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The only explanation of this table that is needed relates to the blanks in the 1894 column. Such blank spaces signify that the particular trade was not then separately organized, although members thereof may have belonged to unions in closely allied trades; thus the pressmen's assistants in 1894 were members of pressmen's and press feeders' unions.
Table II of Appendix IV exhibits the total number and membership of labor unions in each city and town of the state, in their alphabetical order. The number of towns containing one or more labor organizations is 146 as compared with 135 in 1900, 111 in 1899 and 87 in 1898. The following table shows the strength of trades unionism in the principal industrial centers of New York, every town being represented which according to Table II had at least 1,000 members of labor organizations in any one quarter:
New York, all boroughs...
New York City.....
MEMBERSHIP of Labor OrganizationS IN PRINCIPAL CITIES AND TOWNS.
NUMBER OF ORGANIZATIONS
Sep., Dec., Mar., June, Sep,
138 133 133 131
9 80 13
515 154,504 150,278 149,849 156,059 174,022
159 159 26,612 27,599 28,469 28,534 26,683
3,857 4,569 4,626
4,585 4,434 8,670 3,547 2,103 2,079 2,323 2,441 2,441 1,564 1,594 2,048 2,433 1,513 1,551 1.577 1,843 2,012 1,786 1,779 1,851 1.885 1,891
1,865 1,653 1,846 897 1,134 1,637 1,628
1,514 1,325 1,333 1,415 1,383 1,299 1,131
1,212 1,299 1,377 767 1,210 1,243 1,408 1,822 1,239
1,229 1,232 1,158 1,199 1,091
NUMBER OF MEMBERS AT
Sep., Dec., Mar., June, Sep.,
1900. 1901. 1901. 1901.
869 1,413 1,085
1551 160 ....... 6,650 6,400 8,000 1,631 1,747 1,879 801 552 608
The fluctuations in the growth of organization in the several cities are frequently remarkable. New York, with an increase of only 13 unions, has gained 20,000 (nearly all in the last quarter, and as previously noted, principally in clothing trades unions). Buffalo, which for two years led all interior cities in rapidity of growth, reached its limit, at least for the time being, in June and lost ground in the last quarter. Rochester (increase of 1,700) Albany (800) and Troy (600) made substantial gains, while Syracuse and Utica declined, the one relatively so that Albany passed it in the race, the second in actual membership. Schenectady (300) and Elmira (500) increased at normal rates, while Newburgh (100) and Binghamton (18) were nearly stationary. Large gains are noticeable in Niagara Falls (850), Jamestown (700), Oswego (600) and Gloversville (400), while Lockport, Watertown, Cohoes and Hornellsville have all lost in membership if not in unions. Auburn, Yonkers, Port Jervis and Amsterdam have remained very nearly stationary.
It is always interesting to compare the metropolitan half of the state's population with the other half; since the incorporation of "Greater New York" the figures have been as follows:
New York City
It thus appears that until this year the metropolitan growth has been much smaller than that outside. Between 1898 and 1901 membership in the metropolis increased 40 per cent and in the remainder of the state 124 per cent. The result of the development of trade unionism in the smaller industrial centers of the state has been to reduce New York City's proportion of the aggregate, thus:
OF TOTAL MEMBERSHIP AT
Of the seven cities only Albany and Troy have maintained their proportion throughout the four years. The seven cities in the aggregate now contain 83.7 per cent of all the unionists in the state as compared with 89.4 per cent in 1898.
ORGANIZED WORKING WOMEN.
Table 1 above shows that, with the exception of two or three quarters, the female unionists of New York have steadily increased in number since 1897, and that their progress has been especially rapid in 1901. Thus the percentage of women in the total membership of labor organizations at the end of September was 3.4 in 1897, 4.4 in 1898, 4.0 in 1899, 4.8 in 1900 and 5.3 in 1901. While the percentage of women may continue to increase somewhat, it can never become very large for the reason that the industries which in this state lend themselves to organization but rarely employ women; thus the building trades unions, which alone contain one-third of all the unionists in New York, have not a single female member. In fact the only organizations in which a considerable number of women are found are those in the clothing, textile, tobacco and printing trades as shown in the following table:
In the garment-making industry 25.4 per cent of the members are women as compared with 23.4 per cent in 1900 and 17.1 per cent in 1899. In the manufacture of hats, caps and furs, 10.1 per cent are women as compared with 5.8 per cent in 1900 and 5.2 per cent in 1899. In boot, shoe and glove making 21.4 per cent are women as compared with 7.8 and 3.1 per cent in the preceding years; but in the shirt-making and laundry trades the percentage of women has fallen from 8.4 in 1899 and 18.8 in 1900 to 7.8 in 1901. In textiles the percentage for the three years specified has been 44.1, 33.1 and 37.5; in printing 3.7, 4.4 and 5.0; in tobacco trades, 21.0, 31.6 and 24.4; in theatrical and musical trades 4.5, 4.9 and 4.4; in retail trade, 5.4, 7.0 and 7.4 per cent. A few women appear in this year in the metal work. ing trades; they are wireframe makers and might equally well be classed among the millinery trades.
[Summary tables E-M in Appendix III; detailed tables III-VII in Appendix IV.] Of the 272,600 trade unionists who reported to the Bureau the duration of their employment in the third quarter of 1901, 8,341 or 3.1 per cent were idle throughout the three months embraced in that quarter and many more were idle part of the quarter. In fact, less than two-thirds of all the members of labor unions worked anywhere near full time (not less than 70 days, there being 77 working days in the quarter). To measure the extent and ascertain the causes of all this lost time is one of the problems of statistics.
The simplest measurement of unemployment is to count the unemployed on any particular day and compare the result with the number employed. If the number of idle workmen remained fairly constant throughout the year, this simple method would answer our purpose fairly well; but that number by no means remains the same week after week. There are more people. employed in summer than in winter, when inclement weather prevents many outdoor operations, particularly in the building industry. Many lines of work, notably the clothing trades, go by seasons, work being rushed at certain periods and almost
general idleness prevailing at certain other periods. Hence the necessity of counting the idle at different periods in the year, in order to obtain an average that takes into account the periodical fluctuations. Such a count ought to be made at least as often as once a month, as will be done hereafter by the Bureau in connection with a certain number of representative unions; but up to this time, the Bureau's information has been derived from quarterly reports furnished by secretaries of the various unions.
These reports are exceedingly valuable from many points of view. A minor defect, frequently pointed out in the Bureau's reports, is the fact that union secretaries are sometimes unable to furnish information concerning members who, while idle at their own trade, may be employed in other occupations. A maltster, for example, may be reported as idle during the inactive season, while as a matter of fact he may have outside employment. Hence these figures of unemployment somewhat exaggerate the actual amount of idleness. It is believed, however, the number thus employed is relatively small and that, in any event, it varies little from one year to another. For comparative purposes it may therefore be excluded.
The following table discloses the number and proportion of unemployed members of labor organizations at the end of each quarter and also the number and proportion idle during the entire quarter:
NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF MEMBERS OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS IDL IN EACH OF THE FOU QUARTERS
An estimate based on reports from 188 representative unions, comprising more than one-third of the aggregate membership.