Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/263

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259
EFFICIENCY WAGE STANDARDS

Cumulative Percentages of Males receiving certain Classified Weekly Earnings. Compiled from certain Efforts 1908-1910

Classified Weekly Earnings Massachu- setts 21 Years and Over[1] New Jersey 1909, 16 Years and Over[2] Kansas 1909 16 Years and Over[3] Wisconsin 1906-7, All Males[4] Bethlehem Steel Works 1901 All Males[5] Railroads of the U. S. 1909. All Males[6]
Under $ 8 12 18 8 12 8 22
Under 12 52 57 46 59 60 51
Under 15 72 74 70 89 75 78
Under 20 92 91 91 98 92 92
$20 and over 8 9 9 2 8 8
Total employed 380,118 204,720 50,720 128,334 9,184 1,502,823

year); while less than one tenth receive wages of more than $1,000 per year. All of the reports, therefore, present a remarkably uniform picture of the wages of adult males.

Here, then, is an effective answer to the question, "What are wages?" A study of the above table shows that half of the adult males working in the industrial sections of the United States receive less than $600 per year; three quarters are paid less than $750 annually, and less than one tenth earn $1,000 a year. These figures are not accurate, however, since they are all gross figures, including unemployment. They should be reduced by, perhaps, 20 per cent.,[7] since that reduction would make all due allowance for unemployment, varying with the year, the location and the industry. Making, therefore, a reduction of one fifth in those gross earnings, it appears that half of the adult males of the United States are earning less than $500 a year; that three quarters of them are earning less than $600 annually; that nine tenths are receiving less than $800 a year, while less than ten per cent, receive more than that figure.

Briefly summarized, the available wage data lead to these conclusions for the localities in which the data were collected, and by reference for neighboring localities. The annual earnings (unemployment of 20 per cent, deducted) of adult males employed east of the Rockies and north of the Mason and Dixon Line are distributed over the wage scale thus:

Annual Earnings Adult Males
Under $200 ——
Under $325 1/10
Under $500 1/2
Under $600 3/4
Under $800 9/10
  1. "Statistics of Manufacture, 1908, Boston, 1909, p. 82.
  2. Bureau of Statistics, 1909, Camden, 1910, p. 120.
  3. Annual Report Bureau of Labor, 1909, Topeka, 1910, p. 10.
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin, 1907-08, Madison, 1909, p. 464.
  5. Report on Strike at Bethlehem Steel Works, C. P. Neill, Washington, 1910, p. 60.
  6. Annual Report Statistics of Railways, 1908-09, pp. 34 and 40.
  7. "Unemployment in the United States," Scott Rearing, Quarterly Publications American Statistical Association, September, 1909, p. 539.