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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
ROYAL MEEKER, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES\
/WHOLE 1 7 0
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS/ ‘ # * \NUMBER 1 I L
M I S C E L L A N E O U S

S E R I E S :

No .

10

UNEMPLOYMENT IN NEW
YORK CITY, NEW YORK




APRIL, 1915

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1915




CONTENTS.

Page.

Introduction........................................................................................................
5-7
Scope of the investigation...................................................................................
7,8
Results of the investigation.................................................................................
8
The homeless.......................................................................................................
8,9
Duration of unemployment................................................................................. 9,10
Occupations of unemployed................................................................................ 10-14
Investigations by other agencies......................................................................... 14-24
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co................................................................... 15-20
Mayor’s committee on unemployment......................................................... 20-24




3




BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
WHOLE NO. 172.

WASHINGTON.

APRIL, 1915.

UNEMPLOYMENT IN NEW YORK CITY, N. Y.
INTRODUCTION.

Trustworthy unemployment statistics do not exist in the United
States. In England and Germany accurate information concerning
the number of unemployed persons by industries and occupations
has long been collected. The utility of such accurate information is
recognized abroad. In order to reduce unemployment to the irre­
ducible minimum it must be known how many persons are ordinarily
idle from month to month and from season to season throughout the
year and the particular industries and occupations in which this
idleness occurs. Before the “ problem of unemployment” can be
solved it must first be stated. We must know how many machinists,
carpenters, garment workers, unskilled laborers, etc., are out of em­
ployment before we can attempt intelligently to place these unem­
ployed persons. The gathering of the statistics of unemployment is
not the vain piling up of useless figures, as is sometimes alleged. The
extent of unemployment and its serious social and economic conse­
quences have not been sufficiently recognized in this country. In
the main unemployment has been looked upon as entirely or almost
entirely due to crises, depressions, and the laziness of some of the
. working people. The remedies proposed and put in operation when
a depression is upon us are utterly inadequate. We come to each
new crisis totally unprepared to deal with the inevitable fact of
unemployment.
In fact, unemployment is a normal condition in many industries
carried on to-day. The seasonal industries and industries supplying
irregular demands take on and turn off large numbers of workers at
brief intervals. The American people must be awakened to the
great extent and evil influences of irregularity and uncertainty of
employment. This is not a condition of recent growth. It has pre­
vailed for a long period of years, but unfortunately we have no de­
pendable statistics bearing on this condition. It is greatly to be
hoped that the various State departments of labor and the State
and municipal employment agencies will be able to remedy this
defect in the future, so that we shall be able to judge more accurately
whether irregularity and casualness of employment are on the in5



6

BU LLETIN OF T H E BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

crease, as many think. The causes of unemployment, underem­
ployment, and overemployment must also be studied in order to
eliminate the unnecessary flow of labor through factories and work­
shops.
This report is the result of an investigation made by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics to ascertain, as nearly as possible, the extent of
•unemployment in the city of New York. The investigation was
inaugurated to meet, in part, the widespread demand for informa­
tion on the subject of unemployment throughout the United States.
No accurate information as to conditions in New York City in former
years was in existence. It was, therefore, necessary to make a
study of unemployment in New York City, not only to ascertain
the amount of unemployment at the time of the study but to estab­
lish, if possible, a reliable basis for comparison in future years. Many
conflicting statements had appeared in the public press from time to
time, and several investigations had been made by organizations
in New York City, all of which indicated that the extent of unem­
ployment in the city during the winter of 1914-15 was greater than
in former years.
The committee on facts of the mayor’s committee on unemploy­
ment of New York City obtained information giving the number of
employees on the pay rolls of employers during the week ending
December 19, 1914, and the number on the pay rolls during the cor­
responding week in 1913. Over 2,000 letters of inquiry were sent
out, and responses were received from 602 establishments in all lines
of trade and industry, employing during the week ending December
19, 1914, a total of 250,723 persons. Comparing these figures with
the number of employed by these same firms during the corresponding
week in 1913, the committee reported that the increase in the num­
ber unemployed, based on the decrease of employment, was about
8 per cent of the total workers employed in December, 1913. “ With
I this as a basis, the committee estimated that slightly les3 than
! 200,000 more persons were unemployed in New York City in Decemj ber, 1914, than in December, 1913.”
At about the same time the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.,
j cooperating with the mayor’s committee on unemployment, under1took an investigation of unemployment by means of a census of the
) industrial policyholders of that company in Greater New York. The
investigation was begun in January, 1915, and continued several
j weeks. The agents of the company visited the families of the policy­
holders and filled out the inquiry blanks supplied for the purpose
with the information relating to unemployment furnished by the
families. The investigation covered 155,960 families, in which 45,421
unemployed persons were found, or 18 per cent of all wage earners
in those families.



U N E M P LO YM E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

7

According to the 1910 census, the number of persons in Greater
New York 10 years of age and over engaged in gainful occupations
was 2,152,433. This was 45.2 per cent of the total population at
that time. Accepting the method adopted by the Bureau of the
Census for estimating the increase in population year by year, i. e.,
assuming that the increase each year is equivalent to one-tenth of
the total increase from 1900 to 1910, the number of wage earners at
the present time, 1915, is about 2,455,000; then, applying to this
number the per cent of unemployed (18 per cent) as shown in the
above statement, the total number unemployed would be about
442,000.
The results of these two investigations indicated that there was an
abnormally large number of unemployed wage earners in New York
during the past*season, and while each investigation may very closely
approximate the exact extent of unemployment, yet, in order to
establish an estimate that may be accepted as a safe basis for com­
parison in future, it was felt that an investigation should be made
by still another method. It was decided, therefore, to make an
intensive study of a large number of representative localities, includ­
ing all the families of all races and industrial classes in those locali­
ties, so that there might be no doubt as to the representative charac­
ter of the data secured.
It was impracticable for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to make a
complete census of the city in order to ascertain the amount of unem­
ployment, owing to the lack of funds and of employees available for
such service. It was decided, therefore, to make a sufficiently
extensive study to represent satisfactorily the various racial and
industrial elements of the city’s population. By this method of
sampling it was sought to test the accuracy of the figures of unem­
ployment already obtained. If this sample census should corrobo­
rate the figures obtained by the mayor’s committee and the Metro­
politan Life Insurance Co., those figures could at once be accepted as
substantially accurate. If the new census figures should contradict
the figures already obtained, it would necessitate further careful in­
vestigation and analysis.
SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION.

The investigation included a complete census of 104 representative
city blocks located in various sections of the city, the less populated
as well as the more congested sections. The blocks were carefully
selected with the purpose of including a representative number of
families of the various nationalities and all classes of workers.
This study was supplemented by a further census of the families
living in 3,703 individual tenement houses and residences covering a
still wider range of distribution.



8

BU LLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

For the purposes of the study all persons who had any employment
whatever regular or irregular, full time or part time, at the time of
the agent’s visit, were recorded as employed.
This enumeration was begun January 30, 1915, and was finished
February 17, 1915, a schedule being secured for each family visited.
RESULTS OF THE INVESTIGATION.

The results of the investigation were as follows:
Number of families scheduled................................................... 54,849
Number of families having unemployed wage earners...............
11,723
Per cent of families having unemployed wage earners...............
21.4
Number of persons in families..................................................... 229,428
Number of wage earners in families...........................................
95,443
15,417
Number of unemployed wage earners.................................. .
Per cent of unemployed wage earners.........................................
16.2

Assuming that the number of wage earners is now 2,455,000, as
before stated, and using this figure as the basis of our estimate and
applying to it the rate of unemployment derived from the study, as
shown above, the total number unemployed would be about 398,000.
It will be seen that the general results of this study approximate the
results of the investigation made by the Metropolitan Life Insurance
Co, The difference between the two may to some extent be accounted
for by the fact that the investigation conducted by the Bureau was
made later in the season than that made by the Metropolitan Life
Insurance Co., and the conditions of unemployment may ha*ve changed
to some extent.
The above figure, however, does not fully measure the hardships
resulting from the lack of employment. In practically all industries
the distress due to complete unemployment is made much more seri­
ous because of the large amount of part-time employment or irreg­
ular employment. On account of the difficulty of getting informa­
tion in regard to irregular or part-time employment, and finding out
just what such reports meant, all persons who had any employment
whatever, regular or irregular, full time or part time, at the time of
the agent’s visit, have been tabulated as employed.
THE HOMELESS.

Also, in addition to the number shown in the above statement, there
was known to be considerable unemployment among the class desig­
nated as homeless—those without a fixed abode, who slept in cheap
lodging houses, immigrant homes, lodging-house shelters, missions, em­
ployment agencies, back rooms of saloons, etc. At the request of the
Bureau, the New York police department on the night of January 30,
1915, took a census of all such homeless persons and found 1,831
in the Municipal Lodging House; 269 at the Farm Colony of the



9

U N E M P LO YM E N T •IN N E W YORK CITY.

Department of Public Charities, Staten Island; 628 at Ellis Island
Immigrant Station; 183 in immigrant homes; 19,486 in cheap lodging
houses; 135 persons, including 17 women, sleeping in employment
agencies; 1,520, including 130 women, in missions; 341, including
one woman, in the rear rooms of saloons after closing hours; 320 per­
sons, one of whom was a woman, were found in the bread line; and
23, three of whom were women, were found on public thoroughfares,
bridges, docks, and in parks without shelter. It was impossible to
ascertain how many of these had any employment, but it is safe to
state that a very large proportion of these persons were without
employment of any kind.
DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT.

In making the canvass of the unemployed an attempt was made to
ascertain the exact occupation at which each unemployed wage earner
last worked and the length of time that each had been out of work.
Out of a total of 15,417 wage earners scheduled, this information was
secured for 14,916. The following table shows the number of those
found out of work on the day the investigation was made, classified
by sex and periods of unemployment:
NUM BER AND P E R CENT OF UNEMPLOYED, B Y SE X, AND PERIODS OF UNEM PLOY­
MENT.
Males.

Females.

Total.

Duration of unemployment.
Number.

Per cent.

Number.

Per cent.

Number.

Per cent.

1 to 7 days.................................
8 to 13 days...............................
14 to 30 days.............................
31 to 60 days.............................
61 to 90 days.............................
91 to 120 days............................
121 to 180 days..........................
181 days and over.....................
Unknown..................................

766
530
1,469
2,570
2,126
1,686
1,968
1,440
46

'6.1
4.2
11.7
20.4
16.9
13.4
15.6
11.4
.4

221
130
324
504
339
244
321
215
17

9.5
5.6
14.0
21.8
14.6
10.5
13.9
9.3
.7

987
660
1,793
3,074
2,465
1,930
2,289
1,655
63

6.6
4.4
12.0
20.6
16.5
12.9
15.3
11.1
.4

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

12,601

100.0

2,315

100.0

14,916

100.0

It will be noted that the largest number and percentage of persons
out of work, both male and female, had been out of work from 31 to
60 days—20.4 per cent of all the males and 21.8 per cent of all the
females—and the next largest number had been out of work from 61
to 90 days— 16.9 per cent of the males and 14.6 per cent of the
females. The unemployment; therefore, began to be most acute in the
late fall or early winter, a period when work in many outside indus­
tries under normal conditions is falling off, and this unemployment
was undoubtedly due to a considerable extent to the usual slack
season. It will be further noted that 15.6 per cent of the males and
13.9 per cent of the females had been out of work from 120 to 180
91613°—
Bull. 172—1
5---- 2



10

BU LLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

days, and that 11.4 per cent of the males and 9.3 per cent of the
females had been out of work more than six months.
The figures of the above table presented in another form show the
aggregate number and percentage of wageworkers out of employment
each specified number of days.
CUMULATIVE NUMBER AND PE R CENT OF W AGE EARN ERS OUT OF W O R K EACH
SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS.

Females.

Males.

Total.

Duration of unemployment.
Number.

Per cent.

1,440
3,408
5,094
7,220
9,790
11,259
11,789
12,601

Over 180 days...........................
Over 120 days...........................
Over 90 days.............................
Over 60 days.............................
Over 30 days.............................
Over 13 days.............................
Over 7 days..............................
1 day or more...........................

Number.

11.4
27.0
40.4
57.3
77.7
89.4
93.6
100.0

Number.

Per cent.

215
536
780
1,119
1,623
1,947
2,077
2,315

9.3
23.2
33.7
48.3
70.1
84.1
89.7
100.0

Per cent.

1,655
3,944
5,874
8,339
11,413
13,206
13,866
14,916

11.1
26.4
39.3
55.8
76.4
88.4
92.8
100.0

This table shows that of all male and female workers combined 11.1
per cent were out of work for a period of over 180 days, 26.4 per cent
over 120 days, 39.3 per cent over 90 days, 55.8 per cent over 60 days,
76.4 per cent over 30 days, 88.4 per cent over 13 days, and 92.8 per
cent were out of work at least one week.
OCCUPATIONS OF UNEMPLOYED.

The next table presents the number unemployed, classified by
sex, occupation, and by periods of unemployment.
NUM BER OF PERSONS OUT OF EMPLOYMENT, CLASSIFIED B Y OCCUPATION, SEX,
AND PERIODS OF UNEMPLOYMENT.
Number of persons at each specified period of unemploy­
ment.
Occupation.

Num­
ber
Sex. unem­
to 8 to 14 to 31 to 61 to 91 to 121 to
ployed. 17
13
30
60
90
180
120
days. days. days. days. days. days. days.

181
days
Un­
and. known.
over.

Manufacturing a n d me­
chanical industries.
Building trades:
Bricklayers, stonemasons..
Carpenters..........................
Electricians.........................
Plasterers............................
Painters, paperhangers___
Plumbers............................
Other...................................

M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.

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

247
516
90
114
705
217
154

9
31
3
7
36
15
11

13
35
5
6
25
17
6

31
72
11
15
59
42
27

51
143
18
26
182
34
32

43
92
6
18
178
31
23

28
53
13
19
116
19
21

49
65
17
16
70
34
19

23
24
16
6
37
24
14

1
1
1
2
1
1

2,043

112

107

257

486

391

269

270

144

7

Marble and stonecutters.........

M.

86

2

4

8

13

19

19

10

10

1

Operators on clothing...............

M.
F.

1,565
216

74
21

38
5

145
16

292
48

296
42

258
25

280
38

179
18

3
3

1,781

95

43

161

340

338

283

318

197

6

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




11

U N E M P L O Y M E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

NUMBER OF PERSONS OUT OF EM PLOYM ENT, CLASSIFIED B Y OCCUPATION, SEX,
AND PERIO DS OF UNEMPLOYMENT—Continued.

Occupation.

Number of persons at each specified period of unemploy­
ment.
Num­
ber
Sex. unem­
181
to 8 to 14 to 31 to 61 to 91 to 121 to days Un­
ployed. 1 7
180 and
60
90
120
13
30
days. days. days. days. days. days. days. over. known.

Manufacturing and me­
chanical industries—Con.
Hat makers...............................

M
F

2
1

2
1

45

3

3

4

7

7

8

7

6

108

15

5

18

21

10

13

15

11

159
224

4
18

7
18

20
33

31
50

25
37

17
24

23
23

32
20

100
62

5
4

2
2

11
7

20
9

15
10

5
10

26
8

16
12

M
F

298
8

19

12

24
1

38
2

61
1

47
3

49
1

47

1

306

19

12

25

40

62

50

50

47

1

M

116

11

8

21

15

9

12

22

18

M.
F.

88
55

11
8

4
1

15
16

26
13

15
8

6
2

5
4

6
3

143

19

5

31

39

23

8

9

9

36

2
25

1
38

4
70

5
62

8
44

4
57

2
29

1

27 | 39

74

67

52

61

31

1

7
2 !

24
8

65
8

28
4

12
2

14
3

21
1

1
1

9 i

Total................................
"Bakers. . . . T , _____ r_______ M
Iron and steel workers:
Machinists........................... M
Other................. ................ M
Leather and leather goods:
Shoemakers........................ M
Other workers in leather.. M
Piano mftlrftrs_________________

Total................................
Carpenters..................................
Cigar makers and tobacco
workers...................................
Total................................
Dressmakers, seamstresses........

M.
F.

Total................................
Furriers.....................................

34
11

26
362
388

M.
F.

36

172
29

2
2

6
1

4
3

6
2

7

5
1

1

32

73

32

14

17

22

2

466
332

40
27

19
23

47
.43

83
70

85
48

53
48

87
42

49
28

3
3

798

67

1 42 1

90

153

133

101

129

77

6

Longshoremen, stevedores....... M.
Chauffeurs................. -v ........... M.
Drivers, teamsters..................... M.

134
125
507

25
10
40

16
3
24

19
14
60

16
19
115

14
22
68

11
11
60

16
25
71

13
21
69

4

Other.........................................

100
7

8

6
1

14
1

19
3

15
1

9

15

14
1

107

8

7

15

22

16

9

15

15

Total................................
Other workers, not specified...

201
M.
F.

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

!

Transportation.

M.
F.

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

|

Trade.
Bookkeepers and clerks............

M.
F.

Total................................
Collectors, agents, peddlers___
Total................................




M.
F.

20
19

20
14

54
32

123
34

79
28

56
18

87
34

99
22

5
1

39

34

•86

157

107

74

121

121

6

16
119

2
7

1 | 1
7 | 11

2
23

3
13

1
18

1
23

5
15

2

135

Total................................
Stenographers, typewriters___

543
202
745

M.
F.

9

8 !

12

25

16

19

24

20

2

143
8

14
1

7
1

26
1

27
1

21
1

20

18
1

9
2

1

151

15

8

27

28

22

2d

19

11

1

!

12

B U LLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

NUM BER OF PERSONS OUT OF EM PLOYMENT, CLASSIFIED B Y OCCUPATION, SEX,
AND PERIODS OF UNEMPLOYMENT—Concluded.
Number of persons at each specified period of unemploy­
ment.
Occupation.

Num­
ber
Sex. unem­
ployed.

1 to 8 to 14 to 31 to 61 to 91 to 121 to 181
Un­
7
13'
30
60
90
120
180 days
days. days. days. days. days. days. days. and known.
over.

Trade—Concluded.
M
F

106
7
113

2

7

21

21

16

M.
F.

320
145

15
8

11
5

28
20

77
51

40
21

465

23

16

48

128

61

M

136

13

4

14

27

20

M,

100

4

4

11

17

Actors and public entertainers. M.
F.

97
21

15
4

8
4

15
4

19
7

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

118

19

12

19

32
42

2
5

1

1
4

74

7

1

5

Messengers, errand boys...........
Total................................
Store clerks and salesmen........
Total................................
Other.........................................

2

6
1

21

18
3

15
1

15

12
2

17

15

14

30
8

55
15

63
17

1

38

70

80

1

13

16

29

8

16

18

22

8
1

9

12
1

11

26

9

9

13

11

3
7

8
4

4
7

6
5

7
8

1
1

10

12

11

11

15

2

17

Public defense*
Policemen, watchmen..............
Professional service.

Other.........................................

M.
F.

T o ta l...............................
Domestic and personal
service.
Bartenders................................. M.

84

8

2

15

13

8

17

15

6

M.
F.

160
65

9
6

4
5

24
10

40
8

21
10

18
10

20
1
-2

24
4

Cooks.........................................
Total................................

225

15

9

34

48

31

28

32

28

Domestic servants..................... M.
F.

192
230

18
30

5
14

36
44

46
50

26
29

24
19

27
21

10
20

3

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

422

48

19

80

96

55

43

48

30

3

Elevator tenders.......................

M.

77

5

2

22

12

7

12

.9

8

Laundry workers......................

M.
F.

32
74

i2

3
5

5
11

9
18

3
7

3
3

7
8

2
10

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

106

12

8

16

27

10

6

15

12

Waiters and waitresses.............. M.
F.

189
51

11
7

6
1

31
9

38
15

28
9

20
4

36
3

18
3

1

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

240

18

7

40

53

37

24

39

2
1

1

97

8

1

6

21

21

23

9

8

Porters....................................... M.
Laborers.................................... M.

174
2,440

12
123

11
89

25
253

43
468

23
469

17
398

29
422

14
211

7

Others........................................ M.
F.

1,250
331

85
29

60.
14

141
53

239
72

189
46

138
31

196
53

193
31

9
2

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

1,581

114

74

194

311

235

169

249

224

11

Others....................................... M.
Miscellaneous •

This tabulation shows that the largest number of persons out of
work were common laborers, workers in the building trades, and in



13

U N EM PLO YM EN T IN N E W YORK CITY.

the clothing trades. The number of common laborers unemployed in
all industries is shown to be 2,440; the number of workers in the
building trades, 2,043; and in the clothing trades, not including dress­
makers and seamstresses, 1,781. In this connection it should be
repeated that this information was collected at a season of the year
when operations in the building trades and clothing trades are nor­
mally slack, and that a considerable proportion of the unemployment
in these trades is undoubtedly due to the slack season.
The following table is drawn to show approximately the total
number of unemployed persons in each of certain specified occupa­
tions in Greater New York and the per cent that such number is of
the total number of wage earners in that occupation. The figures
are based on the assumption that the conditions of unemployment
throughout the entire city are approximately the same as in the sec­
tions of the city canvassed in this study.
ESTIMATED TOTAL NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED IN N EW Y O R K CITY AND PE R CENT
OF W AGE EARN ERS IN CERTAIN SELECTED OCCUPATIONS, B Y SEX.

Male.

Female.

Total.

Occupation.
Number. Percent, Number. Percent. Number. Percent,
Building trades:
Bricklayer;
Carpenters
Painters and paperhangers.......
Plasterers....................................
Plumbers, gas and steam fitters

5,854
12,229
16,709
2,702
5,143

32.5
25.9
43.9
37.1
23.1

5,854
12,229
16,709
2,702
5,143

32.5
25.9
43.9
37.1
23.1

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

42,637

32.1

42,637

32.1

Bakers................................................
Bartenders.........................................
Chauffeurs........................................
Cigar makers and tobacco workers..
Cooks.................................................
Dressmakers.....................................
Elevator tenders...............................
Laborers............................................
Longshoremen and stevedores........
Machinists.........................................
Marble and stone cutters.................
Stenographers and typists...............
Waiters and waitresses.....................

2,560
1,991
2,963
2,086
3,792
616
1,825
57,828
3,176
3,768
2,038
379
4,479

16.3
14.0
28.1
18.3
31.4
50.9
21.2
34.2
16.2
13.1
47.3
5.2
19.0

16.3
14.0
28.1
15.9
17.9

2,820
1,209

11.8

2,560
1,991
2,963
3,390
5,333
9,195
1,825
57,828
3,176
3,768
2,038
3,199
5,688

34.2
16.2
13.1
47.3
7.0
16.8

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

130,138

28.3

15,453

12.8

145,591

25.1

1,304
1,541
8,579

13.1
8.7
19.4

7.3

20.2
21.2

In this table are included all occupations for which the data neces­
sary to compute the percentages of unemployment were available.
The estimated number of persons in the various occupations in the
city of New York, which is used as the basis for computing the per­
centages, was secured from the reports of the Bureau of the Census,
and the occupations here presented are the only ones of importance
which were found to be classified on the same basis as the data secured
in this investigation. For the others, therefore, it was impossible
to determine a basis on which to make the computation.




14

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

This tabulation shows the highest percentages of unemployment
among marble and stbne cutters, in the building trades, and among
common laborers. It shows that 47.3 per cent of all marble and
stone cutters were out of work. Unemployment in the building
trades was as follows: Bricklayers and stonemasons, 32.5 per cent;
carpenters, 25.9 per cent; painters and paper hangers, 43.9 per cent;
plasterers, 37.1 per cent; plumbers, gas and steam fitters, 23.1 per
cent, or an average of 32.1 per cent of all workers in these several
building trades. It also shows the percentages of unemployment in
other occupations as follows: Bakers, 16.3 per cent; longshoremen and
stevedores, 16.2 per cent;1 machinists, 13.1 per cent; stenographers
and typists, 7 per cent; and common laborers, combined without
regard to industry, 34.2 per cent.
The percentage of unemployment in all occupations other than
those named above, estimated on the same basis, is 13.9 per cent,
and the percentage of all wage earners included in this canvass in
all occupations combined, 16.2 per cent, as stated on page 8.
The table on page 10 shows that the number of unemployed work­
ers in the clothing trades was larger than in any other industry
scheduled except in the building trades and among common labor­
ers. That industry, however, has not been included in the above
presentation because of the fact that the classification of the clothing
trade occupations in the report of the Bureau of the Census, which is
used as the basis for computing percentages, is made on a different
basis from that on which the data in this study have been classified.
Therefore, it is impossible to compute accurately a percentage of un­
employment for this industry.
The highest percentage shown for any occupation is for male dress­
makers, which shows that a little more than 50 per cent were out of
work. The percentage of female dressmakers unemployed, however,
was only 19.4 per cent, making an average for the whole trade, both
male and female, of 20.2 per cent. The percentages of unemployment
for all trades and occupations included in this table were 28.3 per
cent for males and 12.8 per cent for females, making an average of
25.1 per cent for both sexes.
INVESTIGATIONS BY OTHER AGENCIES.

While it is recognized that absolutely accurate results as to unem­
ployment could not be obtained except by a complete census of all
families in the city, it is believed that the estimate based on the
i In connection with the percentage of unemployment shown for longshoremen and stevedores, it should
be noted that the figures refer to Greater New York only. They do not, therefore, purport to represent
conditions in Hoboken and vicinity, where the great German lines have their terminals and where because
of the discontinuance of the business of those lines an unusual amount of unemployment among longshore­
men and stevedores may prevail. In New York City the shipping business had at the time of this survey
improved over the conditions prevailing late in 1914.




15

U N E M P LO YM E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

census of so large a proportion of the city’s population as is included
in this report gives a fairly adequate idea of the extent of unemploy­
ment at the time the survey was made. However, as additional
information derived from any other reliable source is of further
significance, the results of investigations made by other agencies are
here given.
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO.

As stated in the introduction, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.,
in order to secure information regarding unemployment, made a
census of all the families in which industrial policies, were held in that
company in Greater New York. The investigation was made by the
agents of the company who were furnished with inquiry blanks and
who secured the facts of unemployment from each family visited. The
following is a summary of that canvass:
Total number of families............................................................. 155,960
Number of families with unemployment.................................... 37,064.
Total number of wage earners in families................................... 252,912
Number of unemployed wage earners......................................... 45,421
Per cent of wage earners unemployed.........................................
18

Of these 45,421 unemployed persons, the sex and occupation of
40,143 were secured. These data have been tabulated and are
presented in the following table:
NUMBER OF PERSONS OUT OF EMPLOYMENT IN GREATER NEW Y O R K , CLASSIFIED
B Y SEX AND OCCUPATION, AS SHOWN B Y INQUIRY OF METROPOLITAN L IFE INSUR­
ANCE CO.
Industry and occupation.

Males.

Females.

Total.

Agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry.
Gardeners................................................................................................
Other workers in agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry.........

86
82

86
82

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

168

168

606
1,513
78
432
73
1,596
365
943
87
288
410
53
66

606
1,513
78
432
73
1,596
365
943
87
288
410
53
66

6,510

6,510

90

90

83
272
24

83
272
24

379

379

Manufacturing and mechanical industries .
Building trades:
Bricklayers.......................................................................................
Carpenters........................................................................................
Cement and concrete workers.........................................................
Electricians.....................................................................................
House wreckers...............................................................................
Painters, paper
— s, and ite ra to rs........................................
Plasterers..........................................................................................
Plumbers, gas and steam fitters.....................................................
Roofers..............................................................................................
Stonemasons....................................................................................
Structural ironworkers....................................................................
Tile layers.........................................................................................
Other building workers...................................................................
Total....................................................................................
Chemicals and allied products.............................................................
Clay, glass, and stone products:
Cut-glass makers.............................................................................
Stone and marble cutters and polishers.........................................
Other clay, glass, and stone workers..............................................
Total..................................................................................




16

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

NUMBER OF PERSONS OUT OF EM PLOYMENT IN G R E A TE R NEW Y O R K , CLASSIFIED
B Y SE X AND OCCUPATION, AS SHOWN B Y IN Q U IR Y OF M ETROPOLITAN LIFE INSUR­
ANCE CO.—Continued.
Industry and occupation.

Males.

Females.

Total.

Manufacturing and mechanical industries—Continued.
Clothing manufacture:
Cutters..............................................................................................
G low makers, , __________________ ____ _____________ ____
TTat- makers (lcind not stated)________ ______________________
Machine operators - - ______ _______________ _____ _____ ______
Shirt and collar makers...................................................................
Tailors, , .................................................................................. ........
Waist makers.
_________________________________ Other workers in clothing manufacture. . .....
............... !
Total..............................................................................................
Food and kindred products:

119

81

148
166
102

119
52
65
446
165
84
1,621
166
183

2,255

646

2,901

65
268
165
84
1,473

52
178

225
109
40

225
109
40

374

374

92
28
50
15

92
28
50
15

Machinists and tool makers., __r____________ _r_., r_____ _
Machine operators....... ..............................................................
Metal polishers..........................................................................
Other workers in iron and steel (trade not stated)................

142
45
775
160
63
147

191
48

142
45
775
351
63
195

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

1,517

239

1,756

Leather and its finished products:
Shoemakers and sho'e-factory workers............................................
Other leather-product workers........................................................

294
93

294
93

Total..............................................................................................
Iron and steel products:
fShip and hnat hnilders.......................................... ........................
Wagon, carriage, and automobile workers....................................
Industry not stated—

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

387

387

Liquors and beverage workers.................................... .........................

46

46

Lumber and its remanufacture:
Coopers....................... ................... .................................................
Furniture makers.............................................................................
Piano and organ makers..................................................................
Saw and planing mill workers.......................................................
Wood carvers, turners, and polishers.............................................
Upholsterers.....................................................................................
Other workers in lumber and its remanufacture..........................

48
41
112
68
100
71
15

48
41
112
68
100
71
15

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

455

455

Metal products (except iron and steel):
Brass workers..........................- .......................................................
Gold and silver wQrkers..................................................................
Tinsmiths and tinware workers....................................................
Other metal-products workers........................................................

60
43
172
25

60
43
172
25
300

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

300

Printing and bookbinding:
Bookbinders.....................................................................................
Printers.............................................................................................
Lithographers and stereotypers......................................................
Other workers in printing and bookbinding industry.................

115
529
58
12

113
5

228
529
58
17

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

714

118

832

Textile manufacturers:
Lace and embroidery workers........................................................
Silk-mill workers..............................................................................
Textile dyers........................... ........................................................
Other textile operators (weavers, etc.)..........................................

59
63
54

107
91
78

107
150
63
132

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

176

276

452




17

U N E M P LO YM E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

NUMBER OF PERSONS OUT OF EMPLOYMENT IN G R E A TE R NEW Y O R K , CLASSIFIED
B Y S E X AND OCCUPATION, AS SHOWN B Y IN Q U IR Y OF M ETROPOLITAN LIFE INSUR­
ANCE CO.—Continued.
Industry and occupation.

Males.

Females.

Total.

Manufacturing and mechanical industries—Concluded.
Miscellaneous industries:
Cabinetmakers.................................................................................
Cigar makers_________ \ _______________________
Dressmakers
seamstresses__ _____ r_ r. r.....................

113
221
81
99
55

Paper-products workers..................................................................
Rubber factory operatives..............................................................
Other workers in Trjeohanifial industries.............. ........... ........... .

60
419

243

113
387
1,011
99
55
158
61
60
662

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

1,048

1,558

2,606

Telegraph and telephone:
Telephone operators........................................................................
Other telegraph and telephone workers.........................................

43

137
6

137
49

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

43

143

186

166
930
158
61

Transportation.

Water transportation:

802
125

802
125

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

927

927

Roads, streets, and bridge transportation:
Street cleaners..................................... ............................................
Other workers on roads, streets, and bridge transportation.........

74
67

74
67

Other marine workers.

r

T

.......................T

Total............................................................................. ................
Livery stablemen...................................................................................
Garage workers.......................................................................................
Street railway employees ....................................................................
Subway and elevated railway employees.............................................
Railroad employees.......................................................- .......................

141
106~
86
306
41
186

141
-------

106
86
306
41
186

Other forms of transportation:
Chauffeurs.................. ......................................................................
Drivers.............................................................................................

463
2,846

463
2,846

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

3,309

3,309

Trade•
Beal estate and insurance......................................................................
Wholesale and retail trade—Merchants and dealers...........................

44
286

44
286

Employees in wholesale and retail trade:
Bookkeepers, clerks, and cashiers.................................................
Journeymen butchers....................................................................
Messenger boys and errand girls.....................................................
Shipping clerks................................................................................
Solicitors, canvassers, and collectors..............................................
Stenographers and typists..............................................................
Store clerks and salesmen................................................................
Other employees..............................................................................

2,527
230
277
295
78
80
1,049
96

643
879
50

3,499
230
277
295
78
723
1,928
146

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

4,632

2,544

7,176

972

Public defense and maintenance of law and order.
Detectives, policemen, and watchmen.................................................
Other public service...............................................................................

413
66

413
66

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

479

479

Professional service•
Public entertainment:
Musicians..........................................................................................
Other theatrical workers................................................................

237
112

45

237
157

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

349

45

394




18

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

NUM BER OF PERSONS OUT OF EMPLOYMENT IN G R E A TE R NEW Y O R K , CLASSIFIED
B Y SE X AND OCCUPATION, AS SHOWN B Y IN Q U IR Y OF M ETROPOLITAN L IFE INSUR­
ANCE CO.—Concluded.
Industry and occupation.

Males.

Females.

Total.

Professional service—Concluded.
Other professional service:
Trained nurses.................................................................................
Total..............................................................................................

204

149
42

149
246

204

191

395

277
135

93

277
228

Domestic and personal service.
Maintenance of buildings:
Elevator conductors.........................................................................
Janitors and cleaners. T. . , , T
___________________ _____________

412

93

505

Domestic servants..................................................................................

61

1,200

1,261

Hotel servants:
Cooks... .............................................................................................
Waiters and waitresses...................................................................
Other hotel workers.........................................................................

150
309
64

73
7

150
382
71

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

523

80

603
190
317
451
126
74
1,158

Personal services:
Barbers and hairdressers.................................................................
Bartenders........................................................................................
Laundry workers.............................................................................
Washerwomen (day work).............................................................
Other personal service.....................................................................

190
317
68
36

383
126
38

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

611

547

Workers in unspecified manufacturing and mechanical industries:
Laborers (unspecified)....................................................................
Packers..........4 .................................................................................
Porters.
...............................................................................
Quarry workers...............................................................................
Stationary engineers........................................................................
Stationary firemen .
. .....................................
Other unspecified workers..............................................................

3,078
109
664
29
224
135
497

113

449

3,078
222
664
29
224
135
946

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

4,736

562

5,298

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

31,901

8,242

40,143

Total "

This table is of considerable interest in connection with the study
of the table on page 10, as the data in the two tables are in a general
way largely corroborative. Many of the differences between the two
reports may be accounted for by the fact that the two investigations
were made nearly a month apart, during which time the conditions
of unemployment might have changed materially. Other differences
may be explained by the fact that the information was secured
through two different sources and the classification of occupations
may not have been exactly the same, in which case the data would
not be entirely comparable.
Supplementary to its investigation made in Greater New York, the
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. made a canvass of the families of
its policyholders in northeastern New Jersey, including the several
districts in which the following-named cities are located: Bayonne,
Bloomfield, Newark, Hoboken, Irvington, Jersey City, Orange, and
Union Hill.
This canvass was made because of the fact that a great many of the
residents of these cities are normally employed in New York City,



19

U N E M P LO YM E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

and it was believed that the conditions of unemployment in this sec­
tion would have an important bearing upon the conditions in New
York. The results of this canvass were as follows:
Total number of families.............................................................
Number of families with, unemployment....................................
Total number of wage earners in families...................................
Number of unemployed wage earners............ .............................
Per cent of wage earners unemployed.........................................

61,201
11,821
97,026
14,314
14.8

It will be noted that the percentage of unemployment in families
in this locality is shown to be about 3.2 per cent less than is shown
by the study made in Greater New York. These cities, although
located in New Jersey, are sometimes included in the so-called
metropolitan district of New York, and if we combine these data
with those secured for New York we have the following showing:
Total number of families............................................................. 217,161
Number of families with unemployment.................................... 48,885
Total number of wage earners in families................................... 349,938
Number of unemployed wage earners......................................... 59,735
Per cent of wage earners unemployed.........................................
17.4

The following table shows the results of this canvass of families in
northeastern New Jersey classified by sex and occupation:
NUMBER OF PERSONS OUT OF EMPLOYMENT IN CITIES OF NORTHEASTERN NEW
JERSEY, CLASSIFIED B Y SEX AND OCCUPATION, AS SHOWN B Y INQUIRY OF
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO.

Industry and occupation.
Agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry......................................

Males.
86

Females.
6

Total.
92

Manufacturing and mechanical industries.
Building trades:
Bricklayers
stonemasons..........................................................
Carpenters.........................................................................................
Electricians..
..................................................................
Painters and paperhangers.............................................................
Plumbers and steam fitters.............................................................
Other building trades workers........................................................

298
524
149
448
240
91

298
524
149
448
240
91

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

1,750

Chemicals and allied products workers.................................................
Clay, glass, and stone products workers...............................................

86
80

10
1

1,750
96
81

Clothing:
Hatters (wool and felt)
........................................................
Other workers in clothing trades....................................................

97
111

24
67

121
178

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

208

91

299

Food and kindred products:
Bakers...............................................................................................
Other workers in food products............................................- ........

89
32

11

89
43

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

121

11

132

Iron, steel, and their products:
Blacksmiths......................................................................................
Boiler makers...................................................................................
Iron foundry workers.......................................................................
Polishers, grinders, and filers..........................................................
Machinists and toolmakers..............................................................
Other workers in iron and steel......................................................

52
60
149
40
464
197

1
1
11

52
60
150
41
464
208

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

962

13

975




20

BU LLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

NUMBER OF PERSONS OUT OF EM PLOYM ENT IN CITIES OF N ORTH EASTERN N EW
JER SE Y, CLASSIFIED B Y SE X AN D OCCUPATION, AS SHOWN B Y IN Q U IR Y OF
M ETROPOLITAN L IF E INSURANCE CO.—Concluded.
Industry and occupation.

Males.

Females.

Total.

Manufacturing and mechanical industries—Concluded.
Leather products workers......................................................................
Wood products workers.........................................................................

167
129

9
2

176
131

Metals and metal products (other than iron and steel):
Jewelers and watchmakers..............................................................
Other workers in metal products...................................................

166
93

20
19

186
112

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

259

39

298

Workers fa papor products-...............................................................
Printers and bookbinders........ .
.............. ................. ...............
Textile workers.......................................................................................
Miscellaneous industries:
Cigar, cigarette, and tobacco workers............................................
Dressmakers and milliners..............................................................
................. ...................................... ...
■Rnginfifirs and firemen, „ T
Laborers...................................................................... .....................
Other workers in unspecified indnst,ri«s_____ _______ _____

9
139
129

10
6
280

19
145
409

44
3
138
1,558
753

79
108
8
489

123
111
138
1,566
1,242

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

2,496

684

3,180

Total, manufacturing and mechanical indust-rip-s........ ...........

6,535

1,156

7,691

Transportation.
Chauffeurs and drivers...........................................................................
Garage workers........................................................................................
Longshoremen and stevedores...............................................................
Steam railway employees....... ...............................................................
Street railway employees................................................. .....................
Other forms of transportation and communication.............................

1,098
29
257
192
52
75

18

1,098
29
257
192
52
93

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

1,703

18

1,721

Trade.
Agents, canvassers, and solicitors.........................................................
Merchants and storekeepers...................................................................
Office clerks.............................................................................................
Stenographers..........................................................................................
Store clerks and sales people..................................................................
Other persons in trade........................ ...................................................

37
118
966
128
318
50

2
2
269
87
167
5

39
120
1,235
215
485
55

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

1,617

532

2,149

Domestic and personal service.
Domestic servants...................................................................................

55

360

415

Personal service;
Barbers, hairdressers, and manicurists.........................................
Elevator conductors and building employees...............................
Laundry workers..............................................................................
Saloon keepers and bartenders........................................................
Waiters and restaurant employees.................................................
Other forms of personal service.......................................................

47
115
21
110
39
1

9
4
69

56
119
90
110
44
3

5
2

Total, personal service .....................-..........................................

333

89

422

Total, domestic and personal service.........................................

388

449

837

Professional service............f ...................................................................
Public entertainment..............................................................................
.......... - - , _____
Policemen and watchmen..............................
Persons not in industry occupations unclassified................................

38
51
100
43

46
6
7

84
57
100
50

Total, all occupations...................................................................

10,561

2,220

12,781

MAYOR'S COMMITTEE ON UNEMPLOYMENT,

The investigation made by the mayor’s committee on unemploy­
ment, referred to in the first part of this report, does not purport
to show the number of persons out of employment, but estimates
the increase in unemployment for the week ending December 19,



21

U N E M P LO YM E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

1914, over the number unemployed in the corresponding week of
December, 1913.
The reports show that for all industries and lines of trade com­
bined there was an increase of unemployment equal to about 8 per
cent of the total workers in December, 1913. With this as a basis,
the committee estimates that slightly less than 200,000 more persons
were unemployed in New York City in December, 1914, than in
December, 1913.
The committee’s preliminary report contains the following analysis
of the data secured:
“ Replies from 404 factories employing a total of 77,270 persons
show tnat for the given week the increased unemployment among
factory workers only in 1914 over 1913 was equal to 13.5 per cent
of the total number employed in December, 1913. In the ouilding
and hand trades, figures covering 80,042 employees (one-third of the
estimated total number employed in the industry), show that there
is an increase in unemployment amounting to 20 per cent of those
employed last year.
One hundred and fifty-six replies from employers engaged in
general trade, i. e., banking, brokerage, insurance, real estate, whole­
sale and retail business, grain elevators, warehouses, etc., employing
35,058 persons, show an increase of nearly 4 per cent in the number
of persons employed for the week ending December 19, 1914, as com­
pared with the corresponding week in 1913.
Replies from 31 large transportation and public-utility companies
covering a total of 57,000 persons, show about 1 per cent increase in
the number of persons employed over 1913.
Among factory employees the increased unemployment among
wage earners only in the given week of December, 1914, as compared
with the given week in December, 1913, is 12 per cent in the case of
male employees and 17 per cent in the case of women workers. The
total percentages in factory workers are as follows:

Number of
replies
received.

Factories.

Number of
employees
represented
by replies.

Per cent of
decrease in
number of
employees
represented
by replies,
December,
1914, over
December,
1913.

1. Stone, clay, and glass......................................................................
2. Metals, machinery, and vehicles.....................................................
3. Wood manufacturers.......................................................................
4. Furs, leather, and rubber................................................................
5. Chemicals, oils, and paints..............................................................
6. P ap er...............................................................................................
7. Printing and paper goods....... <......................................................
8. T e x tile s .........................................................................................
9. Clothing, millinery, etc...................................................................
10. Foods, liquors, and tobacco............................................................
Late replies, not distributed by groups...............................................

9
74
44
25
18
2
35
19
132
23
23

1,007
16,668
6,993
3,892
4,445
345
9,039
3,356
17,005
7,371
7,149

13.2
14.0
15.0
8.9
1 0.5
1.7
4.9
15.8
18.5
10.6
11.0

Total, factories.............................................................................

404

77,270

213.5

i Increase.




2Corrected “ weighted” average.

22

BULLETIN’ OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Among persons employed in general trade, i. e., banking, broker­
age, insurance, real estate, wholesale and retail business, grain ele­
vators, warehouses, etc., the figures are as follows:

Number of
replies
received.

Trade.

Number of
employees
represented
by replies.

Per cent of
increase in
number of
employees
represented
by replies,
December,
1914, over
December,
1913.

Banking, brokerage, insurance, real estate...........................................
Wholesale and retail...............................................................................
Grain elevators, warehouses, etc...........................................................

16
129
11

5,686
26,956
2,416

7.8+
2.8+
3.9+

Total, trade...................................................................................

156

35,058

3.7+

The figures for transportation and other public utilities (exclusive
of subway contractors) are as follows:

Transportation and other public utilities.

Number of
replies
received.

Steam railroads.......................................................................................
Electric and street railways...................................................................
Transfer and drayage.............................................................................
"Water transportation.................................................. .................
Electric light and power plants.............................................................
Gas p la n ts........... ................................................................................
Telephone and telegraph.......................................................................

4
4

Total, transportation, e tc ............................................................

Number of
employees
represented
by replies.

Per cent of
decrease in
number of
employees
represented
by replies,
December,
1914, over
December,
1913.

1

7,807
15,555
102
3,756
11,231
5,533
13,018

3.2
U2.2
27.1
11.1
4.3
1 1.9
1.7

31

57,002

il.l

4
7

i Increase.

It must be understood that these figures are based upon replies
representing a trifle less than 12J per cent, or about one-eighth of the
total estimated number of persons gainfully emploved in trade and
industry in New York City. The replies received, however, have
been from carefully selected establishments which the committee
considers to be fully representative of their various lines. Estimates
made by the committee of the total number of persons, 10 years and
over, employed in gainful occupations in the city of New York on
January 1, 1915, based upon the United States census reports of
occupations for 1910, and taking into account the census method of
estimating the normal increase in population for the intervening
period, indicate that the total number of persons employed in the
trades and industries covered by the committee would be, if there
were no more unemployment than in 1910, 2,017,000, which is 80.7
per cent of the estimated total number of persons, 10 years and over,
gainfully employed. The remaining 19.3 per cent are public em­
ployees, professional men, etc., which, for the purposes of the com­
mittee’s study, have been disregarded.



U N E M P LO YM E N T IN N E W YORK CITY.

23

Full time and part time.—The analysis of the figures shows that
while in 404 factories there was a decrease of 13.5 per cent in the total
number of employees in December, 1914, over that for December,
1913, the decrease in the number of employees on full time was 22.8
per cent, while the number of employees on part time was nearly
trebled.
An increase in the extent of unemployment naturally increases the
financial hardships to be borne by the families of wage earners in that
community. Such hardships are reflected, in some measure at least,
by the extent to which families ask for credit at groceries and other
stores at which they deal. In order to secure information on this
subject, the committee made an investigation through the workers
in 17 of the social settlements in New York. The report covers a
canvass of the small retail stores in these various sections of the city
and shows a comparative statement of the credit accounts carried by
these stores. The following is an extract from that report:
The workers of the Friendly House Society, Harrison Street, on
the Lower East Side, Manhattan, made inquirv among 70 small food
stores. Fifty-two of these report being asked for more credit, both
by people to whom credit had formerly been given, and by people
who had never before asked for it. Credit was generally refused.
The butchers in this section have an agreement among themselves not
to grant more than seven days’ credit except where collection is cer­
tain. The people are buying cheaper meat.
The Warren Goddard House reports having interviewed 29 butchers
and grocers on Second Avenue, between Twenty-eighth and Thirtyeighth Streets and on Thirty-fourth Street between Third Avenue and
the East River. These merchants report requests for twice as much
credit as last year. Credit is given to only a few of their oldest cus­
tomers. The East Side Settlement House, Seventy-sixth Street and
the East River, interviewed 33 small merchants in its vicinity, who
report carrying more credits than last year, 30 of the stores carrying
twice as many credits and three of them carrying three times as many
as last year. These merchants report people asking for credit who
have never asked for credit before. The East Side Branch of the
Henry Street Settlement reports for 36 merchants on Avenue A,
First and Second Avenues, and cross streets between Seventy-eighth
and Eighty-first Streets, showing that 19 stores report an increase in
requests for credit; 7 stores estimated the increase from 10 per cent
to five times the usual number; 15 stores reported requests for credit
where their customers usually pay cash.
The workers of Union Settlement, East One-hundred-and-fourth
Street, interviewed 32 small butchers and grocers, who report in a
similar vein. Hartley House, Ninth Avenue, East Forty-fifth and
Fiftieth Streets, reports that 14 dealers in its vicinity say that busi­
ness is normal or better than last year, though two merchants report
themselves as carrying more credits than last year. This section is the
only exception to those reporting a general increase in credits and less
cash business than last year. The Doe Ye Nexte Thynge Society
workers interviewed 40 merchants, 17 of whom reported a decrease
in business, but no increase in credits, because the merchants generally



24

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

refused to do credit business. Thirty-three report more requests for
credit and the purchase of less and poorer food by their customers.
Settlement workers in Brooklyn report a decrease in sales in the
Greenpoint section. Credit is not given for fear of inability to collect.
There is no way of determining to what extent these conditions are
due to an increase of unemployment. The evidence supplied by the
butchers and grocers interviewed seems, however, to indicate that a
much larger number of wage earners were out of work in December,
1914, than formerly.