« PreviousContinue »
Page. vic, and Hungarian unskilled immigrant laborers in the United · Frank J. Sheridan..
403-486 ondition of the Jews in Russia, by I. M. Rubinow.
487-583 rent reports of State bureaus of labor statistics: ia..
589-593 593, 594
594-536 ent foreign statistical publications.
597-C06 courts affecting labor.....
607-637 us States relating to labor, enacted since January 1, 1904
638-053 ndex of labor laws and decisions relating thereto..
ITALIAN, SLAVIC, AND HUNGARIAN UNSKILLED IMMIGRANT
LABORERS IN THE UNITED STATES.
BY FRANK J. SHERIDAN.
The present article deals with the unskilled immigrant laborers of the Italian, Slavic, and Hungarian races, and undertakes to show how they have fitted themselves into the industrial life of the United States. A study has been made of the distribution of these laborers and their selection of certain States for especial industrial activity, the demand for their services, their wages, their methods and costs of living compared with American standards and costs of living, and their segregate system of living and employment and its effect upon them and upon their assimilation. The results of this study are presented in the following pages.
Although according to its title this study deals chiefly with unskilled immigrant laborers of the Italian, Slavic, and Hungarian races, yet, following the classification of the United States Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, it includes some immigrants who are of the same grade and come from the same countries but belong to other races. Thus, under Slavs are included Hebrews from Eastern Europe, Roumanians, and others who, strictly speaking, are not of the Slavic race. In the preliminary tables, dealing with all immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, Hebrews are included in the Slavic group, though their numbers are given separately. In the discussion and tables following the preliminary tables, and dealing with the "Italian, Slavic, and Hungarian unskilled immigrant laborers in the United States," Hebrews are not included for the reason that they do not engage in the unskilled occupations on railroads and in mines, etc., considered in this article. Few of the males of the race seek employment through labor agencies and are shipped out of the cities by them. They are, as a rule, employed in the greater cities in occupations not requiring much physical strength.
The total number of foreign-born persons in the United States, exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii, at the census of 1900 was 10,356,644, or 13.57 per cent of the total population. The number of these who were of Italian, Slavic, or Hungarian birth, together with the number of the same races who were admitted to the United States in each year since 1900, is given in the following table:
NUMBER OF FOREIGN-BORN PERSONS AND NUMBER AND PER CENT OF THOSE OF
ITALIAN, SLAVIC, AND HUNGARIAN BIRTH IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE CENSUS OF 1900 AND NUMBER ADMITTED IN EACH YEAR, 1901 TO 1906. [The numbers admitted for each year from 1901 to 1906 are compiled from the Reports of the Com
missioner-General of Immigration.]
From the foregoing totals should be deducted the returning immigrants, variously estimated as being from 28 to 40 per cent of the arrivals. There have been no records kept of returning immigrants, but this defect has been remedied by the immigration law of 1907, which requires from the steamship companies manifests in detail of outgoing as well as incoming passengers.
The Italian, Slavic, and Hungarian immigrants admitted into the United States during the year ending June 30, 1906, numbered 739,978 and were 67.23 per cent of the 1,100,735 immigrants of all nationalities admitted during that year. Of the total of all immigrants 598,731 persons were unskilled laborers, and 72.18 per cent of the unskilled laborers, or 432,152, were of the Italian, Slavic, and Hungarian races. Not included in the group of unskilled laborers were 285,460 persons of “no occupation," constituting almost wholly family groups of women and children, 66.22 per cent of whom, or 189,049 persons, were of the Italian, Slavic, and Hungarian races. The remaining 19.67 per cent of the total immigration, or 216,544, belonged to the skilled, professional, and commercial classes, and of this group