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Confronting DeclineThe Political Economy of Deindustrialization in Twentieth-Century New England$

David Koistinen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049076

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049076.001.0001

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(p.243) Appendix 2 Cotton Textile Mill Wages

(p.243) Appendix 2 Cotton Textile Mill Wages

Source:
Confronting Decline
Publisher:
University Press of Florida

The table that follows shows wages for selected categories of workers in cotton textile plants of New England and the South in July 1933, just before the cotton textile code of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) went into effect. The statistics demonstrate that a significant pay gap between northern and southern mills existed at this time. (The differential had been even wider in previous decades.) The figures also reveal the wide dispersion in pay levels across the hierarchy of skill within cloth-fabricating plants in both regions. The highly skilled loom fixers earned at least twice what was received by the lowest-paid category of workers, trimmers or inspectors.

The seven groups of workers shown here were selected from a list of twenty categories of cotton textile mill labor given in the source. The first three occupations were generally all-male and the last two jobs typically female. Unskilled laborers in cotton textiles were not among the twenty occupations listed in the source; they received lower wages than any of the positions shown.

Table A.2. Wage Rates for Selected Occupations in New England and Southern Cotton Textile Mills, July 1933

New England

South

Southern Wage as a Percentage England South of New England Wage

Wage (cents per hour)

Loom fixers

46

32

70%

Card grinders

34

27

79%

Slubber tenders

31

21

68%

Male weavers

30

24

80%

Female weavers

28

22

79%

Frame spinners

24

16

67%

Trimmers or Inspectors

21

16

76%

Source: Hinrichs, “Historical Review of Wage Rates,” 1171.

(p.244)