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in every age group, but was most marked in the group of girls from 16 to 20 years of age, nearly two out of every five of whom were at work in 1910. A decided increase also took place, however, in the proportion of little girls at work. In 1910 about one out of every five girls. 14 to 15 years of age and even of the girls 10 to 13 years of age, 8 per cent. were gainfully employed. The total number of girls under 14
who were at work increased from 280,831 in 1900 to 350,140 in 1910.
Among the boys the proportion of gainful workers in 1910, as shown also in Table I, was decidedly higher than among the girls, and in general had increased since 1900, though not so much as among the girls. But in 1910 nearly four boys out of every five who were 16 to 20 years of age, more than two out of five of those 14 to 15 years of age, and 16.6 per cent. of those 10 to 13 years of age, were 'at work. The total number of boys under 14 years of age who were at work increased from 585,687 in 1900 to 609,030 in 1910.
The proportion of women and of children, both boys and girls, engaged in gainful occupations is evidently increasing. Even of the young children under 14, whose labor has been prohibited in most states and factories, both the number and the proportion at work have steadily mounted higher.
The increase in the proportion of females 10 years of age and over at work between 1900 and 1910, as shown in Table II, took place in all the various groups of the population, i. e. among the native white of native parentage, the native white of foreign or mixed parentage, the foreign-born white, the Negro, and the other elements. The increase was greatest, however, for the negro females, considerably more than half of whom were at work in 1910 as compared with about one-fourth of the native white females of foreign or mixed parentage, about one-fifth of the foreign born white females, and considerably less than one-fifth of the native white females of native parentage.
Women Workers in Agriculture. As for the_occupations of the women workers of the United States, Table III shows that the greatest increase in the proportion of female as compared with male workers has taken place in domestic and personal service, where it is accounted for largely by a change in classification adopted by the Census in 1910: in trade and transportation where new opportunities are continually opening to women; and in agricultural pursuits where a general increase has occurred throughout the whole United States. A large proportion of this increase in agricultural pursuits, however, was confined to the South, to the Negroes, and to girls 10 to 15 years of
age. The proportion which females form of the total force of gainful workers 10 years of age and over increased from 18.3 per cent. in 1900 to 21.2 per cent. in 1910.
A better classification of occupations is given in Table IV, which shows for all occupations and for the groups of occupations there given, the number of males and of females gainfully occupied in 1910 and the per cent. which the workers of each sex constitute of the total. In discussing this able the Census (Thirteenth Census, Vol. IV, Occupations, p. 57) says: “These figures show that in 1910 domestic and personal service was the only general division of occupations in which the women outnumbered the men, there being in this general division more than two women employed to each man. In professional service there were four women to every · five men, a large proportion of the women being teachers. In clerical occupations one-third of the persons were women. In manufacturing and mechanical industries women constituted one in six, in agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry one in seven, and in trade one in eight of the gainful workers; they constituted only 4 per cent. of the persons en
ged in transportation, 3 per cent. of the persons engaged in public service, and but one-tenth of 1 per cent. of the persons engaged in the extraction of minerals.”
Wives Who Must Toil. Little is known concerning the gainful employment of married women, as the Census has not published the data which it has gathered upon this subject. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in its investigation of woman and child labor in 1907 to 1909, however, that of 27 industries studied only three were found in which the proportion of married women among those 20 years of age and over was under 10 per cent., and from this it ran up to two-fifths, and even in one industry to three-fifths.” In the cotton, clothing, glass and silk industries the names of women and children were taken from the pay rolls of establishments and visits were made to the homes to secure data as to the amount and sources of the family income. Table V shows the extent to which the married women of these families were employed. Says the Bureau of Labor Statistics report: “When all the female employees of the separate industries were considered, it was found that about one-eighth were married, the proportion running up in single industries to two-fifths or over. When a number of families, selected on the basis of having at least one woman or child employed in a given industry, were studied, it was found that from something over oneeighth to one-fifth of the mothers were industrially employed. The two studies point to the same conclusion that the
married woman is by no means an exceptional figure in the industrial world."
Whether married or single, the wages paid women wageearners are extremely low. Says the Bureau of Labor Sta. tistics report already quoted: "One of the most significant facts bought out by the investigation in practically all industries was the large proportion of woman wage earners who were paid very low wages—wages in many cases inadequate to supply a reasonable standard of living for women dependent upon their own earnings for support.” Table VI gives the exact percentages of women 16 years of age and over in the four great industries, cotton, men's ready-made clothing, glass, and silk whose earnings fell below $6 and $8. In these industries, it appears, from two-fifths to two-thirds earned less than $6, and from two-thirds to more than ninetenths ‘less than $8 in a representative week. Practically the same story is told for twenty-three other industries in Table VII.
Child Labor Problems in Agriculture. The proportion of children at work differs widely in different parts of the country. _Table VIII, for example, shows that in 1910, whereas in the East South Central division more than half of the boys and more than one-fourth of the girls from 10 to 15 years of age were engaged in gainful occupations, in the Pacific States only 8.1 per cent. of the boys and 2.2 per cent. of the girls were at work.
Numerically the problem of child labor is greatest in agriculture. Of all the children at work in 1910 more than seven out of every ten were engaged in agricultural pursuits. Moreover, though both the total number and the proportion of young children at work increased from 1900 to 1910, this increase, as is shown in Table IX, was solely in agricultural pursuits. This table shows, indeed, that a marked decrease took place between 1900 and 1910 in the number, both of boys and of girls, engaged in non-agricultural pursuits. Thus the problem of child labor has shifted from the occupations where it has been prohibited or regulated by law to the one great unregulated industry-agriculture.
The agricultural labor of children is to a great extent a problem of the South where the tenant and crop-mortgage system of farming, forces families to put their children to work as soon as they can hold a hoe. Table X shows the contrast between the North and the South in the employment of boys and girls from 10 to 15 years of age on farms. In some of the northern states, notably Vermont, it appears that a considerable number of boys are employed in agriculture, but very few girls, whereas in each of the eleven southern states given, except Kentucky for girls, from 75 to 95
per cent., both of the boys and of the girls engaged in gainful occupations, were in agricultural pursuits.
The evils of child labor in agricultural pursuits are little known because the subject has never been investigated upon any large scale. About four-fifths of the children engaged in agriculture in 1910, however, were at work on the home farm. Nevertheless, the labor is hard, the hours are long, and the children are frequently exposed to bad weather. As Mr. Clopper and Mr. Hine have said in their report on “Child Labor in the Sugar-Beet Fields of Colorado,” published by the National Child Labor Committee: “Nearly three-fourths of our child laborers are engaged in agricultural pursuits, yet the movement for child labor reform, which has been so wide-spread and determined in the past quarter century, has not even touched this greatest field of all. It has resulted in protective legislation concerning employment in mines, factories, mills and mercantile establishments, but the only legislation which in any way protects children from premature or excessive work on farms is the compulsory education law, and this is effective only during certain hours of certain days for the school term-from five to nine months of the year. Moreover, the greatest agricultural activity comes usually in the school vacation period when there are no restrictions whatever upon the labor of children on farms.". According to estimates made by the superintendents of schools in thirteen counties of Colorado, in these counties alone at least 5,000 children under 16 lose from two to twentytwo weeks of schooling because of work in the beet fields.
Conditions in Cotton Mills. As for the work of children in manufacturing industries, though decreasing, this is still a serious problem. In manufacturing and mechanical industries in 1910 the Census reported 5,008 children from 10 to 13 years of age, and 27,657 children 14 and 15 years of age. The principal industries in which these children were employed, with the number of girls and boys of the different age groups engaged in each, are given in Table XI. The cotton mills, with all their bad conditions of noise, dust and humidity, evidently employ many more young children than any other manufacturing industry.
Of conditions in the cotton mills, which employ large numbers of women as well as of children, the report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics says: “The death rate is much higher among women working in cotton mills than among wớmen not so employed, and
female operatives are especially susceptible to tuberculosis.
The work done by children and most of that done by women is of a monotonous and deadening character, requiring no initiative and giving no general training. At the same time much of it demands close attention, and is, therefore, exhausting. The scale of earnings is low, and usually the combined wages of the family are required to meet the family expenses.'
The Age Limit. In manufacturing industries, however, and to a lesser degree in practically all other occupations except agricultural pursuits, the number of child workers is limited by laws prohibiting labor under a certain minimum age and regulating it under a still higher age. According to the report of the U. S. Children's Bureau on Child Labor Legislation in the United States (Bureau Publication No. 10, Industrial Series No. 1), the minimum age on January 1, 1916, for employment in factories was 14 in all States and Territories except Ohio where it was 15 for boys and 16 for girls; California and Michigan where it was 15; Nevada and Texas where, though the age was 14, it applied only to employment during school hours; Mississippi where it was 12 for boys but 14 for girls; Alabama (14 after Sept. 1, 1916) and North Carolina where it was 13; South Carolina where it was 12; Porto Rico where it was 10; and New Mexico, Wyoming, Hawaii and the Philippine Islands where there was no age limit whatever. But for work during vacations the age limit was 12 in California, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon, and 10 for boys in Arizona. In case of poverty it was 14 in California, 12 in Georgia and in the District of Columbia, and_apparently there was no minimum age for poor children in Delaware or South Dakota. Children over 12 could work also in North Carolina in an apprenticeship capacity if they had attended school 4 months during the year; in Virginia they could work on a "release" from a court; and in Washington they could work in occupations not considered “dangerous or injurious to health or morals.” Even in factories, therefore, at the beginning of 1916, children could legally work at 12 years of age and in some cases even younger, under certain conditions or during certain parts of the year, in some twenty-one out of fiftythree states or other political divisions..
Hours of Labor. The hours of labor of women as well as of children are often limited by law, and in some states night work is prohibited. As in the case of the minimum age all these regulations apply more frequently to manufacturing establishments than to any other places of employment. On January 1, 1916, no woman was permitted to work in a factory more than eight hours a day and forty-eight a week in California, District of Columbia, or Porto Rico; eight a day in Colo