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effect of these apparently small differences produced large differences in annual earnings, shown in table 3.

Although the daily earnings of second mates were less than 10 percent greater than those of third assistant engineers, their annual earnings were over 15 percent higher because of their higher average days of employment. The difference between the earnings of licensed officers and unlicensed seamen is also accentuated when presented on an annual basis. Annual earnings of second mates were about 2%times as great as the annual earnings of messmen. Annual earnings for industry-connected cooks reflected their relatively full employment_$5,345 for about 250 days of employment.

As suggested in the discussion of annual employment, the average income of seamen is greatly affected by the earnings of those with short periods of employment. The distribution of industry-connected seamen in the 6 selected ratings according to annual earnings shows that an eighth of the second mates earned less than $5,000 a year and a tenth of the third assistant engineers earned less than $3,500. On the other hand, fully two-fifths of the second mates earned $9,000 or more during the survey year, and nearly as large a proportion of the third assistant engineers earned $8,000 or more. Over an eighth of the able-bodied seamen, oilers, and cooks earned less than $3,000 annually and over a fourth of the messmen earned less than $2,500. At the upper end, slightly more than two-fifths of the able-bodied seamen earned $5,000 or more; a third of the messmen had annual earnings from maritime employment of $4,000 or more.

When all seamen who worked any time during the year are included in calculations, annual earnings were reduced by about 8 percent in

nearly all the ratings studied, with the exception of messmen. The inclusion of messmen who did not work prior to or after the survey year reduced their annual earnings 15 percent to $2,806.

About 80 percent of the second mates and 75 percent of the third assistant engineers worked in each of the 4 quarters of the year studied. They averaged $8,363 for 276 days and $7,467 for 272 days, respectively slightly more than those classified as industry connected. About 70 percent of the able-bodied seamen, oilers, and cooks worked in each of the 4 quarters, as compared with only about 60 percent of the messmen. Average annual earnings of the unlicensed seamen employed in each of the 4 quarters were 9 or 10 ! percent higher than the average for the industryconnected workers.

Only for the unlicensed ratings were the intercoastal differences in annual earnings substantial. Able-bodied seamen on the West Coast averaged almost 9 percent higher annual earnings than their counterparts working from the Atlantic and Gulf ports, even though the latter group averaged more days of employment. Oilers on the West Coast averaged nearly 7 percent more and messmen over 10 percent more with almost the same number of days of employment registered in the two coastal groups. The average annual earnings and employment of cooks on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts exceeded the corresponding averages on the West Coast by 7 and 15 percent, respectively. A higher proportion of cooks on the Atlantic Coast worked on passenger ships; such cooks had higher daily earnings and a larger number of days of employment than cooks on other types of vessels.

-JAMES F. WALKER Division of Wages and Industrial Relations

Earnings in Auto Dealer Repair Shops, Summer 1958

AUTOMOTIVE MECHANICS assigned to major repair work in franchised motor vehicle dealer establishments averaged more than $2.50 an hour in 14 of the 29 areas included in a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U. S. Department of Labor during April through August 1958. Hourly averages for these mechanics (class A) ranged from $2.05 in Providence to $3.12 in Cleve| land and $3.16 in Chicago. Body repairmen,

painters, and service salesmen also averaged $2.50 or more an hour in many areas.

Highest pay levels, as measured by 8 jobs studied, were in the areas around the Great Lakes and on the Pacific Coast; lowest levels were usually recorded in Providence and areas in the South. The study also provides information on scheduled hours of work and the prevalence of paid vacations, paid holidays, and health insurance, and pension plans.

office or supervisory employees; and 19 percent were employed in the car sales departments. Among the production and related workers, automotive mechanics were most important numerically, accounting for fully a fifth of the total workforce. Occupational staffing patterns varied somewhat by size of establishment. Thus, production and related workers and office clerical employees accounted for slightly higher proportions of total employment in establishments employing 100 or more workers than in the smaller establishments. Executives, officials, and nonworking supervisors accounted for a smaller proportion in the large establishments than in small establishments. The ratio of auto salesmen to

. total employment was generally the same regardless of establishment size.

Labor-management contracts covering wages and working conditions of production and related workers applied to nine-tenths or more of the workers in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, San Francisco-Oakland, and Seattle; threefourths in New York City; slightly more than half in Cleveland; a fourth in Milwaukee and Philadelphia; a tenth to a fifth in Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit, Newark-Jersey City, Pittsburgh, Portland (Oreg.), and Richmond; and to virtually none in the remaining 12 areas. Major unions in the industry in the 29 areas studied were the International Association of Machinists and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Ind.). Frequently, establishments had agreements with both of these unions, either in the form of joint or separate contracts. The Machinists generally represented workers in the repair department, e. g., mechanics, body repairmen, painters; the Teamsters represented workers in the parts

Industry Characteristics

Approximately 123,000 workers were employed in the 2,942 retail auto dealer establishments within the scope of the survey in the 29 areas studied. Employment varied considerably among these areas, ranging from less than 2,000 in 6 areas to approximately 20,000 workers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area. However, the next largest employment total—9,000—was found in Chicago and Detroit. Franchised auto dealers in the 5 boroughs of New York City employed a total of 6,500 workers.

Employment in individual establishments studied ranged from 20 to slightly more than 300 workers. Establishments employing between 20 and 49 workers accounted for slightly more than half of the workers within the scope of the study; those employing 50 but fewer than 100 workers, slightly less than two-fifths; and those with 100 or more workers, one-tenth. Only 5 of the 692 establishments studied reported employment in excess of 250.

Approximately 55 percent of the total auto dealer employment in the 29 areas combined were production and related workers;? 26 percent were

1 See Wage Structure: Auto Dealer Repair Shops, Summer 1958, BLS Report 141. The survey covered retail motor vehicle dealer establishments (industry group 551 as defined in the 1957 edition of the Standard Industrial Classification Manual prepared by the Bureau of the Budget) employing 20 or more workers at the time the dealer establishment lists were compiled. Detailed reports for each area studied and the job descriptions used in classify. ing workers in the selected occupations are available upon request. For the areas covered and the payroll periods concerned, see table 1.

An establishment, for purposes of this study, was defined as all outlets of a company in the labor market; in most areas, establishments employing less than 20 workers (excluded from the study) accounted for less than 10 percent of total employment in the industry.

? The term "production and related workers" as used in this study includes working foremen and nonsupervisory workers in all departments of auto dealer establishments except the office and the auto sales department.

: All workers were considered to be covered by agreements is the terms of one or more of such agreements applied to a majority in the establishment studied.

department-greasers, washers, and pickup and delivery men.

Under a widely used incentive system of wage payment in the industry, repair department workers receive a percentage of the labor cost charged to the customer. The customer's charge is generally based on a predetermined schedule of flat-rate hours established for completion of each type of job. Except for San Francisco-Oakland and Seattle, where this method of wage payment was virtually nonexistent, the proportion of production and related workers compensated on the flat-rate system ranged from a fifth in New York City to three-fifths in Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles-Long Beach, and Memphis. The flat-rate system was generally confined to automotive mechanics, body repairmen, and painters, although, as the following tabulation shows, coverage was sometimes extended to such jobs as greasers and washers.

Percent of workers in 29 areas combinéd, paid under the flat.

rate system Body repairmen. Greasers...

39 Mechanics, automotive, class A...

72 Mechanics, automotive, class B.-

26 Painters.

61 Washers.-

13 Although the worker's share of the customer's labor charge varied from shop to shop and from job to job, the most common portion was 50 percent in most areas. The prevailing share in Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and Providence was 45 percent, and in Dallas, 40 percent. Provisions for less than 40 or more than 60 percent were rare.

Other types of incentive wage plans were reported by one or more firms in about half of the areas. Proportions of workers paid under such plans were greatest in New York City (9 percent) and San Francisco-Oakland (8 percent).


Automotive mechanics assigned to major repair work (class A) averaged less than $2.25 an hour in 4 areas, between $2.25 and $2.75 in 20 areas, and more than $2.75 in 5 areas; averages for the job ranged from $2.05 to $3.16 an hour (table 1). Area averages for body repairmen ranged from $2.15 to $3.35, for painters from $1.94 to $3.23, and for service salesmen from $1.87 to $3.03.

The relative earnings position of the 4 jobs just mentioned varied among the areas; rates for body repairmen were highest in 14 areas, for painters in 6, for automotive mechanics in 5, and for service salesmen in 4 areas. Two of the areas in which the earnings of service salesmen were highest (San Francisco-Oakland and Seattle) made little use of the flat-rate system of wage payment. The average hourly earnings of greasers and washers in many areas fell $1 or more below the earnings level of workers in the 4 skilled jobs. Parts men and mechanics assigned to minor repair work (class B) generally occupied a wage position midway between the comparatively unskilled workers and those in the higher paying jobs.

Area averages for parts men, service salesmen, and washers, who in all areas are typically paid on a time-rate basis, were consistently highest in San Francisco-Oakland and Seattle. Lowest averages for these jobs were usually reported in Providence and areas in the South. Wage levels of automotive mechanics (class A), body repairmen, and painters were usually highest in Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit, with lowest levels in Providence and some areas in the South. As stated earlier, workers in these jobs were commonly paid on the flat-rate system in all areas except San Francisco-Oakland and Seattle.

Differences between averages for the lowest and highest paid jobs were greatest in the areas in the South and least in San Francisco-Oakland and Seattle. Thus, in the two West Coast cities the wage differential between car washers and class A auto mechanics was 26 and 19 percent, respectively; in 5 of the 8 Southern cities this differential was more than 130 percent, reflecting the less favorable wage position of unskilled workers in the South. To illustrate this point further, class A auto mechanics in Birmingham averaged four


Occupational Earnings

Average straight-time hourly earnings for each of the 8 jobs studied were widely dispersed among the 29 labor markets, with the highest averages typically exceeding the lowest by $1 or more. Maximum interarea wage differences amounted to about 55 to 65 percent among skilled jobs, 99 percent for greasers, and 142 percent for washers.

* This type of wage payment is commonly referred to in the industry as the flat-rate system.

areas was typical of the earnings relationship for other jobs in areas where both methods of pay were used extensively.


fifths as much as their counterparts in San Francisco-Oakland; whereas car washers in Birmingham averaged only about two-fifths as much as similarly employed workers in the West Coast area.

The highest individual earnings in a given job and area typically exceeded the lowest earnings by more than 100 percent. Contributing to this wide spread in individual earnings were interestablishment variations in pay rates and differences in pay within establishments under the flatrate system. As indicated in table 2, individual earnings of class A automotive mechanics were widely distributed in all areas. The variation in individual earnings was sufficiently great so that the earnings of some workers in areas with comparatively low average earnings exceeded the earnings of some workers in areas with markedly higher averages.

Incentive workers averaged higher earnings than time workers in nearly all jobs and areas permitting comparisons. The wage advantage indicated below for class A mechanics in 10 widely separated

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Escess of incentive

over time earnings Percent

Cents per

hour 33

58 31 27 30

75 32

73 19

36 25

59 26

53 7

17 25


Mechanics paid incentive rates in Atlanta averaged more than mechanics paid time rates in such high-wage areas as Detroit. It is evident, therefore, that the earnings position of workers in a particular job and area, relative to that of similar workers in other areas, is partly determined by the extent to which the incentive system of wage payment is used.

TABLE 1. Average straight-time hourly earnings of men in selected occupations in auto dealer establishments in 29 areas,

April through August 1958

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Establishment Practices

ules were in effect. Schedules in excess of 48 hours a week were reported in 17 areas, but applied to a majority of the workers only in Memphis.

Data were also obtained on work schedules and selected supplementary benefits, including paid holidays and vacations, retirement plans. life insurance, sickness and accident insurance, and hospitalization and surgical benefits (table 3).

Paid Holidays. The majority of the production workers in all areas except Indianapolis, Louisville, Memphis, and Richmond were employed in establishments providing paid holidays. Among the 25

. areas in which holiday provisions were prevalent, 6 days annually was most common in 16 areas; 5 days in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, and San Francisco-Oakland; 7 days in St. Louis and Seattle; and 8 or more in New York City and Providence.

Scheduled Hours. Weekly work schedules of individual establishments varied considerably at the time of the study, both among and within areas. San Francisco-Oakland and Seattle were the only areas with a uniform workweek-40 hours. In several other areas, nine-tenths or more of the workers were employed in establishments with a 40-hour schedule: Cleveland, MinneapolisSt. Paul, New York City, and St. Louis. Weekly work schedules of 44 hours applied to a majority (or nearly so) of the workers in Bridgeport, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles-Long Beach, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Providence. In the remaining 12 areas, a wide variety of work sched

Paid Vacations. Provisions for vacation pay after qualifying periods of service were virtually universal in all but 5 areas. For the most part, payment was determined on the basis of the employee's average earnings for a specified length of time (e. g., 1 week or 2 weeks). For purposes of this report, payments made on other bases (such as percentage of annual earnings and flat-sum

TABLE 2. Percent distribution of men employed as class A automotive mechanics in auto dealer establishments by average

straight-time hourly earnings, 29 areas, April through August 1958


Percent of workers receiving straight-time hourly earnings of
Num- straight-
ber of time

$1.60 $1.80 $2.00 $2.20 $2.40 $2.60 $2.80 $3.00 $3.20 $3.40 $3.60 $3.80 work. hourly Under and and and and and and and and and and and and ers earnings $1.60 under under under under under under under under under under under under

$1.80 $2.00 $2.20 $2.40 $2.60 $2.80 $3.00 $3.20 $3.40 $3.60 $3.80 $4.00

$4.00 and over

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Newark-Jersey City
New York City.


New Orleans.

North Central:

Minneapolis-St. Paul.

St. Louis...

Los Angeles-Long Beach..
Portland (Oreg.).
San Francisco-Oakland.

3 .8

500 610 331 509 296 236 284 307

2. 21 2. 40 2. 27 2. 28 2, 23 2. 40 2. 58 2. 24

14.6 10.3

6.6 10.6 16.2 4.2 2.8 14.3


5.6 10.3 4.3 6.4 11. 4.

2.8 15. 6

22. 2 12.0 23.3 15. 3 14.5 14.8

9.9 15.6

11.4 17.7 10.6 17.1 16.2 13. 6 12.0 14. 7


9.7 18. 1 15. 5 14.9

8.1 17.6 7.2

8.6 9. 7 7.9 12.0

9.8 14.8 13.0 3. 9

6.4 11.5

6.0 10. 2

6.4 10.2 6. 7

6.2 6. 2 7.6 6. 9 5.1 9.3 15.8 5.9

1.6 4.9 4. 2 1.8 2.0 4. 2 7.0 5. 2

3.0 3.4 1.2 2.9 1.4 3.0 4.2 2.9

1.8 4. 3 1. 2 1.4 3.0 1.3 1.8 1.3

1.6 3.0 .6 . 2 2.4 1.7 2.5 1.3

1.0 1.8 2. 1 1.0 1.7 1. 7 2. 5 1.6

1.7 1.4 2.0


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12. 7 14.6 37. 2


7.0 27.1 21.9 94.9

10.2 12.8 11. 5 61.8 5.1

4.9 12. 7

3.4 13.4

7.3 10.9 6.1 1.6

5.4 5.0 2.5 .2



2. 7 6. 3 .6


1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends, holidays, and late shifts.

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