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Dr. TRUESDELL. The machinery for keeping it up to date is, roughly, this: The Department of Labor colleets quite extensive statistics of employment; that is, the number of persons employed by a rather large list of employers. I understand that that information on employment is to be expanded and made to cover a much more representative and a larger list. And I presume that plans will be made to start with the census figures of 1934, and to make estimates on the basis of that as to the employment and unemployment, just as the Department of Agriculture makes estimates of crops every year, largely on the basis of the last previous farm census. Now, the Department of Agriculture saw fit to ask that provisions, be made for quinquennial census figures with regard to agriculture, so that the census on which they base their estimates may not be too far in the past. It is possible that the Department of Labor may do the same thing, and also ask for quinquennial unemployment censuses, in order that their estimates may not be too far from the base figures. But that is something that can be taken care of after this census is over. The CHAIRMAN. In the census of 1930, what position did you occupy and what part did you take? Dr. TRUESDELL. I occupied the same position that I have now, that is, chief statistician for population, and I had charge of the unemployment census in 1930, which was a part of the census of population. Mr. FLETCHER. Would this proposed census include information as to nationality? Dr. TRUESDELL. It is not proposed to ask any questions of that kind at all, in view of the smaller number of questions that will be asked. The questions on parentage, nationality, country of birth, State of birth, and so forth, have formed a very large part of the work and of the expense in the last 2 or 3 decennial censuses. We saw that we had to make some great reductions in the work somewhere, in order to make more adequate provision for unemployment than, perhaps, we had done before; to take care of the larger number of unemployed, which we certainly shall have to count; and in order to take the census more quickly and at smaller expense; and so we decided that, unless there was a tremendous demand for it, we would not propose any question whatever on nativity or place of birth. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. The witness was just going to give us a few answers on the general nature of the unemployment questions, when he was interrupted. I wonder if he could continue on that? Mr. FLETCHER. That is what he has been doing. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. Oh, I did not hear that part of it. Mr. FIESINGER. This bill would not help us in ascertaining whether unemployment was increasing by showing comparative figures at different times. Dr. TRUESDELL. The census itself would show only what it was at a certain time, that is, approximately, on the 12th day of November, next fall. It would not show trends, so to speak. Those would have to be gotten from other sources. It would, however, give a starting point for showing those comparisons. Mr. ELLENBogEN. May I suggest, that the witness now discuss in a general way the proposed questions on unemployment.
Dr. TRUESDELL. The most important feature of the unemployment questions would be to show, as nearly as possible, the number of unemployed, classified as far as possible by sex, age, color, marital condition, and occupation.
In addition, I suppose when we begin to hold conferences with interested persons, there will be 12 or 15 supplemental questions proposed. There will be some kind of question on how long a person has been unemployed; and there will be demand also for some kind of information as to part-time work; a question, for example [reading]:
How many hours did you work last week?
will be suggested. From the experience of the conferences we had 5 years ago, I can see that we are going to have many questions proposed, of which we can afford to carry and tabulate only two or three; it will be case of selecting what seem at the last moment, after a number of conferences, to be the most necessary. We must confer particularly with the Department of Labor people, who will want to use our figures as a base for their estimate. But those would be seemingly the outstanding questions: To identify the unemployed, to get some indication as to how long they have been unemployed (how many a year and how many a month); and then, possibly, some indication of how many persons are working part time. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. I understand that you are going to cover the question as to marital condition. In the case of the head of the family, would you include figures as to the number of children? Dr. TRUESDELL. No. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. Then you would not be able to furnish the statistics, which Mr. Hopkins, would like to have. Dr. TRUESDELL. Well, that matter of families is not a question to be put on the schedule, but an item to be tabulated only; on the schedule all persons are listed under the designation of their relation to the head of the family. That is listed as a part of the census. It has been done since 1850, and I suppose it would be necessary, if we only had three questions on the schedule, to make sure that we had all the families, and had them complete, so that the supervisor can check them up. Now, from that information we make up most of the material for the family tabulation. We get the number of persons in the family by counting them on the schedule; we get the number of children under 10 years of age in the same way. That is the kind of information Mr. Austin had in mind a few minutes ago when he said the arrangements could be left until later. If we have not enough money to do all of this, we might be able to get $200,000 or $300,000 additional for a family tabulation. Mr. ELLENBogEN. You might be able to do it? Dr. TRUESDELL. We might be. Now, any additional questions on the schedule would have to be planned from the beginning. Mr. FLETCHER. In making allowance for unavoidable error, what percentage of accuracy do you think the information really has? Dr. TRUESDELL. It depends very much on what kind of questions are under review. I would rather not make a blanket statement on that. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. I did not mean to ask any embarrassing questions. I asked the question, in view of the fact that it is sometimes difficult to get accurate information from the individual who is questioned, because he hesitates to give the facts; and there is also the incompetency of the enumerator to be considered; and I wondered if there was any estimate that had been made by statisticians. Dr. TRUEs DELL. I saw a statement made by Professor Bowley, who is, perhaps, the most famous of English writers on statisticsHe said there was only one question on the census schedules that could be depended on to be answered absolutely accurately, and that was the question of sex. [Laughter.) So I will start by saying that we have probably 99 or 100 percent accuracy on sex. The matter of age is a question on which we have done the most checking, and we have to admit that the age returns are not absolutely accurate. There is a tendency to return ages in multiples of 5 or 10 years, and things like that, which makes them not absolutely accurate. I never tried to figure out any percentage of accuracy. One of the frequent cases of inaccuracy that occurs to me now is the number of persons that claim to be over 100 years of age. The number of those individuals is exaggerated. But I think for practical purposes the census figures are pretty nearly accurate, though I hesitate to name percentage. Mr. CRUMP. Mr. Chairman, I will have to ask to be excused, to go on the floor of the House. The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further you wish to submit, Dr. Truesdell? Dr. TRUESDELL. There is one other thing that we want to put . on the schedule. . We must provide for unemployment and occupation figures, which form the major subject of the bill and for which there is the major demand from these organizations. We had hoped to include also a question as to where the people lived 5 years ago, from which we * compute the actual numbers of people who have moved from one place to another. Whether we can have that question or not depends on the result of our conferences having to do with the other individual questions. Mr. ELLENBogEN: You do not mean 5 years, do you? Dr. TRUESDELL. Yes; I mean 1930; it is really 4% years; I should have said nearly 5 years ago. That is all I have in mind to say, Mr. Chairman, unless there are questions.
STATEMENT OF PROF. ERNEST W. BURGESS, PRESIDENT AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL SOCIETY, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, CHICAGO, ILL.
The CHAIRMAN. Prof. Ernest W. Burgess, of the University of Chicago, is present. He is president of the American Sociological jo and perhaps we might get his reaction to this proposed legisat 10n.
Will you state for the record your name and position, Professor Burgess?
Professor BURGEss. My name is Ernest W. Burgess, University of Chicago. I think I need take only a few minutes, Mr. Chairman. There are certain points that you are aware of much more than I am, as to the necessity for having a census at this period.
In fact, even in normal times, the members of the American Sociological Society would be practically unanimous in saying that it was essential to have a census every 5 years, instead of every 10 years; and in the great changes that have taken place since the last census, as the members of our society work on the census volumes—I mean it is often said that censuses are taken and the volumes are left lying on the shelves and are not used by the people. But the members of the American Sociological Society, like those of the American Economic Association and members of the American Statistical Association, are constantly using these materials, in studies that become of immediate practical value. Mr. FLETCHER. Could you give the committee some information as to a case showing how this is practically valuable to you? Professor BURGEss. Now, in my own case in Chicago, 20 years. ago statistics were only given by the city as a whole. In the last two censuses, 1920 and 1930—and to some extent in that of 1910– statistics were given by small tracts in the cities. We have used those statistics in studies of crime, juvenile delinquency, studies of housing, studies of the work of oil agencies, and so on. And the Department of Health is using these districts now for the tabulation of their health statistics. So that the statistics that do not mean very much when they are given for the city as a whole become valuable when you divide the city into these different districts. Mr. FLETCHER. How would you use this information? Professor BURGEss. This information on the new census—first of all on this migration from city to country. Chicago may be one of the cities that the census will show has not increased, but has remained stationary. h \; FLETCHER. Well, what would you do about that when you ad it? Professor BURGESs. It may have remained stationary in population. Well, this census, especially as Dr. Truesdell has indicated— if they include an item of where persons have lived 4 years ago, it will show where persons in Chicago have gone. And I think that is a very important question, with regard to this centralization and decentralization of cities and population. Mr. FLETCHER. Well, does not this legislation that we have passed, this act of March 1933, make it necessary for you to readjust your whole curriculum with reference to sociology? Professor BURGEss. I would like to go on with that question of occupations. The usual occupation on the schedule, as compared with the present occupation—as compared with percentage of unemployed, by the different occupations will, as you indicate, be quite revolutionary on what schools, from elementary schools to universities and graduate work, will do. Mr. KINZER. How many people are you going to be able to put to work when you have that information? Professor BURGEss. On these trends in the different occupations? Mr. KINZER. Yes. Professor BURGEss. Well, if we find, for example, that there are certain occupations where employment is decreasing, it raises, first, the whole question whether that occupation shall be reorganized, or can be reorganized, to accommodate more persons; if it cannot be reorganized to accommodate more persons, then it will mean that we 58867–34—6
will have to change our process of education, vocational education, with reference to the new situation. The CHAIRMAN. It has a bearing, in that it may show that certain vocations are declining? Professor BURGEss. Yes; they will be blind alleys for young people to be preparing for at the present time. Mr. FLETCHER. You are familiar with the book of Dr. Pitkins, on The Twilight of American Mind, I assume? In what way will this information enable you to check up on the accuracy of his rather tragic statements in relation to the unemployed college graduates, holders of the degree Ph.D. Professor BURGEss. That would come out in the different occupations, with the number of persons who are employed or unemployed. And where you show these big gaps, it opens up the whole question, as you see here, of what is to be the fate of the graduate of the university. Now, it may mean that certain occupations which up to the present time have been content with high-school training will in the future take college graduates. Just to give one illustration: The time, conceivably, might come—I will just give this as an illustration—when a policeman will be a college graduate. Now, he is a high-school graduate. Twenty years ago—in Los Angeles, for example, he is now required to be a highschool graduate—20 years ago he was an elementary school graduate. Now, if the police are required to be college graduates Mr. FLETCHER (interposing). That is a possibility that is coming, is it? Prof. BURGEss. Yes; and that means a new type of training also in the colleges to prepare for that occupation, as you prepare for lawyers, doctors, and other occupations. Mr. FLETCHER. Mr. Hoover, in the Department of Justice, employs only lawyers now in his work, which indicates that you have got to get out of the moron class for policemen? Prof. BURGESS. Yes. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire whether the committee will sit this afternoon? Mr. KINZER. Mr. Chairman, this afternoon we are having very important legislation on the floor of the House. The conference committee is to make their report on the tax bill, and then we have the debate on the securities bill. And I do not believe the committee should remain in session this afternoon on that account. Mr. FLETCHER. When did you expect to have this bill before the House, Mr. Chairman? . The CHAIRMAN. It depends upon when we can complete the hear1ngs. Mr. FLETCHER. Have we not enough information now to discuss it on the floor? The CHAIRMAN. I would like to have the record a little more complete, in order to furnish ample information for our colleagues. Mr. RICE. Mr. Chairman, I think I ought to say that there are a number of the other Departments who have not been heard from, and they would like to present some testimony as the bill affects their o juro I think they should be allowed an opportunity to e nearC1.