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CHAPTER III.

ECONOMIC STATUS.

Industrial condition abroad of members of immigrant households studied—Principal

occupation of immigrant employees before coming to the United States-General
occupation of women at the present time in the households studied-General
occupation of males at the present time in the households studied-Occupations
of immigrants in the bituminous mines of the Southwest—Daily earnings—Relation
between period of residence and earning ability-Annual earnings of male heads of
families studied-Annual earnings of males 18 years of age or over in the house-
holds studied-Annual family income-Wives at work-Annual earnings of females
18 years of age or over in the households studied-Relation between the earnings
of husbands and the practice of wives of keeping boarders or lodgers-Sources of
family income-Relative importance of the different sources of family income-
[Text Tables 397 to 418 and General Tables 155 to 167].

INDUSTRIAL CONDITION ABROAD OF MEMBERS OF IMMIGRANT HOUSE

HOLDS STUDIED.

Before proceeding to the discussion of the present economic status of the immigrant mine workers and their families it will be interesting as well as instructive in furnishing a standard for future comparisons to consider the industrial status of the foreign-born persons before they emigrated from their native lands. With this object

. in view, a series of tables is first submitted, showing the industrial condition of the males and females who were 16 years of age or over before they came to the United States.

As regards the 304 females who were 16 years of age or over when they came to this country, and for whom detailed information was received, the following table showing their industrial condition abroad exhibits some interesting data:

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TABLE 397.Industrial condition before coming to the United States of foreign-born

females who were 16 years of age or over at time of coming, by race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) [This table includes only races with 20 or more females reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign

born.)

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The significant fact brought to light by the preceding table is that 76.3 per cent of the females were without occupation before coming to the United States. None of the Croatian women were employed abroad. Only 25.6 per cent of the North Italian women, 39.3 per cent of the South Italian, 24.1 percent of the Lithuanian, 19.2 per cent of the Mexican, 26.6 per cent of the Polish, and 13.9 per cent of the Slovak, or, considering all races combined, only 72 women, or 23.7 per cent of all the women, had any form of employment before coming to the United States. Fifty-four of these were working for wages and 18 without wages, the South Italian women composing the largest number working for wages, while the Polish exhibited the largest numbers working without wages.

As regards the specific occupations followed by immigrant women before coming to the United States, the table presented below furnishes a more detailed exhibit:

TABLE 398.-Occupation before coming to the United States of foreign-born females who

were 16 years of age or over at time of coming, by race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)

[This table includes only races with 20 or more females reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign

born.)

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It is apparent that of the 54 women who were working abroad for wages the largest numbers were engaged as farm laborers. In the case of the women who were working but not receiving wages, all but one North Italian were farm laborers. The greater number of women who were working abroad were, therefore, principally, agricultural laborers, many of whom were working on their fathers' farms. In addition to these, a few Slovak, Polish, Mexican, and Lithuanian women were also working as waitresses and domestic servants.

As regards the economic status of the men abroad, the table following, showing the general industrial condition abroad of males who are at the present time employed in the coal mines of the Southwest and who were 16 years or over at the time of their coming to the United States, will throw an interesting light upon the previous industrial condition of the foreign mine workers.

TABLE 399.-Industrial condition before coming to the United States of foreign-born males who were 16 years of age or over at time of coming, by race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) [This table includes only races with 20 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign

born.)

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In the table above it is important to note that of the total of 510 males now employed in or about the mines, who were 16 years of age or over when they came to the United States, only 1 per cent were without any occupation abroad. Aside from this inconsiderable proportion 53.7 per cent were working at some occupation abroad in which they were paid wages, while 32 per cent were engaged in some pursuit in which they received no wages, but their subsistence or other compensation, and 13.3 per cent were in business or engaged in some commercial undertaking. The largest proportion working for wages is shown by the Mexicans, of which race 91.1 per cent were wage-earners. Eighty per cent of the Croatians, 57.1 per cent of the Irish, and 50 and 51.9 per cent, respectively, of the South Italians and Slovaks were receiving wages. A relatively small proportion of the Slovaks, Mexicans, Lithuanians, Poles, and Irish were working for profit.

As regards the specific occupations of the three general industrial groups discussed above, the table next presented, showing the per cent of males in the principal occupations, will furnish more definite information.

TABLE 400.—Occupation before coming to the United States of foreign-born males who were

16 years of age or over at time of coming, by race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) (This table includes only races with 20 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.)

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The group.

of wage-earners in the table above covers a large number of pursuits, but the four principal occupations reported are farm labor, mining, general labor, and hand trades. The principal occupation followed abroad, as seen in the above table, was that of farm laborer. A small number of the individuals reporting were common laborers, and 11.6 per cent were carpenters, bricklayers, blacksmiths, or engaged in other hand trades or general occupations. Thirty-oné and two-tenths per cent were farm laborers without wages, and 12.5 per cent were farmers abroad. The total number reporting in these groups as farmers or farm laborers before coming to the United States is 62.9 per cent of the total number reporting complete data. The significance of this table lies in the conclusion that 81.2 per cent of the males who are now working in the coal mines in the Southwest, and who were 16 years or over before they left their native land, received no industrial experience abroad which fitted them for coal mining. Only 18.8 per cent of the total number were miners abroad and received training and experience which fitted them for their work in the United States.

Sixty-five and three-tenths per cent of the Slovaks, 58.1 per cent of the Poles, 84.6 per cent of the Lithuanians, 86.5 per cent of the South Italians, 78.3 per cent of the North Italians, 44.4 per cent of the Mexicans, 20 per cent of the Croatians, and 42.9 per cent of the Irish were farmers, farm laborers, or common laborers in their native lands.

PRINCIPAL OCCUPATION OF IMMIGRANT EMPLOYEES BEFORE COMING

TO THE UNITED STATES.

In addition to the above showing, made by the data gathered from the investigation of families, a more extensive exhibit as to the economic condition of the foreign-born mine workers before immigration to this country may be presented as the result of the detailed study of the individual employees.

Table 401.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees in each specified occupation before

coming to the United States, by race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [This table includes only races with 80 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.)

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An unusual situation as compared with other coal-mining sections is disclosed by the above table, which shows that 43 per cent of the total number of employees furnishing information were miners abroad, 34.6 per cent were farmers or farm laborers, 13.2 per cent were laborers in other industries, 5.5 per cent were in hand trades, 1.2 per cent in manufacturing, and 2.5 per cent had occupations not specified.

No other geographical division of the bituminous coal-mining industry shows so large a proportion of the men to have been miners before coming to the United States, and this is largely due to the better class of workers being pushed farther west by the influx of less desirable immigrants in the districts nearer the Atlantic seaboard.

The Russians show the largest proportion of farmers or farm laborers abroad. The smallest proportion is shown by the Scotch, whose unusually large proportion of miners leaves but few persons scattered among other industries. The South Italians were largely laborers abroad, their percentage in this class being 44.2. No other race at all approaches this figure, the North Italians ranking second with 19.5 per cent. None of the English, and only 2.1 per cent of the French, were laborers.

Six and eight-tenths per cent of the Russians, and between 1 and 2 per cent of the Poles, French, and North Italians, were engaged in some branch of manufacturing. No other race shows as much as 1 per cent, and the Lithuanians are entirely unrepresented. In the hand trades, however, the Lithuanians lead with 11 per cent, followed by the Germans with 8.8 per cent, the North Italians with 8.1 per cent, and the Poles with an even 8 per cent thus engaged.

Among those engaged in mining prior to their emigration, the French rank highest, with 90.3 per cent thus reported, and the Scotch follow with 87.8 per cent.

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