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Hours and Earnings in Sheet Mills and Tin-Plate Mills, 1931

WHIS is the last of a series of three articles by the Bureau of Labor

Statistics showing summaries of average hours and earnings by departments and occupations for wage earners in the iron and steel industry in the United States in 1931, in comparison with like figures for 1929 and for each of the specified years back to 1913 in which studies of the industry have been made by the bureau. The summaries in Table 1 of this report are for wage earners in sheet_mills and in tin-plate mills separately for the years 1913 to 1931. Index numbers of the averages are also shown in the table, with the 1913 averages the base, or 100 per cent.

Wage earners in sheet mills, as shown in Table 1, earned an average of 74.7 cents per hour in 1931 and 79.3 cents in 1929. The average for 1931 was 4.6 cents per hour, or 5.8 per cent, less than the average for 1929. The average of 45.0 cents for 1915 was less, and of $1.039 for 1920 was more, than for any of the other specified years from 1913 to 1931, inclusive, for which figures are shown in the table. Index numbers of these averages with the 1913 average the base or 100 were 101.0 for 1914; 93.2 for 1915; 215.1 for 1920; 143.7 for 1922; 167.5 for 1924; 157.1 for 1926; 164.2 for 1929; and 154.7 for 1931. The index of 215.1 for 1920 shows that earnings per hour in that year were nearly 2% times the 1913 average; and the index of 154.7 for 1931 shows that average earnings per hour were 54.7 per cent more than in 1913. Earnings in 1931 were 28.1 per cent less than in 1920.

Average full-time hours per week in sheet mills were 47.8 in 1931 and 48.9 in 1929. The average for 1931 was 1.1 hours per week, or 2.2 per cent, less than the average for 1929. The average of 52.5 for 1915 was more, and of 47.8 for 1931 was less, than the average for any of the other specified years from 1913 to 1931. The index of 91.4 in 1931 shows that average full-time hours per week were 8.6 per cent less than in 1913.

Average full-time earnings per week in sheet mills were $35.71 in 1931 and $38.78 in 1929. The 1931 average was $3.07 per week, or 7.9 per cent, less than the 1929 average. The 1915 average of $23.63 was less, and the 1920 average of $52.26 was more, than the average for any of the other specified years from 1913 to 1931 for which averages are shown.

Index numbers for 1920 at 206.9 show that average full-time earnings per week were 106.9 per cent more than in 1913 and for 1931 at 141.4 were 41.4 per cent more than in 1913. Fulltime earnings per week did not increase or decrease in the same proportion as average earnings per hour, because of the change from year to year in average full-time hours per week.

The explanation of the figures for sheet mills above also applies to the averages and index numbers for tin-plate mills.

The hours and earnings used in computing the 1931 averages in Table 1 and in other tables in this report were, except for a very few mills, for the half-monthly pay period ending March 31, and were collected directly from the pay rolls of the plants included in the study of the industry.

Average hours and earnings and index numbers of the averages for employees in blast furnaces, Bessemer converters, and open-hearth furnaces were published in the November, 1931, issue of the Labor

Review and those in puddling mills, blooming mills, plate mills, standard rail mills, and bar mills in the December issue. A bulletin

A which will be published later will present average hours and earnings and index numbers in much more detail for each of the 10 departments of the industry than could be shown for them in the Labor Review.

TABLE 1.-AVERAGE HOURS AND EARNINGS, AND INDEX NUMBERS THEREOF, FOR EACH SPECIFIED YEAR, 1913 TO 1931, FOR ALL WAGE EARNERS COMBINED, IN SHEET AND TIN-PLATE MILL DEPARTMENTS

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Trend of Hours and Earnings, 1913 to 1931 The average hours and earnings and index numbers in Table 2 are for the wage earners in all departments combined, or the industry, for each of the specified years from 1913 to 1931 in which studies have been made.

Average full-time hours per week for the 10 departments combined, or the industry as a whole, were 2.2 hours or 4.0 per cent less in 1931 than in 1929; average earnings per hour were 1.1 cents or 1.6 per cent less; and average full-time earnings per week were $1.90 or 5.2 per cent less in 1931 than in 1929.

Average full-time hours per week at 66.1 in 1913 were more, and at 52.4 in 1931 were less, than for any of the other years in the table. The index number of 79.3 for 1931 shows that average full-time hours per week were 20.7 per cent less than in 1913.

Average earnings per hour for the industry at 29.7 cents for 1915 were less, and at 74.5 cents for 1920 were more, than for any of the other years in the table. Index numbers of 247.5 for 1920 show that earnings per hour were 147.5 per cent more than in 1913, and of 220.3 for 1931 that earnings for the latter were 120.3 per cent more than in 1913.

Earnings per hour in 1931 were 11.0 per cent less than in 1920.

Average full-time earnings per week at $18.60 for 1914 were less, and at $45.65 for 1920 were more, than for any other year in the table. Index numbers show that full-time earnings in 1920 were a little more than 2% times the 1913 average and that the 1931 average was a little more than 1% times the 1913 average.

TABLE 2.-AVERAGE HOURS AND EARNINGS, WITH INDEX NUMBERS OF SUCH AVERAGES, FOR EACH SPECIFIED YEAR, 1913 TO 1931, FOR ALL EMPLOYEES IN ALL DEPARTMENTS COMBINED, OR THE INDUSTRY

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Hours and Earnings, 1929 and 1931, by Department and Occupation TABLE 3 shows average hours and earnings and the per cent of wage earners in each classified group of full-time hours per week in 1929 and 1931 for each of the specified occupations in sheet mills and tin-plate mills. Like figures for each of the occupations in the table for the specified years from 1910 to 1929 appear in Bulletin No.513. Figures for “cold roll rollers” and “cold roll catchers” in sheet mills and "shearmen's helpers," "openers, female," and "assorters, male," in tin-plate mills are for 1931 only.

Sheet mills.-Average full-time hours per week were more in seven and less in seven of the specified occupations in sheet mills in 1931 than in 1929. Hours were the same in four occupations in 1929 and in 1931, and in two are shown for 1931 only. Hours ranged in 1929, by occupation, from an average of 43.1 for rollers, level handed, and sheet heaters' helpers to 60.7 for laborers, and in 1931 from 42.8 for rollers, level handed, to 57.7 for laborers. The increase from 43.2 to 43.8 for openers was more than for any other occupation. The decrease from 60.7 to 57.7 for laborers was more than for any other occupation.

Average earnings per hour were more in 1 and less in 17 occupations in sheet mills in 1931 than in 1929. Averages for 1929 ranged, by occupation, from $0.429 for laborers to $1.979 for rollers and in 1931 from $0.428 to $1.811, respectively, for the same occupations. Feeders, the only occupation for which earnings were more in 1931 than in 1929, earned an average of 70.9 cents per hour in 1929 and 75.0 cents in 1931. Rollers, level handed, earned an average of $1.381 in 1929 and $0.971 in 1931. The loss in this occupation was more than that of any other occupation.

Average full-time earnings per week were more in 1 and less in 17 occupations in sheet mills in 1931 than in 1929. Averages in the various occupations ranged in 1929 from $26.04 for laborers to $85.89 for rollers and in 1931 from $23.56 for openers, level handed, to $78.78 for rollers.

Tin-plate mills.-Average full-time hours per week were the same in 1931 as in 1929 for all hot-mill occupations in tin-plate mills (the first 14 occupations under this department). There was an increase of average hours in one and a decrease in eight of the occupations

that handle the product after it leaves the hot mill. The average for shearmen increased from 42.9 to 43.6 or 0.7 hour per week. The average for branners decreased from 49.6 in 1929 to 44.7 in 1931, or 4.9 hours per week. The 1929 averages ranged by occupation from 42.7 for those of the hot-mill crew to 57.1 for laborers and in 1931 from 42.7 for the hot-mill crew to 56.9 for assorters, male.

Average earnings per hour were more in 5 and less in 18 occupations in tin-plate mills in 1931 than in 1929 and ranged in 1929 from 80.369 for assorters, female, to $1.778 for rollers, and in 1931 from $0.380 to $1.737, respectively, for the same occupations. Average earnings for mechanical doublers increased from 67.9 cents per hour in 1929 to 74.9 cents in 1931. The increase for this occupation was more than for any other occupation. Redippers earned an average of $1.158 in 1929 and $1.053 in 1931. The loss by this occupation was more than that of any other occupation.

TABLE 3.-AVERAGE HOURS AND EARNINGS AND PER CENT OF EMPLOYEES WORK. ING EACH CLASSIFIED NUMBER OF FULL-TIME HOURS PER WEEK IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS IN SHEET AND TIN-PLATE MILLS

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Pair heaters.

1929

1931 Rollers.

1929

1931 Rollers, level handed.

1929

1931 Kollers' helpers and finishers. 1929

1931 Roughers...

1929

1931 Catehers.

1929

1931 Matchers...

1929

1931 Doublers..

1929

1931 Sheet heaters

1929

1931 Shset heaters, level handed.. 1929

1931 Sheet heaters' helpers....

1929

1931 Shearmen.

1929

1931 hearmen's helpers.

1929

1931 Openers.....

1929

1931 Openers, level handed

1929

1931 Picklers....

1929

1931 Feeders.-

1929

1931 rold roll rollers.

1931 Co roll catchers.

1931 laborers.

1929
1931

15 15 15 15 8 7 14 13 15 15 15 15 12 15 11 14 15 15 7 8 14 14 14 15 14 14 11 9 5 6 14 13 10

580
532
546
541

41
112
448
388
581
513
576
619
495
550
524
522
540
484
34
37
525
415
287
321
281
321
370
276
106
107
125
116
90
73
142
174
448
396

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43. 5
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37. 85
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1. 979 83. 89 43. 5 1. $11

78. 78
43. 1 1. 381 59. 52
42.8 . 971

41. 56
43. 2
.826

35. 68
43. 2
.773

33. 39
43. 4 1. 067 46. 31
43. 6 .952 41.51
43. 3 1. 017 44. 04
43. 5 .915 39. SO
43. 6

.894 38.98 43. 5 .772

33. 58 43. 6

.870 37. 93 43. 6 . 764 33. 31 43. 3 1. 432 62.01 43. 5 1. 287 55.98 43. 6 1. 054 45. 95 43. 5

35. 76
43. 1 841 36. 25
43. 1 758 32. 67
43. 5 1. 227

53. 37
43, 5 1. 052 45, 76
43. 5 .712 30.97
43. 7
.627

27. 40
43. 2 . 754

32. 57
43.8

.659 28. 86
44. 1
.686

30. 25
43. 3

23. 56
52.0
.713

37. 08
50.6 .712 36. 03
46. 6
.709

33. 04
46. 4 750 34. 80
53. 3

.759 40. 45
53.0

35. 14
60.7
. 429

26. 04
57.7
. 428

24. 70

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TABLE 3.-AVERAGE HOURS AND EARNINGS AND PER CENT OF EMPLOYEES WORKING EACH CLASSIFIED NUMBER OF FULL-TIME HOURS PER WEEK IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS IN SHEET AND TIN-PLATE MILLS-Continued

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Average full-time earnings per week were more in 5 and less in 18 occupations in tin-plate mills in 1931 than in 1929. Averages in the various occupations ranged in 1929 from $17.01 for assorters, female, to $75.92 for rollers, and in 1931 from $17.29 to $74.17, respectively, for the same occupations. The increase for mechanical doublers from $28.99 in 1929 to $31.98 in 1931 was more than for occupation. The decrease for redippers from $49.68 in 1929 to $44.96 in 1931 was more than that of any other occupation.

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