Wisconsin. Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statisti.

Biennial report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of ..., Volume 13, Part 7 online

. (page 61 of 107)
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very large proportion cx>me under the classification of less than
$5.00 a week. TIow few occupations offer women w^orkers an
opportunity of working up from the $1.00 a day scale is inti-
mated by the very few who gave that figure as their starting
point. Usually, it will be -seen, the $1.00 a day, from being the
starting point, is the goal which over three-fourths ne^xr reach.

YEARLY EARNINGS OF EACH EMPLOYE INt^LmEI) AND AVERAGE
YEARLY EARNIN(;S TO EA( IL



Classification.



Number.



Total

yearly

earoiDgs.



Average of $507 per year ' 7

$450 per year I 7

425 per year ^ 11

400 per year | 28

375 per year [ 10

350 per year i 44

325 per year | 18

300 per year ' «7

275 per year | 18

250 per year I 81

225 per year ' 52

200 per year [ 9<*>

175 per year I 67

160 per year I 87

125 per year ' 63

100 per year I 38

75 per year 27



$3,549

3,150

4,675

11,200

3,750

15.400

5,850

20.100

4.950

20.250

11.700

18,000

11.725

13.050

7.875

3.800

2.025



50 per year i 34 > 1.700

25 per year ' 16 I 400

10 per year I 4 I 40

Total I 769 I $lft3.1S9

Arerage yearly earnings to each employe $212 21

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(558 LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.

The preceding table is devoted to net yearly earnings as dis-
tinguished from weekly wage rates. A wage earner's theoretic
income, based on a given weekly wage, may be a very different
tiling from what the wage earner actually receives in the course
of a year. Continuity of wage in factory work depends upon
continuity of service, and the slightest deviation from the stip-
ulated hours of work is likely to be reflected in the Saturday
night envelope. When the factory closes down for repairs or
when it is overtaken by the dull season that is likely to occur in
every trade the worker's wages stop. They stop, too, when
through her own or her family's sickness or misfortune she is
kept at home. Many causes tend to contribute to the amount
of lost time charged to her account during the year and though
in many cases she can not be held responsible she is obliged to
pay the penalty in the sha|X3 of a decrease in her annual income.
This accounts for the difference between the amounts given by
the workers under consideration as their yearly incomes and
the amounts that could be obtained by multiplying the weekly
wage rates by tlie number of weeks in a year. "

In the table the actual yearly earnings as given by the
workers themselves appear. It will be noted that the amounts
run from $10, which was the estimate of the incomes of four
beginners who had been at work but a few weeks, to an average
of $507 for the seven workers who went over the $500 mark.
There were only seven also in the $450 class, but the $400 mark
was reached by twenty-eight. Forty-four made $350; sixty-
seven, $300 ; eighty-one, $250, and ninety, $200, the latter being
the largest number in any one class. From there on there is a
decrease in the numl)er, though eighty-seven give $150 as their
yearly incomes and sixty-three, $125. The average yearly in-
come for each employe is $212.21. This would give a weekly
rate of $4.08. The average weekly wage, it will be remem-
bered, was $4.59. In view of the explanation given above the
disparity between the t^vo rates is not remarkable. It shows,
however, that what a workingwoman is supposed to make is not
always what she actually receives.



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WOMEN EMPLOYED IN FACTORIES.



659



CLASSIFIED YKARLY EARNINGS.



Classification.




Under $100 per year
$100 but under $200
200 but under 300
300 but under 400
400 but under 500
500 and over

Total



10.53
33.02
31.47
18.08
5.98
.91



100.00



To present the same information in a more condensed form,
the yearly incomes of these TG9 workers have been classified and
arranged in a shorter table which can bo more readily studied.
The unit of $100 has been used for the classification, those re*
ceiving less than that amount forming one group, and those re-*
ceiving $500 and over, another. These represent the two
extremes in the yearly incomes under consideration, and between
them are four other groups: those receiving $100, but under
$200 ; those receiving $200, but less than $300 ; those receiving
$300, but less than $400, and tliose receiving $400, but less than
$500. This covers in succinct fonn all the information given
in more detail elsewhere. It will be noted that the largest num-
ber in any one group comes under the head of those making
$100, but less than $200 a year, 254 being so classified. Almost
as many, however, — in exact figures, 242 — made over $200, but
less than $300. Between the $100 and $300 ix)ints almost two-
thirds of the entire number of workers responding, or 496, are
concentrated. The next highest number is that included in the
group which made $300, but less than $400, and which numbers
139. Only seven made over $500 and eighty-one fell below the
$100 mark.



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660



LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.



CLASSIFIED WEEKLY EAUNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED VS' MANU-
FACTURING, AS REPOUTED BY EMPLOyERS.

Total
per-



iod ustries.



Under

$5.00.


$5 but
under
$5.00.


$8 but
under

$<.oo.


$7 but
under

$8.00.


$8 but
under
$9.00.


$9.00

and

over.



Boots and shoes

Boxes

Breweries

Clothing

Confectionery, crackers ....
Electric and gas apparatus.

Knit goods

Paper mills

Sheet metal

Sash, door and blinds

Miscellaneous



Total



460

37

511

1,18^

1,108

82

1,672

7U9

286

568



128

5

216

1,047

. 66

34

380

66

17

1

202



-I-



6.613 I 2.162 1



103 I

7

1

372

20

13

285

90

1

3

21

916



120



1





50


187


73


111


10


2


1


9





2


157


83


118


19



18

1


62


1







22




21



471



252



455



936
49

779
2.973
1,207

133
2,695

964

305
12

846

10,899



CLASSIFIED WEEKLY EARXIN(iS OF WOMEN E.MPLOYED IN (^ERTAIN
AfANUFACTURlNG INDUSTRIES, AS REPORTED BY THE EMPLOY-
ERS.



Industries.



Under
$5.00.



$5 bnt
under
$6.00.



$6 but
under
$7.00.



$7 but
under
$3.00.



$Sbut
under
$tf.00.



$9.00

and

over.



Total
per-



Boots and shoes

Boxes, etc

Breweries

Clothing

Confectionery

Electric and gas api>aratu8

Knit goods

Paper and pulp

Sheet metal

Sash, doors and binds —
<\iiscellaneou.s



Total



20
27
18
35

9
13
26
39

7
42

245 I

I



5
6
13



56



11
1



7 I 2 1.



1 12 1


7




12


3 1


3


1 1


2


2 1

1 '


10



54



12
1



33



12



17



27



29
22
32
41
51
18
67
?9
48
10
70



427



COMPARISON OF THE EMPLOYERS' AND EMPLOYES' REPORTS OF
THE WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED IN CERTAIN
MANUFACTUUINC; INDUSTRIES.





Employer's Report.


Employees* Report.


Cla.ssification.


Number.


Per cent.


Number.


Per cent.


Under $5.00 per week ...,

$5.00 but under $6.00


6,613
2,162
916
471
252
485


60.68
19.84
8.40
4.32
2. St
4.45


245.
56
.54
33
12
27


57.38
13.11


6 00 but under 7.00


12 65


7 00 but under 8.00


7 T3


8 00 but under 9.00


2 81


9 and over


6 32







Total


10,899


100 00 1


427


100 00




1


1





i



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WOMEN EMPLOYED IN FACTORIES. 661

To gain still another view of the wage conditions, certain typ-
ical industries were selecte<l for a comparison of the wage scale
as reported by both employers and employes. Employers in
these industries reported on a total of 10,899 workere, taking
their figures from their payrolls, while in the same industries
427 workers w^ere personally interviewed as to the wages they
were receiving. The facts as given by each side are presented
separately in tJie first two tables and in the third are reduced
and further classified for a closer comparison. In spite of the
vdde difference in tlie number reported by the employers and
those who were seen personally it is interesting to note that there
is no great variance in the facts themselves and that the per-
centage of those receiving the lowest class of wages is even higher
in the returns from employers than from employes. For ex-
ample, the employers report 60.68 per cent, as receiving wages
below $5 a week, while among the employes reporting, 57.38
received wages below that amount. For those between the $5
and $6 points the percentage from the employers' returns is
slightly higher than as given by the employes, being 19.^4 to the
latter's 13.11 per cent.. The variance in the next two classifica-
tions is about 2 per cent,, the employers reporting 12.72 per
cent, as receiving w^ages between $6 and $8 a week and the em-
ployes 10.38 per cent. For the class between the $8 and $9
points the percentage is almost the same, being 2.31 for the
employers and 2.81 for the employes. It is noticeable, also,
that in reporting on those receiving tlie highest division of
w^ages, $9 and over, tlio employers re|X)rt but 4.45 per cent, and'
the employes 6.32.

CHANGKS IN WAGES.





Classification.




' Number.

1


Per cent.


Increasp






...| 430


55.92


DtHTonse






. . . 1 59


7.67


No change






1 280


36 41








. .1 769




Total . ...


100 00




_









In reporting on clianges of wages within their personal expe-
rience, 430, or 55.92 per cent., said that in their opinion wages

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662



LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.



had a tendency to constantly increase, while 59, or 7.67 per
cent., thought there was a movement in the opposite direction.
Among those who held to the last named opinion were the older
workers who had lived through financial panics with their sub-
sequent depressions and who said that such events were always
felt most keenly by the wage earners, whose incomes going down
at such times did not spocnlily resume their former figure. On
the other hand, 280, or 36.41 per cent, said that they could see
liO cliange in eitlier way.



COST OF BOAKD^ AM) UUUM VKU WEEK.



Classiftcation.



Averapp of $4.25 per wcok

3.50 per wook

3.25 per week

3.W per week

2.7.'» per week

2M per week

2.25 i)er week

2.m por week

1.75 per week

1.50 i)er week

1.25 per week

1.00 i)er week



Total

Weekly average to eaeh enif)loree
Yearly average to eaeh employee ..



Number. Tot«l£«'



4Jl
28
27
112
46
96

•;5

14
12
5
6



497



$182 75

98 00

87.75

3.'6 00

123 75

240 00

101 25

128 00

24 50

18 00

625

600



$1.352 25

$2 72
$14144



^272 persons did not report as to the eost of board.



I'



t



In endeavoring to ascertain the cost of room and board for
tliose workers it speedily developed that many could give no defi-
nite information on that point as they lived at home, paying no
stated sum, but relinquisliing all their earnings to their parents.
(^onse(iueiitly re])lios were received from only 497 persons. It
is safe to conclude that the other 272 lived at home, paying no
board, at least in the ordinary way, and hence felt that the ques-
tion did not apply to them. Wherever a girl had made a defi-
nite arrangement, by which she paid a stated sum for board and
lodging, eith(^r under her parents' roof or in the homo of a
stranger, she readily made known the terms on which she secured
them, so that the 272 who failed to reply would have done so,



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WOMEN EMPLOYED IN FACTORIES. 663

presumably, if they had not been living at home. The table
above shows the actual cost of board and lodgiujg for the 497
reporting, and also the average cost of board for each person.
The scale runs from $4.25 a week, which was the average rate
paid by 43 workers who regularly paid over $3.50 a week, to
$1.00 a week, which six paid. Tho most popular rate seemed
to be $3.00, which 112 persons paid, and next to this came $2.50,
which 96 paid. Sixty-four paid $2.00 and 45, $2.25. From
there the scale nms do^Ti to $1.00. The smaller amounts rep-
resent as a rule the girls' contributions toward the family main-
tenance rather than actual rates, for where girls were not bound
by the custom of turning over their entire wages to their parents,
they almost invariably paid down a certain proportion of their
earnings, calling it the cost of their board and lodging, though
in some cases it could not, of course, cover the actual expenses.

The average rate for the 497 was $2.72 a week, or $141.44 a
year, and it is believed that these figures fairly represent the
actual expense for the typical factory worker.

CLASSIFIED COST OF BOARD AND ROOM.



Classification. | Number. I Per cent.




Under $2.00 per week
$2.00 but under |3.00 .
3.00 but under 4.00

4.00 and over

Not reporting

Total



In this table the weekly rate for board and lodging has been
arranged in classified form. Here it can be seen that 4.81 per
cent paid less than $2.00 a week ; 32.51 per cent, $2.00, but un-
der $3.00 ; 21.72 per cent. $3.00, but under $4.00, and 5.59 per
cent. $4.00 and over. The greatest number came in the class
of those who paid $2.00 but under $3.00, and the smallest in
the class of tliose who paid under $2.00.



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664



LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.



COST OF BOARD AND ROOM PKR WEEK. DAY AND YEAR FOR THOSE
WHO WERE BOARDING.



Classification.


Number

of
persons.


Cost

per week

to each

employe.


Cost

per day

to each

employe.


Cost

per year

to each

employe.


1


. 43
28
27
112
45
96
45
64
14
12
5
6


$4 25
350
3 25
300
2 75
2 50
2 25
2 00
1 75
IM
1 25
1 00


$0 61
50
46
43
39
36
35
29
25
21
18
14


$221 00
182 00


2


3 ::;::::::::::::;::::::::::::


169 00


4


156 00


t,


143 00


7

8


130 0<)
117 00


9


104 00


10


91 00


11


78 00


12


65 00


13


52 00






Total and averages


J4 97


12 72


$0 39


$14144





In the third table relating to the cost of board and lodging
the actual rates paid by the 497 reporting have been arranged
by the day, week and year, the averages for each being given. It
is showai that the average weekly rate is $2.72, the daily rate
$.1^9, and tlio yearly rate $141.44. The table is so plainly
arranged that it requires no explanation, and taken in connec-
tion with tliose inimediately preceding it makes an interesting
suinniary of tliis most necessary exi)euse for all working women.



SHOWING THK RESPIX'TIVE NUMRER OF THO&E WHO HAD SAVED
SOME MONEY, AN'D OF THOSE WHO HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO
SAVE ANYTHING SINCE BEroMlN(; WA(H«:-EARNERS.



(MjiHsifloatlon.



I 1

I Number. I Per cent.



Saved some ...
Not saved any

Total . ..



143



70f)



18.60
81.40



100.00



ti'



Considering all the facts that have been brought out previ-
ously in this report, it is not surprising to find that less than
(HiG-fourth of the nuiiil)er responding report any savings. The
mere question, when personally put^ was invariably provocative
of mirth and a negative answer was made usually. This was
tnie of every trade investigated and applies with equal force
both to those workers who were receiving wages that could be



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WOMEN EMPLOYED IN FACTORIES. 665

called fair and to those whose earnings fell below the average.
Apparently the living expenses of tlie workers kept steady pace
with their incomes. In many cases this could be accounted for
by the custom referred to in connection wdtli the cost of board
and lodging. Girls who relinquish all personal right to their
earnings, turning them into a common family fund, cannot well
have individual savings. They may have a share in the co-op-
erative acciuuulations of the family, but if tliey have it is usu-
ally an indefinite one not clearly recognized by the other
members. It is significant that those who reported savings were
for the most part workei-s living away from their homes or with^
out family demands upon their incomes. Or they were girls
who, while living at home, paid a definite sirni for their board
and handled what remained of tlieir wage to please themselves.
This might seem to suggest tliat the lack of ambition ascribed
to girls in fa(*tories is due, to some extent at least, to the fact
that th(*y do not always enjoy a direct reward for greater exer-
tion. *'What difference does it make? I wouldn't get any
more out of it if I should earn more," is a sentiment they fre-
quently express in conversation. The period of betrothal some-
times ushers in a new era for the individual worker, who with
a prospective home of her own in view is permitted to withdraw
her usual contribution to the family support that she may save
for the purchase of a trousseau. Where a girl is still unmarried
at her twenty-fii'St biithday a new arrangement is sometimes
made by whicli she pays a stipulated amount for lx)ard, keeping
all al)ove that amount for herself, but in course of the pi'esent
investigation many instances were encountered of women in
their late twenties and thirties who were still, as when children,
turning over to their parents their Saturday night envelopes.

The table above is based on the replies to the several ques-
tions : "Have you saved any money this year V' "Were you able
t/> save any money last year <■" "Have you saved any money
since; lxx*oming a wage earner?" Most of these answers, it will
be seen, were in the negative, 02(5, or 81.40 jkh* cent., reporting
not having saved anything, while 143, or 18.00 per cent., had
Wn able to put something by.



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\



666 LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.



SHOWING CLASSIFIIOD SAVINGS OF Tlli: 143 PERSONS WHO REPORTED

HAVING Saved some money since becoming wage-earners.



Classification.




Number.


Per cent.


$500 or more


7
13
53
70


4.90


300 but less than $100


9.09


100 but less than 300


37 06


Less than $100


43 95








Total


143


100 00









This table shows tlic classified earninp^s of the 143 individuals
referred to. The highest class is made up of those who had
saved $500 and over and these number 7 or 4.90 of the whole
number reporting. Thirteen, or 9.00 per cent., had saved $300
but less than $500 and 53, or 37.06 per cent, $100, but less than
$300. Seventy, or 48.95 per cent., had saved sums under $100,
ranging in amount from $10.00 to $75.00. In the $500.00 and
over class the highest figure was reached. This table shows the
classifioil earnings of the 143 individuals referred to.

The highest figure in the $500.00 class was by a worker who
made sample garments in a clothing factory and out of a weekly
wage of $7.00 had put away $900. The next highest amount
was reported by an insi)e(^tor in a hosiery factory who had saved
$700.00 on a wage of $8.40 out of \vhich she paid $4 a week for
board and lodging. A cutter in the same factory, making $9.00
a week and paying $3.50 a week board, had saved $600. A
foreman in a candy factory, making $8 a week and paying $3.50
board, had accumulated $500. Another foreman in the same
factory, making the same wages and paying $4 for her board,
had saveil $100. A worker on fur garments, making $6 and
paying $2 board, had saved $300. In the same factory, a more
skilled worker receiving $9 a week and paying $4 board had put
by but $150. Two girls in a brewery, on wages of $5 had $100
apieci in tlio bank. A buttonhole worker in a shirt factory
making $6 had saved 200. An overall maker working by the
piece and averaging $5.50 had saved $150, while paying $2.50
board. Three girls in a paper mill on a weekly wage of $6 had
.saved $100 each. A weaver in a woolen mill making $7.50 a
V week had saved $150 in spite of being obliged to keep up a house



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WOMEN EMPLOYED IN FACTORIES.



667



for herself and children. A girl in a brass factory making
$7.50 and paying $1 board had saved $300.



TIME EMPLOYED DUUING 1901.



Classification.


Number of
employes.


Total
time.


12 months of full tinio


33S
127
98
54
30
21
29
20
19
18
10
5


4.066
1 397


31 months


10 months


980


9 mouths .,


486


8 mouths


240


7 mouths


141


6 months


174


5 months


100


4 mouths


76


3 months


54


2 mouths


20


1 month


5






Total


769


7.729
10 05


Ayerage to each person ,









To gain some idea of the actual working time of the persons
concerned in this report, each was asked to state just how many
weeks or months she had been employed during the year previous
to that in which the investigation was made. The period chosen
was a fairly average one, with no great financial depression or
any unusual prosperity that might affect the opportunities it of-
fered for employment and it was not so far in the past that its
events could not be recalled with distinctness by the workers,
whose replies, as they anuear in the preceding table, may there-
fore be regarded as fairly accurate. It will bo seen that the
average working year of the 7G9 persons covered only 10.05
months, leaving almost two months of idleness, chosen or on-
forced, but still unproductive. A large proportion of the girls
worked the entire year, 338, or 44^ per cent., reporting that
they had been employed the full twelve months. From this on,
however, there is a constantly decreasing scale, beginning with
the 127, or 1G.5 per cent., w^lio worked eleven months and run-
ning down to the five who were employed only one month during
1901. In many cases the short working time was due to the
fact that the girls had only recently left school and entered the
factory. Older and more experienced hands reported no such
great loss of time, though in some occupations having strongly
defined seasons of trade four and five and even six months were



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6(58 LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.

lost out of ovory year, the total inwrnie being greatly reduced in
that way. Oii the other hand, there were girls who reported
having worked evers- day of the year except on Sundays and
legal holidays, taking no vacation whatever.



CAUSES OF LOST


TIME


IN


190L






ClassiflcatJou.






1


Number. |


Per cent.


Si ckness


323

174

68

204


42.00


Out of work


22.63


Ilonic duties to at tend to


8 84


Voluntarily laid off, etc. (wanted rest)....,


26 53












Total


769


100 00




_










In investigating the causes for this lost time it becomes ap-
l)arent that much of it is due to sickness, 323 girls or 42 per cent,
of the whole re}K>rting illness as the reason why tliey had not
worked the entire year through. Lack of work w^as given as the
cause for the idleness of 174 or 22.03 per cent. On the other
hand, 204, or 26.53 jwr c(^nt., voluntarily "laid off," taking at
their own ex})ense the vacations not allowed them by their em-
ployers. 8ixty-eight, (^r 8.84 per cent., were kept from work by
the necessity of performing home duties of various sorts. None
of tJie girls reportx^d vacations given at the expense of the firm.
Indeed, "vacation" seems to be interpreted generally in the fac-
toiy fis the time, when for repaii's or because of the slackness of
of the sea.snn, the shop closers il^ doors for a period more or less
ext(»n(]ed, leaving its workers grateful for the rest, no doubt, but
\\ntliout any wage coming in to tide them over to the time of re-
sumption of work. In f actoric^s that were unaffected by seasons
and wliicli never closed down, girls who had worked for years
without a rest c<mld always l>e found. Individual instances of
continuous service for ten, twelve, even fifteen years were not
uncommon, though many employers complained that girls would
not work the year through but t<K)k vacations when they w^ished
th(^m, even at the risk of losing their positions.



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WOMEN EMPLOYED IN FACTORIES. 669



BUSIEST SEASON.



Classifieatlon. I Number. \ Per t-ent



No varjation i 218

Summer and autumu 358

Winter and spring 1 193



Total



28.35
46.55
25.10



100.00



It will be seen by this table that while 218, or 23.35 per cent,
find no variation in the amount of w^ork expected of them. 358,
or 4G.55 per cent., are kept busiest in the summer and autumn
and 1^3, or 25.10 per cent., in the w^inter and spring. In cer-
tmn industries there are great extremes of activity, periods of de-
pression when there is not enough work to keep all the employes
busy being followed by months, when every one is driven to



Online LibraryWisconsin. Bureau of Labor and Industrial StatistiBiennial report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of ..., Volume 13, Part 7 → online text (page 61 of 107)