Thomas Tooke

How did wages progress during the 1913-1920 period.

In Inflationary Period of 1913-1920 on May 12, 2012 at 12:28 am

 

Now a bit of information about the level of wage inflation during the same period.

As Kemmerer wrote:

[…]

The industrial survey recently conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics covered eight industries. For these eight industries respectively the average percentage wage increases were as follows:

Cigars, 52, men´s clothing, 71; furniture 53, hosiery and underwear, 84; iron and steel, 121; lumber, 94; mill work, 51; silk goods, 91. If the cost of living increase for the same period is taken as 83.1 per cent, it will be seen that the average rate of wage increase in three of the eight industries was greater than the increase in the cost of living; in four of them less, and in one of them practically the same.

[…]

Continuing…

[…]

In Baltimore, for example, the rate for boilermakers increased from 30.6 cents per hour in 1913 to 80 cents in 1919, an increase of 161%; while in Charlestown , S.C.,  the rate for bricklayers increased from 40 cents per hour in 1913 to 75 cents in 1919, an increase of 88%. On the other hand, the rate for boilermakers in Chicago which was 40 cents an hour in 1913, was only 42 cents in 1917, 52 cents in 1918, and 60 cents in 1919. The rate for bricklayers in Jacksonville, Florida, was 62.5 cents from 1913 to 1918 and then rose to 75 cents in 1919.

The average rate for boilermakers in the twenty-five cities was 39.5 cents per hour in 1913, and 72 cents per hour in 1919 (the latest date in the year for which figures are available being taken for the year), representing an average increase of 82%, or just about enough to meet the estimated increase in the cost of living. The average rate for bricklayers in the forty cities in 1913 was 67.1 cents per hour, and in 1919 it was 90.2 cents per hour, representing an average increase of 34.4 per cent, or probably much less than half enough to compensate for the increase in the cost of living.

[…]

 

 

 

 

 

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