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TABLE F-6: Number of new permanent nonfarm dwelling units started, by ownership and location, and construction cost 1
1 The data shown here do not include temporary units, conversions, dormitory accommodations, trailers, or military barracks. They do include prefabricated housing, if permanent.
These estimates are based on (1) monthly building-permit reports (adjusted for lapsed permits and for lag between permit issuance and the start of construction), (2) continuous field surveys in nonpermit-issuing places, and (3) reports of public construction contract awards.
Beginning with January 1954 data, the estimating techniques for the privately owned segment of the housing starts series were revised to combine (1) a monthly reporting system expanded to include almost all buildingpermit-issuing localities (accounting for nearly 80 percent of total nonfarm population), with (2) a newly designed sample of counties that permits more efficient operations and a greater degree of accuracy than previously. The Dew series is continuous with statistics for earlier dates except that the urban and rural-nonfarm distribution shown previously is replaced by metropolitan-nonmetropolitan and regional estimates. Data on type of structure (1-family versus rental-type structures) are continued from the old to the new series, and are available on request.
The error in the total private nonfarm estimate due to sampling in the
nonpermit segment is such that for an estimate of 100,000 starts the chances are 19 out of 20 that a complete enumeration of all nonpermit areas would result in a total private nonfarm figure between 98,000 and 102,000. For metropolitan-nonmetropolitan or regional components, the relative error is somewhat larger.
Data by urban and rural-nonfarm classification for periods before January 1954 are available upon request. Annual metropolitan-nonmetropolitan location data not available before 1950; monthly figures not available before 1953; regional data not available before January 1954.
Private construction costs are based on permit valuation, adjusted for understatement of costs shown on permit applications. Public construction costs are based on contract values or estimated construction costs for individual projects.
Housing peak year.
Not yet available.
7 Less than 50 units. • Revised.
U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1956
A Monthly Listing of
For the convenience of users of labor statistics and related information issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a monthly catalog can be obtained by mail. It regularly contains an annotated listing of everything published by the Bureau during the preceding month as well as items in the process of publication.
Included are all releases, bulletins, reports, and Monthly Labor Review articles and reprints. Regional office material relating to local area data is also noted. Where items are for sale only, prices are shown.
In June and December, the catalog picks up the items for the intervening 5 months so that two volumes cover an entire year.
To receive this catalog regularly, write to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington 25, D. C., or to any of the following Bureau of Labor Statistics regional offices:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Labor Month in Review
MARCH 1 was pay-increase day for an estimated 2.1 million workers directly affected by the change in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act raising the minimum wage from 75 cents to $1.00. An indeterminate number of other employees, most of them already above the minimum, received increases preserving (at least in part) existing wage differentials and relationships. The last previous change in statutory minimum rates was in 1950. Approximately 24 million workers are covered by the law.
The U. S. Department of Labor, charged with enforcement of the act, has increased its inspection staff and is opening 25 additional field offices, anticipating two-thirds more investigations than previously.
LABOR PARTICIPATION in springtime Washington conferences began early in March. More than 2,000 delegates to the second National Legislative Conference of the AFL-CIO Building Trades Department conferred between March 5 and 9. They met with local Congressmen and urged revision of the Taft-Hartley and DavisBacon acts and the inclusion of prevailing wage provisions in various construction bills before Congress. The United Auto Workers (formerly CIO) will hold its annual educational conference April 21-24, with 3,000 delegates expected. (The UAW, incidentally, has announced that it will designate itself "UAW," without the AFL-CIO affix, except when legally necessary, to avoid confusion with the former AFL Auto Workers.) On May 7-9 the Machinists' Union will hold a National Staff Conference of nearly 800 officers in conjunction with its Non-Partisan Political League. Spring also meant moving day for the Machinists, who occupied their newly-built headquarters on March 5. The AFL-CIO a week earlier began to move departments into its new
building. The American Newspaper Guild moves from New York to Washington April 2.
IN MID-FEBRUARY speakers at an American Management Association meeting in Chicago (quoted at length in the April 1956 Monthly Labor Review) expressed belief that labor-management relations are maturing, that labor is becoming increasingly responsible, that the AFL-CIO merger may be a force for good, and that supplemental unemployment benefits may have a salutary operational effect.
THE AFL-CIO Executive Council had hardly adjourned its first post-merger meeting, with the establishment of committees to handle financial and jurisdictional problems of organizing campaigns, when the Teamsters' union, through its Eastern, Central, and Southern Conferences, acknowledged on February 27 that it would make a $400,000 credit available to the International Longshoreman's Association. The ILA was expelled from the AFL in 1953 for racketeering and undemocratic practices. James R. Hoffa, Teamster vice president and chairman of the Central Conference, declared that the Teamsters would also support the ousted longshore union in any representation election contest with the present AFL-CIO affiliate in that jurisdiction. Teamster president Dave Beck, a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, at first disclaimed responsibility or authority in the matter. But shortly after President George Meany promised to take whatever action was warranted by "the principles set forth in the constitution of the AFL-CIO," the Teamster president announced postponement of action on the loan.
Three related and concurrent actions transpired. There was a strong election effort by Hoffa (with the result not yet settled) to unseat Martin J. Lacey as president of the Teamsters' joint council in New York City. A special referee recommended to a New York State Supreme Court Justice that Captain William V. Bradley, president of the ILA, which Hoffa supports, be jailed for criminal contempt of court for his part in violating an injunction against a waterfront strike last September. Finally, the United States Supreme Court unanimously confirmed the conviction of Joseph P. Ryan for
accepting bribes while he was president of the ILA. Two other unions faced problems of varying degrees of seriousness. The Society of Skilled Trades, founded on dissatisfaction of some auto workers with what is claimed to be a narrowing differential for skilled trades, evoked the official attention of the UAW. Vice president Leonard Woodcock devoted a portion of his dedicatory address, at a new headquarters for a Flint Chevrolet local, to castigating the craft organizational approach in the auto industry and denying that UAW's wage settlements had "closed the gap between production workers and skilled tradesmen." Unity arrangements between the Meat Cutters and the Packinghouse Workers were at a standstill over officer representation in the merged union.
On the brighter side of labor unity, Arkansas on March 20 was scheduled to be the first State to unite the former AFL and CIO State bodies. Similar action is expected in Tennessee April 7. SETTLEMENT of the Westinghouse strike, 5 months old in mid-March, again failed when the International Union of Electrical Workers would not accept in toto a compromise settlement suggested by 2 special arbitrators appointed by the Federal Conciliation and Mediation Service. The union wanted 36 discharged strikers returned to work without arbitration of their status and positive guarantees against loss of pay by workers transferred from incentive to "day rate" jobs. Other broad provisions of the settlement plan-a 5-year contract, pay and fringe benefit improvements, company right to time-study certain nonincentive jobs (subject to arbitration)—were apparently acceptable to the union.
The current aircraft negotiations-beset with strikes at eastern plants of Republic Aviation and Fairchild-were the only other labor-management situations of national importance. On the West Coast, however, where the larger plants are located, the International Association of Machinists settled with Lockheed on the basis of a 17-cent-anhour package increase over a 2-year period. Bargaining continued with Douglas and North American. The UAW and the IAM consult and cooperate in these negotiations but do not make identical proposals for the industry as a whole.
In the offing were the steel negotiations, scheduled to commence in May. Present contracts expire June 30. The United Steelworkers recently
negotiated a 52-week employer-financed supplemental unemployment benefit plan with the major can companies. A related plan has been part of the union's bargaining program with the major steel producers for many years, and the union indicated that such a plan and weekend premium pay would be included in the 1956 demands.
In other bargaining actions, the Railway Express Agency and the Railway Clerks agreed to an hourly wage increase of 91⁄2 cents as of December 1, 1955, plus health and welfare benefits worth about 4 cents starting March 1, 1956. About 40,000 workers represented by the Glass Bottle Blowers received an 8-percent raise. The Communist-oriented International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (Ind.) in Hawaii settled for a 10-cent-an-hour raise and a unique unemployment benefit plan for 8,000 agricultural workers on pineapple plantations. Special legislation permitting seizure by the State halted the Baltimore transit strike after more than a month and authorized binding arbitration if the parties do not compose their differences within 60 days.
THE United States Supreme Court late in February ruled (6-3) that a strike against unfair labor practices of employers does not violate the TaftHartley Act provision for a 60-day cooling off period prior to a strike at the expiration or modification of a contract. Only economic strikes are so proscribed.
IN the foreign labor field, serious attention in March was directed toward the British trade unions' and Labor Party's attack against the Government's economic policies. (See article on page 269.) Both charged that falling production and employment would ensure and that renewed wage demands would be instituted to meet resulting higher prices. A second matter of considerable concern was the Finnish general strike which began on March 1 in support of wage-increase demands and which by March 6 had erupted into sporadic violence. General pay-increase demands were also being pushed by unions in a number of countries where inflationary pressures exist. Governmentestablished increases for all workers were announced in Spain and Argentina. In Chile most trade union leaders who took part in the recent general strike for wage improvements were arrested.