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due to unemployment, and (2) the possibility of developing more suitable
methods of providing assistance for those unemployed persons who can find
no work and who are in need.

1. Relief Granted Because of Unemployment.

A. The United Charities. There are two departments of the United
Charities: The district offices, dealing with resident families, and the home-
less men department. For the year ending September 30, 1911, there were
12,324 cases in the district offices, of which 2,486 were due to unemploy-
ment primarily (20.1 per cent); in the homeless men department there were
1,878 cases, practically all of which were due to unemployment.

The Immigration Commission made a detailed study of the records of
the Bureau of Charities from December 1, 1908, to May 31, 1909; on April
31, 1909, the Relief and Aid Society was consolidated with the Bureau of
Charities to form the United Charities; after April 31 the aid furnished by
the United Charities was included. The total number of cases dealt with
was 3,125; the number of persons involved was 14,123.

Per cent of cases and persons involved for each class of apparent causes
of need in the Chicago Bureau of Charities, 1908-09:



Apparent Causes of Need.


Cases

%


Persons
involved %


Lack of employment or insufficient wages


58 3


60.6


Death or disability of breadwinner


33 5


32 6


Death or disability of another member of family


29


31 8


Neglect or bad habits of breadwinner


2fi 2


28 4


Old age


3 9


1 6


Other causes


10.5


10.8



80



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



(From Report of Immigration Commission, Vol. 34, p. 161,' "Immigrants
as Charity Seekers." This totals more than 100 per cent, because some cases
were reported as due to more than one cause.)

The proportion of cases for each race reporting unemployment as a
cause of distress varies from 80 per cent of the cases in which the head of
the family was South Italian foreign-born to 44.5 per cent of the cases in
which the head was Irish foreign-born; for the white native-born of native
father the percentage was 59.6.

B. Cook County Charity Service. The last available record of the
Cook County Charity Service is for 1909. With this will be compared the
report for the previous year, when there was more unemployment and dis-
tress, due to the hard times of 1908.

Causes of Distress in Out-Door Relief Cases in Cook County Charity
Service for years ending November 30,. 1908, and November 30, 1909:





1909




1908






No. of cases


%


No. of cases


%


Unemployment


2,281


24 3


4,414


37.7


Insufficient earnings


351


3 7


3,381


28













C. German Aid Society. The German Aid Society made a special study
of 300 cases that came into their society during the first seven months of
1912, in which the persons applying for relief were unemployed. The causes
of the unemployment were as follows:

Old Age 7 %

Have work, but can not start on account of lack of funds
to maintain them until the first pay-day, or because wages

are held back 17%

Laid off or cannot find work in their trades 32%

Convalescent 22%

Injured and sick 22 %

Total 100%

Of these persons applying for assistance, 82 per cent were single, 18
per cent married; 42 per cent were skilled, 40 per cent unskilled and 18 per
cent were in professional work (actors, lawyers, etc.). This society reported
that many of their applicants for relief had been discharged from the County
Hospital before they were able to work; one man came to the office with
blood trickling from the wound of an operation for appendicitis; many come
in with their hands or feet bandaged from freezing and entirely unable to do
any work. These cases are dismissed from the County Hospital because
of the necessity of making room for those who are in even worse condition;
these reports were verified in other philanthropic institutions.

D. Jewish Aid Society. The records of the Jewish Aid Society show the
number of cases due to unemployment and to insufficient earnings by months.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



81



Relief due to unemployment and insufficient earnings:



Year and month.


Total
cases.


Cases caused by


Unemployment.


Insufficient earnings.


No.


% of total


No.


% of total.


April 1910


520
507
533
446
525
489
499
618
710
767
721
656
644
621
640
596
614
502
437
633
668
831
837
748
617


48
12
12
7
13
13
17
63
122
147
100
84
76
65
66
66
63
34
54
78
123
227
199
145
88


9
2
2
2
2
3
3
10
17
19
14
13
12
10
10
11
10
7
12
12
18
27
24
19
14


97
89
81
74
79
82
90
126
148
140
119
110
103
92
165
88
112
68
99
114
97
148
166
143
109


19
17
15
17
15
17
18
20
21
18
16
17
16
15
17
15
18
13
23
18
15
18
19
19
18






J U ly


AUgUSt








December


January 1911


February




April


May


June


July




September


October


November


December


January, 1912


February


March


April


Total for year ending
April 30, 1912


7,744


1,208


16


1.341


17



E. Chicago Christian Industrial League. The Chicago Christian Indus-
trial League had, from March, 1910, to March 1, 1912, 24,235 cases, practically
all due to unemployment.

F. The Volunteers of America report that 90 per cent of their appli-
cants for assistance are unemployed.

G. McDowell's Coffee Line gave assistance to about 12,000 men from
December 12, 1911, to March 18, 1912. Practically all of these were un-
employed.

H. An investigation by the Committee on Nature and Extent of Unem-
ployment has revealed the fact that for the thirty labor unions from which
replies were received the average member would receive more than $700 a
year if steadily employed; but that actually the average member in 40.9 per
cent of these unions receives less than $700 because he is not steadily em-
ployed. This decrease in earnings makes it necessary for these workers
either to secure work elsewhere than in their trades or e.lse depend on sav-
ings or charity. The conditions for workers not members of labor unions
is probably even less favorable.

I. These figures for Chicago may be supplemented by investigations
in New York. A study was made of 1,500 cases in the Charity Organization
Society of New York during the year 1910; 29% of these cases were due to
unemployment primarily. The Committee on Unemployment in New York
states with reference to this "The effects of unemployment as gathered
from the records in these cases illustrate very strongly what the most
dangerous results of unemployment are. First, is the fact that when a man
is thrown out of regular employment, he is likely after a time to take any
job that is offered. This draws him into the great group of irregular,
casual laborers. At first, unable to get steady work, he soon becomes un-
able to work steadily, even if the work is available. Secondly, the unem-
ployed workman with a family to support is apt to resume work after a
period of idleness at a wage lower than his real earning capacity. The
necessity of his condition compels him to accept any wage that is offered.
Thirdly, the lower earning capacity of the men compels the women to
go out to work, and that means several children neglected. And fourthly,



82 REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT

the children neglected while they are under the legal working age, are sent

to work as soon as the law allows But they are seldom trained in any

occupation which will make them capable of supporting a family when they
grow up; for that means a period of apprenticeship with little or no earn-
ings, and the family needs the earnings of the child at once The present

family's self-support is secured by making the future generation liable to
dependency." (Report of Committee on Unemployment, New York, pp.
147-151.) In 1908 the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor in
New York City found that out of 800 unpicked applicants, 35.5% had
applied because of loss or lack of work, and 18% had applied because of in-
sufficient work or wages. (Ibid.)

II. Assistance for the Unemployed. A Central Labor Exchange such
as has been recommended will undoubtedly improve conditions of labor in
making it easier for the workers and employers to come in contact; but
there is the further question, with which this committee is concerned, What
shall be done for those persons who cannot find work by their own efforts
or through the efforts of a Central Labor Exchange?

At the present time workers when unemployed have recourse to one
or more of the following means of support: Benefits from labor unions,
lodges, etc.; savings; living on credit or borrowing; appeal to charity or-
ganizations for assistance. These means are not satisfactory; there are
only a few labor unions or lodges or similar organizations which pay any
out-of-work benefits. It is desirable to secure a system by which a person
when unemployed necessarily, may have some income until work can be found;
it is also desirable that this income should not be a gift. Unemployment
is one of the risks of a trade, and should be borne by the trade, or by the
community in some way. There are two general plans for distributing this
burden:

(1) Relief works have been tried extensively in European countries, and
in some places in the United States. The European experience has been
on the whole that the works which are undertaken by the city or state for the
purpose of furnishing employment have not paid; that was also the experi-
ence in Chicago just after the World's Fair. In Kansas City, however, there
is in operation such a system, which the Board of Public Welfare reports to
be successful.

(2) Insurance against unemployment has been working successfully
in Belgium atid Switzerland and in some German cities; it has just been
recently started in certain trades in England. The Committee on Standards
of Living and Labor, of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections,
in a Platform on Social Standards for Industry prepared by the chairman
of the committee, describes the Ghent system of insurance against unem-
ployment as follows: "Underlying principle: help in proportion to self-
help; i. e., if worker himself provides against unemployment, by joining
an association granting out-of-work benefits to members; or by placing funds
in a bank, he may upon unemployment receive from city committee a grant
of money in direct proportion to amount received from association or drawn
from bank Subsidy paid only in case of involuntary unemployment, in-
cluding fire and breakdown of machinery; not including unemployment due
to strikes, lock-outs, sickness or other physical incapacity. Payment made
through affiliated associations wherever possible. Committee works in co-
operation with municipal labor exchange. Workmen claiming grants required
to register at exchange, and are bound to accept suitable work offered, on
pain of forfeiting grant. Daily registration now required by many trade
unions will probably be required in near future. Adult men and women
are treated on same basis; children receive a smaller rate; present number
of members insured is 20,000. 'The existence of the scheme has had a most

important effect on the unions They have come to look upon themselves

not simply as armies drilled to make war on employers, but as instruments
of general social organization and progress, fulfilling most important func-
tions in the commonwealth, even apart from their functions as protectors
of the workman against the employer.' Gibbon, I. G., Unemployment In-
surance, p. 89."



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT 83

RECOMMENDATIONS.

Inasmuch as your committee has found that unemployment is the most
prevalent cause of distress, as it presents itself to the charity organizations
of Chicago the exact percentage of the distress due to unemployment vary-
ing in different organizations from about 15% to 100% and inasmuch as
the present methods of providing for ourselves when we are unable to secure
employment are unorganized, and inasmuch as the platform prepared by the
Committee on Social Standards for Industry has stated that "unemployment
of able-bodied adult men under 65 years of age is abnormal and wasteful,
and is as proper a subject for recognition by the public authorities as con-
tagious disease, or other abnormal conditions which menace the public well
being; the demand for insurance against unemployment increases with the
increasing specialization in industry" (p. 41), and inasmuch as many per-
sons are turned out from the County Hospital before they are able to
work, therefore your committee recommends:

1. The establishment of a state insurance against unemployment based
on the Ghent system.

2. That the Governor and Legislature be requested at the next ses-
sion of the Legislature to pass laws providing for such a system.

3. The establishment by the County of a convalescent hospital where
persons dismissed from the County Hospital may be kept until they are
able to work.

BUREAUS OF EMPLOYMENT IN EUROPE.

By C. R. Henderson, Read Before the American Association of Public
Employment Agencies, Dec. 18, 1913.

Fortunately we have a recently published report which gives us all the facts
which it is possible to gather on our subject (1), and I have used it freely in this
paper.

(1) Bulletin Trimestriel de 1'Association internationale pour la lutte centre
Chomage, July-Sep., 1913.

Two eminent statisticians of the German Empire, Dr. Freund and Dr. Zacher,
were appointed in 1912 to gather from all nations the statistics of the bureaus of
unemployment, in accordance with a previous resolution taken in 1910. No more
reliable authorities could be selected. A schedule was sent to be filled out and
explanations and recommendations were solicited. Fifteen countries sent re-
plies. Drs. Freund and Zacher arranged the tables and summarized the results.

Their first conclusion was : "The actual position as regards employment
bureaus is almost everywhere unsatisfactory. The scattered nature of the organ-
izations and the diversity of the methods of administration make it impossible to
obtain a clear general view of the situation on the labor market at a given moment,
to determine with certainty the number of workers available and the number of
vacant places, to establish a rational equilibrium between supply and demand, to
draw up useful statistics of the labor market, and to take preventive measures in
time against unemployment."

It is desirable that this expert judgment, since it includes the United States,
should be known here and that we should try to understand how serious the situ-
ation is. We can never make progress while we choose to live in a fools' paradise
and shut our eyes to disagreeable truth. All that we can do is mere patchwork
and quackery until we have a scientific foundation in knowledge and the organiza-
tions for obtaining knowledge of facts.

The International Committee declares that this "survey reveals a multiplicity
of forms, a splitting up into fragments, and huge gaps in the methods of employ-
ment agencies which actually amounts to anarchy. The only exception is England,
which is the only nation which can show a network of employment agencies over
the whole economic field which is unified and regulated by law. But even the
English report gives no information whether and in how far there are, in addition
to the state officers, other employment offices, especially those of employers or
of employes; whether for the total number of the wage earners (14 millions), of
whom the state offices served only 500,000, these are agencies ; and whether and



84 REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT

how far the state organization is gradually drawing in the other offices and estab-
lishing a monopoly." This seems from some figures given to be the tendency, but
the time of operation is still too short for assured judgment.

A distinguished and honored citizen of our country has recently published an
article, which has been widely quoted in the newspapers, in which he held up the
German system as a model of unified, interlocking, systematic provisions for secur-
ing employment. No doubt some of these offices are doing excellent work; but
this German report is far from optimistic. The statistics and descriptions show
that the organization of the labor market in Germany is very imperfect. "The two
essential principles of a rational system of labor exchanges neutrality and central-
ization are far from being realized. The principle of neutrality is broken down
particularly by the employment bureaus of interested parties such as employers
and employes. On the other hand, the labor exchanges are not centralized accord-
ing to localities or trades, nor even interlocally. Interlocal centralization is equally
a vital necessity in enabling the labor exchange to fulfill its essential work of
maintaining, on the largest possible scale, the balance between the supply of, and
demand for, labor" (pp. 689-690). "The first attempt in the way of interlocal
centralization was made by the federations of public labor exchanges. At the
present time these exist in all the federated states, except the two Mecklenburgs
and Bremen ; in addition, all the provinces of Prussia possess them, or are taking
steps for their organization. But for the success of their work, the federations
need to become institutions established by public law. Lacking this, they are
dependent on the good will of local authorities, having neither the power to create,
nor the right to inspect employment bureaus, profit-making or otherwise. Finally,
from the financial point of view, they are at the mercy of the State and the Com-
munes, whose subventions can always be stopped.

"Besides the reform which aims at equipping the federations with the neces-
sary legal powers there should be created for the whole Empire a central organ-
ization to be entrusted, as a beginning, with the task of unifying at least the labor
exchange statistics."

This must be taken as an official and authoritative statement of the situation
in Germanv.

FRANCE.

The situation in France is set forth in the statement of these facts furnished
to the International Association :

The gratuitous, semi-philanthropic exchanges are not growing in usefulness.
The bureaus maintained by employers filled 324,000 places out of a total of 812.000
in 1911; the public free bureaus filled fewer than 100,000 places. About two-thirds
of this work was done in Paris alone, chiefly for workers in the provision trades,
domestic service and hairdressing.

The profit-making bureaus filled 259,129 places ; 239,884 of which were filled
by domestic servants. The law of 1904, which was designed to suppress these
profit-making offices, evidently failed of its purpose, since of 709 such exchanges
existing in 1911, 235 have been created since March 14. 1904. Until good public
exchanges are established these costly and dangerous offices will be able to exist
in spite of adverse legislation.

But in France the half-measures of the public have made little progress. The
State set apart in its budget 35,000 francs to subsidize satisfactory municipal
employment bureaus under joint management of employers and employes. Yet
out of nearly 200 towns where bureaus nominally exist, there have been scarcely
20 which met the conditions of receiving the subsidy of government.

Various propositions have been made, but nothing satisfactory and adequate
has been done by the supreme legislature.

AUSTRIA.

(P. 696.) In Austria the public employment bureaus take various forms, there
being no Imperial law to regulate them on uniform principles. Bohemia and
Galicia have regulated employment bureaus by legislation in those crown lands, in
1903 and 1904. Little has been done to encourage public employment bureaus by
subsidies.

Public employment bureaus due to private initiative exist in all the provinces,
except Dalmatia and Carinthia. All these institutions are linked, very loosely and
inefficiently, by the Imperial Federation founded in 1906.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT 85

Side by side with these public institutions, there are in Austria bureaus organ-
ized by corporations, employers' associations, workmen's trade unions, charitable,
religious, racial and economic societies, and profit-making employment bureaus.
The public bodies play the most important part. About one-half their operations
deal with domestic servants, and more than 40 per cent deal with workers both in
industry and in handicraft. The charitable bureaus deal principally with domestic
servants ; the profit-making bureaus find situations in about an equal proportion
for servants and other wage-earners, particularly in the catering trade. The find-
ing of places in agriculture is supported principally by the public bureaus. In
1911 the Agricultural Society at Vienna created a Central Employment Bureau
for agriculture, in order to supply laborers to the Alpine regions. For some time
this office has also undertaken to place laborers in their agricultural regions.

The most important exchanges are those of Vienna and of Bohemian cities.

The attitude of trade unions toward public exchanges in Austria has changed
from time to time ; actually organized workers apply in large numbers to the public
officers.

Hungary has no system based on the principles of neutrality and centralization.
Three important exchanges are conducted by public officials and representatives
of employers. Subsidies are paid by the state, by the cities and by employers.

BELGIUM.

Employers have one exchange, established by the Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the trade unions try to place their members in situations, but their statis-
tics are imperfect. A few offices are maintained by associations for providing
workmen's dwellings. Philanthropic societies have a certain number of bureaus.
Many efforts have been made, with some success, to establish exchanges in the
management of which employers and employes are represented.

DENMARK.

The employment bureaus of the employers are few and relatively unimportant.
Those organized by the wage earners number 21, with 73,235 members ; their cent-
ral office has not yet become very effective. The city of Copenhagen has a local
exchange supported by the municipality and governed by a committee which rep-
resents employers and employes. In April, 1913, the Legislature enacted a law in
regard to labor exchanges which provides for the regulation of local public
exchanges and a central office at the capital. The bureaus are to be governed by
a committee of at least seven members elected by the Municipal Council or similar
body, with equal representation of employers and employed ; the chairman must
be independent of both sides. The central office is a branch of government. The
services of placement are gratuitous. Cost of transportation will be met by the
exchanges. The local bureaus are required to co-operate with the others through
the central office.

Local bureaus are supported by the public funds of the municipalities served,
with a subsidy of one-third the expenses from the State.

ITALY.

There is only one bureau maintained by employers. The exchanges of the
employes are maintained by labor officers, national trade unions, isolated leagues,
organizations of agricultural laborers. There are a few not very important mixed
exchanges, maintained by employers and employes, chiefly for bakers and hotel
waiters.

There is only one municipal exchange. The State has only exchanges for
sailors at the ports.

The famous Societd Umaritaria at Milan has done some effective work on a
small scale.

Italy has little to teach or encourage us on this point, according to the report
of their committee.

SWITZERLAND.

Eighty-five bureaus replied to the question list; 24 are under joint manage-
ment of employers and employed; 43 are affiliated to a federation, and 14 of this
number to a federation which maintains exchange of information with states out-
side Switzerland. Thirteen bureaus ignore trade disputes ; 20 notify both parties



86 REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT

of the existence of a dispute and continue to work ; 23 bureaus take part in dis-
putes by boycotting one of the two parties. Nineteen bureaus are connected with
unemployment relief funds. The Swiss Union of Labor Offices, created about 10
years ago, comprises 15 public exchanges, with headquarters at Zurich ; and the


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