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Reacting to the Past - Suffrage & Labor

Wages, 1910-1919

GENERAL SOURCES  (all occupations and worker types)

The advantage of this table is that it shows the wage rates for all the years from 1907-1921 together, so one can easily see changes over time. Lists union wages by city and then by occupation. Cities include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle. The limited number of union jobs listed here tend to fall into the building trades, metal work, and manufacturing.

Reports wage, average number of hours worked and wage earnings by occupation and gender for each year from 1914-1919 in the the metal, cotton, wool, silk, boot and shoe, paper, rubber, and chemical manufacturing industries. Published by the National Industrial Conference Board, a group of industry associations.

Wages changes, union hourly rates, farm wage rates, hours of work, average weekly earnings by industry.

Covers a variety of occupations in diverse industries. Figures are broken down by occupation, year, and sometimes by state and city. St. Louis is covered in some of the tables. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 604. Revision of Bulletin No. 499

Shows wages by occupation and town in New York state, and shows the separate wages for men and women. This truly amazing source has an extensive list of occupations, including those seldom seen in other documents: theatrical costumers, musicians for silent movie shows, orchestral musicians, house movers, hearse drivers, piano movers, writers working at newspapers (journalists), sail makers, photo-engravers, bartenders in saloons, elevator men in hotels, and thousands more. Occupations are arranged in large groupings under these subheadings:
*Building and stone working job wages
*Transportation job wages
*Clothing and textile job wages
*Metals, machinery and ship building job wages
*Printing, bookbinding etc. job wages
*Wood working and furniture job wages
*Food and liquor production job wages
*Theater and music job wages
*Tobacco products manufacturing job wages
*Hotel, restaurant and retail trade job wages includes barbers, grocery store workers, clothing salespeople, carpet salespeople, shoe store workers, etc.
*Public employees' wages Includes hospital employees such as nurses, letter carriers, post office clerks, building inspectors, etc.
*Stationary engine tending job wages
*Miscellaneous jobs wages includes paper makers, leather workers, glass bottle blowers, diamond cutters, umbrella makers and more.

Tells wage rates paid to workers placed by employment offices in 1918. Wages shown for these occupations in many cities across the U.S.: blacksmiths, boilermakers, bricklayers, carpenters, cleaning women, male cooks, female cooks, drivers and teamsters, dock laborers, farm hands, hod carriers, house servants, inside wiremen, laborers, laundry operators (male and female), machinists, molders, painters, plasterers, plumbers, saleswomen, seamstresses, sewing machine operators, stenographers (male and female), structural iron workers, telephone switchboard operators, waiters, waitresses, “casual workers” (male and female).

The book The Negro Wage Earner is not a government document but it cites government wage data. Use the table of contents to find the chapter on the type of job, then use the "Jump to..." box to quickly land on that page in the volume.



Rates of wages per hour in cigar manufacturing and clothing manufacturing for the years 1911 and 1912. The tables are broken down by occupation and city.

Tells wages for the years 1911 to 1914, 1919, and 1922. The wage data for this bulletin are from establishments engaged in making men’s outer garments—coats, pants, vests, and over-coats—for the trade, or what is commonly known as men’s ready-made clothing. Special-order and merchant-tailor establishments are not included.

This source goes into detail on how employees were paid for piecework, which could include hemming, button sewing, setting the collars, etc. on women's garments.

Average earnings and hours worked for workers in woolen and worsted goods manufacturing in 15 states.


Prices 1910-1919


The Retail Prices and Cost of Living Series provided detailed information for principle articles of food by year and by city. Prices of fuels (coal and gas) are included as well. Published in the U.S. BLS' Bulletin series.