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SUPERINTENDENTS OF MICHIGAN FREE EMPLOYMENT BUREAUS. Battle Creek, John R. Sallows.
Grand Rapids, Wm. L. Smith. Bay City, George A. Hawkins.
Jackson, John R. Chrimes.
Lansing, Duncan McFarlan.
Muskegon, Fred R. Young.
Saginaw, Terry Kelly.
COMMISSIONER OF LABOR.
To the Governor:
Lansing, Michigan, March 31, 1919. Honorable Albert E. Sleeper, Governor of Michigan,
Dear Sir:—In accordance with the provisions of the law creating the Department of Labor, I have the honor of submitting to you the thirtysixth annual report, covering the business and activities of the department of the year 1918.
STATE FACTORY INSPECTION. The Thirty-sixth Annual Report of the Department of Labor, comprising inspection of 15,592 factories and workshops in operation, as compared with the report of the same period for the previous year of 14,262 factories and workshops which shows an increase of 1,330 establishments and reflects the industrial prosperity of the commonwealth. the many difficulties through which our manufacturing institutions passed from the time we entered the world war it can be truthfully said that the remarkable manner and rapidity with which machinery was adjusted and goods produced merits a high tribute. Within a very short period after the withdrawal of thousands of workers for military service, then replacement so far as numbers were concerned had been practically accomplished and by the time our annual inspection was made more wage earners were employed than ever before; moreover, the economic betterment of labor during the year, both as to wages and hours, is significant and impressive. The aggregate daily wages paid in the manufacturing establishments and workshops in Michigan in 1917 reached $1,775,855.86 and in 1918 it was increased to the sum of $2,533,264.82, which shows the enormous increase of $757,408.96 paid in daily wages. It is the history of all past wars that there follows an epoch of world wide stimulation of enterprise, calling for the application of renewed energy and inventive faculty. There is no indication that the period in which we are now living is to furnish any exception to this historical fact. That the necessities in the reconstruction program of the nations dispoiled by war, as well as the developing requirements of countries hitherto economically stagnant, will create outlets for production, that will tax us beyond our capacity.
WOMEN WAGE EARNERS.
The number of women added to the industries of Michigan during the year 1918 was 19,337. This increase added to the number of women employed in the factories and workshops in 1917, which was 76,012, brought the grand total up to 95,349 employed in 1918. It is quite true that a large percentage of the women employed at factory work were women who had to earn their own living and most of them came into factories from other industrial pursuits. Many of these women were attracted by the increased wages offered. Of course, some of the women who took up industrial work are the wives, relatives or dependents of men in the service and may give up their present work when the latter return.
The general attitude of employers toward female labor. has been quite favorable. In certain work women have shown greater adaptability than men. Some of the managers of our larger industries instead of ascertaining how women workers can be reduced are carefully studying the field to see how the number can be increased to meet a labor shortage which they predict for the not distant future.
It is obvious, from a careful analysis of the relationship of hours of work to output, to health, to social needs of the women workers, and to national progress that a reduction of the hours of labor is imperatively necessary.
In some few instances women replaced men in the factories and workshops without any change whatever in machine or rearrangement in process; other industrial institutions sought to use women in violation of Section 31 of Act 285 of Public Acts of 1909, which prohibits the use of women on wheels or emery belts of any description in general use, either leather, leather covered, felt, canvas, paper, cotton, or wheels or belts rolled or coated with emery or corundum, or cotton wheels used as buffs. By the vigilance of the Department violations were restricted to a minimum.
Our present State law provides that no child under 15 years of age shall be employed, permitted or suffered to work in or in connection with any mercantile institution, store, office, hotel, laundry, manufacturing establishment, mine, bowling alley, billiard or pool room conducted for profit, theater, passenger or freight elevator, factory or workshop, telegraph or messenger service. An exception is made, however, in the case of children between 14 and 15 years of age who may be permitted to work on Saturday or other days during the school year, outside of school hours or during the established vacation periods. It is further forbidden to employ a male person between the ages of 16 and 18 until the occupation in which such person is employed shall be approved by the Department of Labor as not being injurious to health or morals or unduly hazardous.