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spoken at length on the problem of differences between the U.S. Solicitor's rates and the State rates. We spoke on the enforcement of the law. We have talked rather frankly on the whole question of reciprocity.
A few months ago, Bill Laney and I had a conversation about the wage payment collections in one of the States. This is one area in which we need to do a great deal of work. It would be of mutual benefit to all of us.
As long as I have been in this organization, we have talked about the need for a model law. We have talked about the need for increased discussions in groups of this kind and small groups among the States. As I mentioned, the Bureau of Labor Standards has done some recent work on this. As Nelson was saying, it is only a small beginning, but a beginning. Through this agency, we may be able to do a great deal of clarification, maybe pool some of our laws and make them a little more similar; although many of them are modeled somewhat after the existing Federal law. We may be able to improve the administration and enforcement of the law. Thank you very much.
[The Tuesday morning session recessed at 11:45 a.m.]
JULY 26—LUNCHEON SESSION
Presiding: MARTIN P. CATHERWOOD, Industrial Commissioner, New York
Department of Labor The Tuesday luncheon session convened in the Queen Anne Room of the Monteleone Hotel, with President Catherwood presiding.
President Catherwood announced to the luncheon group that he had received a telephone call from Mrs. Esther Peterson, expressing her sincere regrets that she would be unable to attend. She is involved in legislation and it is at a critical point. She had no alternative but to remain in Washington.
The President then introduced guests and new member delegates, including the Honorable Layton Ferguson, Minister, Nova Scotia Department of Labour; and Thomas Roumell, Director, Michigan Department of Labor.
President CATHERWOOD. Statistics can be approached and defined from various directions and in various ways.
One approach that would be most significant to our speaker today is one attributed to Winston Churchill who pointed out the tremendous responsibilities on those involved in statistical work in projecting and forecasting the future. They have to use statistics not only to explain the past but to forecast the future, indicate what is going to happen in 6 months, a year, 3 years. Even more important is that part of the job explaining why it didn't happen. [Laughter.] The life of the head statistician in the Federal Government is not a simple one. He has to deal with many different groups and categories.
The relatively new Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics heads an agency, incidentally, with which this association has had long and pleasant relationships. He is a native of California. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, and received his Ph. D. from the University of California. He has participated in all kinds of Federal and State activities, committees, boards, commissions, etc. From 1954 to 1963, he was Director of the Institute of Industrial Relations at the University of California. He was appointed, by President Johnson, in October 1964, as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is a pleasure to present to you at this time Arthur M. Ross.
ARTHUR M. Ross, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
U.S. Department of Labor
Mr. President and friends. I am glad to have the opportunity to substitute for Esther Peterson for several reasons. She is testifying today in the House of Representatives for the consumer protection bill, a bill in which I know you are as interested as she is. She has given much leadership and much devotion to this bill, which was passed by the Senate some time ago and is now in the House of Representatives. I must be one of the less important persons in the Department, since the important ones are all testifying today. Secretary Wirtz is also testifying before the Commerce Committee on whether the airline strike constitutes an emergency.
Since I have no testimony at all to give to Congress today, I have the opportunity to be here. It is a pleasure to be here also because our Bureau has had such fine relations with the State departments of labor over the years. My associate, Mr. Keim has, I think, performed distinguished and valuable service in cooperating with the State Governments, and in helping to do what we can to help organize statistical programs and other labor functions in the State capitals. I am glad that we have an opportunity to meet our colleagues from the Provinces of Canada, as well as from most of the States in the United States. I am glad to see the distinguished Commissioner from New Jersey, Commissioner Male. He and my boss, Secretary Wirtz, have recently collaborated on an imaginative stabilization program in the construction industry in New Jersey. If that program should be widely accepted, we, I think, might hope that eventually the annual rate of wage increases in that industry might be 15 percent or less rather than the figures which are currently being negotiated.
I would like to talk a bit about the general economic outlook with particular reference to manpower requirements and manpower supplies. There has been some letup in economic activity in the second quarter, especially in April and May. But there is every evidence that another pickup is taking place. What with the continuation of high defense requirements and the continuation of the capital boom, it certainly would be surprising if economic growth and the pressure on our economic resources were not to continue. Employment has been increasing more than seasonal over the past year. Over the past year, the increase has been more than 3 million in the United States. In the month of June alone, the increase was about 570,000.
Factory orders, defense orders, backlogs, and so forth are increasing.
Then there is every indication of continuing resumption of rapid economic growth. So it raises the question of whether we have the manpower available for this economic growth. Do we have reserves of manpower in our system which will provide the wherewithal, the human potential for the economic expansion that appears to be resuming? It is our feeling that we very definitely do; notwithstanding the difficult manpower shortages in some trades and areas about which we read so much.
One of the major sources of manpower is the growth in our work force and many of the new workers are well educated, although not necessarily experienced. This summer we had hundreds of thousands of high school and college graduates coming into the work force. Every year hundreds of thousands of additional women go into the work force. The increase in the work force among the adult men is not very great, partly because of birth rates in the past, and partly because of the military inductions.
So we see right off the necessity for employers to use the kind of workers who are available. The new ones coming in do not constitute adult men, aside from the college graduates in that category. Although the rate of unemployment is considered low by past standards, it is my judgment that at least 500,000 could be squeezed out of the unemployed and into productive employment.
Of course, there always will be some unemployment-people in the natural turnover from one job to another, and things of that kind. But every study we have made does indicate that among the unemployed, we could squeeze down the level gradually over the next year by 500,000. Here again, it stands to reason that those who are still unemployed are not as well qualified on the average as those who have jobs. Obviously, the most attractive and most experienced, the most trained candidates have already been picked off. And we know that the rates of unemployment among the experienced members of the labor force, especially the adult males, the fathers, the men covered by unemployment insurance, people like that, with a good attachment to the labor force, with good training and good experience, unemployment rates among those categories are very low and may not go too much lower, although they could go a little lower.
These are not the only labor reserves that we have. We have in the country about 2 million people who are working part time only and would like to work full time. They tell us every month, in the household sample surveys, that they would like to work full time, if full-time jobs were available. We have a great many people with remedial handicaps. I do not mean people who are basically unemployable but people with physical or, in some cases, psychological