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do not take into consideration the development of new industries within the period or the increase in the number of establishments in the several industries covered by the report, hence the actual increase in the number of employees in 1906 engaged in the manufacturing and mechanical industries of the country must be considerably greater than is shown by these figures.

As there has been a general decrease in the hours of labor accompanying the general increase in wages per hour, a column is given in the table showing the full-time weekly earnings per employee in order that a study may be made of earnings per week as well as of wages per hour.

The figures here given for weekly earnings are based on full-time work; as fully explained on page 17 the amount of time actually made per week by employees is not covered by this report.

There was an increase in the full-time weekly earnings per employee in 1906 as compared with 1905 of 3.9 per cent; as compared with 1904, of 5.6 per cent; as compared with 1903, of 5.5 per cent; as compared with 1902, of 8.5 per cent, and as compared with 1901, of 11.9 per cent. In 1906, as compared with the average for 1890 to 1899, there was an increase of full-time weekly earnings per employee of 18.5 per cent, and as compared with 1894, the year of lowest wages, there was an increase of 21.3 per cent.

Figures relating to retail prices of food, from the second article in this Bulletin, are presented here that they may furnish a measure of the purchasing power of wages. In 1906 there was an increase in the retail price of food, weighted according to family consumption, of 2.9 per cent as compared with 1905, an increase of 3.6 per cent as compared with 1904, an increase of 4.9 per cent as compared with 1903, an increase of 4.3 per cent as compared with 1902, and an increase of 10 per cent as compared with 1901. The retail price of food was 21.2 per cent higher in 1906 than in 1896, the year of lowest prices, and 15.7 per cent higher than the average price for the ten years, 1890 to 1899.

For ten years there has been a general increase in wages per hour and in retail prices of food. The increase, however, has not been uniform in the two items named, as will be seen from the table on page 4. In 1906 an hour's wages would purchase 1.4 per cent more food than in 1905, 2.5 per cent more food than in 1904, 1.8 per cent more food than in 1903, 6 per cent more food than in 1902, 4.5 per cent more food than in 1901, 11.1 per cent more food than in 1891 and in 1893, and 7.3 per cent more food than for the average of the ten years, 1890 to 1899.

A full week's earnings would purchase 1 per cent more food in 1906 than in 1905; 2 per cent more food than in 1904; 0.6 per cent more food than in 1903; 4 per cent more food than in 1902, and 1.7 per cent more food than in 1901. The increase in the purchasing power of a full week's earnings was 2.4 per cent in 1906 as compared with the average during the ten years from 1890 to 1899. The purchasing power of a full week's wages was less, however, in 1906 than in 3 of the years covered by the report; a full week's earnings would purchase 1.7 per cent less food in 1906 than a full week's earnings in 1896, and 0.6 per cent less food than a full week's earnings in 1897 and in 1900.

The table on page 4 shows the per cent of increase or decrease in average wages per hour, in hours of labor per week, and in other items in 1906, as compared with each of the several years back to 1890. The following table and the accompanying graphic chart, which is drawn from the table, show for the seventeen years, 1890 to 1906, the relative wages per hour, the relative hours of labor per week, the relative number of employees covered by the report in the establishments investigated, and the relative retail prices of food. Figures are also given in the table, but not used in the chart, which show relative full-time weekly earnings per employee and relative purchasing power of hourly wages and of full-time weekly earnings per employee as measured by retail prices of food.

The relative numbers shown are percentages, the base (100.0) being the average for the ten years 1890 to 1899. An extended explanation of the reason for selecting this base and of the method of computing and using the relative number is given on pages 19 and 20.

RELATIVE EMPLOYEES, HOURS PER WEEK, WAGES PER HOUR, FULL-TIME WEEKLY EARNINGS PER EMPLOYEE, RETAIL PRICES OF FOOD, AND PURCHASING POWER OF HOURLY WAGES AND OF FULL-TIME WEEKLY EARNINGS PER EMPLOYEE, MEASURED BY RETAIL PRICES OF FOOD, 1890 TO 1906.

(Relative numbers computed on basis of average for 1890–1899=100.0.)

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Referring to the foregoing table it is seen that the relative wages per hour in 1890 were 100.3, indicating that the average wages per hour in 1890 were 100.3 per cent of the average wages per hour for the ten years from 1890 to 1899, inclusive, or 0.3 per cent higher than during the period named. The lowest point reached was in 1894, when the relative wages per hour were 97.9. From 1894 the movement was upward for two years; in 1897 there was a slight decline. From 1897 there was an advance each year. In 1906 the relative wages per hour reached 124.2, or 24.2 per cent more than the average for 1890 to 1899. Thus it is seen that wages per hour in 1906 in the manufacturing and mechanical industries of the country were higher than in any other year of the period covered.

In using these relative numbers it must be borne in mind that the per cent of change between one year and another is not the result of the subtraction of the two relative numbers. For example, the relative wages per hour in all industries were 97.9 in 1894 and 124.2 in 1906. The difference between these two relative numbers is 26.3. The increase in wages per hour, however, from 1894 to 1906 was not 26.3 per cent. This difference in the relative numbers (26.3) is 26.9 per cent of 97.9, the number for 1894 with which comparison is made, making the wages per hour in 1906 26.9 per cent higher than the wages per hour in 1894. The per cent of difference in the relative numbers for any two years may be computed in the manner shown in the example.

While wages per hour were higher in the manufacturing and mechanical industries in 1906 than in any other year covered by this report, the regular hours of labor per week were lower in 1906 than in any other year of the period. The table shows that in 1890

. the relative hours of labor per week were 100.7, which means that they were 100.7 per cent of the average hours of labor per week for the ten years from 1890 to 1899, or 0.7 per cent more than the average for that period. From 1890 the weekly hours decreased until 1894, when the relative number was 99.8. In 1895 there was a slight increase, after which there was a gradual decrease to the minimum in 1906, the relative number for that year being 95.4, or 4.6 per cent less than the average hours worked during the base period from 1890 to 1899. It is seen from the table and from the chart that during the period covered the changes have not been so marked in hours of labor as in wages per hour, but the general course has been toward a reduction. The table on page 4 shows that the hours of labor in 1906 were 5.3 per cent lower than in 1890, while wages per hour were 23.8 per cent higher in 1906 than in 1890.

The relative number of employees covered by the report in the establishments investigated is shown in the second column of the In the year

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table for each year of the period. As stated on page 5, the number of employees in each year covered by this investigation indicates in a general way the change in the number of employees in all of the industries of the country. These numbers, however, can not be accepted as an exact measurement of such change. The relative numbers given in this table, for the last few years at least, probably fall short of showing the general increase in the number of employees in all industries of the country. The table shows that the lowest number employed was in the year 1894, the relative number for that year being 94.1, which indicates that the number of employees equaled 94.1 per cent of the average number employed from 1890 to 1899. So far as these establishments are concerned it is seen that the number of employees engaged therein gradually increased from 1894 until 1903, when their relative number was 126.5. 1904 there was a decrease to 125.7; in 1905, however, the relative number increased to 133.6 and in 1906 to 142.9, the highest for the seventeen-year period.

The full-time weekly earnings per employee in 1890 are expressed in the table by the relative number 101.0, meaning that they amounted to 101.0 per cent of the average full-time weekly earnings for the base period, 1890 to 1899. The lowest earnings for the seventeen years covered were in 1894, when they were represented by the relative number 97.7. There was a gradual increase to 112.3 in 1903, a slight decrease in 1904, and in 1906 the maximum (118.5) was reached, showing that in that year full-time weekly earnings exceeded the average for 1890 to 1899 by 18.5 per cent.

The relative retail prices of food given in this table are brought forward from the second article in this Bulletin that a comparison may be made with relative wages. In 1890 the relative retail price of food was 102.4, that is 102.4 per cent of the average retail price from 1890 to 1899, the base period. In 1891, 1892, and 1893 the relative numbers were 103.8, 101.9, and 104.4, respectively. In 1894 there was a sharp decline in the retail price of food, aecompanying the reduction in wages per hour, and the prices continued to decline until 1896 when they reached the lowest figure for the period covered, or 95.5. After this there was an almost continuous increase from year to year until 1906, when the highest price was reached, the relative price for that year being 115.7, or 15.7 per cent more than the average for the base period.

The purchasing power of hourly wages as measured by retail prices of food was lowest in 1891 and 1893 and is expressed by the relative number 96.6, which shows that an hour's wages in those years would purchase only 96.6 per cent as much food as an hour's wages would purchase on an average from 1890 to 1899. The figures fluctuated

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from year to year but there was an upward trend, the maximum being reached in 1906, when the relative purchasing power of an hour's wages was 107.3.

The purchasing power of a full week's earnings was greater in 1896 than in any other year of the period covered and is indicated by the relative number 104.2, which means that it was 104.2 per cent of the average for the base period, 1890 to 1899. In 1897 and 1900 the relative purchasing power of a full week's earnings was 103.0 and in 1906 it was 102.4.

The relative wages per hour, the relative hours of labor per week, and the relative number of employees in each occupation covered by this investigation are given in Table II, pages 61 to 125. Similar relative numbers for each industry are given in Table III, pages 126 to 131. These tables give the relative numbers for each year from 1890 to 1906, inclusive, and indicate plainly the changes that have occurred from year to year.

The following table shows the per cent of increase or decrease in wages per hour and in hours of labor per week in 1906 as compared with the average for the ten years from 1890 to 1899 in each of the 41 industries covered by this report.

PER CENT OF INCREASE OR DECREASE IN WAGES PER HOUR AND IN HOURS OF LABOR PER WEEK IN 1906 AS COMPARED WITH THE AVERAGE FOR 1890-1899, BY INDUSTRIES.

Industry.

Wages per hour. Hours per week. Per cent Per cent Per cent Per cent of of of

of increase. decrease increase. decrease.

3. 4 8. 2 5. 4 3. 7 1. 3 9. 1

0.2

Agricultural implements,
Bakery, bread..
Blacksmithing and horseshocing.
Boots and shoes..
Brick..
Building trades.
Candy
Carpots..
Carriages and wagons.
Cars, steam railroad.
Clothing, factory product.
Cotton goods..
Dyeing, finishing, and printing textiles.
Electrical apparatus and supplies.
Flour.
Foundry and machine shop..
Furniture.
Gas..
Glass.
Harness.
Hats, fur
Hosiery and knit goods.
Iron and steel, bar.
Iron and steel, Bessemer converting
Iron and steel, blast furnace.
Leather...
Liquors, malt.
Lumber..
Marble and stone work.
Paper and wood pulp.
Planing mill.
Pottery...
Printing and publishing, book and job.

29. 3
27. 4
19.9
20. 4
19.1
40.2
18. 9
13.9
15. 8
18.5
15. 4
39. 5

8.0 22.0 12.5 17.9 25. 6

3. 8 22. 3 21.6 25. 2 26. 4 35. 7 33. 8 14.1

9. 2 27. 8 23. 7 21. 3 21.1 20.6 12.9 25. 9

1.9 3. 5 4.1 3. 3 1.7

3 6.0 2. 4 5. 2 4. 4 3. 5 1.4 3. 4 7.8 1.8 2.1 8. 5

12. 1 2.9 6. 3 6. 9 3. 6

.2 9.3

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