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Many members of the different races of recent arrival in the United States have advanced in the order of occupations, but these are rather cases of individual than of racial progress. Most of the newcomers have been without any training or experience abroad in manufacturing or mining, and have been employed in the common or unskilled labor of the different branches of industry in this country, or they have been given work to do in connection with machine processes which are largely automatic and which require no special training or apprenticeship. The one notable exception in this respect is furnished by the Russian and other Hebrews, the majority of whom have had some industrial or technical training before coming to the United States. As a consequence, they find employment chiefly in the hand trades, or enter into business in a small way after reaching this country. The only branches of mining or manufacturing in which Russian and other Hebrews are extensively engaged are clothing, silk goods, boots and shoes, and gloves.
Weekly and Daily Earnings, According to Race, Age, Sex and Industry
The rates of pay and earnings, therefore, of southern and eastern European industrial workers, roughly correspond to the prevailing rates of remuneration and earnings of unskilled workmen. In some branches of mining and manufacturing they are paid on a piecerate basis, and consequently the most satisfactory exhibit of their industrial efficiency or earning ability may be presented in the shape of weekly earnings.*
See Appendix C for a detailed presentation of earnings according to general nativity and race.
The following statement shows, by general nativity, the average weekly earnings of 220,390 male industrial workers, eighteen years of age or over, during a normal industrial week of 1909:
It is seen that the average weekly earnings for the native-born white employees of native father or, in other words, native white Americans, were $14.37, as contrasted with $13.91 for those of native birth but of foreign father, and $11.92 for the total number of employees of foreign birth. The earnings of the British and northern European immigrants of former years are also higher than those of the newly arrived southern and eastern Europeans.
A conception of the earning possibilities of the immigrant women may be gathered from the table next presented, which shows amount of weekly earnings:
of 57,712 female wage-earners who were eighteen years of age or over.
The foregoing statement makes it clearly evident that the weekly earnings for the women industrial workers are much lower than those for the men. The average amount earned each week by the native American white women was $7.91, as against $8.11 for native-born female wage-earners of foreign father, and $7.90 for immigrant women, the lower earnings of the American women being due (1) to their refusal to do the disagreeable class of work which immigrant women would accept, and (2) to their inability and disinclination to work such long hours as the foreign-born females, in the case of certain piecerate occupations, as, for example, the clothing industry. The earnings of the members of the races of old immigration from Great Britain and northern Europe also range higher than those of representatives of races of recent arrival in the United States.
During the same week that the foregoing figures, relative to adult wage-earners, were collected, information was also secured as to the average weekly earnings of 13,682 male and 14,803 female industrial workers who were fourteen but under eighteen years of age. The showing made by the different groups was as follows:
In the case of each sex, the earnings of the three general nativity groups are about the same, but the averages for the females are materially lower than those for the males. The male industrial workers between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years average only a little more than one dollar each day, while the earnings for the females are even less.
As regards the earnings of the adult male wageearners, in the principal branches of mining and manufacturing, the native wage-earners have their highest average weekly earnings, $16.87, in glass-bottle factories, and their next highest, $16.54, in the iron and steel industry. In no other industries do the earnings of native-born American industrial workers average as much as $15 each week, the lowest earnings of white Americans, $11.02, being exhibited by those employed in the leather-manufacturing industry. The average earnings of the native white Americans in the cotton and woollen goods manufacturing industries are also small, the average weekly earnings of employees in the former being $11.60 and in the latter $11.62.
If a comparison be made of the second generation, or those of native birth but of foreign father, with the native American, the average weekly earnings of
* A detailed showing of wages by race and principal branches of industry will be found in Appendix C.
the former are somewhat higher than the latter in clothing, furniture, glove, iron and steel, iron-ore mining and copper mining and smelting, leather, shoe, silk dyeing, silk goods, woollen and worsted goods, and considerably higher in all divisions of glass manufacturing. The higher averages for the native-born employees of foreign father in glass manufacturing arise from the presence in the industry of workmen who had acquired skill enough through long experience of their races in the industry. The weekly earnings of the native-born French of foreign father, by way of illustration, average $19.83 in glass-bottle manufacturing, as contrasted with $10.51 for the Italians.
With the exception of those in copper mining and smelting, oil refining, iron-ore mining, and the manufacture of gloves and collars and cuffs, the average weekly earnings of foreign-born employees are lower for all industries than those of the native-born. The general utilization of immigrants of recent years as unskilled workmen, and their consequent lower earning capacity, is well illustrated by the low averages for the foreign-born glass workers as contrasted with those of native birth. The lowest earnings of the foreignborn wage-earners are shown in connection with the cotton-goods manufacturing industry, where their average weekly earnings are $9.28. The average weekly rate in the woollen and worsted goods industry is also low, being only $9.96.
The foreign-born members of races from Great Britain and northern Europe show a higher level of average weekly earnings than those from southern and eastern Europe, with the exception of some individuals who have had special industrial training abroad. One of the most striking facts indicated by a comparison