Mexico.................................................
New Y ork....................................................
North Carolina.............................................
North Dakota..............................................
Ohio..............................................................
Oklahoma....................................................
Oregon..........................................................
Pennsylvania...............................................
Rhode Island...............................................
South Carolina.............................................
South Dakota...............................................
Tennessee.....................................................
Texas............................................................
Utah.............................................................
Vermont.......................................................
Virginia.............................................. .........
Washington.................................................
West Virginia...............................................
Wisconsin....................................................
Total................................................... 1
I

4
2
4
15
8
15

93
54
62
2,527
645
218

4
2
5
14
7
14
1
2

76
39
76
1,518
733
319
135
344

3
2

91
87

14
6
11
1
1
3
3
1
1
15
6
9
10
7
1
2
3
33
12
6

838
745
282
33
210
164
40
62
155
926
280
319
264
46
8
232
350
3,312
1,862
220

1
1
2

6
35
25

4

55

1
24
13
12
13
8
1
4
6
35
11
10
1
15
1
9

52
969
398
501
243
73
3
61
364
3,412
680
452
2
766
150
460

2
20
11
9
14
8
1
4
5
37
13
7
2
13

257
883
603
156
429
138
9
117
363
3,538
2,573
513
6
757

8
1
8

904
40
478

12

663

3
18
1
62
5
2
22

12
397
9
6,488
44
20
1,446

1
18
1
66
7
2
29

2
395
40
1 7,058
164
21
2,671
840
1,491
41
61
1
129
318
114
22
205
3,505
36
125

5
15
1
44
4
2
21
1
5
38
2
1
1
6
7
1
2
7
7
3
4

30
433
36
7,705
56
105
2,390
15
2,115
1,231
29
100
3
206
135
50
9
103
2,718
38
70

2
53
4
2
1
8
10
1
4
12
8
4
6

273
810
234
46
1
165
148
113
42
168
1,526
41
153

1
55
3
1
1
7
9
1
2
8
7
2
3

444

24,387

435

31,539

344

30,525

i Not including 32 charged to “ county and town work.”

In Bulletin No. 68 o f the Bureau o f Labor, issued in January, 1907,
will be found an account o f the free public employment offices in
operation in the United States at that time. In the brief study of
the agencies for the distribution o f labor which is here presented, the
free public employment offices at Boston, Providence, Indianapolis,
Detroit, Minneapolis, and Chicago were visited and their methods
observed and studied. The first three offices named have been estab­
lished since Bulletin 68 was prepared. The offices at Detroit and
Minneapolis had been in operation but a few months at that time,



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OP EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

39

and in both Michigan and Minnesota new offices have since been
created.
In each o f the cities named above, and in New York City, a
study was also made of the various other agencies engaged in the
distribution o f labor. In the reports relating to each State visited,
which appear below, statistics of the free State bureaus and of
other agencies are presented, the laws regulating the various agen­
cies are reviewed, an account is given of their activities, meth­
ods, and operations, and their relative importance is considered.
These several classes o f agencies vary greatly in the cities visited in
their methods, efficiency, and relative importance. In view o f the
fact that further study would doubtless reveal still greater variety,
it can not be said that the cities visited can be taken as representative
o f methods of distribution o f labor. In fact, the existence of one or
more free public employment bureaus in each city visited, except
New York, precludes the possibility o f stamping them as representa­
tive. It is probable, however, that practically all o f the agencies
engaged in distributing labor in the United States were found in one
form or another in the cities visited, and although their methods and
efficiency would vary in other cities, the general purpose o f such
agencies, and the field o f their activities, as well as the best methods
o f operation, are no doubt disclosed by the agencies herein described.
Following the description o f agencies for the distribution of labor
in the States and cities visited will be found a brief account o f free
public employment offices in other States, with recent statistics o f
their activities.
INDIANA.
STATE FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICE.

The law providing for a State free employment bureau in Indiana
was passed in April, 1909. The chief of the bureau of statistics
had for a long time felt the need o f such an agency, and to his activ­
ity in this direction was due the passage o f the law. No appropria­
tion was made for the maintenance o f the office. The provision was
made, however, in the law relating to private agencies enacted in
March, 1909, that the license fees paid by private offices should be
used for the support of a free employment bureau. A small part
o f the support of the offices is furnished by a unique provision of the
law, which authorizes applicants “ to inclose sufficient postage for
all replies.” Under this provision all applicants are required to pay
postage, if they have the money. The question of charging a nomi­
nal fee was considered when the bill was framed, with the result
above indicated. During the first quarter of the bureau’s existence
nearly half o f the applicants placed could not pay the postage asked
for.



40

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

It was nearly six months after the passage of the law before enough
money had accumulated from license fees to pay for printing and
fixtures, so that the State bureau could be established. The office
was then installed in connection with the office of the bureau of
industrial statistics in the State capitol. The money from licenses
has been found sufficient for the payment of postage, telephone,
printing, and incidental expenses. There is no expense for office
rent and the clerical help is that of the bureau of statistics. One
man gives all of his time to the work of the employment bureau and
occasionally has the assistance o f others.
The law provides for the registry of all persons applying for
help and for those seeking employment, and states what information
shall be included in such registry. The law also requires the publi­
cation o f quarterly bulletins concerning the work of the bureau,
and provides that employers shall notify the office as to whether
applicants sent are rejected or accepted.
The following is the form used by applicants for employment:
A
APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT.
Name--------------------------------------------------------------------- Date_______________
Address___________________________________________ _ Phone_____________
Age------------------ Sex----------------- - Color____________ Nativity___________
(Birthplace, country or State.)

Occupation ______________________________________________________________
Kind of work wanted_____________________________________________________
Wages wanted___________________________________________________________
Number of dependents, if any-------------------------------------------------------------------Referred to

This form is printed on a card which is filed. The letter at the
top o f the form is for facility in indexing. The application is in­
dexed under one o f 72 occupations and is kept on file and accessible
until the applicant is placed.
The last two lines on the application blank are used for the names
of employers to whom the applicant is sent. References are not
required. I f given, they are placed on the back of the card for the
information of employers, but are not investigated.
In placing workmen, priority is given to those longest registered
and to those having dependents. Sometimes those having telephones
are favored when quick communication is necessary.
Applications for help are usually made by telephone. The em­
ployer is asked the exact nature of the work and the probable wages;
also the age, sex, color, and experience o f the employee wanted.
This information is given to the applicant for employment, and he is



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

41

questioned as to his ability to do the work. Thus, careful effort is
made to fit the man to the job and thus increase the usefulness o f
the bureau and secure the confidence o f employers. An incident
which occurred the morning the office was first visited shows the
care used to satisfy employers. A call had come for 40 railroad
laborers to work a few miles out o f the city. Fearing that some of
the men who agreed to do the work would back out ‘and fail to report,
the manager o f the employment bureau accompanied them on the
electric car to the outskirts of the city.
The reports o f the bureau, covering the first year o f its operation,
show that most o f the men and boys placed in positions were common
laborers. In the fourth quarter of the year, which ended September
30, 1910, 682 o f the 789 men who secured positions through the office
were classed as laborers and 29 as farm hands. Carpenters securing
work numbered 10, and in all other occupations, except one, the
number o f men placed was 5 or less. O f 41 boys placed during
this quarter 27 were laborers. Few women and girls, only 30, were
placed during the fourth quarter, and only 86 applied for work.
During the entire year only 105 women secured positions through the
office. Nearly all of these entered some form o f domestic service.
The demand for female workers has exceeded the supply. The bu­
reau has found an oversupply, however, of both male and female
clerks, stenographers, and salesmen.
The following table is a summary o f the work of the bureau during
the first year o f its operation, ending September 30,1910.
A P PLIC A TIO N S FOR W ORK AND POSITION S O FFERED AND F IL L E D , INDIANA
F R EE EM PLOYMENT BUREAU, Y EA R ENDING SEPT. 30, 1910.
[From Fourth Quarterly Report, Indiana Free Employment Bureau, p. 6.]
Applica­ Positions
tions for offered. Positions
filled.
work.
Men..................................................................................................................
3,945
2,405
1,982
776
309
Boys.................................................................................................................
300
337
143
Women and girls.............................................................................................
105
Total.......................................................................................................

5,058

2,857

2,387

The following table shows the growth o f the business o f the office
by quarters during its first two years. The number o f positions filled,
it will be observed, increased from 2,387 during the first year to
2,846 during the second.




42

BULLETIN OP THE BUREAU OP LABOR.

BUSINESS OP IN DIAN A FR EE EM PLOYMENT BUREAU FOR TWO YEARS ENDING
SEPTEM BER 30, 1911, BY QUARTERS.
[F rom Quarterly Reports o f the Indiana Free Employment Bureau.]

Years ending Sept. 30,1910 and 1911.

First quarter..
Second quarter..
Third quarter...
Fourth quarter..

Number
applica­
tions
filed.

Number Number
appli­
Number Number Number
appli­
cants
positions positions positions
cants
not
not
offered.
filled.
placed.
filled.
placed.

1910.
1,639
1,219
929
1,271

463
472
592
860

1,176
747
337
411

574
497
666
1,120

463
472
592
860

I ll
25
74
260

5,058

2,387

2,671

2,857

2,387

470

Fourth quarter.

772
1,180
1,345
1,277

470
444
955
977

302
736
390
300

613
612
1,084
1,292

470
444
955
977

143
168
129
315

T otal.......

4,574

2,846

1,728

3,601

2,846

755

Total
First quarter___
Second quarter..

1911.

It may be observed that the Indiana bureau distinguishes between
positions offered and positions filled. No position is counted as filled
without positive assurance to that effect. Difficulty in obtaining this
information has been encountered, but, although the law fixes a
penalty of $100 on the employer who fails to inform the bureau
whether or not applicants sent to him are accepted, the penalty has
not been enforced. Instead, employees are requested to notify the
bureau if they accept the position. The total persons placed in posi­
tions is not large, as the table shows, but in this connection it should
be recalled that the office is maintained with no special appropria­
tion for its support, aside from license fees of private agencies.
The bureau has received much attention from the newspapers, and
this has, of course, been helpful in keeping it before the people.
Another method used with success to secure applications for help is
to send a card describing the work of the office to employers adver­
tising for help in the daily papers.
The Indiana employment bureau is fortunate in having the good
will and confidence of all classes. The labor unions assisted in se­
curing its establishment and are satisfied with its administration so
long as it does not become an instrument inimical to labor interests,
and this they do not expect. The members o f the employers’ associa­
tion o f the city use it for obtaining unskilled labor, and have
confidence in its administration. Its location in the State capitol
gives it dignity and is a most important factor in placing it above
ordinary agencies.
P R IVA TE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

Prior to 1909 Indiana had no law regulating private offices.
When the city o f Indianapolis attempted, in 1907, to regulate these



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

43

offices by an ordinance which provided for a license and a bond, and
which regulated the fees, the courts held that the city was without
authority to make such regulations. The manager o f the free
employment bureau o f the employer’s association o f Indianapolis
made some investigation in 1908 o f the methods o f these offices and
reported a need for legislative action. Among other abuses he found
that in the contracts which these employment agencies made with
applicants they merely promised to “ assist5 them in finding employ­
5
ment and that receipts given were for money paid “ for services to
be rendered in assisting.”
Other abuses reported were those o f sending an applicant to an
accomplice o f the employment agent, who discharged him in a few
days, and o f sending applicants to distant places where no job
existed, but where the expense o f transportation was too great for
them to return. An advertisement for statements from persons duped
by these offices brought many responses. Following these disclosures
and the resulting newspaper agitation, a law was passed in March,
1909, regulating these agencies.
The principal provisions o f this law are as follow s: Employment
agencies must pay a license fee of $25 and give bond for $1,000.
They must keep a register o f all applicants for employment, with the
address, age, nativity, sex, color, trade, and occupation o f each; also
o f the names and addresses o f employers to whom applicants were
sent and the number of positions secured. The register must also
show all applications for help. A ll o f this information must be
reported monthly to the chief of the bureau o f statistics, a provision
found in no other State visited.
The registry fee is limited to $2, 75 per cent to be returned in 10
days if work is not secured. I f work is obtained the fee, including
the registry fee, may be 10 per cent o f the first month’s wages. False
advertising and false entries in registry are prohibited, as is the
sending o f women to immoral places. Agencies may not be main­
tained in a building where intoxicating liquors are sold.
The total number o f agencies licensed in the State under this law
up to July 1,1910, was only 19. O f these, 14 were located in Indian­
apolis and 5 in other cities. O f the 14 in Indianapolis, 8 had gone
out o f business before July 1, 1910. The license o f one o f these had
been revoked and two others escaped revocation by voluntarily quit­
ting the business. The others discontinued apparently because they
Avere unable to make a profit under the new law. Licenses are issued
and revoked by the chief o f the bureau o f statistics, who conducts
the State employment office and who is charged with the enforcement
o f the law relating to private offices.
O f the six private offices still remaining in Indianapolis, two are
operated by women and four by men. One o f those operated by



44

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OP LABOR.

women deals with female domestic help entirely and one with nurses;
one o f those operated by men furnishes hotel help, and the other three
handle general laborers, one as a side issue to the real-estate business.
The principal private agency places male laborers on railroad work
outside o f the city almost exclusively. The importance o f these
agencies as compared with the State free employment bureau is indi­
cated by the number o f positions secured during a representative
month. In April, 1910, five o f the six agencies (one is exempted
from furnishing a report) placed 255 persons in positions. O f these,
143 were placed by one agency. The State employment bureau
placed during the same month 166 persons.
FREE E M P L O Y M E N T BU REAU OF EM PLOYERS’ ASSOCIATION.

The employers’ association of Indianapolis maintains a free em­
ployment bureau for the benefit of its members. The employment
bureau o f the Metal Trades’ Association is merged with that o f the
employers’ association. This association is professedly antiunion, but
disclaims being opposed to organized labor. Its professed purpose is
to secure and keep the records of employees, and thus relieve indi­
vidual employers o f the burden of making detailed inquiries con­
cerning applicants. It registers applications of skilled mechanics
only and directs unskilled laborers to the State free employment
bureau.
The members o f this association usually notify its employment
office when men are laid off, so that these men may be available for
other employers.
The number o f registrations in 1909 was 6,580; in 1910, 7,950; in
1911, 8,100. The total registration during the first seven years after
the office was established was 47,310. The number o f men sent to
positions in 1909 was 5,401; in 1910, 6,472; and in 1911, 7,340. Not
all the credit for securing positions for these large numbers of em­
ployees, however, can be given to the employment bureau, because its
records include the names o f all persons hired by members o f the
association, whether or not they had previously made application for
work at the employment office. During 1909, 2,622, or nearly half o f
all those employed, secured positions without the intermediation of
the employment office, and it is probable that about the same propor­
tion obtained in the years 1910 and 1911. During the three years
1909, 1910, and 1911 the bureau mailed 22,905 reference inquiries.
Many positions are filled and workmen made acquainted with oppor­
tunities for employment and their interests advanced through in­
direct ministrations o f the bureau of which no report is made and
for which the bureau is unable to take proper credit.
Judging solely by the number of positions filled, the employment
bureau o f the employers’ association is the most important agency
engaged in the distribution of labor in Indianapolis. The relative



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

45

importance is emphasized by the character o f the positions filled.
Nearly all o f the men served are high-grade mechanics and are placed
in permanent positions.
OTH E R AGENCIES FOR T H E DISTRIBU TION OF LABOR.

In Indianapolis, as elsewhere, the business agents o f the labor
unions act as employment agencies for their members.
The Young Men’s Christian Association also maintains an employ­
ment bureau in the city. It does not charge a fee; it does not limit
its activities to its members, but persons benefited are expected to join
the association. One man gives only a portion o f his time to the
employment office and no effort is made to push the work. During
the year 1909, 269 men and boys secured positions through this office.
Eighty-nine were placed in positions in 1910 and 116 in 1911. Refer­
ences are required and are investigated if possible. The references are
turned over to employers, but applicants are never recommended.
An agency o f no small importance engaged in the distribution of
labor in Indianapolis is the employment bureau o f the Children’s Aid
Association. This bureau grew out o f the juvenile court, and its first
work was securing positions for boys on probation. It now finds
positions for children o f both sexes from 14 to 21 years of age. It
investigates positions very thoroughly, the manager visiting all fac­
tories, stores, etc., before children are placed in them. She also visits
the homes o f children in order to become acquainted with their needs
and capabilities. The children’s bureau has the confidence of em­
ployers, many o f whom rely upon it entirely for boys needed.
The following table shows the amount of work done by this bureau
from 1909 to 1911:
OPERATIONS OF EM PLOYMENT BUREAU OF CHILDREN ’ S A ID
INDIAN APOLIS, 1909 TO 1911.
1909

ASSOCIATION,

1910

1911

Registration:
Boys (white).............................................................................................
Boys (black).............................................................................................
Girls (white.
.................................................................................
Girls (black) .............................................................................................

554
60
82
38

270
44
68
27

474
61
96
48

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

744

409

679

Vacation registration:
Boys..........................................................................................................
Girls..........................................................................................................

88
13

147
46

252
84

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

101

193

336

Grand total registration.......................................................................

845

602

1,015

Employers’ registration:
Firms and factories...................................................................................
Day’s work and errands................................................ . - ......................
Domestic and fanners..............................................................................

256
94
129

497
96
225

696
321
170

Total......................................................................................................
Grand total positions secured........................................................................

479
500

818
1,085

1,187
1,191




46

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The figures relative to registrations do not include the number o f
boys and girls reregistered, o f whom there were 803 in 1910 and 492
in 1911.
The table shows that in 1909, 500 children were placed at work,
the number increasing to 1,191 in 1911. The great majority o f chil­
dren placed are boys. There is a scarcity of girls, particularly as
domestics.
There is healthy cooperation between these various agencies for
the distribution of labor, excepting, necessarily, the private agencies.
The Children’s Aid Association sends unskilled men who come under
its notice and are in need o f work to the State office and skilled men
to the employment bureau of the employers’ association. The latter
sends its unskilled men to the State office and sometimes applies for
men there, and the members o f the employers’ association also apply
at the State office for unskilled help.
ILLINOIS.
STATE FREE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

Illinois now has six free public employment offices. Three are
located in Chicago and one each in Peoria, East St. Louis, and
Springfield. The following table shows the amount of business
done by these offices each year during the first 12 years o f their
operation:
A PPLIC A TIO N S FOR EM PLOYMENT AND FOR H E LP AND POSITIONS SECURED,
ILLIN OIS FREJ3 EM PLOYMENT OFFICES, 1900 TO 1911.
[F rom Thirteenth Annual R eport o f the Illinois Free Employment Offices, 1911, pp. 22
and 23.]

Year ending Sept.
30—

1900...........................
1901...........................
1902...........................
1903...........................
1904...........................
1905...........................
1906...........................
1907...........................
1908...........................
1909...........................
1910...........................
1911...........................
Total,12 years.

Applications for
Applications for help.
employment.
Num­
ber d k
of 1
Fe­
Fe­
offices. Males.
males. Total. Males. males. Total.
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
5
16
6
6

Positions secured.

Males.

Fe­
males.

35,542 15,322
26,623 12,748
47,497 26,661
47,559 26,335
36,710 19,405
44,577 27,652
60,908 39,420
65,872 42,305
40,453 22,918
47,921 28,982
77,620 45,240
68,228 40,571

15,896
10,018
13,520
12,892
12,319
11,946
14,197
13,112
11,818
12,567
17,324
19,256

31,218
22,766
40,181
39,227
31,724
39,598
53,617
55,417
34,736
41,549
62,564
59,827

403,342 185,742 589,084 384,701 214,809 599,510 347,559 164,865

512,424

21,142 15,807
14,647 10,650
30,157 14,743
29,414 14,096
23,763 13,730
32,073 13,250
42,023 15,466
45,200 14,161
30,691 14,682
33,567 14,965
49,208 19,522
51,457 24,670

36,949
25,297
44,900
43,510
37,493
45,323
57,489
59,361
45,373
48,532
68,730
76,127

16,749
14,294
30,243
29,946
21,625
29,351
42,077
47,278
25,165
31,843
52,963
43,167

18.793
12,329
17,254
17,613
15,085
15,226
18,831
18,594
15,288
16,078
24,657
25,061

Total.

1 One office in operation only three months.

Perhaps the most noteworthy fact disclosed by the above table is
that the number of positions secured has not varied greatly since
1902 except for the large numbers in 1906,1907,1910, and 1911. The



47

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

number o f positions filled by four offices each year from 1902 to 1905
was nearly as great as the number filled by six offices in 1909. The
Illinois free employment offices, like those of several other States, do
not ordinarily record applications for work unless positions are avail­
able for the applicants. The applications for employment enumer­
ated in the tables, therefore, do not represent all persons coming to
the office for work.
The following tables show the total recorded applications for em­
ployment by classes of skilled and of unskilled workers, the number
o f applications for help of the same character, and the number o f
positions secured during 12 years at the Illinois free employment
offices:
A PPLICATION S F'OR EM PLOYMENT AND H E LP AND POSITION S SECURED BY
SK ILLE D W ORKERS DURING 12 YEARS, 1900 TO 1911, ILLIN O IS F R E E EM ­
PLOYMENT OFFICES.
[F rom Thirteenth Annual Report o f the Illinois Free Employment Offices, 1911, p. 25.]
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Classification.
Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Fe­
Males. males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

Clerical................................... 7,032
Commercial........................... 10,084
382
Professional........................ :
Trades.................................... 39,294

3,696
3,129
2,755
1,806

10,728
13,213
3,137
41,100

3,011
7,998
240
31,949

1,510
3,026
2,521
2,083

4,521
11,024
2,761
34,032

2,788
6,602
214
25,307

1,182
1,859
1,934
1,274

3,970
8,461
2,148
26,581

Total............................ 56,792

11,386

68,178

43,198

9,140

52,338

34,911

6,249

41,160

Total.

APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND H ELP AND POSITIONS SECURED B Y
UNSKILLED W O R K E R S DURING 12 Y EA R S, 1900 TO 1911, ILLINOIS F R E E EMPLOY­
MENT OFFICES.
[From Thirteenth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, 1911, p. 26.]
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Classification.
Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

17,465 17,031
17,031 15,078
17,465
51,764 164,190 215.954 44,831 192,000 236,831 43,327 146,323
181,454 196,120
196,120 171,706
181,454
164
86
65
86
164'
24,215 22,*60i*
27,373 *24,*2i5*
27,373
8,206
68,494 10,002 78,496 59,306 13,583 72,889 54,426
7,131
7,120
3,903 15,405
4,740 11,871 10,139
11,502

15,078
189,650
171,706
65
22,601
62,632
17,259

Total............................ 358,052 178,259 536,311 348,634 210,409 559,043 317,277 161,714

478,991

Agriculture
..............
Domestic service...................
Manual labor.........................
Personal service.....................
Transportation
Miscellaneous.........................
Not classified.........................

The comparatively small number of persons classified as in clerical,
commercial, or professional occupations is noteworthy. Only 9,604
males and 4,975 females were placed in such occupations during the
12 years. The trades engaged 25,307 o f the 34,911 skilled males who
found positions through the free employment offices, but only about
one-fifth o f the skilled females. Among the unskilled males, more



48

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

than half, *or 171,706, were classified as manual laborers, and 43,327
males were placed in domestic service. Only 4.8 per cent o f the
males securing positions were agricultural laborers.
O f the unskilled females 146,323 out o f 161,714 were in domestic
service.
The following recapitulation of the above tables shows the number
o f skilled and of unskilled workers who have secured positions at
the free public employment offices. Out o f 352,188 positions secured
for males 34,911, or nearly 10 per cent, were for skilled workers.
O f 167,963 positions secured for females only 6,249, or less than 4
per cent, were skilled. In none of these tables can the number of
positions secured be compared with the number o f applicants, to
determine the percentage of applicants supplied with work, because,
as mentioned above, not all applications are here included. The
recapitulation follows:
SK ILLE D AND UNSKILLED W ORKERS SU PPLIED BY IL LIN O IS FREE
EMPLOYMENT OFFICES DURING 12 YEA R S, 1900 TO 1911.
[From Thirteenth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, 1911, p. 27.]
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Classification.
Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Skilled................................... 66,792 11,386 68,178 43,198
9,140 52,338 34,911
6,249
Unskilled............................... 358,052 178,259 536,311 348,634 210,409 559,043 317,277 161,714

41,160
478,991

Total............................ 414,844 189,645 604,489 391,832 219,549 611,381 352,188 167,963

520,151

In the year ending September 30, 1911, male applicants for em­
ployment at the Illinois free employment offices were placed in 142
occupations and females in 40 occupations. The following table
shows the number o f positions secured in the 36 leading occupations
for males and the 19 leading occupations for females:
POSITION S SECURED IN LEAD ING OCCUPATIONS A T IL LIN O IS FREE EM PLOY­
MENT OFFICES, Y E A R ENDING SEPTEM BER 30, 1911.
[From Thirteenth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, 1911, pp. 36-39.]
Females.

Males.

Occupations.

Bam men....................................................
Blacksmiths................................................
Boiler makers.............................................
Bovs, bell, and other occupations..............
Bricklayers.................................................
Cabinetmakers............................................
Canvassers..................................................
Carpenters..................................................
Clerks, all kinds..........................................
Cooks...........................................................
J)ighwashers and kjtcben work.................




Positions
secured.

Occupations.

388 Chambermaids..........................................
71 Cooks.........................................................
27 Day work..................................................
1,437 Dining-room help.....................................
267 Dishwashers..............................................
106 Domestics..................................................
167 Factory work............................................
633 General housework...................................
218 Housekeepers............................................
568 Kitchen help................................. .........
1.518

Positions
secured.
114
948
2,925
281
1,223
496
800
4,065
177
882
2,854

49

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK 01 EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

POSITIONS SECURED IN LEADING OCCUPATIONS AT ILLIN OIS F R E E EM PLOY­
MENT OFFICES, Y E A R ENDING SEPTEM BER 30,1911—Concluded.
Females.

Males.
Occupations.

Positions
secured.

Drivers......................................
Engineers..................................
Factory hands...........................
Farmhands..............................
Firemen.....................................
Gardeners..................................
Handy men..............................
Hod carriers.............................
House m en................................
Janitors.....................................
Laborers....................................
Machinists and machine hands
Molders.....................................
Packers......................................
Painters.....................................
Porters.......................................
Punch-press hands...................
Salesmen...................................
Teamsters.................................
Tinsmiths................................
Truckmen............................./.
Waiters.....................................
Watchmen................................
Window washers......................
Yardmen...................................
Other occupations...................

272
60
1,213
926
146
104
3,264
51
968
581
20,024
373
86
131
375
624
316
300
753
104
1,263
299
108
401
193
2,236

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

Positions
secured.

Occupations.
Nurses................................... .
Office work and bookkeepers.
Pantry work......................... .
Scrub women.........................
Seamstresses......................... .
Second work......................... .
Stenographers....................... .
Waitresses..............................
Other occupations.................

77
120
149
1,482
57
208
40
907
451

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

19,256

Grand total, both

59,827

40,571

The Illinois reports also show in detail the age period of appli­
cants for employment, their conjugal condition, nationality, and aver­
age time of idleness. In the following table is shown the percentage
of male and of female applicants within certain age limits during the
year ending September 30, 1911:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT IN ILLINOIS FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES,
B Y AGES, Y E A R ENDING SEPTEM BER 30,1911.
[From Thirteenth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, 1911, p. 57.]
Percentsige of re­
corded ajplicants.
Age periods.
Male.
Under 20 years...................................................................................................................
20 and under 30 years....................................................................................................
30 and under 40 years........................................................................................................
40 and under 50 years........................................................................................................
50 and under 60 years........................................................................................................
60 years and over...............................................................................................................
Age not reported..............................................................................................................

7.11
33.95
22.38
14.61
4.32
.76
16.87

Female.
13.59
26.61
21.98
16.06
5.98
.44
15.34

The age period o f 20 to 29 years included 33.95 per cent o f the
male and 26.61 per cent o f the female applicants for employment.
Only about 6 per cent o f each sex were over 50 years old. O f the
females, 13.59 per cent were under 20 years o f age.
O f the male applicants for employment during 1911, 23.9 per cent
were married and 76.1 per cent single. O f the female applicants,
66269°—Bull. 109—13------4



50

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

41.8 per cent were married and 58.2 per cent were single. O f 51,457
male applicants, 17,551 were reported as losing time, having been
idle an average of 13 days. O f 24,670 female applicants, 10,188 were
reported as idle 9 days. Only 522 male and 6 female applicants
were members o f unions. O f the men, about one-half, and o f the
women, only about one-twentieth, were willing to work outside of the
city where they applied for work.1
The maintenance o f the Illinois offices in the fiscal year 1911 cost
$42,427.12. The positions secured numbered 59,827* so that the cost
for each position filled was $0.71. The preceding year the cost for
each position was $0.69.
In the above tables the positions reported filled are probably in
excess o f the actual number, as it has been the practice of some of
the offices to record a position as secured if an applicant is sent to it
and nothing is heard from either party.
In Illinois, as elsewhere, no information is obtained as to the dura­
tion of positions secured. The superintendent of one of the Chicago
offices estimated that from 10 to 20 per cent o f the males sent out
secured short jobs, but that the women usually secured steady work.
His record books showed that most o f the applicants wanting female
help offered steady positions. Another superintendent estimated
that about. 50 per cent of the males and a higher percentage of fe­
males placed secured steady positions. Many women looking for
daywork remain in the office during the morning waiting for a call.
Not many laborers are sent out o f the city. No harvest hands are
sent into the West.
The three Chicago offices were visited during this investigation.
These offices are designated, according to their location, as the North
Side office, the South Side office, and the West Side office. The North
Side office is on the street level, and the other two are one flight up.
Each has fairly commodious quarters, with a separate department
for each o f the sexes, but there is no division into skilled and un­
skilled departments. One office has a force of two male and three
female clerks besides the superintendent, and each of the others has
a force of two males and two females.
There is no cooperation among the three offices in Chicago. All
deal with the same class o f labor, largely unskilled males, and female
domestics, as indicated by the above tables. The suggestion that the
offices specialize, each dealing with a particular class of labor, has
frequently been made, but this has not been considered practicable by
the officials.
The methods of the three offices differ but slightly. The superin­
tendent of one office stated that he is now recording all applications
1 Data from Thirteenth Annual Report o f the Illinois Free Employment Offices, p. 63.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

51

for employment. The other two record an application only when
the applicant is sent to a position, because any other method, the
officials believe, would take too much time from other work. The
law requires that all applications for employment and for help
be entered in a book, and the copying thus necessitated consumes
much o f the time o f the clerks. In each office inquiry is made of
applicants as to the number o f dependents, but little effort is made
to give preference to those having the largest number o f dependents.
The application blank also inquires the length o f time idle and
whether the applicant is a member o f a trade union, but the ques­
tions are frequently not answered.
References are not required, except when demanded for women
workers. Then they are asked for, but are not investigated. No
investigation is made of positions, but care is taken not to send
women applicants to hotels or houses bearing bad reputations. The
location o f nearly all immoral resorts is known to the officials of the
employment offices, and applications from them are refused. As a
further precaution, all women sent out are given a leaflet containing
the following in eight languages:
Chapter 48, section 61, Revised Statutes o f Illinois:
No agency shall send or cause to be sent any female help or serv­
ants to any place o f bad repute, house o f ill fame, or assignation
house, or to any house or place of amusement kept for immoral pur­
poses.
I f the place we send you to should prove to be any such place,
please do not accept it, but return and report the same to this office.
In the case o f a strike, the policy is to accept the application for
help, but to notify applicants for work o f the existence of the strike.
As a result, it is said, workers seldom accept the positions offered.
One superintendent said that he never tries to fill positions where a
strike exists. This is interesting in view o f the fact that the first law
in Illinois creating free public employment offices was declared un­
constitutional because it prevented public employment offices from
being of service to an employee in case o f a strike.
The law provides that the superintendent o f each Illinois free em­
ployment office shall “ immediately put himself in communication
with the principal manufacturers, merchants, and other employers
of labor, and use all diligence in securing the cooperation o f said
employers o f labor, with the purposes and objects o f said employ­
ment offices.” The superintendents in Chicago do not visit em­
ployers to any extent on account of lack o f time, although each of
them believes that such visits would increase the business o f the
offices, and one is o f the opinion that the office should have solicitors
going among employers and telephoning orders to the office. This
would be expensive, however, and the funds are not available. The



52

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

law also authorizes advertising for situations and “ for the coopera­
tion of large contractors.” Formerly some advertising was done, but
there is said to be no appropriation for this purpose now.
The free employment offices are utilized to find positions for pris­
oners on parole. Care is taken in placing these men, and employers
are advised of the character of the employees in all such cases.
As shown by the tables given above, the field o f the Illinois free
employment offices is largely in unskilled labor. The tables also
show that there has been little increase o f business from year to
year. The fact that the skilled trades are strongly organized and
that many of the unions have contracts with employers to supply all
men needed, prevents the free employment office from dealing ex­
tensively with skilled men. In the unskilled labor market, however,
a large part of the labor supply is not handled by the free employ­
ment offices. Upon first thought it is difficult to understand why
laborers will patronize an agency which charges a fee when a free
office is easily accessible. The problem is solved, however, by the
reflection that the private offices are likewise free, so far as employers
are concerned, and furthermore that many employers will not hire
through the free public offices. Thus the most desirable jobs can
be secured only from private agencies and for this reason the work­
ingman is obliged to pay a fee despite the existence o f free public
employment offices.
As a rule, contractors for construction work on railroads within
range o f the Chicago labor market rely upon private agencies for
their men and will not hire them elsewhere. One agency furnishes
Greek laborers for a certain railroad, and another Italian laborers.
The demand upon one private agent supplying railroad-construction
workmen is so great that he applies regularly to the Chicago West
Side Illinois Free Employment Office for men to fill his orders.
From the men thus secured he is not permitted to collect a fee.
Some o f the private agencies are said to have a regular clientele
o f workmen. They know when men are to finish work, and can
gauge accurately the number and character of men they will have on
hand at any time. The railroad companies can rely upon them to
furnish the men needed when called upon, and as the service costs
the companies nothing they will doubtless continue to patronize the
private agency, rather than the free agency which handles a disorgan­
ized, unreliable, and inefficient labor supply. An appeal in the form
of a letter addressed to many railroad contractors, which was sent out
by one of the superintendents of a free public employment office in
Chicago, pointing out some o f the evils o f private employment
offices and urging these contractors to transfer their patronage to
the free employment offices, met with no response. In other words,
through specialization and a personal knowledge o f their men the



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

53

private agencies outstrip the free agencies in the field of unskilled
labor. Whether in addition to these advantages they divide fees
with foremen or overseers is a disputed question. The superintend­
ents o f free employment offices in Chicago all attributed the success
o f private employment agencies in part to personal solicitation,
which the free offices, with their present forces, can not undertake.
The manager o f a large private employment office assigned the lack
o f confidence o f employers in the free public offices to the fear that
the offices were dominated by politics, and that men would be sent
who were not competent, but who had political “ pull.”
With due allowance; for all o f the above causes tending to prevent
the expansion of the free public employment offices there must be
some further reason why their business remains nearly stationary
from year to year. This reason may lie in the impression existing in
Chicago that the only purpose o f the State employment offices is to
deal with unskilled labor and domestics. This impression is shared
by the officials of the employment offices, and little effort is
made to handle skilled workers. Some o f the officials regard their
work as primarily a charitable one, and expressed the belief that
the proper field o f the office is the service o f the destitute man. One
superintendent described the free office as the “ last resort ” for both
workmen and employers.
The law relating to free public employment offices in Illinois pro­
vides for the publication o f weekly reports from the various super­
intendents of such offices by the State bureau of labor statistics.
These weekly reports show, by occupations, the number of applica­
tions for employment and for help and the number o f positions
filled during the week by each office in the State.
The advantages o f weekly reports are not obvious. Their use has
not made cooperation among the various Illinois offices, or even the
three Chicago offices, practical. Such frequent reports might be of
aid in studying the labor market if all applicants were registered,
with their occupations. Otherwise, they are of little value, and no
practical use is made of them in Chicago.
PRIVATE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

In 1909 Illinois enacted a very detailed law relating to private em­
ployment offices. By this law the license fee is fixed at $50 in cities
having a population o f 50,000 and over, and at $25 in smaller cities.
Such agencies may not be located on premises where liquors are sold.
An application for a license must be accompanied by two affidavits
by persons who have known the applicant for two years, stating that
he is o f good moral character, and such application must be posted
and published before a license is issued. The application and affi­



54

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

davits, together with all complaints against each private agency or
information concerning it, are kept on file and readily accessible in
the office of the chief inspector.
Registers must be made by all private agencies of accepted appli­
cants for help and employment. The registration fee must not exceed
$2, and must be returned on demand after 30 days if no service is
rendered. No further fee can be collected until a position is secured,
at which time such fee as has been agreed upon may be collected.
This further fee is not limited by the law, because o f the probability
that such limitation would be held unconstitutional as an infringe­
ment of the right o f private contract. A receipt must be given for
fees and all receipts must have printed on the back thereof the name
and address of the chief inspector o f employment agencies. The law
provides for a return of three-fifths o f the fee in case the service is
terminated within a week without the fault o f the party paying
the fee.
Agencies are prohibited from sending females to immoral resorts,
from assisting children to get employment in violation of the childlabor law, from false advertising, and from dividing fees with em­
ployers. Contract or railroad laborers sent out o f the city by these
agencies must be given a statement containing, in a language with
which the laborers are familiar, the following items: Name and
address o f the employer, name and nature o f the work to be per­
formed, wages offered, destination o f the person employed, terms o f
transportation, and probable duration of employment.
The law is to be enforced by an officer known as the chief inspector
o f private employment offices, with one assistant inspector for every
50 licensed employment offices. The present force for the inspection
o f these offices consists o f four men and one woman, each o f whom is
assigned to a certain district. The law provides that these inspectors
shall visit all licensed agencies bimonthly, but some are visited more
frequently. The inspectors state that all complaints receive prompt
attention, and, as a general rule, are adjusted in accordance with
recommendations made by the inspection department.
Prior to the enactment o f this law, the enforcement o f the law
relating to private employment offices was delegated to the superin­
tendent o f the Chicago South Side Illinois Free Employment Office.
This arrangement led to adverse criticism because this superintendent
was virtually a rival o f the agencies which he supervised. The
former superintendent o f the South Side office was appointed chief
inspector under the new law, and his office is now practically a part
o f the free employment office and can be entered only by passing
through the employment office.
There were, in 1911, in the State o f Illinois and under the jurisdic­
tion o f chief inspector o f private employment offices 309 licensed



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK O f EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

55

employment agencies, 280 o f which were located in the city of
Chicago. No statistics are available of the number o f positions
secured to applicants by these agencies, but it is needless to say that
the 280 private agencies in Chicago constitute the most important
factor in the distribution o f labor in the city.
No investigation was made as to the observance o f the law by
private agencies, but on every hand, from charity workers, sociolog­
ical investigators, and the better class of private offices there was
unanimous approval of the present administration o f the law. The
opinion was expressed that some o f the crooked practices commonly
found among private employment offices still remained, but that
where these could be detected they were ferreted out and punished by
the supervisors.
The following statement shows the work done by the inspection
department during the year ending August 31, 1911 :
S U M M A R Y OF IN S PE C T IO N OF PR IVATE E M P L O Y M E N T AGENCIES OF I L L I­
N O IS, Y E A R E N D IN G A U G . 3 1 , 1 9 1 1 .

Number of private employment offices____________________________
309
Number of inspections___________________________________________
1,220
Number of investigations with written records on file_____________
372
Amount of money refunded to applicants upon request of inspectors— $4,040.40
Number of licenses revoked______________________________________
1
Number of agencies against which complaints have been made______
92
Number of agencies against which no complaints have been made__
217
Number of prosecutions________________________________________
14
Number of convictions___________________________________________
5
Total fines---------------------------------------------------------------------------------$425

The chief inspector states that few of these agencies charge the
registration fee, but charge the contract fee after the position is
secured. He regards the provisions relating to the registration fee
as unjust, because the applicant must wait 30 days for its return.
The applicant may, however, assign his claim to it to another em­
ployment agent, and this is sometimes done.
A large number o f private employment offices are centered about
Canal Street, Chicago, near the Union Station. They deal chiefly
with seasonal laborers. In the spring they send men out on railroad
construction. The fee is high, and it is stated the man able to pay
the largest fee goes out first. Gradually the fee is lowered, and by
summer perhaps no advance fee can be collected, because the men
remaining are men without a dollar. Agencies frequently send out
men without payment o f fee so as to fill orders and hold customers.
After a slack in the call for railroad laborers, the harvests be­
gin and the same men, who have found their way back to Chicago,




56

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

are sent to the harvest fields in return for another fee. Some o f
these offices have branches in other western cities and this facilitates
the handling o f men. After the harvest the men again return and
the agencies find odd jobs for them or they remain idle till they pay
another fee to be sent to an ice camp to harvest ice. Then comes a
period o f loafing in Chicago during late winter or early spring.
Three or four or perhaps a dozen fees a year are paid by these men
for work.
This account is o f greater interest from the standpoint o f the sea­
sonal worker than as a study of employment agencies. Alternate
periods o f working and loafing are not calculated to build up a man’s
character. When loafing means the eating o f free soup and poor
food, sleeping in cheap lodgings with bad air and filthy rooms alive
with vermin, with all o f the associations and evils which attend such
a life in a big city, the effect on the moral and physical nature of
most men is pitifully disastrous.
In 1908 the League for the Protection of Immigrants in Chicago
made an investigation o f 178 employment agencies in that city, 110
o f which made a specialty of placing foreigners. The following
tables from the report o f this investigation show certain interesting
facts concerning the agencies covered by them i1
KIN D OF W ORK SU PPLIE D IM M IGRANT WOMEN P»Y CHICAGO EM PLOYMENT
AGENCIES, 1008.
Agencies
supply­
ing
women
only.

Agencies
supply­
ing both
men and
women.

Agencies offering housework.........................................................................
Agencies offering hotel or restaurant work....................................................
Agencies offering factory work......................................................................

28
18
4

17
5

28
35
9

Agencies counted twice................. <
...............................................................

50
17

22
1

72
18

Total number of agencies....................................................................

33

21

54

Total.

FEES, CHARGED IMMIGRANT WOMEN BY CHICAGO EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES, 1 90 8 .

Agencies
Agencies
Agencies
Agencies

charging from $0.50 to $1_____________________________________
charging $1.50 to $2__________________________________________
charging $3__________________________________________________
charging a per cent of wages----------------------------------------------------

15
25
3
8

Agencies supplying women in which fees were not ascertained____________

51
3

Total number of agencies-------------------------------------------------------------

54

1 The Chicago employment agency and the im migrant worker, by Grace Abbott, in A m eri­
can Journal o f Sociology, Vol. xiv, p. 289 (N ov. 1908).




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

57

KIN D OF W ORK OFFERED IM M IGRANT MEN BY CHICAGO EM PLOYM ENT
AGENCIES, 1908.
Agencies Agencies
which
which
supply
supply men and
men only. women.

Total.

Agencies offering “ gang work” ......................................................................
Agencies offering restaurant or hotel work....................................................
Agencies offering factory work.......................................................................
Agencies offering “ city jobs” .........................................................................

49
2
2
8

3
15
6

52
17
8
8

Agencies counted twice...................................................................................

61
5

24
3

85
8

Total number of agencies......................................................................

56

21

77

LOCATION OF CHICAGO

EMPLOYMENT OFFICES W HICH
MEN, 1908.

PLACE

IM MIGRANT

Agencies Agencies
which
which
supply
supply
both
men
men and
only.
women.

Total.

1
3

Agencies near saloons and cheap lodging houses...........................................
Agencies near saloons only..............................................................................
Agencies in saloons..........................................................................................
Agencies in family rooms................................................................................
Agencies in steamship and banking offices....................................................
Agencies located elsewhere..............................................................................

14
9
2
5
14
12

14

15
12
2
8
14
26

Total number of agencies......................................................................

56

21

77

3

Investigators of the League for the Protection of Immigrants rep­
resented themselves as applicants for positions at 102 employment
agencies in order to ascertain the fees charged. The results o f this
part of the investigation are shown in the following table:
FEES ASKED OF INVESTIGATORS B Y EMPLOYMENT AGENTS.
Men.
Agencies charging $0.50 to $1...........................................................................
Agencies charging $1 to $2..............................................................................
Agencies charging $2 to $3..............................................................................
Agencies charging $3 to $5..............................................................................
Agencies charging $6 to $10............................................................................
Agencies charging $11 to $14...........................................................................
Agencies charging per cent of wages..............................................................

13

Women.
15
25
3

23
12
3
8

Total.
15
38
3
23
12
3
8

51

Agencies in which fees were not learned........................................................

51
8

102
8

Total number of agencies......................................................................

59

51

110

There was organized in Chicago a few years ago an association of
employment agencies. One o f its purposes was the prevention of
legislation harmful to the interests of employment agencies. It in­
dorsed the present law, however. According to the president o f the
association, its purpose was to correct abuses practiced by the dishon­
est agents, but he states that this work is done effectively by the



58

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OE LABOR.

chief inspector of employment agencies, and that for this reason the
association has become inactive.
The employment bureaus connected with the Young Men’s Chris­
tian Association and the Young Women’s Christian Association are
licensed employment agencies. The following table shows the busi­
ness done by the employment bureau o f the Central Young Men’s
Christian Association o f Chicago during the four years, 1907 to 1910.
In 1911 the bureau was discontinued and work in employment lines
was only incidental to other activities of the association.
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND HELP AND POSITIONS FILLED B Y EMPLOY­
MENT BUREAU OF CENTRAL YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHICAGO,
1907 TO 1910.
1907
Applications for employment.........................................................
Applications for help......................................................................
Positions filled................................................................................

1,331
620
292

1908
1,550
1,095
624

1909
5,329
1,512
566

1910
8,864
1,987
948

It will be observed that the amount o f business done is not large.
On the other hand, the expense has been high. The 566 positions
secured in 1909 represent a cost of $2,223, or nearly $4 for each po­
sition. A statement o f the cost for 1910 was not available. With
the purpose of increasing business and becoming self-supporting, the
fees have been cut down. The charge is now 10 per cent of the first
month’s salary, with only a nominal charge for transient jobs.
Nearly all of the positions filled are clerical. The great difficulty
has been to get the type of men wanted. References are usually
required, but, owing to the fact that men are wanted quickly when
called for, time does not always permit the investigation of refer­
ences. Applications for help and the cooperation of employers are
obtained by personal letters. One plan found effective has been to
make a list o f available men, with their qualifications, and send it to
employers who have patronized the office, asking them if they can
use any of the applicants. Folders are sometimes sent out describing
the work o f the office. The services of the office are not confined to
members.
The Young Women’s Christian Association employment bureau
makes a specialty of nurses, governesses, clerks, and stenographers.
It also places managing housekeepers, but very few domestics. It
charges a fee of 50 cents from the employee and $1 from the employer.
OTHER AGENCIES FOR T H E DISTRIBU TION OF LABOR.

Many philanthropic agencies are engaged in the distribution of
labor in Chicago. These agencies are not licensed and are not under
the supervision o f the inspectors o f employment agencies. Among
such agencies is the United Charities o f Chicago, which finds work,



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

59

but only as means of relief, for persons applying to it. No report
is made o f the number of persons placed by the United Charities.
The principal charity organizations maintaining employment bureaus
are societies dealing primarily with immigrants, or persons o f foreign
extraction. Among these are the B ’nai B ’rith free employment
bureau, the German Society of Chicago, and the Swedish National
Association o f Chicago.
The B ’nai B ’rith free employment bureau is a consolidation of the
employment bureaus of the Jewish Aid Society and the United
Hebrew Charities, and is located in the heart o f the Ghetto o f Chi­
cago. It keeps on file a very careful record of each person given
employment, his needs, and the work given him. The following
statement shows the amount o f work done by the bureau during the
year ending April 30,1911, in its present location:
Total number of applicants registered________________________________ 4,415
Total number placed________________________________________________ 2,575
Total male applicants_______________________________________________ 3, 847
Total female applicants___ _________________________________________
568
Total number of married persons_____________________________________ 1,757
Total number of single persons______________________________________ 2,658
Total number of dependents of applicants-------------------------------------------- 6,027

All persons receiving work through the bureau are Jews, but the
report for the first year o f its existence shows that they were o f 19
different nationalities. Over 70 per cent, however, were Kussian
Jews. About half o f all persons placed were classed as laborers. O f
the remainder many were skilled workers—cabinetmakers, carpenters,
bricklayers, electricians, druggists, locksmiths, machinists, painters,
shoemakers, tailors, and others. It is obvious that the bureau deals
with a much higher class o f labor than the State free employment
offices.
The German Society of Chicago is a charitable organization which
has been in existence 57 years. It has maintained a free employment
bureau for 32 years, and has gained during this time a considerable
clientele of employers. It does not confine its advantages to Germans,
but places large numbers of Austrians, Swiss, and Russians.
The following tabular statement shows the number o f persons
placed by the society during five years and classifies them according
to occupations:
PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS THROUGH GERMAN SOCIETY OF CHICAGO, B Y
OCCUPATIONS, 1907 TO 1911.
Occupations.

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

Common workmen and day laborers...........................
Farm hands...................................................................
Skilled workmen...........................................................

3,929
575
356

2,543
979
336

3,456
1,248
430

3,796
1,684
423

3,551
1,217
375

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

4,860

3,858

5,134

5,903

5,143




60

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The following table from the 1911 report shows the distribution o f
skilled workmen placed by the society among the various occupations:
SKILLED

W ORKM EN

SECURING POSITIONS THROUGH GERM AN
CHICAGO, B Y OCCUPATIONS, 1911.

Number.

Occupations.

45
1
13
17
14
57
36
1

Bakers...........................
Basket makers..............
Blacksmiths.................
Butchers........................
Cabinetmakers..............
Carpenters.....................
Cooks.............................
Coopers.........................

Number.

Occupations.
Gardeners..................
Locksmiths.................
Machinists..................
Masons.......................
Painters......................
Polishers.....................
Saddlers......................
Shoemakers.................

21
5
9
10
46
1
3
12

SOCIETY

Occupations.

OF

Number.

Tailors.........................
Tinsmiths..........
Upholsterers..............
wagon makers.
Waiters....................
Weavers......................
Wood turners..........

17
19
1
13
15
2
14

The following table shows the nationality of persons securing
positions through the office during five years:
PERSONS

SECURING

POSITIONS THROUGH GERMAN
B Y NATIO N ALITY, 1907 TO 1911.

Nationalities.

1907

1908

SOCIETY

1909

OF

CHICAGO,

1910

1911

German..........................................................................
Austrian.........................................................................
Swiss..............................................................................
Russian..........................................................................

3,109
1,397
288
67

2,606
948
240
64

3,457
1,320
296
61

4,041
1,410
341
111

3,645
1,146
224
128

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

4,860

3,858

5,134

6,103

5,143

The following table shows the States served by the employment
bureau of the society and the number sent to each State:
PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS THROUGH GERMAN SOCIETY OF CHICAGO, B Y
STATES TO WHICH SENT, 1907 TO 1911.
States.

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

Illinois...........................................................................
Indiana.........................................................................
Michigan........................................................................
Wisconsin......................................................................
Iowa...............................................................................
Missouri.........................................................................
Minnesota....................................................................

4,806
20
2
32

3,786
43
2
26
1

4,965
20
8
131
9
1

5,840
16
3
42
1

Total.........................................................- .........

4,860

3,858

5,134

5,903

5,042
21
15
61
4

1
5,143

The Swedish National Association of Chicago was organized in
1894. Its primary object was to maintain a free employment bureau
for Swedes. During the first 14 years of its existence it secured em­
ployment for 35,000 men and women, without charge. The great
majority of these, the latest report of this association states, were
placed in permanent positions. Applicants have been sent to nearly
every State, and in most cases free transportation has been secured.
The Association claims to have some o f the best Chicago business
houses as regular patrons. For the first 15 years o f its existence the
services o f its employment bureau were entirely free. Since 1908 a



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

61

fee is charged for furnishing female help, $1 from the employer and
$1 from the employee, if the parties are able to pay it. By permis­
sion o f the State authorities the association charges this fee without
securing a license as an employment office.
The association cooperates with the United Charities, with the
League for the Protection of Immigrants, and with the Young
Women’s Christian Association. The immigrant agents of the latter
meet all incoming trains in order to assist young women on their
first arrival. All immigrant Swedish women are sent by the agents to
the Swedish National Association. Most o f the Swedish young
women are placed in domestic service.
The following tabular statement shows the number of persons for
whom permanent positions were secured by the bureau during the
three years, 1907 to 1909:
PERSONS SECURING POSITION S THROUGH SW EDISH NATIO NAL ASSOCIATION
OF CHICAGO, BY SEX, 1907 TO 1909.
Years.
1907...................................................................................................................
1908...................................................................................................................
1909...................................................................................................................

Males.
2,943
1,706
2,206

Females.
1,605
1,638
1,626

Total.
4,548
3,344
3,832

The labor unions are very strong in Chicago, and through them a
large proportion of skilled men secure employment. Among the
very strongly organized trades are the building trades, printers, fire­
men and engineers, and brewery workers. Trade agreements
whereby the unions agree to furnish men needed by contractors are
made by these and other unions. Many o f these contracts provide
for the employment of nonunion men if the union is unable to fur­
nish all the men needed.
The methods which the unions use for securing work for their
unemployed are somewhat haphazard. Most o f them maintain a
“ loafing room ” at headquarters, where the men congregate in the
morning and play games and wait for a call. When one is received
the secretary notifies them and the necessary number o f men go.
In a very few cases the “ loafing room ” has a blackboard, where
the men write their names in the order in which they come in, and
they are given opportunities to work in the same order.
Many large employers maintain employment bureaus to facilitate
the hiring o f their employees. The associations of employers also
maintain free employment bureaus. The Chicago Employers’ Asso­
ciation has such a bureau, which was organized for the service o f its
members in case o f a strike. Its principal activity occurs when a
strike exists. It receives applications and supplies workers to its
members at all times, however, but the amount o f business done is
not large.



62

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR,
MASSACHUSETTS.
STATE FREE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

The law providing for the establishment o f free employment offices
in Massachusetts was passed in 1906. There had been more or less
agitation o f the question for a number o f years before the law was
enacted. The abuses of private offices played some part in the argu­
ment for the establishing o f State offices, but not so much perhaps
as the contention that it was the duty of the State to use all means
available for reducing unemployment. The proposition met with
opposition from all sides and for varying reasons. The labor unions
feared that it would be a strike-breaking institution. It was argued
that such a scheme would be socialistic and paternalistic; that the
office would be dominated by politics; that self-respecting individuals
would not patronize a free office.
The law provides for the establishment of free employment offices
in such cities as may be selected by the director o f the bureau o f
statistics with the approval o f the governor and council. Three
offices have been established, one in Boston in December, 1906, and in
1907 one in Springfield and one in Fall River. The Boston office,
which was the only one visited during this investigation, has five
departments, as follow s:
1. Department for skilled males.
2. Department for unskilled males.
3. Department for boys.
4. Department for skilled females.
5. Department for unskilled females.
These departments all have the same entrance. The male depart­
ments are on one side o f a wide hall or passageway and the female
on the other. The two female departments are separated by a parti­
tion, but the male only by a railing. In fact there is no separation
between the skilled labor department and the boys’ department, but
a different desk is used for each. The Boston office was the only one
visited during this investigation which had separate departments
for skilled and unskilled workmen.
The Boston office during the first six months of its existence had
an office force of 20 to 25 persons. This has now been cut to 10 per­
sons besides the superintendent. The cost of maintenance the first
year, not counting original equipment, was $19,565. This was cut
to $13,986 during the year ending November 30, 1909. The cost for
1910 was $14,330 and for 1911, $15,856. The decrease from the first
year’s cost, the superintendent avers, was made without cutting off
any o f the legitimate needs o f the office.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

63

The office force at Springfield consists of a superintendent and two
clerks, and that at Fall Kiver of a superintendent only. Superin­
tendents, assistants, and clerks are all chosen through civil-service
examination.
The following tables show the business o f the Massachusetts free
employment offices from their establishment to November 30, 1911:
BUSINESS OF M ASSACHUSETTS FREE EM PLOYMENT OFFICES FROM DECEMBER
3, 1906, TO NOVEMBER 30, 1911.
[From Fifth Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices of Massachusetts, 1911, pp. 6 and 7-1

Year ending November 30—
Classification.

Total.
1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

44,910
44,876
14,480
10,707
33,696

46,563
24,445
9,941
6,535
12,825

31,820
32,432
13,034
8,327
17,404

35,181
41,630
15,478
9,262
21,425

40,114
47,688
15,806
10,112
22,816

198,588
191,071
68,739
44,943
108,166

2,176
1,464
796
0)
1,488

7,144
3,940
2,431
1,538
3,204

7,145
5,753
3,166
1,929
4,283

8,108
6,626
3,675
2,085
5,007

10,563
8,559
4,310
2,300
6,176

35,136
26,342
14,378
7,852
20,158

660
513
234
(a
)
379

3,698
4,269
2,583
1,020
2,951

3,642
3,355
1,541
910
2,130

4,088
2,826
1,421
945
1,922

3,582
1,925
1,042
793
1,640

15,670

47,746
46,853
15,510
410,707
35,563

57,405
32,654
14,955
9,093
18,980

42,607
41,540
17,741
11,166
23,817

47,377
51,082
20,574
12,292
28,354

54,259
58,172
21,158
13,205
30,632

249,394
230,301
89,938
56,463
137,346

BOSTON.

Applications for employment....................
Oners ofpositions..................................... .
Positions reported filled............................
Persons for whom positions were secured
Persons applied for by employers.............
JSPRINGFIELD.

Applications foremployment....................
Offers of positions.......................................
Positions reported filled............................
Persons for whom positions were secured .
Persons applied for by employers.............
FALL RIVER.

Applications for employment..................
Offers of positions......................................
Positions reported filled.............................
Persons for whom positions were secured..
Persons applied for by employers.............
TOTAL,

3

12,888

6,821
3,668
9,022

OFFICES.3

Applications for employment..................
Offers of positions......................................
Positions reported filled.............................
Persons for whom positions were secured..
Persons applied for by employers.............

1 No record of detail kept. Office open 3 months only in 1907.
2 No record of detail kept. O ffice open 2 months only in 1907.
3 The figures for 1907 are for a full 12 months for the Boston office, but are for 3 months only for the Spring­
field office and 2 months only for the Fall River office.
4 This figure is for the Boston office only.

The following table compares the business of the three Massa­
chusetts offices for the two years, 1910 and 1911. It also illustrates
the detail o f the statistical reports o f each o f the Massachusetts offices.
Similar tables for each office in the State are included in the pub­
lished reports o f the Massachusetts free employment offices.




64

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

BUSINESS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS F R EE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES FOR THE
Y E A R ENDING NOVEM BER 30, 1911, COMPARED W ITH THAT FOR Y E A R ENDING
NOVEMBER 30, 1910.
[From Fifth Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices of Massachusetts, 1911, p. 14.]
1911
Total,
1910.

Classification.
Males.

Applications for employment......................................
Applications from employers.......................................
Individual employers who applied for help................
Persons applied for by employers................................
Offers of positions.........................................................

Females.

37,780

16,479

18,081
39,729

Individuals to whom one position only was offered..
Individuals to whom more than one position was
offered........................................................................

Total.

Per cent
of in­
crease
(+ ) or
decrease

12,551
18,443

54,259
24,821
8,668
30,632
58,172

47,377
23,681
8,854
28,354
51,082

+14.53
+ 4.81
- 2.10
+ 8.03
+13.88

13,557

4,399

17,956

16,799

+ 6.89

6,817

3,417

10,234

8,482

+20.66

Total to whom positions were offered...............
Positions reported filled...............................................

20,374
12,468

7,816
8,690

28,190
21,158

25,281
20,574

+11.51
+ 2.84

Individuals for whom one position only was secured.
Individuals for whom more than one position waa
secured.......................................................................

6,585

3,033

9,618

9,126

+ 5.39

2,056

1,531

3,587

3,166

+13.30

Total for whom positions were secured.............

8,641

4,564

13,205

12,292

+ 7.43

In a presentation o f the above statistics mention must be made
o f the care used in collecting the data presented. All persons apply­
ing for work are required to register, a practice not followed by most
State employment offices, and applicants for help are asked to state
the exact number o f persons wanted. The result is believed to indi­
cate approximately the supply and demand o f the labor market.
The supply is obtained in accordance with the following rule:
The employee’s application slip must be made out for each em­
ployee who applies for work the first time, whether there is any
position to offer or not. So long as he remains out of work from
the time the first application was made, one application slip will be
enough. I f he obtains employment in the meantime and then be­
comes unemployed, another application slip should be made out.
This slip is intended to obtain a record o f all individuals who call
at the office seeking work, and care must prevail to prevent duplica­
tion and to obtain, as nearly as possible, a correct statement o f the
labor supply.1
The above tables also distinguish between the number o f positions
offered and the number reported filled, and in the detailed report
which is presented above for the year 1911 the number of individuals
who were offered positions is also reported. This is interesting in
view o f the fact that some offices make no distinction between posi­
tions offered and positions filled, counting as filled all to which appli­
cants are sent who do not return. To ascertain whether a position
is actually filled, the worker is given an introduction card which is
also a postcard addressed to the free employment office with a blank
1 Third Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices o f Massachusetts, p. 8t




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

65

in which the employer is requested to state whether or not the appli­
cant was engaged. I f the card is not returned the information is
obtained by telephone or, i f necessary, by messenger. The above
table shows that in 1911 the Massachusetts offices offered 58,172 posi­
tions to 28,190 applicants, 21,158 o f whom were reported as engaged.
These figures indicate a wide difference between positions offered to
applicants and positions actually filled.
Applicants for employment at the Massachusetts free employment
offices are required to stand in line, and each one in turn confers
with the employment clerk, registering i f it is his first visit, and
inquiring for work i f he has previously registered. In other States
visited the applicants congregate in the waiting room and volunteer
for work only when a call is made for men in their occupation.
The application slip filled for each applicant for employment at
his first visit is here presented:
E

m plo y ee ’s

A

p p l ic a t io n

Sl ip .

Name: ___________________________________________________________________
Address: ___
_ _
Band of work desired:
--------- Age
. —. S
. M
Number dependent: _
Remarks: _
_____
D e p t.:__________________________________________ Date_________________

From persons sent to positions further information is obtained and
entered upon a card for filing. The worker is asked whether he
belongs to a trade-union, his religion, how long he has been unem­
ployed, and his experience in the line of work sought. Applications
are usually made in person, although skilled workers are encouraged
to apply by mail. Advertising for workmen is resorted to only when
in the opinion o f the superintendent the position can not otherwise
be filled.
The question o f charging a nominal fee of applicants for employ­
ment and that o f requiring and investigating references are both dis­
cussed in some detail in the First Annual Report on the State Free
Employment Offices o f Massachusetts, page 18 et seq. As to a nomi­
nal fee, the report says:
The principal argument in behalf o f this proposition is that “ a
better grade o f employees would be obtained and the undesirable
ones kept out o f the office ” if a fee were asked. Some employers
have complained that in offices where no fees are charged there is a
resulting tendency to make the employees too independent, since they
feel that they can leave the employer whenever they choose, without
reasonable notice, and readily obtain a new position without cost;
the net result being to make help shiftless and migratory. This
theory has been found, upon investigation, to be based upon indi­
vidual instances of unfortunate experiences in obtaining help from
66269°—Bull. 109—13------5



66

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

the free employment office. * * * The experience o f the Boston
free employment office, in short, does not justify the theory that its
defects, whatever they may be, would be materially remedied by
the exaction o f a fee from applicants for employment, nor does this
experience furnish any substantial basis for the theory that capable
and skilled help out of employment are disposed to refrain from
using the office on the ground that it is a charitable institution,
which they can not, in due deference to instincts o f self-respect,
?>atronize. It is a xallacious assumption, moreover, that the mere
act o f the possession of the amount that might be required as a fee
can be relied upon as bearing any direct relationship to the qualifi­
cations o f the applicant. * * * In my judgment, there is no
necessary relationship between the charging o f a fee and the quality
o f service, and if there were it is extremely unlikely that the condi­
tion would be altered in any material degree by demanding only a
nominal fee such as has been suggested. So far as the problems o f
the office are solvable, they are so through proper management and
the securing and retaining o f the confidence and good will of the
employing public as the result of efficient service.
Concerning references and the contention that the offices should
send applicants to employers only after a careful investigation of
recommendations, the report says:
Here again, the adoption o f such a plan on as comprehensive a scale
as would be absolutely necessary * * * would involve a great
and incalculable expense in the conduct of the office. Waiving that
point, however * * * I believe * * * that the State is not
justified in taking upon itself the obligation of guaranteeing the re­
liability o f an applicant for work whom it sends to an employer; for
if no guarantee is made, no legal responsibility is incurred. More­
over, aside from the question as to whether the State should under­
take to guarantee references, as is done by certain private agencies,
the intrinsic value of references is a matter of grave doubt. Almost
any man can get some kind of a reference, and the average employer,
though he can not continue on his pay roll a needless employee or
one whom he deems inefficient, is, nevertheless, very apt to be suffi­
ciently well disposed to feel that the man is at least entitled to a
kind word.
As to the duties of the office in furnishing information to each
party, the report continues:
To contend that the free employment offices are not justified in
attempting to guarantee references, and, further, that such references
are often of comparatively little real value when given is not, how­
ever, to be construed as absolving the offices from the duty of furnish­
ing each party to the transaction o f employment as full information
about the other as is possible under the circumstances.
It is believed that this information should be obtained by inquiring
in detail as to the conditions of employment and by careful question­
ing as to the ability and experience of the worker. The office can
thus avoid sending applicants to positions for which they are un­
suited. Such information as is obtained may be given to either party,
but beyond this the office does not see fit to go.



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

67

In line with the policy of giving full information concerning posi­
tions offered is that of stamping on the card given to workers, if a
strike exists, the words, “ There is a strike at present at this estab­
lishment.” This practice meets the approval of organized labor and
employers have made no objection to it. The Boston office has suc­
cessfully weathered strikes of teamsters, garment workers, teleg­
raphers, cigar strippers, engineers, and newsboys. Some o f these
strikes were bitterly contested. Orders for men were received and
filled, and the superintendent states that “ not one word of criticism
has ever been made to the office by employer, employee, or organized
labor.”
To procure applications for help, the Massachusetts free employ­
ment offices rely principally upon the publicity given their work in
the newspapers. During the first year of their existence they re­
ceived much attention from the press, and reports o f their work
continue to appear in the papers from time to time. During 1909 the
three offices expended only $202.29 for advertising; in 1910 they ex­
pended $454.81, and in 1911, $581.72. An additional method of bring­
ing the work o f the Boston office before the public is by means of pub­
lic addresses delivered by the superintendent. Agents are not em­
ployed to solicit applications for help. It is believed this method
would be expensive and at the same time ineffective.
Employers applying for help make out a registry card stating the
kind of work, the hours, and the rate of pay offered, and the ages of
the workers desired. This card contains space for indicating each
applicant sent to the employer, so that all business done with each
employer can be seen at a glance.
To facilitate the work when an employer wishes to hire a number
o f persons the office provides a room and desk where the employer
may interview applicants for work. Employers take advantage of
this opportunity o f securing men quickly without the necessity of
having a large number call at their offices. The same plan is followed
in the female department, a room being provided where women can
meet domestics seeking work, or where other employers of female
labor can interview would-be employees.
Beyond determining whether or not a strike exists, and asking
the usual questions as to nature o f work, hours, wages, etc., which
are placed upon the employer’s application card, the Massachusetts
offices make no investigation o f the positions to which they send
men or women. Investigation is usually unnecessary as many em­
ployers are known personally or by reputation to the superintendent
or his assistants. When an employer acquires a bad reputation
through repeated complaints from persons sent to him, the office
refrains from sending him more workers.
In sending workmen to positions the Boston office, at the outset,
attempted to give preference to those longest registered and to per­



68

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

sons having dependents. This was found impracticable, and the
person in the office when help is called for now receives the prefer­
ence. The applicants for employment are encouraged to come often,
but loitering in the office is not permitted. The law creating free
employment offices in Massachusetts limited the privilege o f regis­
tration to residents o f the State, but has been amended so that
residents are merely given preference.
The three offices o f the State do not cooperate to any extent, the
time required to transport laborers making it impracticable. At
the same time there appears to be little necessity for cooperation,
as each office is able to supply its demand without assistance. To
extend the benefits o f the offices throughout the State, the law au­
thorizes the director of the bureau of statistics to furnish weekly
to city and town clerks, to be posted by them, printed bulletins
showing the demand for employment as indicated by applications at
the free employment offices. The practice o f supplying these bulletins
was soon discontinued because they were found to be of little value.
The Boston office has not succeeded in finding places for immi­
grants. Neither has it been successful in placing men who have
come to it through charity organizations and philanthropists. The
1909 reports show that o f 562 such persons only 125 secured employ­
ment through the free employment office. This small proportion is
doubtless due in part to the fact that the men who come through
philanthropic agencies are handicapped in one way or another, and
incapable o f any but special kinds of labor. Positions for such per­
sons are not easily found, and an employment office seeking to grow
in favor with employers may well hesitate before placing handi­
capped men in positions, particularly if more competent men are
available. Whatever the reason for the failure to place these men,
the result has been a growing lack o f confidence on the part of
philanthropic organizations in the free employment office.
This lack of confidence may be due in part to the different methods
o f work o f the two classes o f institutions. The charity organization
is concerned with the individual primarily, and seeks to find his indi­
vidual needs and capabilities and to deal with them. This is called
personal work or more technically “ case work.” Such work can not
be done by the free employment office. The very large number of
persons who must be dealt with across a desk in the presence of
other persons precludes it. Beyond seeking to place the best avail­
able man in the position offered, the employment office can do little
in supplying the individual’s needs, and this limitation must often
shut out the most needy. To the mind of the trained charity worker
this absence o f personal work is a most serious omission.
The labor unions of the State heartily indorse the work o f the free
employment bureau, while they regard private employment agencies



69

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

with suspicion. They claim positive knowledge that some of the
private offices are engaged in practices dangerous to their applicants
and that some o f them are guilty o f the classes o f frauds frequently
charged against these institutions.
The unions find little occasion to patronize either the State
office or private employment agencies, as the larger, stronger unions
all maintain free employment bureaus for their members. During
a representative month only about 3 per cent o f the male applicants
for employment at the Boston Free Employment Office were members
o f unions. It is probable that these men were chiefly members o f the
small unions which maintain no employment office.
The tables presented above show that the Fall River office secured
positions for only 793 persons in 1911, and that the volume of its
business has remained about .stationary for the four years since the
office was established. This experience well illustrates the limitations
o f an employment agency in a city without diversified industries.
The industry far exceeding all others in importance in Fall River,
employing 81 per cent o f all wage earners in manufacturing indus­
tries, is the manufacture of cotton textiles. The manufacturers’ asso­
ciation in that city has a working agreement with the textile unions,
and the unions are relied upon to furnish the cotton-mill employees
needed. During the year ending November 30, 1909, cotton manu­
facturers applied for only 104 workmen at the free employment
office. Even if no contract existed between cotton manufacturers and
unions, the field for the employment office would not be larger. With
only one important industry in the town, the workmen know where
to look for employment without the assistance o f the employment
office, and when there is no work to be had in the one important indus­
try, the employment office is unable to find any work for the appli­
cant. It is only where industry is so diversified that men are likely
to look in the wrong place for employment that a labor exchange be­
comes necessary. The work o f the Fall River office is, in fact, confined
to domestic service and the odds and ends of business.
The character o f the positions filled by the three offices in 1911
is indicated by the following table:
PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS THROUGH TH E M ASSACHUSETTS FR EE EMPLOYM ENT OFFICES, B Y SEX AND OCCUPATION, 1911.
[From Fifth Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices of Massachusetts, 1911, p. 8.]
Occupations.
Agricultural pursuits......................................................................................
Professional service......................................................................................... i 1
Domestics and personal service......................................................................
Trade and transportation.................... ...........................................................
Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits.......................................................
Apprentices......................................................................................................
Total.......................................................................................................




Males.

Females.

Total.

1,921
56
4,531
2,641
3,184
135

6
3
7,331
418
921
11

1,927
59
11,862
3,059
4,105
146

12,468

8,690

21,158

70

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The latest reports do not show the occupations o f persons securing
positions except by classes as above indicated. The second annual
report, however, shows the number of each sex placed in each occu­
pation by each office in 1908.
The table is here reproduced:
PERSONS SECURING POSITION S THROUGH TH E M ASSACHUSETTS FREE EM ­
PLOYM ENT OFFICES, BY SEX AND OCCUPATION, Y E A R ENDING NOVEM BER
30, 1908.
[From Second Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices o f Massachusetts,
pp. 18 and 19.]
Sex and occupation.

Boston.

Fall
River.

s&

Total.

MALES.

Agricultural pursuits:
Com huskers..........................................
Farm hands...........................................
Gardeners..............................................
Onion laborers.......................................
Pickers (peas)........................................
Potato laborers......................................
Tobacco workers...................................
Woodchoppers......................................
Professional service:
Theatrical supernumeraries.................
Domestic and personal service:
Carpet cleaners......................................
Chefs.......................................................
Cleaners..................................................
Cooks.....................................................
Dishwashers..........................................
Elevator tenders...................................
Furnace tenders....................................
General workers....................................
Institution employees...........................
Janitors and assistants..........................
Kitchen m en.........................................
Laborers (general)................................
Laundry workers..................................
Lumpers................................................
Pin setters.............................................
Porters...................................................
Restaurant workers..............................
Vacuum sweepers.................................
Waiters..................................................
Watchmen.............................................
Window cleaners...................................
Trade and transportation:
Agents (not specified)..........................
Bookkeepers..........................................
Boys (errand, office, etc.).....................
Canvassers.............................................
Clerks (not specified)...........................
Coal shovelers........................................
Distributors (circulars, etc.).................
Drivers (not specified).........................
Office workers........................................
Packers..................................................
Paper sellers..........................................
Salesmen (not specified)......................
Shippers and assistants.........................
Solicitors................................................
Stablemen.............................................
Stenographers and typewriters............
Teamsters
Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits:
Bakers....................................................
Blacksmiths..........................................
Bottlers and washers............................
Brass workers (not specified)..............
Buffers...................................................
Carpenters.............................................
Concrete workers...................................
Cotton-milloperatives (not specified).
Electricians (linemen, etc.)..................
Engineers...............................................
Factory workers (not specified)..........
Firemen.................................................
Ice cutters..............................................
Ironworkers (not specified).................




568
28

29
426
7

33

13
7
64
31

14

29
1,094
4C

21

13
7
64
85

100

8

40
3
23
29
140
95
54
9
305
8
40
281
278
8
29
5
71
23

8

40

16
4
63
2
7
7
208
3

11
52

24
38
163
102
58
20
420
10

95

2

12

50
296
581
13
29
5
83
27
6
50
10
23

18

18
9
660
95
45
36
90
21

11

11

624
61
20
32

19
15
18

66

18
67
23
33
30
44
13
16
15
8
16
9
146
4

1
4

‘is

20

22

4
36

2

11

10
365
15

19
67
41
34
37
54
14
172
26
8
19
9
208
15
119
54
136
439
16

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

71

PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS THROUGH THE MASSACHUSETTS F R E E EMPLOY­
MENT OFFICES, ETC.—Concluded.

Sex and occupation.

Fall
River.

Boston.

Total.

m a l e s —c o n clu d e d .

Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits—Concluded.
Machinists____ _________
_____
Masons......... .....................
........
.................
Meat cutters.............................................................................
Metal workers (not specified)...............................................
Painters__ ..,,
. . . . . . _____
................
Paper hangers ...........
. . - __________
P l u m
b e r s ____
Printers (not specified)..........................................................
Compositors.................................................
.............
Press feeders.................................................................... Pressmen...........................................................................
Roofers......................................................................................
Steam fitters...................................
..........
.........
Taiinifs
-.
______ __________________ _________ Tinsmit-hsr T _______
_ ____________
_
Woodworkers (not specified).................................................
Apprentices (not specified)................................................ .
father trades and np.p.npotions
T o ta l..................

,

______

_____

27
1
3
1
33
3
4
13
2

14
18
1

70
5
42
20
128
6
35
9
37
47
11
6
8
12
2
8
92
179

1
1
5
1
5
73

32

I ll
24
46
21
161
9
40
23
39
47
11
6
9
14
8
9
97
284

4,531

1,445

945

6,921

11
42
2
301
30
18
2

37
118

1
1

1
1

FEMALES.

Domestic and personal service:
Addressers................................................................................
Art workers............................................................ t................
Chambermaids....................... .......................... .......................
C!ooks_______
. ................... .....................................
fyympanions_ , . , .
_
_____ ______ _
_______
Pay wnrlrp.rs (not specified)
Cleaners.............................................................................
W asherwomen...................................................................
Demonstrators.........................................................................
Dishwashers.............................................................................
Folders (circulars, papers, etc.)..............................................
Hotel employees......................................................................
Housekeepers...........................................................................
Housework...............................................................................
Institution employees..............................................................
Kitchen workers......................................................................
Labelers.......... ........................................................................
Laundresses..............................................................................
Laundry employees.................................................................
Nurse girls................................................................................
Nurses......................................................................................
Pantry workers........................................................................
Restaurant workers.................................................................
Scrub women...........................................................................
Second girls..............................................................................
Waitresses................................................................................
Ward maids.............................................................................
Trade and transportation:
Bookkeepers.............................................................................
Canvassers................................................................................
Cashiers....................................................................................
Clerks........................................................................................
Cutters and pasters (press clipping).......................................
Errand girls..
...............................................................
Office workers..........................................................................
Saleswomen..........................................................................
Stenographers and typewriters..............................................
Store workers...........................................................................
Telephone operators................................................................
Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits:
Baker’s helpers........................................................................
Bookbinders and folders.........................................................
Corset-shop employees
...........................................
Cotton-mili operatives.............................................................
Factory workers (not specified).
.
.......................
Leather workers ....................................................................
Machine operators
..........................................................
Printing employees.................................................................
Seamstresses.
...............................................................
Stitchers...................................................................................
Tailoresses....
...............................................................
Apprentices (not specified)
.
.............................
Other trades and occupations.......................................................
Total........




..................................................................

38
8f
^
188
371
5

216
133
22
200
45
18
108
1,386
7
519
9
113
18
45
19
75
26
201
82
706
9
16
54
7
18
34
49
38
43
10
4
6

273
99
246
1
5

40
262

49
506

62
1
7

12
1
11
10
45
14

14
2
1
2
8
36
1

2
73
45
3

1

2
6
2
5

2
3
5
1
3

3

2

8

38
84
236
531
2
579
345
397
25
205
45
18
197
2,154
7
593
11
131
28
104
35
76
26
205
163
787
13
18
61
9
5
18
34
53
41
51
11
11

8
5
3

22

1
6

18

4
11
68
19
306
14
3
45
76
49
12
11
69

986

1,638

8,034

5
68

273
14
3
37
49
46
11
10
45
5,410

19

33

1

72

BULLETIN OF THE BUKEAU OF LABOR.

These tables indicate that domestic and personal service engaged
over 85 per cent of the females who obtained employment at the
Massachusetts free employment offices during the two years 1908 and
1910. The principal occupation under this classification in 1908 was
“ housework,” which engaged over 2,000 women. Domestic and per­
sonal service also engaged more men than any other class of occupa­
tions. “ Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits ” was next in order
in the number of men placed in 1910 and in 1908. The table for 1908
shows that this class o f workers included many skilled men. The
great majority o f workers placed were unskilled, however. In 1910
89 men and in 1911 59 men were placed in “ professional service.” In
1908,40 were so placed, all as theatrical supernumeraries. The Massa­
chusetts offices make special effort to handle professional and skilled
workers, a blank being provided whereby they may file applications
by mail, and much attention being given to placing them. The Boston
office has filled one position paying $2,000 per annum.
The entire expense o f maintaining the offices in Massachusetts is
borne by the State. The cities where the three offices are located
contribute nothing. The following table shows the amount expended
for the support of each office, and the average cost o f each position
filled in 1911:
COST OF MAINTENANCE OF MASSACHUSETTS FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES AND
COST OF EACH POSITION FILLED, 1911.
[From Fifth Animal Report on the State Free Employment Offices of Massachusetts, pp. 6, 7, and 10.]

Cities.

Cost of
mainte­
nance.

Per capita
cost of each
position
filled.

Boston........................................................................................................................ $15,856.11
3.969.17
Springfield..................................................................................................................
2.115.18
Fall River.................................................................................................................

$1.00
.92
2.03

21,940.46

1.04

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

When the cost per position as above indicated is compared with
that in some other States, something o f the expense o f securing the
accurate statistical data contained in the Massachusetts reports is
suggested. In Minnesota the average cost o f each position filled
during the past year was only 19.4 cents. The difference is largely,
though not entirely, due to the cost o f securing accurate statistical
data.
LABOR S U P P L Y A N D DE M A N D AS INDICATED B Y REPORTS OF FREE
E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

The statistics gathered by the Massachusetts free employment
offices are presented in such a way as to indicate the supply and
demand for labor and thus to throw some light on the amount of



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

73

unemployment. In the following table the average daily supply o f
labor and the average daily demand for 1911 is shown. It should be
recalled that all applications for help and employment are recorded
and that no application for employment is intentionally recorded
more than once.
BUSINESS AT EACH OFFICE AND LABOR S U P P IY AND DEMAND, FOR THE Y E A R
ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1911.
[From Fifth Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices of Massachusetts, pp. 18 and 19.1
Supply.

Work­
Appli­
ing
cations
days. for em­
ploy­
ment.

Classification.

Demand.

Positions filled.

Per­
Per­
cent of cent of
posi­
posi­
tions
tions
filled
filled
of per­ of ap­
sons
called plica­
tions.
for.

Num­ Aggre­
gate
ber of
Daily appli­ num­ Daily
aver­ cations ber of aver­
from persons age.
age.
called
em­
ployers. for.

Num­
ber.

Daily
aver­
age.

13,898
8,918

45.72
29.33

9,303
6,503

30.60
21.39

66.94
72.92

33.38
53.10

22,816

75.05

15,806

51.99

69.28

39.40

3,690
2,486

12.10
8.15

2,791
1,519

9.15
4.98

75.64
61.10

36.14
53.47

6,176

20.25

4,310

14.13

69.79

40.80

493
1,147

1.62
3.76

374
668

1.23
2.19

75.86
58.24

17.08
47.99

1,640

5.38

1,042

3.42

63.54

29.09

18,081
12,551

59.44
41.24

12,468
8,690

40.98
28.56

68.96
69.24

33.00
52.73

30,632

100.68

21,158

69.54

69.07

38.99

Boston:
Males.................
Females.............

304
304

27,868
12,246

91.67
40.28

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

304

40,114

131.95

Springfield:
Males.................
Females.............

305
305

7,722
2,841

25.32
9.31

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

1305

10,563

34.63

Fall River:
Males.................
Females.............

305
305

2,190
1,392

18,504

7.18
4.56

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

i 305

3,582

11.74

Total for three
offices:
Males.......
Females..

304
304

37,780
16,479

124.17
54.15

T otal..

304

54,259

178.32

5,012

1,305

24,821

1Springfield and Fall River offices had 26 working days in June.

The number o f males applying for work was twice as great as the
number applied for and more than three times as great as the number
securing positions. O f 37,780 males who applied for work during the
year only 12,468 were placed in positions. O f the remaining 25,312,
it can not be known how many secured employment elsewhere, but
the fact that a daily average of 83 men, 61 in Boston alone, not count­
ing recurrent applicants, were turned away without work, indicates
that unemployment is a most important factor in the industrial situa­
tion in the State o f Massachusetts. Only 33 per cent o f the men
applying for work secured i t ; 67 per cent were not benefited.
O f females, the table shows that the demand was about threefourths as great as the supply. Only 69.24 per cent o f the applica­
tions for help and 52.73 of applications for employment were filed.
The following table shows the labor supply and demand for each
o f the 12 months ending November 30, 1911:



74

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

BUSINESS AT A L L OF THE OFFICES AND LABOR SUPPLY AND DEMAND, FOR THE
Y E A R ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1911, B Y MONTHS.
[From Fifth Annual Report on the State Free Employment Offices of Massachusetts, pp. 18 and 19.)

Month.s

Positions
offered.

Demand.

Supply.

Num­
Work­
Appli­
ber of
ing
days. cations Daily appli-.
for em­ aver­ cations
from
age.
ploy­
ment.
employ­
ers.

Aggre­
gate
num­ Daily
ber of aver­
persons age.
called
for.

Positions
filled.

Num­
ber.

Daily
aver­
age.

Num­
ber.

Daily
aver­
age.

Per
cent of
posi­
tions
filled
of per­
sons
called
for.

1910.
December..

26

4,463

171.65

1,451

2,191

84.27

3,202

123.15

1,309

50.35

59.74

1911.
January___
February...
March.........
April..........
May............
June............
July............
August.......
September,
October___
November..

26
23
27
24
26
125
25
27
25
25
25

5,005
3,859
5,018
4,306
4,933
5,138
3,840
4,329
4,585
4,809
3,974

192.50
167.78
185.85
179.42
189.73
203.46
153.60
160.33
183.40
192.36
158.96

1,396
1,263
1,923
2,197
2,878
2,327
2,112
2,136
2,803
2,423
1,912

61.19
1,591
1,526
66.35
83.63
2,258
2,465 102.71
3,303 127.04
2,778 110.01
2,693 i 107.72
2,607
96.56
3,664 146.56
3,098 123.92
98.32
2,458

3,043
2,925
4,415
4,805
6,158
5,316
4,710
5,115
6,615
6,718
5,150

117.04
127.17
163.52
200.21
236.85
211.14
188.40
189.44
264.60
268.72
206.00

1,140
1,139
1,613
1,676
2,348
2,017
1,897
1,747
2,225
2,250
1,797

43.85
49.52
59.74
69.83
90.31
79.87
75.88
64.70
89i00
90.00
71.88

71.65
74.64
71.43
67.99
71.09
72.61
70.44
67.01
60.73
72.63
73.11

T otal...

304

54,259

178.32

24,821

58,172

191.24

21,158

69.54

69.07

30,632

100.68

i Springfield and Fall River offices had 26 working days in June, making 305 working days for the year
in those offices.
P RIVATE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

There can be little doubt that the most important agencies for the
distribution o f labor in Massachusetts and in Boston are the private
employment agencies. There are 96 of these agencies in Boston, and
it is estimated that there are from 250 to 300 o f them in the State.
The State law provides that such agencies shall pay a license fee of
not less than $2; that fees shall not be accepted unless employment is
furnished; and that in case of discharge within 10 days without
cause, five-sixths of the fee shall be refunded. False advertising is
prohibited, and a fine of $50 to $200 is fixed for sending any woman
to enter a house of ill fame. Three cities, Cambridge, Lowell, and
Boston, have regulations supplementing the State laws. In all cities
except Boston employment offices are licensed by the mayor and
board of aldermen, and the duty of enforcing the laws concerning
them rests upon these officials. In Boston the licenses are issued by
a license board consisting of three members, appointed by the gov­
ernor. The licensing and control of employment offices is only one
o f the duties of this board, which also issues liquor licenses, victualer’s
licenses, and other licenses.
The rules issued by this board divide employment offices into two
classes, Class I and Class II. Offices of Class I deal with account­
ants, clerks, draftsmen, stenographers, etc., and with skilled labor.
Offices o f Class I I deal with unskilled labor, farm labor, and domes­
tics. The license fee is $50 for offices of Class I and $25 for those o f



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

75

Class II. No bond is required. Boston has 33 employment offices
o f Class I and 79 o f Class II, a total o f 112 offices. O f these, 16 are
both Class I and Class II, so that the total number o f places where
offices are located is 96.
The rules made by the licensing board fix the fee which may be
charged by offices of each class, specify that a receipt be given,
and provide for the refund o f the same if employment is not ob­
tained and o f a part thereof if the position secured is not held. They
also require a refund o f money paid for transportation if no vacancy
exists where the applicant is sent. Records must be kept which shall
be open to inspection by the licensing board. No provision is made
for inspection, but the “ rules relating to intelligence offices,” required
to be posted, contain the following words: “ Make any complaints to
any police officer, who will direct you to the proper authorities.”
Early in 1910 (November, 1909, to February, 1910) the Women’s
Educational and Industrial Union of Boston conducted an investiga­
tion o f private employment offices in Massachusetts. The report has
not been published, but by the courtesy of the officials of the organiza­
tion some of the information obtained is here presented.
At the time of the investigation made by this organization Boston
had 105 agencies listed by the licensing board and classified as fol­
lows : Class I, 21 offices; Class I and II, 18 offices; Class II, 66 offices.
O f the 21 Class I offices, 1 had had its license revoked and 2 others
were out o f business. O f the 18 which w ere active, 6 were general
T
mercantile offices, 3 were textile offices placing superintendents and
men in mills all over the United States, 2 specialized in hotel and res­
taurant help, 2 furnished chefs and cooks, 1 supplied stenographers
and typewriters, 2 specialized in engineering and mechanical help,
and 1 specialized in draftsmen. Two of the textile agencies were
subordinate departments o f monthly magazines.
O f the Class I and Class I I agencies combined, 1 specialized in
farm labor and 10 in hotel and restaurant work. This division in­
cluded the employment bureaus of the Young Men’s Christian Asso­
ciation, Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Women’s
Educational and Industrial Union. O f the Class I I agencies, 7 spe­
cialized in farm hands and woodsmen and 57 in domestic help.
This classification shows something o f the field open to employment
agencies. More than half o f all agencies furnished domestic help
and 14 other hotel and restaurant workers and cooks. Only 15 aimed
to specialize in higher-grade help.
The location o f the offices as disclosed by the investigation is inter­
esting and throws further light upon their importance. O f 92 offices
in Boston, 12 were located in lodging houses, 22 were in living rooms,
4 were in upstairs tenements, 3 were connected with dry goods stores,
1 was connected with a variety store, 1 was connected with a bakery,



76

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

26 were in office buildings, 23 were in the poorest kind of business
blocks.
The offices in lodging houses and living rooms and in connection
with stores were practically all domestic offices. O f the 26 in office
buildings 15 were Class I offices, 7 of them mercantile, 3 were Classes
I and I I combined, furnishing chiefly hotel help, and 8 were domes­
tic offices of a good type. O f the 23 agencies located in second-class
business blocks, 11 were Class I offices, none o f high grade, 8 placed
domestic help, and 5 placed farm hands.
A ll domestic offices in Boston were found to be conducted by women,
as were all except 3 o f Classes I and I I combined. Most o f the
latter placed hotel help chiefly, so it appears that homes and hotels in
Boston depend upon women office keepers for their help. The city
had 15 hotel agencies, 10 of which were conducted by men. Those
conducted by men do a greater volume o f business and place a higher
grade o f help than those conducted by women.
The investigator for the “Women’s Educational and Industrial
Union visited 54 offices in nine cities outside o f Boston. In the great
majority of the offices in these cities the business was found to be con­
ducted usually in living rooms or second-class business blocks, as a
side line in connection with various occupations—dressmaking, tailor­
ing, housekeeping, insurance, real estate, photography, storekeeping,
spiritualist meetings, etc. The volume o f business would seemingly
warrant no more than 1 to 4 good offices in each of these cities, but
they had from 2 to 29 each.
In factory towns, notably Lowell and Lynn, the agencies placed
domestics only. This bears out the experience of the State free office
at Fall Eiver and emphasizes again the narrow field for employment
offices in cities where the industries are not diversified.
In some o f the offices visited by the investigator the sanitary con­
ditions were bad. Some were dirty and foul-smelling and not venti­
lated. On the whole, however, sanitary conditions were found to be
fairly good.
O f the 148 offices visited in the State, 110 were kept by women and
only 38 by men.
O f 75 representative office keepers in Boston, the investigator re­
ports that only 12 were making use of the blank form or card system
o f registrations, and only 14 pretended to keep references on file.
The law does not require that references be kept nor that receipts be
given for fees. The local regulations in Boston and Cambridge re­
quire receipts for fees. It was found, however, that in these cities, as
well as in all others, the office keeper who uniformly gave a receipt
was the exception. The great majority say that they give them “ only
when asked for.”




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

77

The report summarizes business methods as follow s:
A small minority, including the large mercantile and textile offices
in Boston, the engineering agencies, and a few others, together with
6 to 8 domestic offices, approximately 20 out of 148, had full business
equipment, well-ventilated, clean, orderly business offices, where suit­
able provision was made as to waiting room for applicants and where
businesslike management matched the appearance of the office, where
books and other records were accurately kept, references were investi­
gated, and kept on file, and receipts were invariably given for all fees
received. In other agencies, in the three cities where local regulations
called for them, books o f registration were usually kept, after a
fashion; in other cities the office keeper registered his applicants or
not, as he pleased; sometimes he made no pretense o f doing so, and
again a very poor pretense, registering employers, but not employees,
and keeping no record o f fees received. Those who invariably gave
receipts were the exception. About 11 per cent kept references on file.
The investigation indicated that the employment business is not,
as a rule, profitable if full business equipment is maintained. The
hotel agencies gain considerable profit, chiefly because the investiga­
tion o f references is not considered necessary. In the majority of
offices outside o f Boston the employment business is a side issue to
some other, because the profit is not sufficient to maintain it alone.
The most common form of fraud practiced by agents in Boston
was found to be the acceptance o f “ gifts ” and illegal fees. One
domestic worker reported that her job cost her $3 extra and that
offices “ take gifts and let you know what they want.” Four offices
admitted that they took illegal fees and 10 that they accepted
“ gifts.”
OTHER AGENCIES I N BOSTON.

Various philanthropic and semiphilanthropic societies are also en­
gaged in obtaining work for the unemployed in Boston. Agencies
which charge a fee must have a license, and are under the jurisdic­
tion o f the license board. The Young Men’s Christian Association
of the city maintains a licensed employment bureau, which charges
the full fee and limits its service to members. The office was formerly
a free office. The superintendent states that with each increase in fee
both the quality and quantity o f the business have increased. The
office placed 1,258 applicants during the year ending April 30, 1909.
The Young Women’s Christian Association also maintains an em­
ployment agency for women and the Young Men’s Christian Union
maintains a free bureau for young men and boys. The Associated
Charities Society does not maintain an employment office as such,
but tries to find employment through employment agencies and
otherwise for men who come under its attention. The same thing is
true o f the Boston Provident Association. The Industrial Aid
Society places farm help.



78

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

For dealing with immigrants and finding them employment there
are the Benevolent Aid Society for Italian Immigrants, the German
Aid Society, and the Boston branch Baron de Hirsch Fund, the field
o f each being indicated by its name.
The labor unions, it has been mentioned, maintain employment
offices as a part of their regular office work for the benefit o f members.
The National Metal Trades Association maintains a free employ­
ment bureau in Boston.
The Employers’ Association of Boston also maintains such a bureau
for the benefit of its members. Its object is to assist in maintaining
the open shop. Applicants for employment are asked whether or
not they are members o f unions, but the office claims to make no dis­
crimination, placing as many union as nonunion men. It uses every
effort to secure men needed in case of a strike, but it also serves its
members at all times. It keeps a record o f men and makes some
investigation as to their ability before sending them to positions.
Following is a statement o f the business done by the office during
1911-12 and also since its establishment in 1906:
OPERATIONS OF THE EMPLOYMENT DEPARTM ENT OF THE EM PLOYERS' ASSO­
CIATION OF BOSTON.
January
July
1,1911, to 30,1906, to
March
March
1,1912.
1,1912.
Applicants registered.......................................................................................................
Requests from members for help.....................................................................................
Men needed to fill requests...............................................................................................
Men sent out to fill positions............................................................................................
Men sent out employed....................................................................................................

4,533
518
1,397
1,951
983

16,821
2,258

io'iii

3,329

MICHIGAN.
STATE FREE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

The law establishing free employment offices in Michigan was en­
acted in 1905. The reasons for its passage, as well as the methods o f
administration of the first two offices established during the first few
months o f their existence are discussed in Bulletin 68 o f this Bureau,
issued in January, 1907, to which the reader is referred. The follow­
ing extract from the 1907 report o f the superintendent of the Detroit
office indicates that the desire to curb the abuses o f private offices
was a very important factor in securing the establishment o f free
offices. The report says:
Because o f the unscrupulous methods pursued, with scarcely an
exception, by the private employment agents o f the larger cities in
the State, and with the object of at least partially protecting the
thousands of working people against the fraud and deception prac­




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

79

ticed by these sharks, the legislature passed a law directing the com­
missioner o f labor to establish free employment bureaus.1
The law enacted in 1905 authorized the establishment o f such o f­
fices in cities having a population of over 50,000, but made no special
appropriation for the purpose, except an allowance o f $500 for ad­
vertising. Under the provisions o f this law offices were established
in two cities, Grand Rapids and Detroit. In 1907 a new law appro­
priated $5,000 for the support o f free employment bureaus and auTwo new offices were established in 1907—one at Saginaw and one
thorized their creation in cities having 30,000 population or over,
at Kalamazoo. A fifth office was established at Jackson in 1908.
The legislature o f 1909 reenacted the law o f 1907, with a few
changes. This law authorizes free employment bureaus in three more
cities—Bay City, Battle Creek, and Muskegon. It appropriates
$40,000 annually for the support o f the department o f labor, aside
from the salary o f the commissioner o f labor and his deputy. This
amount must defray the salary and expenses o f the entire depart­
ment, including factory inspection, coal-mine inspection, the gather­
ing o f statistics, the expense o f the several free employment bureaus
of the State, the inspection o f public buildings, school buildings,
opera houses, and theaters. It is evident that not a large amount is
available for the maintenance o f free employment bureaus. For this
reason the three additional offices authorized have not been estab­
lished.
The law forbids the charging o f any fee directly or indirectly;
directs the commissioner o f labor to use all diligence in securing the
cooperation o f employers of labor, by advertising and other means:
and provides for the appointment by such commissioner o f such
assistants as may be necessary, all o f whom shall be under his direc­
tion and receive such compensation as he may determine. Each o f the
four offices outside o f Detroit has a manager only. Three o f these
managers are men; the manager at Jackson is a woman. The mana­
ger o f the Detroit office has two assistants—a man and a woman. The
Detroit manager is also superintendent of all offices in the State, but
he seldom visits the other offices. Two of the offices, those at Detroit
and Saginaw, are located in the city hall, and so are without expense
for rent. The offices, except that at Detroit, in addition to their
other work, issue work permits to children.
The following table shows the amount of business done by each of
the five offices o f the State for the four years, 1908 to 1911:
1 Twenty-fifth Annual Report M ichigan Bureau o f Labor, 1908, p. 471.




*

80

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

BUSINESS OF FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES OF MICHIGAN FOR YEARS ENDING
NOVEMBER 30, 1908 TO 1911; ALSO TOTAL BUSINESS OF EACH OFFICE FROM ES­
TABLISHMENT TO NOVEMBER 30, 1911.
[Compiled from Annual Reports of the Department of Labor, Michigan.]
1908.
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Location of office.

5,408
2,844
521
4,300
2,992

1,887
2,231
353
1,412
632

7,295
5,075
874
5,712
3,624

5,361
1,511
198
1,617
1,709

2,275
1,550
258
973
777

7,636
3,061
456
2,590
2,486

4,951
1,453
160
1,339
1,430

1,773
1,490
205
666
526

6,724
2,943
365
2,005
1,956

Total........................ 16,065

6,515

22,580

10,396

5,833

16,229

9,333

4,660

13,993

Detroit..............................
Grand Rapids...................
Jackson..............................
Kalamazoo........................
Saginaw.............................

1909.
Detroit............................... 20,714
Grand Rapids................... 4,375
Jackson.............................. 1,317
Kalamazoo........................ 3,941
Saginaw............................. 2,751

3,905
1,844
826
2,259
689

24,619
6,219
2,143
6,200
3,440

21,358
3,996
883
2,623
1,844

5,661
2,071
814
2,570
843

27,019
6,067
1,697
5,193
2,687

19,321
3,199
804
2,050
1,529

3,703
1,484
642
1,667
547

23,024
4,683
1,446
3,717
2,076

Total........................ 33,098

9,523

42,621 |30,704

11,959

42,663

26,903

8,043

34,946

1910.
Detroit.............................. 24,769
Grand Rapids.................. 8,059
Jackson............................. 1,249
Kalamazoo........................ 4,011
Saginaw............................. 2,711

5,694
3,331
779
2,138
554

30,463
11,390
2,028
6,149
3,265

25,223
6,816
785
3,230
2,120

7,214
4,262
877
2,541
844

32,437
11,078
1,662
5,771
2,964

23,509
6,017
650
2,0S3
1,783

5,538
2,817
652
1,388
502

29,047
8,834
1,302
3,471
2,285

Total........................ 40,799

12,496

53,295

38,174

15,738

53,912

34,042

10,897

44,939

1911.
Detroit.............................. 25,379
Grand Rapids.................. 9,795
Jackson............................. 1,836
Kalamazoo........................ 5,419
Saginaw............................ 3,827

5,825
3,341
1,279
2,031
599

31,204
13,136
3,115
7,450
4,426

25,303
7,885
1,094
3,537
2,156

6,875
3,630
1,355
2,452
904

32,178
11,515
2,449
5,989
3,060

23,767
6,655
957
2,587
1,722

5,633
2,706
1,055
1,166
509

29,400
9,361
2,012
3,753
2,231

Total........................ 46,256

13,0/o

59,331

39,975

15,216

55,191

35,688

11,069

46,757

T O T A L BUSINESS O F E A C H O F F IC E F R O M E STA B L ISH M E N T TO N O V E M B E R 30,
1911.
97,355
32,376
4,923
18,471
13,515

20,623 117,978 100,848
14,875 47,251 27,031
8,160
2,960
3,237
8,099 26,570 11,459
16,283
2,768
9,339

26,712 127,560
16,493 43,524
3,304
6,264
8,803 20,262
3,774 13,113

92,460
22,948
2,571
8,438
7,342

19,938
32,084
2,554
5,027
2,298

112,398
35,032
5,125
13,465
9,640

Total........................ 166,640

49,602 216,242 151,637

59,086 210,723 133,759

41,901

175,660

Detroit..............................
Grand Rapids..................
Jackson.............................
Kalamazoo........................
Saginaw............................

The table shows that the number o f positions secured by the five
offices in the State increased from 13,993 in 1908 to 46,757 in 1911. In
1911, 35,688 males and 11,069 females were placed in positions. Dur­
ing the year 59,331 applications for employment were recorded, but
as will appear later this does not indicate how many persons came to
the various offices seeking employment. During the same year 55,191



81

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

applications for help were made to the five offices, 8,434 o f which were
not filled. No positions are recorded as secured unless the office has
positive assurance that the applicant has been accepted.
The Detroit office secured positions in 1908 for 6,724 persons and in
1909 for 23,024, an increase of 16,300, or more than 250 per cent. In
the year ending November 30, 1911, there was a further increase to
29,400. The following table shows the amount of business done each
month by the Detroit office from December 1, 1910, to November
30,1911:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, DE­
TROIT FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, FOR TW ELVE MONTHS ENDING NOVEMBER
30, 1911.
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Months.

860
966
1,040
1,449
1,618
2,740
2,150
2,154
2,757
3,239
3,718
2,688

286
433
405
487
515
620
575
427
565
542
557
413

1,146
1,399
1,445
1,936
2,133
3,360
2,725
2,581
3,322
3,781
4,275
3,101

728
854
938
1,347
1,546
2,773
2,102
2,110
2,779
3,599
3,757
2,770

324
472
473
552
597
792
704
532
627
705
609
488

1,052
1,326
1,411
1,899
2,143
3,565
2,806
2,642
3,406
4,304
4,366
3,258

710
827
880
1,251
1,469
2,608
1,969
2,031
2,651
3,112
3,571
2,688

270
415
391
474
503
610
554
414
545
528
516
413

980
1,242
1,271
1,725
1,972
3.218
2; 523
2,445
3,196
3,640
4,087
3,101

Total........................ 25,379

5,825

31,204

25,303

6,875

32,178

23,767

5,633

29,400

26,712 127,560

92,460

19,938

112,398

December, 1910.................
January, 1911....................
February, 1911..................
March, 1911.......................
April, 1911.........................
May, 1911..........................
June, 1911..........................
July, 1911...........................
August, 1911....................
September, 1911...............
October, 1911....................
November, 1911...............

Total from establishment
of office to November 30,
1911................................ 97,355

20,623 117,978 100,848

This table indicates that the phenomenal increase in the amount
o f business transacted by the Detroit office still continues. During
the 12 months ending November 30, 1911, this office recorded 31,204
applications for work and 32,178 applications for help. It secured
positions for 23,767 males and 5,633 females, a total o f 29,400, or
2,450 each month.
The Detroit office has only two small rooms in the basement o f the
city hall. This permits the use of only one room by the public. The
comparatively small number o f females placed in positions is prob­
ably due to the lack o f a separate room for female applicants.
In studying the above tables, as well as the reports o f any employ­
ment office, the conclusion should not be drawn that the number of
persons entered under “ Positions secured” were placed in fairly
permanent employment. Many of the positions are for a day or less,
some for only an hour. Nearly all of the women sent out from the
Detroit office on the Monday morning when it was visited by the
writer were women to wash or scrub for a single day or half a day.
For this work all women sent by the office are understood to receive a
66269°—Bull. 109—18----- 6



82

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

standard rate of $1.25 a day and 10 cents car fare. It is impossible
to determine what proportion either of men or women are placed
in permanent positions, but many receive only a day’s work and
return the following day or week for another job.
Some of the short hurry calls for men are not recorded. While
the writer was in the office a call came for men to work at the docks.
They were wanted at once and the manager of the office announced
the opportunity and told all that wanted the work to go. Another
occurrence the same morning well illustrates the character of the men
patronizing the office. A call came for 30 men to help in wrecking
buildings, at 25 cents an hour. Payment was by the week, however,
and no pay would be received for a week and a half after beginning
work. Although the office was packed with men, none volunteered
for the work. The superintendent explained that the men did not
really want work or else were unable or unwilling to wait for their
wages. They demanded a job which would bring money at the end
o f the day.
The character of the positions filled by the Detroit office is shown
by the following table:
OCCUPATIONS OF PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS A T TH E D E TR O IT FREE
EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, Y E A R ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1909.
M ALES.
Occupations.

Positions
securea.

Agents...........................
Ambulance drivers.. . .
Apprentices..................
Assemblers...................
Asylum attendants.. . .
Automobile painters.. .
Automobile repairers...
Auto washers...............
Bakers...........................
Bandsaw hands............
Barbers.........................
Bam m en ....................
Bar porters...................
Bartenders....................
Bell boys......................
Bench hands.................
Blacksmiths.................
Blacksmiths' helpers..
Boiler makers..............
Bootblacks....................
Boring machine hands.
Box makers.................
Box nailers..................
Brass brazers................
Brass furnace tenders. .
Brass molders...............
Brass polishers.............
Bricklayers...................
Buffers..........................
Bus b oy s......................
Bushelmen...................
Butchers.......................
Butlers..........................
Cabin boys....................
Cabinetmakers.............

125

Carpenters.............
Carriage trimmers..
Casting clippers

845




8

19
22
1
4
8

15
8

2

1

128
7

1

46
42
46
15

4
10
25

6

2

5
10

Occupations.
Cement-block makers...
Cement-block setters.. ..
Cement finishers............
Cement workers.............
Chefs...............................
Chore boys.....................
Chore m en......................
Clerks..............................
Cooks..............................
Coopers...........................
Core makers..................
Corrugated-iron workers
Craters............................
Deck hands....................
Demonstrators...............
Die makers....................
Die setters......................
Dishwashers...................
Distributors...................
Dock builders....... ........
Draughtsmen.................
Drill-press hands............
Drivers...........................
Electrical workers..........
Electricians....................
Elevator conductors___
Engineers.......................
Errand boys...................
Factory boys.................
Factory helpers.............
Factory laborers............
Farm and dairy hands..
Farm boys......................
Farm hands....................
Filers..............................
Firemen..........................
Fitters............................
Floor scrapers................
Florists...........................
Foundry helpers............

Positions
secured.
2
4
27
533
37
21
352
5

2

6
27
17
17

1

157
89
9

1

128
117
25
12
34
95
126
430
171
595
239
45
441
3
68

1

11

4

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

83

OCCUPATIONS OF PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS A T THE D E TR O IT FR E E
EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, Y E A R ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1909—Continued.
M A LE S—Concluded.

Occupations.
Fry cooks..................................................
Fumace-repair men..................................
Fiirrritnra finishpirs
Furniture vamishers................................
Gardeners..................................................
Gasoline engineers....................................
Glass cutters.............................................
Glass fitters...............................................
Glass framers.............. .............................
Gordon press feeders................................
Grinders....................................................
Grocery clerks..........................................
Hand carvers.......
Handy -men. . . .
Hoisting engineers....................................
Hotel clerks...............................................
House m en...............................................
Iron molders.............................................
Janitors.. , ................................................
Jones and Lamson operators...................
Kitchen men.___ x
Laborers...................................................
Landis? grinders.. ,
Lathe hands.........
Lathers.....................................................
Laundrymen............................................
Locksmiths...............................................
Lumber handlers.....................................
Lumber scalers........... ............................
Lunch-counter men.................................
Machinery riggers.....................................
Machinists................................................
Machinists7apprentices...........................
Machinists’ helpers.................................
Marble setters...........................................
Mason tenders..........................................
Mechanical draftsmen..............................
Messenger boys.........................................
Messengers................................................
Metal polishers..........................................
Mill hands.................................................
Milling machine hands............................
Millwrights...............................................
Monitor hands..........................................
Night watchmen......................................
Nurses.......................................................
Office boys................................................
Office clerks..............................................
Oilers........................................................
Orderlies....................................
Painters...................................................
Pantrymen...............................................
Pan washers.............................................
Paper hangers..........................................
Pastry cooks.............................................
Pattern makers........................................
Photographers..........................................
Piano finishers..........................................
Piano players...........................................
Pile drivers...............................................
Pin boys...................................................
Pipe fitters................................................
Pipe organists..........................................
Planers......................................................
Plasterers..................................................
Plasterers’ helpers
...............
Plumbers..................................................
Plumbers’ helpers.....................................

Positions
secured.
13
4
29
12
30
2
4
3
2
9
23
2
1
485
8
9
44
7
105
12
80
8,901
26
138
40
15
1
494
3
13
3
195
1
10
1
72
1
15
1
47
4
37
51
44
33
6
45
28
12
25
255
1
30
58
1
22
1
3
4
32
29
16
1
10
46
1
20
7

Occupations.
Polishers....................................................
Porters......................................................
Power-machine operators........................
Pressers.................
Press feeders.............................................
Printers.....................................................
Punch-press hands...................................
Punch-press men.......................................
Radiator testers........................................
Rip sawyers..............................................
Riveters....................................................
Rivet heaters............................................
Roofers......................................................
Rough carpenters.....................................
Rough slun rubbers..................................
Salesmen...................................................
Sawyers.....................................................
Screw machine hands..............................
Shaper hands............................................
Sheet-metal workers................................
Shinglers...................................................
Ship carpenters........................................
Shipping clerks.........................................
Shoeblacks................................................
Shoemakers...............................................
Sign painters.............................................
Sign writers...............................................
Slaters.......................................................
Soda dispensers........................................
Solderers....................................................
Steam fitters.............................................
Steam fitters’ helpers...............................
Steel temperers......... •.............................
Stenograpners...........................................
Stock boys................................................
Stockmen..................................................
Storeroom helpers.....................................
Stove repairmen...................................
Structural-iron workers...........................
Tailors.......................................................
Teamsters..................................................
Thrashing-machine hands........................
Tinners’ helpers........................................
Tinsmiths.................................................
Tinsmiths’ helpers...................................
Toolmakers...............................................
Trim sawyers...........................................
Upholsterers.............................................
Variety sawmen.......................................
Varnidi rubbers........................................
Waiters.....................................................
Warehouse helpers...................................
W arehousemen.........................................
Warner and Swasey operators.................
Washers....................................................
Watchmen................................................
Water tenders...........................................
Whitewashers...........................................
Window cleaners......................................
W ood finishers..........................................
Woodturners............................................
Woodworkers................... ......................
Yard foremen............................................
Yardmen...................................................
Total................................................

FEM A LE S.
Actresses...................................................
Agents.......................................................
Billing machine operators.......................
Bookkeepers.............................................
C ham berm aids,,,,.,,.,.........




3
38
1
2
159

Cigar makers..........................................
Cooks.......................................................
Core makers............................................
Demonstrators......................................
Dishwashers

Positions
secured.
7
264
2
5
9
1
19
14
4
5
16
7
25
242
2
7
10
79
9
34
5
18
25
5
3
11
2
2
12
63
14
7
1
7
3
2
15
4
48
5
322
3
13
118
29
90
1
8
1
1
28
77
7
4
17
4
8
1
1
96
13
21
33
1
24
19,321

84

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

OCCUPATIONS OF PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS AT THE D E TROIT F R E E
EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, Y E A R ENDING NOVEM BER 30, 1909—Concluded.
F E M A LE S—Concluded.

Occupations.

Domestics.................................................
Dressmakers.............................................
Factory workers.......................................
Hall girls...................................................
Housekeepers............................................
Housemaids..............................................
Janitresses.................................................
Kitchen women........................................
Labelers....................................................
Laundresses..............................................
Laundry workers.....................................
Lunch-counter women.............................
Machine operators. .
Machine workers.......................................
Nurse girls.................................................

Positions
secured.
591
2
222
10
37
13
26
433
29
546
57
2
19
14
32

Occupations.

Nurses.......................................................
Office girls.................................................
Pantry girls....................
Pantry women__
Pastrycooks.............................................
Salesladies...................................
Scrub women.........
Seamstresses.............................................
Singers.......................................................
Solderers...................................
...
Stenographers............................
....
Waitresses.......................................
Total..............................................

Positions
secured.
9
30
59
6
13
12
606
3
1
12
14
287
3,703

This table clearly indicates that the great majority of persons
securing positions through the Detroit office are unskilled. Out of a
total of 19,321 male persons placed in 1909, 8,901 were classed as
laborers and 595 as factory laborers. Factory helpers numbered 171,
factory boys, 430; chore men, 352; barn men, 128; farm hands, 441;
rough carpenters, 242; lumber handlers, 494; teamsters, 322; porters,
264; dishwashers, 157; handy men, 485; errand boys, 126; and cement
workers, 533. These 15 occupations engaged 13,641 of the applicants
who secured positions. Other unskilled workers were: Agents, 125;
bell boys, 46; farm boys, 45; house men, 44; janitors, 105; kitchen
men, 80; and window cleaners, 96.
On the other hand, the table shows that a fair number of skilled
workers found work through the free employment office. Among
these were 40 brass molders and 10 brass polishers, 66 bricklayers, 96
buffers, 845 carpenters (perhaps not all skilled), 40 lathers, 37 elec­
tricians and electrical workers, 138 lathe hands, 195 machinists, 47
metal polishers, and 51 millwrights. Other skilled men were: Paper
hangers, 58; tool makers, 90; plasterers, 48; and solderers, 63. Four
piano players and a pipe organist also secured positions through the
office. The list o f occupations shows that the automobile manufac­
turers o f Detroit are patrons of the employment office, and it is to
the growth of this industry and its demand for labor that the super­
intendent of the Detroit office attributes a part of the rapid growth
of business in his office.
O f the 3,703 women and girls securing positions, 222 were factory
workers and 287 were waitresses. The only other occupations engag­
ing more than 100 workers were the domestic occupations. Kitchen
women numbered 433, domestics 591, laundresses as distinguished
from laundry workers 546, chambermaids 159, cooks 190, dishwashers
192, and scrub women 606. Very few skilled women secured posi­
tions through the bureau.



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

85

The Michigan offices find positions for boys out on probation from
State reformatories. The employer is usually not advised o f the
character o f these employees, but great care is taken in placing them.
The Detroit office was the only office in Michigan visited by the
writer. Its business methods are the same as those of the other offices
in the State, and owing to the large amount of business done a de­
scription o f its administration should be valuable. The office, as
stated, has a force of only three persons. This has necessitated a
simplification o f methods. Only two forms are in common use, one to
record applications for help and the other an introduction card given
persons sent to positions. The following form is used to enter appli­
cations for help, most of which come by telephone:
A

p p l ic a t io n

fo r

H

elp.

Date_____________________________
Name____________________________________________________________________
Address_______________________________________________ Phone___________
No. and class of help wanted________ - _____________________________________

Wages__________________________________ per--------------------------------------------Other particulars_________________________________________________________

To bring the existence of the bureau to the attention of employers,
and so obtain applications for help, the superintendent sometimes
visits employers. Factory inspectors also carry the cards o f the
employment bureaus and pass them to manufacturers and thus help
build up the work. The office spends very little money for adver­
tising.
Applicants for employment congregate in the waiting room o f the
employment office and await calls for workmen, which are announced
by the superintendent. To persons volunteering for a position is
given an introduction card, as follow s:
MICHIGAN FREE EMPLOYMENT BUREAU.
D e t r o it O f f ic e — B

asem ent

C it y H

all.

-------------------------------------------- , 19—

The bearer------------------------------------------is sent you in response to your request for.
Please notify this office whether you do or do not employ the person sent, that
your order may be canceled or another person sent you.




-------- , Superintendent.

86

BULLETIN OP THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

This card seldom includes the bearer’s name, his occupation being
entered after the word “ bearer.”
No record is made o f the number o f men or women who visit the
office in search o f work, and, except in the case o f unusual or highly
skilled occupations, no applications for employment are filed.
Although this practice, it is admitted, vitiates the statistics for the
purpose o f indicating the labor supply, the office force is not sufficient
for recording all applications. It follows that unless a call for a
carpenter, for example, is on file when a carpenter applies he must
apply again in order to secure a position. Should an employer apply
later for a carpenter the man will not be sent for, but the job goes
instead to the first person with proper qualifications who applies after
the employer’s application comes in. It should be mentioned that
the same result usually obtains in offices recording all applications for
work. Calls for help must ordinarily be filled as soon as possible,
and an earlier applicant will not be sent for if another is waiting in
the office.
It will be observed that the application blank calls for very little
information from employers seeking help. No investigation is made
o f positions offered, except to find whether a strike exists. In case o f
a strike the policy o f the office is not to send workmen. Ordinarily no
information is recorded concerning applicants for work. They are
necessarily questioned as to character o f work wanted and also con­
cerning their experience. Beyond this they are not questioned and
references are not required. In the opinion o f the superintendent it
is a mistake to ask and record the detailed questions used by some
employment bureaus. He believes that the life history o f an appli­
cant for work is not the business of the employment bureau, and that
the inquisitorial methods sometimes used tend to keep applicants
away. His aim is to connect the man with the job with the least pos­
sible delay, and the result is the method described above.
EMPLOYERS’ ASSOCIATION OF DETROIT.

Judging by the number of positions filled, the Michigan Free Em ­
ployment Bureau is the most important agency engaged in the distri­
bution o f labor in Detroit. The free employment bureau of the
employers’ association places a large amount of labor, however.
This association has about 190 members. The secretary states that the
members o f this association employ from 75,000 to 85,000 wage earn­
ers, or approximately half of all in the city. Practically the only
business of the association is the maintenance of an employment
bureau.
A ll applicants for employment, either at the employment bureau
o f the employers’ association or at the office o f any o f the mem­
bers o f the association, are required to answer the questions indicated
on the following form :



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.
A

p p l ic a t io n

for

E

87

m ploym ent.

Name_______________________________________________________No.---------------No___________ Street--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Trade_______________ Age_______ Nationality________________ Single Married
Where last employed______________________________________________________
Wlien did you leave----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Reason for leaving________________________________________________________

Applicant sign h e r e ^ ____________________________________________________
Engaged by______________________________ Date employed------------------- , 19__
Department______________________ Occupation_________________ Rate_____
Physical condition_________________________________________________________
Remarks_______________________ - ________________________________________

Each application, together with any other information obtained
concerning the applicant, is placed on file and indexed. When an
applicant is sent to a position, he is given an introduction card
bearing his signature to prevent its transfer or sale. I f the man is
engaged, this card is returned to the labor bureau by the employer
to complete the workman’s record. The bureau now has on file the
records o f more than 100,000 men.
The bureau is notified if men leave any employer in the associa­
tion or are laid off. The following notice is then sent to these men:
No fee charged.
D e a r S i r : If out of work, we may be able to help you to secure a position
if you will present this card at our labor bureau.
E

m ployers’

,

A

s s o c ia t io n

of

D

e t r o it ,

Stevens Building Washington and Grand River Avenues.

During the year 1911, 32,645 new employees were reported as en­
gaged by the members o f the association. O f these, 17,235 applied for
work at the employment bureau and the remainder were engaged
without its assistance. During the year 74,496 applications were re­
ceived at the bureau. The importance of the work is increased by
the fact that a majority of applicants placed are skilled men and
are placed in fairly permanent positions. The bureau deals with both
skilled and unskilled labor, and also furnishes stenographers and
clerks. As a result of the thorough investigation o f workmen’s
records its indorsement is practically a guaranty o f the workmen’s
ability and character. The association is professedly antiunion,
but the employment bureau, in common with similar bureaus else­
where, disclaims any discrimination against union men.




88

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.
PRIVATE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES IN DETROIT.

Michigan has no State law regulating private employment offices.
Such offices are regulated in Detroit by the following ordinance:
S ec. 5. Persons so licensed may receive fees or compensation for
their services as follows: From each female seeking employment, 50
cents; and from each male, $1; from each person applying for a
female servant, 50 cents; and for a male servant, $1; and in every
case a receipt shall be given for the money paid: Provided, That in
case no servant or place of employment is obtained within six days
from the date o f the payment the money shall be refunded. The
above schedule o f rates shall, however, only apply to positions the
salary or compensation for which shall not be more than $30, per
month. In the case of positions the compensation or salary for which
shall be more than $30 per month, the person so licensed may be per­
mitted to contract with the employment seekers as to compensation,
but the compensation so agreed upon shall in no instance exceed 10
per cent o f one month’s salary or compensation o f such position.
No cash fee above $2 shall be accepted from seekers o f employment,
and both cash fee and order for payment shall not be collected from
same applicant.
Persons so licensed shall not charge any fee for registration, litera­
ture, or compel employment seekers to subscribe to any periodical o f
whatever nature.
Persons so licensed shall not advertise or by any means attempt to
make their business known as a bonding or brokerage office, but shall
be known as an intelligence office or employment bureau.
This section and all other sections of this ordinance as to the fees
to be charged by intelligence offices shall be printed upon the back
of every receipt issued by the intelligence office or employment
bureau.

In 1910 Detroit had 18 licensed employment offices. O f these, 11
were conducted by men and 7 by women; 13 were in business blocks
and 4 in private houses; 4, all conducted by women, placed domestics
only; 5 were booking agencies for theaters, nickelodeons, etc.; 8 were
general in character; and 1 dealt only with clerks, stenographers, and
high-class labor. No report was made of the amount of business done
by these agencies.
The licensed employment agencies are under the jurisdiction o f
the sergeant of police of Detroit. The opinion prevails that the law
is well administered. The licenses of five offices have been revoked
for dishonest methods. The following table shows the amounts
refunded to applicants through the orders of the sergeant o f police
during the past few years:
Amount
Amount
Amount
Amount

refunded in 1907-------------------------------------------------------------- $180.00
refunded in 1908_________________________________________ 404. 75
refunded in 1909-------------------------------------------------------------- 160.00
refunded first 6 months of 1910____________________________ 120.50




U N E M P L O Y M E N T AND W O RK OF E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

89

YOUNG M EN’ S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION EMPLOYMENT OFFICE.

One o f the licensed employment offices of the city is that connected
with the Young Men’s Christian Association. This office was estab­
lished in January, 1909, and almost from the outset it has done a
large amount of business. During the year ending May 1, 1910, it
placed 2,116 men and boys in positions. It received during that time
orders for 4,989 men and boys from 1,540 employers.
Applicants for employment fill out a detailed application blank
stating, among other facts, the names of the last three employers or,
if none, the names of three teachers. The office communicates with
all o f these asking for an estimation of the applicant, and a sum­
mary of these reports is sent to the prospective employer of each
applicant. Nobody is directed to an employer until this investiga­
tion is made except in the case o f hurry calls, and then the employer
is advised of the fact, and reports concerning the man are sent him
later. It is interesting to note that out o f 5,600 men and boys apply­
ing for work at the office, adverse reports were received for only 80.
The attention of employers is brought to the existence of the office
in various ways. One of these is a printed account and description
of the work of the office on the margin o f the letter paper used.
When the office was established, the manager mapped out the city
with the intention of visiting all who might possibly be patrons.
The business of the office increased so rapidly, however, that after
two weeks these visits were given up. As a result of the publicity
given the office among employers, the demand for help ordinarily
exceeds the supply. This is shown by the following table, which
covers the first six months of 1910:
APPLICATIONS FOR W O R K AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED THROUGH
YOUNG M EN S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, D ETROIT, 6 MONTHS
ENDING JUNE, 1910.

Months.

January, 1910....................................................................................................
February, 1910.................................................................................................
March, 1910.......................................................................................................
April, 1910.........................................................................................................
May, 1910..........................................................................................................
June, 1910.........................................................................................................

Applica­ Applica­
Posi­
tions for tions for tions se­
work.
help.
cured.
296
250
243
191
190
221

390
315
521
451
288
261

158
123
154
120
102
108

During the first nine months of its operation the office found posi­
tions for 445 office men and salesmen, 430 mechanics, 316 factory
men, and 119. boys. During the first six months of its operation it
filled 24 positions, paying $75 to $100 a month, and 222 at from
$50 to $75. These facts indicate the nature of the bureau’s work.
It does not handle laborers or hotel help, and it fills very few posi­



90

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

tions paying as high as $125 per month. It directs unskilled laborers
to the Michigan Free Employment Bureau, and farmers applying for
help are also directed to the same place.
Applicants securing positions must be members of the Young
Men’s Christian Association, in which a short membership can be
obtained for 50 cents. The fees charged vary from $1 for positions
paying less than $7 per week to 10 per cent of the first month’s
wages, and are increased by delay in payment, but all applicants are
urged to pay promptly. Applicants are also urged to secure positions
by their own efforts. The fees do not pay the expenses o f the office.
OTHER AGENCIES IN DETROIT ENGAGED IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF LABOR.

The Young Women’s Christian Association also maintains an em­
ployment office for women and girls which is run on much the same
lines as that of the Young Men’s Christian Association. This office
placed 474 women in positions during the first nine months o f its
operation, which began in 1909. During the year 1910, 5,431 were
placed in positions, and during 1911, 8,205 positions were filled. Posi­
tions are secured for domestics, stenographers, teachers, dressmakers,
and others.
The Associated Charities maintains an employment bureau which
places women for day work principally. The object o f the bureau
is to furnish relief to persons in need o f help, and not to act as an
intermediary between those seeking help and those seeking work.
It has more applications for help than it can fill, yet it will not place
women i f they are needed at home, or if the family can be supported
without the woman’s work. Very few positions are secured for men
by the Associated Charities. Men, if unskilled, are directed to the
Michigan Free Employment Bureau and, if skilled, to the employers’
association. The reports of the office show that during 1909, 1,144
positions were secured through the office. As noted, most o f the jobs
furnished were of one day’s duration.
The McGregor Mission furnishes lodging and food to men in need
in return for labor. It also places men as handy men and in house­
work for short jobs. Such work was found in 1909 for 3,669 men,
about 200 of whom were placed in permanent positions. The mis­
sion requires its patrons to search for permanent work through other
agencies.
The Salvation Army #also finds temporary work for men and
women.
The Jewish charity society acts as an employment agency for Jews
in the city, and does effective work.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

91

The business agents o f labor unions aim to find employment for
their own members, but, owing to the weakness of labor unions in
Detroit, are not an important factor in the distribution of labor.
The large amount o f business done by the employment offices in
Detroit is, in part, an indication of effective management, and in part
the result o f the business activity of the city. The establishment
o f automobile factories in large numbers has given the business of
the city a great impetus, and this accounts in some degree for the
reports o f enormous business by employment agencies. There is
some cooperation among the various agencies as mentioned in the
above discussion, but not a great deal. Little criticism is heard of
any o f the agencies except the private offices, and, by labor unions,
o f the bureau o f the employers’ association. The feeling seems
to prevail, to some extent, that the services of an employment office
should be free, owing, perhaps, to the large work done by the Michi­
gan Free Employment Bureau and the free office of the employers’
association. The result is that the employment bureau of the Young
Men’s Christian Association comes in for some criticism because it
charges a fee.
MINNESOTA.
STATE FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

Minnesota has three free public employment offices—one at Duluth,
one at Minneapolis, and one at St. Paul. The first law relating to
such offices, enacted in 1905, provided for one office, which was estab­
lished in Minneapolis. Duluth already had a free municipal office,
established in 1901. The law was amended in 1907 so as to provide
for a free employment bureau in all cities of 50,000 inhabitants or
over, whereupon the Duluth municipal office was merged into the
State office, and an office was established at St. Paul.
The law relating to free public employment bureaus is brief. It
provides for a superintendent for a term o f two years at $1,200 per
annum, who shall make monthly reports to the commissioner of
labor. It also prescribes the form o f register to be kept, provides
that applications shall lapse in 30 days, and makes an annual appro­
priation o f $10,000 for the support of such bureaus.
The following table shows the amount of business done by the Min­
neapolis office for four years, the business o f the fiscal year 1910
being given by months and the business done by the other two offices
from their establishment to July 31, 1910; also the business o f the
three offices combined for the years ending July 31, 1909 and 1910:




92

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, MIN­
NESOTA FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, AUGUST 1, 1906, TO JULY 31, 1910.
[From Twelfth Biennial Report, Bureau of Labor, Minnesota, 1909-10, pp. 571-573.J
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for
help.

Positions secured.

City, year, and month.
Fe­
Fe­
Fe­
Males. males. Total. Males. males. Total. Males. males. Total.
Minneapolis:
Aug. 1,1906, to July 31,1907 .......... 6,470
Aug. 1,1907, to July 31,1908......... 6,161
Aug. 1,1908, to July 31,1909......... 7,710

5,999 12,469
5,442 11,603
4,890 12,600

6,865
5,628
7,157

6,535 13,400
6,436 12,064
5,959 13,116

6,424
5,416
7,020

5,957
5,302
4,746

12,381
10,718
11,766

845
883
1,089
778
504
521
498
926
1,116
1,228
1,219
1,220

1,921
2,083
2,396
1,849
572
552
540
1,439
2,588
1,913
1,420
1,384

1,000 2,921
1,105 3,188
1,159 3,555
860 2,709
580 1,152
579 1,131
623 1,163
1,147 2,586
1,270 3,858
1,430 3,343
1,520 2,940
1,362 2,746

1,835
1,801
2,274
1,658
562
523
496
1,223
2,370
1,741
1,299
1,219

845
883
1,042
778
504
521
498
926
1,116
1,228
1,219
1,220

2,680
2,684
3,316
2,436
1,066
1,044
994
2,149
3,486
2,969
2,518
2,439

Total, August 1,1909, to July 31,
1910.......................................... 17,001 10,827 27,828 18,657 12,635 31,292 17,001 10,780

27,781

August, 1909...................................
September, 1909.............................
October, 1909..................................
November, 1909.............................
December, 1909..............................
January, 1910.................................
February, 1910...............................
March, 1910.....................................
April, 1910......................................
May, 1910........................................
June, 1910.......................................
July, 1910........................................

1,835
1,801
2,274
1,658
592
523
496
1,223
2,370
1,741
1,299
1,219

St. Paul:
May 15,1907, to July 31,1908 .,
3,145
Aug. 1,1908, to July 31,1909......... 3,434
Aug. 1,1909, to July 31,1910......... 5,449

1,785
1,831
3,330

Duluth:
June, 1907, to July 31,1908 ........... 7,355 1,404
Aug. 1,1908, to July 31,1909......... 6,859 2,236
Aug. 1,1909, to July 31,1910......... 12,064 3,089
Total, three offices:
Aug. 1,1908, to July 31,1909......... 18,003 8,957
Aug. 1,1909, to July 31,1910......... '34,514 17,246

2,680
2,684
3,363
2,436
1,066
1,044
994
2,149
3,486
2,969
2,518
2,439

3,115
3,434
5,449

1,564
1,831
3,330

4,679
5,265
8,779

1,843 9,190 7,339
2,831 9,690 6,859
5,308 17,372 12,064

1,397
2,236
3,089

8,736
9,095
15,153

26,960 17,450 11,662 29,112 17,313 8,813
51,760 36,170 1
23,368 59,538 34,514 17,199

26,126
51,713

4,930
5,265
8,779

3,172
3,434
5,449

8,759 7,347
9,095 6,859
15,153 12,064

2,753 5,925
2,872 6,306
5,425 10,874

i

The report of applications for help and of positions secured, by
months, in the Minneapolis office is instructive. The table shows that
the demand for male labor reached the low-water mark o f the year in
February, when only 540 men were applied for at the free employ­
ment office. The following month 1,439 men were wanted, and in
April, 2,588. After April the demand fell until July, when it reached
1,384. During August, September, and October o f 1909 the demand
for workers constantly increased, and in October the number o f men
wanted was only 192 less than in April, 1910. In November the
demand again fell, and in December and January was only slightly
greater than in February. Thus there were two high tides and two
low tides, one of them very low, in the demand for male labor at the
Minneapolis office during the year. The number o f positions secured
fluctuated similarly. The demand for female help also fell, though
not in so marked a degree, during the winter months, but up to July,
1910, it had not suffered a summer slump.
The small number o f persons placed during certain months of the
year illustrates conversely the seasonal fluctuations in unemployment
already discussed. The data presented indicate that some men are
unemployed a part of the year, not through laziness or incapacity,
but because industry does not demand their services.



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

93

In the above table the applications for employment do not repre­
sent all persons seeking work, and so do not show the demand for
labor. Applications are usually filed only for those for whom posi­
tions are open. For this reason the number o f applications for
employment, as shown in the table, is ordinarily identical with the
number o f positions secured. Another fact to be kept in mind in a
study o f the above table is that the number of positions secured is not
verified. I f an applicant is sent to a position and nothing is heard
from him or from the applicant for help, the position is counted as
filled. It should also be remembered that many of the positions are
temporary. In the male department many o f the men are placed only
for a day or for a few hours, and will, in fact, accept no other work. *
The manager o f the female department at Minneapolis estimated that
90 per cent o f the jobs secured for women are for a single day.
Despite these limitations on the value o f the statistics presented
they indicate a very rapid growth in the usefulness of the Minnesota
Free Employment Offices. The Minneapolis office received 13,116 ap­
plications for help and reports 11,766 positions filled in the year end­
ing July 31,1909. In the following year it received 31,292 applications
for help and filled 27,781 positions. The Duluth office filled 9,095
positions in the fiscal year 1908-9 and 15,153 in 1909-10. The appli­
cations for help at the three offices more than doubled in 1910, and
the positions secured at the three offices increased from 26,126 in 1909
to 51,713 in 1910. These 51,713 persons were placed at a cost o f
$9,925, or $0,192 for each position. The chief point o f interest is the
means by which this rapid development has been accomplished.
It is essential to the growth o f the work of any employment office
that the confidence of employers be secured. Without this confidence
the patronage o f employers can not be obtained and little can be
done for the unemployed. How to gain this confidence is the great
problem before any employment agent, and its solution is doubtless
a most important factor in the rapid growth of the Minnesota offices.
The first step in reaching employers is necessarily that of fre­
quently bringing the existence of the office to their attention. Various
methods have been used to accomplish this end. In every letter sent
to employers by the Minnesota Bureau of Labor is inclosed a card
advertising the free employment offices. In this manner every em­
ployer in the State is reminded at least once a year o f the work of
these offices. Employers are sometimes visited and their patronage
solicited, but this has not been done extensively. Former patrons of
the office are frequently called by telephone and asked i f any men
are needed. Advertisements for men are inserted in the papers, and
these serve as an advertisement of the bureau. Very effective adver­
tising also comes from the publication by newspapers of the monthly
reports o f the offices. An important step, which doubtless increased



94

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

business under the present administration, was a change of office
hours. Formerly the offices opened at 9 a. m. and closed an hour at
noon. Now they are open from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m.
The location of the most important office—that at Minneapolis—in
the city hall, is no doubt a further factor in promoting business. Its
location places the office on a higher plane than its competitors, the
private offices, and raises it to the dignity of the rest of the public
service. The St. Paul office is located in the old State capitol, and
although the situation gives it dignity, this advantage is said to be
offset by its distance from the business heart of the city. The Duluth
office is in a rented building not far from a large number o f private
offices, with which it enters into most active competition.
Another very important feature of the development of the Min­
neapolis office is the complete separation of the male and female
departments. Until 1909 they were in adjacent rooms and were
entered from the same hallway. The female department is now in
the same building as the male department, but is on the first floor,
while the male department is in the basement. The result has been
to obtain a greater number and a higher class of female applicants
than formerly, and, in the opinion of the officials, to raise the dignity
and the value of the female department in every respect.
The occupations o f persons who secured positions at the Min­
neapolis office during the years ending July 31, 1909, and July 31,
1910, are shown in the following table:
CHARACTER OF POSITIONS SECURED AT THE MINNEAPOLIS FREE PUBLIC EM PLOY­
MENT OFFICE, AUGUST 1, 1908, TO JULY 31, 1910.
[Compiled from tables in Twelfth Biennial Report, Bureau of Labor, Minnesota, 1909-10, pp. 574,575, and
M A LE S.
Number of posi­
tions secured.
1908-9
Building trades:
Bricklayers..............................
Bridge tnp.n
Carpenters and cabinetmakers
Cement workers......................
Lathers..
..........................
Masons and helpers
__
Painters and paper hangers...
Plasterers and helpers............
Plumbers, steam and gas fit­
ters .......................................
Factories and workshops:
Apprentices............................
Bakers.....................................
Blacksmiths and helpers........
Brass workers.........................
Butchers..................................
Coopers
..........
Engineers................................
Firemen...................................
F low load ers..., .................




Number of posi­
tions secured.
Occupations.

Occupations.

1
176
124
5
96
17
8
5
2
1
5
1
1
1
11

1909-10

2
158
559
2
395
47
14.
142
1
36
2
4
24
4

1908-9 1909-10
Factories and workshops—Con.
Flour packers..........................
Foremen..................................
Foundry men.........................
Furniture finishers.................
Glaziers....................................
Handy men......................
Leather workers......................
Machinists...............................
Polishers..................................
Pressmen.................................
Renovators..............................
Sawyers...................................
Shoemakers.............................
Tailors......................................
Tobacco strippers....................
W arehousemen........................
Watchmen..............................
Wire workers...........................
Woodworkers, not specified. . .
Miscellaneous operators____

1
1
1
874

8
3
11
4,110

2
3
2
1
1
1
15
2
63

216

53

156

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

95

CHARACTER OF POSITIONS SECURED AT THE MINNEAPOLIS FREE PUBLIC EMPLOY­
MENT OFFICE, AUGUST 1, 1908, TO JULY 31, 1910—Concluded.
M A LE S—Concluded.
Number of posi­
tions secured.

Number of posi­
tions secured.

Occupations.

Occupations.
1908-9

Hotels, restaurants, mercantile,
and office:
Bookkeepers............................
Clerks, hotel.............................
Cooks.......................................
Delivery Tnp.n..........................
Dining-room help...................
Elevator operators..................
Errand and messenger boys...
Hospital attendants...............
Kitchen help...........................
Office boys...............................
Porters.....................................
Solicitors..................................
Agriculture, dairying, livery, and
teaming:
Agricultural labor...................
Bam Tnp.n................................
Coachmen
Farm managers......... ............
Gafdeners................................
Teamsters................................

2
1
9
2
2
5
1
25
1
10
1
682
20
1
19
104

1909-10

1908-9 1909-10

28
7
7
11
14
1
277
2
43
25

Railroad labor:
Baggagemen............................
2
1
Laborers..................................
28
Riflrcrers____________________
2
Roundhouse men__________________
2
......... !
Yardmen........................•
62
6
Other establishments:
5
Hotel boys...............................
House movers..........................
10
Icemen.....................................
50
123
Janitors....................................
33
18
8,921
Laborers, com m on................. 4,566
1
Pressers....................................
3 .........66
Quarrymen..............................
1
Surveyors' helpers...................
1
3
Whitewashers..........................
Woodsmen..............................
20
Not reported..................................
1
137

639
16
8
1
181
423

Total..........

7,020

17,001

7
35
4
1

7
36
20
29
1
2
2
8
6
1
2
16
1
17

FEM ALES.
Apprentices.....
...............
Berry pickers.................................
Bookkeepers..................................
Canvassers.....................................
Chambermaids..............................
Clerical workers.............................
Clerks
........................................
Combination girls..........................
Companions...................................
Cooks..............................................
Day workers..................................
Dining-room girls..........................
Dishwashers...................................
Factory girls..................................
General housework
Hall girls........................................
Housekeepers.................................

3
1
1
43
1
8
12
4,125
31
72
4
305
11
47

7
63
2
4
6
1
69
9,942
26
79
16
338
2
77

Janitresses......................................
Kitchen girls..................................
Laundresses...................................
Nurse girls.....................................
Nurses............................................
Pantry girls...................................
Parlor maids..................................
Seamstresses..................................
Second cooks..................................
Second girls....................................
Silver girls......................................
Stenographers................................
V egetable girls...............................
Waitresses......................................
Total.....................................

9
5
20
1

4,746

10,780

More than half o f the positions secured by males at the Minne­
apolis office in both 1909 and 1910 were filled by common laborers.
In 1910 these men numbered 8,921, and handy men, also unskilled,
numbered 4,110. Other unskilled workers securing positions in 1910
were agricultural laborers, 639; teamsters, 423; kitchen helpers, 277;
and icemen, 123. In the building trades many skilled or semiskilled
workers were placed. Positions were secured in 1910 for 142 plumb­
ers, 47 painters and paper hangers, 395 masons and helpers, and 158
carpenters and cabinetmakers. As a rule, however, occupations
suggesting skill claimed but few o f the applicants at the office.
Formerly Minneapolis was a center for men moving east to Wis­
consin and Michigan as lumbermen in the winter and west as har­
vest hands in the sunimer. Not a large number of men are sent as




96

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

lumber hands now. During the summer months many men are sent
to positions out o f the city, either as harvest hands or railroad
laborers. The majority o f the men placed, however, secure positions
in the city where the office is located or near it.
The portion o f the above table relating to females shows that day
workers, which means women who do washing, scrubbing, ironing,
and similar work for a day in a place, obtained 9,942 out o f 10,780
positions filled in the fiscal year 1910. The occupation next in im­
portance was general housework, which engaged 338 women. Dishwashers securing positions numbered 79, housekeepers 77, cooks 69,
and chambermaids 63.
Each o f the Minnesota offices has a male manager, who has charge
o f the male department. The St. Paul and Duluth offices have a
female assistant in charge of the female department. The Minne­
apolis office has two female assistants, and the superintendent also
gives most o f his time to the Minneapolis office.
Only the Minneapolis office was visited during this investigation.
Its office methods, particularly those o f the female department, have
certain distinctive features. In each department applicants for
work congregate and wait, without registering, for calls for help.
These are made by telephone ordinarily and are announced by the
official in charge, whereupon workmen fill out an application blank
and are sent to positions.
Applications for help and applications for employment are placed
on the same sheet, as indicated by the following form :
A

p p l ic a t io n .

M in n e s o t a S t a t e P u b l ic E m p l o y m e n t B

ureau.

(Office h ou rs, 8 a. m. to 5 p. m . ; S atu rda y, 12 m .)
C o u rth ouse

and

c it y

hall,

for e m plo y m e n t.

Name______________________________
Address____________________________
Age______ Married-------- Single--------Nationality-------------------------------------Occupation desired--------------------------Are you willing to work outside of
city--------------------------------------------References: ----------------------------------Remarks: --------------------------------------

M

19

i n n e a p o l i s ,_________________________
for

help.

Name______________________________
Address------------------------------------------Class of help desired-----------------------Number required___________________
Length of time employment will be
given------------------------------------------Wages to be paid___________________

The custom has grown up of omitting some of the few questions on
the above form. In the female department day workers are asked
only their names and addresses. Others are asked as to age, con­
jugal condition, and nationality. In the male department all of the
questions are asked, but references are seldom requested.



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

97

In the female department a plan for determining the value of
workers has been devised. Attached to the slip containing the em­
ployer’s name and address, which is given to the applicant for employ­
ment, is the following blank, which the employer fills out and the
employee returns to the office:
[T his blank must be returned to this office.]

----------------------------------------- 191_
M---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- has worked for me
--------------days.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[State kind o f work and satisfaction given.]

Signature of employer_____________________________
Address_____________________________

After a number o f these slips have been returned by a worker the
manager o f the office knows the worker’s capacity. Some slips are
not satisfactorily filled out, the employer not wishing to injure the
employee, and sometimes the slips bear evidence o f alteration by the
worker, but, on the whole, satisfactory results are obtained from
them. From the information thus gained the manager establishes a
list o f satisfactory workers and is able to select for each position one
well fitted for it.
As already mentioned, a very high proportion o f women placed in
positions are day workers. They collect in the waiting room o f the
employment office and remain until sent to respond to a call for help.
Some remain all day, as calls for immediate help, or for help the fol­
lowing day, are likely to come in. In sending these applicants to
positions priority o f arrival at the office is disregarded. The appli­
cant best fitted for the work or the one who, in the judgment o f the
manager, most needs work, receives the preference, and only occa­
sionally is the earliest arrival given preference for this reason alone.
This method o f selection, which has been in use for some time, is said
to be the most satisfactory, both to employers and workmen.
Although the fact that so many women placed are day workers
gives an inflated value to the number o f positions filled, it should also
be remembered that certain results attributable to the employment
office do not appear in the statistical reports. Day workers, i f satis­
factory, are frequently retained by the employer for a day or more
each week. Thus, they soon have each day filled and do not apply to
the employment office. In other words, positions secured for only one
day become permanent for one day each week, and several o f them
give the worker permanent employment.
The placing o f day workers consumes the time o f the female de­
partment almost to the exclusion o f other work. Some permanent
positions are filled, however, and some positions are filled outside o f
66269°—Bull. 109—13—



7

98

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

the city. Positions to whicn women are sent are not investigated so
thoroughly as the manager desires, but enough investigation is made
o f new applications for help to avoid sending women to immoral
resorts.
Like the Illinois law, that o f Minnesota requires the recording of
the names o f all applicants for help and for employment in a book.
As already noted, this provision is not strictly followed, owing to
the lack o f sufficient clerical assistance. A ll applications filed, how­
ever, are copied. This copying constitutes the greater part o f the
clerical work of the office.
The three State offices cooperate whenever possible. Applica­
tions which one office is unable to fill are sent to another and the re­
sources o f the three offices are thus concentrated and the result is
said to be very advantageous. The Duluth office also cooperates in
the same manner with the Wisconsin office at Superior. The Minne­
apolis office was found to be in active cooperation with various so­
cieties located, as it is, in the city hall. One o f these is the Asso­
ciated Charities, which maintains an employment bureau, but sends
able-bodied applicants to the State bureau. The State bureau, par­
ticularly the women’s department, also sends needy applicants to the
Associated Charities, to the Sunshine Society, a charitable organiza­
tion which gives immediate relief, and, if need be, to the Humane
Society.
PRIVATE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES IN M IN N E A P O L IS .

The law relating to private employment offices in Minnesota pro­
vides that offices furnishing male help shall pay a license fee o f $100
and give a bond for $2,000. The licensee is required to keep in a
book a memorandum o f the terms o f employment o f each person en­
gaged, showing rates of wages, the kind o f service, the period o f em­
ployment, and the name and address o f the employer. Duplicate
copies o f this memorandum are to be given to the applicant for work,
one being for the employer. Fees may not be charged unless the
agent has on record a bona fide application for help and any person
failing to receive employment by reason of any fraud or misrepresen­
tation may recover all damages sustained. The law does not apply
to employment agencies dealing mainly in clerical positions.
In Minneapolis this law is supplemented by a city ordinance which
fixes a license fee of $10 for agencies furnishing female help only, and
provides that no employment office shall be conducted on the same
premises where intoxicating liquors are sold. The ordinance also
provides for the record of a very detailed contract between the
licensee and employer, a certified copy o f which is to be given to
each person employed. The latter provision is not followed, but the




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

99

memoranda provided for in the State law are made in the following
form :
----------------------------------- Employment Co.
No.
P lace_______________________ D a te ________________
x- am c -------------------*
Na iu e----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hired f o r ------------Work near------- _
Occupation ----------Wages — ____ . ------ day—
_____ board
-------------Report at office-----R e m a r k s _________
Subject to conditions on the back.

On the reverse side is the following:
N o t i c e .—We are only liable for our office fee, and will return it when you
can not get work; but then only when signed by the employer whose name ap­
pears on the other side of the ticket. We are not liable for any railroad fare
or expenses under any circumstances.
The party accepting this ticket hereby agrees to these conditions.
E m p l o y e r : If this party is not employed, please state the reason here and
sign your name.
Signed--------------------------------------------

There were, in 1911, 49 licensed employment agencies in Minne­
apolis, a majority o f which are within a block or two o f the Union
Station. Large signs are displayed before each stating that laborers
are wanted in various States, and in every case free transportation is
advertised. No statistical information was available concerning
these offices. Many complaints o f crooked practices by them have
been made to the bureau o f labor o f Minnesota.
Among these were the sending o f men to jobs which do not exist
and the division o f fees with foremen with the accompanying quick
discharge o f workmen. The division o f fees is said to be very com­
mon. Some contractors give standing orders for men, and when
new men are sent the old ones are discharged to make room for them.
When the applicants complain to the bureau o f labor, the bureau,
without specific authority, attempts to secure the return o f fees, but
is not always successful. The general impression prevails that these
offices are improving as a result o f strong, wholesome competition by
the free agencies and the agitation and discussion which has occurred
in the newspapers. The need is felt, however, for more effective con­
trol over these agencies. The enforcement o f the law now rests upon
the police and the inspector o f licenses. This official with one assist­
ant issues licenses o f 25 or 30 different kinds and makes inspections
o f employment agencies only upon complaint. As a rule, when com-*
plaints are made to the license department the person claiming in­
jury is referred to the city attorney. Usually it is found that he has



100

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

a grievance, but not a case which would stand in court. It is felt that
regular inspections by an officer delegated for that work only are
needed.
A railroad company entered into a contract with one o f these
agencies in Minneapolis to supply all laborers wanted, and gave
passes to the agent for men to be sent as laborers. The agent sold
some o f these passes to men not hired and thus defrauded the com­
pany out o f large amounts. This railroad company has now estab­
lished an office o f its own in order to escape further fraud o f this
character.
OTHER AGENCIES IN

MINNEAPOLIS ENGAGED IN TH E DISTRIBUTION OF
LABOR.

The Associated Charities o f Minneapolis maintains a free employ­
ment bureau, but only for the purpose o f giving relief in connection
with its other work. Persons who would become dependent i f not
employed and who can not obtain work elsewhere, and also persons
who are partially disabled, this bureau tries to provide for. The
Associated Charities recognizes the fact that the State office can do
little for handicapped men and takes upon itself the responsibility
o f finding such men employment. During the year 1911 this bureau
found 1,038 positions for men, most o f them temporary. For women,
2,015 positions were found during the same period.
The Jewish charity organizations o f the city established March 1,
1910, a free employment bureau for Jews. This office had been in
operation five months when visited, and had placed 182 men, nearly
all o f them in permanent positions. The manager has sent out 500
letters to business firms in the attempt to secure employers. Many
o f the applicants for employment are immigrants who can not speak
English, and the manager goes with them in search o f work at the
various factories. Many o f the applicants at this bureau are skilled
men.
The Young Men’s Christian Association o f Minneapolis estab­
lished an employment bureau in 1909, but discontinued it after a
year’s operation.
The Young Women’s Christian Association employment bureau
furnishes girls for general housework chiefly, but no day workers.
Girls are sent on two weeks’ trial and if retained the employer pays
a fee o f $2. The applications for help always exceed the applications
for employment. The following tabular statement shows the amount
o f work done by the employment office o f the Minneapolis Young
Women’s Christian Association during the past five years:




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

101

APPLICATIONS FOR HELP, GIRLS SENT OUT AND POSITIONS FILLED, MINNEAPOLIS
YOUNG WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, 1907 TO 1911.
Applica­
tions for
help.

Years.

1907...................................................................................................................
1908...................................................................................................................
1909...................................................................................................................
1910...................................................................................................................
1911...................................................................................................................

1,734
1,683
1,659
1,500
1,475

Girls
sent
out.
674
708
494
458
519

Posi­
tions
filled.
127
173
156
168
230

The small number of positions filled when compared with the num­
ber sent out is noteworthy, and shows the result o f the two weeks’
trial. The excess o f applications for help indicates the scarcity of
domestic help in the city.
The social settlements and various other philanthropic agencies
also place some workers.
The labor unions aim to secure work for their unemployed, but
have no systematic method. The union men do not patronize the
free employment bureau. They are said to be hearty supporters of
it, but the attitude of those interviewed was one of indifference.
NEW YORK.
STATE FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICE.

The State o f New York has had no free public employment office
since 1906. The reasons for the repeal at that time of the law au­
thorizing such agencies are discussed in Bulletin 68 issued by this
Bureau.
PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

The law relating to private employment offices in New York makes
it a misdemeanor to maintain such an office without a license, fixes
the license fee at $25, and requires a bond o f $1,000 to be furnished
by licensed agencies. An application for such license must be in
writing and accompanied by affidavits o f reputable residents o f the
city to the effect that the applicant is o f good moral character. The
character o f the applicant must be investigated, the place where it
is proposed to conduct the agency must be examined, and any pro­
tests against the issuing of the license must be heard before the
license can be issued. No such agency may be conducted in living
rooms, in rooms where boarders or lodgers are kept, or where meals
are served, or in connection with buildings or premises where intoxi­
cating liquors are sold.
Each licensed person is required to keep a register o f applicants
for help and for employment showing, among other things, the name
and address o f each applicant, the fee charged, and the rate o f



102

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

wages agreed upon. Agencies are required to communicate, if pos­
sible, with persons whose names are given as references by applicants
for work in private families and to keep on file the results of such
investigations.
The fee charged certain unskilled workmen must not exceed 10
per cent o f the first month’s wages, and for all other applicants must
not exceed the first week’s wages, or for yearly employment, 5 per
cent of the first year’s salary. In case employment is not obtained
the full amount of the fee must be refunded, and in case employment
is terminated within a week, three-fifths thereof. Receipts stating
the amount of the fee must be given and on the back o f each receipt
must be printed a certain section o f the law in language which the
person receiving the receipt can understand. The acceptance of gifts
as fees is forbidden, as is the sharing o f fees with employers.
The law prohibits false advertising; the sending out o f applicants
for employment without a bona fide order therefor; the sending o f
either males or females to places o f bad repute; the sending o f any
female to any place where she will be required or permitted to sell
liquors; and the acceptance o f applications for employment by chil­
dren or the placing o f children in positions in violation of the edu­
cation law or o f the child-labor-law. The law also provides that no
agency shall send out any female applicant for employment without
making a reasonable effort to investigate the character o f the em­
ployer.
The law is to be enforced in smaller cities by the mayor or an
officer appointed by him. In cities having a population o f 300,000
or more the enforcement o f the law is intrusted to a commission of
licenses. Bimonthly inspections are required.
The following table shows the number of licensed employment
agencies in New York City during the license year ending May 1,
1910, by classes:
Agencies furnishing—
Domestic servants_________________________________________________393
Theatrical performers_____________________________________________ 191
Professional nurses_______________________________________________
24
Stenographers and office help______________________________________ 21
7
European passage workers, as cattle attendants and crew members___
Seamen----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13
Technical help (male only)_______________________________________
28
Farm and garden laborers________________________________________ 20
Hotel help (male and female)_____________________________________ 38
Barbers__________________________________________________________
23
22
General__________________________________________________ _______
Contract laborers--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 58




838

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

103

When a law similar to the present one went into effect in 1904,
there were only 450 licensed employment agencies in the city. This
number has nearly doubled. The earlier law was enacted primarily
to regulate agencies supplying domestic servants, but as is shown by
the above table fewer than half o f the agencies now existing are in
this class. It will be noted that 191 o f the agencies are for theatrical
performers. These agencies, according to the last annual report o f
the commissioner o f licenses, provide over 100,000 engagements for
performers each year.
Concerning the enforcement o f the law in New York City the last
annual report o f the commissioner o f licenses says:
The registers o f the agencies are now inspected at stated intervals;
the references o f servants sent out are tested as to genuineness;
every complaint from either employee or employer is investigated,
and in important cases, or where there is a conflict of testimony as
to facts, a hearing or trial, with witnesses, is held by the commis­
sioner or deputy commissioner. Nearly 600 such hearings or trials
take place during the course o f the year. Several times a week
agents are forced to refund money which they have taken in excess
o f the legal fees, and this feature o f the office administration is
important in that the individual sums, although small in amount,
are returned to those who can least afford to lose them—people in
search o f employment.1
The report also avers that steps have been taken which have
checked immorality in agencies dealing in domestic servants and
also to prevent the swindling of Italian laborers by agencies operated
by their own countrymen.
The following table from the last annual report shows the work of
the office o f the commissioner o f licenses for the years ending May
1, 1910 to 1912:
SUMMARY OF INSPECTIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES IN NEW Y O R K CITY, Y EA R S
ENDING MAY 1, 1910 TO 1912.
[From Reports of the Commissioner of Licenses of New York City for years ending May 1,1910 to 1912.]
1910
Number of inspections made..................................................................
Number of complaints involving refund of fees to applicants for em­
ployment..............................................................................................
Number of complaints involving refund of fees to applicants for help...
Number of complaints made by inspectors...........................................
Number of complaints made by public for violations of the law other
than those for refund of fees................................................................
Total number of complaints investigated.............................................
Number of advertisements in newspapers investigated.........................
Number of subpoenas and summonses served by inspectors..................
Number of hearings or trials held before commissioner.........................

1911

1912

5,012

8,050

7,096

1,035
525
115

1,058
561
398

1,234
509
203

136
1,811
650
689
597

258
2,275
542

103
2,045
312

1,039

632

Amount of money refunded by agencies to applicants for employment
as a result of complaints made to this office.........................................
Amount of money refunded by agencies to applicants for help as a
result of complaints made to this office................................................

$3,610.20

$2,825.42

$1,806.41

$940.15

$1,084.39

$937.86

Total amount of money refunded by employment agencies as a
result of complaints...................................................................

$4,550.35

$3,909.81

$2,744.27

1 Report o f the Commissioner o f Licenses o f New York City fo r year ending May 1,
1910, p. 4.




104

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

SUMMARY OF INSPECTIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES IN NEW Y O R K CITY, Y EA R S
ENDING M AY 1, 1910 TO 1912—Concluded.
1910
12
Number of proceedings instituted in criminal courts.............................
3
Number of convictions............................................................................
3
Number of dismissals..............................................................................
1
N amber of acquittals...............................................................................
3
N amber of discontinuances upon recommendation of commissioner. . .
2
Number of cases pending in May...........................................................
N amber of licenses issued.......................................................................
838
10
Number of licenses revoked.....................................................................
13
Number of licenses transferred...............................................................
9
Number of applications for licenses rejected.........................................
55
Increase in licenses over last year............................................................
Amount collected for licenses.................................................................. $20,950.00
2,492
Number of contract-labor statements filed by employment agents.......
Total number of visits made to employment agencies by inspectors,
16,000
including all kinds of inspections, investigations, etc.........................

1911

1912
16
7
3

6
866
16

13
4
1
1
5
2
774
14

14
28
$21,650.00
2,715

6
192
$19,350.00
2,153

1 Decrease.

A ll agencies are required to register the name and address of each
applicant to whom employment is promised or offered and of each
applicant accepted for help. This register is open to inspection by
the commissioner of licenses. No report is made, however, of the
number of persons placed in positions, except by those agencies which
send contract laborers out of the city. Such agencies must file with
the commissioner of licenses a statement concerning such contract
laborers containing the following items: Name and address of the
employer, name and address of the employee, nature of the work to
be performed, hours o f labor, wages offered, destination of persons
employed, and terms o f transportation. A duplicate copy of the
statement must be given to the applicant for employment in a lan­
guage which he can understand.
During the year ending May 31, 1910, 2,640 such statements were
filed, showing a total o f 36,868 contract laborers reported as sent
out of the city. The following table shows the number sent out each
month and also the number o f European passage workers furnished
by New York agencies each month:
LABORERS SENT OUT OF THE CITY B Y NEW Y O R K EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES,
JUNE 1, 1909, TO MAY 31, 1910.
[Data furnished by the Commissioner of Licenses of New York City.]
Contract labor­
ers.
Months.

1909.
June....................
July....................
August................
September..........
Octooer...............
1STATTiiTYl V *
v/M

December............




Passage work­
ers.

State­
ments
filed.

Num­
ber
sent
out.

State­
ments
filed.

Num­
ber
sent
out.

221
314
247
262
218
203
113

2,758
3,807
4, *59
3,575
3,271
2,879
1,961

12
15
22
22
23
24
17

132
185
238
269
194
211
144

Contract labor­
ers.
Months.

Passage work­
ers.

State­
ments
filed.

Num­
ber
sent
out.

State­
ments
filed.

1910.
January...............
February............
March..................
April....................
May.....................

94
81
217
352
318

2,114
1,021
3,024
4,453
3,546

19
16
24
24
28

123
106
320
501
372

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

2,640

36,868

246

2,795

Num­
ber
sent
out.

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

105

From the reports filed in the office of the commissioner o f licenses
of New York City prior to July 31, 1906, by agencies sending out
contract laborers, very detailed statistics have been compiled and pre­
sented at pages 414 to 422 in Bulletin No. 72, issued by the United
States Bureau of Labor in September, 1907. This report shows the
nationalities, occupations, destination, hours worked, and wages of
40,737 contract laborers sent out o f New York from May 1, 1904, to
July 31,1906.
A recent investigation o f the agencies dealing with immigrants was
made by the commission o f immigration o f the State of New York in
1909. The commission reported as follow s:
The investigation shows that the distribution of alien la*bor means
chiefly the distribution of unskilled labor, for usually either the alien
is an unskilled laborer or he is compelled after arrival to undertake
temporary unskilled or slightly skilled labor. * * *
Probably the most important means for distributing arriving aliens
in various parts of the country are the mails. * * * Other im­
portant instruments of distribution of aliens are railroad companies
and other large corporations, State immigration bureaus, contractors,
and other employers, padrones, and other agencies. These distribute
aliens to different industries, farms, and labor camps, and for rail­
way construction, public works, dams, reservoirs, canals, and public
highways. * * *
An examination of 105 agencies located in the foreign quarters of
New York City shows that they deal almost exclusively with aliens
o f the following nationalities: Irish, Swedish, German, Polish, Slav­
ish, Hungarian, Bohemian, Galician, Russian, Slavonian, Lithuanian,
Scandinavian, Greek, Finnish, Norwegian, Austrian, Roumanian,
Italian, French, and Spanish.
The licensed agencies are conducted by individuals, partnerships,
associations, and companies, and are variously designated as bureaus,
offices, agencies, or registries. In some cases the securing of employ­
ment is carried on in connection with other business, such as banking,
steamship-ticket selling, commissary, or store.
These agencies supply help, services, or labor o f every conceivable
kind. Some agencies specialize in a particular kind o f labor, such as
the so-called intelligence offices, which supply general domestic help,
and others cooks, waitresses, or chambermaids. Some limit their bus­
iness to only one nationality; others to particular nationalities; while
still others include all nationalities without distinction. Only male
help is dealt in by some agencies; others supply only female help.
Some are exclusively for colored workers; others for white. Some
charge a fee to the applicant for securing a position; others charge
the fee to the employer for securing the labor. Some confine their
business to the city or to a particular section of the city; others sup­
ply labor throughout the State and adjoining States.
That the efficiency o f these agencies as distributors o f labor may
not be overestimated, it is necessary to state that most o f them are
run on very small capital. A number are in tenement houses, a sin­
gle living room being set aside for the business o f the agency. Some
agencies conduct a boarding or lodging house. Thirty-nine on the



106

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

lower east side o f New York are located on two streets within a few
blocks of each other. Competition among them is wasteful and at
times even unpleasantly aggressive.
Alien domestic servants are sent in large numbers to hotels and
boarding houses up the State. Except in the case of a few wellknown hotels, the agent can have no knowledge o f the parties to
whom they are consigned, nor are they properly protected on this
journey, being guided usually only by an address on a slip o f paper.
Many employment agencies, other than those dealing with contract
labor, send each year a large number o f workers o f all kinds to posi­
tions outside the city. O f 100 agents visited by the investigators o f
the commission, 21 sent applicants out o f the city but in the State,
the number reaching in the case of one agency to 250 a month. Dur­
ing the year ending May 1, 1908, employment agencies in New York
City placed 15,715 farm laborers and gardeners, of which 8,427 went
to places in New York State and the remaining 7,288 outside. The
aliens sent to New York State included principally Norwegians,
Swedes, and Danes.1
The report of the commission of immigration also states that from
May, 1904, to February, 1909, 103 licenses were revoked by the com­
missioner o f licenses. O f these, 63 handled immigrants; 10 lost
their licenses for sending girls to questionable resorts, 6 for failing
to return fees, 9 for improper conduct or record, 12 for misrepre­
sentation, and 26 for other causes, among them failure to investigate
references, running agencies in living rooms, and failure to file state­
ments.
Concerning the enforcement of the law, the commission reports:
Many believe authority should be given, the commissioner o f
licenses to impose fines for minor offenses. Such treatment o f offend­
ing agencies merits consideration, as it would enable the commis­
sioner to be more lenient in some cases and to act more promptly in
cases where the dereliction is not great but should not be ignored.
Hindrances to the proper enforcement o f the law arise from con­
gestion o f cases in the court o f special sessions; from the attitude o f
leniency on the part of justices toward offending agents in suspend­
ing sentence after conviction; from the difficulty of securing legal
evidence, especially against agents dealing in unintelligent alien
labor; from the difficulty o f securing the attendance o f witnesses at
trials; from the inability on the part o f inspectors o f the department
o f licenses to locate unlicensed agents operating on the street, in the
parks, or in tenenents; and from the absence o f a knowledge o f the
English language by the agents and o f their language by the in­
spectors.
The number of court cases for the period from May, 1904, to Feb­
ruary, 1909, was 214. O f these, 180 were for running an agency
without a license, with only 34 for all other offenses.2
Concerning certain agencies, the following statement appears:
A group o f six or more farm-labor agencies doing business on the
lower west side o f New York City requires special reference. They
1 R eport o f the Commission o f Im migration o f the State o f New York, 1909, pp. 109-116.
2 Idem., pp. 115, 116.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

107

supply many aliens for farm labor, but their surroundings are not
such as to enable them to reach many honest, well-behaving workers.
They are frequently run in connection with saloons. Complaints
have from time to time been made against these agents for sending
incapable, intemperate, and unwilling men out to farms. Some o f
the other agencies uptown furnish farm laborers, but this group rep­
resents the agents specially interested in this class o f workers.
Although the agricultural demand is the greatest, the chief means of
meeting it through licensed agents is in the hands o f those at the
bottom of the list in efficiency and surroundings.1
Quotations have been freely made from the report o f the com­
mission o f immigration because it contains the most recent and most
authoritative description of the private employment agencies o f New
York City. The commission concluded that there has been a general
improvement in the agencies for several years.
In this connection it may be of interest to quote the commission’s
report on employment agencies in Buffalo, which is as follows:
A brief description may appropriately be given at this point of
the employment agencies in Buffalo. The headquarters for issuing
licenses for employment agencies are in the mayor’s office, city hall.
The mayor’s clerk, who also has the title o f commissioner o f licenses,
enforces the law and issues licenses to employment agencies and also
to those engaged in any other occupation requiring licenses. The
commissioner has one assistant, who, during the months o f January,
March, April, May, June, and July, assists the commissioner in
issuing licenses; the other six months in the year he looks after de­
linquents, violations o f law, and visits employment agencies twice
a month.
The commissioner o f licenses reports 17 licensed employment
agencies, none unlicensed, and none dealing with contract labor.
Only one hearing was held and one license revoked in 1 year
and 11 months. The cause for revocation was misrepresentation
and overcharge. F ifty cents was the total amount refunded on fees
paid. An investigator o f the commission who visited the employ­
ment bureaus at Buffalo found that only 2 of 17 kept their registers
according to law. Fourteen made no entry in the last four columns,
namely: (1) Names of applicants for help, (2) in what capacity,
(3) place o f residence, (4) fees. One agency, which in November
secured positions for 63 men and women, had no entry whatsoever
in the register. The investigator was given the names and addresses
o f 10 unlicensed employment offices. He found the employmentagency law in various languages to be unknown in Buffalo and that
vicinity. Only English placards adorn the walls, and the foreign
applicants are ignorant o f the law. Other violations were reported,
such as sending applicants to places where there was no bona fide
order for labor and placing girls in disorderly houses.1
1 R eport o f the Commission o f Im m igration o f the State o f New York, 1909, p. 117.




108

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

DIVISION OF INFORMATION OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION
AND NATURALIZATION.

The division of information of the Federal Bureau o f Immigra­
tion was established July 1, 1907. The New York office is located
not far from where immigrants land from Ellis Island. The division,
immediately upon its establishment, put itself into communication
with State officials, manufacturers’ associations, individual employ­
ers o f labor, farmers, and others. Thousands o f letters and over
2,000,000 postal cards were sent out the first year, this work being
facilitated by the privilege o f franking mail. The purpose o f this
correspondence is, of course, to secure opportunities for placing alien
citizens in positions.
The actual work of distribution of workers did not begin until
April, 1908. During the 15 months ending June 30, 1909, positions
were obtained for 5,008 persons and during the year ending June
30, 1911, for 5,176 persons. The following table shows the nation­
alities represented:
N A TIO N ALITY AND NUMBER OF ALIEN S AND OTHERS D IST R IB U T E D BY
DIVISION OF INFORMATION, 1909 TO 1911.
Number of persons.
Nationality.

Bulgarian...............
Danish ..
......
English...................
Finnish...................
German..................
Greek......................
Irish.......................
Italian....................
J^ltliUaXUd'll.... .
Magyar...................

15 months Year
ending
ending
June 30, June 30,
1910.
1909.

Year
ending
June 30,
1911.

42
176
37
91
939
107
83
41
67
65

24
163
41
164
1,127
21
140
51
115
123

99
202
59
127
879
72
73
256
65
65

Number of persons.
Nationality.

Norwegian.............
Polish......................
Russian..................
Ruthenian.............
S w ede....................
United States citi-

15 months Year
ending
ending
June 30, June 30,
1910.
1909.

Year
ending
June 30,
1911.

221
1,028
428
148
406

171
700
487
149
253

167
1,044
704
158
221

All others...............

517
363

562
313

500
413

T ota l.............

5,008

4,283

5,176

The following table shows the classes of occupations o f persons
distributed:
OCCUPATIONS OF W ORKERS DISTRIBUTED B Y DIVISION OF INFORMATION, 1909
TO 1911.
Number of persons.
Occupations.

Agricultural laborers........................................................................................
Common laborers.............................................................................................
Domestics...............................................................................................
Woodsmen.......................................................................................................
Children (unemployed)...................................................................................
Others...............................................................................................................
Total....................................................................................................




15 months Year
Year
ending
ending
ending
June 30, June 30, June 30,
1910.
1909.
1911.
2,565
1,215
269
168
192
599

2,747
1,047
314
5
106
64

3,083
1,215
36o
53
80
385

5,008

4,283

5,176

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

109

As indicated by the table, more than half of all persons distributed
have been sent to farms. The aim o f the division has been to divert
the stream o f immigration toward the land or to small towns and
away from the large cities. Care is taken not to send men where
strikes exist. A majority o f the domestics sent out were wives o f the
men sent to the same employer. The unemployed children accom­
panied their parents but were too young to work.
The following table shows the number o f persons distributed to
each State:
DISTRIBUTION OF ALIENS AND OTHERS APPLYIN G TO THE DIVISION OF INFORMA­
TION, A P R IL 1,1908, TO JUNE 30, 1909, AND Y EA R S ENDING JUNE 30,1910 AND 1911,
B Y STATES AND T E RR ITO R IE S.
[From Annual Reports of the Commissioner General of Immigration.]

State or Territory.

April 1,
1908, to
June 30,
1909.

Alabama................
Arkansas...............
California...............
Colorado.................
Connecticut..........
Delaware...............
District of Colum­
bia ......................
Florida...................
Georgia..................
Illinois...................
Indiana..................
Iowa.......................
Kansas...................
Kentucky..............
Maine.....................
Maryland...............
Massachusetts.......
Michigan...............
Minnesota..............
Mississippi.............
Missouri.................
Montana.................

12
52
3
2
122

July 1,
1909, to
June 30,
1910.

April 1,
1908, to
June 30,
1909.

July 1,
1909, to
June 30,
1910.

17
12
676
1
2,202
2
12
77
41
1
220
7
43
9
1
138
300
57
149
19

38
4
948

22
61
43
85
43

Nebraska...............
New Hampshire ...
New Jersey............
New Mexico..........
New Y o rk ..............
North Carolina..,
North Dakota........
O hio.......................
Oklahoma..............
Oregon...................
Pennsylvania.........
Rhode Island.........
South Carolina
South Dakota........
Tennessee...............
Texas.....................
Vermont................
Virginia.................
West Virginia.......
Wisconsin..............

**38

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

5,008

136
23

1

202

31

47
152
14
87
20

78
21

135
22
71
56
64
27
7

July 1,
1910, to
June 30,
1911.

15
52
15
140
30

6

1
1

252
4

1
1
"54
13
58
97

1

State or Territory.

July 1,
1910, to
June 30,
1911.
20
2
1,236

2,139
2,545
1
34 ............i i
27
11
15
2
23
8
17
14
133
5
39
17
27
4,283

42
2
11
7
233
211
21
18
22
5,176

As would be expected, the great majority of persons go to New
York, New Jersey, and other near-by States. The cost o f transporta­
tion prevents many from going farther away. The applicants for
information have greatly exceeded the number sent out at all times.
The growth o f the work has been rapid. The following tabular
statement shows the number of persons sent to employment each
six months since January 1, 1908, to June 30, 1910, and during year
ending June 30, 1911:
NUMBER OF PERSONS SENT TO DEFINITE EMPLOYMENT B Y DIVISION OF INFOR­
MATION, EACH SIX MONTHS, JANUARY, 1908, TO JUNE, 1910, AND Y E A R ENDING
JUNE 30, 1911.

Periods.

January 1 to June 30,1908..................................................................................................................
July 1 to December 31,1908......................................... ....................................................................
January 1 to June 30,1909..................................................................................................................
July 1 to December 31,1909...............................................................................................................
January 1 to June 30,1910..................................................................................................................
July 1,1910, to June 30,1911............................................................. ................................................j




Number
sent to
definite
employ­
ment.
815
1,636
2,176
2,494
1,789
5,176

110

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

BU R E AU OF IN F O R M A T IO N A N D STATISTICS OF T H E N E W

Y O R K DEPART­

M E N T OF AGRICU LTU RE.

The bureau of information and statistics o f the department of
agriculture was established in 1905. Its purpose is to assist agricul­
turalists to the fullest extent possible in procuring farm labor, and
to secure the settlement o f unoccupied or partially worked farms. It
is not therefore primarily an agency for assisting the unemployed,
but is rather for the benefit of the farmers o f the State. Its activities
are confined, therefore, to the State o f New York.
During the first year o f its existence this bureau sent 4,171 farm
hands to the farms o f New York. During the fiscal year 1908, 3,600
men were sent out as farm hands and 400 families were placed on
farms by the bureau. During 1909 about 4,000 men were sent out,
and in 1910 4,944 people secured employment upon farms. The
bureau will not send out any man who can not command the
usual wages, $25 to $30 per month. This requires men experienced
in farm labor. The bureau has been able to find employment
during the spring and summer for all applicants with the proper
qualifications.
N A T IO N A L E M P L O Y M E N T E X C H A N G E .

The National Employment Exchange of New York City is the out­
come of a proposition by Mr. Jacob H. Schiff, of New York City, to
establish an unofficial employment bureau with a working fund o f
$100,000 and with an organization covering the entire United States.
Dr. Edward T. Devine, general secretary of the Charity Organization
Society of New York City, was appointed to examine into the need
for such a bureau. After a study of the situation he concluded that
“ there is a need at all times and in periods o f even slight depression,
a very urgent need o f an efficient system o f bringing together as
quickly as possible those who are seeking work and those who are
seeking workers.” 1 After reviewing the agencies engaged in bring­
ing these parties together, Dr. Devine concludes that the need for the
establishment of such a bureau is very great, that it is not met by
other existing agencies, and can not be met by other plans more
effectively or economically than by that proposed.
The strongest argument in favor o f establishing such a bureau, in
Dr. Devine’s opinion, is the dearth o f information on the subject of
maladjustment of the labor supply. He believes that the mere collec­
tion o f such information will be worth all that the experiment costs.
Dr. Devine proceeds to recommend, following the lines o f Mr.
Schiff’s proposition, as follows:
1 R eport on the Desirability o f Establishing an Employment Bureau in the City o f New
York, by Edward T Devine, p. 9.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES*

111

I would recommend that there be organized in the city of New
York an employment bureau under a board o f trustees composed of
experienced men representing the mercantile, academic, philan­
thropic, and industrial classes. * * *
The bureau should be placed under a manager o f great executive
ability with the necessary number of assistants. * * * It would
be necessary to have interpreters, men to take charge of gangs in
transit, and to perform virtually the function now exercised by the
padrone.
The bureau should establish an organization covering all sections
o f the United States, so that it shall be in immediate and close touch
with requirements for labor and employment wherever such exist,
but its benefits should accrue primarily to the unemployed o f the city
o f New York. It may not be necessary to maintain agencies perma­
nently in particular localities outside o f New York. * * * For
the most part, the agents in the field would be moving from place to
place, establishing relations with employers, looking after the inter­
ests o f the men who had been sent to work, and ascertaining when
they would be free from particular engagements, so that there would
be little loss o f time in transferring them to other places where they
were needed.1
These recommendations show the purposes and plans of the Na­
tional Employment Exchange, which was incorporated and opened
offices in 1909. An announcement of its incorporation, after naming
the subscribers contributing $100,000 for its support, says:
This is the first practical step of a movement to establish an em­
ployment bureau in this city which will inspire confidence alike in
employers and employees. In order to insure the success o f this
undertaking and its permanency, and in order to ultimately occupy a
large field m the community, the exchange is to be run as a business
and not as a charity. The purpose, however, is usefulness and the
motives philanthropic. The primary effort will be to fill orders for
laborers and employees in a satisfactory manner with good material.
A t the outset only one office was established, known as the State
Street office, and located not far from the point where immigrants
arrive from Ellis Island. This office places manual laborers only.
Later a general mercantile bureau for miscellaneous positions for
both men and women was established, and in 1910 another office for
manual laborers. No branches have been established outside of New
York City nor have agents been sent out.
The general mercantile bureau, located at 30 Church Street, en­
deavors to secure positions for office help, salesmen, draftsmen,
eta During the year ending September 30, 1911, positions were
secured for 1,331 applicants—more than double the number who were
placed in position during the preceding year. This number was
composed o f 270 stenographers, 90 typewriters, 116 bookkeepers,
143 boys and girls for offices, 112 addressers, 41 switchboard opera­
1 R eport on the D esirability o f Establishing an Employment Bureau in the C ity o f New
York, by Edward T. Devine, p. 9,




112

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

tors, 8 draftsmen, about 400 clerks, and the others in miscella­
neous clerical occupations. It has been found, however, that the
supply o f clerks and stenographers greatly exceeds the demand,
and the manager believes, therefore, that the schools should train
more men for the trades and fewer for clerical positions. The
excess o f clerks necessarily militates against the success of an employ­
ment agency for them, because under the circumstances an employer
ordinarily need not apply to a labor exchange for help o f this
character.
During the year ending September 30, 1911, the State Street office
received 3,890 applications for help (all male), and 2,398 persons
were placed in positions. The applications for employment were
not recorded during a part o f the year. The manager estimates the
number at 75 per day.
The following table shows, by States, the destination o f these men:
DESTINATION OF W ORKERS SENT OUT B Y STATE STREET OFFICE, NATIONAL
EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE, OF NEW Y O R K CITY, Y E A R ENDING SEPTEM BER 30,
1911.

States.

New York:
New York C ity...................................
Outside of New York City.................
Pennsylvania.............................................
New Jersey.................................................
Connecticut
......................................
Tennessee
.........................................
Virginia.......................................................

Number
of labor­
ers.

569
1,119
256
220
70
56
34

States.

Number
of labor­
ers.

Massachusetts...........................................
Maryland..................................................
O h io .........................................................
West Virginia...........................................
Porto Rico................................................
North Carolina..........................................

27
23
11
g
4
1

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

2,398

It will be observed that although the amount of business done by
the exchange during its second year was not large the field covered
was extensive. The manager states that a great many more positions
could have been filled had the men been willing to accept the work
offered. The difficulty has been, he states, to secure a sufficient num­
ber of capable men who were willing to go where the jobs were
located. Many requests for help come from distant States, which
it is found impossible to supply because transportation is not ad­
vanced and because workmen are unwilling to go far from New
York City.
The nature of the positions filled is illustrated by the work done
in May, 1910. During that month the office recorded 822 applications
for employment and 1,100 applications for help, and filled 331 posi­
tions. O f the 331 applicants who secured positions, 76 were skilled
workers or mechanics, 222 were common laborers, and 33 were handy
men.
Positions have been furnished to applicants o f 36 different nation­
alities. The office force speaks and writes 18 different languages.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

113

which greatly facilitates business with foreign-born workmen. Men
are secured by “ runners ” who are sent out to solicit them. There
has been no solicitation of jobs, because the demand for men has ex­
ceeded the supply. The exchange has received much press notice and
has also sent out many circulars, and the result has been a great
many applications from employers.
With the idea that an employment agency should be regarded as a
business proposition and should be run at a profit, a fee is charged,
but the exchange has not yet become self-supporting. The fee for
placing common laborers is $2. I f the demand for work exceeds
the supply, the laborer pays the fee. I f labor is scarce, the employer
pays the fee. A t the time the exchange was visited—June, 1910—
each paid $1. The fee for mechanics is $3, and for clerks and similar
occupations the first week’s salary, with six weeks in which to pay it.
Although the exchange has been unable to fill the demand for men,
the office records show many more applications for employment than
applications for help, and indicate that many unemployed applicants
failed to secure work. This means that the unfilled demand was for
men o f different abilities from those applying. The work secured
was principally railroad and canal labor, outside o f New York City,
and many applicants were not strong enough to perform it, while
others were unable or unwilling to leave the city. The exchange was
unable to find work for all applicants who were not suited to heavy
labor.
E M P L O Y M E N T BU REAU S OF T H E Y O U N G M E N ’ S C H R IS T IA N ASSOCIATION .

The following table shows the number o f positions secured by the
employment bureaus o f the Young Men’s Christian Association in
New York City during the years ending April 30, 1908 to 1912:
POSITIONS SECURED B Y EMPLOYMENT BUREAUS OF THE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN
ASSOCIATION IN N EW Y O R K CITY FOR THE YEARS ENDING A P R IL 30,1908 TO 1912.
Association bureaus.
B ow ery.........................................................................
Twenty-third Street.....................................................
West sid e ......................................................................
Central (Brooklyn).......................................................
All others......................................................................

1907-8
762
767
541
1,303
624

1908-9
454
703
637
2,211
477

1909-10

1910-11

741
789
1,258
1,784
914

854
933
1,265
1,921
1,263

1911-12
919
957
1,639
2,330
1,547

The aim o f the employment bureaus of the Young Men’s Christian
Association is to keep the employment feature subordinate to the
other purposes o f the organization. All o f the offices except that at
the Bowery Young Men’s Christian Association are licensed and
charge a fee.
The work which is done for the unemployed by the Bowery branch
o f the Young Men’s Christian Association of New York City is es66269°—Bull. 109—13------8



114

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

pecially interesting. Besides maintaining an employment bureau,
this association cares for destitute men who come to it until they
can obtain employment. Men are given board and lodging at $2.50
a week, but the association trusts them for payment until they secure
work. The number who fail to pay for their accommodation is said
to be decreasing each year. The work done is limited by the size of
the building, which can comfortably lodge only 75 each night.
During 1908, 2,410 men were furnished 26,480 lodgings. During
1909, 2,491 men were furnished 26,184 lodgings. In 1911, 2,968 men
were provided with lodgings, averaging nine days for each man.
The methods of the employment bureau o f the Bowery Young
Men’s Christian Association are described in the following extract
from one o f the annual reports:
Every applicant for admission to the house is required to fill up
one o f our blanks, enabling us to know who he is, where he comes
from, his qualifications for work, where he has worked and how
long? and the reason why he is now out of employment. To the
parties given as references, we write asking for information regarding
the man’s last employment, also regarding his moral character. Forty-six per cent of the references returned to us testify as to the good
character and ability of the applicant. We keep a complete record
of everything relating to a man who stops in the house, which makes
it possible for us to more intelligently study his needs and assist
him more quickly to a position o f self-support
The character of the men applying to the Bowery Young Men’s
Christian Association for assistance is described in the following
statement by its secretary:
The following figures thoroughly disprove the statement so fre­
quently and erroneously made that the Bowery branch is “ only a
home for old men,” unable to work or incapacitated by reason of dis­
sipation.
O f the men provided for last year, 72 per cent were 35 years o f age
or under, 65 per cent were Americans, and the other 35 per cent repre­
sented 27 different nationalities; 76 per cent were American citizens;
64 per cent were Protestants, 34 per cent Roman Catholics, and 2 per
cent Hebrews; 84 per cent were single men; 40 per cent were total ab­
stainers; 31 per cent had high school or college education; 31 per
cent were skilled laborers, 4 per cent professional, 22 per cent cleri­
cal, and 43 per cent unskilled laborers; 40 per cent had been out of
work less than one month; 70 per cent had been employed regularly
one year or more previous to arrival at the branch; replies were re­
ceived from 80 per cent o f the references written for, 47 per cent
being testimonials to good character and ability; 25 per cent were
members o f Protestant churches.
The Bowery Young Men’s Christian Association also assists in dis­
tributing immigrants. An agent stationed at Ellis Island, to whom
immigrants are instructed to apply by Young Men’s Christian Asso­
ciation secretaries in their own country, gives them advice or instruc­



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

115

tion as is necessary. The following account o f this work is from the
1909 report o f the Bowery Young Men’s Christian Association:
Since the beginning o f the work at Ellis Island, 5,267 men have
been personally interviewed, cards o f introduction have been given
to them, addressed to our secretaries throughout North America, and,
in addition thereto, letters were written to the secretaries advising
them o f the coming o f the aliens. This group represented over a
dozen nationalities, 63 per cent o f whom were under 25 years o f age.
They were directed to 769 cities and towns in 42 States in this coun­
try, and 21 cities in 6 Provinces in Canada. Since three men were
engaged to give their entire time# to this work during 1909, we were
able to meet 3,184 men, as compared with 2,083 for the previous two
years, during which time we had practically but one man engaged.
The work at the port o f New York involves meeting these men,
who bear cards of introduction from secretaries in Europe, and many
without such cards. A cordial welcome is extended to them, and in­
formation given regarding conditions, routes and rates o f travel, dis­
tances, value of money, transfer of baggage, and something o f the
locality in which they are to reside. A card of introduction is given
to the immigrant, addressed to the secretary in the community to
which he goes, or, where no association exists in that place, to the
State or county secretary.
The Young Women’s Christian Association o f New York also
maintains employment agencies for its members.
O THER P H IL A N T H R O P IC

AGENCIES.

Two other agencies that are o f importance in the distribution o f
labor in New York City are the Alliance Employment Bureau and
the Charity Organization Society. The former is supported by sev­
eral philanthropic societies. It secures work for women and girls
and for boys 14 to 16 years old. Its principal service is in its careful
investigation o f all positions offered, so that its applicants may not
be given work morally or physically harmful. It places from 700
to 1,000 persons annually.
The Charity Organization Society gives temporary work to women
in a laundry established for that purpose. In 1907 this laundry gave
11,544 days o f work to 244 different women, who earned about 90
cents a day. The society also maintains a wood yard, established to
test the good faith o f men seeking relief under plea of inability to
secure work. The wood yard has become self-supporting. For about
three hours’ work here, men with homes receive 50 cents; homeless
men receive three meals and a night’s lodging.
Another very interesting feature of the work of the Charity Organ­
ization Society is its “ employment bureau for the handicapped,”
established in 1906. The necessity for an employment bureau deal­
ing exclusively with handicapped men, even where a free public
employment bureau is in operation, is obvious. The public employ­



116

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

ment bureau must, in order to secure and retain the confidence o f
employers, send the most competent man available to each position
offered. As the applicants for work ordinarily exceed the applica­
tions for help, the handicapped man is not likely to secure a position
where this reasonable policy is followed. Moreover, the placing of
such men requires more study and personal attention than a State
can give. Not only must positions be found for men with physical
or mental deficiencies, but the kinds o f work that such men can do
must be ascertained by study and investigation.
The 1907 report o f the employment bureau o f the Charity Organi­
zation Society, of New York City, contains a descriptive analysis o f
596 applicants, which shows the classes of persons with whom an
employment bureau for the handicapped must deal. The report says:
The largest group among the new applicants was o f those disabled
by some crippling disease, generally rheumatism, numbering 125;
120 were convalescents; 94 were handicapped by age; 56 were in an
early stage o f pulmonary tuberculosis, and 17 more were suffering
from other forms o f tuberculosis; 25 were partially blind, 2 totally
blind; 20 had lost a hand, 17 a foot, and 2 more than one lim b; 17
were mentally diseased and 4 were mentally defective; 13 were suf­
fering from nervous diseases and 16 from diseases o f the circulatory
system; 9 were inebriates and 8 had a criminal record; 4 were defec­
tive in speech or hearing and there were 2 epileptics; a miscellaneous
group or 8 included corpulency, hay fever, cancer, and loss o f a sing­
ing voice; 4 had become unfitted for their previous employment and
were not yet readjusted; and the remaining 33 had more than one
handicap.
The positions available for handicapped persons are indicated by
the same report. O f 251 persons placed in positions which were ex­
pected to be to some degree permanent, domestic servants numbered
58; factory workers, 26; janitors and furnace men, 22; messengers
and delivery men, 20; “ handy men ” and “ utility women,” 20; coun­
try laborers, 17; clerks, 14; porters, 14; watchmen, 9; news dealers, 6;
slot-machine tenders, 6; drivers, 6; elevator and door men, 5; attend­
ants, 5; job carpenters, 3; manicurists, 3; restaurant helpers, 2;
guides, 2; employees in a country hotel, 2; and 1 berry picker, 1 bootblack, 1 day laborer, 1 needleworker, 1 orderly, 1 telegraph operator,
1 printer, 1 locksmith, 1 assistant matron, 1 cutter, and 1 motorman.
The report continues:
The wages o f these positions ranged from $2 to $20 per week, the
average being $8.36.
A large proportion o f these persons are at time o f application de­
pendent on charity; others are on the verge o f dependence. Those
for whom employment can be found by these special efforts are helped
to become partially, in many cases wholly, self-supporting.
This bureau, during the first 18 months of its existence, registered
1,137 applicants, 450 o f whom it placed in positions. During 1909,



UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OP EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

117

766 applicants secured positions, two-thirds o f them permanent, and
in 1911, 731 were placed, 425 o f whom were employed at steady jobs.
OTHER AGENCIES FOR DISTRIBUTING IMMIGRANTS.

Various other agencies are engaged in the distribution o f alien
labor from New York City. One o f these is the Labor Information
Bureau for Italians. Ordinarily the applications for help received
by it exceed the supply of laborers, which indicates that Italian work­
men have little difficulty in securing work. The following table
shows the work o f the bureau for three years:
BUSINESS OF LABOR INFORMATION BUREAU FOR ITALIANS IN NEW Y O R K CITY,
1907 TO 1909.
1907
Applications for employment.........................................................................
Applications for help.......................................................................................
Positions secured.............................................................................................

10,696
18,363
5,290

1908
7,635
5,097
2,696

1909
3,015
10,632
3,919

It will be observed that in 1907, 18,363 men were wanted, and only
10,696 workmen, applied for*work. In 1908, due to the financial
depression, the supply exceeded the demand; but in 1909 the demand
for Italian workmen was three times the supply.
The records o f the bureau show that nearly all the positions secured
are for laborers. Many skilled workers apply, but few are placed.
This accounts for the usual excess of applications for employment
over positions secured, despite the high demand for certain classes
o f labor.1
The Industrial Kemoval Office o f New York City is engaged in
distributing Jewish immigrants. It was established in 1900, and
during the first eight years of its activity sent 42,000 persons out of
New York City, about 60 per cent of whom were breadwinners, and
the remainder women and children. The removal office reports that
85 per cent o f those sent out remained where sent, and that not more
than half o f the remainder returned to New York. The work of
the office has been directed toward the distribution o f industrial and
not agricultural workers. The office formerly aimed to secure work
before sending men out. Now the procedure is reversed. Men are
sent where work is likely, and are cared for by local committees
pending the finding o f employment for them.2
Bureaus for the distribution o f aliens are also maintained for their
respective nationalities by the German Immigrant Society and the
Irish Immigrant Society.
1 The above inform ation concerning the Labor Inform ation Bureau fo r Italians was ob­
tained from Mr. W illiam Leiserson, investigator fo r the New York legislative commission
on employers’ liability, etc.
2 Inform ation from Report o f the Commission o f Im m igration o f New York, 1909, p. 239.




118

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.
RHODE ISLAND.
STATE FREE E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICE.

The law authorizing the establishment of State free employment
offices in Rhode Island was enacted in April, 1908. The principal
reasons advanced for their establishment were “ the opportunities
presented o f bringing together those who seek employment and those
who desire to employ, without charge or cost, direct or indirect; the
desire to assist in securing positions for those having dependents;
and the laudable ambition to help the unemployed in Rhode Island
to secure work with as little trouble as possible and at no expense.” 1
The passage of the law followed closely upon the announcement of
the result of a census o f the unemployed which was taken during the
time o f the financial depression, and showed that the number o f
unemployed persons in the State who were ordinarily employed was
approximately 18,000. It was believed that an employment office
would help in the solution o f the problem presented by so large a
body o f unemployed.
The shortcomings o f private employment offices played little part
in the creation of free offices in Ehode Island. In 1905 an investi­
gation of private agencies had been made, but although the usual
charges of fraud had been made against them it was not found pos­
sible to substantiate the charges. Such agencies are not numerous in
Rhode Island.
The law authorizes the establishment o f free employment offices
in such cities as the commissioner o f industrial statistics may select.
Only one office has been established, located at Providence. This
office in its methods o f work is patterned after the Boston Free Em­
ployment Office, which was visited and studied by the Rhode Island
officials.
The business done by the Rhode Island Free Employment Office
since its organization is shown by the following table:
APPLICATIONS FOR W O R K AND FOR H E LP AND POSITIONS SECURED, RH ODEISLAND STATE F R E E EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, FROM ESTABLISHMENT TO OCTO­
BE R 31,1911.
[From Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Industrial Statistics, Rhode Island.]
Applications for work.
Periods.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males.

Six months ending Oct. 31,
1908.....................................
Year ending Oct. 31,1909 ___
Year ending Oct. 31,1910 ...
Year ending Oct. 31,1911 ...

Fe­
males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

Total.

Males.

Fe­
males.

5,473
3,754
1,821
1,251

1,955
1,876
1,806
2,850

7,428
5,630
3,627
4,101

520
1,165
873
762

852
1,391
971
959

1,372
2,556
1,844
1,721

459
1,155
1,153
933

549
1,255
999
995

1 Twenty-second Report o f Industrial Statistics, Rhode Island, 1908, p. 563.




Total.

1,008
2,410
2,152
1,728

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

119

The large number of applications for work during the first six
months after the office was established reflects the industrial condition
at that time. Established in a period of industrial depression, the
free employment office received over 2,000 applications from males
desiring work during the first month o f its existence. O f these, only
72 obtained positions, owing again to the financial depression.
During the year ending October 31, 1909, 2,410 positions were
filled by the bureau at a cost o f $4,000; each position filled, there­
fore, cost the State $1.66. The 933 males for whom positions were
secured during the year ending October 31, 1911, were placed in 65
different occupations. A total o f 236 were placed on farms, 120 were
cooks and kitchen men, 96 were porters, and 119 common laborers.
The male applicants represented 75 occupations.
The 995 females securing positions were placed in 40 occupations.
Waitresses numbered 74 and girls for general housework 295. Six
other household occupations included 378 persons, so that waitresses
and domestics placed numbered 747.
The Providence office has two departments, one for males and one
for females. Its office force consists of the superintendent and two
female clerks. The superintendent does most of the work connected
with the male department. This prevents him from going about
among employers to any extent to solicit jobs. References are re­
quested but not required from applicants and they are not usually
investigated when furnished. The employer is given such informa­
tion as has been obtained, but the office does not vouch for the work­
er’s ability. Each position is investigated with as great care as cir­
cumstances permit, and the applicant advised fully as to hours,
wages, and other details.
In filling positions, dependents are given preference. The com­
missioner o f industrial statistics has also proposed the making of
special efforts to find work for handicapped persons, but the sugges­
tion has not been carried out. Registry may be by mail or in person.
Applicants for work are sent out of the State and nonresidents may
apply for help, but not for work. This indicates that the office is
for the unemployed primarily, and secondarily for those seeking help.
The labor unions favored the establishment of the bureau and re­
gard it as a necessity, yet they patronize it but little. This is because
each union maintains what is, in fact; a free employment bureau for
its members.
The three great manufacturing industries o f the State—the textile
manufactures, the jewelry manufactures, and the metal trades—have
not patronized the free employment office to any extent. The Metal
Trades Association has an employment bureau, and the jewelry man­
ufacturers maintained a similar organization until recently. The
textile manufacturers have been able to secure enough help without



120

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

applying to the State office. It is said that they ordinarily retain a
sufficient number o f employees, but cut down operating time rather
than discharge employees. I f additional help is needed during a
brisk season, it is obtainable through those already employed. Among
other employers the free employment office appears to have an increas­
ing number o f patrons.
OTHER E M P L O Y M E N T AGENCIES.

Other agencies working for the distribution o f labor in Providence
are the private employment agencies, which are not numerous, the
employment bureaus of the Young Men’s Christian Association, and
the Young Women’s Christian Association, the charity organization,
and a few church societies. Little information is available concern­
ing the private agencies. There are only five such agencies, all run
by women, and it is believed they deal chiefly with domestics.
The employment work of the charity organization is here, as else­
where, only incidental to other relief work. The office tries to
secure temporary work for men in need o f assistance. There is some
cooperation between the free employment bureau and the associated
charities, the latter sending persons in search o f employment to the
bureau, and the employment bureau sending needy men to the Asso­
ciated Charity Society.
The Young Men’s Christian Association has an employment bureau
which deals chiefly with office men and office boys. It has placed
243 during the year ending May 1,1912. The fee charged is 50 cents
for registration and 50 per cent o f the first week’s salary. In the
winter months the office is unable to fill all calls from employers, but
in summer there are more applicants than positions. The office claims
to have the confidence o f the best employers. Positions and appli­
cants are both thoroughly investigated and care is taken to place
applicants in positions best suited for them.
The employment bureau of the Young Women’s Christian Associa­
tion of Providence has placed 741 women in positions during
the past year. These were chiefly domestics, but included also day
nurses and some stenographers and bookkeepers. The fee charged is
$1 from the employer and 50 cents to $1 from the employee, the
amount depending upon the wages received.
The Metal Trades Association o f Providence maintains a free em­
ployment bureau. Its purpose is stated to be the weeding out o f poor
workmen, although it is charged with being an antiunion strike­
breaking organization. The manager is a good judge o f the ability
o f men in the metal trades and the members o f the association rely
upon his judgment in sending them men. Thus they are relieved of
investigation and inquiry as to a workman’s ability. The bureau
placed 1,802 men in positions during the year ending March 1,1911,
and 4,386 men were hired through the office and at the factories.



U N E M P L O Y M E N T A N D W O R K OF E M P L O Y M E N T O F F IC E S .

121

OTHER STATES HAVING FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

Following is a brief account o f free public employment offices in
States not visited during this investigation and also a brief review
in two States, California and Maryland, o f reports concerning pri­
vate employment agencies. So far as free public agencies are con­
cerned, the report for each State is supplementary to the reports,
published in Bulletin 68 of the United States Bureau of Labor, to
which the reader is referred for detailed information concerning
methods o f administration. The statistics o f the offices described
in the former report are brought to date, and an account is given
o f the establishment o f free employment bureaus in Colorado and
Oklahoma with an abstract o f the law creating them.
C A LIF O R N IA .

O f the two municipal free employment bureaus in California de­
scribed in Bulletin 68, issued by the United States Bureau of Labor,
one, that at Los Angeles, was placed in charge o f the Associated
Charities in February, 1910. No information was obtained concern­
ing the office located at Sacramento. The Associated Charities of Los
Angeles operates the employment bureau independently o f its charity
work. During the five months from March 1 to August 1, 1910, this
bureau received 974 applications for employment and obtained em­
ployment for 624 persons.
The law relating to private employment agencies in California re­
quires those agencies to keep very complete records, which shall be open
to the commissioner o f labor and his agents, and to make monthly
reports concerning all persons given employment, showing the kind
o f work, number hired, rate of pay, amount o f fee, and where sent.
These reports are perhaps the most detailed required in any State.
Only a small part o f the information to be gained from them is
published, but the Thirteenth Biennial Eeport of the Bureau of
Labor Statistics contains statistical tables summarizing much inter­
esting information concerning the private employment offices of the
State.
These tables show that the private employment offices reporting
in San Francisco in 1907-8 placed 26,731 persons in employment,
20,143 outside o f San Francisco and 6,588 in the city. O f these
nearly 14,000 were laborers, and 2,000 were ranch hands. The re­
mainder o f the persons placed in employment represented a variety
o f occupations, and many o f them were skilled workmen. The fees
paid for positions ranged from 25 cents to $6 and over. One group
o f 6,570 applicants paid $2 and another o f 6,507 paid $1. A total o f
19,025 paid from $1 to $2 for their positions. Those paying $5 and
over numbered only 269. The average fee was $1.84. The highest




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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

average fee paid in any occupation was $4.18 paid by 17 stenog­
raphers. The lowest was $1.27 paid by general laborers. The total
amount paid to employment agencies in California annually for
securing positions approximates $300,000.
The tables presented in the report also show the wages per day
and per month of the persons securing positions.
COLORADO.

A law was enacted in 1907 providing for the establishment o f a
free public employment office in each city in Colorado having a popu­
lation of 25,000 and over and o f two such offices in cities o f 200,000
and over. The law provides that each of these offices shall have a
superintendent at $1,200 per annum and an assistant superintendent
at $1,000. The law also requires that each office have a separate
apartment for women, and that full and complete records be kept
concerning all applicants for employment, and provides for the
printing o f weekly reports from each office. Each superintendent is
directed to put himself into communication with the principal em­
ployers o f labor, and he is authorized to advertise in newspapers and
in trade journals.
Under this act three offices were established in 1907—one at Den­
ver, one at Colorado Springs, and one at Pueblo. None o f these
offices was visited, so that no account can be given o f their admin­
istration. The following table shows the business done by each for
three years:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED,
FR EE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BU REAU S OF THE STATE OF COLORADO, Y E A R S
ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1908 TO 1910.
Applications for
employment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Cities and years.

1908.
Colorado Springs i ............
Denver2............................
Pueblo8
......................

2,857
4,043
4,967

1,070
561
1,337

1,694
3,927
4,604
6,304 i........

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

11,867

2,968

14,835

Colorado Springs..............
Denver..............................
Pueblo..............................

2,857
7,540
3,532

1,361
802
529

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

13,929

982

2,676

1,665
1,378
1,774

904
474
775

2,569
1,852
2,549

1,694

982

2,676

4,817

2,153

6,970

4,218
8,342
4,061

2,753
7,538
2,720

1,277
702
426

4,030
8,240
3,146

2,347
4,882
2,194

1,107
578
305

3,454
5,460
2,499

2,692

16,621

13,011

2,405

15,416

9,423

1,990

11,413

Colorado Springs.............. 4,282
Denver.............................. 15,252
5,228
Pueblo..............................

2,870
1,643
827

7,152
16,895
6,055

3,881
6,951
4,575

2,819
1,429
1,185

6,700
8,380
5,760

3,715
6,864
3,635

2,738
1,219
694

6,453
8,083
4,329

24,762

5,340

30,102

15,407

5,433

20,840

14,214

4,651

18,865

1909.

1910.

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

. I Year ending Nov. 30,1908.




2Nov. 20, 1907, to Nov. 30,1908.

8Date not clearly shown in report.

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

123

This table indicates that the work o f these offices is rapidly in­
creasing. The Denver office placed over 8,000 applicants in 1910, as
against 5,460 in 1909 and only 1,852 in 1908. The three offices placed
4,817 males and 2,153 females in 1908. In 1910 they found positions
for 14,214 males and 4,651 females. The applications for employ­
ment, as shown in the above table, do not represent all persons apply­
ing for work, as applications are recorded only o f those applicants
who have a permanent address. Transients who could not be reached
if wanted are not listed.
CON N ECTICU T.

Connecticut has five State free employment bureaus. The follow­
ing tables show the amount of business done by each during the year
ending November 30, 1910, and also the total since the establishment
o f the offices in 1901:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED,
CONNECTICUT FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BUREAUS, Y E A R ENDING NOVEM­
B E R 30, 1910.
[From Report of Bureau of Labor Statistics of Connecticut, 1909-10, p. 101.)
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Cities.
Males.

Females. Total.

Males.

Females. Total.

Males.

Females. Total.

Hartford.......................
Bridgeport...................
New Haven.................
Waterbury...................
Norwich.......................

1,978
1,546
1,814
1,140
298

1,540
2,339
884
1,303
161

3,518
3,885
2,698
2,443
459

1,455
1,028
1,242
825
283

1,244
2,172
913
1,487
259

2,699
3,200
2,155
2,312
542

1,131
846
1,063
760
147

892
1,616
520
1,034
117

2,023
2,462
1,583
1,794
264

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

6,776

6,227

13,003

4,833

6,075

10,908

3,947

4,179

8,126

TOTAL BUSINESS OF CONNECTICUT FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BUREAUS FOR
113 MONTHS ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1910.
[From Report of Bureau of Labor Statistics of Connecticut, 1909-10, p. 101-1
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

41,632
29,878
25,086
19,442
5,540

13,454
7,065
6,732
5,340
1,486

17,470
21,332
10,368
12,291
2,968

30,924
28,397
17,100
17,631
4,454

12,084
6,152
6,059
4,938
1,299

13,046
16,487
8,057
9,641
2,209

25,130
22,639
14,116
14,579
3,508

67,266 121,578

34,077

64,429

98,506

30,532

49,440

79,972

Cities.

Hartford............................ 21,825
Bridgeport........................ 8,974
New Haven...................... 13,338
Waterbury........................ 7,358
Norwich............................ 2,817
Total........................ 54,312




19,807
20,904
11,748
12,084
2,723

124

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The following table shows the occupations in which positions were
secured through each o f the five free public employment offices in
the State in 1910. Among the males it will be noted farm hands and
laborers were the two principal classes. A great majority of the
males securing positions were unskilled workers. O f the females,
the various domestic occupations include nearly all persons securing
work. Office girls, clerks, and stenographers were very few in number.
SITUATIONS SECURED B Y THE CONNECTICUT FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
BUREAUS, B Y OCCUPATIONS, Y E A R ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1910.
[From Report of Bureau of Labor Statistics of Connecticut, 1909-10, pp. 102,103.]
M ALES.

Occupations.

Apprentices..................................................
Attendants...................................................
Bakers..........................................................
Bartenders....................................................
Bell boys.....................................................
Blacksmiths.................................................
Bookbinders................................................
Bookkeepers................................................
Boys..............................................................
Brass mclders..............................................
Brass rollers.................................................
Buffers.........................................................
Butchers.......................................................
Butlers.........................................................
Canvassers....................................................
Carpenters....................................................
Chauffeurs................................................
Chefs.............................................................
Clerks............................................................
Coachmen....................................................
Cooks............................................................
Core makers................................................
Day workers................................................
Drivers.........................................................
Electricians..................................................
Elevator men...............................................
Engineers.....................................................
Enumerators................................................
Farm hands.................................................
Firemen.......................................................
Foremen.......................................................
Gardeners.....................................................
Grinders.......................................................
Hospital orderlies........................................
Hostlers........................................................
Hotel workers..............................................
Janitors.........................................................
Kitchen men................................................
Laborers.......................................................
Lathe hands................................................
Laundrymen................................................
Machine hands.............................................
Machinists....................................................
Masons..........................................................
Meat cutters.................................................
Millwrights..................................................
Miscellaneous...............................................
Musicians. ..
................................
Nurses..........................................................
Painters........................................................
Paper hangers.............................................
Pattern makers............................................
Platers..........................................................
Plumbers.....................................................
Polishers.-.....................................................
Porters..........................................................
Poultry keepers...........................................
Press hands..................................................
Printers........................................................
Salesmen.......................................................
Shop hands..................................................




Hartford. Bridge­
port.

3

New
Haven.

3

4

1

14
1

48
1

3
2
3

1
1
1
5
2

1
1

1
11
3
6

5
5
16

36

3

2

11
15

2

1

7
3
2
3
4

20
1

1
2
4

71
1

1
1
3

189
6

18

5
4
308
1

34

16

146
3
1
6

3
7

2
2

38
174

1
3

4
30
154

7
41
181

2
66
490

9
39
62

6
19
2
1

31

4

1
1

53

1

14

1

1

1

14

1
33

1
4

1
2

3
550
9

1
1
7
6

Norwich.

1

9
1
1
1
13
1

2
50
5
3

Waterbury.

27

28

1
20
19
3

5
1
1
2
3
39
7
9
7
1
3
2

1

1
1

1
2
1
5

2

2
1
1
228

1

1

Total.

7
3
1
1
22
19
1
2
80
3
1
3
1
4
15
9
2
4
23
10
82
1
73
50
7
9
7
3
1,211
19
1
56
5

45
186
1
24
179
926
7
1
35
80
5
2
3
57
1
1
17
1
1
1
5
2
55
6
2
2
2
288

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

125

SITUATIONS SECURED B Y THE CONNECTICUT F R EE PUBLIC EM PLOYMENT
BUREAUS, B Y OCCUPATIONS, Y E A R ENDING NOVEM BER 30,1910-Concluded.
M A LE S—Concluded.
Hartford. Bridge­
port.

Occupations.
Spinners (ftotton)____ ______________ ___
hands__________________
Tailors__________________ _ _________ __
. T, ________________
Tile setters....................................................
_________ _______
Tinjsmitlis. _T
Tobacco hands... _____ ___________
Toolmakers............. ....... .. -. - ........
Waiters.........................................................
Watchman... , ________________________
Weavers........................................................
Wo™1chr>ppeTS. r. ___ ___ _____________
Wood sawyers..............................................
Wood turners..............................................

1,131

Waterbury.

Norwich.

Total.

112

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

New
Haven.

1
2
7

1

1
2
1
94
1
1
112
17
23
3
9
7
4
2

1
2

85
1

6

2
1

11
6

4

17
3
2
1
1

1
8

2
846

1,063

760

147

3,947

FE M A LE S.
2
3
1

Attendants for children...............................
Bookbinders.................................................
Bookkeepers.................................................
Canvassers....................................................
Chambermaids.................... .......................
Clerks................................... ........................
Companions.................................................
Cooks............................................................
Day workers.................................................
Demonstrators................ ...........................
Dishwashers................................................
Enumerators................................................
General housework......................................
Housekeepers............................. .................
Kitchen help................................................
Laundresses..................................................
Nurse girls....................................................
Nurses...........................................................
Pantry mai^s...............................................
Salesladies....................................................
Scrub women...............................................
Seamstresses.................................................
Second girls. ...............................................
Shop hands..................................................
Store work....................................................
Tobacco hands.............................................
Waitresses....................................................
Washerwomen.............................................
Weavers........................................................
Miscellaneous...............................................

2
326
17
84
152
6
7
9

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

892

2
1

2
3
1
1
125
7
2
231
865
2
1
2
1,417
67
309
337
80
14
9
3
121
11
130
111
12
6
285
13
2
10

117

4,179

1
2

66

12

106
452

28

45
403

7
8
2
1

443
16
109
98
33
5

6
2
45
2

45
1

256

330
32
60
33
33
2

62
2

52
49
3

4

5
5
1

2
35

86
8
37
34
2
6
55

53
53
10

11

30
13

113
13

75

3
10

41

1

9
1,616

520

1,034

K A N SA S.

The following table shows the work done by the Kansas Free
Public Employment Bureau, 1907 to 1911:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS FILLED, FREE
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BUREAU OF KANSAS, 1907 TO 1911.
Applications for employ­
ment.

Applications for help.

Positions filled.*

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Years.

1907....................................
1908....................................
1909...................................
1910...................................
1911...................................




1,292
2,221
2,231
6,454
3,968

129
203
204
238
208

1,421
2,424
2,435
6,692
4,176

498
575
1,792
5,813
12,360

214
154
174
143
105

712
729
1,966
5,956
12,465

909
1,539
1,686
5,700
3,229

74
85
93
66
61

983
1,624
1,779
5,766
3,290

126

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

This office is located at Topeka, but it has agents located in five
cities of the State. The following table shows the amount o f work
done by each agency, 1909 to 1911:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS FILLE D , F R EE
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BUREAU OF KANSAS, 1909 TO 1911.
[From Annual Reports of the Director of the Kansas Free Employment Bureau.]
1909.

Applications for employ­
ment.

Applications for help.

Positions M ed.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Agencies.

Kansas City, Kans..........
Topeka..............................
Chanute............................
TTingm
q.n...........................
Silver Lake.......................
Director’s office.................

25
15
50
150
3
1,988

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

2,231

200

25
19
50
150
3
2,188

25
15
50
150
3
1,549

204

2,435

1,792

4

166

25
23
50
150
3
1,715

25
7
50
150
3
1,451

93

25
7
50
150
3
1,544

174

1,966

1,686

93

1,779

1,210
2,627
45
250
85
1,483

66

1,210
2,627
45
250
85
1,549

5,700

66

5,766

8

1910.

Kansas City, M o ..............
Topeka.............................
Chanute...........................
Kingm an.........................
Arkansas City...................
Director’s office...............

1,210
2,640
45
250
85
2,224

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

6,454

238

1,210
2,640
45
250
85
2,462

1,210
2,627
45
250
85
1,596

143

1,210
2,627
45
250
85
1,739

238

6,692

5,813

143

5,956

1911.

A. T. & S. F. R. R .........
C. R. I. & P. R y ..............
St. Joseph Free Employ­
ment Office...................
Union Pacific R y ............
Director’s office...............
T o ta l....................

411
153

411
153

411
153

411
153

55
486
2,863

208

55
486
3,071

12,360

io5

12,465

55
486
2,124

61

55
486
2,185

3,968 |

208

4,176

12,360

105

12,465

3,229

61

3,290

The chief work of the Kansas Free Employment Bureau is the dis­
tribution o f harvest hands. O f 3,229 positions secured for males
during 1911 by this bureau 2,905 were for harvest hands, 216 for
farm hands, and 86 for common laborers. In no other occupation
were as many as 10 male workers supplied.




U N E M P L O Y M E N T AN D W O R K OF E M P L O Y M E N T OFFICES.

127

MARYLAND.

The law creating a free public employment office in Maryland
was enacted in 1902. The following table shows the amount o f
business done by the office each year since its establishment:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, BAL­
TIMORE FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, 1903 TO 1911.
Applications for employ­
ment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Years.

1903....................................
1904....................................
1905....................................
1906....................................
1907....................................
1908....................................
1909....................................
1910...................................
1911...................................

543
1,078
377
617
161
378
233
112
677

652
109
1,312
234
74
451
644
27
27 * 1 8
8
47 * 425
22
255
39
151
103
780

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

4,176

682

4,858

490
202
155
459
40
33
39
23
154

256
160
108
62
21
31
11
47
91

746
362
263
521
61
64
50
70
245

185
378
78
129
42
24
28
6
47

71
151
44
12
24
5
4
26
17

256
529
122
141
66
29
32
32
64

1,595

787

2,382

917

354

1,271

The highest number of positions secured in any one year by the
Baltimore office was 529 in 1904. Since that time the highest number
was 141 in 1906. In 1908 only 29 persons—24 males and 5 females—
secured positions through the office, and in 1909 and in 1910 only 32.
The third annual report o f the office (1905) states that the results
of the work were not satisfactory. The report for 1906 states that
they were very unsatisfactory and assigns as one reason the fact
that manufacturers and business men have not availed themselves
o f the advantages o f the office. As the number o f applications for
help continued to fall until it reached 50 in 1909, it is evident
that the office has not gained the confidence o f employers generally.
The 1908 report recommends the establishment of two more offices
in Baltimore and one each in Cumberland and Hagerstown, all to
cooperate in receiving applications and securing positions.
The Maryland office has reported an inability to supply the de­
mand for farm hands and for female help, particularly household
workers.
One o f the objects in establishing the free public employment office
in Maryland, as in other States, was to remedy the evils o f private
agencies. The office has not accomplished this purpose, but it has
constantly recommended legislation to control these agencies. In
1907 the bureau o f statistics made an investigation o f private em­
ployment offices in the city o f Baltimore. A t that time there were
about 150 o f these agencies, but the inspectors were able to secure
returns from only 43. In view of the paucity of information on the
subject o f private employment offices, it is interesting to note the re­




128

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

suits o f this investigation.
results :

The following table summarizes these

CHARACTER OF P R IV A T E EM PLOYMENT OFFICES IN M ARYLAND IN 1907.
[From Sixteenth Annual Report, Bureau o f Statistics and Inform ation o f Maryland,

1908, p. 89.]

Date Color of
person
of
open- carry­
ing on
h f
the
of­
busi­
fice.
ness.

Sex of
person
carry­
ing on
the
busi­
ness.

Character of help secured.

Black.
...d o ..
...d o ..
...d o ..
.. .d o ..
...d o ..
... d o . .
White.
. . .d o ..
...d o ..
Black.
White.
Black.
...d o ..
d o ..
...d o ..
...d o ..
...d o ..
...d o ..
.. .d o ..
White.
. . .d o ..
...d o ..
. . .d o ..
. . .d o ..

Female.
...d o ___
...d o ___
M ale....
Female.
...d o ___
...d o ----...d o ....
...d o ___
...d o ___
...d o ___
M ale....
Female.
...d o ___
M ale....
Female.
...d o ....
...d o ___
Male___
Female
M ale....
...d o ___
...d o ----...d o ___
do___

1902
d o ..
1896.. .. .d o ..
1899.. .. .d o ..
1895.. . . .d o ..
.. .d o .,
1906**
d o ..
1906.. . .. d o . .
1900.. Black,
1903
d o ..
1905.. . . . d o . .
1906.. . .. d o . .
1897.. White
1882
d o ..
1906.. Black.
1906.. . . . d o . .
1876.. White.
1894.. Black,
1901
d o ..

Female.
...d o ....
...d o ....
M ale....
Female.
...d o ___
...d o ....
.. .do___
...d o ....
Male___
Female.
. . .do___
M ale....
Female.
...d o ....
Male—
Female.
Male

1892..
1906..
1880..
1907..
1900..
1906..
1893..
1897..
1905..
i905: ‘
1870..
1906..
1905..
1892
1903..
1897..
1897..
1904..
1902..
1824..
1904..
1907..
1900..
1897

Charge for
registering
applicants.

Charge for
securing
positions.

Charge for
securing
help.

Domestic, female only......
.......do.................................
Domestic, female...............
Domestic, male and female
.......do.................................
Domestic, female...............
.......do.................................
Domestic...........................
Domestic, female only.___
Domestic, female...............
All classes..........................
Seamen and farm labor_
_
Domestic, female...............
Domestic, male and female
.......do.................................
.......do.................................
Domestic...........................
.......do.................................
.......do.................................
.......do.................................
Farm labor........................
All classes...........................
.......do.................................
.......do.................................
Domestic............................

25 and 50c...
None...........
.......do..........
.......do..........
.......do..........
.......do..........
50c...............
None...........
.......do..........
.......do..........
50c...............
None............
.......do..........
.......do..........
.......do..........
.......do..........

$1.................
$1.................
$1..*............
50c. and $1
$1.................
$1.................
$1.................
$1..............
$1.................
$1...............
$1.
50c. to $1___
50c..............
5 0 c..............
$1.................
$1.................
$1.................
$1.................
$1.................
$land$2___
$1.50___
50c. to $5
None...........
.......do..........
$1.................

.......do.................................
....... do.................................
All classes...........................
Domestic only...................
Domestic and mercantile..
Domestic...........................
.......do.................................
....... do.................................
.......do.................................
Domestic, female...............
.......do.................................
.......do.................................
Farm and vessel labor......
Domestic...........................
.......do.................................
Farm and vessel labor......
Domestic............................
....... do.................................

None...........
50 c..............
50 c..............
50c. and $1..
50 c..............
50 c..............
None............
$1.................
$1.................
50c. and $1..
None...........
.......do..........
50 c..............
50 c..............
$1.................
50 c..............
$1.................
None...........
$1.................
None....
$1.................
$1.................
$i .................
None...........
10 per cent
o f fir s t
m o n t h ’s
wages.
$1.................
$1.................
50c. to $1 . . .
50c. to $1 . . .
40c...........
$1.................
50 c..............
None............
50c..............
None...........
.......do..........
50c..............
None...........
50c..............
50c..............

$1 to $2........
.......do..........
$1.................
.......do..........
$1.....
10 c..............
$1..............
None...........
10c..............
$1 to $1.50...
$1.................
None...........
$1.................
.......do..........
$1.................
25c..............
$1.................
None...........
50c..............
50c..............
$1.................
50c..............
$1.................
None............
.......do..........
$2.................
$1.................
.......do..........
$1.................
.......do..........
$1 to $2........
.......do..........
.......do.......... $1.................
All he can All he can All he can
get.
get.
get.

$1.................
50c. and $1..
None...........
.......do..........
.......do..........
SI.................
None...........

Posi­
tions
re­
ported
having
been
secured
in 1907.

50

300

100
1,500
240

150
309
25
190
175
390

1,500

The following extract from the report o f the investigation is inter­
esting and instructive:
There are about 150 employment agencies in Baltimore. Among
them they cover the field of domestic, farm and vessel, and contract
labor. Contract labor, it should be explained, consists usually of un­
skilled hands, such as the day laborers used in digging ditches or
building railroads. This class is the rank and file of labor and
usually it is recruited from the recent immigrants to this country.




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

129

Many o f the establishments refuse to give information about them­
selves. The number already heard from is representative, however,
as it includes a fair proportion of each sort, and many of the more
reputable concerns.
O f the 43 agencies that have reported, 24 are conducted by colored
persons and 19 by white persons. Nineteen of the colored agencies are
conducted by women, and 10 of the white agencies are in the hands
of members o f the fair sex. Few of them have a settled place o f busi­
ness. Most o f them are conducted as private enterprises by individ­
uals, who carry on their transactions in their homes.
Four o f the 43 agencies conduct a farm and vessel labor business,
34 carry on an exclusively domestic business, and 5 cater to all classes
o f trade. The 4 farm and vessel agencies form a distinct class. They
have all been established for a number of years and all have regularly
equipped offices down town.
O f the other 39 agencies, there is only 1 that has been in existence
for more than 10 years. This is one conducted by a colored man. It
has been in existence, it is said, since 1880.
There are several ways in which employment agencies charge for
their services. Usually they ask for a sum o f money from both
employer and employee when the two have been brought together.
I f they do not charge one party directly, they usually ask a registra­
tion fee o f him. Sometimes they ask both registration and service
fees. The Young Men’s Christian Associations o f the city make one
single charge o f employer or employee, and return 75 per cent if sat­
isfaction is not given.
O f the 43 agencies that report there are 12 that charge for regis­
tration. Eleven o f these ask sums varying from 10 to 50 cents for
this little formality. One, which is run by a Negro, asks, “ Anything
I can get:”
For securing a position, 39 of the 43 agencies charge the applicant
sums varying from 50 cents to $1. One charges 10 per cent o f the
first month’s wages. One (the same affable Negro mentioned in the
preceding paragraph) asks, “ A ll I can get.” One charges the em­
ployees nothing.
For securing help (bringing labor to capital), 39 of the 43 ask
sums varying from 50 cents to $2. Three charge nothing and one
“ A ll I can get.”
Few employment agencies keep a record o f their business. O f the
43, only 12 have any sort of system of bookkeeping at all, and in
many cases this is very crude.1
1 Sixteenth Annual Report, Bureau o f Statistics and Inform ation o f Maryland, 1908,
pp. 90, 91.

66269°—Bull. 109—13------9




130

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.
M ISSO URI.

The following table shows the business done by the Missouri free
employment bureaus, 1908 to 1911:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, STATE
FREE EMPLOYMENT DEPARTM ENT OF MISSOURI, YEARS ENDING SEPTEMBER 30,
1908 TO 1911.
1908.

Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Location of bureau.

St. Louis...........................
T q sfls City......................
T .n
St. Joseph.........................
Total.......................

585
544
641

6,042
3,671
4,246

1,194
3,247
3,140

405
875
723

1,599
4,122
3,863

1,111
2,426
2,800

327
223
539

1,438
2,649
3,339

12,189 | 1,770

13,959

7,581

2,003

9,584

6,337

1,089

7,426

5,457 !
3,127 1
3,605 |

1909.

St. Louis...........................
Kansas City......................
St. Joseph.........................

4,608
3,039
2,328

537
438
409

5,145
3,477
2,737

2,194
3,226
17,882

676
924
566

2,870
4,150
18,448

1,748
2,373
2,022

413
196
365

2,161
2,569
2,387

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

9,975

1,384

11,359

23,302

2,166

25,468

6,143

974

7,117

1910.

7,136
2,954
3,124

7,603
467
530 ! 3,484
502 | 3,626

5,779
3,751
3,112

804
872
658

6,583
4,623
3,770

4,619
2,406
2,589

366
320
364

4,985
2,726
2,953

13,214

St. Louis___
Kansas City
St. Joseph ..

1,499 j 14,713

12,642

2,334

14,976

9,614

1,050

10,664

923
810
173

6,750
2,228
1,007

4,134
1,049
692

491
348
113

4,625
1,397
805

1,906

9,985

5,875

952

6,827

1911.

St. Louis...........................
Kansas C ity ....................
St. Joseph.......................

7,264
1,803
713

581
539
124

7,845 | 5,827
2,342 ! 1,418
'837 j
834

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

9,780

1,244

11,024 | 8,079
i

The report of these bureaus shows that for the year ending Sep­
tember 30, 1909, applications were received for 16,500 harvest hands,
but that only 1,371 harvest hands applied for work and that all
were placed. Many of these, it is reported, worked all o f June,
July, and August, moving slowly north with the ripening of the
crops.
The report for the year ending September 30,1911, shows no appli­
cations for harvest hands. Forty-six persons applied for jobs of
this character, but no places were obtained for them.
In Bulletin 68 of United States Bureau of Labor it is stated that
the free employment system was established in Missouri to combat
the abuses practiced by private agencies. This was in 1898. It is
interesting to note, therefore, that in 1909 a law was passed regulat­




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

131

ing such agencies and placing them under the control of the com­
missioner , o f the bureau of labor statistics. Apparently here as
elsewhere the public employment bureau has not proved itself a
regulator o f private agencies.
M ONTANA.

The following table shows the amount of business transacted by
the free public employment office of Butte and Great Falls, Mont.,
from 1907 to 1910. These offices are maintained by the municipalities
in which they are located.
APPLICATIONS FOR W O R K AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, MONTANA
FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, YEARS ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1907 TO 1910.
[From Reports of the Bureau of Agriculture, Labor, and Industry, Montana.]
Applications for work.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Males. Females. Total.

Cities and years.

Butte:
190 7
1908
190 9
191 0
Great Falls:
1907
190 8
190 9
191 0

5,826
3,478
3,257
4,308

3,603
2,533
3,001
2,916

9,429
6,011
6,258
7,224

4,630
2,221
2,075
2,916

3,687
3,224
3,116
2,346

8,317
5,445
5,191
5,262

3,660
1,895
1,846
2,248

2,610
2,417
2,644
2,140

6,270
4,312
4,490
4,388

1,001
707
516
533

147
100
73
72

1,048
807
589
605

364
154
135
99

129
83
41
44

473
237
176
143

220
97
72
80

56
33
24
38

276
130
96
118

N E B R ASK A .

The law providing for a free public employment office in Nebraska
still remains a dead letter. In his 1908 report the deputy commis­
sioner of labor reports that the law “ appears to have been ignored,
except spasmodically.” He states that men and women have applied
to the bureau for employment, but that it has been necessary to refer
them to private employment offices. The deputy commissioner advo­
cates an appropriation, so that an office can be fitted up and the law
relating thereto carried ou t.'
N E W JERSEY.

A free employment bureau was established by the city of Newark
November 15, 1909. The office is in charge o f the city clerk and is
maintained without any special appropriation. Applications for help
have been secured by the use o f 6 want ads ” and by means of circular
6
letters. The work o f the office is limited to the city o f Newark.
Up to May 23, 1910, a period of slightly over six months, this
office had received 1,300 applications for employment and had secured
over 400 positions. Only 110 women applied for employment during




132

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

the six months under consideration, and about half of these secured
positions. The manager reported a scarcity o f female Jabor both
for factories and as domestics.
During the year ending December 31, 1911, 6,210 persons were
registered, of whom 3,831 were males and 2,379 females. Employ­
ment was procured for 2,755 persons—712 males and 2,043 females.
The employments obtained are as follow s:
OCCUPATIONS OF PERSONS SECURING POSITIONS AT THE N E W A R K FREE EMPLOY­
MENT OFFICE DURING Y EA R ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1911.

Occupations.

Positions
filled.

Occupations.

MALES.

Apprentices and boys..............
Blacksmiths.............................
Bookkeepers.............................
Butchers...................................
Butlers and domestics.............
Carpenters and cabinetmakers
Chauffeurs................................
Clerks and salesmen.................
Collectors..................................
Coopers.....................................
Draftsmen................................
Drivers.....................................
Electricians..............................
Elevator runners......................
Engineers.................................
Factory hands..........................
Farmers and gardeners............
Firemen....................................
Foremen...................................
Handy men..............................
Janitors.....................................
Laborers...................................
Machinists................................
Machine hands.........................
Masons......................................
Packers.....................................
Painters....................................
Pipe fitters and plumbers.......

m ales—

Positions
filled.

concluded.

Polishers................................. .
Porters....................................
Proof readers............................
Stablemen...............................
Stenographers......................... .
Tailors......................................
Tinsmiths................................
Watchmen..............................

1
1

35

16
3

1

3
27

FEMALES.

Chambermaids.......................
Clerks......................................
Companions............................
Cooks......................................
Day’s work............................. .
Dishwashers..........................
Factory hands........................
Governesses............................
Housekeepers.........................
Houseworkers.........................
Jani tresses..............................
Laundresses............................
Nurses.....................................
Seamstresses...........................
Stenographers.........................
Typewriters...........................
Waitresses..............................

52
3
2
173
745
4
9

1
U

874
14
11
56
16
6
2
64

O H IO .

The free public employment offices of Ohio report rapid increase
in the amount o f business done and a consequent reduction in cost
for each position filled during the past four years. The number o f
positions secured and the average cost of each from 1908 to 1911
was as follows:




UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

133

POSITIONS SECURED AND AVERAGE COST OF EACH, OHIO FREE PUBLIC EM PLOY­
MENT OFFICES, 1908 TO 1911.
[From Bulletins 35 and 43, Ohio Bureau of Labor Statistics.]
Persons
placed.

Years.
1908.....................................................................................................................................
1909.....................................................................................................................................
1910.....................................................................................................................................
1911.....................................................................................................................................

15,966
22,448
47,209
47,903

Average
cost.
$0,834
.601
.282
.287

The Ohio offices were the first established in the United States
and have now been in operation more than two decades. The fol­
lowing table from Bulletin 35, Ohio Bureau of Labor Statistics,
shows the business done by each office since its establishment:
OPERATIONS OF FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES OF OHIO, FROM ORGANIZA­
TION TO THIRD QU A R TER , 1911.
CIN CIN NATI (organized J u ly 2 5 ,1 8 9 0 ).

Males.
Years.

Per cent positions
secured are of
applications—

Females.

Posi­
Situa­
Situa­
Posi­
Help
Help
For sit­
tions
tions
tions
tions
wanted. wanted. secured. wanted. wanted. secured. uations.

For
help.

Totals for the first decade end­
ing with the year 1899.........
1900.........................................
1901..........................................
1902..........................................
1903..........................................
1904..........................................
1905..........................................
1906..........................................
1907..........................................
1908..........................................
1909..........................................
1910..........................................

27,762
2,552
2,423
3,204
3,528
1,898
3,153
4,901
3,517
1,901
3,434
9,227

11,155
1,323
1,527
2,564
3,020
1,621
2,810
4,639
3,154
975
2,596
8,968

8,047
1,246
1,305
2,410
2,871
1,397
2,794
4,505
3,095
975
2,502
8,952

23,888
1,463
2,101
2,115
1,970
2,411
1,995
2,289
1,948
2,315
2,573
2,201

20,211
2,018
2,802
2,845
3,024
2,778
2,336
2,561
2,101
1,523
2,141
2,383

13,159
1,033
1,646
1,767
1,631
2,071
1,715
1,974
1,600
1,497
1,940
2,151

8f
87f

90^
85^
58f
75
97^

74*
78|
87|
90
89$
99
90£
97*

Grand total...................
First quarter, 1911..................
Second quarter, 1911..............
Third quarter, 1911...............

67,500
1,267
2,236
2,665

44,352
949
2,106
2,479

40,179
945
2,100
2,475

47,269
689
753
695

46,723
703
826
827

32,184
622
681
649

63*V
80tV
93^r
93

79^
94*5
94^
94J

73f
65£
64
61*

41
56f
54i
78i

67§
681

U

CLEVELAND (organized Ju ly 1 ,1 8 9 0 ).
Totals for the first decade end­
ing with the year 1899.........
1900..........................................
1901..........................................
1902..........................................
1903..........................................
1904..........................................
1905..........................................
1906..........................................
1907..........................................
1908..........................................
1909.........................................
1910........................................

31,243
2,253
3,384
3,411
3,238
1,728
2,048
4,102
4,205
2,615
4,758
6,450

10,523
312
3,264
4,586
4,141
1,453
2,433
7,749
5,098
1,703
4,469
6,346

7,543
298
2,108
2,606
2,566
1,051
1,670
3,902
3,985
1,698
4,429
6,326

30,995
1,606
2,765
2,390
2,324
2,082
2,523
2,853
2,999
2,455
2,799
4,111

29,019
2,379
3,069
2,819
2,852
2,280
3,071
3,784
3,994
2,367
3,869
4,415

21,608
1,464
1,947
1,933
2,131
1,790
2,261
2,695
2,881
1,987
2,702
4,082

43*
45§
66
78*
84g
74§
86
94&
95&
72/^
94 *
98H

96f

Grand total...................
First quarter, 1911..................
Second quarter, 1911..............
Third quarter, 1911.................

69,435
1,951
1,887
1,880

52,077
741
1,854
1,880

38,182
741
1,854
1,880

59,902
890
1,199
796

63,918
992
1,233
796

47,481
890
1,199
796

661
57*
98 *
100

94*
98*
100




67}

76*
71§

571
75|
90*
85i

134

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

OPERATIONS OF FR EE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES OF OHIO, FROM ORGAN IZA­
TION TO TH IR D QU ARTER, 1911—Concluded.

COLUMBUS (organized September 2, 1890).
Males.
Years.

Per cent positions
secured are of
applications—

Females.

Situa­
Posi­
Situa- | Help
Posi­
Help
For sit­
tions
tions
tions i
tions
wanted. wanted. secured. wanted. ; wanted. secured. uations.

For
help.

Totals for the first decade end­
ing with the year 1899.........
1900.........................................
1901.........................................
1902..........................................
1903..........................................
1904..........................................
1905..........................................
1906.........................................
1907..........................................
1908........................................
1909.........................................
1910..........................................

30,958
1,217
1,181
1,616
1,875
1,469
2,103
2,517
2,265
1.295
2,599
4,575

10,437
1,270
1,022
2,439
2,145
1,652
2,889
3.750
4,334
1,349
2.867
4,589

7,315
499
828
1,447
1,760
1,422
1,872
2,150
2,177
1,050
2,482
4,575

16,791
1,895
1,586
1,443
1,493
2,061
2,586
2,674
2,305
1.775
2,284
4,304

23,003
2,985
2,919
2,855
2,735
2,888
3,735
3,904
3,384
2,176
2,758
4,771

16,637
1,581
1,592
1,417
1,355
L885
2,271
2,272
2,232
1,681
2.257
4,322

87*
93§
92*
93§
88§
85*
96*
89
97
100*

71f
48 *
61§
54*
63*
72$
62*
57*
57*
77*
84%
95*

Grand total..................
First quarter, 1911..................
Second quarter, 1911...............
Third quarter, 1911........ ........

53,570
735
1,358
1,138

38,743
678
1,357
1,138

27,587
675
1,358
1,138

41,197
1,425
1,994
1,944

58,113
1,425
1,999
1,944

39,502
1,425
1,994
1,944

70f
97*
100
100

69*
99*£
99*
100

m
66£

DAYTON (organized June 30, 1890).
Totals for the first decade end­
ing with the year 1899........
1900..........................................
1901..........................................
1902..........................................
1903..........................................
1904..........................................
1905................................. .
1906..........................................
1907..........................................
1908..........................................
1909..........................................
1910..........................................

32,401
3,113
3,221
3,931
3,449
2,322
3,500
3,869
3,842
2,422
3.537
6,090

12,132
2,507
2,684
4,472
3,793
2,170
3,599
5,166
3,613
1,503
2,848
6,268

9,384
1,701
1,931
3,147
2,982
2,035
3,217
3,505
3,331
1,437
2,696
5,957

29,609
2.691
2,887
2,491
2,185
2,234
2,014
2,171
2,834
3,182
3,190
6,303

26,824
4,385
5,792
7,194
7,163
4,732
5,361
5,051
4,919
4,233
4,503
7,773

19,549
1.954
2,135
2,080
2,026
2,119
1,942
2,105
2,767
2,959
3,051
6,302

46§
63
66*
81§
88*
91*
93^
92*
91*
78£
85§
98*

74*
53
48
44f
45*
60*
57§
54*
71*
76f
76#
87*

Grand total......................
First quarter, 1911..................
Second quarter, 1911..............
Third quarter, 1911.................

71,697
918
1,457
846

50,755
713
1,617
925

41,323
705
1,457
846

61,791
1,714
2,069
1,084

87,930
1,974
2,429
1,258

48,989
1,759
2,069
1,084

67*$
93$
100
100

65*
91*
87*
88f

TOLEDO (organized June 36,1890).
j

Totals for the first decade en d -!
ing with the year 1899......... 27,212
1900..........................................!! 1,944
:
1901......................................... | 2,426
3,995
1902..........................................
3,777
1903..........................................
2,006
1904.........................................
2,990
1905.........................................
1,683
1906.........................................
3,273
1907..........................................
3,774
1908..........................................
3,886
1909.........................................
4,272
1910........................................

14,513
1,196
3,230
3,913
3,950
1,869
3,209
1,960
4,697
1,471
2,624
4,892

11,211
970
1,983
2,704
2,726
1,365
2,458
1,285
2,663
1,280
2,263
4,153

21,860
2,121
1,349
2,372
1,832
1,122
1,220
977
1,793
2,012
1,798
1,902

29,401
4,062
1,965
2,926
2,315
1,623
1,565
1,396
2,186
1,793
1,709
2,192

21,127
2,598
1,362
1,917
1,639
840
1,003
864
1,426
1,334
1,363
1,907

65*
87f
88
72f
77#
70*
82*
80*
80*
45*
63§
98*

73§
67*
64£
67f
69|
63*
72*
64
59§
80*
83*

Grand total.................. ! 61,238
First quarter, 1911.................. i
458
1
Second quarter, 1911.............. 1 1,253
Third quarter, 1911................. 1 1,202

47,524
430
1,261
1,215

35,061
426
1,253
1,202

40,358
546
828
883

53,133
588
886
919

37,380
543
828
883

71*
96*
100
100

71*|
95|




m b

97^

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

135

OKLAHOM A.

The law directing the commissioner of labor o f Oklahoma to estaolish a free employment bureau was passed in 1908. An office was
established at Guthrie July 1, 1908, but was removed to Oklahoma
city in September of the same year. In 1909 the establishment of a
branch office was authorized, and this was located at Muskogee. The
law fixes the salary of the superintendent of the main office at $1,200
per annum and that of the attendant at the branch office at $600
per annum. The law also provides for separate records, in books,
of all applications for employment and for help, with detailed statis­
tical and sociological data concerning each applicant, but it also
provides that refusal to answer the questions asked shall not cause
the applicant to forfeit his right to the services o f the office. The
superintendent is directed to use all diligence in securing the co­
operation o f employers o f labor. He may advertise for positions and
also for the cooperation o f large contractors.
In his reports of the work of the bureau the superintendent states
that but few skilled workers are furnished by it and that the greater
part o f applicants are destitute and unable to pay transportation out
o f the city or to pay board while waiting for their first wages. Dur­
ing the year ending June 30, 1909, 3,250 positions were secured for
applicants. In the following year the number increased to 12,852,
o f which 3,149 were secured through the Muskogee branch. In 1910
the Enid branch was established and a total of 14,942 positions were
secured through the three offices during the year ending June 30,
1911. During the latter year 53,870 applications were made for
employment, the large number being due to a depression in industries
employing large numbers of common laborers and to the fact that
many applications were duplicated. Applications for help come
chiefly from farmers, contractors, and hotels.
The following table shows the amount o f business done by the
free employment bureaus o f Oklahoma during the years ending
June 30, 1909 to 1911:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, OKLA­
HOMA FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, FOR YEARS ENDING JUNE 30,1909 TO 1911.
[From annual reports of the Department of Labor of Oklahoma.]

Positions
secured.

Location of office and year.

Oklahoma city, 1909
Oklahoma city, 1910
Muskogee, 1910.........
Oklahoma city, 1911
m u s K U g ro , j
Muskogee, 1911.......
Enid,191L




3,452
9,948
4,358
46,001
3,915
3,954

3,674
12,044
4,057
16,921
4,907
3,013

3,250
9,703
3,149
9,076
3,131
2,735

136

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The same legislature which provided for the establishment of a free
employment bureau also passed a law regulating private employ­
ment agencies, and provided for its enforcement by the commissioner
o f labor. The commissioner reports that 35 such agencies were
licensed by him during the year ending June 30, 1910. These agen­
cies reported that they placed in employment during the year 31,692
males and 2,581 females at an average charge of $1.65 each.
W A S H IN G T O N .

The State o f Washington now has four free public employment
offices, located at Everett, Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma. A ll are
municipal offices. The Seattle office was established in 1894, that at
Tacoma in 1904, the Spokane office in 1905, and the Everett office in
1908. The following table shows the amount o f business done by the
Seattle office each year since its establishment, with the average cost
o f positions filled.
BUSINESS OF SEATTLE FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, 1904 TO 1909.
Positions filled.
Years.
Hop
pickers.

Other
male
help.

Other !
female j Total,
help. !

Cost of
Total
each po­
Average expense. sition.
per
month.
Cents.

1894..............................................
1895.............................................
1896.............................................
1897.............................................
1898.............................................
1899.............................................
1900.............................................
1901.............................................
1902.............................................
1903.............................................
1904.............................................
1905.............................................
1906.............................................
1907.............................................
1908.............................................
1909.............................................

1,144
2,050
135
2,890
2,235
1,285
2,682
1,465
1,480
1,465
1.105
802
2,490
280

1,580
1,831
1,647
6,163
18,154
20,852
16,082
19,411
19,242
23,302
15,666
17,763
31,792
28,769
20,123
36,332

1,243
1,898
1,756
2,573
3,794
5,468
4,082
5,684
5,183
5,639
3,787
3,202
3,552
2,305
2,060
2.514

1

3,967
5,779
3,403
11,626
: 24,183
27,650
22,846
26,560
25,905
| 30,305
20,558
i
21,767
i 37,834
i 31,074
! 22,183
! 38,846

441
482
284
969
2,015
2,300
1,904
2,214
2,159
2,525
1,713
1,814
3,153
2,589
1,848
3,237

$909.65
1,120.00
727.50
724.08
1,377.13
1,239.41
1,132.61
1,276.69
1,320.91
1,479.70
1,308.36
1,314.19
1,526.11
1,549.30
1,321.70
1,623.05

22.93
19.38
21.38
6.24
5.69
4.49
4.96
4.80
5.10
4.88
6.36
6.03
4.03
4.98
5.95
4.18

The extremely low cost of each position filled is noteworthy, as is
the large number of positions secured. A total of 37,834 positions
were filled in 1906, and in 1909, 38,846. The cost per position was
lowest in 1906, only 4.03 cents. Only twice since 1897 has the av­
erage cost gone above 6 cents.
During the past three years the Spokane office has filled positions
as follows:
POSITIONS FILLED B Y SPOKANE FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICE, 1907 TO 1909.

Years.

1907......................................................................................................................................................
1908......................................................................................................................................................
1909......................................................................................................................................................




Positions
filled.
3,834
3,359
5,179

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

137

From January 1,1907, to August 31,1908, the Tacoma office placed
10,355 males and 942 females. Data are available for only the first
month of work at the Everett office. During that time it placed 137
males and 19 females.
WEST VIRGINIA.

The following table shows the amount of business done by the West
Virginia Free Employment Bureau, located at Wheeling, each fiscal
year since its establishment May 15, 1901:
APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND FOR HELP AND POSITIONS SECURED, FREE
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BUREAU OF WEST VIRGINIA, FROM DATE OF ORGANIZA­
TION, MAY 15, 1901, TO MAY 15, 1912.
Applications for em­
ployment.

Applications for help.

Positions secured.

Male. Female. Total.

Male. Female. Total.

Male. Female. Total.

Years.

1902........................................
1903.........................................
1904........................................
1905........................................
1906........................................
1907.........................................
1908........................................
1909........................................
1910........................................
1911........................................
1912........................................

896
1,952
2,009
1,960
2,015
1,450
4,852
4,111
3,800
2,341
1,546

312
188
230
380
520
540
1,005
955
870
840
659

1,208
2,140
2,239
2,340
2,535
1,990
5,857
5,066
4,670
3,181
2,205

836
3,468
1,560
1,275
801
1,025
431
1,471
2,974
2,874
1,801

468
501
448
420
493
785
572
847
997
913
738

1,304
3,969
2,008
1,695
1,294
1,810
1,003
2,318
3,971
3,787
2,539

790
1,875
1,504
1,001
651
885
381
1,315
2,850
2,013
1,443

254
165
207
274
378
478
461
668
696
679
493

1,044
2,040
1,711
1,275
1,029
1,363
842
1,983
3,546
2,692
1,936

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

26,932

6,499

33,431

18,516

7,182

25,698

14,708

4,753

19,461

W ISC O N SIN .

Wisconsin has four State free employment offices, located at
La Crosse, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and Superior. Before presenting
statistics relating to them, it must be observed that the tables in the
reports do not show all applications for employment. In common
with the offices of several other States, the Wisconsin offices have not
found it practicable to record all such applications. As in some
other States also, the number of positions secured has not been posi­
tively ascertained. In the tables the columns headed “ Applications
for work,” “ Applications for help,” and “ Positions filled ” are prac­
tically the same, and according to the last published report relating
to the free employment offices o f the State the figures given are “ the
number of persons who have been referred to possible employers who
have asked for help, but it has not been ascertained in how many
of these cases positions were actually secured.” 1
The following table shows the number o f positions reported filled
by each office and by all offices for each fiscal year from 1905 to 1910.
As the reported number o f applications for help and for employment
1 Thirteenth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics of Wisconsin,
1907-8, p. 663.




138

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

are approximately the same as the reported number of positions se­
cured and do not represent all applicants, only the table showing
positions secured is presented.
POSITIONS REPO RTED AS FILLED B Y WISCONSIN FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, FOR
FISCAL YEARS ENDING JUNE 30, 1905 TO 1910.
[From Fourteenth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics of Wisconsin, 1909-10.]
All
offices.

Sex and years.

Males:
1905..........................................................................
1906..........................................................................
1907..........................................................................
1908..........................................................................
1909.......................................................................... I
1910..........................................................................
Females:
I
1905.......................................................................... j
1906.......................................................................... i
1907.......................................................................... I
1908..........................................................................
1909........................................................................ •
1910..........................................................................

Milwau­ Superior.
kee.

La
Crosse.

Oshkosh.

8,453
13,865
14,538
13,133
12,091
20,592

3,594
0,898
5,545
4,194
3,772
0,136

3,293
4,371
5,970
6,201
6,096
11,267

1,125
1,471
1,718
1,593
1,234
1,777

441
1,125
1,305
1,145
989
1,412

2,037
3,407
2,884
3,022
3,374
3,200

1,115
1,267
992
1,077
1,106
1,112

713
992
618
672
930
914

516
544
635
631
612
606

293
664
639
642
606
028

The following table shows the business of each Wisconsin office
for the fiscal year 1910:
APPLICATIONS FOR W ORK AND FOR IIELP AND POSITIONS FILLED, WISCONSIN
FREE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, Y EA R ENDING JUNE 25, 1910.
Applications for work.

Applications for help.

Positions filled.

Male. Female. Total.

Male. Female. Total.

I
Male. Female. Total.

6,209
11,285
1,944
1,487

1,402
1,208
852
788

7,671
12,553
2,796
2,275

6,136
11,267
1,777
1,412

1,112
914
606
628

7,248
12,181
2,383
2, 04a

3,280 ! 23,921 j 20,925
!
!

4,370

25,295

20,592

3,260

23,852

Offices.

1

Milwaukee............................. 6,136
Superior................................. 11,207
1,777
La Crosse...............................
Oshkosh................................. 1,455
Total............................ ! 20,035
i




1,112
914
606
654

7,248
12,181
2,383
2,109

UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.

139

The character of the positions filled is shown by the following
tables for the years 1907 to 1910:
POSITIONS REPO RTE D AS FILLED B Y WISCONSIN FREE EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, B Y
SEX AND OCCUPATION GROUPS, 1907 TO 1910.
1907
Occupation groups.

Mil­
Osh­
La
wau­ Supe­ Crosse. kosh.
rior.
kee.

3
23
Agents, clerks, salesmen, etc.......
Hand trades—carpenters, black­
124
smiths, etc.................................
Machinists, molders, engineers,
132
boiler makers, e tc.................... .
59
10
Factory operatives......................
113
135
279
Farm hands.................................
Laborers....................................... 3,850 5,293
122
Teamsters, truckmen, etc............ 532
91
Cooks, dishwashers, chore men, etc. 494
Office boys, elevator operators,
74
6
messengers................................
54
41
All others.....................................
Total males......................... 5,545 o, 970

All

Mil­
Osh­ All
La
wau­ Supe­ Crosse. kosh. offices.
kee. rior.

21
190
46
1,216
59
57
3
16

18

65

23

2

15

54

43

21

336

71

536

138

811

51
263
26
32
104
248
561
21
87
547 426
83
723 11,082 3,008 5,310
740
178
27
86
42
684 296

9
97
71
1,102
93
38

24
92
147
654
33
41

91
314
727
10,074
490
461

6
24

72

44
168

1,593 1,146

13,134

3
63

86
174

1,718 1,305 14,5

34
4,194

6,201

FEMALES.

Bookkeepers, stenographers, and
clerks..........................................
Chambermaids, cooks, waiters,
dishwashers, etc.........................
Domestics and housekeepers.......
Factory girls.................................
Nurses and attendants.................
Scrub women and washerwomen.
All others......................................

10
697
171
10
6
106

301
264

122
234
97
5

Total females.....................

992

618

,537

1,236
997
178
44
405

635

Total males and females...

18

116
328
71
26

18
734
219
50
7

166
245
56
24
139

6

1,077

672

2,353 1,944 17,422 5,271

i, 873

1909

104
352
49
41

631

642

3,022

2,224 1,788

16,156

1,273
1,124
158
78
371

1910

MALES.

Agents, clerks, salesmen, e t c .......
73
6
Hand trades—Carpenters, black­
smiths, etc.................................. 113 271
Machinists, molders, engineers,
91
boiler makers, etc......................
30
Factory operatives........................
76 ......
61
Farm hands................................... 500
Laborers........................................ 2,607 5,426
84
Teamsters, truckmen, etc............ 122
54
Cooks, dishwashers, chore men, etc 115
Office boys, elevator operators,
32
messengers.................................
46
90
71
All others......................................
Total males......................... 3,772 6,096

9

14

102

70

7

12

21

110

104

69

557

121

87

122

73

403

1
61
108
813
69
15

7
55
163
547
15
9

22
64
129
192
87
10
454
832
71
9,393 4,869 10,831
290
191
111
75
193 202

3
82
150
1,249
83
16

25
250
109
805
29
14

114
429
784
17,754
414
307

1
53

34
76

3
57

36
50

79
198

1,777 1,412

20,592

1,234

113
290

33
45

7
46

989 12,091 6,136 11,267

FEMALES.

Bookkeepers, stenographers, and
clerks..........................................
Chambermaids, cooks, waiters,
dishwashers, etc.........................
Domestics and housekeepers........
Factory girls.................................
Nurses and attendants.................
Scrub women and washerwomen.
All others......................................

7

1

670
245
80
15
103
46

288
514

Total females....................... 1,166

930

122
5

Total males and females___ 4,938 7,026




g

16

12

2

150
253
54
11
102
42

105
373
36
44
79
21

1,213
1,385
170
70
406
114

727
140
55
18
113
47

315
466

612

666

3,374 1,112

914

3
119
9

1,846 1,655 15,465 7,248 12,181

24

38

139
217
90
8
107
45

82
326
51
37
101
7

1,263
1,149
196
66
440
108

606

628

3,260

2,383 2,040

23,852

140

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR.

The Wisconsin bureau of labor statistics has, during the past few
years, assisted in securing laborers for farms in addition to the work
done by the free employment offices. This work was begun in the
fall of 1907 to relieve the distress resulting from the industrial de­
pression. Although the work w
ras undertaken as a temporary ex­
pedient the farmers continued to apply for help under the impression
that the State bureau o f labor was maintaining an employment office.
During two and one-half years the bureau placed 2,750 farm laborers.
In the spring of 1910 the work had grown too heavy to be carried
on by the bureau of labor and the cooperation of county clerks was
sought. They were asked to take up the work in the interest of the
unemployed and of the farmers of their county. Over a third o f
them responded, and all applicants for help and for employment ap­
plying to the State bureau o f labor are now referred to the county
clerks or to the free employment offices. No statistical report has yet
been made of the number of workmen placed by the county clerks.




INDEX.
Page.
Age, classified, and sex of applicants for work through Illinois employment offices................................
49
Agencies for the distribution of labor......................................................................................................34-140
Aliens. (See Immigrants.)
Alliance Employment Bureau, New York City................................................................................... 115-117
Applications for employment, forms used by employment bureaus:
Employers' Association of Detroit.....................................................................................................
87
Indiana................................................................................................................................................
40
Massachusetts......................................................................................................................................
65
Michigan..............................................................................................................................................
85
Minnesota.................................... t...................................................................................................... 96,97
Applications for employment. (See Positions secured and applications made through employment
offices.)
Arkansas City, Kans., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1910. 126
Associated charities, employment offices:
Boston, Mass........................................................................................................................................
77
Detroit, Mich......................... ............................................................................................................
9©
Minneapolis, Minn..............................................................................................................................
100
Associated Charities. (See also United Charities.)
Associated Charity Society, Providence, R. I., cooperation of, with free employment bureaus.............. 120
Baltimore, Md., free public employment offices, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1903 to
1911.........................................................................................................................................................
127
Baron de Hirsch Fund employment office, Boston, Mass......................................................................
78
Benevolent Aid Society for Italian Immigrants, Boston, Mass..............................................................
78
B’nai B’rith employment office, Chicago, 111...........................................................................................
59
Boston, Mass., employment offices, free public, and other:
Associated Charities Society...............................................................................................................
77
Baron de Hirsch Fund........................................................................................................................
78
Benevolent Aid Society for Italian Immigrants................................................................................
78
Boston Provident Association............................................................................................................
77
Employers’ Association......................................................................................................................
78
Free public employment offices............................................................................................... 62,63,67-74
German Aid Society............................................................................................................................
78
Industrial Aid Society........................................................................................................................
77
National Metal Trades Association....................................................................................................
78
Positions secured, applications, etc............................................................................................... 63,70,71
Private employment offices................................................................................................................74-77
Supply and demand for labor, and positions filled, by sex, 1911.....................................................
73
Women’s Educational and Industrial Union.................................................................................... 75-77
Young Men’s Christian Association...................................................................................................
77
Yoimg Women’s Christian Association.............................................................................................
17
Bridgeport, Conn., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1900. 123-125
Bureau, Federal, of Immigration and Naturalization, New York office.............................................108,109
110
Bureau of Information and Statistics, New York Department of Agriculture.....................................
Butte, Mont., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1907 to 1910. 131
California, free public employment offices.......................................................................................35,121,122
Causes of idleness. (See Unemployment, statistics of.)
Chanute, Kans., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1909,1910...........
126
Charity Organization Society, New York City..................................................................................... 115-117
Chicago, 111., employment offices, free public, and other:
B’nai B ’rith.........................................................................................................................................
59
Employers’ Association......................................................................................................................
61
Free public employment offices.................................................................................................... 46,50-53
German Society................................................................................................................................... 59,60
League for the Protection of Immigrants..................................................................................... 56,57,61
Private employment offices................................................................................................................54-58
Swedish National Association............................................................................................................ 59-61
United Charities............................................................................................................................. 58,59,01
Young Men’s Christian Association...................................................................................................
58
Young Women’s Christian Association............................................................................................. 58,61
Children’s Aid Association, Indianapolis, Ind., employment office....................................................... 45,46
Cincinnati, Ohio, free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1899 to 1911___
138
Cleveland, Ohio, free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex..............
133
Coal mines and coal miners. (See Unemployment, statistics of.)
Colorado free public employment offices................................................ ........................................ 35,122,128
Colorado Springs, Colo., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex,
1908 to 1910..............................................................................................................................................
122
Columbus, Ohio, free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex........... 134
Connecticut, free public employment office..................................................................................... 35,123-125
Cost, average, per person placed, of maintaining employment bureaus:
Chicago, III., Y. M. C. A .....................................................................................................................
58
Illinois, free public...............................................................................................................................
50
Massachusetts, free public...................................................................................................................62,72
Minnesota, free public......................................................................................................................... 72,98
Ohio, free public..................................................................................................................................
133
Rhode Island, free public...................................................................................................................
I lf
Washington, free public...................................................................................................................... 13#




141

142

INDEX.
Page.

Dayton, Ohio, free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex................
134
Demand and supply, labor, as indicated by reports of Massachusetts employment offices...................72-74
Denver, Colo., free public employment offices, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908 to
1910..........................................................................................................................................................
122
Detroit, Mich., employment offices, free public, and other:
Associated Charities............................................................................................................................
90
Free public employment offices......................................................................................................... 79-86
Jewish Charity Society........................................................................................................................
90
McGregor Mission................................................................................................................................
90
Private employment offices................................................................................................................ 8&-90
Salvation Army....................................................................*.............................................................
90
Young Men’s Christian Association.................................................................................................. 89-91
Young Women’s Christian Association............................................................................................
90
Distribution of labor, agencies for...........................................................................................................34-140
Duluth, Minn., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1906 to 1910.
92
Employment offices, free public,’and other:
Alliance Employment Bureau, New York City..............................................................................115-117
Associated Charities Society, Boston, Mass.......................................................................................
77
Baron de Hirsch Fund, Boston (Mass.) branch................................................................................
78
Benevolent Aid Society for Italian Immigrants, Boston, Mass.......................................................
78
B’nai B’rith, Chicago, 111....................................................................................................................
59
Boston (Mass.) Provident Association...............................................................................................
77
Bureau, Federal, of Immigration and Naturalization, Division of Information, New York office. 108,109
Bureau of Information and Statistics, Department of Agriculture, New York..............................
110
California, free public..........................................................................................................................
121
Charity Organization, New York City........................................................................................... 115-117
Children’s Aid Association, Indianapolis, Ind.................................................................................. 45,46
Colorado, free public........................................................................................................................ 122,123
Connecticut, free public................................................................................................................... 123-125
Cost, average, per person placed, of maintaining bureaus, different States.. 50,58,62,72,93,119,133,136
Employers’ Association, Boston, Mass..............................................................................................
78
Employers’ Association, Chicago, 111.................................................................................................
61
Employers’ Association, Detroit, Mich............................................................................................. 86,87
Employers’ Association, Indianapolis, Ind.......................................................................................44,45
Fraudulent methods and evil practices of private agencies..............................................................
36
German Aid Society, Boston, Mass....................................................................................................
78
German Society, Chicago, 111..............................................................................................................59,60
Illinois, free public.............................................................................................................................. 45-53
Illinois, other than private and free public....................................................................................... 53-61
Illinois, private....................................................................................................................................53^58
Industrial Aid Society, Boston, Mass................................................................................................
77
Industrial Removal Office, New York City......................................................................................
117
Indiana, free public.............................................................................................................................39-42
Indiana, other than private and free public......................................................................................45,46
Indiana, private.................................................................................................................................. 42-45
Inspection of private agencies, Illinois...............................................................................................
55
Inspection of private agencies, Maryland....................................................................................... 127-129
Inspection of private agencies, New York City, 1910 to 1912......................................................... 103,104
Kansas, free public...........................................................................................................................125,126
Laborers sent out by, New York City, 1909,1910.............................................................................
104
Labor Information Bureau for Italians, New York City.................................................................
117
League for the Protection of Immigrants, Chicago. Ill................................................................ 56,57,61
Maryland, free public..........................................................................................................................
127
Maryland, private, character of...................................................................................................... 128,129
Massachusetts, free public...................................................................................................................62-74
Massachusetts, other than private and free public........................................................................... 77,78
Massachusetts, private........................................................................................................................ 74-77
Metal Trade Association, Providence, R. 1.......................................................................................
120
Michigan, free public...........................................................................................................................78-86
Michigan, other than private and free public......................................................................... 86,87,90,91
Michigan, private, in Detroit...........................: .................................................................................88-90
Minnesota, free public........................................................................................................................ 91-98
Minnesota, other than private and free public......................................................................... 98,100,101
Minnesota, private, in Minneapolis.................................................................................................. 98-100
Missouri, free public............................................................................................................................
130
Montana, free public...........................................................................................................................
131
National Employment Exchange, New York City....................................................................... 110-113
National Metal Trades Association, Boston, Mass"...........................................................................
78
Nebraska, free public..........................................................................................................................
131
New Jersey, free public................................................................................................................... 131,132
New York, free pu blic........................................................................................................................
101
New York, other than private and free public.................................................................................
117
New York, private........................................................................................................................... 101-107
Ohio, free public.............................................................................................................................. 132-134
Oklahoma, free public..................................................................................................................... 135,136
Rhode Island, free public................................................................................................................ 118-120
Rhode Island, other than private and free public............................................................................
120
Rhode Island, private.........................................................................................................................
120
States having free public, list of, and year of establishment of........................................................ 35,36
Swedish National Association, Chicago, 111.......................................................................................59-60
United Charities, Chicago, 111........................................................................................................ 58,59,61
Washington, free public................................................................................................................... 136,137
Wisconsin, free public...................................................................................................................... 137-140
Wromen’s Educational and Industrial Union, Boston, Mass............................................................75-77
Young Men’s Christian Association—
Boston, Mass.................................................................................................................................
77
Chicago, 111....................................................................................................................................
58
Indianapolis, Ind..........................................................................................................................
45
New York City.......................................................................................................................... 113-115
Providence, R. 1...........................................................................................................................
120




INDEX.

143

Employment offices, free public, and other—Concluded.
Young Women’s Christian Association—
Page.
Boston, Mass.................................................................................................................................
77
Chicago, 111....................................................................................................................................48,61
New York City............................................................................................................................
115
Providence, R. I ...........................................................................................................................
120
Enid, Okla., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., 1911........................
135
Fall River, Mass., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc........................ 63,73
Farm help, agencies for placing:
110
Bureau of Information and Statistics, New York Department of Agriculture...............................
Industrial Aid Society, Boston, Mass................................................................................................
77
Kansas..................................................................................................................................................
126
Maryland.............................................................................................................................................
127
Minneapolis..........................................................................................................................................95,96
Missouri.............................................................................................................................................
130
New York City, lower west side..................................................................................................... 106,107
Private agencies, Boston, Mass.......................................................................................................... 74,75
West Virginia......................................................................................................................................
137
Wisconsin.............................................................................................................................................
140
Fees charged of applicants by employment bureaus...............................................................................36,37
Boston, Mass., Y . M. C. A ..................................................................................................................
77
Chicago, 111., Swedish National Association...................................................................................... 60,61
Chicago, 111., Y . M. C. A ....................................................................................................................
56
Chicago, 111.. Y . W. C. A ....................................................................................................................
56
Detroit, Mich., private agencies.........................................................................................................
88
Detroit, Mich., Y. M. C. A .................................................................................................................
90
Illinois private agendas.......................................................................................................................
54
Indiana private agencies.....................................................................................................................
43
Maryland private agencies.............................................................................................................. 128,129
Massachusetts free employment bureaus........................................................................................... 65,66
Massachusetts private agencies.......................................................................................................... 74,77
Minneapolis, Minn., private agencies.
Minneapolis, Minn., Y . W. C. A ........................................................................................................
100
New York private agencies................................................................................................................
102
New York City National Employment Exchange...........................................................................
113
Providence, R. I., Y . M. C. A ............................................................................................................
120
Providence, R . I., Y . W . C. A ...........................................................................................................
120
San Francisco, Cal., private agencies.................................................................................................
121
^orms, application, used by employment offices, free public and private;
Employers’ Association of Detroit..................................................................................................
87
Indiana................................................................................................................................................
40
Massachusetts......................................................................................................................................
65
Michigan..............................................................................................................................................
85
Minnesota.............................................................................................................................................96,97
Fraudulent methods and evil practices of private employment offices.................................................
36
Free public employment offices............................................................................................................... 35,36
German Aid Society employment office, Boston, Mass..........................................................................
78
German Immigrant Society, New York City..........................................................................................
117
German Society, Chicago, III., positions secured through, 1907 to 1911................................................ 59,60
Gifts, and illegal fees received by private agencies, Boston, Mass..........................................................
77
Grand Rapids, Mich., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex,
1908 to 1911............................................................................................................................................ .
80
Great Falls, Mont., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex,
1907 to 1910..............................................................................................................................................
131
Hartford, Conn., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1910.. 123-125
Harvest hands. (See Farm help, agencies for placing.)
Humane Society, cooperation of, with Free Employment Bureau, Minneapolis, Minn......................
98
Idle, and not idle. (See Unemployment, statistics of, and sources.)
Illinois free employment offices, location, positions filled, cost of maintenance, etc...................... 35,46-53
Illinois private employment agencies, inspection of................................................................................ 54,55
Immigrants, agencies for distributing and finding employment for:
Baron de Hirsch Fund, Boston, Mass...............................................................................................
78
Benevolent Aid Society for Italian Immigrants, Boston, Mass.......................................................
78
Federal Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Division of Information, New York....... 108,109
German Aid Society, Boston, Mass...................................................................................................
78
German Immigrant Society, New York City....................................................................................
117
Industrial Removal Office of New York City (Jewish)....................................................................
117
Irish Immigrant Society, New York City.........................................................................................
117
Labor Information Bureau for Italians, New York City..................................................................
117
League for the Protection of Immigrants, Chicago, 111.....................................................................
56
National Employment Exchange of New York City.................................................................... 110-113
Swedish National Association, Chicago, HI.......................................................................................
61
Immigrants, kind of work supplied to, fees charged, etc., by Chicago employment agencies..............56,57
Indiana free employment office, location, positions secured, etc....................................................... 35,39-42
Indianapolis, Ind., Children’s Aid Association employment bureau, positions secured, registration,
etc., 1909 to 1911......................................................................................................................................
45
Industrial Aid Society employment office, Boston, Mass.......................................................................
77
Industrial Removal Office of New York City (Jewish)...........................................................................
117
Inspection of private employment agencies:
Illinois, summary................................................................................................................................
55
Maryland.......................................................................................................................................... 127-129
New York City................................................................................................................................ 103,104
Irish Immigrant Society, New York City................................................................................................
117
Jackson, Mich., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908 to 1911
80
Jewish societies, free employment bureau maintained by:
Boston, Mass........................................................................................................................................
78
Chicago, HI...........................................................................................................................................
59
Detroit, Mich.......................................................................................................................................
90
Minneapolis, Minn..............................................................................................................................
100
New York City....................................................................................................................................
117




144

INDEX.
Page.

Kalamazoo, Mich., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908
to 1911.....................................................................................................................................................
80
Kansas City, Kans., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex,
1909, 1910.................................................................................................................................................
126
Kansas City, Mo., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908
to 1911.....................................................................................................................................................
130
Kansas, free public employment offices........................................................................................... 35,125,126
Kingman, Kans., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1909,
1910..........................................................................................................................................................
126
Labor, agencies for the distribution of....................................................................................................34-140
Labor Information Bureau for Italians, New York City........................................................................
117
Labor, organized. {See Trade-union, etc.)
Labor supply and demand as indicated by reports of Massachusetts employment offices................... 72-74
112
Laborers distributed through National Employment Exchange of New York City, 1911...................
Laborers sent out by New York City employment agencies, 1909, 1910................................................
104
La Crosse, Wis., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., b y sex.......... 138,139
League for the Protection of Immigrants, Chicago, 111., employment office..................................... 56,57,61
Licensing of private agencies, fees, registration, and other regulations:
88
Detroit, Mich......................... .............................................................................................................
Illinois..................................................................................................................................................53,54
Indiana................................................................................................................................................
43
Maryland.............................................................................................................................................
129
Massachusetts...................................................................................................................................... 74-76
Minnesota............................................................................................................................................ 98,99
New York................................................................................................................. ...................... 101-107
Location of Chicago agencies placing immigrants...................................................................................
57
McGregor Mission employment office, Detroit, Mich..............................................................................
90
Maryland free employment offices, location, positions seemed, etc............................................... 35,127-129
Maryland private employment agencies, character of.............................................................................
128
Massachusetts free public employment offices, location, positions secured, cost of maintenance,
etc............................................................................................................................................. 35,62-64,69-74
Massachusetts trade-union members unemployed, statistics of..............................................................23-25
Metal Trades Association, Providence, R. I., employment bureau.......................................................
120
Michigan, free public employment offices, location, positions secured, etc....................................... 35,78-86
Michigan private employment offices.......................................................................................................
88
Milwaukee, Wis., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex........138,139
Minneapolis, Minn., employment offices, free public, and other:
Associated Charities............................................................................................................................
100
Free public employment office...........................................................................................................91-98
Private employment offices..............................................................................................................98-100
Young Men’s Christian Association...................................................................................................
100
Young Women’s Christian Association.............................................................................................
100
Minnesota free public employment offices, location, positions secured, cost of maintenance, eto... 35,91-98
Minnesota private employment offices................................................................................................... 98-100
Missouri, free public employment offices, location, positions secured, etc..................................... 35,130,131
Montana, free public employment offices, location, positions secured, etc.......................................... 35,131
Municipal employment bureaus............................................................................................................... 35,36
Municipal lodging houses..........................................................................................................................
37
Muskogee, Okla., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., 1910 and 1911.
135
National Employment Exchange of New York City........................................................................... 110-113
National Metal Trades Association employment office, Boston, Mass...................................................
78
Nationality of immigrants distributed by Division of Information, Federal Bureau of Immigration
and Naturalization, New York, 1909 to 1911.........................................................................................
108
Nebraska, free public employment office, inoperative............................................................................
131
Newark, N. J., free public employment office, positions secured in special occupations, by sex, 1911.
132
New Haven, Conn., free public employment offices, positions secured, applications, eto., by sex,
1910....................................................................................................................................................... 123-125
New Jersey free public employment office, positions filled, etc..................................................... 35,131,132
New York City employment offices, private and other:
Alliance Employment Bureau........................................................................................................ 115-117
Bureau, Federal, of Immigration and Naturalization................................................................... 108,109
Charity Organization Society.......................................................................................................... 115-117
Free public office, law authorizing, repealed................................................................................... 35,101
German Immigrant Society................................................................................................................
117
Industrial Removal Office..................................................................................................................
117
Inspection of private agencies, 1910 to 1912, summary of............................................................... 103,104
Irish Immigrant Society.....................................................................................................................
117
Labor Information Bureau for Italians..............................................................................................
117
National Employment Exchange................................................................................................... 110-113
Private employment offices............................................................................................................. 101-108
Young Men’s Christian Association................................................................................................ 113-115
Young Women’s Christian Association..............................................................................................
115
New York trade-union members employed and unemployed, statistics o f ........................................... 13-23
Norwich, Conn., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1910... 123-125
Occupations, specified, and number of positions secured by employment bureaus in each of:
Connecticut..........................................................................................................................................
124
Illinois........................................ : .............................................................................................. 48,49,59,60
Massachusetts...................................................................................................................................... 70,71
Michigan.............................................................................................................................................. 82,83
Minnesota.............................................................................................................................................94,95
New Jersey...........................................................................................................................................
132
New York City National Employment Exchange........................................................................ Ill, 112
Wisconsin.............................................................................................................................................
139
Ohio free public employment offices, location, positions secured, cost of maintenance, etc......... 35,132-134
Oklahoma free public employment offices, location, positions secured, etc.................................. 35,135,136
Organized labor. (See Trade union.)
Oshkosh, Wis., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1906 to
. 1910........................................................................................................................................................ 138,139




INDEX.

145

Page.
Positions secured and applications made through employment offices, number of, by sex, etc., in
specified years:
Arkansas City, Kans...........................................................................................................................
126
Baltimore, Md.....................................................................................................................................
127
Boston, Mass........................................................................................................................................70-73
Bridgeport, Conn.............................................................................................................. ..............123-125
Butte, Mont...................................................... ................................................................................. 131
Chanute, Kans.....................................................................................................................................
126
Children’s Aid Association, Indianapolis, Ind..................................................................................
45
Cincinnati, Ohio..................................................................................................................................
133
Cleveland, Ohio...................................................................................................................................
133
Colorado............................................................................................................................................... 122
Colorado Springs, Colo........................................................................................................................
122
Columbus, Ohio..................................................................................................................................
134
Connecticut...................................................................................................................................... 123-125
Dayton, Ohio......................................................................................................................................
134
Denver, Colo........................................................................................................................................
122
Detroit, Mich.......................................................................................................................................80-84
Duluth, Minn......................................................................................................................................
92
Employers’ Association, Boston, Mass..............................................................................................
78
Enid.Okla...........................................................................................................................................
135
Fall River, Mass.............................................................................................................................C3,70-73
Grand Rapids, Mich...........................................................................................................................
80
Great Falls, Mont................................................................................................................................
131
Hartford, Conn................................................................................................................................ 123-125
Illinois.................................................................................................................................................. 46-48
Indiana................................................................. .............................................................................. 41,42
Jackson, Mich......................................................................................................................................
80
Kalamazoo, Mich................................................................................................................................
80
Kansas.................................................................................................................................................
125
Kansas City, Kans..............................................................................................................................
126
Kansas City, Mo.................................................................................................................................
130
Kingman. Kans...................................................................................................................................
126
Labor Information Bureau for Italians, New York City.................................................................
117
La Crosse, Wis..................................................................................................................................138,139
Maryland.............................................................................................................................................
127
Massachusetts............................................................................................................................ 03,64,69-74
Michigan................................................................................................. ............................................80-84
Milwaukee, W is................................................................................................................................138,139
Minneapolis, Minn......................................................................................................................... 92,94,95
Minnesota............................................................................................................................................
92
Missouri...............................................................................................................................................
130
Montana............................................................................................................................................... 131
Muskogee, Okla...................................................................................................................................
135
Newark, N. J ....................................................................................................................................... 132
New Haven, Conn........................................................................................................................... 123-125
Now Jersey..........................................................................................................................................
132
Norwich, Conn................................................................................................................................. 123-125
Ohio..................................................................................................................................................133,134
Oklahoma............................................................................................................................................
135
Oshkosh, W is................................................................................................................................... 138,139
Pueblo, Colo........................................................................................................................................
122
Railroads, specified, in Kansas..........................................................................................................
126
Rhode Island......................................................................................................................................
118
Saginaw, Mich.....................................................................................................................................
80
St. Joseph, Kans.................................................................................................................................
126
St. Joseph, Mo..................................................................................................................................... 130
St. Louis, Mo....................................................................................................................................... 130
St. Paul, Minn.....................................................................................................................................
92
Silver Lake, Kans..............................................................................................................................
126
Spokane, Wash...................................................................................................................................
136
Springfield, Mass........................................................................................................................... 63,70-73
Superior, Wis................................................................................................................................... 138,139
Toledo, Ohio........................................................................................................................................ 134
126
Topeka, Kans....................................................................................................... .............................
Washington.........................................................................................................................................
136
.................................................................................................................... 123-125
Waterbury, Conn....... *
West Virginia......................................................................................................................................
137
Wisconsin............................. .......................................................................................................... 138,139
Y . M. C. A., Detroit, Mich.................................................................................................................
89
Y . M. C. A., New York City..............................................................................................................
113
Y . W . C. A., Minneapolis, Minn........................................................................................................ 101
Philanthropic bodies. (See Employment offices, free public, and other.)
Practices, iniquitous, of private employment offices..............................................................................
36
Private employment offices...................................................................................................................... 36,37
Private employment offices. (See also Employment offices, free public, and other.)
Providence, R. I., employment offices, free public, and other:
Associated Charity Society, cooperation of, with free employment offices.....................................
120
Free public offices............................................................................................................................118-120
Metal Trades Association...................................................................................................................
120
Young Men’s Christian Association................................................................................................... 120
Young Women’s Christian Association.............................................................................................
120
Public employment offices, free. (See Employment offices, free public, and other.)
Pueblo, Colo., free public employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908 to
1910..........................................................................................................................................................
122
Race. {See Nationality.)
Railroads, specified, in Kansas, positions secured with, through free employment bureaus, and
applications for work, 1911..................................................................................................................... 126

66269°—Bull. 109—13----- 10



146

INDEX.

j Reference or recommendation requirements of employment bureaus:
Page.
Chicago, IU., Y . M. C. A ....................................................................................................................
58
Detroit, Mich., Y . M. C. A ................................................................................................................
89
Illinois, free public.............................................................................................................................
51
Indiana, free public............................................................................................................................
40
Massachusetts, free public................................................................................................................. 66,67
Michigan, free public..........................................................................................................................
86
Minnesota, free public.......................................................................................................................
96
New York City, Y . M. C. A. (Bowery branch)...............................................................................
114
Rhode Island, free public..................................................................................................................
119
|Registration, licensing, fees, and other regulations of private agencies
Detroit, Mich......................................................................................................................................
88
Illinois.................................................................................................................................................53,5*
Indiana...............................................................................................................................................
43
Maryland............................................................................................................................................
129
Massachusetts.....................................................................................................................................74-76
Minnesota...........................................................................................................................................98.99
New York....................................................................................................................................... 101-107
Registration. (See also Forms, application, used by employment offices, public and private.)
Rhode Island, free public employment offices, location, positions secured, etc........................... 35,118-120
Rhode Island police census of wage earners, employed and unemployed, March, 1908........................
26
Saginaw, Mich., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908 to 1911....
80
126
St. Joseph, Kans., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1911............
St. Joseph, Mo., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908 to 1911... 130
St. Louis, Mo., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1908 to 1911—
130
St. Paul., Minn., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1906 to 1910..
92
Salvation Army, employment offices maintained b y ............................................................................. 37,90
Silver Lake, Kans., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1909..........
126
Skilled and unskilled workers placed by employment bureaus:
Detroit, Mich., free public..................................................................................................................
84
German Society, Chicago, 111.............................................................................................................
C
O
Illinois free public, durmg 12 years, by sex....................................................................................... 47,48
Minneapolis, Minn., free public........................................................................................................
95
New York City, Y . M. C. A. (Bowery branch)................................................................................
114
Spokane, Wash., free employment office, positions filled, 1907 to 1909..................................................
136
Springfield, Mass., free employment office:
Positions secured, applications for work, etc., 1907 to 1911..............................................................
63
Supply and demand lor labor and positions filled, by sex, 1911......................................................
73
State free employment offices. (See Employment omces, free, public and other.)
States having free public employment offices, list of.............................................................................. 35.36
Strikes, information of, to applicants for work through free public bureaus:
Illinois.................................................................................................................................................
51
Massachusetts.....................................................................................................................................
67
Michigan..............................................................................................................................................
86
Sunshine Society, cooperation of, with free employment bureau, Minneapolis, Minn.........................
98
Superior, Wis., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex........................138,139
Supply and demand, labor; as indicated by reports of Massachusetts employment offices................. 72-74
Swedish National Association, Chicago, 111., employment office, positions secured, etc...................... 59-61
Toledo, Ohio, free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1899 to 1911......... 134
Topeka, Kans., free employment office, positions secured, applications, etc., by sex, 1909,1910.......
126
Trade-union members idle and not idle, statistics of:
Massachusetts......................................................................................................................................23-25
New Y ork........................................................................................................................................... 13-22
United States...................................................................................................................................... 25,26
Unemployment, statistics of, and sources............................................................................................... 6-34
American Federationist......................................................................................................................25,26
Causes of idleness, specified, union members reporting, Massachusetts, 1909 to 1011.....................
33
Causes of idleness, specified, union members reporting, New York, 1907 to 1911...........................
32
28
Coal mines, days active and days idle, United States, each year, 1890 to 1910...............................
Coal mines, days of operation of, by States, specified years, 1904 to 1910........................................
29
Data, comparison of, from the several sources..................................................................................29-34
Heads of families idle and not idle, number of, and average weeks idle, by States, 1901...............
12
Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics................................................................................................... 23-25
New York Department of Labor....................................................................................................... 13-23
Persons engaged in manufactures who were unemployed, number of, and per cent of total env
ployed, each month, 1904................................................................................................................
10
Persons 10 years of age and over unemployed, number of, and per cent of total in gainful occupa­
tions in the United States, by sex and occupation groups, 1890 and 1900...................................
8
Persons unemployed each classified number of months, number and per cent of, by sex and
occupation groups, United States, 1900..........................................................................................
9
Rhode Island police census, 1908....................................................................................................... 26,27
Union members employed each classified number of days, per cent of, New York, 1904 to 1911..
22
Union members idle at end of each month, number and per cent of, selected unions in New York,
1901 to 1911................................................................................................................................ .
15,16
Union members idle at end of each quarter, number and per cent of, and unions in New York,
1897 to 1911.......................................................................................................................................
18
Union members idle at end of each quarter, number and per cent of, Massachusetts, 1908 to 1911 24
Union members idle at end of March and September, per cent of, in all unions and in selected
unions, New York, 1897 to 1911......................................................................................................
19
Union members idle throughout each specified quarter, number and per cent of, all unions in
New York, 1897 to 1911....................................................................................................................
21
Union members unemployed in the United States, per cent of, by months, 1902 to 1909.............
25
United States Bureau of Labor, 18th Annual Report......................................................................11-13
United States Census reports............................................................................................................. 6-11
United States Geological Survey coal mine reports..........................................................................27-29
Wage earners unemployed, police census of, Rhode Island, March, 1908........................................
26
United Charities of Chicago (111.), employment office........................................................................ 58,59,61
Wage earners employed and unemployed. (See Unemployment, statistics of, and sources.'




INDEX.

147

Wages, range of, in positions filled by employment bureaus:
Page.
Bureau of Information and Statistics, New York.............................................................................
11®
Charity Organization Society, New York City.................................................................................
116
Detroit, Mich., Y . M. C. A ................................................................................................................. 89,90
Washington, free public employment offices, location, positions secured, cost per person placed,
etc.................................................................................................................................................... 36,136,137
Waterbury, Conn., free public employment office, positions secured, etc., by sex and occupation,
1910....................................................................................................................................................... 123-125
West Virginia, free public employment offices, location, positions secured, applications, etc............35,137
Wisconsin free public employment offices, location, positions secured, applications, etc............ 35,137-14©
Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Boston (Mass.)............................................................ 75-77
Young Men's Christian Association employment bureaus......................................................................37,38
Boston, Mass........................................................................................................................................
77
58
Chicago, 111...........................................................................................................................................
Detroit, Mich....................................................................................................................................... 89-91
Indianapolis, Ind................................................................................................................................
45
Minneapolis, Minn..............................................................................................................................
100
New York City................................................................................................................................ 113-115
Providence, It. 1.................................................................................................................................. 120
Young Women's Christian Association employment bureaus................................................................
37
Boston, Mass........................................................................................................................................
77
Chicago, 111...........................................................................................................................................58,61
Detroit, Mich.......................................................................................................................................
90
Minneapolis, Minn........................................................................................................................... 100,101
New York City....................................................................................................................................
115
Providence, R. 1.................................................................................................................................. 120