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An inquiry concerning the hours of labor, wages paid, and the provisions made for the comfort of the clerks employed in mercantile establishments in the State, was made in April by the Bureau, through a circular and schedule sent through the mail. The questions asked referred only to those subjects before mentioned. The percentage of replies received was most gratifying, as this was the first attempt inade to secure these figures concerning this class of wage-earners. The figures given are taken from the pay-rolls of those reporting.

The total number of establishinents represented in this tabulation is one hundred and fifteen (115), and the total number of persons employed twenty-six hundred and ninety-four (2,694). It is to be understood that this tabulation does not cover the entire number employed in the mercantile trades in the State, only those that made returns being considered.

The following table will explain the classification of those reporting :

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Personal investigation was made whether or not the statute requiring seats for the use of female employés, when not engaged in active duty, was complied with. No cause for complaint was found in any case.

A study of the figures received, but not tabulated in this report, shows that of all employed, 670 receive a vacation of one week and 621 receive two weeks, without loss of wages. In Hartford and New Haven the custom prevails among the large stores of closing Fridays at 1 P. M., during the months of July and August, without deductions for the time closed; 1,193 persons are employed in establishments that report closing at this time. A large number make no deductions for time lost on account of illness.

A study of the following tables show the number of persons employed, divided as to sex, that received a stated compensation in each classification, the per cent. of the total number receiving each of said amounts, and the average weekly compensation of each sex.

CLOTHING. Of the establishments in the clothing trade reporting, 230 persons are represented, 215 being males and 15 females. The average weekly wages of the male employés is $12.00, and of the females $7.50. The weekly hours of labor average 63.


Of the establishments in the dry goods trade reporting, 1,814 persons are represented, 830 being males and 984 females. The average weekly wage for the males is $1.33 and for the females $6.44. It will be noticed that 80 males and 97 females, a total of 177, are employed at $3.00 per week. In all cases these have been reported as “errand or cash boys and girls." If these are deducted from the total, as they properly may be, the average weekly wage for males will be $12.21' and $7.00 for females. The weekly hours of labor are 58, the opening hour being 8 A. M. and closing hour 6 P. M., with one hour for dinner, except Saturday, when the closing hour is 10 P. M., with two hours for meals.

HOUSE-FURNISHINGS. The house-furnishing establishments, which reported to the Bureau, include dealers in furniture, carpets and crockery, 198 persons are represented, 162 being males and 36 females. The average weekly wage for males is $13.10, for females $7.50. The average weekly hours of labor 62.


The grocery and provision stores as a rule, close two evenings each week at 6.30. In many of them an arrangement exists by which the force employed is so divided that each employé receives three full evenings each week. The hours of labor in this trade are longer than in any here enumerated, the average being 72 hours per week. The average weekly wage of the males is $11.52 and of the females $7.47 per week. Three hundred and five persons are represented in the inquiry, 266 being males and 39 females.


In the millinery trade 62 persons are represented, all being females. The average weekly wage being $8.17, and the average weekly hours of labor 61.

SHOES. Of the establishments in the shoe trade reporting, 85 persons are represented, 71 being males and 14 females. The average weekly wage of the males is $12.67, and of the females $9.46. There is no uniformity among the establishments regarding closing, the average weekly hours of labor being from 61 to 63.

AVERAGE WAGES. Of the total number employed, the 1,544 males receive an average compensation of $11.77, and 1,150 females $6.66 per week,

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