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ments, and the appropriation of additional funds has made possible the
increase in the number of agencies in several of the states. The following
table shows the date of establishment of each of the state agencies.



State Employment Agencies: Cities and States of Location, and Date of Es-
tablishment of the Agency.



State.


City.


Date of Establishment.






1890




Cleveland i


1890




Columbus


1890




Dayton


1890




Toledo


1890




Helena (a)


1895


New York (b) . .


New York


1896






1897


Illinois


Chicago, 3 offices


1899




Peoria


1901




Bast St. Louis


1907




Springfield


1909




St Louis


1899




Kansas City


1899




St. Joseph


1901


Connecticut


Bridgeport


1901




Hartford


1901




New Haven


1901




Norwich


1901




Waterbury


1901


Kansas (c) . . ...


Topeka


1901


W^est Virginia ...


Wheeling


1901


"Wisconsin


Milwaukee


1901




Superior


1903




La Crosse


1904




Oshkosh


1904


Maryland


Baltimore


1902


Michigan


Detroit


1905




Grand Rapids


1905




Kalamazoo


1907




Saginaw


1907




Jackson


1908


Minnesota




1905




Duluth


1907




St. Paul .


1907



126



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



State Employment Agencies: Cities and States of Location, and Date of Establish-
ment of the Agency Cont'd



State.


City.


Date of Establishment.


New York (d)


New York


1905




Boston . .


1906




Fall River


1907




Springfield


1907




Colorado Springs


1907






1907




Pueblo


1907


Rhode Island


Providence


1908


Oklahoma


Oklahoma City (e)


1908




Muskogee


1909




Enid


1910


Indiana


Indianapolis


1909




Evansville


1911




Port \Vayne


1911




South Bend


1911




Terre Haute


1911









(a) Agency discontinued in 1897 by repeal of law.

(b) Agency discontinued in 1906 by repeal of law.

(c) According to the reports there is but one agency in the state at present,
though in previous years there have been several.

(d) The first office in Oklahoma was located in Guthrie from July 1, 1908 to
September 18, 1908, when it was moved to Oklahoma City.

This table shows that state employment agencies, have been established
in eighteen states by legislative enactments, and that such agencies are now
in operation in seventeen states, with a total of fifty-one employment agencies
now active.

In addition, public employment agencies have been opened in eight
states by state officials, without specific legislative enactment; they were
controlled by the state bureaus of labor statistics, except in Wisconsin,
where they were maintained by the department of agriculture. The fol-
lowing table shows the dates at which such offices began operations.

State Employment Agencies Not Specifically Authorized.



State.



North Carolina

Iowa

California

Maryland

Missouri

West Virginia

Michigan two offices.
Wisconsin



Date of Beginning Operations.



1893
1895
1895
1896
1897
1897
1901
1907



Most of these offices were in operation for only a few months; none
of them are in existence, as such, at the present time. In Missouri and
West Virginia they received a legal sanction and became authorized agencies.
In Maryland and Michigan they were discontinued after a short period of
activity and were" revived later by legal enactment. In North Carolina, Iowa
and California they were entirely discontinued. In Wisconsin the work was
turned over to the county clerks in 1910.

Sixteen municipal employment agencies have been established, of which
thirteen are still in existence as municipal agencies, two have become state
agencies and one has been abolished. The following table shows the dates
of establishment of these municipal agencies.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



127



Municipal Employment Agencies: City and Date of Establishment.



City.



Los Angeles, Calif, (a) ,

Seattle, Wash

Superior, Wis. (b)

Duluth, Minn, (c)

Sacramento, Calif, (d) ,

Butte, Mont

Tacoma, Wash

Great Falls, Mont

Spokane, Wash ,

Everett, Wash

Wellesley, Mass

Newark, N. J ,

Portland, Ore

Kansas City, Mo

Schenectady, N. Y

Berkeley, Calif ,



Date of Establishment.

1893
1894
1899
1901
1902
1902
1904
1905
1905
1908
1908
1909
1909
1910
1912
1913



(a) Under joint control of city and county 1893-1905; of city 1905-10; of United

Charities 1910-13: in 1913 a municipal charities commission was appointed,
one of whose duties was the maintenance of such a municipal employ-
ment agency.

(b) Became a state office in 1901.

(c) Became a state office in 1907.

(d) Abolished after a few years, the exact date not being ascertainable.

The Division of Information of the Bureau of Immigration was created
in 1907, and under its control employment agencies have been opened in
New York in 1907, in Baltimore in 1908, and Galveston in 1909; an office was
opened for a short time in Chicago but was soon abandoned.

There is a bill in the United States Congress at present to estab-
lish a bureau of the unemployed and to maintain under its control
federal employment agencies. J. Eads How is reported to be sponsor
for it.

The method used by these agencies to show their efficiency is to present
the number of applications for employment and for help, and the number of
positions filled. The following table contains the totals for each agency for
the last year for which reports are accessible.

These reports are for years as follows: Municipal agency in
Everett and Spokane, 1909; municipal agencies in Butte, Great Fallo,
Tacoma, Seattle and Portland for 1910; state agencies of Illinois, Ohio,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma, and municipal
agencies in Newark and Kansas City for 1911; state agencies of In-
diana, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, Michigan, Kansas,
Nebraska and Rhole Island, and the federal agencies for 1912; munici-
pal agency in Berkeley for 1913.



Public Employment Agencies: Applications for Employment and for Help

and Positions Secured.



Kind of Control and
Location of Offices.


Applications for


Positions
Secured.


Employment.


Help.


State Employment Agencies






343,999
is.4?
4,913
6,439
7,074
8,914
2,725
1,854
1,970
500
1,555


Colorado


26,835
9 580
7,176
10,079
14,146
3,773
3 341


23,446
5,296
7,183
10,967
10,914
3,382
2.825
2,757
627
1,823


Denver


Colorado Springs


Pueblo


Connecticut


Bridgeport


Hartford


New Haven


3,584
754
2,694


Norwich


W^aterbury





128



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



Public Employment Agencies: Applications for Employment, and for Help and

Positions Secured Cont'd



Kind of Control and
Location of Offices.



Applications for



Employment



Help.



Positions
Secured.



Illinois 76,127

Chicago, South Side 13,931

Chicago, North Side 22,835

Chicago, West Side 12,734

Peoria 11,630

East St. Louis 8,675

Springfield 6,322

Indiana 29,797

Indianapolis 17,560

Evansville 1,665

Fort Wayne 3,378

Terre Haute 4,879

South Bend 2,315

Kansas (a) 5,025

Maryland 780

Massachusetts 54,259

Boston 40,114

Fall River 3,582

Springfield 10,563

Michigan 62,388

Detroit 34,869

Grand Rapids 14,452

Jackson 5,128

Kalamazoo 4,190

Saginaw 3,749

Minnesota 53,420

Duluth 13,230

Minneapolis 24,716

St. Paul 15,474

Missouri 18,899

Kansas City 7,024

St. Louis 8,361

St. Joseph 3,514

Nebraska

New York, Dept. of Ag

Ohio i 75,034

Cincinnati 11,213

Cleveland 27,233

Columbus 15,225

Dayton 10,731

Toledo 10,632

Oklahoma 53,870

Enid 3,954

Muskogee 3,915

Oklahoma City 46,001

Rhode Island 3,539

West Virginia 2,205

Wisconsin (c)

La Crosse

Milwaukee

Oshkosh

Superior

Municipal Employment Agencies

Berkeley

Kansas City

Butte 7,244

Great Falls 605

Newark 6,210

Portland

Everett

Seattle

Spokane

Tacoma

Federal Agencies three



Total United States



68,228

17,363

11,428

12,177

12,046

8,660

6,554

28,596

15,329

2,403

3,339

4,786

2,739

20,437

245

30,632

22,816

1,640

6,176

61,162

37,176

13,847

4,371

3,070

2,698

55,323

14,078

25,771

15,474

33,279

21,923

7,472

3,884



50,125
10,808

9,603
10,957
11,595

7,162
22,841

3,013

2,907
16,921

' 2,539



5,262
143



22,803 (c)



59,827

13,037

10,594

10,946

11,197

8,021

6,032

20,483

11,153

1,445

2,509

3,834

1,542

3,284

64

21,158

15,806

1,042

4,310

54,205

34,869

11,665

3,189

2,752

1,730

53,370

13,230

24,666

15,474

15,165

5,656

6,407

3,102

647

4,658

47,906

10,269

9,377

10,957

10,403

6,900

14,942

2,735

3,131

9,076

2,087

1,936

16,296

2,138

5,235

1,936

6,987

108,676

481

13,835

4,388

118

2,755

28,214

4,450

38,846

5,179

10,410

5,807

467,751



(b)



(d)



(a) Exclusive of work of offices outside of state, some of which are included in

this report.

(b) For eighteen months.

(c) For eight months.

(d) For three months.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT 129

Before these figures can be taken as an indication of the efficiency of
the public employment agencies it is necessary to inquire more specifically
into the methods by which they have been secured and into their deeper
meaning. Such an inquiry reveals very great inaccuracies in these reports.
The number of positions reported filled is deficient, first, in not includ-
ing all positions filled through the assistance of the agencies, and, secondly,
in including many positions which are not actually filled. The first error
seems, however, to be very slight, while the latter is very large. The failure
to include all the work done by the agency is due to the fact that applica-
tions are sometimes made for large numbers of casual workers, and the
information is merely distributed by the public agency without attempt to
keep account of the number of persons who are assisted by such informa-
tion, and also to the fact that in some states, such as Kansas, the demands
for labor are published in the newspapers and, though these published ac-
counts are of value in the distribution of labor, they make it impossible to
measure the efficiency of the agencies.

Colorado, 12th Biennial Report of Bureau of Labor Statistics,
1909-10, p. 194; Kansas, 12th Annual Report of Director of Free Em-
ployment Bureau, 1912, p. 9; Sargent, loc, cit., p. 82.
On the other hand the reported number of positions filled is in almost
all offices very much larger than the number of positions actually filled, or,
at least, very many positions which are reported filled are found on investi-
gation not to have been filled. When an applicant for employment is sent
to a position, there is no direct and immediate evidence that the position
has been filled; moreover the process of verification is difficult and expen-
sive. The laws of Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York and
Rhode Island have provided that the employer must notify the employment
agency within a specified time whether the applicant who was sent to him
was hired, on penalty, for failure to do so, of losing the right to future
services of the public employment agency; in Indiana a fine of $100 is im-
posed, according to the statutes, on employers who fail to give such re-
ports to the public employment agencies. These laws are not enforced,
however, and the general practice is to send with the applicant for employ-
ment a card which is to be filled out and returned by the employer to the
public employment agency. Some agencies have reported that the employ-
ers in about 75 per cent of the cases return such information, others that
about 40 per cent, and others that none do so. Consequently it has been
necessary to supplement these cards by telephone messages, mail or mes-
sengers in order to secure verification. But this verification is difficult, the
facilities are generally inadequate and the result has been in most agencies
that every person who is sent from the agency to a position reported vacant
is recorded as securing the position unless definite information to the con-
trary is received,

Conner, loc. cit., pp. 13, 44, 36; Sargent, loc. cit., p. 93; Kansas,
6th Annual Report of Director of Free Employment Bureau, 1906,
p. 3.

and since the agencies succeed in verifying only a part of the recorded place-
ments, there is a qonsiderable discrepancy.

Conner, loc. cit., pp. 13, 23, 45, 61, 80.

It is on this account that the records of some agencies show that more
positions have been secured than there were applications for help.

Conner, loc. cit., p. 32; Maryland, 13th Annual Report of Bureau
of Statistics, 1904, p. 23.

and that there is in many reports an exact equivalence of the number of
positions reported filled and the number of demands for help.

Conner, loc. cit., pp. 20, 44-45; Minnesota, 13th Biennial Report of
Bureau of Labor, 1911-12, pp. 365-67; Ohio, 34th Annual Report of
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1910, pp. 464 ff.; Rhode Island, 25th An-
nual Report of Bureau of Industrial Statistics. 1911, p. 135; Wisconsin,
12th Biennial Report of Bureau of Labor, 1905-06, pp. 1348 ff.



130



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



This discrepancy between positions reported filled and positions act-
ually filled is due to the failure of some applicants for employment to go to
the position offered and this is one cause of complaint, even by the private
employment agencies, after registration fees have been paid to the failure
of the employer and employee to make a satisfactory bargain, or to the
filling of the position in some other way. In Chicago some of the appli-
cants for employment secure cards from the state agency, referring them
to positions, and then use those cards as means of begging, nominally for
car fare to enable them to reach the place of work. But some agencies have
made claims that they record no position as filled until they have received
definite information of that fact. It has been generally acknowledged that
the Massachusetts state employment agencies have had, in this respect, by
far the most accurate methods of any agencies in the country,

New York, Report of Commission on Unemployment, 1911, p. 118;
Sargent, loc. cit., p. 64.

and the superintendents maintain that they are superior to other agencies
in the accuracy of their records, and that their reports of positions filled
are safely within the facts and accurate so far as they go.

Massachusetts, 1st Annual Report of Free Employment Offices,
1907, p. 7.

The Massachusetts Commission to Investigate Employment Offices, in
order to test the accuracy of the reports of efficiency, secured from the
superintendents the names of workers who were reported as securing posi-
tions in one month, and two or three months later made inquiries in regard
to them of the employers who were reported as having hired them. This
Commission found that from 14 to 36 per cent of the persons reported as
securing employment were not hired. The results appear in the following
table:

Massachusetts Employment Agencies: Percentages of Applicants for
Employment Reported Hired Who Were Actually Hired.



Agency.


Number of
Applicants
Reported
Hired Who
Were Heard
From.


Percent of Applicants Who Were:


Hired.


Not Hired


Total.


Did Not
Apply.


Not Remem-
bered to
Have Ap-
plied.


Applied
But Not
Hired.


Boston .....


421
189
56.


64.2%
80.4%
85.7%


35.8%
19.6%
14.3%


14.2%
1.1%


19.7%

14.8%
10.7%


1.9%
3.7%
3.6%


Springfield
Fall River . . .





Massachusetts, Report of Commission to Investigate Employment
Offices, 1911, p. 75.

If the findings of the Commissioner were correct,

This Commission made personal inquiries of the employers in
Boston, and inquiries by correspondence of the employers in the other
cities. The examination was made in Boston two months after the
month in which the positions were reported filled, and in Springfield
and Fall River three months after the positions were reported filled.
There is no statement in the report of the Commission in regard to
the accuracy with which employers made their replies.

it is very certain that the reports of the agencies in other states would show
a very much greater error than this. It is safe, at least, to conclude that the
agencies have reported very many positions as filled which have not been
filled, and that the reported efficiency of these offices has been very much
exaggerated.

But even if these reports of the number of positions filled were accurate,
they would not show the efficiency of the agencies. The absolute number
of positions secured is in itself meaningless, and comes to have meaning only
when thrown into relation to the amount of unemployment and the demand
for labor.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT 131

Some of the superintendents have stated that the absolute number
of positions secured is the criterion of the efficiency of the agency.
Massachusetts, 5th Annual Report of Free Employment Offices, 1911,
p. 8; Minnesota, 12th Biennial Report of Bureau of Labor, 1909-10,
p. 570.

The realization of the necessity of relating the number of positions se-
cured to other factors of the situation has led most agencies to give, also,
the number of applications for help and for employment.

The records of applications for help are much more accurate than the
records of positions filled, and may generally be taken as a relatively ac-
curate representation of the demands made by employers on such agencies.
It is evident that much care in regard to this item is necessary in order
to conduct the business of the agencies, for unless an accurate record of
the demands were kept, it would be impossible to maintain the offices.
There is, however, some doubt as to the accuracy with which the requests
for help represent the actual needs of the employers; it is reported that many
employers ask for two or three times as many workers as are desired for
employment, in order to have an opportunity to make selections. Conse-
quently this practice, in so far as carried on, vitiates the records from the
standpoint of the accurate representation of the actual needs of industry.

Massachusetts, 3d Annual Report of Free Employment Offices,
1909, p. 3.

The records of the number of applications for employment are very
deficient from the standpoint of a representation of the extent of unem-
ployment. The superintendents generally register only those persons, and
hence give only those in their reports, for whom positions are at the time
available. There is no absolute refusal to register applicants, but there is,
on the other hand, no incentive for the applicants to register. Many of the
superintendents have stated that this is their method and have defended it
on the ground that registration of all applicants would be impossible on the
appropriations, since many persons come several times a day looking for
employment, and that it would be comparatively valueless, even if possible.

Illinois, 10th Annual Report of Free Employment Offices, 1908, pp.
83, 89; Michigan, 23rd Annual Report of Bureau of Labor Statistics,
1906, p. 300; Colorado, 12th Biennial Report of Bureau of Labor Sta-
tistics, 1909-10, p. 194; Conner, loc. cit, pp. 12, 22, 71, 72, 78, 80; Sar-
gent, loc. cit., pp. 86, 93, 123.

To obviate this difficulty some of the agencies have set a limit of thirty
days within which the registration is in force, unless the applicant secures
employment before the end of that period.

See the free employment agency laws of Missouri, Minnesota and
Rhode Island. This is the practice, also, in some other states in which
the laws do not specify that it shall be done.

In some other states there has been an attempt to correct this error
by counting' the number of persons who come into the office without regis-
tering, but this is entirely inadequate since it is based merely on the memory
of the superintendent. In Illinois more detailed and pertinent information
is secured from the applicants who "decline to register" than from those
who register, and the number of such persons is found to be larger than the
number of persons who register.

Illinois, 13th Annual Report of Free Employment Offices, 1911,
pp. 13, 28.

Because of the failure to record those who are seeking employment, but
for whom the agency has no work to offer, there is a statistical anomaly that
the number of applications for employment decreases in years of depression
and in months of slight business activity, when it would be expected that
the number of applications would increase.

Illinois, 10th Annual Report of Free Employment Offices, 1908,
p. 1.



132 REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT

Consequently the number of applications for employment has an in-
verse ratio to the actual amount of unemployment. When this error is taken
in connection with the failure to verify the number of positions filled, the
number of positions reported filled becomes identical with the reported num-
ber of applications for employment. This identity is possible only when
the agencies regard as applicants for employment only those for whom
positions are accessible, and at the same time record as positions filled all
positions to which applicants are sent. There is still another inaccuracy in
the reported number of applications for employment in Chicago, where there
are three state agencies; an applicant may be recorded at the same time in
all three agencies as an applicant for employment. This error is inconsider-
able, however, since the offices do not ordinarily register persons fpr whom
work is not immediately accessible.

Moreover, the number of applications for employment is not an adequate
test of the extent of unemployment, because there is no indication in the
reports in regard to whether applicants for employment are employed or
unemployed at the time of registration. The only exception to this is one of
the Chicago agencies which takes such information from those reported as
refusing to register. This shows that out of 11,835 persons reported as re-
fusing to register for employment in this agency in 1911, 68 were employed
at the time of application.

Illinois, 13th Annual Report of Free Employment Offices, 1911,
p. 13.

The number of persons employed at the time of registration is. how-
ever, presumably small, and some superintendents have raised objections to
assisting such persons at all.

Illinois, 9th Annual Report of Free Employment Offices, 1907,
p. 71.

Because of these inadequacies in the reported number of applications for
employment and the difficulties in securing accurate and pertinent statistics
for this purpose, some of the agencies do not make reports of the number
of applications for employment. The only value of the reports as ordinarily
given is to show a high percentage of applicants who are assisted in secur-
ing employment, and the practice seems to be retained only in order to make
as good reports as possible. It is strange, however, that the Wisconsin law,
which was repealed in 1911, should have put a premium on this padding of
reports by specifying that a sufficient reason for the dismissal of a super-
intendent of a free employment office would be a low percentage of posi-
tions secured to applications for help and for employment.

But even if the reports of the number of applications for help and
for employment and of the number of positions filled were accurate, such
reports would still be inadequate in indicating the efficiency of the public
employment agencies in organizing the labor market. Should all positions
be given equal weight in the reports? Some are temporary, lasting only a
few hours, while others are permanent. That this may make a great differ-
ence in passing judgment on the agencies is indicated by the fact that in
one year in the casual registries in England 3,799 persons secured 266,622
positions, or an average of 70 positions each. Evidently the permanency of
the position secured must be considered in connection with efficiency. Never-
theless, none of the public agencies in the United States give any indication
in their records in regard to the probable permanency of the position
secured, with the exception of the Kansas City agency, which is controlled
by the Board of Public Welfare. It was found that the average worker who
was placed by this agency in the year 1910-11 earned a total of $1.13 from


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