« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Mr. FochT. The only one I saw was, and he is a good friend of mine, and a fine fellow. And I expect all the rest of them would be Democrats just the same. I am not complaining so much about that, because when we took a census during the Republican administration, there were Republicans in those jobs. The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to hear Representative Focht at any time he wants to present his views. We will be very glad to #. him, either as a member of the committee or as a Member of the OuSe. Mr. Focht. I have not had an answer to my question. I am stating definitely that they were at my house in Pennsylvania, making inquiries. The man who came there was a good Democrat, a good neighbor of mine, and I have no complaint to make on that score. But that is a side remark with reference to the intent of this whole business, in my opinion. It seems to me that is what it is for, to give Democrats these jobs. Mr. DUNN. How long ago was that? Mr. FochT. That was within a week. Mr. FLETCHER. Was that a State or a Federal survey? Mr. Focht. I think that was a Federal survey. He was there two or three times. Mr. RICE. I happen to know that some of the inquiries which the Congressman probably refers to are being conducted in the State of Pennsylvania by State authorities. We have no Federal agencies, I am confident, that have any connection with it. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Givens, the committee will now hear you. Will you state your name and occupation, and then make such statement as you desire to submit to the committee?
STATEMENT OF MEREDITH B. GIVENS, SECRETARY OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT STATISTICS AND INFORMATION SERVICES
Mr. GIVENs. Mr. Chairman, my name is M. B. Givens; I am secretary of the Committee on Government Statistics. I speak also as a member of the Central Statistical Board, whose secretary, will speak to you later. My statement is also in behalf of a special committee of the United States Employment Service, speaking informally in that connection as acting chairman of a group, which is looking into the question of occupational classifications in relation to the practical problems of placement.
What I will say, Mr. Chairman, is intended in part to reinforce what has been said at greater length by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics. I speak in behalf of the great importance of this inquiry, which, to my mind, can be most accurately described as an inventory of our human resources; that is, a national inventory of available labor, an inventory of the people who must be provided with a livelihood and employment.
The taking of this census is analogous to the effort of an industrial enterprise to find out what goods it has on its shelves, and to measure its sales and the distribution of its products. We, as a Nation, must look at our labor power as a human resource which must be handle with at least as much care and thought as the private affairs of commerical enterprise. It is essential to find out what is happening to employment, unemployment, and occupations, the three main categories of information to be provided for under this measure, if we are to deal with the employment problem in a manner which is as scientific, as careful, and as complete as that employed by the ordinary business enterprise in the distribution of its products. This means that we need certain statistical information on a national scale, information which will show where our people are, in what industries they are employed, where employed, whether or not. they are unemployed, and where located; the occupations which are represented by the industries which are providing employment, and the experience and industrial background of those who are not employed, in order that we may know where employment is now being provided, where it must be stimulated, and the character, experience, and background of those who must be transferred into new lines of work or back into their old employments. Our information has not been adequate for these purposes. Until recently we have not undertaken to confront these problems as a national responsibility and on a national scale; now we are getting improved information, but there is a very great need for further improvement and further expansion in this information. In this connection, Mr. Chairman, the plan for this middecennial census marks a major effort, in my opinion, and in the opinion of the groups with o, I am associated. I wish to support that statement by referring to several aspects of the situation. First, in determining the location of jobs and finding out where people are employed, geographically and industrially at the present time, we must rely upon certain sample reports, monthly reports, and we need current up-to-date information. There have been references here in the last two mornings, numerous references to the need for prompt information. I think a number of you gentlemen have asked whether or not this census will provide prompt information. Prompt current information on a sample basis, which indicates the trend of employment, is now being provided through the services of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is widening the coverage of its current reports which give you information every month on employment. The accurate planning of these current reports is dependent very largely upon the information provided by the census. The Bureau of Labor Statistics must select its sample and decide upon the list of firms covered by its current reports by referring to the more inclusive coverage of the general survey which the census provides less frequently than these current reports can furnish. The CHAIRMAN. If the committee please, I have an appointment at the United States Supreme Court in a few minutes. With your permission, I will ask Mr. Kerr to preside during the remainder of this morning. If it is agreeable, we will continue these hearings tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, with the understanding that when the committee adjourns today it will meet tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
Mr. GIVENs. This census, Mr. Chairman, will provide a muchneeded and all-inclusive picture of employment which will aid in gearing up the current reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics to give an adequate current continuing picture, month by month, of employment changes, as the recovery program becomes increasingly effective as we all hope and anticipate. Beyond that, a census of employment will reveal again, as must be revealed periodically, the occupational distribution of workers within the industries which are providing employment. And it will make it possible to discover which industries have been releasing workers, and what sort of occupational background and experience these unemployed workers represent. That information is indispensable for the United States Employment Service, the newly expanded service which has a primary responsibility for increasing its own effectiveness in getting jobs and increasing employment. And that information is indispensable if the employment service and the cooperating services, both private and public, are to intelligently analyze the labor market and available occupational opportunities and if they are to encourage the transfer of persons from one industry to another and from one occupation to another, in terms of the probable opportunities which will be found in the industrial, commercial, professional, and other occupations of the country. Mr. FLETCHER. Up to this time the Director of the Census, I believe, has not implied that the questions they would ask would give information so comprehensive as you have suggested. Mr. GIVENs. The information which is in prospect, as I understand it, will include the employment status of the individual, which means that it will reveal in what occupation he is now working, if he is working, and what occupation he regards himself as attached to, if he is not at work. Mr. FLETCHER. You have elaborated on that, and I think implied ; comprehensive survey far more elaborate than anything suggested ere yet. Mr. GIVENs. It is my understanding, Mr. Chairman, that this census, in this limited form, for the purposes described, will give comprehensive information on the occupational status of the population. But I hope the Director of the Census or the Assistant Director will check me on that. Mr. FLETCHER. Is that your understanding, Mr. Director? Mr. AUSTIN. I do not want to commit the Bureau at this time. If Congress approves this measure we will go as far as we can, but there are limitations as to money and time that will have to be worked out later on. Mr. FLETCHER. We would like to have very accurate information on that so that we will not make any blunders when we present this bill to the House. But from what you have been saying, it is not at all in line with what the Director of the Census has said in his statement. We ought to know whether it is accurate or not. Mr. GIVENs. Of course, Mr. Chairman, I am speaking as one individual, speaking of the importance of the kind of information the census will yield, and I cannot speak, obviously, for the Census Bureau, or for any Government agency, in terms of any decision as to the exact contents of the census. Mr. FLETCHER. I think the things, you suggested would be very desirable and very essential, eventually. But that this bill will produce results of the kind you imply I am inclined to doubt, from what
Mr. GIVENs. This census, as I understand it, is a census of employment, unemployment, and occupations, and that means it is the plan, is it not, Mr. Chairman, for the census to cover the entire United States? Mr. KERR. I think that is true. Mr. FLETCHER. Have you read the bill? Mr. GIVENs. Yes, I have read the bill. The bill provides for a general census, limited in the sense that any schedule is limited to inquiries which are most pertinent and which can be handled within the limits of the appropriation. Mr. FLETCHER. It would require a great deal more money than has been indicated here to make the kind of survey you are discussing In OW. Mr. GIVENs. I believe the most profitable kind of census, Mr. Chairman, which would come within the limits of the measure proposed here, would provide a count of the population and the classification of this population by occupations, and an indication as to whether the individuals were employed or unemployed, and I think the plan for this census fully covers those very elementary points. Of course, there are technical problems in planning schedules and making sure that the information is accurately obtained. And in that connection our group is particularly interested in advising with the census. Mr. FLETCHER. You feel that you can make the deductions that have been discussed here from the information that will be gathered? Mr. GIVENs. From those three or four major items it should be possible to obtain the distribution of occupations by industries, and a rough distribution of unemployed personnel by occupations in such a way that the Employment Service of the Department of Labor and any other agency that is concerned, within the Federal Government or outside, may more intelligently guide the movement of the unemployed personnel into existing industries or into new lines of employment. I say “more intelligently.” No one will contend that this census will completely solve the problem any more than any other single measure of inquiry. Mr. KERR. This would involve the taking of a complete census of the country again; as a matter of fact, it would be equivalent to taking a complete census of the country to determine the things you want to determine in behalf of unemployed labor. Mr. KINZER. That is specified in the first paragraph of the bill, where it says: To provide information concerning the numbers, classes, and geographical distributions of unemployed persons and their dependents, and concerning employment and occupations. Mr. GIVENS. In other words, it is a comprehensive census with a limited schedule. Mr. KERR. That is what it is. Mr. KINZER. Mr. Givens, just what groups do you represent? Mr. GIVENS. I am here as secretary of the Committee on Government Statistics, which is in Washington at the invitation of the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and
#. interior and which is cooperating with the Central Statistical O8.I’Ol.
Mr. KINZER. How long have you been associated in that capacity Mr. GIVENs. Since June 1933. Mr. FLETCHER. Were you identified with some university previous to coming here? Mr. GIVENS. Not since 1925. Mr. FLETCHER. What was your occupation before and since then? Mr. GIVENs. Since 1925 I have been associated from time to time with the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York. I conducted a series of labor-market studies for the American Radiator Co. in 1926 and 1927. I was with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for 16 months, roughly, in 1927, making studies of productivity changes in selected industries. Since that time I have been secretary for industry and trade with the Social Science Research Council in New York. Mr. KINZER. How long was Dr. Epstein associated with the Committee on Government Statistics? Mr. GIVENs. Dr. Epstein joined our staff here on January 15, 1934. Mr. LEMKE.. I am not out of sympathy with what you say about the need of these figures, but after all, it has been testified here that there are in the neighborhood of 10 million people out of employment. The Secretary of Agriculture is engaged in the destruction of cotton; the President of the United States recently asked the Boy Scouts to collect old clothes and distribute them throughout the Nation. Have we not plenty of information as to the necessity of doing something for these people, in place of trying to spend $7,000,000 more in collecting some information? Are we not fiddling while Rome is burning? In my own State the farmers' stock is starving to death because of the grasshoppers and the drought. We have the information, but we cannot get any relief. Up to the present time, you know and I know that it is now not a question of overproduction but of underconsumption and faulty distribution. Why not have a census that will give us information as to why we have not a better system of distribution, and why homes are going to pieces without being painted or repaired? Let us get a census that will show where the money went; that would be more intelligent, and we would get somewhere, would we not? Mr. GIVENs. I would not quarrel with that position, Mr. Chairman. I think a more frequent census of distribution would be desirable. We have only taken one census of distribution, and a more frequent census of distribution would be a very helpful thing. Mr. LEMKE.. I realize you may need this legislation which may help solve some of those problems, if it is intelligently used. Mr. GIVENs. May I make one comment here, Mr. Chairman, as my personal opinion, and say that this census would not be worth taking if it were merely a question of revealing the fact that there is a problem. We know that we have the problem. Mr. LEMKE. We have not tackled the problem. Mr. GIVENs. When we tackle the problem with the prospect of dealing with it effectively we need concrete information such as an engineer needs when he builds a bridge. We need precise information in order to be able to allocate the funds, and material resources in the form of relief, and to endeavor to bring jobs and people together.