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THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF ORGANIZED LABOR. The statistics of labor for the year ended September 30, 1901, as embodied in this report, are restricted to the organized wage. workers of the state. They do not therefore cover all, or even a majority of the wage-earners; but they do represent a minority that is large in point of numbers (275,000 working people) and representative of nearly all the manufacturing and mechanical industries. Organized labor includes, in the first instance, the more highly skilled workmen, and in the second instance, the wage-earners in cities rather than in villages; hence, for both reasons and aside from the probability that members of labor organizations secure more regular employment and slightly higher rates of wages than non-unionists following the same trades, it may be predicated that the average earnings of members of labor organizations are higher than the average earnings of all workmen. It would therefore be incorrect to quote the conditions of organized labor as actually representative of all wage-earners; but, on the other hand, the fluctuations from year to year in the amount of employment and earnings of trade unionists do really reflect actual changes throughout the entire body of workingmen.

These reports have been collected quarterly from the trade unions since the beginning of 1897 and, as appears in the blank form reprinted in Appendix I, cover the subjects of number of members, hours of labor, rates of wages, and number of days worked and amount of money earned by each member during the quarter. The information required for such reports is fur. nished to the secretary of each trade union or labor organization by the individual members thereof on blanks supplied by the Bureau. It cannot be maintained that the use of the indi. vidual blanks is universal. Nevertheless, the secretary of the average small union inevitably possesses fairly accurate knowledge of the amount of employment and earnings of each member of the organization. In the case of the larger unions, such

knowledge is more likely to be in the nature of an estimate, unless the union levies some of its dues in proportion to the wages of members and therefore requires from each of its members a weekly report of their earnings; this is the practice, for example, among the printers' unions.

1. Number and Membership of Labor Organizations. (Summary tables A-D in Appondix III, dotatlod tablos I and II in Appendis IV.) Before discussing the earnings of organized working people, it is necessary to know something about the composition, , strength and growth of such organizations. Such growth can be traced from the year 1894, when the Bureau first gathered comprehensive statistics on the subject; at that time the strength of organized labor had probably suffered something of a decline on account of the industrial depression that began in 1893 and lasted until 1897. It is interesting to study the development of labor organizations in this state since then. In 1894 the number of labor unions that reported to the Bureau was 860; in 1901, it had increased to 1,871, which is a gain of 117 per cent. In the same period the membership has increased from 157,197 to 276,141, or by 76 per cent, thus:

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While there is manifest a constant increase in the number of organizations, it is only since 1898 that the growth has become conspicuously rapid. Between 1894 and 1898 the number of unions had increased by only 227, while in the three years since 1898 the increase has been 781. The aggregate membership was

smaller in 1898 than in 1894, but in the past three years it has increased at the rate of about 35,000 a year; thus in the official year ended September 30, 1899, the increase in membership was 38,000; in 1900, 36,000 and in 1901, 31,000. The rate of growth has therefore declined somewhat in 1901 as compared with the two years just preceding.

The following table, summarized from Table D of Appendix III, exhibits the membership by industries in each year since 1894:

TABLE 2
AGGREGATE MEMBERSHIP OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, 1894–1901, BT INDUSTRIES.
INDUSTRIES.

1894. 1895. 1996. 1897. 1898. 1899. 1900. 1901, Building, stone-working, etc......... 49,056 53,613 56,294 58,273 59,641 71,067 80,441 85,401 Clothing and textiles......

39,162 81,921 30.093 32,147 26,433 29.714 28,866 41,883 Metals, machinery and shipbuilding. 9,860 11,376 13,010 13.991 16,236 24,014 31,271 35,562 Transportation

13,197 18,191 23,031 23,014 18,090 24,668 30,554 34,371 Printing, etc..........

11,059 11,998 13,848 13,313 15,045 16,023 17,117 17,988 Tobacco.....

8,722 9,089 9,799 9,097 8,889 8,886 12,349 10,210 Food and liquors...

5,661 6,541 7,503 6,993 6,812 8,391 9,430 9,451 Theaters and music...

5,683 7,327 7,306 6,920 9,346 9,518 9,698 11,688 Wood-working, furniture..

5,829 4,652 4,218 4,205 4,584 6,683 8,176 8,260 Restaurants, retall trade.. 1,243 1,529 2,087 1,843 2,174 3,207 5,303

6,804 Public employment.....

1,964 1,964 993 1,667 1.880 3,727 7,148 8,142 Miscellaneous.....

1,256
2,030
2,114 1,989 1,937 8,122 4.728

6,383 Total....

157,197 180,231 170,296 168,454 171,067 209,020 245,381 276,141

In nearly all the industries there has been a constant growth of organization since 1894, so that with one or two exceptions the maximum membership is in 1901. The most striking advance has been made in the metal-working trades, which have increased their total membership from 9,900 in 1894 to 35,600 in 1901, and thereby progressed from fifth to third place in the rank of organized industries. On the other hand, the tobacco trades lost ground in 1901, and the transportation trades suf. fered a noticeable decline in 1898, as a result of the temporary digbandment of New York City longshoremen's unions, while the clothing trades, notwithstanding a large increase in the past year, have not attained the strength, in the matter of numbers, that they displayed in 1895. The total for 1895 was exceptional and, amid the numerous fluctuations in the strength of unionism in the clothing business, has not been approached in any other year. The difficulties attending the organization of trades whose members are more or less isolated home-work.

• The dates to which these figures relate are July 1 in 1894 and 1895, October 31 in 1836 and Beptember 30 in the subsequent years.

ers are so great that it is doubtful if the large gains made in the past year, as shown in the following table, can be permanently maintained:

TABLE 3.
MEMBERSHIP OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, 1900 AND 1901.

Sept. 80, Dec. 31, March 31, June 30, Sept 30,
GROUPS OF TRADES.

1900. 1900. 1901, 1901. 1901.
L Bullding, Stone Working, Eto.. 80,441 79,677 81,214 83,901 85,401
IL. Clothing and Textiles........... 28,866 27,383 25,013 27,360 41,883
UL. Metals, Machinery, Eto.......... 81,271 82,161 82,144

85,098

35,562 IV. Transportation

80,854 30,327

82,892 32,744 34,371 V. Printing, Binding, Eto....

17,117 17,296 17,657 17,694 17,986 VI. Tobacco

12,349 10,732 10,021 10,601 10,210 VII. Food and Liquors.............. 9,430 9,375 9,885 9,263 9,451 VIII. Theaters and Music ..............

9,698 9,842 9,820 11,237 11,689 IX. Wood Working, Furniture...... 8,176 8,452 8,687 8,631 8,260

X. Restaurants, Retall Trade...... 5,303 6,178 6,394 7,031 6,804
XL Public Employment

7,148 6,524

7,051
7,661

8,142 XIL Miscellaneous .

4,728 4,547 4,573 3,178 6,383 Total....

245,381 242,489 244,851 256,399 276,141

Increase

in 12 months,

4,960 13,017 4,291 8,517

869 *2,139

21 1,990

84 1,501

994 1,655 80,760

..........

TABLE 4.
NUMBER OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, 1900 AND 1901.
Sept. 30,

Dec. 31,

March 31, June 30,
GROUPS OF TRADES.

1900. 1900.

1901.

1901.

Sept. So,

1901,

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Increase

in 12 months.

43 26 81 85 8 2 17 6 6 27 23 12

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Tables 3 and 4 together show the quarterly changes in the number and membership of New York unions in the year under consideration, the last column in each table revealing the gain in the entire year. While the largest number of new organizations is to be credited to the construction industry, the largest number of new members is found in the clothing and textile trades. The several industries and trades, as detailed in Table I of Appendix IV, may now be passed in review.

I. Construction Work. The four subdivisions of this group of trades are stone working, cement making, building and paving trades, and building and street labor. The number of unions in the stone-working trades has declined from 41 in September 1900, to 35 in September, 1901, but the membership has

• Decrease.

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