Page images
PDF
EPUB

With one exception each year as compared with the previous year shows a decrease in the number of changes of wage rates. The greatest number of persons affected in any year during the period is reported for 1899, when 1,170,937 received an increase and 1,132 persons suffered a decrease in wages. The year 1900 shows the largest weekly increase in wages, and the succeeding year shows the greatest weekly reduction. The year 1904 shows the smallest number of persons affected by an increase in wages. The table covers a period of five consecutive years of increasing wages, followed by five consecutive years of decreasing wages. A comparison of the net results of these two periods shows that the total increase exceeds the total decrease by £208,734 11s. ($1,015,806). The wage loss for the year 1905, calculated from the date on which the various changes became operative, amounts to £114,000 ($554,781), or an average loss for each person affected by reduction of wages of 9s. 2d. ($2.22).

The following table shows for each year, by industries, the number of persons affected by changes in rates of wages, and the net amount of weekly increase or decrease as compared with the previous year for each year, 1902 to 1905:

NUMBER OF PERSONS AFFECTED BY CHANGES IN RATES OF WAGES, AND NET

AMOUNT OF INCREASE (+) OR DECREASE (-) IN WEEKLY WAGES, 1902 TO 1905.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

2,584

-$5,051 --65, 557 + 1,849 - 5,606

3, 160

+11,826

Building:

15, 575 4,638 | 10,829 11, 747 + $4,506 + $1,479 $4,302 Coal mining

735, 524 752, 190 658,390 200,746 -359, 498 –158, 103 152, 292 Other mining (iron, etc.) 7, 121 9,361 10, 753

7,628 +

1, 217 2,088 Quarrying..

6, 733

2,701

9,184 + 1,489 1,080 448 Pig iron, and iron and steel manufacture.

50,343 23, 492 60,097 63,836 + 4,064 5, 236 · 16,751 Engineering and shipbuilding 32,822 74, 680 31,094 48,119

11,772

20,833 12,721
Other metal trades.
15,337 1,934 1,973 461 +

706
866

204
Textiles.
2,107 1,001 3,939 311,437 + 691 +

88

530 Clothing 3,112 3,496 333

1,416

418 +

131 Glass, etc., trades.

6, 386 7,318 1,630 + 49 2, 920 4,005 Other trades..

7,610
4,986
4,282 +

968

404 Employees of public authorities..

7,871 8, 650

8,245 29,759 + 2,930 + 2, 492 + 3,197 Total.

887,206 896,598 800,658 688,889 -353, 282 -186,517-190, 913

60+

+1+1

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

86 10,555

920 +

+11,354

-10,555

a Including persons whose wages were changed but were the same at end of year as at beginning.

There was somewhat of a decline in wages paid agricultural laborers in England and Wales and in Scotland, while in Ireland reports showed very little change in the wages paid this class of labor.

Wages of seamen engaged on steamships, as compared with 1904, showed a slight decrease. Wages on sailing vessels showed no

. change. The average wages paid able seamen on steamships in 1905 were 80s. 5d. ($19.57) per month, as compared with 80s. 6d. ($19.59) in 1904. Firemen and trimmers were paid 85s. 2d. ($20.72) per

[ocr errors]

month in 1904, and 85s. 1d. ($20.70) in 1905. The men receive food in addition to the wages named.

As the pay of railway employees is regulated by graduated scales, and as the nature and amount of services are subject to frequent changes, it is not possible to show the changes made in wages, nor the number of persons affected by them. It is the aim of the department to show the total effect of all changes in the earnings of railway employees (exclusive of salaried officials and the clerical force) due to changes in the scale of wages, ordinary advance under the graduated scales, and compensation for overtime, or loss on account of short time. The most feasible method, and the one best indicating the wage condition, was to obtain reports from 27 railway companies, employing 90 per cent of the railway labor in the United Kingdom, and give for a selected week the total wage payment and the total number of persons employed. From this data average weekly earnings were computed. The reports cover employment in the transportation and mechanical departments. The number of employees for which earnings were reported, and their average weekly earnings for each year of the five-year period, 1901 to 1905, were as follows: For 1901, 440,557 employees, average earnings 25s. Įd. ($6.09); for 1902, 448,429 employees, average earnings 24s. 11}d. ($6.07); for 1903, 448,321 employees, average earnings 24s. 10 d. ($6.05); for 1904, 445,577 employees, average earnings 25s. £d. ($6.09), and for 1905, 449,251 employees, whose average earnings were 25s. 3}d. ($6.15). As the amount of overtime worked or of time lost was not reported, and as there may have been some difference in circumstances in the selected week in the different years which would affect the average earnings, these figures must be used with some degree of caution in making comparisons for changes in rates of wages.

HOURS OF LABOR.—The number of changes of hours of labor reported for the year was 76, affecting 95,985 persons. Of the persons affected by these changes 90,179 had their hours reduced, and 5,806 had their hours increased. These changes affected the building trades more than any other. Increase in hours of labor affected 5,663, and decreases 86,586 persons engaged in this trade. The net results of all changes was a reduction of 65,265 hours per week.

The number of changes, number of persons affected by increases and by decreases in hours, total number of persons affected by changes, and net results of all changes for each year of the ten-year period, 1896 to 1905, are shown in the following table:

NUMBER OF PERSONS AFFECTED BY CHANGES IN HOURS OF LABOR, AND AMOUNT

OF INCREASE OR DECREASE, 1896 TO 1905.

[blocks in formation]

The number of persons affected by changes in hours of labor was the smallest in 1903 that has been reported in any year since the collection of such data was undertaken. It is in marked contrast with the report for the previous year when, by the operation of an act of Parliament, the hours of labor of industries employing women, children, and young persons were reduced, making a decrease of above 1,000,000 hours weekly in the textile industry alone. Report on Wages, Earnings, and Conditions of Employment of Agri

cultural Laborers in the United Kingdom. 1905. xii, 263 pp. (Published by the Labor Department of the British Board of Trade.)

The present volume was prepared in continuation of the report on wages and earnings of agricultural laborers which was issued by the Labor Department of the Board of Trade in 1900. In addition to the subjects treated in that report, the work under consideration contains particulars as to the cost of living of farm laborers in the United Kingdom, and information concerning their hours of work and general conditions of labor, in the form of detailed statements furnished by employers. Although considerable data relating to wages and earnings in 1903 are found in the report, the average earnings for the country are given for 1902. The figures published for 1902, however, apply in the main to the years 1903 and 1904, there having been comparatively little fluctuation in the wages of the agricultural classes during those two years.

The facts concerning agricultural labor are presented in detail for each of the countries of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, the report showing in each case the wages and earnings of the various classes of laborers, their duties, terms of engagement, and methods of remuneration. An introduction to the detailed report contains a summary of the information presented and an explanation of the methods by which the data were obtained. A considerable part of the volume consists of appendixes containing statistical tables which show the average earnings of ordinary laborers in the various counties of the United Kingdom in 1902, the rates of weekly cash wages paid in different parts of England in 1903, comparative wage data for certain farms in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland for a series of years, and the number and classification of agricultural laborers in each country as shown by the census of 1901. Tables are also appended which show, for each country, the quantity and value of food consumed per week by representative farm laborers' families during certain years. In addition, the report contains a map of the United Kingdom showing the average weekly earnings of agricultural laborers in 1902 by counties, and charts depicting fluctuations in wages between 1850 and 1903.

The usual term of engagement of farm servants is by the year or half year in Scotland, Wales, the north of England, and the north of Ireland. In other parts of England and Ireland the agricultural laborers are, as a rule, engaged by the week, although the men in charge of animals are frequently engaged for longer periods. In the northern counties of England and in Wales the yearly and half-yearly engagements are mainly confined to unmarried men, the married men being generally engaged by the week. The system of hiring farm laborers at fairs still exists in Scotland, the north of England, the north of Ireland, and in a few districts of Wales, but it is declining to some extent. In other parts of the United Kingdom this custom has almost ceased.

An examination of the report shows that the method of remuneration greatly varies in different parts of the United Kingdom, although time payments in cash form the main part of the earnings of agricultural laborers. In districts where the system of engagements for long terms prevails, allowances in kind, such as board and lodging for single men and free cottages, potatoes, fuel, etc., for married men, are frequent, while extra cash payments for piecework, harvest work, overtime, etc., are few. On the other hand, in the eastern and southern counties of England, where the engagements are shorter and the time wages lower, more piecework is done and extra payments in cash at hay and grain harvest and for overtime are the rule, while men in charge of animals often receive free cottages, journey money, and other allowances.

In comparing the rates of wages of agricultural laborers in different parts of the United Kingdom it is necessary, therefore, to take account of all actual earnings, including the extra amounts received in cash from various sources, as well as the value of all allowances in kind. The following table shows the average earnings per week, including the value of allowances in kind, of agricultural laborers in each division of the United Kingdom in 1898 and 1902:

[ocr errors]

AVERAGE EARNINGS PER WEEK, INCLUDING THE VALUE OF ALL ALLOWANCES

IN KIND, OF AGRICULTURAL LABORERS IN 1898 AND 1902. [The averages here shown relate to able-bodied male adults. They do not include the earnings of

stewards, bailiffs, foremen, or casual laborers. All computations are based on the census returns for 1901.]

[blocks in formation]

The above table shows that there was an increase in earnings in 1902, as compared with 1898, in all four countries of the United Kingdom. The greatest increase was in Scotland, where there was a rise of 6.88 per cent in the weekly earnings of ordinary farm laborers. The earnings in 1902 in each of the four countries were highest near the large manufacturing and mining centers.

Comparative wage statistics for a series of years are also given in the report. The longest period covered is from 1850 to 1903, the report showing for each year the average weekly cash wages paid ordinary laborers on 69 farms in England and Wales, exclusive of extra payments for piecework, harvest work, overtime, etc., and also of the value of allowances in kind. The wages as thus reported increased from 9s. 3 d. ($2.26) per week in 1850 to 14s. 7d. ($3.55) per week in 1903, or 57 per cent during fifty-four years. The increase occurred chiefly from 1850 to 1874, after which wage rates remained almost stationary until 1896, when they resumed an upward tendency, which continued for the rest of the period. In Ireland the average cash wages reported for 10 farms increased from 5s. 10}d. ($1.43) per week in 1850 to 10s. 8d. ($2.60) per week in 1903, or 81.6 per cent.

Information as to the weekly quantity and value of food consumed by farm laborers and their families is presented for each of the countries of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This information is based on returns furnished by landowners, farmers, clergymen, local government officials, and other persons who made investigations in the districts in which they reside. The particulars given were compiled after careful inquiry among a large number of farm laborers and their wives, and they represent the ordinary expenditure for food by farm laborers in the districts to which the returns relate.

According to the figures shown in the report, the average value of the food consumed weekly by a farm laborer, his wife, and four children is 13s. 6}d. ($3.30) in England, 15s. 24d. ($3.70) in Scotland,

« PreviousContinue »