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It has been asked what the cost of increasing wages in certain lines might be. For purposes of illustration I made some calculations as to what the cost of a rise of wages would mean.

In the industrial lines we found some four thousand women of 18 years and over who were getting less than $8 a week. They averaged $5.79. What would it cost to raise these women up to $8 a week? It would add about 7 per cent. to the payroll. But the Wages

of labor being only about 13 per cent. of the total cost of manufacture, it would add 7 per cent. of 13 per cent. to the cost. In candy that would mean increasing the cost of 100 lbs. of candy twenty-four cents.

Q. How much in money, can you tell us that? A. In round numbers it would amount to $9,000 a week.

Q. In which line? A. In the three industrial lines.

Q. In all three ? A. Yes it would mean for each establishment $1,300 a year on the average, and for each woman who is raised an average of $115 increase in a year.

Q. You gave an illustration of 100 pounds of candy by percentages; how much would that be in money if you can give it to us? A. It would amount to 914 per cent increase on the labor cost in confectionery. The total labor cost in confectionery is 13 per cent., nine per cent. of 13 per cent. is 1.2 per cent. That would make it on 100 pounds of candy, twenty-four cents.

Q. Twenty-four cents on 100 pounds of candy? A. Yes, sir.

Q. That would be about one-quarter of a cent a pound? A. Yes, sir.

The same thing was figured out about raising the sales people in the stores. It would amount to one-third of 1 per cent. to raise the saleswomen to $9 for the large department stores. In the neighborhood stores it would necessitate pricing articles at a full dollar instead of 99 cents, in order to raise the mature women to $9 and the girls under eighteen to $6.

With regard to profits, it has sometimes been asked, what would the effect be on them? You see there are three things that may be affected — the price of goods, or the number of workers who may be displaced, or the profits that may be cut down on the basis of the figures we have. To raise 5,000 women in the large New York City stores to $9 would add about $11,000 to the payrolls. Supposing that the cost of stock and sales departments in the stores is about 8 per cent. of the expense, it would amount to one-half of 1 per cent. of the net returns on the sales. Now if the annual turnover, as in most stores, is five or six times per annum, this would amount to abstracting from the net earnings of 5 per cent., one-half of one per cent.

Q. Where do you get your figures ? A. The figures as to the persons involved and the amounts paid are from the returns from the stores. The proportions used in determining what percentage is paid are from the returns of accountants to whom we were referred by persons interested and concerned in the dry goods busi

I can not mention the names of the accountants unless the Commission articularly wish me to. Many of their returns were published without names.



Q. Have you figured out what the effect would be on the payroll if the wages of all women were raised ? A. No, I did not.

Q. That would have to be taken into account? A. It would.

Q. So that these figures apply to a very small proportion? A. No, not a very small proportion. That is not fair to say. I do not think you are correct in saying it is small and insignificant.

Q. I did not say that but I say applying figures to a proportion would not be particularly significant? A. I do not accept your statement. It is significant. It is not conclusive. By Mr. ELKUS:

Q. Now you have some charts there doctor, do you want to take them out ? A. Mr. Elkus if I thought that by describing them at a distance people would understand them, I would be glad to do it. I think the best thing would be to put them up and let them be studied. We have charts showing the variations in rates and earnings and all the other facts, and I wish they could be studied.

Mr. BLOOMINGDALE: Do I understand you to say then you have not figured these percentages out as they would apply if the wage rate were fixed for all of the employees of the stores ?


Q. You took what limit? A. For purposes of discussion I took in the industrial lines of work a wage of $8 for the adult women

in the factories and for the mercantile lines a wage of $9 for women eighteen years or over, and a wage of $6 for girls between sixteen and eighteen.

Q. And for what proportion of all of the workers did you base your figures on? A. I think the stock and sales will amount to two-thirds of all the employees in the stores, will they not?

Mr. BLOOMINGDALE: Perhaps — not two-thirds.

Dr. WOOLSTON: I can find the proportions for you in a


Q. You took it upon the proportion which you found in your figures ? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Mr. Bloomingdale wants to know if you applied this minimum wage or these figures which you fixed as the minimum, how much that amount to in dollars ?

A. I have the figures here if Mr. Bloomingdale is interested. In seventeen large department stores, there were over 5,000 women receiving less than $9 a week. That is 53 per cent. of all females 18 years or over in the stock and sales. To raise these women to nine dollars would require eleven thousand dollars a week, adding 5 6-10ths per cent to the payrolls. If sales are five per cent. of the price of goods, six per cent. of five per cent is one third of one per cent. added in the selling price to raise these women in the stock and sales departments.

Q. All of the women? A. Yes, sir.

Q. May I sum up? One half of the people discovered in this investigation get less than enough to live properly and independently, according to the standards fixed by those persons who have expressed an opinion and made a study of this matter. Nevertheless business does make profits out of this cheap labor.

Q. You say one-half of the people; can you give us the number? A. Yes, that is something over 50,000.

Q. That is you examined 100,000 people? A. 105,000.


Q. Is that New York city or the State ? A. In the State.

Q. How does New York City compare with up-State? A. In New York City both higher and lower rates are paid. I believe on the average the rates would be a little lower up-State, due mainly to the cost of living.

Q. That is, wages are lower up-State? A. I believe so. They are analyzed in tables here for each locality.

Q. You spoke of one industry in which the wages are higher than in New York City ? A. In the shirtmaking industry.

Q. It is a fact, isn't it, that where foreigners are employed wages are less ? A. Yes, sir.

Q. That is, New York City takes much of the large numbers of foreigners who come here and settle here in New York City ?

A. Yes, sir.


Q. Go right ahead doctor. A. I think I have said about all I care to say, Mr. Elkus. If there are questions I shall be glad to answer them.

Mr. ELKUS: I might say, Mr. Chairman, that the Commission sent a letter to every manufacturer and every employer whose business was investigated of the hearing today and asked him to be present so that if he wanted to ask any questions he could, and I presume now you will permit anyone who desires to interrogate Dr. Woolston to do so?

The CHAIRMAN: Does anybody desire to ask Dr. Woolston any questions with reference to the testimony he has just given?


I do not represent anybody in particular. I am just generally interested. I am an attorney.

Q. With reference to your statement that 50 per cent. get less than enough to live on, of those investigated, I understand that to be less than enough to live on for independent living? A. Yes, sir.

Q. Your figures do not calculate what per cent, get enough to live on in conjunction with other members of a family living together? A. No. I tried to indicate when I stated that half of the married men do not make $15 a week.

Q. But when you say half of the married men do not get more than $15 a week, are you taking into consideration these case if there are other people contributing? A. No, independent living. Q. So that the mere statement that they are earning less than $15 a week, notwithstanding that the family may be living very comfortably? A. It means other people have to work in order to do that.

Q. You don't know in these cases whether they do in fact ? A. No; I can find out in how many cases they do, but I do not have the figures at my finger's ends.

Mr. Elkts: But you have them in your detailed report?

Dr. WOOLSTON: Yes, sir.

Mr. BLOOMINGDALE: I want to say that Professor Woolston's recital this morning is intensely interesting. But unfortunately it would also bespeak a command of statistical knowledge that very few people would have to take them up and discuss them, or examine them without trying to study them is a rather difficult matter, and I think perhaps you will get a better suggestion before you by permitting these figures to be studied rather than to question some incidental effect.

Mr. ELKUS: You were not here at the beginning of the session?

Mr. BLOOMINGDALE: Yes, sir, I was here before the beginning of the session.

Mr. Elkus: I announced that Dr. Woolston would give his report and then we would have later hearings where these facts could be discussed and there would be ample time for discussing them.

By Commissioner McGUIRE:

Q. Doctor, these investigations did not include any organized labor ? A. No, we avoided that because we thought where the trades were organized they were looking after this, and we took the lines where there were mostly women and children, because those persons seemed to be less able to take care of themselves.

Q. Have you reached any conclusion as to whether the organization of labor is not better than the establishment of a minimum wage? A. Now yout are asking me a question about policy which it seems to me it is not my place to answer. If you will pardon me, I understand I was to state only questions of fact.

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