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Chapter III.-Weekly Hours1
Changes in Averages
In addition to increasing average hourly earnings, the code brought about a reduction in the average weekly hours, as may be seen by an examination of table 7. Thus, between May 1933 and August 1934, the average hours in the industry fell from 39.0 to 35.5, a decline of 3.5 hours or 9.0 percent. The drop was greater for males than for females, and it was also greater in the South than in the North.
In the latter region the hours of males declined 5.1 hours or 11.9 percent, as compared with 1.6 hours or 4.4 percent for females, and in the former region the hours of males dropped 11.0 hours or 23.3 percent, as against 9.0 hours or 21.2 percent for females. In August 1934, the highest average in any group (37.7 hours for males in the North) was more than 2 hours under the maximum set up by the code for most employees. The average weekly hours by region and sex are also shown in chart 4.
TABLE 7.-Average weekly hours by region and sex
With the lifting of the maximum-hour provisions following the discontinuance of the code, the average weekly hours increased. The industry average advanced from 35.5 in August 1934 to 38.2 in August 1935, a gain of 2.7 hours or 7.6 percent. Similar increases also took place for each group, although the average advanced more in the South than in the North and within each region the gains were greater for males than for females. The smallest increase, both absolute and relative, was 2.5 hours or 7.2 percent, for females
1 This chapter deals with the actual hours of work; for a discussion of the scheduled hours of work, see
AVERAGE WEEKLY HOURS BY REGION AND SEX
in the North, and the greatest, 3.4 hours or 9.4 percent, was for males in the South.
With the exception of female workers in the North, the average hours per week for each of the groups were still lower in August 1935 than in May 1933. These decreases, which amounted to 0.8 hour or 2.1 percent for the industry as a whole, were 2.2 hours or 5.1 percent for males in the North, 7.6 hours or 16.1 percent for males in the South, and 6.0 hours or 14.2 percent for females in the South. However, the large group of females in the North worked on the average 0.9 hour or 2.5 percent more per week in 1935 than in 1933, this being due to the fact that the increase in their average weekly hours between August 1934 and August 1935 more than offset the small decline that had taken place between May 1933 and August 1934.
One of the chief effects of the maximum-hour provisions of the code was to level off somewhat the sex differentials. Thus, between May 1933 and August 1934, the differentials in favor of males were reduced from 6.6 to 3.1 hours in the North and from 4.8 to 2.8 hours in the South. Between August 1934 and August 1935, during which time the code was discontinued, they increased but little, advancing only 0.4 hour in both districts. Regional differences were also affected by the code. Thus, while males and females in the South enjoyed respectively a differential of 4.4 and 6.2 hours in May 1933, the opposite was true in each of the two later periods, males and females in the North working a slightly longer week than males and females in the South.
Changes in Percentage Distributions of Employees
The full extent of the reduction in weekly hours under the code, as well as the increase after the code, is shown in table 8. In order to appreciate the significance of these changes, however, it is necessary first to examine the provisions relating to working hours as found in the code.
TABLE 8.-Percentage distributions of employees according to weekly hours by region
TABLE 8.-Percentage distributions of employees according to weekly hours by region and sex-Continued
The provisions of the President's Reemployment Agreement relating to hours of work were fairly general. The code provisions, however, were much more specific. Thus, "laborers, mechanical workers or artisans", who represent most of the employees, were to work 40 hours per week, with an annual tolerance of 7.5 percent,
* The substitute provisions stipulated that
(a) "During a fixed period of 6 consecutive months, the average maximum hours that any employee may work shall not exceed 40 hours per week;
(b) "During peak periods of business incident to this industry, the hours per employee per week may be increased to, but not exceeding, 48 hours per week;
**In this connection, it shall be understood that any time in excess of 40 hours shall be paid for at time and one-third."
but not more than 48 hours in any 1 week. All time worked in excess of 40 hours in any 1 week was to be paid for at not less than time and one-third. Employees engaged in emergency repairs or emergency maintenance work were exempted from this general limitation, with the provision that all hours in excess of 40 in any 1 week were to be paid for at not less than time and one-third. In addition, certain special exemptions were made. Thus, watchmen were allowed to work 56 hours in any 1 week, chauffeurs and truckmen an average
CUMULATIVE PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF EMPLOYEES
ACCORDING TO WEEKLY HOURS
MAY 1933, AUGUST 1934, AND AUGUST 1935
of 40 hours in any 4 consecutive weeks, and engineers and firemen an average of 42 hours in any 4 consecutive weeks. The hours of executives and their personal secretaries and of all supervisory employees receiving $35 or more per week were not limited. For all other employees, the hours of work were to average not more than 40 per week in any 13 consecutive weeks and not more than 48 in any 1 week.
The principal effects of the maximum-hour provisions of the code on the industry as a whole (see table 8 and chart 5) were to reduce sharply the number of employees working over 40 hours per week and to bring about a very decided concentration at the code level.
All time in excess of 9 hours in any 1 day was to be paid for at not less than time and one-third.