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the methods suggested, two firms indicated that they used the union head-
quarters for securing help. It was probably a mistake not to have indicated
this as one of the means of securing help.

Methods of Securing Help.



No. of Employers
reporting that
they:


Public
employment
exchanges


Private
employment
exchanges


Newspapers


Application
at plant


Recommen-
dation by
employees


Use


4


5


16


43


23


Do not use


39


36


16


1


6


Use sometimes . . .


2


4


13


1


16



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



33



This shows that practically all of the firms use the individual applications
of the unemployed as their chief source of securing help; newspapers are used
by about a third of the employers, and in case of need by about another third;
most of the employers desire to secure new employees on the recommendation
of their old employees, and some of the employers stated that they encouraged
their employees to recommend men for vacancies. There is a very large pro-
portion of the employers who fail to make use of private and public employ-
ment exchanges; one employer stated emphatically "Absolutely no" to the
question in regard to the use of private employment exchanges. Another em-
ployer stated that good men do not need to go to employment agencies or
newspapers to get work; another that he got his inferior help from private
agencies, another that the men coming from the public exchange do not aver-
age as well in character and ability as the men secured by other methods.

Attitude of Employers Toward Public Employment Exchange.



Il

^r


Would you favor effi-
cient public employ-
ment exchanges?


Features In public em-
ployment exchanges
recommended


Would you patronize a
system of efficient
State Employment
Exchanges, if recom-
mended by the Com-
mission?


i


Hardly in our business..





Yes.
Yes.


3


Yes


Gratuitous service


Yes.


4
5






So far as they could fur-


6

7


Yes





nish competent help.
Yes.


g


Y es


Classification and ref-


Yes.






erences




g


No




If we could not supply


10
11

12
13







our demands through
our own emp. office.

Yes.


14
15
16


Not necessary in our







17


Yes





Yes.


18







Yes.


19


Doubt whether employ-
ment agencies could
discriminate in help
before recommending
them




Would try them, but
would not continue to
patronize them unless
we could get the best
help that way.


20


Yes, generally, but not





Probably not, because
we require special


21
22


For clerical and shipping


Keeping employee's full


skill.
Not until tested.
Probably.


23


Don't know




Possibly.


24
25


Yes





Yes.~


26


Do not know




Willing to consider It.


27
28
?1


Yes





Yes.~


?0


Yes


Tests showing appli-


Certainly.






cant's ability




'11


Yes


Classification of appli-


Certainly.


32


Yes


cants, large waiting
room, and provisions
for "fixing up" and
caring for applicants.


Yes.


33


Yes if run right


Recommend only those


Yes


T4


Yes


with good references.


Yes.


35


We find no necessity for
this





Not considered neces-
sary with our condi-








tions.



34



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



Attitude of Employers Toward Public Employment Exchange Cont'd



|o


Would you favor effi-
cient public employ-
ment exchanges?


Features in. Public em.
ployment exchanges
recommended


Would you patronize a
system of efficient
State Employment
Exchanges, if recom-
mended by the Com-
mission?


36

17


Yes


Gratuitous service and









clearing house for
both sides




38


Yes


Management by compe-


Yes.






tent business men and
absolute divorce from
politics




39


Worth trying


Good sensible manage-


Yes if they furnish






ment, free from union
control, and with
careful investigation
of applicants ........


good men.


40
41
4?


Not familiar with It




Yes.
Would give it our best


43
44


Yes, if free from politics.

".


Separation from poll-
tics, management
vested in a commis-
sion appointed by the
City Club or Associa-
tion of Commerce....


consideration.
Yes, when we could da
so.

Do not know.


45
46










The attitude of the employers towards an efficient system of publicly man-
aged labor exchanges such as those of Europe is generally favorable, in so far
as that attitude Js expressed in their answers. Of the 46 employers who re-
turned the questionnaires, 16 failed to answer this question; 6 stated that they
did not know, or were not prepared to state their attitude, 15 declared them-
selves favorably disposed toward such a system, 2 that they were favorably
disposed to it in some respects, only one was openly opposed to it, 5 doubted
whether such a system* would be useful in their particular line of work, though,
they did not state any opposition to the system in general, and one employer
doubted whether employment agencies could discriminate in help before rec-
ommending them.

Of the 46 employers, 37 did not specify any special features in public em-
ployment exchanges which they would recommend; of the recommendations,
four were for keeping careful records and securing references of applicants
for work two were that such a system be kept entirely separate from pol-
itics; one employer even recommended that it be in charge of a commission
appointed by the City Club or the Chamber of Commerce; two recommended
gratuity of service; two recommended a careful classification of applicants,,
one recommendation for a waiting room and provisions for "fixing up" and
caring for the men who were applying for work; there was one recommenda-
tion for freedom from union control.

Nineteen employers stated without qualification that they would patronize
such exchanges, if recommended by the Commission; nine replied with differ-
ent degrees of qualification, but in general favorably; one employer replied
that he would use them if his own employment office could not supply the
demands; one employer stated that it was not necessary in his business, and
one that he would probably not use such an exchange because he required
skilled help; sixteen employers failed to answer this question.

Recommendations and suggestions by employers:

Employer No. 1 : "Our experience has been that the reason of unem-
ployment is that most of the unemployed are unwilling to work and will not
take such employment as is offered. We have employed some men through-
agencies and almost without exception they have been incompetent."



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT 35

Firm No. 9: "Our experience has been that applicants who are sent by
charitable institutions are careless and very unsatisfactory. It seems that the
most dependent are the most independent and afraid of work."

Firm No. 13: "Our common schools should turn out better average boys
of 16 boys able to write well and express themselves in fair English and
willing to work. Girls should be taught that $5.00 per week on State Street
is not so good for them financially and morally as $10.00, $12.00, $14.00 and
$15.00 in a decently run shop, office or factory. Loyalty to the man behind
the pay-roll should be encouraged; it is growing less and less."

Firm No. 18: "Vocational training in the public schools would in the
future do much toward raising the standard of labor, as at present boys who
by force of circumstances are compelled to seek employment, having no me-
chanical training, will take the first situation open to them whether it is suit-
able or not, drifting from one job to another and eventually form part of that
unskilled class which is already too numerous. An efficient labor exchange
co-operating with others situated in the large cities would do much to reduce
the number of unemployed."

Firm No. 19: "Do not get good help from present employment agencies
and doubt whether employment agencies could discriminate in help before
recommending them. Skilled help can always find employment here. Only
poor class of men refer to employment bureaus for employment, and we have
never yet known of such a bureau whose recommendation is worth the paper
it is written on. ... It strikes me it is a question of general education and
training."

Firm No. 26: "We believe that many of the men now unemployed would
find plenty of work if they were not prevented by the tyranny of labor lead-
ers, and the unreasonable restrictions of labor unions, particularly the building
trades, as they limit the number of men who are allowed to learn trades, and
prevent many men from working except under the most arbitrary rules and
strict supervision of the walking delegates."

Firm No. 30: "The greatest evil is the fact that workmen no matter
how inefficient as members of labor unions, are forced on to us, and we
must learn by bitter experience their worth."

Firm No. 31: "Labor exchanges will do much to mitigate the evil. It
will always exist in a degree, however, and nothing remains but to give char-
itable help. The charities tf Chicago should be organized and municipalized
with the object of securing better distribution and more interest on the part
of the housewives of the city, who together could give vast quantities of old
clothes and shoes. These might even be repaired by the city, where neces-
sary, thus giving employment to some poor people."

Firm No. 37: "The average employee is much less steady than of former
years and wants to be guaranteed 'good' wages to start, regardless of the
future. In other words, they are too frequently content with a medium wage
and will not exert themselves to actually earn a high wage. There seems to
be but little ambition to better themselves beyond a certain point. Frequently
the wages asked as a 'starter' are ridiculously high when all the circumstances
are considered."

Firm No. 39: "Get men to realize that drinking men find it difficult to
' hold their places. The younger element 18 to 23 of the present day is
something 'fierce' reckless and indifferent, seem to lack the proper ambition
to make good. In promoting sobriety we have milkmen come to the factory
each day and sell bottled milk to the men. About 150 bottles of milk come
into the factory in this way each day. This has brought about an entire dis-
continuance of sending out buckets for beer a common practice some years
ago."

Firm No. 41: "Get rid of union business agents."



36



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



Extent of Unemployment, as Shown by Labor Union Reports.



No.
of
Union


Time
lost by
average
work-
man


Per cent
of
members
employed
the
entire
year


Are there in
all seasons
some
members
unemployed?


Number of months
the trade is


Is the
trade
seasonal?


Is unemploy-
ment a
grave
problem?


Busy


Slack


No
Work


1


2 mo.


66%


No


9


3





Yes


No


2


5 mo.


15


Yes


4


6


2


Yes


Yes


3


3.5 mo.





No


7-8.5


3.5-5


3


Yes


Yes


4





75


Yes











No


No


5


3.5 mo.


60





8-10


2-4


2-3


Yes


Yes


6


4 mo.


5


Yes


8


4


4


Yes


Yes


7


3 mo.


50














*


No


8


3-4 mo.


10


Yes


6-8


3-4





Yes


Yes


9


1.5 mo.


75


Yes


9-10


2-3





Yes


No


10


6 mo.


8





4


3


4


Yes


Yes


11


t


50


No


9


3





Yes


Not necessar-


















ily


12


4 mo.


70





8


4


4


Yes


Yes


13


3 mo.


10





9


3


3


Yes


Yes


14


2-5 mo.


85


No


7


5





Yes


Yes


15


7 days


100


Yes


6


6





No


No


16


2-3 mo.


60


Yes


6


6





Part


Yes


17


3 mo.


5











No


Yes


18


3 mo.


60


Yes


9


3





Yes


Yes


19


3-4 mo.


5-10%


-


8-9


1


3-4





Yes


20








Yes











No


Yes


21


5 mo.


10





5


5


5


Yes


Yes


22








Yes


6-7


5-6


4


Yes


Yes


23





100


Yes


12








No


Not very


24


2 days


100


Yes


12








No


Yes


25


2-3 mo.


66


No


6


5


1


Yes


Not very


26


























27











.








No


Yes


28


mo.


95


Yes


12








No


No


29


2 mo.


75





7


5





Yes


Yes


30


4 mo.


35


Yes


8


4


4


Yes


Yes



*Not entirely.



JDepends on factory demands.



fBetween seasons.



The number of members in the unions was not learned in this ques-
tionnaire; on that account it is impossible to give the averages; but, roughly,
the time lost by the average workman was about 3 months; a little over 50%
of the workers had work the year round; about '74% (14 of the 19) unions
replying, stated that at all times of the year some of their members were
unemployed. (This question was stated: "Does this register of unemployed
men show, or do you know, whether there are at all times through the year
some of your members out of employment?" Some of the answers seem to
indicate that this was not understood to mean "Are some of your members
unemployed," but "Can you tell whether they are?")

Some of the unions included the period of "no work" in the "slack" sea-
sons, and they therefore over-lap; others did not; the average is therefore
inaccurate. The average, such as it is, shows that about 7^4 months of the
year are busy, 3% slack and iy 2 no work. Eighteen unions replied that their
trades were seasonal, two that they were partly seasonal, eight that they were
not seasonal, and two failed to answer this question.

Twenty unions replied that unemployment is a grave problem in their
trade, six that it was not a grave problem (though only one of these reported
that all their members were employed the year around; the other reported
that from 50 to 75% of their members were employed the year round, and
that the average member lost from 1.5 to 3 months on the average), three that
it was not a very grave problem, and one failed to reply to this question.

The general conclusion is that unemployment is a grave problem to the
members of these labor unions, in that there is about a month and a half of
no work, three and a half months of slack work, and in that there are at all
seasons some members unemployed; speaking roughly, about 50% of the
members have work the entire year, and the average workman loses about
three months of work in his trade during the year. These figures do not show
whether he finds work in some other trades.

These returns may be represented most accurately by grouping them.
Considering only the 25 unions reporting definitely on this point, the average



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



37



member in 4 unions lost less than 1 month at his trade, the average member
in 1 union lost from 1 to 2 months at his trade, the average member in 5
unions lost from 2 to 3 months at his trade, the average member in 8 unions
lost from 3 to 4 months at his trade, the average member in 3 unions lost from
4 to 5 months at his trade, the average member in 2 union lost from 5 to 6
months at his trade, the average member in 1 union lost 6 months at his trade,
the average member in 1 union lost from 2 to 5 months at his trade.
For the 27 unions reporting on this point:

In 6 unions less than 10% of the members work the entire year.
In 4 unions from 10 to 19% of the members work the entire year.

29% of the members work the entire year.

39% of the members work the entire year.

49% of the members work the entire year.

59% of the members work the entire year.

69% of the members work the entire year.

79% of the members work the entire year.

89% of the members work the entire year.

99% of the members work the entire year.
100% of the members work the entire year.
There seems to have been some misunderstanding or else a great differ-
ence in standards in answering the question: "Is unemployment a grave prob-
lem in your trade?" For instance, Union No. 25 replied that it was not a very
grave problem, but in the course of the answers to other questions stated that
last winter five members of their union (one-fifth of the entire membership)
last winter walked the streets for ten weeks in one stretch in search of work;
also that some- of their members were out of work for months at a time. The
members in this union had surplus funds in only a very few cases. Therefore,
their statement that unemployment is not a very grave problem seems doubtful.

The Extent of Unemployment, as Shown by Labor Union Reports.

The extent of unemployment is also shown by the comparison of the
lowest and the highest number of persons employed during the winter of
1911-1912, and by a comparison of that winter with previous winters.



In
In 1
In
In 2
In 5
In 4
In 1
In 1
In 3


union
union
union
unions
unions
unions
union
union
unions


from
from
from
from
from
from
from
from



No.
of
Union


Number unemployed in
winter of 1911-12


Were conditions
of employment
worse than
in other years?


Period in 1911-12 of


Least number
unemployed


Greatest number
unemployed


Least


Greatest


1


100-200





Worse





Dec.-Jan.


2


500 (33%)


1300 (85%)


Worse


Sept.


Feb.


3








Worse





Winter


4


400


490


Worse





Jan.-March


5


20


75


Worse





Dec.-March


6


355


400


Worse


Summer


Winter


7


300


500


Worse


Nov.


Jan.


8


800


1200


Worse







9


2


10


Worse


Summer


Nov.-Jan.


10


40


60


Worse


May, June,


Dec.-March










Sept., Oct.




11





~^


Worse


Summer


Winter


12


500


600


Worse





Jan.-Apr.


13





427


No





May 15-Aug. 15


14








Worse





Nov. -Apr.


15








No








16


15


50


Worse


Aug.-Nov.





17


240


375


Worse








18


6


22


Worse


Winter


Summer


19


200


250


Worse


Summer


Winter


20







Worse





*


21


300


500


Worse


May- June


Jan.-Feb.


22


400


600


Worse


July


Jan.


23





5


No








24




15


Worse








25


5


16








Fall and winter


26

















27

















28








No








29


300


500


Worse


Fall


Winter


30


50%


50%


Worse


May-Dec. 1


Winter



*Bad all through the year.



38 REPORT OP THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT

This table shows that the least number unemployed in the winter of 1911-
1912 was 4,383, the greatest number 7,380; also, that the winter is in all cases
except one the time of the greatest amount of unemployment; the 7,380 unem-
ployed should, therefore, be contrasted also with the number unemployed in
the spring or early fall, but the figures for that comparison -are not accessible.
Since these trades show that the period of unemployment is uniformly the
winter months, it is evident that not many men can transfer from their regular
trade to some other skilled trade, but that they must take odd jobs that can
be found in the winter.

Twenty-three unions reported that there was more unemployment in the
winter of 1911-12 than usual, four unions reported that it was no more, and
three unions failed to answer this question. The reason given for the increased
unemployment was generally the severe weather. (See below )

Extent of Unemployment, as Shown by Labor Union Reports.
The comparison of the actual earnings of members of trade unions with
the earnings they would receive if they were employed steadily indicates the
amount of unemployment. This also shows the probable effects of unemploy-
ment.

Union Actual earnings Possible annual earnings

No. in a year. if steadily employed.

1 $ 792 | 936

2 675 1,350

3 600 900

4 750 1,000

5 650 850

6 520 782

7 750 1,750

8 600 1,500

9 l,l"i 1,300

10 i 700 1,435

11 . . 1,200

12 1,200 1,816

13 800 1.040

14 540 700

15 1,150 1,155

16 750 900

17 650 1,000

18 500 800

19

20 1,050

21 500 900

22 210* 315*
23

24 ' '1,650 ' '1,766

25 900 953.16

26

27

28 1,400 1,400

29 1,1001 1,100

30 1,200 1,800
With board and lodging.

There is evidently some mistake in this answer, for the union reported
that the average member lost 2 months' work, and that 75% of the members
have work the year round. This report is therefore not included in the totals.

In a recent book on "The Standard of Living Among Workingmen's Fami-
lies," R. C. Chapin concluded that in New York City an annual income of $800
is necessary to keep the standard of living up to the normal demands of
health, working efficiency and social decency. This annual income necessary
for efficient work is sometimes placed at $700.

According to the above chart none of the members of these unions would
receive less than $700 a year if they worked full time; but actually the aver-
age member in nine of these unions (40.9% of those reporting) receives less
than $700 from his trade.

Of the 22 answers which can be used for this purpose the results may be
grouped as follows:



Actually the average member In:

14 unions receive from.$ 500 to $ 799

2 unions receive from. 800 to 1,099

4 unions receive from. 1,100 to 1,399

2 unions receive from. 1,400 to 1,699

unions receive from. 1,700 to 1,899



If working full time the average
member in:

2 unions would receive.? 500 to $ 7Mt
10 unions would receive. 800 to 1,099

3 unions would receive. 1,100 to 1,399

3 unions would receive. 1,400 to 1,699

4 unions would receive. 1,700 to 1,899



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



39



This may be expressed in another way, thus:



The average member in 4 unions lost less than 9.9%
The average member in 3 unions lost from 10.0 to 19,
The average member in 4 unions lost from 20.0 to 29
The- average member in 6 unions lost from 30.0 to 39
The average member in unions lost from 40.0 to 49
The average member in 4 unions lost from 50.0 to 59,
The average member in 1 union lost from 60.0 to 69,



of his possible earnings.
9% of his possible earnings.
9% of his possible earnings.
9% of his possible earnings.
9% of his possible earnings.
9% of his possible earnings.
9% of his possible earnings.



This loss refers only to the loss from unemployment in his own trade,
and does not take into consideration the fact that he may secure work in
some other trade to keep up his earnings. One union in the cement industry
stated that when cold weather prevented a continuance of their own trade,
the men drifted around, some working in the packing houses, some in shops
and foundries.

In order to determine the results of the loss of earnings it would be nec-
essary to know, also, whether or not the workmen had a surplus of some
kind ; the answers to this question are, necessarily, rather indefinite. Two
unions did not answer this question, because it was "private business." The
union out-of-work benefit would also .be closely connected with this point,
and is therefore included in the following table:



o

11


Do the members have a sur-
plus of some kind?


Does the union have
out-of-work ben-
flts?


If so, how are re-
quests for benefits
checked?


1

2
3

4

5


7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22

23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30 \


Some have surplus, all have


No .


Union book
stamps and
of-work list.


due
out-


Very few about 2%


No




No




Yes




No




No




No


The majority have not


No


No


Some


No . . ...




No


No


Very few


No


Very few


No *


Yes


No


Verv few


No ....


Very few


No


About 20% own their homes..
Some have


No .


No


About 5 % have ;


No


No


Very few have surplus; none
have homes


No


No .


Some have


Most all own property No


Very few . Nn


Very few


No .


No .


Yes No





Dues are remitted.

Give out-of-work stamps.

*Strike benefits are given.

These answers indicate that probably a very small proportion of the
members of these unions have a definite surplus; when a period of unemploy-
ment strikes them, they must either secure some other kind of work or soon
become dependents. Only one union pays any benefits to those unemployed.



40



REPORT OF THE MAYOR'S COMMISSION ON UNEMPLOYMENT



Constitution of the Membership of Labor Unions.



No.
Un.


Av.
Age.



Nationalities.


1


40


German, Polish, Swedish, Italian, Irish.



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