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TABLE 5.-Percentage distributions of employees according to average hourly earnings by region and sex-Continued
As regards the male workers in the North, who represented 30.1 percent of the employees covered in this survey, the percentage earning less than the 37.5 cents minimum per hour dropped from 32.0 in May 1933 to 5.1 in August 1934. One-half of 1 percent of the employees in the latter period received less than 30.0 cents per hour, the lowest possible rate for males in the North, such workers thus being paid rates in violation of the code. The workers (4.6 percent
of total) earning between 30.0 and 37.5 cents were either substandard
employees, who could be paid as low as 30.0 cents under the code, or regular workers paid in violation of the code. In August 1934, there was a limited concentration of the employees at the code level, 11.8 percent receiving exactly 37.5 cents in that period, as compared with 1.4 percent in May 1933. Increases in average earnings per hour likewise extended to the higher-paid workers. While the percentage paid 40.0 and under 60.0 cents dropped slightly between May 1933 and August 1934 (from 43.9 to 40.4), the percentage earning 60.0 cents and over increased from 20.1 in the former to 39.7 in the latter period.
The wage changes for males in the North which took place after the discontinuance of the code affected primarily the group that had been been paid exactly the minimum rate under the code. The percentage earning less than 37.5 cents per hour increased from 5.1 in August 1934 to 7.9 in August 1935. At the same time, the percentage receiving exactly 37.5 cents declined from 11.8 to 10.3. In each of the classes above 37.5 cents, the changes were negligible, affecting but little the wage structure set up under the code.
The code changes for male workers in the South, the smallest of the four groups,3 were even more striking than those for male workers in the North. Between May 1933 and August 1934, the percentage earning less than 32.5 cents per hour, or the code minimum for this group, dropped from 64.8 to 11.3. Furthermore, no employee was paid less than 25.0 cents in the latter period, as compared with 39.3 percent receiving less than that amount in the former period. The sharp decline since May 1933 in the relative number of employees earning under 32.5 cents was followed by concentrations in August 1934 of 16.4 percent at the code minimum and of 21.0 percent in the 35.0 and under 40.0 cents class, as compared with 0.4 and 6.0 percent, respectively, in May 1933; the intervening class of over 32.5 and under 35.0 cents remaining practically unchanged. With the exception of the 40.0 and under 45.0 cents class, in which there was a slight reduction, each of the succeeding classes showed an increase in the percentages between the two periods, the total rise being from 14.6 to 37.5.
With the termination of the code, there was no wholesale shifting of males in the South from higher to lower wage classes. Between August 1934 and August 1935, an increase in the percentage earning less than 32.5 cents per hour (from 11.3 to 17.2) was accompanied by a decrease in the percentage receiving 32.5 and under 40.0 cents (from 43.1 to 37.0). Similarly, the advance in the relative number earning 40.0 and under 50.0 cents (from 16.5 to 19.5 percent) followed
These constituted only about 3 percent of all employees covered.
Of the 11.3 percent earning 25.0 and under 32.5 cents in August 1934, there was found only one worker paid at less than 26.0 cents, which is the lowest possible rate for substandard male employees in the South. The remaining workers under 32.5 cents were either substandard or those paid in violation of the code.
a decline in the relative number receiving 50 cents and over (from 29.1 to 26.3 percent).
The shifting of employees from lower- to higher-wage classes under the code was even more pronounced for northern females. In the case of this group, which constitutes approximately 60 percent of all employees covered, the percentage receiving less than 32.5 cents per hour, or the code minimum, declined from 68.0 in May 1933 to 4.2 in August 1934. This decrease was accompanied by increases in all of the classes of 32.5 cents and over. A decided concentration occurred at the code level, the percentage earning exactly 32.5 cents rising from 0.6 in the precode to 22.2 in the code period.
It should not be inferred, however, that all females in the North receiving less than 32.5 cents per hour in August 1934 were paid in violation of the code, as substandard workers in this group could also be paid as low as 26.0 cents, or 80.0 percent of the code minimum. Only 0.7 percent of the females in the North received less than 26.0 cents, and 3.5 percent earned between 26.0 and 32.5 cents. Employees in the former group were actually paid in violation of the code, while those in the latter were either substandard workers paid at code rates or able-bodied workers paid less than code rates.
The extent to which the relative number of northern females who earned 32.5 cents and over advanced from lower- to higher-wage classes between May 1933 and August 1934 is evidenced by the fact that the percentage gains were from 20.0 to 35.5 in the group earning over 32.5 and under 40.0 cents, from 8.4 to 27.5 among those earning 40.0 and under 50.0 cents, and from 3.0 to 10.6 among those receiving 50.0 cents and over.
As in the case of males, there was also very little disturbance in the distribution of northern female rates above the minimum because of the elimination of the code between August 1934 and August 1935. During this period the relative number of female workers in the North increased in each of the classes receiving less than 32.5 cents and decreased in all but one of the classes receiving 32.5 cents and over. Thus, the percentage earning less than the former code minimum rose from 4.2 to 12.7, most of this gain resulting from a drop from 22.2 to 17.3 in the percentage paid exactly this minimum. The changes in the upper wage classes were negligible.
Female workers in the South, who represent about 5 percent of the total coverage, had the greatest relative changes between May 1933 and August 1934. The percentage earning less than the code minimum, or 30.0 cents, was reduced from 89.2 in the first period to 8.4 in the second period." At the same time, sharp increases took place
Exactly 1.9 percent of the females in the South received less than the lowest possible rate under the code, or 24.0 cents, and 6.5 percent earned from 24.0 to 30.0 cents per hour. While the first group was actually paid in violation of the code, workers in the second group might be either substandard employees who could properly be paid such low wages or able-bodied workers who were underpaid.