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A conception of the earning possibilities of the immigrant women may be gathered from the table below, which shows the amount of weekly earnings of 57,712 female wage-earners who were eighteen years of age or over:
Native-Born of Native Father
Native-Born of Foreign Father.
Average Amount of
* 17 negro women wage-earners are included in this total.
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 accept, and (2) to their inability or disinclination to work such long hours as the foreignborn females, in the case of certain piece-rate occupations, as, for example, the clothing industry. The earnings of the members of the races of old immigration from Great Britain and northern Europe range higher than those of representatives of races of recent arrival in the United States, which causes the showing for the total native-born to be higher than that of the total foreign-born.
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:
Grand Total *
Total includes figures for the native-born negro.
Average Amount of
Average Amount of
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 woolen 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, we note the average weekly earnings of the former are somewhat higher than those of the latter in the manufacture of agricultural implements and vehicles, clothing, furniture, glove, iron and steel, iron-ore mining and copper mining and smelting, leather, shoe, silk dyeing, silk goods, woolen and worsted goods, and considerably higher in all divisions of glass manufacturing. The high averages for the native-born employees of foreign father in glass factories arises from the presence of workmen who had acquired skill through long experience of their races in this 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
A detailed showing of wages by race and principal branches of industry will be found in Appendix E.
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 wages are $9.28. The average weekly rate in the woolen 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 do those from southern and eastern Europe. One of the most striking facts indicated by a comparison of the earnings of the races in the different industries is that earning ability is more the outcome of industrial opportunity or conditions of employment than of racial efficiency and progress. This fact becomes evident when the average weekly earnings of the members of a race, or of several races, in the cotton or woolen and worsted goods industry, are considered in connection with the earnings of the same race or races in other industries. The Lithuanians, for example, earn an average of $12.24 weekly in the manufacture of agricultural implements and vehicles, $11.60 in clothing, $13.60 in copper mining and smelting, $9.87 in furniture, $12.89 in iron and steel, $11.98 in iron-ore mining, $9.50 in leather, $12.85 in oil refining, $10.87 in shoes, $10.67 in sugar refining, but only $7.86 in cotton and $7.97 in woolen and worsted manufacturing. The same condition of affairs is shown by other races in different industries.
A more detailed showing as to the status of the
different nativity groups in the various branches of mining and manufacturing may be found in the table on p. 160, which sets forth by general nativity and industry, the average weekly earnings of 220,390 male employees, eighteen years of age or over, and of 13,682 who were fourteen and under eighteen years of age.
Of the 13,682 male employees who were fourteen and under eighteen years of age, the average weekly earnings were $6.42. Among those of native birth the highest average weekly earnings, amounting to $10.05, are shown by those engaged in the manufacture of window-glass, and the lowest, $4.60, by silkmill operatives. Of the foreign-born industrial workers in this age group, the highest average weekly earnings, $9.17, are exhibited by the iron-ore mine workers, and the lowest, $5.48, by the employees of silk goods manufacturing establishments. The considerably higher average weekly earnings shown by employees of copper mines and smelters and iron-ore mines, as contrasted with the earnings of employees of manufacturing establishments, are probably due to the fact that in mining, under existing methods, it is possible for a youth to do the same kind of work and receive approximately the same remuneration as an adult.
The table on page 161 shows, by general nativity and industry, the average amount of weekly earnings of 57,712 female employees eighteen years of age or over, and of 14,803 fourteen and under eighteen years of age.
The average weekly earnings for all females eighteen years of age or over are $7.96. Of those of native birth the highest average weekly earnings, $8.54, are exhibited by the employees of clothing