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Chicago. Mayor's Commission on Unemployment.

Report of the Mayor's Commission on Unemployment online

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Check


For our convenience.


?3


Weekly


Cash


P'or our convenience.


84


Weekly


Cash


Employees prefer it.


flR


Monthly


Cash


Customary in our line.


26


Monthly


Check


Convenience.


?7


Weekly


Cash





?8-


Weekly


Cash





?9


Weekly


Cash


Fairer and more convenient for men.


3ft


Weekly


Cash


Men prefer cash.


31


Weekly


Cash


They need the money.


3?


Semi-monthly


Cash


More popular with men.


33


Weekly


Cash


More convenient.


34


Weekly


Cash




35


Semi-monthly . ...


Check


Checks useful for identification.


36


Weekly


Cash




37


Weekly


Cash


Convenience of both parties.


38


Semi-monthly .


Cash




39


Weekly


Cash


Avoid cashing checks in saloons.


40


Semi-monthly


Check


Most satisfactory method.


41


Weekly


Cash




4?!


Semi-monthly


Both


Established system.


43


Weekly


Cash


More convenient for men.


44


Weekly


Cash


More convenient for men.


45


Weekly


Cash




46


Semi-monthly


Check


Because of location of plant not feas-








ible to express cash for payment.



With privilege of drawing.

Twenty-eight firms pay weekly, fifteen semi-monthly, three monthly,
and one three times a month ; thirty firms pay in cash, fourteen by
check, and two firms use both check and cash. The reasons for the
method of payment are given as follows: More convenient for men 11, more
convenient for employers 5, more convenient 5, more convenient for both parties 2,
custom 2, prevent cashing checks in saloons 3, for accuracy, receipts, signatures, etc., 5.
Of those who stated that their method was for the convenience of the men all except one
made" payment weekly in cash that one made payments semi-monthly in
cash.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



25



Female Help in Certain Plants.



Firm
No.


Female Help Employed


Number
of married
women
employed


. To what extent are
women employed at
work formerly done
by men?


Reasons


No.


Class of Work


1

















2

















3

















4

















5

















6


800


Canning, sausage, beef ex-





Work formerly done








tract, tin shop.




mostly by boys.




7


50


Office work.


4


None.





8


4


Office work.





None.





9


1,600


Office work and salesladies





None.





10


34


Stenographers and switch-












board.





None.





11

















12


20


Book binding.





None.





13


75


Office and sewing ma-





Office work, mailing









chines.




clerks, etc.




14


125


All publishing work, ex-


32


A few bookkeepers.


Machines.






cept mechanical and












composing.








15


50


Clerical.


2


None.





16


5,700


Operating, clerical, lunch


Small


None.









room.


per cent.






17

















18
19


250
300


Coremakers.
Bindery, press- feeders,
copy-holders.





None.
None except on presses


Took the
place of












strikers.


20


1,462


Manufacturing and as-


227


None.








sembling.








21


128


Soap wrapping, can mak-





None.









ing.








22


350


Trimming, selling, clerical





None.





23


5


Stenographers.





None.





24


300


Stenographers, typists, fil-


6





Better at






ing and catalog work.






routine












work.


25


300


Clerks, laundry, cleaners,


30


None.









maids, office.








26


6


Stenographers and car


6


None.









cleaners.








27

















28


15


Stenographers and clerks


1


None.





29


20


Coremakers and fruit pre-















servers.








30


25


Bindery.





None.





31


7


Office.


1


None.





32


73


Station agents.


4


None.





33


3


Store and office.











34





Office and store.





None.





35


52


Office, seamstresses and


3


Ten.


Adaptabil-






glass workers.






ity in office.


36


28


Packers.





None.





37


1,100


Box-making.


20


Very slight.





38


4,400


Clerical, bindery, stock


Few


None.








and sales.









39


20


Sewing machines, pasting.





None.








etc.









40


300


Butterine, soap, sausage,





None.









smokehouse.








41


100


Packing.





None.





42


3


Stenographers.


1


None.





43


2,400


Assembling, machine





None in last four or









work, clerical.




five years.




44


2


Sewing machines.


o


Two.


More ad-












apted to
that work.


45


223


Office and machine work.





None.





46


15


Stenographers, telephone


3


None.









operators and restaurant.









75 to 350 at various seasons.



Thirty-eight employers stated that it is their custom to have some female
employees, seven that it was not their custom. Thirty employers stated that



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



they employ married women, fourteen that they do not employ married
women; in most cases the employers were unable to give the proportion of
their female employes who are married. There are seven large firms in which
a considerable part of the work is done by women; in the other firms, the
women are engaged most frequently as clerical help, salesladies, etc. In only
six cases did the employers report that women are now employed at work
which was formerly done by men; the reasons for such employment of women
in two cases was that the women were better adapted to it, in one case that
the work was better adapted for women, in one case that by the aid of ma-
chines the women could do work formerly done by men, and in one case that
women had taken the place of men in a strike several years ago and are still
retained; the other did not assign reasons. With these few exceptions, the
employers state that women have not taken work that was formerly done by
men.

Labor Unions in Certain Firms, According to Employers.



%<*
*


Are your works union-
ized wholly, partly or
neither?


If partly, which branches are unionized, and
which are not unionized?


1


Neither




2


Neither




3


Neither





4


Partly


Skilled mechanics unionized


5


Neither




6


Partly


Teamsters and bricklayers unionized


7


Neither




8


Partly


Drivers and truckmen unionized' wagon factory


9


Neither


general branch, and clerical not unionized.


10


Partly ...


Drivers


11


Partly


Teamsters.


1?


Partly


Unionized in printing and binding Dept ; not


13


Partly


unionized in store and office.
Teamsters and sailmakers unionized' all others


14


Wholly


not unionized.


15


Partly


Installation work in buildings under construc-


Iff


Neither


tion unionized; others not.


17


Neither




18


Neither




19


Neither




?0






?1


Partly


Mechanical Dept.


">?


Neither




?3


Practically all


Helpers and drillers not unionized


?4


Neither




715


Neither





9 6


Neither





?,7


Partly


Steam fitters and boiler makers unionized; men


'<?


Neither


in shop not unionized.


?9


Partly


Wood workers, sheet metal workers and marble


30


Wholly


workers unionized.


31


Neither




3?


Generally




33


Partly


Bakers and drivers unionized.


34


Neither




3=>


Neither




36


Neither




37
38


Partly


Printing Depts unionized.


39
40
41


Unionized, but open shop.
Neither




4?


Neither




43


Neither




44


Neither




45


Neither




46


Neither






Of the 44 employers replying to the questions of whether their plants
were unionized wholly, partly, or neither. 26 stated that they were not union-
ized at all, 13 that they were partly unionized, and 4 that they were wholly or



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



27



generally unionized; one stated that his plant was unionized, but it was open
shop.

The information is not definite and detailed enough to learn whether there
is any correlation between the unions and the unemployment or under-employ-
ment in these plants.

Some Characteristics of Employees in Certain Plants.



Firm
No.


Average
Age of
Em-
ployees


Prevailing Nationalities


Are your employees
reasonably skilled,
intelligent, steady
and sober?


Description of gen-
eral character of
the employee.


1


35


Amer., Pol., Lith., Greek.


Yes


_


2


35


Pol., Ger., Serv., Russ., Swed.


Yes


Good






Irish, Amer.






3


30


Pol., Lith., Slavs.


Yes





4


35





Skilled and sober





5





American.


Yes





6





Pol., Lith.


Yes





7


30


American.


Yes


Good


8


31


Nor., Swed., Danes, Ger.


Yes


Generally indus-










trious, ambi-










tious, honest.










saving


9





Amer., Ger., Irish, Jews.


Yes


Average good


10


28





Yes


Good


11


35


Pol., Irish.


Varies with class










of work performed




12


40


American.


Yes





13


16-70


Amer., Nor., Swed., Ger.


Yes


Generally good


14


30





All kinds


Average good


15


30


Amer., Irish, Ger.


Yes





16


16-25


Irish- American.


Yes





17


35


Ger., Pol.


Yes


Good


18


35


Amer., Ger., Aust., Pol.,


Yes


Very satisfactory






Croat., Bohem., Russ.






19


35


Ger., Eng., Irish, Bohem.,


Yes


Good, rather im-






Pol.




provident


20


35


American.


Yes


Above average


21


25


Ital., Slavs, Ger., Irish.


Yes


Permanent men,










good


22


33


American.


Yes


Best type of citizens


23


35





Yes


Good


24


35


Amer., Scand., Irish.


Yes


Good


25


30-35


PoU, Bohem., Amer.


Yes





26





Eng., Hung., Pol., Ital., Ger.,


Yes


About average






Swed.






27





Swed., Pol.


Yes





28


28


Amer., Pol., Lith., Greek,


Yes









Irish, Ger., Swed., Scotch.






29


40


Swed., Ital.


Yes


Good


30








Yes





31


30


Ger., Pol.





Hard working,










little surplus


32


30





Yes


Average


33


30


Germans.


Yes





34





American.


Yes





35


35


Amer., Swed., Nor., Ger.,


Yes


High






Aust., Poles, Holland,










Russ., Brit., Ital., Greek










and 40 others.






36


20-40


Swed., Ger. and Irish.


Yes


Faithful and indus-










trious


37


18


Pol., Bohem.


Yes





38





American.


Yes


Very best


39


30-35


Amer. (75%), Ger., Scand.,


Yes


The older men are






Greeks, Poles, Lith.




steady and reliable


40


17-45


Pol., Bohem., Ger., Slav.,


Yes


Generally sober and






Irish.




reliable


41


25


Ger., Ital.


Yes


Good


i 2


30


Ger., Pol., Bohem., Amer.,


Yes


Moral, temperate,






Irish, English.




efficient


43


Male 28


Amer. (71%), Ger. (6%), 20


Yes


Majority steady,




Fern. 22


other nationalities.




skilled, temper-










ate and intelli-










gent


44


35


Ger., Pol.


Yes


Good


45


22


American.


Yes


Good


46


24


Amer., Swed., Pol., Serv. and


Yes


Majority are con-






Hungar.




stantly changing










work



23



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



Ave. Ages.
16-25 .


No. Firms
1


16-70


1


17-45


1


20-40 .


1



Ages: The ages stated in most cases are estimates of the average age of
the employees; these average ages may be grouped as follows:

Ave. Ages. No. Firms

18 1

20-29 7

30-39 24

40-49 2

This shows that the average age in most cases is in the ten year group,
30-39.

Nationality: American is indicated as the principal nationality in 20
cases of which one specifies 75% and another 71% as the portion of native
born; American is mentioned 4 other times as one of the principal national-
ities. German is given as the principal nationality in 7 plants, and is men-
tioned among the other nationalities in 14 plants. Polish is given as the
principal nationality in 6 plants, and is mentioned among the other national-
ities in 14 other cases. If the rank may be judged in this way by the number
of times mentioned, the Irish, Swedish, Bohemian, Italians, Lithuanians, Eng-
lish, Greeks, and Norwegians follow in order after that. Twelve other nation-
alities were mentioned in three plants or less.

All but two of the employers indicated that their employees were gener-
ally reasonably skilled, intelligent, steady and sober; in those two cases, one
stated that the employees were of all kinds, the other stated that these char-
acteristics varied with the class of work performed.



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



29



Surplus Funds of Employees and Employers' Methods of Helping Needy

New Employes.



Have employees on the average any
surplus fund?



Have you a system of helping needy
new employees?



10
11

12
13

14
15
16
17
18
19



20
21
22
23
24

25

26
27
28
29
30
31
32



Only a small
Yes



Yea

Many own homes, drivers have $150
deposited as security

Great many have homes and bank ac-
counts

They are in fair shape



The better class yes; rank and file
spend all they get

Majority of them have

I Most have savings, part homes

We have $40,000 in savings bank
owned and operated by employees;
many older men own homes

Yes



As a rule

Yes

Great many own homes; majority
have savings accounts



No

Yes

Very few have shares

Older, steady men have

Many of older employees have.



33 |

34 | A few own homes, some

others none



35
36
37
38



savings,
Very large number own homes



A few own homes, 25% have savings.



39 I About one-third do

40 I Great many have homes and accts. .

41 Many have homes

42 About 15 % of them



44

45
46



Yes



No.
*o.

Draw on account if necessary.
Draw on account if necessary.
STo, not necessary.
No.
Vo.
No special system.

Draw on account.
No.

No.

No special system, each case on its

own merits.
Pay reasonable time when sick.



No.
No.
This bank loans them money.



Operate a boarding house.

No.

No.

No.

No.

Allowed to draw to extent on amount
earned.

Yes, to limited extent.

No.

No.

No.

No.

Draw on account If desired.

Lunch tickets issued to new employ-
ees and cost deducted from their
pay.

No.

Frequently make loans to old em-
ployees to be repaid in small in-
stallments, no interest.

No.

No.

No, but we loan money to them.

Advance pay to new employees be-
fore due.

No.

No.

No.

Commissary, and on account payment
of wages.

Advanced payment of wages earned
when conditions justify; arrange-
ments with local bank for loans in
reasonable amounts.

Advance wages in urgent cases.

Advance may be obtained in case of
sickness, death or dire distress.



Nineteen employers failed to state whether or not their employees have
reserve funds, one replied that they did not, six replied unreservedly that they
do and twenty replied that some of them do; one employer replied that his
employees own and operate a savings bank, in which they have savings t
the amount of $40,000. , , .

Four employers failed to reply in regard to their system of helping needy
new employees, twenty-five replied that they have no system, and seventeen
replied that they have some system; of those who replied in the affirmative,



30



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



nine state that their employees may draw on account, one makes loans to
employees, one makes loans to be repaid in small installments without inter-
est, the savings bank mentioned above makes loans to the employees, one
gives lunch tickets for which the cost is deducted from wages, one has a
boarding house and one a commissary department, one makes payment for
reasonable time when an employee is sick, and one did not specify what his
system is. Most of these methods seem to be designed for the regular steady
employee, rather than for the new employee who may be in temporary need.

Labor Supply.



^o


Can you always get all the


Kind o


f labor.


k*


help you want?


Scarce.


Over-supplied.


1


Nearly always


Skilled




2


Yes


Skilled




3


Generally


Common labor


understand Eng-
lish.

None


4


Yes






5


Have little difficulty









Yes






7


Yes






g


Yes


None


Unskilled


9


Not competent


Good salespeople ...


Manual labor


10


Yes






11
12


Yes '








13


No


Sail-makers, good


The incompetent in






awning hangers,
salespeople, good
boys


all lines.


14


Not of the kind we want






15




None


Unskilled


16


Yes






17


Yes


None


General laborers


18


Yes


First-class trades-


Male help, ages 19-35






men


who are not adapt-


19


Never all the skilled help; plenty


Skilled pressmen, en-


ed to any special
line of work.
Unskilled.






binders, etc




20


Yes


Skilled . .


Unskilled


21


Yes






22




Skilled makers and


Unskilled






designers




23




None




24




Boys about 16 . .




25


Yes




Unskilled


26








97


Yes . ,






28


Yes


English speaking








helpers




29




Marble workers ....




30




Skilled




31


No


Good skillful men...




32


Except after heavy snow storms.


None


Skilled mechanics


33


Yes


None


Bakers


34


Yes


Skilled packers ....




35




Comm6n labor




36


Yes






37


No


Experienced girls




38




None


skilled girls.
Common labor


39


Yes


Skilled


Unskilled laborers


40


Yes


Skilled


Common labor


41


Yes






42


Yes


None


Laborers


43




Skilled labor at


Unskilled






times




44


Yes


None


Common labor


45


Yes






46


No


Ordinary labor, and


None.






wood car builders.





REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



In reply to the question "Can you always get all the help you want?" 26
employers stated that they could, 4 employers that they could not, 13 that
they generally could secure all they wanted, three that they could not secure
competent help, and one failed to reply. Thus, about 85% of the employers
reported that they could always or almost always secure all the help they
wished, and about 9% that they could not secure all the help they wished,
and 6% that they could not secure all the competent help they wished. From
this it is evident that unemployment is principally a problem for the working-
man, but that it is to some degree a problem for the employer, since some of
them found difficulty in getting enough help.

The following table summarizes the replies in regard to the kinds of labor
scarce and over-supplied:



Kind of Labor



Number of Employers Replying:





Scarce


Over-supplied


Common labor


3


22


Skilled labor


15


2


None


11


5


Clerical


1






2






2




English-speaking helpers


1








2


Incompetent in all lines




2









From this table it appears that there is some over-lapping; three firms
could not always find enough common labor, twenty-two firms were over-sup-
plied with it; fifteen firms did not always have a sufficient supply of skilled
labor, two firms found that kind of labor over-supplied. There is not a great
discrepancy between these two; but it indicates to some extent the lack of
control of the labor market, and the possibility that in one part of the city
there may be an over-supply of a particular kind of labor, and a scarcity of
the same kind of labor in another part of the city.

Methods Used by Employers to Secure Help.



Firm
No.


Public
Employ-
ment
Agency


Private
Employ-
ment
Agency


News-
papers


Applica-
tion
at
Plant


Recom-
menda-
tion of
employees


Reasons for Choice


1











Yes


Yes


Good men do not need to go














to employment agencies or














papers.


2


No


No


No


Yes


No


Picked by foremen.


3


Yes


No


No


Yes


Yes


No preference.


4














Largely





5


No


No


No


Yes


Yes


Better selection.


6










Yes








7


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


We try to get help without














putting them to expense,














but have to resort to emp.














agencies sometimes.


8





Some


When


Most


Some


No choice; applications are








necessary






filed voluntarily by appli-














cants at our branches.


9








Some


Yes


Some





10











Yes


Yes





11




















12








Yes


Yes


Yes


. .


13


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


No choice


14






Yes


Yes


Yes





15











Yes!


Some


Continual applications make














an emp. agency necessary.


16


No


No


Some


Yes


Yes





17


No


No


No


Yes


Yes


References.


18


No


No


Some


Yes


Yes


We found this the only way














to get desirable help.



^Maintain our own employment office.



32



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



Methods Used by Employers to Secure Help Cont'd



Firm
No.


Public
Employ-
ment
Agency


Private
Employ-
ment
Agency


News-
papers


Applica-
tion
at
Plant


Recom-
menda-
tion of
employees


Reasons for Choice


19


No


No


Yes


Not


In ap-


Newspapers get better class










much


prentice


and cover more territory.












school














only




20


No


No


No


Yes


Some


Interview before employment.


21


Some


No


Yes


Yes


Some





22


No


No


Some


Yes


Some


Productive of best results.


23


No


No


No


Yes


Yes


Want good reliable and sober














men.


24











Most








25





Yes for


Yes for


Yes


Some









inferior


better












help


grade








26


No


No


Some


Yes


Some


Efficiency.


27











Yes








28


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Pleasing results.


29








Yes


Yes


Yes





30


No*





Some


Yes








31


No


Some


Some


Most


Often


Recommendations of our em-














ployees is best method














when possible.


32


Yes


Yes


Yes


Most


Most


Enough men can be secured














by these methods.


33


No*


No


Yes


Yes


No





34








Yes


Yes


Yes


Most convenient way.


35


No


No


Occasion-


Entirely


When-


Being a little out of the Chi-








ally




ever


cago labor center, we find












possible


we can reach class of men














required from our lists of














men laid off, or through our














employees.


36


No


No


No


Yes


Some


Other resources not required.


37


No


No


Some


Most


Often


Prefer to get friends of em-














ployees.


38


No


Abso-


-Yes


Yes


Yes









lutely No










39


Seldom


Part


Part


Most


Part


No particular choice; men














from public emp. office do














not average as well in














character and ability.


40


No


No


No


Yes


Some


This method gives best re-














sults.


41


No


No


Yes


Yes


Yes





42


No


No


Yes


Yes


Yes





43


No


No


Part


Largely


Yes


We prefer to have our help














come to us free from any














obligations. We encourage














our employees to recom-














mend their friends.


44


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Fitness for position open.


45








Yes


Yes


Yes


i


46


No


No


Yes, when


Most


Yes


Can obtain more experienced








necessary






men in this line of business














by personal application.



*Use union headquarters.

The employers, in stating their methods of securing help, frequently put
"Yes" after some methods, and left the others blank; other employers put
either "Yes" or "No" after each indicated method of securing help. When the
space after one of the indicated methods was left blank or indicated "No,"
the answer has been registered as "No" in the following table. In addition to



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