Lapas attēli

Table 97.Employees for whom information was secured, by sex and general nativity

and race-Continued.

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Foreign-born, by race--Continued.

Australian (race not specified).
Austrian (race not specified).
Swiss (race not specified).

Grand total.....
Total native-born of foreign father.
Total native-born..
Total foreign-born..






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8.9 11.7 88,3

85. 4

10. 2 12.7 87.3

551 4, 150

374 2, 183

925 6,333

a Less than 0.05 per cent.



History of immigration--Period of residence in the United States of foreign-born

employees--- Racial classification of employees at the present time_{Text Tables 98 and 99 and General Table 55).


In 1850 the clothing industry in New York City was in its infancy. Cutting and sewing were done by hand at that period. There were no factories, and the workers occupied small rooms or “sweat shops.”' From that date until 1880 the Irish workers in the industry predominated. They were not imported, and, in fact, no race has ever been brought to the community to engage in the industry. All of the earlier immigrants who engaged in the clothing industry had learned the trade of tailoring abroad and followed as a natural course the work that they knew upon entering this country. The introduction of machines has simplified the work to such an extent that the later immigrants can be taught their fixed tasks within a week or two, and has created in many ways a distinctly “immigrant” industry. From 1865 to 1888 a few Swedes entered the industry, but the number of them in the clothing shops has never been large. They are considered, however, the most intelligent workmen employed and are found engaged in hand work on the finest grades of clothes. Germans entered the industry during the period 1880 to 1890. The majority of them had worked as hand tailors in their native land, and in a short time after entering the industry in this country were found principally in the occupation of busheling, which is more skilled work than that done by the machine operators for the reason that it requires a knowledge of the tailoring of the whole suit. The Russian and Polish Hebrews first found employment in the industry in large numbers from 1890 to 1895. The immigration of Italian workers began in 1895.

The periods mentioned are those of the greatest immigration to the industry. A number of persons of the several races were found in the community prior to those periods, however, for a large number of Italians were employed in the shops as early as 1880 for instance. At the present time the Italians are supplanting the Russian Hebrews in the shops. There has been a steady displacement of the old races by the new, or recent, immigrants who are constantly entering the industry. It has not been a displacement resulting from a superior skill possessed by the incoming workers, but one resulting through the willingness of the "raw" immigrants to accept lower wages than those who have been in this country for a longer period of time.

The wages paid the new races in the shops are comparatively low, but as a rule are considerably higher than they could earn in Europe. The immigrants of long residence have adopted a higher standard of living and consequently demand a higher wage.

Poor wages, however, prevail in the clothing industry. The industry has, in fact, been developed to its present magnitude with cheap and inexperienced labor. The workers have come from the tailoring shops of Europe in a few instances, but a large majority of them have been reared in the farming districts on the Continent. They must have work on landing in New York, and it is not long before they find their way to the clothing factories. They annually crowd the shops of the city in thousands, forcing the workers who have preceded them to move up in the scale of occupation or to enter other employment. The older employees are unable to meet the competition of the recent immigrants, whose demands are not great. Some of the displaced workers have opened tailoring or repair shops of their own, others have gone into the shops of custom tailors, and many have entered other lines of work.

Practically none of the operatives become the higher paid cutters. These are recruited principally from apprentices, stock clerks and shipping clerks occasionally giving up their positions for that of apprenticeship: The foremen and contractors come chiefly from the shops. Almost all of these are Hebrews, who are particularly apt in taking advantage of every opportunity to place themselves either in a supervisory position or in control of a shop of their own.



The general character of recent and past immigration to the clothing industry in New York City may be readily seen from the following table which shows, by sex and race, the per cent of foreignborn employees who have been in the United States each specified number of years:

TABLE 98.-Per cent of foreign-born employees in the United States each specified number

of years, by sex and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) (By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is

made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 80 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.)


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TABLE 98.—Per cent of foreign-born em ployees in the United States each specified number

of years, by sex and race-Continued.

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Of the 6,223 persons, data for whom are included in the above table, 35.9 per cent have been in this country under five years, 30.7 per cent have been here from five to nine years, and less than 15 per cent appear in each of the other specified periods of residence. The Poles and the Russians show their largest proportion as having been here under five years. A total of 4,098 male persons reported complete data in the foregoing table. Of that number 30.6 per cent have been here less than five years, 30.4 per cent have been here from five to nine years, and less than 16 per cent are in each of the other age groups. The Poles, Russians, and South Italians are the races showing a large proportion who have been here under five years. Nearly 90 per cent of the German males have been here for twenty years or over. The Magyars, with 37.8 per cent, show the next largest proportion in that period of residence.

Of the foreign-born females, 46.2 per cent have been in the United States under five years, 31.3 per cent have been here from five to nine years, and 3.3 per cent have been here twenty or more years. The Russians, Russian Hebrews, Poles, and Lithuanians each report over 50 per cent in the period of less than five years, and the Germans show the largest proportion of persons who have been here for twenty or more years.

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