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CONDITION OF WORKINGMEN.
CONDITION OF WORKINGMEN.
With the intent to ascertain the rates of wages, age, nationality, conjugal condition and occupation of employés, together with all other information concerning the condition of the workingmen of the State, which was possible to secure, the Bureau formulated a plan by which, through the means of blank sched. ules sent out and by personal investigation made by special agents, it was thought would result in the securing of such data upon the subject of the condition of workingmen that its compilation would give statistical information of inestimable value to students of economics and to all classes of the community.
In the early stages of the inquiry it developed that while much willingness was shown by many workingmen to whom requests for information were sent, others failed to make reply, thus necessitating a large amount of correspondence and personal solicitation in order to obtain the desired facts for pub. lication.
The form of the inquiry was made up in as simple and clear a manner as was deemed possible, and answers were expected from a much larger number than reported, but a sufficient number was obtained from which to make deductions of a very valuable character.
The result of this inquiry will be found in the following tables, which are so arranged as to show the age of the individual reporting ; whether native or foreign born ; occupation; number in family ; average weekly hours of labor ; weeks employed at regular occupation during year ending July 1, 1897 ; weekly earnings; amount earned at occupation other than regular; earn. ings of children ; whether the owner of a home and if incumbered; the amount of annual expenditures for interest, taxes, water rents and repairs ; amount of monthly rental; annual living expenses ; the per cent. cost of living, interest, taxes, water rents, repairs or rent, of earnings; and the possible per cent, savings of earnings.
In order that the tabulation may be more clearly understood the following analysis is given and the groups so arranged as to show as far as possible the condition of the various classes or grades of workingmen from whom information has been secured.
Returns have been received from 200 individuals, and have been divided into 7 groups of as nearly the same degree of efficiency and capacity for earnings as was considered to be the average existing throughout the State. This, while being largely the result of comparisons made of information gained from workingmen other than those making returns, with the data found in the completed schedules, the latter only being made use of in the tables, it is thought that the classification made will be found to be approximately correct.
Group 1.- Is composed of 25 individuals, and is made up of 9 foremen, 3 accountants, 2 engineers, 4 machinists, i diemaker and 6 skilled mechanics, the average age being 43.7 years, 21 being native and 4 foreign born ; average number in family, 3.6 ; average weekly hours of labor, 56.7; average weeks employed at regular occupation during the year, 49.2 ; and the average weekly wages, $18.88; 12 owned their homes, 7 of which were incumbered; 10 were rent-payers, paying an average monthly rental of $15.05 ; and 3 unmarried and paying nothing for rent, taxes, interest or repairs.
The 12 houseowners report the total annual cost of living as being $782.79 per family, while the total annual earnings per family was $1,038.06 ; the per cent, cost of living of earnings (exclusive of interest, taxes, &c.) was 64.9, and the expense for interest, taxes, water rents and repairs was 10.5 per cent. of total earnings; the possible savings being 24.6 per cent. of earnings.
The 10 individuals tabulated in this group as rent-payers report total annual cost of living as being $785.40 per family ; the total amount of earnings per family being $976.01, thus making the cost of living 62 per cent., rent 18.5 per cent., and the possible savings 19.5 per cent. of earnings.
The 3 individuals reported as paying no rent, interest or taxes show annual cost of living to be $500.00 per person, the
annual earnings being $844.20 ; hence the cost of living was 59.9 per cent. of earnings, and the possible savings of earnings 40.1 per cent.
GROUP 2.—Is composed of 6 iron and brass molders, 6 buffers, 6 polishers and 7 press and drop hands, of the average age of 34 years, 14 being native and in foreign born; average number in family, 2.6; average weekly hours of labor, 57.04 ; average weeks employed at regular occupation, 47.04 ; and the average weekiy earnings, $11.98 ; 2 owned their homes, both being incumbered ; 12 were rent-payers, paying an average monthly rental of $10.67; and 11 unmarried, paying nothing for rent, taxes, interest or repairs.
The 2 houseowners report the total cost of living as being $455.00 per family, and the total annual earnings $588.00 per family ; the per cent. cost of living of earnings (exclusive of interest, taxes, &c.) was 72.3 per cent., and the expense for interest, taxes, water rents and repairs was 5.1 per cent. of total earnings; the possible per cent. savings of earnings being 22.6.
The 12 employés tabulated as rent-payers earned $678.68 per family; the total cost of living per family being $562.62 ; the per cent, cost of living of earnings (exclusive of rent) was 64 per cent., the rent 18.9 per cent., and the possible savings 17.1 per cent. of earnings.
The u individuals paying no rent, interest or taxes made annual earnings of $537.03 per person; the cost of living being $411.36 per individual, or 76.6 per cent., and the possible savings 23.4 per cent. of earnings.
GROUP 3.—Consists of i carriage-maker, i sawyer, 2 painters, 3 carpenters, 10 bench and 8 machine hands, of the average age of 44.3 years, 19 being native and 6 foreign born ; average number in family, 4.3; average weekly hours of labor, 58.8; average weeks employed at regular occupation during the year, 48.4; and the average weekly earnings, $13.56 ; 1o own homes, 5 of which were free of incumbrance and 5 incumbered ; 15 were rent-payers, the average monthly rental being $11.30.
The io houseowners report the total annual cost of living as being $543.40, and the total annual earnings $789.08 per family; the per cent. cost of living of earnings (exclusive of interest, taxes, &c.) was 60.1 per cent., and the expense for interest, taxes,