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The smallest earnings of men are found in the clothing and textile and tobacco trades, and these are also the trades in which the competition of women is strongest.

Inasmuch as earnings depend first of all upon the duration of employment, it is natural when comparing the present year with previous years to look for about the same results as were reached in the paragraphs upon employment, thus:

TABLE 28
DISTRIBUTION OF EACH 100 MALR MEMBERS OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS ACCORDING TO AMOUNT OF

QUARTERLY EARNINGS,
FIRST QUARTER.

THIRD QUARTER.

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In the first quarter of 1901 there was a much larger proportion who earned the higher amounts and a smaller proportion receiving the low wages than in 1899 or 1900. But in the third quarter, the advantage is with 1899 rather than with 1901, while 1900 is again inferior to the other two years. These facts are also brought out in a comparison of the average earnings which can be carried back to 1897:

TABLE 29.

AVERAGE QUARTERLY EARNINGS OF MEMBERS OF LABOR UNION.
MEN.

WOMEN.

YEAR. 1897 1893 1899 .......... 1950 1901

First Second Third Fourth First Second Third Fourth quarter. quarter. quarter. quarter, quarter. quarter. quarter. quarter. $155 $159 $174 $175 $86

$81

$92
164
168
175
169
75

82

98 172 191 197 184 96 91 117

116
176
182
107

107
183
194
105

109

A comparison of this table with table 18 shows the close dependence of earnings upon duration of employment. Thus in the first quarter there is a steady increase from 1897 to 1901 in the average number of days worked by the men, and a similar increase in their average earnings. In the third quarter, 1899 has the largest number of days worked and likewise the largest earnings, while 1901 with 1 day less of employment has also

$3 less in the per capita earnings. This small difference in favor of 1899 is explained by greater activity and longer employment in the building trades of New York City in that year, thus:

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For purposes of reference a table has been prepared (Table 34 on page 34) showing the average earnings in all the leading trades in the third quarter of each of the last five years. in the majority of trades the largest earnings are to be found in 1899—a result of the longer duration of employment in that period; wage rates, as we have seen (Tables 24-25), having generally been higher in the third quarter of 1901.

In order to facilitate comparisons between different years, it is necessary to obtain an average of the four quarters in each year. This is done, not simply by adding together the four quar. terly averages and dividing the sum by four, but by adding together the aggregate earnings for the four quarters and dividing the sum by the total number employed. This operation yields the following results:

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It will be observed that for the last two years statistics are wanting for two of the four quarters; but this incompleteness does not entirely prevent comparisons since the two quarters lacking (second and fourth) form about the same combination of summer and winter work as do the first and third quarters, for which data exist in each of the five years. Thus the figures for these two quarters alone (the numbers enclosed in brackets in the last column) yield the same quarterly average as those for four quarters in 1898 and 1899, and nearly the same average in 1897. These bracketed figures therefore will best serve for comparative purposes; they form the basis of the following per. centages of increase and decrease:

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Thus the average earnings of organized workingmen in 1898 were 4 per cent greater than in 1897; in 1899 they gained another 12 per cent, but in 1900 lost 4 per cent, while in 1901 they gained 5 per cent, so that at the latter date they were 16 per cent higher than in 1897. Or, if the average earnings of 1897 be taken as a standard of measurement and the earnings of succeeding years expressed in terms of this standard, the result will be as follows: 1897, 100; 1898, 104; 1899, 115; 1900, 110; 1901, 116.

But while wages have risen in the last five years, prices likewise have been advancing, so that it becomes a question whether $116 will now buy more than would $100 in 1897. The answer to that question depends largely upon the kinds of goods bought, since prices fluctuate unevenly. Between 1897 and 1901, for example, the price of coffee declined 19 per cent while that of tea advanced 2 per cent; hence the cost of living would not have increased at the same rate for a family using coffee as its principal beverage as for a family that depended upon tea. Taking the wholesale prices of all standard commodities, we should find that prices have increased at least 21 per cent in the last five years. Thus the official index numbers compiled by the United States Department of Labor and the United States Industrial Commission in continuation of the series compiled by Professor Commons of the Bureau of Economic Research) and the unofficial record of R. G. Dun & Co., of New York, are as follows:

TABLE 32
COURSE OF PRICES, 1897-1901.

U.S. INDUSTRIAL

COMMISSION

U. 8. DEPT OF LABOR.

DUN'S.

100- average of 1890-9. 100-average of 1879-89

100 = 1683 price

July 1-
1897 89.7
1696-1897 73

1897 72.5
1898 93.4
1897-1998 79

1898 77.8
1899 101.7
1898-1999 77

1899 85.2
1900 110.5
1899-1900 90

1900 91.4
1901 108.5
1900-1901 83

1901 91.5
All indexes reduced to 100=1897

July 1-
1897
100.0
1896-1897 100.0

1897 100.0
1898 104.0
1897-1893 108.4

1898 107.0
1699 113.4
1893-1899 105.5

1899 117.0
1900 123.2
1899-1900 123.8

1900 126.1
1901 121.0
1900-1901 120.5

1901 126.8 • Crop year July 1 to June 30.

While it is thus clear that wholesale prices have in general increased not less than 21 per cent in the last five years, it is not certain that the cost of living of workingmen has increased at the same rate, both because retail prices have risen less rapidly than wholesale prices and because some of the commodities listed in these records are not used by working people. Thus the average rate of increase reported by the National Department of Labor depends partly upon an advance of 37 per cent in the price of “farm products," which are raw materials or commodities not directly sold to consumers. The fol lowing table shows the advance in wholesale prices of a few selected commodities in the nine classes or groups in which they have been arranged by the Department of Labor:

TABLE 33.
WHOLESALE PRICES, 1901.

(Average of 1897 - 100.] 1. Farm Products.

137.2 3. Cloths and Clothing-(continued): 2. Food

120.8

Shawls.......
Bread, loaf.....

100.0

Suitings.....
Bread and crackers

109.7

Underwear ..........
Butter..........

116.2

Women's dress goods
Cheese .........

104.4 4. Fuel and lighting..
Coffee.....

81.4

Anthracite coal..
Eggs......

122.0

Refined petroleum...
Fish ............

121.9 5. Metals and Implements.........
Flour...........

100.7

Builders' hardware...........
Frult..........

134.5

Nails .....................
Meat

124.8

Tools...
Beet.

103.3 6. Lumber and Building Materials
Pork

155.2

Brick...
Mutton...

92.6

Glass, plate....
Milk..

111.4

Glass, window.
Potatoes .......

172.0

Lumber.........
Sugar (granulated)...............

112.3 7. Drugs and Chemicals..
Tea......

101.8

8. House Furnishing Goods.. & Cloths and Clothing

110.9

Earthenware.......
Boots and shoes

102.0

Furniture........
Broadcloths.......................

112.4

Glassware
Callco..........

100.0

Table cutlery...
Carpets

109.0

Wooden ware
Cotton flannels.

107.8 9. Miscellaneous........
Ginghams...

109.0

Tobacco.........
Hosiery

99.1

Total of nine classes
Overcoatings

120.0

119.5 118.8 105.7 131.3 123.9 109.9 121.7 129.2 108.1 158.9 115.8 129.1 116.8 156.3 177.1 119.6 122.0 123.5 123.9 128.8 124.6 114.1 120.5 116.6 117.8

121.0

The advance in the price of food has been virtually the same as the average increase in prices generally, but the price of cloths and clothing has increased only 11 per cent since 1897. Now in the normal family about 40 per cent of the annual expenditures go for food and only 15 per cent for clothing, while the remaining 45 per cent goes for rent, fuel, light, furnishings and miscellaneous things; such at least being the proportion ascertained by the United States Department of Labor in an

Rent.

investigation of 2,562 workingmen's budgets in 1891.* Assuming these proportions to be true of the expenditures of the organized workingmen of this State, we shall arrive at the fol. lowing results:

15.05 X 100 • 15,100 Food.....

.......... 41.05 X 120.8- 49,600 Fuel and light

5.91 X 123.9- 7,800 Clothing.....

15.31 X 110.9 - 17,000 All other.

22.68 X 121 • 27,400 100

116,400 On the assumption that rent has not changed and that the prices of the miscellaneous purchases have increased at the same ratio as prices in general, it appears that the cost of living increased about 16.4 per cent between 1897 and 1901, which is about the same as the advance in earnings. It therefore seems safe to say that despite the more regular employment and higher wages now enjoyed by the working people, their economic condition is little better than it was five years ago, save that they now work shorter hours.

......

184

TABLE $4.
AVERAGE EARNINGS OF MEMBERS OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS IN EACH TRADE IN THE THIRD

QUARTER, 1897-1901.
INDUSTRIES AND TRADES.

Number

employed Men.

1897.
1898.

1899. 1900. 1901. 1901, I. Building, Stone Working, Eto...

$186

$215 83,321 Stone working.....

$227

$218 $244 245 240 6,219 Freestone cutters.............

235 .290 285 295 250 1,980 Granite cutters..... 224 190 174 230 225

113 Stone cutters (not classified)......... 167 208 229 224 223

680 Cement workers.......

122 93 101

518 Building and paving trades......................

233 188 227 61,615 Bricklayers and masons................ 193 181 262 214 273

8,250 Carpenters and joiners.........

197 216

195 211 15,242 Electrical workers.. 220 197 231 177 217

2,153 Framers

142 189 256 210 261 1,659
Housesmiths and architectural iron
workerg

179
142 169 148 231

8,450 Painters and decorators.....

175
241
233 144 217

0,849
Plasterers
178 194 292 124 225

8,575 Plumbers and gas fitters.... 254 268 259 245 240

5,048 Roofers and sheet metal workers.... 193 191 216

191
231

2,752 Bullding and street labor.....

171 160 159

14,944 Building laborers..

148 132 179 166 164 13,605 II. Clothing and Textiles .....

151 119 135

29,940 Garments

146 105 149 112 131

23,716 Cloak makers...

189
95 148 89 142

5,000
Clothing cutters..
227 196 243 168 217

2,254 Coat makers.......

123 101 169 129

110

1,112 Jacket makers..

87 140

68

1,172 Pants makers.. 112 87 121 66 112

3,468 96 68 136 144 119

6,872 Waist makers....

82 40 90 129

1,000 Hats, caps and furs......

150 129

172
159 197

1,741 • Seventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, table XLV.

.......

Tailors ......

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