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THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY.
Growth of the industry-Increase in the number of employees-Territory studied— Households studied-Members of households for whom detailed information was secured-Employees for whom information was secured-[Text Tables 1 to 9 and General Tables 1 to 3].
GROWTH OF THE INDUSTRY.
The furniture-manufacturing industry in this country has had a remarkable growth during the past forty years, the total capital invested in the industry in 1880 being only $38,669,764, as contrasted with $152,712,732 in 1905. The principal States in which this development occurred and in which the industry became most extensively established were Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and New York. In the table below the growth of the industry in these States and in the country as a whole is shown during the period 1880-1905. No figures are available for the past five years.
TABLE 1.-Growth of the furniture industry in the United States and in selected States,
INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES.
From the standpoint of the immigration problem the most significant feature in connection with the development of the furniture industry has been the increase in the number of employees, owing to the fact that the resultant demand for labor was largely met by the employment of immigrants who were arriving in this country during the period of the industry's expansion. During the thirty-five years, 1880-1905, the total number of employees was more than doubled, and in some States, such as Michigan and Indiana, the operating forces of the furniture factories were quadrupled. The increase in the number of employees in the country as a whole and in the principal furniture-manufacturing States during the period 1880-1905 is set forth in the table below:
TABLE 2.-Increase in the number of employees of the furniture industry in the United States and in selected States, 1880-1905.
In the course of the investigation of the furniture industry emphasis was placed upon a study of the industry in Grand Rapids, Mich., as compared with other localities. Information was secured for employees, however, in various localities of the Middle West and in the Middle States, especially in the State of New York. The household study was confined to Grand Rapids, Mich., and Rockford, Ill.
The following table shows, by general nativity and race of head of household, the households studied, the heads of which were employed in the furniture-manufacturing industry:
TABLE 3.-Households studied, by general nativity and race of head of household.
Classified according to race of head over 80 per cent of the households studied are foreign-born, 10.1 per cent are native-born of native father, and 8.3 per cent are native-born of foreign father. Of the foreign-born households studied almost 40 per cent were Dutch, a considerable proportion were Polish and Swedish, and a very much smaller proportion were Lithuanian and German.
MEMBERS OF HOUSEHOLDS FOR WHOM DETAILED INFORMATION WAS SECURED.
The table which follows shows by general nativity and race of head of household the persons in the households studied and persons for whom detailed information was secured:
TABLE 4.—Persons in households studied and persons for whom detailed information was secured, by general nativity and race of head of household.
Of the 1,832 persons in the 338 households studied, 85.9 per cent were foreign-born, 7.4 per cent were native-born of native father, and 6.8 per cent were native-born of foreign father. The Dutch, both foreign-born and native-born of foreign father, were present in far greater number than the individuals of any other foreign race. Detailed information was secured concerning 1,745 individuals. Among these the proportion of persons of each nativity and race is about the same as among all individuals in the households studied. The table next presented sets forth by general nativity and race of head of household the sex of persons in the households studied for whom detailed information was secured:
TABLE 5.-Sex of persons for whom detailed information was secured, by general nativity and race of head of household. (STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)
The proportion of males in the households for which information was secured is 51.2 per cent. It is only in the households of the native-born of foreign father that the females are in the majority. Among the foreign-born the proportion of males is largest in the Swedish and Lithuanian households and smallest in the Dutch households. The following table shows by sex and general nativity and race of individual the persons for whom detailed information was secured in the households studied:
TABLE 6.-Persons for whom detailed information was secured, by sex and general nativity and race of individual. (STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)