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The level of wages in the building trades was, according to the report, the same in England and Wales in 1909 as in 1905, but the rates in the engineering trades had been raised by about 1} per cent between October, 1905, and February, 1909, and those of compositors by about 24 per cent. The effect of these changes would be to lower the mean ratio for the combined trades represented in the above table from 232:100 to 230:100.

In the building trades, the rates for the United States are based upon actual returns from employers, but many of these returns embody the locally accepted standard rates in the relatively highly organized group.

In the case of the engineering trades, the English wages are the standard time rates recognized by the unions concerned. The American ranges, on the other hand, are based in the absence of standard rates, on reports obtained from employers of actual earnings in an ordinary week, and consequently the two sets of figures are, according to the report, not strictly comparable.

In the printing trades, the rates for hand compositors engaged on job printing are given. The American figures represent predominant time rates ascertained to be paid in practice, while those for England and Wales are, as in the case of the engineering trades, the standard time rates recognized by the trade unions.

In no case in the table are the comparative ranges seriously complicated by the distinction as between time and piece rates, and in the case of the building trades and the printing trades, not at all. Neither are the comparisons invalidated by differences in the character of the work done by those who fall into similar classes in the two countries. It will be seen that in the building trades the mean of the predominant range in the United States is in no case less than double that of the corresponding English grade of wage earners. For the whole group, the wages in the United States are 143 per cent above those in England and Wales. In the engineering trades, the index numbers are in no case less than double the English figure, and the combined figure is 113 per cent above the English figure. For the compositors, wages in the United States are 146 per cent above the English level, as compared with 132 per cent for all of the occupations included in the table. It will be remembered that these figures are subject to slight modification, in view of the different dates to which the reports relate, as previously noted.

In regard to the question as to whether the foregoing figures fairly represent the level of wages for adult males in the cities investigated in the United States as compared with the cities covered by the corresponding investigation in England and Wales, or whether the ratio based upon the same occupations as have been used in the preceding international comparisons is one that may either exaggerate or minimize the existing difference, the report concludes as follows:

While the combined ratio yielded by the figures in the above table appears to give an approximately correct general indication of the relative rates of remuneration for town occupations as between the two countries, so far as they can be determined within the limits of the present inquiry, the comparative figures appear to be somewhat weighted in favor of the United States and should not be pressed to an undue extent. It must be remembered that the position of the building trades in the United States involves a selection of a group of occupations for comparative purposes that is probably slightly favorable to the United States, and the whole basis of comparison is not a very wide one. The proportion of unskilled or of semiskilled labor employed in industry in the United States is greater than in this country and it may be noted that this fact would affect the comparison of trades as a whole, while it is clear that, in order to ascertain the comparative level of wages in the two countriestaking into account the proportions employed at high and low rates in both cases--a general census of wages would be required.

“Although the proportion of those who may be roughly classed as the unskilled or semiskilled in comparison with the skilled workers is greater in the United States than in England and Wales, it should be observed that the evidence of the town reports indicates that the proportion of men in the community who in an industrial classification would fall below any of these three classes as representing a class of relatively unemployable labor, be it through premature deterioration or through old age, is smaller than in this country. The comparatively recent character of American urban development and a rapid growth of population, largely due to the influx of those in the prime of life or who, having passed the more uncertain years of childhood, have not yet reached their prime, are the main general considerations that underlie the above conclusion.



The weekly hours of labor for the individual occupations and cities have been shown in connection with the rates of wages in a preceding table. The hours stated below summarize the conditions for all of the cities taken together and show the number of cities with each specified number of hours per week, exclusive of intervals and without overtime. In the case of the building trades the hours are for a full week in summer. In other cases they refer to February, 1909.


[The hours of labor of Negroes have been excluded.]

Number Number of towns in which the usual hours of labor

of towns per week (excluding intervals) were

to which
figures From 44

From 48 From 54

to 48
to 54

to 60


BUILDING TRADES,1 Bricklayers..

25 11

2 12 Stonemasons.

25 10
1 13

1 Stonecutters.


10 Carpenters.


3 Plasterers.


1 1 Plumbers.

28 9
2 12

2 2 Structural iron workers.



24 Painters.

28 8


1 1 Hod carriers and bricklayers' laborers... 18

2 7

1 3 ENGINEERING TRADES. Iron molders..


12 Machinists (fitters and turners).

28 Blacksmiths..

24 Pattern makers.


7 Laborers..


4 PRINTING TRADES. Hand compositors (job work)...



7 1
1 The hours of labor stated for the building trades are for a full week in summer.
2 Detroit, where the hours are 48 and 60, has been included here.

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UNITED STATES AND ENGLAND AND WALES COMPARED. In the table which follows a comparison is made of the hours of labor in the United States and in England and Wales. As in the other international comparisons of this report the figures for the United States relate to February, 1909, while those for England and Wales refer to October, 1905.



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8718 Stonemasons.


462 Carpenters. Joiners.


90 473

90 Plasterers.


461 Plumbers..


47 Painters.

531 Hod carriers and bricklayers' laborers


93 ENGINEERING TRADES. Fitters. Turners.

106 564 {

106 Smiths..


106 Pattern makers


106 Laborers.


106 PRINTING TRADES. Hand compositors (Job work)...


93 (The building trades..

89 Arithmetic means.. {The engineering trades.

105 (All above occupations...

96 1 The hours of labor stated for the building trades are for a full week in summer in both countries,

86026°—Bull. 93—11-14

No adjustment of the figures shown in the above table is required to allow for the difference in date to which they refer, since changes in the hours of labor in the building and engineering trades and for compositors in England and Wales between the dates' of the two inquiries amount in each case to less than one-half of 1 per cent.

It will be seen that the average hours of labor per week range in the various occupations in the building trades from 52 to 531 in England and Wales and from 46 to 481 in the United States. The weekly working time in England and Wales averages about six hours longer than in the United States in the case of the skilled men, and only 31 hours longer in the case of hod carriers and bricklayers' laborers. The arithmetical mean of the index numbers in the whole group of building trades is 89, indicating a working week in summer 11 per cent shorter than in England and Wales.

In the engineering trades (foundries and machine shops) the hours are distinctly longer in the United States than in the building trades, ranging from a minimum of 54 hours to a maximum of 60. As compared with England and Wales the average hours in the engineering trades are 3 or 37 hours per week longer, the English average being 53 and the average hours in these trades in the United States being 6 per cent above those in England and Wales.

Among compositors the American working week is, on an average, about 3 hours shorter than in England and Wales, or, expressed in percentages, about 7 per cent less.

For the three groups of trades combined, the hours in the United States are 4 per cent shorter than in the corresponding occupations in England and Wales.

Upon the question as to whether a general conclusion can be drawn from the above figures concerning the hours of labor in the two countries the report concludes that “there is little doubt that the percentage figure is somewhat low for the United States. Although in a general survey it is probable that the respective levels shown in the above tables might be somewhat unduly favorable to the United States, the comparison as between the three selected trade groups themselves is a fair one, and it therefore provides a basis of calculation of the hourly rate of wages similar to that which has been made in the preceding foreign inquiries. Thus for the trades under consideration, the weekly wages for the United States as compared with England and Wales being approximately as 230 to 100 (regard being had to the different dates of inquiry), and the hours of the usual working week being as 96 to 100, it follows that the average hourly earnings of the American workmen are, to those of English workmen in the same trades, approximately as 240 to 100. In the building trades the ratio is as 273 to 100 and in the printing trades it is 258 to 100, while in the engineering trades it falls to 198 to 100."



In order to ascertain the rents of dwellings usually occupied by wage-earning families in the cities visited, many reports were obtained showing the rents paid in February, 1909. These reports were mainly from real-estate agents and from tenants. A large number of dwellings were also visited, so that first-hand knowledge might be obtained not only as to rents paid but as to the character of the accommodation, including such points as the number and dimensions of rooms, the conveniences provided, and in some measure as to the standard of the families themselves. Much detailed information on these points is contained in the individual city reports. Altogether, information in regard to rents was obtained for over 90,000 wageearners' dwellings. It was found that four-room dwellings were predominant types throughout the whole field of inquiry, and, save in three cases, five-room tenements were also found a prevailing type. The results obtained for the cities investigated are shown in the following table. The table does not, however, include the facts as to colored tenants.



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A large amount of information in regard to rents actually paid was obtained in connection with budgets of family expenditure, which are considered in a later section, but this information does not enter into the above table. The report, however, calls attention to the fact that the average rent per room shown by the mean of the ranges given in the above table corresponds almost exactly to the average rent per room as shown by the budgets. The average rent per room thus given by the above table is 63.9 cents, as compared with 64.4 cents as shown by the budgets, which is referred to as a striking illustration of the general soundness of the above figures.

The predominant ranges of rentals for the individual cities are given separately in the report as well as the predominant ranges for all of the cities combined. In the following table index numbers are given showing the relative level of rents in each of the cities investi

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