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B A L T I M R.E WOMEN WAR WORKERS 
IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD 



United StitH Departmen 



Women* 8 Bureau 

i .n _^_— i i 



t of Labor 



Washington, D. C. 1948 




L. CONTENTS 

1. Purpose, Method, and Scope of Study 1 

Why the Study was Made 1 

. How the Study was Made 

The Area Studied ....*•••••• • 

2. Characteristics of Women Workers Interviewed in 1946 ... 6 

Personal Characteristics . .». 

Employment Status 7 

3. 1946 Employment Status in Relation to Economic Position, 

Marital Status, Family Obligations, and Personal 

Objectives .. .........•••• m 

Reasons for Working •• 10 

Changes in Marital Status During the 2-Year Period . 11 

Living Arrangements in 1944 and in 1946 12 

Women as Wage Earners in the Family Households ... 13 
Changed Patterns of Contributions to Family Support 

Since 1944 • 14 

Degree of Success in Carrying Out Postwar Plans 

Made in 1944 15 

4. Over-All Accounting of the Two-Year Period 18 

Separations from War Plants 18 

Occupations After Separations From War Plants. ... 20 

5. Unemployment Experience •• 24 

Unemployment After Separation from the War Plant . . 24 

Unemployment At the Time of the 1946 Interviews. . . 25 
Length of Unemployment Periods Between Peacetime 

Jobs * 26 

Reasons for Inability to Find Suitable Work 26 

Means of Obtaining Postwar Jobs 26 

Reasons for Leaving Postwar Jobs 27 

Employers' Hiring Specifications in the Postwar 

Period 27 

Women's Appraisal of Their Problems in 

Finding Jobs 29 

Extent to Which Periods of Unemployment Were Covered 

by Unemployment Compensation Benefits 29 

6. Industry and Occupation Changes 31 

Employment Before Entering War Plants 31 

Industries and Occupations in Whick Women Were 

Employed in 1944 32 

Industries and Occupations in Which Women Found 

Their First Peacetime Jobs 32 

Industries and Occupations of 1946 Jobs 33 

1946 Employment Status and Occupations Compared 

With 1944 War Plant Occupations 34 



Contents (Cont'd) 

7. Earnings and Hours 37 

Earnings. *..... 37 

Hours 39 

8. Job Comparisons - Peacetime Jobs and War Jobs 41 

Job Changes of Yeomen Who Were Still in Plants 
Where They Had Worked in 1944 41 

Postwar Jobs of Women Who Went Into Manufacturing 
Plants Other Than tho Ones in Which They Worked 
During the War 44 

Jobs in Trade Compared with Jobs in War Plants. . . 45 

Jobs in- the Service industries .Corro-nred With- Jobs- 

in War Plants . 46 

Job3 in Government- Compare dTJith Jobs in War 

Plants ..--..- 50 

Jobs in the- Telephone Company 52 

9. Job Preferences ......... ..... 53 

Jobs the Women Preferred 53 

Reasons Given for Job Preferences 54 

Extent to Which Women Were Working- After the War 

on Jobs They Preferred, . , 55 

Extent to Which Women Preferred Their Prewar Jobs. . 55 

10. Employment Outlook in 1946 57 

Appendix. Schedule -Usod in Making the Survey , . . . .--. 59 

Tables 

1, Employment Status of Women Interviewed in. .1946,-. >. . -8 

2, Marital Status and Reasons for Working of Women 

in the Labor For#e Interviewed in 1946 10 

A 

3, Marital Status of Employed Women, Interviewed in--' 

1946, Living in the Family Household, and Their " » 

Position as Wage Earners Contributing to _' Family 
Expenses, 13 

4, Marital Status of Employed Women, Interviewed in 

1946, Living in the Family Household, and Their 
Reasons for Working 14 

5, -Two^Year History of Jobs and 1946 Employment Status 

of Women Interviewed in 1946, 22 

6, Employment History Over the 2-Year Period as Related 

to the War Job of Women Interviewed in 1946 «... 23 

7, Months Women Were Unemployed and Proportion of Time 

Unemploymeafe. Compensation Received, ........ 30 



1. PURPOSE, METHOD, AND SCOPE OF STUD"! 



WHY THE STUDY WAS MADE 

With the return to peacetime production after the end of 
the war, an immediately important question facing the V/omen's 
Bureau was: What has happened to women war workers — the 
thousands of women who made the country's labor force great 
enough to meet the huge production demands of total mobilization? 
The Women's Bureau explored this question by a resurvey during 
the fall of 1946 of a group of former women war workers in 
Baltimore who had been interviewed in the fall of 1944, 

From among the 10 war industry areas, located throughout 
the United States, in which the Women's Bureau had interviewed 
groups of women workers in 1944 and 1945, Baltimore was chosen 
for a resurvey in 1946 for two reasons; 

(1) That area had experienced during the war a great em- 
ployment expansion, concentrated in three important industries: 
Aircraft, shipbuilding, and electrical products. Increased em- 
ployment of women had been a major factor in making such expansion 
possible. Furthermore, at tho end of the war, lay-offs were 
drastic. The choice of Baltimore made it possible to explore 

the postwar employment problems of women employed in three of the 
major war industries; other areas would have furnished informa- 
tion in relation to only one or two industries. 

(2) Baltimore is normally a city of diversified women- 
employing manufacturing industries. Thus a comparison of work in 
war industry plants with peacetime work in various consumer-goods 
and trade and service industries was obtainable from the women 
who had found postwar jobs. 

It was also known from the Bureau's wartime study of women 
workers in Baltimore that many more planned to work in Baltimore 
in the postwar period than had been employed before the war. In 
1944 at least half again as - many were employed in Baltimore as in 
1940. (Manufacturing plants employed three times as many as in 
1940.) A large majority (76 percent) of those employed in 1944 
were looking forward to postwar employment in this area, pref- 
erably in the same industrial and occupational groups of jobs as 
their wartime jobs. Nearly one-third of all women employed in 
1944 wore wartime in-migrant workers; a great many of these, as 
well as of the new recruits in war plants (women who had not been 
in the labor force before their war jobs) were planning to con- 
tinue working in the area after the war ended. 



2. 



A majority of the women interviewed were planning to con- 
tinue working because of economic necessity; many had others 
dependent upon them for support; some were the sole wage earners 
in their families; almost without exception, those living with 
their families were contributing a considerable amount of their 
earnings to the current expenses of the household. (See Tables 3 
and 4.) Such economic responsibilities made it urgent for these 
women to find jobs adequate to their needs after lay-offs from 
the war plants . 

From this 1946 survey the Bureau sought to find out, not 
only whether the women who wanted employment had jobs, but also 
what had been the effect, in the face of rising living- costs, of 
the shortened workweek, loss of premium overtime, and lower pay 
rates of peacetime industries. 



HOW THE STUDY WAS MADE 

The women interviewed in the fall of 1946 were limited to 
those who had been employed in war industry plants in October 1944. 
Of the 2,453 women interviewed in Baltimore in 1944, 699 were em- 
ployed at that time in the war industries: Aircraft, shipbuilding, 
electrical equipment, iron and steel products, chemicals. Three 
hundred of the 699 women were located and interviewed in 1946. Of 
the remaining 399, 80 percent of whom were wartime in-migrant 
workers, 214 were known to have left the city, 54 were thought to 
be in Baltimore but could not be located, and on 131 no information 
could be obtained. It is very probable that the majority- of these 
131 workers had left the city. 

Addresses were secured for 134 women who eould "not- be 
reached for interviews and mail questionnaires were sent to them. 
These questionnaires were designed, not to give the complete in- 
formation that was obtained from personal interviews, but only to 
show current employment status and marital status ?nd to give a 
brief account of jobs held since the individual left the war plant. 
About one-fourth of these mail questionnaires were returned with 
information. 

Data secured from the interview with individual women were: 

(1) An employment history covering all periods of 
employment and unemployment of one week or more, 
for the two years which had intervened since the 
first contact. 

(2) Job preferences and usual prewar job. 

(3) Information on economic responsibility, living 
arrangements, and personal characteristics of 
the interviewees. 



3." 

(4) Changes in job contont since the war period.' 

(5) Experiences in finding work after separation 
from war plants,' 

By comparing these data with data secured in 1944, informa- 
tion was secured on tho changes that had taken place in economic 
responsibilities, in marital status, and in employment plans. 

• 

The original group of 699 women who worked in war plants in 

1944 and the 300 women covered by the resurvey were edmpared as to 
age, race, and marital status in 1944. The workers re surveyed 
were found to be representative of the original grouft in these 
three respects, except that the group locrted in 1946 contained a 
somewhat larger proportion of Negro women than the total group in- 
terviewed in 1944. However, in both years Negroes formed a small 
proportion of the total groups, 11 percent and 17 percent, re- 
spectively. 

On the other hand, tho information secured for the 300 women 
is not to be taken as representative of all working women in 
Baltimore, either in 1946 or at the time of the* war. It serves 
only to point out what has b*<on the postwar experience and what 
are the problems of thr-t section of Baltimore \vomen workers who 
were employed in tho major vi^r industry plants. 

To got the employer's viowpoint of the outlook for peace- 
time employment of women in Baltimore, personnel officials of eight 
firms, which employ substantial numbers of women and which represent 
industries where considerable numbers of women could be expected 
to find peacetime employment, were inter viewed. Such information, 
again, is not to be taken as a representative crosssection of all 
employers in Baltimore, but is useful in indicating the changes in 
these plants in the employment of women and, to some extent, the 
changes in the nature of women's jobs after reconversion took place. 

THE AREA STUDIED 

The importance of women as workers in Baltimore is evident 
in that, even before the war, the proportion of women workers to 
all employed persons was higher for Baltimore than for the country 
as a whole. In 1940, when 25 percent of all employed persons in 
the United States were women, the proportion in the Baltimore area 
was 29 percent; during the war this proportion rose to 34 percent 
for the entire country and to 38 percent for Baltimore. 

Wartime employment gains were accomplished largely through 
in-migration and tho greatly increased use of women in manufacturing, 
Tho total number of employed women workers swelled from approxi- 
mately 120,000 in 1940 to about 185,000 in 1944. Tho employment 
in the war industry plants accounted for most of this increase; tho 
number in manufacturing tripled, and two-thirds cf those in manu- 



4. 

facturing woro in war plants. The number of women employed in 
the throe major war industries - shipbuilding, aircraft, and 
machinery (electrical and non-olectrical) - rose from 1,200 to 
36,200. In 1944 two-fifths of all employed women were in manu- 
facturing (a larger proportion than were in any other industrial 
group), as compared to one-fifth in 1940. Large numbers of 
women shifted from the consumer goods plants - apparel, textiles, 
food-processing - to aircraft, shipbuilding, and the other war 
industries. Before the war, aircraft and shipbuilding barred 
their doors virtually to all women except those who worked in a 
clerical capacity. However, during the peak of production, one 
large aircraft plant alone reported that it employed over 20,000 
women, well over half as many as were employed in all manufacturing 
plants in 1940. 

Since VJ-day many women in Baltimore have withdrawn from 
the labor force, and many displaced women have shifted from war 
industries back to "women's" peacetime manufacturing industries 
and to trade and service. A recent Census report shows that in 
Baltimore, despite these changes, women as a whole have made many 
gains in employment since 1940. 

Puring the 7-yoar period between March 1940 and April 
1947 jV the number of women in the population of the Baltimore 
Metropolitan Area increased by 27 percent from 423,000 to 538,000; 
the number in the labor force, by 44 percent, from 132,000 to 
about 190,000; the number employed, by 49 percent, from 120,000 
to 178,000. Women comprised 32 percent of the total employment 
in 1947, as compared to 29 percent in 1940. In April 1947 un- 
employment was estimated at 11,600, or 800 less than the number 
reported for March 1940. 

Employment in manufacturing increased for both men and 
women between 1940 and 1947. Thus, although the estimated number 
of employed women in 1947 - 37,000 - is 42 percent greater than 
the 26,000 employed in 1940, the proportion that women formed of 
the total employees in manufacturing remained fairly constant - 
20 percent in 1940 and 21 percent in 1947. 

The greatest numerical and relative increase for women 
workers took place in the wholesale and retail trade industry: 
from 24,000 (30 percent of all in this occupational group), in 
1940, to 44,000 (37 percent) in 1947. The service industries 
showed an increase of 19,000 workers, or one-third more workers 
than in 1940. 



l/ U. S. Bureau of tho Census. Current Population Reports, 
Series P-fil, No. 28, August 1947. 



5. 



The accompanying summary shows the distribution of women's 
employment in the major industry groups, 1940 and 1947, in the 
Metropolitan Baltimore Area. 



1940 



1947 





Pe 


rcent 




Percent 




di 


stribut 


ion 


distribution 


Total women employed 




100 




100 


I'nnuf actur ing 




22 




21 


V'Tiolesnle and retail trade 




20 




25 


Service industries 




49 




43 


Other 1/ 




9 




11 



l/ Includes construction, transportation, communication, r, .nd 
"other public utilities; all oth-or industries; and industries 
not reported. 



6. 

2. CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN WORKERS INTERVIEWED IN 1946 

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS 

Information was obtained from the 300 women interviewed in 
the fall of 1946 on various personal characteristics influential 
in securing jobs, and on marital status, which is of special in- 
terest in relation to women workers ' economic family responsibili- 
ties. 

Race ; More than four-fifths were white women. The rest (17 per- 
cent) were Negroes. 

Age : They were a young grotqj. Over one-half of the women 

(57 percent) were in their twenties, and 5 percent were 
under twenty. About 30 percent were in their thirties; 
only 9 percent were forty years old or over. 

Marital stttua : Over half the women interviewed were married; 
over a third were single. The remaining women were 
separated (4 percent), widowed (3 percent), or divorced 
(6 percent). 

Working experien ce; Three-fifths of the women had employment ex- 
perience of 5 years or more, including the time spent 
working during the 2-year period studied; the remaining two- 
fifths, who had entered the labor market during the war 
period, had worked less than 5 years. 

Education : Almost three-fifths (58 percent) of the women inter- 
viewed had attended high school; about a fourth were high 
school graduates. Slightly more than one-fifth (22 percent) 
had finished grammar school, and 15 percent had left school 
bofcre reaching eighth grade. Only 4 percent had attended 
college or university. 

In-migration ; Sixty percent of the 699 women interviewed in 1944 

were wartime in-migrant workers (75 percent of the women em- 
ployed in the shipyards, 63 percent of those in the air- 
craft plants, and 41 percent of those in the electrical 
plants), and only 40 percent were prewar Baltimore residents. 
In 1946 only 23 percent of the in-migrants could be located 
as comoared to 71 percent of the prewar Baltimore residents. 
Hence only about one-third of the 300 women interviewed in 
1946 were wartime in-migrants; the remaining two-thirds 
had lived in Baltimore before Pearl Harbor. 



7. 

Tl%e percent distribution, by personal characteristics, of 
the vroTtien interviewed in 1946 is as follows: 



Race 



White 
Negro 

Age 

Under 20 

20, under 25 

25, under 30 

30, under 35 

35, under 40 

4-0 , under 45 
45 end over 

Marital status 

Single 
Married 



Percent 

distribution 

83 

17 



5 
32 
25 

18 

11 

4 

5 



35 

52 



Total time Percent 


worked dis 


itribution 


Loss than 5' years 


40 


■- 5 years ror->more 


60 


Education (last grade 




attended) 


- 


Less than 8th grade 


15 


8th grade 


22 


High school 




Less than 4 years 


31 


4 years 


27 


College 


4 


No report on education 


1 


In-saigration 





Widowed, separated, 
divorced 13 



Living in Baltimore 
week before Pearl 
Harbor 69 

Living elsewhere week 
before Pearl Harbor 31 



EMPLOYMENT STATUS 

All 300 women had been employed in war industry plants 
when interviewed in the fall of 1944. Two years later, over a 
year after VJ-day, some of these women had withdrawn from the 
labor force, and others had shifted to new jobs. It can be said, 
however, that a relatively small part of this group of Baltimore 
women were only "duration workers," as three-fourths were working 
or seeking work when revisited in 1946. At that time, further- 
more, 92 percent of those then in the labor force had no immediate 
plans for stopping work. 

Of the women who had been in the labor force before Pearl 
Harbor, about three-fourths were still in the labor force in 1946. 
Of those who had not worked before the war, 71 percent were in 
the lr.bor force in 1946. 



Employed Women 

Almost two-thirds of the 300 women were employed at the 
timo of the 1946 interviews, (See Table 1.) Of these, somewhat 
less than half (45 percent) were working for the same employer 
for whom they had worked in 1944; some had had continuous 



8, 

employment, and others had been recalled after a period of un- 
employment or of working elsewhere. The majority of the women 
who vrere working for the same employer in 1946 as in 1944 were 
employed in electrical equipment and aircraft plants. Almost 
half the women who had been employed in electrical plants in 
1944 and one-fifth of those employed in aircraft plants in 1944 
were working in the same plants in 1946. 



TABLE 1. EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF WOMEN INTERVIEWED IN 1946 



Employment status, 1946 


: Number of 
. women 


: Percent 

; distribution 


All women 


' 300 


100 


Employed 


191 


64 


By same employer as in 1944 


85 


: 28 


Never separated; continuous 






employment since 1944 


63 


! 21 


Recalled subsequent to 






separation and still em- 






ployed, fall of 1946 


22 


! 7 


By different employer than in 






1944 


105 


' 35 


Self-employed 


1 


; (i/) 


Unemployed and seeking vrork 


31 


10 


Out of the labor force 


78 


26 


Engaged in own home housework 


68 


23 


Other 


10 


3 



1/ Less than one-half of 1 percent. 



Women Unemployed, Seeking Work 



Ten percent of the women interviewed and 14 percent of those 
in the labor force were hunting jobs, as compared with only 3 per- 
cent of men and women unemployed in the country as a whole. Ex- 
amination of the employment histories of these women indicates 
that finding n job presented real difficulties for them, owjng per- 
haps to age, race, or lack of experience on jobs available. 



9. 
Women Mot in the Labor Force 

About one-fourth of the woman interviewed vrere out of the 
labor force. Almost all of these — 90 percent — vrere married; 
other3 were widowed or divorced women with children under 14 
years of age. As might be expected, the bulk of the women who 
left the labor foroe had done so because of family responsibili- 
ties: te keep house, to get married, to have children, to care 

for children. 

\ 

The rate of withdrawal from the labor force was nearly 
twice as great among the white as among the Negro women. It is 
probable that a larger proportion of women who were not located 
had left the labor market than among the 300 women who were in- 
terviewed. This was indicated by the replies received from the 
small group of women to whom the questionnaires were mailed. 
Nearly all who had left the labor market were married women 
devoting their full time to their family responsibilities . 



10. 



3. 1946 EMPLOYMENT STATUS IN RELATION TO ECONOMIC POSITION, 
MARITAL STATUS, FAMILY OBLIGATIONS, AND PERSONAL OBJECTIVES 



REASONS FOR WORKING 

During the war, in order to meet production demands, an 
active, Nation-wide campaign had been undertaken to bring women 
into employment . It was then a natter of significant interest 
to ascertain the extent to which the women workers, whose numbers 
hod greatly increased, had responded to patriotic appeal; the 
extent to which they had bnsn lured by enlarged job and economic 
opportunities; the extent of increased responsibility, both among 
new and former workers, for self and family support; the relation- 
ship of job to home responsibilities. 

Though hostilities ha^e ended, the economic, social, and 
other factors that notivotc vronen tc work, are still a matter of 
public concern. To obtain factual data on these motivations in 
the postwar period, and on how the war workers adjusted to the 
postwar period, information was sought from the Baltimore women. 

Table 2 shows clearly that a great majority of the 222 
women in the labor force who Were interviewed in the fall of 
1945 were working or seeking work because of economic necessity. 



TABLE 2. MARITAL STATUS AND REASONS FOR WORKING OF WOMEN 

IN THE LABOR FORCE INTERVIEWED IN 1946 





1 Percent distribution 


Reason for working 


'. Total 


• Single 


: Married 


. Widowed, 
separated, 

: or 

divorced 


Women in the labor force 


: 100 


100 


100 


100 


Full supnort of self 

Full support of self and con- 
tribute regularly to support 
of others 

To share family expenses; : 
pool family income i 

Special economic reasons l/ : 

Reasons not primarily 
economic 2/ 


30 
33 

26 ; 

8 ! 
3 


58 
41 
1 ' 


7 

66 ! 
20 ' 

7 ' 


23 

74 

3 



1/Such as: "to buy a hone," "to buy furniture," "to educate 
children," "to pay debts," etc. 

2/ Such as: "like to work," "like having my own money," "like using 
my skills." 



11. 

Only 3 percent of these women gave noneconomic reasons for working, 
and 89 percent were using their earnings for current living ex- 
penses of themselves, and, in many ctises, of others. The others 
(8 percent)were working to meet special economic needs. There is 
evidence of particularly heavy economic burdens among the group of women- 
one-third of those in the labor force — who contributed regularly 
to the support of others, in addition to fully supporting them- 
selves, and among the women - one -fourth of those in the lkbor 
force - who shared family expenses by pooling their incomes with 
other wage earners in the family. 

As had been found in previous Women's Bureau studies, dis- 
tinct variations among the reported reasons for working accompanied 
variations in marital status. 

— While 99 percent of the single women worked to support 
themselves, a substantial number of these, in addition to paying 
all their own expenses, contributed regularly to the support of 
others. Forty percent of all the single girls were in this latter 
group. 

"t ' 

— Over two-thirds of the married wom en reported that they 
pooled their incomes with the money earned by another wage earner 
£.n the family in ordej* to meet family expenses. Seven percent, 

in addition to supporting themselves entirely, contributed regular- 
ly to the support of dependents. A fifth were working for some 
special economic reason. Less than 10 percent were working for 
reasons not primarily economic. 

— Financial responsibility was heaviest among wi A owed , 
separated, and divorced women. Practically all were dependent on 
their own resources for self support, and nearly three-fourths 
contributed regularly to the support of others besides supporting 
themselves entirely. 

Almost all of the group who were working for special economic 
reasons were married women. They reported that they used their 
money to make payments on a home or furniture, to pay debts, to 
educate children — such things as would have to be foregone un- 
less the wife worked to pay for them. 



CHANGES IN LIAR IT AL STATUS DURING THE 2-YEAR PERIOD 

Changes in marital status naturally occurred in this group 
of women over the 2 -year period; fiances returned from war, hus- 
bands died, and separations or divorces took place,. 

In 1944, at which time all the women were employed, single 
women made up 47 percent of the total, the carried 42 percent, 
and the widowed, separated, or divorced, 11 percent. 



12. 

During the 2-year period, a little over one -fifth of the 
women changed their marital status: 15 percent married, and 7 
percent lost their husbands either through death, separation, or 
divorce. However, as 90 percent of the women who in 1946 had left 
the labor market were married, the proportion in each marital 
group was approximately the same for those remaining in tho labsr 
market in 1946 as for those employed in 1944: 



Employed 
in 


Remaining in 
labor market 


1944- 


in 


i 1946 


Percent 


Percent 


distribution 


di 


stribution 


100 




100 


47 




46 


42 




39 


11 




15 



Total women 
Single 
Married 
Other 



LIVING ARRANGEMENTS IN 1944 AND IN 1946 

The large majority of the Baltimore women covered by the 
follow-up study were living in households with one or more members 
of their families. This was true in 1944 when the women were con- 
tacted during war plant employment, and again in 1946 when they 
were revisited. Changes from living with relatives to living 
apart or vice versa affected only 8 percent of the women over the 
2-year period. However, these changes had apparently balanced each 
other, because, for the group as a whole, living arrangements and 
size of families of the 300 women were much the same in 1946 as 
they had been in 1944. In both periods nine of every ten women 
were living in family households, and nearly 50 percent of the 
women were in families of four or more persons; less than 10 per- 
cent were living apart from relatives. 

Individual changes in family relationship and in the size 
of the family household did occur, however, largely owing to 
changes in marital status and to the readjustment of families to 
peacetime living arrangements after the demobilization of the 
armed forces. In some instances changes were substantial, in- 
volving the addition to or withdrawal from tho family of throe, 
four, or more persons. 

The information on changes in the total number of members 
of the family group does not, however, indicate changes in family 
composition nor does it take account of changes in relationship 
between individual women and the relatives with whom they live. 
Such spocifio changes within the individual groups are sometimes 
reflected in the economic responsibilities of the workers; in- 
creased or lessened financial burden can, in some instances, be 
traced to changes in the composition of the family, as for example, 
in the family of Mrs, H: 



13. 

During the war, Mrs. H lived with her mother r.nd 
sister, as her husband was in the armed forces. The 
two sisters worked, and each contributed regularly a 
substantial proportion of her weekly earnings to the 
support of their mother and the upkeep of the household. 
At that time Mrs. H was looking forward to stopping 
work when her husband returned from the service. However, 
her plans did not materialize. When interviewed in 
1946, Mrs. H said she had separated from her husband, 
her sister had married and had her own hone, her brother 
had returned from service too nervous to work, and 
Mrs. H carried the whole financial burden of the changed 
household. 



WOMEN AS WAGE EAR'IERS IN THE FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS 

The importance of women as family wage earners was shown 
by the fact that more than 90 percent of women working in 1946 
were living with some family member, and nearly all of these 
(93 percent) were contributing regularly to the family expenses. 
The largest proportion' of the working women living in family 
households, 45 percent, v*»r«» one of two wage earners, and a third 
were one of three or more wsge earners who contributed to the 
household expenses. Heaviest responsibility, however, was upon 
the 15 percent who were this s©l« wage earners in their households; 
on them fell the entire responsibility of feeding, clothing, and 
housing the members of their families, 

TABLE 3. MARITAL STATUS OF EMPLOYED WOMEN, INTERVIEWED IN 1946, 
LIVING IN THE FAMILY HOUSEHOLD, AND THEIR POSITION AS 
WAGE EARNERS CONTRIBUTING TO FAMILY EXPENSES 



Position as wage earner 
in family household 




Percent distr 


ibut 


ion 


S A11 












: women 


y ■ 


Single 


: I 


iarried 


All women 


: 100 ! 


100 


100 


Sole contributing wage earner 


. 15 




11 




9 


One o f two c ont r i but ing 












wage earners 


: 45 




44 




55 


One of three or more contributing 


I 










wage earners 


. 33 




44 




24 


Not a contributing wage earner 


7 




1 '• 




12 


l/ Includes widowed, separated, a 


nd divorced 


women, wh 


cse 


number 



is too small to be shown separately. 



13. 

During the war, Mrs. H lived with nor mother and 
sister, as her husband was in the armed forces. The 
two sisters worked, and each contributed regularly a 
substantial proportion of her weekly earnings to the 
support of their mother and the upkeep of the household. 
At that time Mrs. H was looking forward to stopning 
work when her husband returned from the service. However, 
her plans did not materialize. When interviewed in 
1946, Mrs. H said she had separated from her husband, 
her sister had married and had her own hone, her brother 
had returned from service too nervous to work, and 
Mrs. H carried the whole financial burden of the changed 
household. 



WOMEN AS WAGE EARNERS IN THE FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS 

The importance of women as family wage earners was shown 
by the fact that more than 90 percent of women working in 1946 
were living with seme family member, and nearly all of these 
(93 percent) were contributing regularly to the family expenses. 
The largest proportion' of the working women living in family 
households, 45 percent, v*»r# ens of two wage earners, and a third 
were one of three or mora wis<j© earners who contributed to the 
household expenses. Heaviest responsibility, however, was upon 
the 15 percent who wer» th» sol© wage earners in their households; 
on them fell the entire responsibility of feeding, clothing, and 
housing the members of thflir families, 

TABLE 3. MARITAL STATUS OF EMPLOYED WOMEN, INTERVIEWED IN 1946, 
LIVING IN THE FAMILY HOUSEHOLD, AND THEIR POSITION AS 
WAGE EARNERS CONTRIBUTING TO FAMILY EXPENSES 



: Percent distribution 
Position as wage earner . , 


in family household {All : : 

• women l/ "' Single : Married 


All women : 100 : 100 


■ 100 


i 

Sole contributing wage earner : 15 : 11 

One of two contributing : : 

wage earners : 45 : 44 

One of three or mor:; contributing; : 

wage earners : 33 : 44 

Not a contributing wage earner j 7 1 '' 


: 9 

' 55 

24 
12 



l/ Includes widowed, separated, and divorced women, whose number 
is too small to be shown separately. 



14. 

Marital status again was an important determinant of eco- 
nomic responsibility of working women living in family groups, 
as it is for all women workers. Widowed and divorced women and 
women separated from their husbands carried heavier financial 
burdens than did women of other marital status: 44 percent of 
them were the sole wage earners in the household. Over half the 
married women ware one of two wage earners. Of the single women, 
44 percent were one of two contributors, and 44 percent were one 
of three or more contributors. Mereover, there ware about o 
tenth of the single women who were the sole wage earners in their 
families. 



TABLE 4. MARITAL STATUS OF EMPLOYED WOMEN, INTERVIEWED IN 1946, 
LIVING IN THE FAMILY HOUSEHOLD, AT© THEIR REASONS FOR 
WORKING 



Reasons for working 



Percent distribution 



All 
women l/ 



Single 



Married 



All women 

Full support of self 

Full support of self and contribute 

regularly to support of others 
To share family expenses; pool 

family income 
Special economic reasons 
Reasons not primarily economic 



100 



100 



100 



29 

35 

26 
6 

4 



55 

45 



68 

15 
9 



l/ Includes widowed, separated, and divorced women, whose number 
is too small to be shown separately. 



CHANGED PATTERNS OF CONTRIBUTIONS TO FAMILY SUPPORT SINCE 1944 

A comparison follows of the contributions made in 1944 and 
in 1946 to current family expenses by employed women living in 
family households. Approximately 90 percent of the employed women 
were living as members of family groups both periods. 

— Both in 1944 and 1946 the groat majority of those inter- 
viewed -- 97 percent and 94 percent, respectively --wore con- 
tributing regularly to family expenses. 



--In 1944 over half and in 1946 two-thirds 
contributing women wore married women. 



)f the non- 



— A marked difference between 1944 and 1946 is the increased 
proportion of women in 1946 who were contributing all of their 
earnings to a family group. In 1944 less than .ne-third of the 
women gave all they earned toward running the household; in 1946 



15. 

almost half gave the full amount of their earnings to the family 
kitty. This increase in family contributions was net limited tc 
any one group of women. In 1946 a much larger proportion than 
in 1944 cf both the married and the single women turned in all 
their earnings to the household expenses (the married in 1946, 
6R percent, in 1944, 39 percent} the single in 1946, 25 percent, 
in 1944, 19 percent). 

The following factors should be remembered in interpreting 
these increased contributions: (l) The double impact of lower 
earnings and higher living costs in 1946 necessitated larger con- 
tributions than in 1944 from individual women workers to the house- 
hold funds tc meet living expenses, and hence larger proportions 
of their earnings. (2) The composition of the groups are not 
entirely the same for the two years. Not all the women who were 
employed in 1944 were working in 1946, some changes in marital 
status had taken place, and the return of husbands from the ser- 
vice had altered family compositions. Therefore, financial needs 
of the two groups differ, 

Mrs. K's experience was similar to that of many Women 
workers : 

Mrs, K, a young married woman with a 12-year old 
child, worked tonfr-ro the war as a waitress. During 
the war she had a job as an assembler in the radio 
division of an electrical plant. In 1944 she lookod 
forward to stopping work when her war job ended and 
devoting full time to her family. In the 1946 inter- 
view it was found she had left the war plant in 1945, 
stayed home for 11 months, and then want back to work. 
Her comment was, "I must continue to work r.nd make ends 
meet due to the rise in the cost of living." During 
the war she "took home" in her pay envelope $31,00 and 
contributed half to household expenses, in 1946, $22.50 
and turned all in for current expenses. 



DEGREE OF SUCCESS IN CARRYING OUT POSTWAR PLANS I-IADE IN 1944 

Women interviewed in 1944 were questioned as to their post- 
war employment plans. On the return visits in 1946, it was found 
that for about 75 percent of the women their plans had material- 
ized. (It should be remembered that the resurvey was made in the 
fall of 1946 and not in the period immediately following VJ-day) . 

About three-fourths of the 300 women who were located for a 
follow-up interview had said in 1944 that they expected to con- 
tinue working in this area, after the war. Four ^ut of five of 
those with such intentions were able to realize thorn. Marriage, 
pregnancy, care of children, home duties, or illness of self or 
family had prevented the remaining women from carrying out their 



16. 

intentions, and they were no longer in the labor force at the time 
of the 1946 interview. 

The change in Mrs. B's 1944 plans was typical in many re- 
spects of the group which had withdrawn from the labor force: 

Mrs. B had been a textile worker in North Carolina 
before the war. In 1943 she and her husband came to 
Baltimore where she secured a job as a mechanic's helper 
in a radio plant. She left her son in North Carolina 
with his grandparents and sent money weekly for his 
board so that ho could finish high school and graduate 
with his class. When interviewed in 1944, I.Irs, B 
planned to keep on working after tho war. She was 
planning to work until she saved enough money to buy 
a home in North Carolina. However, on the revisit in 
1946, it was found she had been laid iff from her job 
in November 1945 and had not tried to find other work. 
The family had stayed on in Baltimore and her son, who 
had joined them, was working and contributing to the 
household expenses. Thus, contrary to her 1944 plans, 
she was still living in Baltimore and was out of the 
labor force and &t home keeping house for hor family. 

Of the small proportion of women (23 percent) who planned 
to give up work after their war jobs ended, one-half were unable 
to do so. This group was made up of the young war workers whose 
plans for marriage after tho war did not materialize, the married 
women who. felt the need for "helping out" owing to tho increased 
cost of living, and the women separated, widowed, or divorced 
during the 2-year period who new had to depend on their own re- 
sources for support of self and often of children also. 

Mrs. M was one of the married women who felt the noed of 
"helping out": 

Mrs. M, 37 years old, living at home with her 
husband and two small daughters, worked as a sheet 
metal helper in an aircraft plant during the war. 
She earned $40 a week and pooled her earnings with 
her husband's to meet the family expenses. She 
left the plant before VJ-day, intending to devote 
her full tine to hor family. However, some months 
later she found it necessary again to secure a job 
in order to share the increasing household expensos. 
She found work in a factory making men's hats and 
earned $29 a week, all of which she c-ntributed to 
the family upkeep. She commented on the high cost 
of living and on the necessity that both husband and 
wife work in order to meet expenses. 



17. 

Responses from two women to the mail questionnaires showed 
a decided contrast in their experiences after going home at the 
close of the war, 

Mrs, X, 3 7 years old, came to Baltimore during the 
war from a small rural community in North Carolina and 
worked as a sheet metal worker in an aircraft plant for 
90 conts an hour. Her husband and four children came 
with her. Her husband also found work. In 1944 she 
was making plans to return home after the war and to 
continue working. However, a letter received from her 
in 1946 said, "I left my war plant job in March 1945. 
We owned property before going to Baltimore. Since we 
came back, we purchased more and have been living on 
the farm, educating our children. Raised 12 hundred 
chickens and numerous other things that belong to the 
land of the South." 

Mrs. Y's experience was not a success story. She, 
too, was married and came to Baltimore from a small 
town in Virginia, Hor husband and four children came 
with her, and four in the family secured work in 
Baltimore, Mrs. Y earned $45 a week as a painter in a 
shipyard and also had two boarders, who brought in an 
additional $20 per week. In 1944 her plans were to go 
heme after the war and buy a farm with the money they 
had saved. However, in 1946 .she v<rrote, "I wish I had 
stayed in Baltimore, I am doing housework at 50 cents 
an hour - everything from cleaning windows to painting 
porches, bath rooms, etc, - as there is no work here 
suitable for me. None of my plans have worked out, 
and at the present there are no hopes. My husband is 
sick, We have all our money invested in an unfinished 
house, and unless I leave here to work, there isn't 
much hope cf finishing it." 



18. 



4. OVER -ALL ACCOUNTING OF THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD 



Information was secured from the workers, not only in their 
current (1946) employment status, but also on their experience 
over the 2-year period, October 1944 through the fall of 1946. 
This period covers approximately the last year of the war, at the 
end of which drastic lay-offs took place, and the year following, 
during which industry was converting to a peacetime basis. Thus 
the study gives a first-hand accounting of the adjustments made 
by one group of war workers from a war to peacetime economy. 

Only 55 percent of the 300 women interviewed were in the 
labor force (working or seeking work) during the entire two years 
covered by the study, but 90 percent were in the labor force some 
part of the 2-year period following the end cf their war employ- 
ment. 

Undoubtedly financial necessity was an influencing factor 
in keeping women in the labor force after separating from the war 
plants, for among the women who spent the entire two years working 
or seeking work, the proportion was greater of those entirely 
dependent on their own efforts for self support than of those who 
pooled their income with ether family wage earners. 

The high percentage (80) of the single women, compared to 
the 40 percent of married women, who remained in the labor f.^rce 
the whole period may also reflect the fact that almost all single 
women were dependent entirely on their own resources for support 
and consequently had to seek other jobs immediately on separation 
from a plant. 



SEPARATIONS FROM WAR PLANTS 

That the end of the war would bring substantial numbers of 
lay-offs was expected. In the weeks immediately following tho 
Japanese surrender, huge reductions in force took place in Baltimore, 
chiefly in aircraft and shipbuilding. At the large aircraft plant 
which, at the peak of war production employed some 20,000 women, 
reductions -in-fTce reduced the number of women workers to 2,500. 
Shipbuilding plants reported that of thousands of women who had 
been employed during the war, all but a few clerical workers were 
let out from the yards immediately following VJ-day. 

Unemployment compensation claims multiplied. Displaced 
women war workers represented half of the unemployed in Ealtimore 
2 months after VJ-day. 



19. 

In electrical equipment industries cuts were not quite so 
severe; one plant reduced its total of women workers from 2,900 
to 1,900; another cut down its total from 1,400 women to 500. 
Moreover, electrical equipment plants and one aircraft plant, in 
contrast to shipbuilding, recalled some of their experienced 
workers after peacetime contracts were secured and postwar produc- 
tion schedules set up. 

While VJ-day lay-offs accounted for more separations from 
the war plants than did any other one type of separation, it is 
well to consider them within the framework of all the separations* 



Time of Separations From War Plants 

The drastic lay-offs in late August and September 1945, 
immediately following VJ-day, affected only one-third (34 percent) 
of the 300 women included in the follow-up study. Nearly the same 
proportion (30 percent) of the workers had separated from war 
plants previous to that tine. A small group (15 percent) left 
the plants during months following the early post VJ-day lay-offs; 
and 21 percent did not separate from their wartime employment 
during the 2-year period. 

Of the women who separated before VJ-day, nearly one»third 
left the labor force and wore still in that status in the fall of 
1946. A small group secured jobs in other war plants, from which 
they were laid off immediately fallowing VJ-day. The remainder, 
over one-half, did not return to the labor force until after VJ- • 
day. 



Reasons for Separations From War Plants 

Separations from war plants were of two types: lay-offs 
and discharges ordered by the employer, and quits initiated by 
the employee. Lay-offs and discharges accounted for over half of 
all the separations, and quits for the remainder. The large 
majority (69 percent) of the women who quit of their own volition 
did so before VJ-day, and the mass lay-offs (69 percent of total 
lay-offs and discharges) took place around VJ-day. 

Almost all the lay- offs were ordered as part of a program 
of reductions in force necessitated by cancellation of war con* 
tracts and general curtailment of production? less than a tenth 
of the lay-offs and discharges were known to be discharges for 
reasons other than reduction in force. 

Quits were for numerous reasons, Woman quit more often 
for personal reasons than for reasons directly related to the job, 
Tho reason given for two-thirds of the quits was personal. Preg- 
nancy, and illness of the worker or of a member of her family 
W3re tho irmst common personal reasons for quitting. Also mentioned. 



20. 

however, were home duties, difficulty in having children cared for 
when mother was at work, to get married, to join a husband in 
service, to go back to housekeeping after the husband returned 
from service, to take a job that would continue after the war 
ended. Among workers who quit the plant because of dissatisfaction 
connected with the job, the reasons for resigning included work 
that was too hard, too low pay, objection to night work, poor 
working conditions, transportation difficulties, dissatisfaction 
with the work itself. 



OCCUPATIONS AFTER SEPARATIONS FROM WAR PLANTS 

As indicated above, about four-fifths- (79 percent) of the 
women interviewed experienced separation from their wartime place 
of employment. These 79 percent may be divided among those who 
had no jobs after separation and those who did: 

24 percent of all women i nterviewed had no jobs after 
sep aration from" their 1944~~employer : 

11 percent left the labor force immediately 
after separation from war plant, 

7 percent, after hunting suitable jobs for a 
period and finding none, withdrew from the 
labor force. 

6 percent had had no work after leaving war 
plants, and wero hunting jobs at time of 
the 1946 interview. 

55 percent of all the women interviewed had jobs after 
separation fFom their 1944 employer : 

7 percent shifted immediately to other plants 
and had no periods of unemployment. 

12 percent took a vacation and, when available 
for work, experienced no period of unemployment, 
but found a job at once. 

5 percent after a period of unemployment, having 
held no other job, were recalled to their war 
plant, 

33 percent experienced a period nf seeking work 
and eventually secured a new job. 



. "fl 



•.v' ■' 



21. 

Women Who Had No Jobs After Separation 

Immediate vri.thd.rpwa Is from the l abor force , - The group of 
womon (11 percent of the total interviewed), who withdrew from 
the lab or force immediately after leaving their war plant jobs, 
was made ur> almost wholly of married women. When interviewed in 
1944 they had been single women or married women whose husbands 
were in the armed forces. 

The majority left the war plants of their own volition 
before VJ-day; only a few stayed until they wero laid off. Per- 
sonal reasons — pregnancy, marriage, home duties, illness of 
self or others — accounted for almost all the resignations. 
The few who were laid off wore married and made no effort to 
find work in other plants. 

vrit hdrawnls from the labor force after a period of seeking work . » 
Tho women for whom withdrawal from the labor force was postponed 
by a period of jab-hunting were, like those who dropped out 
immediately after leaving the war plant, almost all married women. 
The noticeable difference in tho two groups of women is found in 
the reason for leaving the war plants. The majority of those who 
withdrew from the labor force had left their jobs voluntarily. 
The majority of this second group were laid off in the months 
immediately following VJ-day when substantial reductions in force 
took place, and they stayod on in the labor force as job-seekers 
for a time after dismissal. 



Women who had had no jobs after leaving the war plant and were 
seeking work at the time of "tho 1946 intervi ew. - Six percent of 
the women interviewed in 1946 had had no work since leaving the 
war plants but were, even so, seeking work. This group is im- 
portant, not because of its size, but because in the women's 
records is evidence of severe difficulty in finding work. Personal 
reasons (marriage, illness, pregnancy) or lay-offs had forced them 
to leave war plants. Their efforts to relocate in work adequate 
to their needs met with failure, in spite of long periods of seek- 
ing work. Almost all had been job hunting for 6 months or more, 
and over half had been actively seeking work for over a year. 

Women Who Had J Vbs After S eparation 

Of this group of women, about one-third had no difficulty 
in finding jobs when they were available for work, A few others 
took no job until recalled by their wartime employer. The rest 
had varying periods of unemployment before securing new jobs. 
When visited in 1946, the large majority (78 percent) were working, 
8 percent were again out of work, and 14 percent had left the labor 
force. 



22, 

Table 5 summarizes the experience of the 300 women inter- 
viewed in holding and obtaining jobs during the two-year period 
1944-1946, and presents their employment status at the time of 
the interview in 1946, 



TABLE 5. TWO-YEAR HISTORY OF JOBS AND 1946 EMPLOYMENT 
STATUS OF WOMEN INTERVIEWED IN 1946 





■r 




Percent c 


list 


ributii 


m 




Employment history ove 
the two-year period 


i Total . 


In If 


tbor force 
of 1946 


, fall 


'Had left 
'labor force 
! by fall of 
s 1946 




Total 


: Em- 


•Seeking 

d .work 


All women 




100 : 


100 


' 100 




100 


! 100 


No job after separation 
















from 1944 employment 




24 i 


8 


- 




55 




71 


Employed after separntif 


n 
















from 1944 employment 




55 : 


64 


67 




45 




29 


1 job 1/ 




29 : 


31 


30 




32 




22 


2 jobs 




19 '■ 


25 


28 




7 




5 


3 and 4 jobs 




7 '• 


8 


9 




6 




2 


Did not separate from 




i 














1 944 empl oyme nt 




21 i 


28 


33 




- 




- 



1/' Includes 15 women (5 percent of total number interviewed) who 
were separated from war plant, were subsequently recalled, and had 
had no intervening employment. 

About half the women included in the sturiy had worked only 
in the plant in which they were employed in October 1944. They 
were: (l) those who had never separated from the plant and were 
still employed there in 1946; (2) those who separated, were unem- 
ployed for a period, and then were recalled to work in the sume 
plants; and (3) those who separated and found no' other job during 
the period studied. 



Among the other half of the woman - those who found work 
in other plants after leaving the 1944 war plants - the most common 
experience was to have worked in one other job, A substantial number, 
however, had held two additional jobs, and, a few (7 percent of all 
women) had held three or four jobs subsequent to the war plant jobs. 



23. 

TABLE 6, EMPLOYMENT HISTORY OVER THE 2-YEAR PERIOD AS RELATED 
TO TIE WAR JOB OF WOMEN INTERVIEWED IN 1946 



Employment history over 
the two-year period 



All women 

Women who were employed in 
1944 plant only during 
two-year period 
Never separated 
Separated and recalled 
with no other em- 
ployment 
Separated and no sub- 
sequent jobs 
Women having jobs with ether 
employers after separa- 
tion from war plant 
1 job 
2' jobs 1/ 
3 or 4 jobs 2/ 



: 




Number 


of women 


with w 


Br- 


* Total 


time employment 


in: 




' Num- 
ber 


t Per- 


'Air- 


•Shin- 


'Elec- 




: cent 


craft 


building 


trical 


other 


J300 


: 100 


: 133 


40 


65 


- 42 


!l49 . 


50 ! 


51 


14 


59 


25 


, 63 • 


21 


10 


2 i 


37 • 


14 


, 14 


5 ] 


10 


- 


4 ! 


- 


: 72 


24 '' 


31 


12 


18 - 


11 


s 
,151 


• 50 


82 


26 i 


26 i 


17 


. 72 I 


! 24 


36 


13 5 


15 ' 


8 


, 58 ' 


J 19 


30 


' 12 i 


8 


8 


t 21 


! 7 


16 


( 1 « 


3 


1 



l/ Includes 8 recalls, all aircraft. 
2/ Includes 5 recalls, all aircraft. 



24. 
5. UNEMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE 



One cf the most important questions asked of the displaced 
war workers was how much time was spent in seeking new employment - 
not only to secure the first postwar job, but also to get sub* 
sequent jobs. 



UNEMPLOYMENT AFTER SEPARATION FROM THE V/AR PLANT 

Unemployment did not present a problem for half (51 percent) 
of the 300 women interviewed: the 21 percent who continued on 
peacetime production in the war plants; the 11 percent who rave up 
working after their war work ended; and the 19 percent who found 
another job (or jobs, if the first was not satisfactory) and lost 
no time between. Although not all in the latter group were em- 
ployed the entire period, none of them, when available for and 
seeking work, had difficulty in finding jots. 

The other half of the 300 women interviewed reported a 
substantial amount of unemployment, but the difficulty f r many 
seemed to be, not in simply getting hired, but in finding a suit- 
able job. Some (5 percent of the 300) were unemployed only until 
recalled to their former war plants* some (7 percent) left the 
labor force when their unemployment compensation benefits wore 
exhausted; the remainder (38 percent) spent substantial amounts of 
time in jobseeking - many as long as six months to one year. 

Since all these women had come from extensive periods of 
employment in war plants that called for relatively high skills 
and gave relatively good wages and working conditions, many cf 
the subsequent jobs offered them fell far short of being suitable. 
The great majority had worked on production jobs during the war 
as riveters, welders, machine operators, assemblers, and in- 
spectors, and many wished to continue to use their wartime- 
acquired skills. Moreover, due to unemployment compensation 
credits accumulated during steady war work, the majority of the 
women were financially able to spend considerable time shopping 
around for jobs. 

Particular difficulty in locating work is evidenced among 
older women and among Negro women. Women 40 years of age and over 
spent a much higher proportion of the time in the labor force 
seeking jebs than women under 40, Similarly, Negro wsmen spent 
proportionately more time seeking work than did white women. 



24. 
5. UNEMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE 



One of the most important questions asked of the displaced 
wnr workers was how much time was spent in seeking new employment - 
nrt only to secure the first postwar job, but also to get sub- 
sequent jobs. 



UNEMPLOYMENT AFTER SEPARATION FROM THE V, r AR PLANT 

Unemployment did not present a problem for half (51 percent) 
of the 300 wonen interviewed; the 21 percent who continued on 
peacetime production in the war plants; the 11 percent who rave up 
working after their war work ended; and the 19 percent who found 
another job (or jobs, if the first was not satisfactory) and lost 
no time between. Although not all in the latter group wore em- 
ployed the entire period, none of them, when available for and 
seeking work, had difficulty in finding jots. 

The other half of the 300 women interviewed reported a 
substantial amount of unemployment, but the difficulty f <r many 
seemed to be, not in simply getting hired, but in finding a suit- 
able job. Some (5 percent of the 300) were unemployed only until 
recalled to their former war plants j some (7 percent) left the 
labor force when their unemployment compensation benefits were 
exhausted; the remainder (38 percent) spent substantial amounts of 
time in jobsoeking - many as long as six months to one year. 

Since all these women had come from extensive periods of 
employment in war plants that called for relatively high skills 
and gave relatively good wages and working conditions, many cf 
the subsequent jobs offered them fell far short of being suitable. 
The great majority had worked on production jobs during the war 
as riveters, welders, machine operators, assemblers, and in- 
spectors, and many wished to continue to use their wartime- 
acquired skills. Moreover, due to unemployment compensation 
credits accumulated during steady war work, the majority of the 
women were financially able to spend considerable time shopping 
around for jobs. 

Particular difficulty in locating work is evidenced among 
older women and among Negro women. Women 40 years of age and over 
spent a much higher proportion of the time in the labor force 
seeking jobs than women under 40, Similarly, Negro WOTien spent 
proportionately more time seeking work than did white women. 



25. 

The experience of one woman, who felt that her age was the 
cause of not finding work follows: 

An attractive, young-looking white woman, 58 
years old, who had been a riveter in two aircraft 
companies during the war had difficulty in finding 
a job after she was laid off in August 1945. With 
her husband and six children, she had come from 
another State to join the horde of Baltimore's war 
workers. She and her husband were the only wage 
earners in the family. With this heavy economic 
responsibility, she felt it necessary to continue 
working to supplement her husband's earnings, but 
for 14 months after she lost her war job she was 
unable to find work. During this period she drew 
unemployment compensation for 4 months at $20.00 
a week, USES told her several times, "No jobs for 
your age." She said many companies advertised for 
women workers no t ov er 30 years of age . She and 
her daughter, 19", went 'together ' looking for work. 
It was easy for the daughter to find a job, but 
only matron's work was offered her. Finally, a 
radio corporation, where she applied "on her own," 
hired her as a bench worker. As a riveter on the 
war jobs she had earned |43.20 in a 45-hour week 
and $57,00 in a 48-hour week. She was happy, after 
her long search, to have the job as a bench worker. 
It was loss physical strain than riveting. In 
addition, she had her preferred evening shift which 
best fitted into the household schedule; her husband 
or 15-year old son could be with the young children 
during her work hours. 



UNEMPLOYMENT AT THE TIME OF THE 1946 INTERVIEWS 

By the fall of 1946, 14 percent of the women in the labor 
force were unemployed and seeking work (as compared with only 3 
percent of men and women unemployed in the country as a whole): 
8 percent had had no jobs since their war jobs; 6 percent had had 
one or more jobs, but personal necessities or dissatisfaction 
with such work had caused them to leave these jobs and again seek 
other work. 

Examination of the employment histories of the women wh» 
were unemployed in the fall of 1946 indicated that finding a job 
presented real difficulties for this group. The length of time 
they had been unemployed wns substantial. For over one-half of 
them it amounted to more thr.n 1 year; and for another one-fourth, 
6 months to 1 year. 



26. 

Almost all had been factory production workers during the 
war, a few had been clerical werkers. Among the women who had 
left postwar jobs to seek better ones, over half had left positions 
in service or trade industries, the others had left manufacturing 
and government jobs. As noted above, there is indication that age 
or race may have been grounds for the difficulty some individuals 
experienced in finding adequate jobs. 



LENGTH OF UBEMPLOYMENT PERIODS BETWEEN PEACETIME JOBS 

Periods of unemployment were much shorter between two peace- 
time jobs than between the last war and the first peacetime job — 
owing, perhaps, to the fact that, now, with limited or no unemploy- 
ment compensation credits remaining, many women could not afford to 
hold out for the type of jobs they preferred. 

Of the women who had two peacetime jobs, over 40 percent 
evidently found the second job before quitting the first, as they 
lost no time between jobs, and for 23 percent, time was lost between 
jobs due only to home duties or to reasons other than seeking work. 
Of those having three and four jobs, an even larger proportion went 
from job to job with no intervening periods of unemployment; they 
were chiefly women who left a given plant because of dissatisfac- 
tion with working conditions. 



REASONS FOR INABILITY TO FIND SUITABLE WORK 

To explain why women seeking work were unable to find suit- 
able employment, each case must be considered on its own, since in- 
dividual characteristics, abilities, and preferences are determining 
factors in ability to locate a job. One statement can be made, how- 
ever, which is applicable to a majority of the women seeking work 
in the fall of 1946: they had had no prewar working experience, or 
the experience they had had was not appropriate to the kind of 
work they wanted after the war. A substantial number (29 percent) 
hod not been employed before the war and could offer no working 
experience other than that they had in the war plants. Another 
part of the group (42 percent) had been in service industries be- 
fore the war, but, after their war work experience, were unwilling, 
almost without exception, to return to their earlier occupations. 



I1EANS OF OBTAINING POSTWAR JOBS 

Getting a job in the postwar period had proved a different 
proposition than finding work in war time. During the war any woman 
who wanted work could find a job by applying to any plant engaged 
in war production; sometimes she did not even have to go to the 
plant to apply but was approached by plant representatives carrying 
out extensive recruiting programs instituted to alleviate the man- 
power shortages. 



27. 

Though recruiting ceased at the end of the war, direct 
application was still a common method of obtaining jobs. About 
half of the postwar jobs obtained resulted from work seekers' 
direct application at company offices. Less frequently jobs 
were obtained, particularly in stores, by answering newspaper 
ads and, particularly in hotels, restaurants, and household em- 
ployment, through friends or relatives. Some jobs were secured 
in various industries through USES referrals. 

Still another way of securing a job was described: 

R S was discharged from a shipyard after almost 
three years as a tool room attendant. She set out to 
find another job, got a tip from a taxicab driver on 
an opening in the bottling room of a local dairy, 
applied at the dairy, and got the job. 



REASONS FOR LEAVING POSTWAR JOBS 

A summary of the reasons why women left all the postwar 
jobs from which they were separated is as follows: 

Percent 

Reasons for leaving jobs of jobs 

Total separations 100 

Resignations 86 

For personal reasons .... 48 

For plant reasons. ..... 38 

Lay-offs and discharges ..... 14 

A large majority of the women who left postwar jobs did so 
of their own volition; only 14 percent of all separations were 
lay-offs or discharges ordered by the employer. Resignations were 
more often for personal reasons (the women were needed at home, 
better jobs wore available) than for some dissatisfaction with the 
job itself. Dissatisfaction included unsatisfactory working con- 
ditions, too low pay, production drive too great, dislike for shift 
to which assigned, work too hard, poor physical conditions in the 
plant. Some women gave up their jobs in stores, restaurants, and 
laundries because they "just didn't like the job." 



EMPLOYERS' HIRING SPECIFICATIONS IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD 

Recognizing that difficulty in meeting hiring specifications 
might explain the failure of some displaced war workers to find 
jobs over an extended period, Women's Bureau agents were led, in 
interviews with eight Baltimore firms, to inquire what was company 
hiring policy on the specific matters of age, experience, educa- 
tion, marital status, race. Hiring specifications reported, so 
far as they wont, were indicative of the changes which had taken 



',• hi'".'"; 



r ■/■. ■■ 



28. 

place since the war period when manpcwer shortages and production 
demands led to a weakening, at least for the time being, of 
barriers in certain of the specific qualifications in question. 

The minimum age for new women employees was 18 years in all 
plants. Policy on maximum age was not so restrictive in half of 
the plants: three of the eight — manufacturers of aircraft 
frames and of apparel and a mail order house — stated they had 
no policy for maximum hiring agej and one electrical equipment 
plant gave a maximum of 65 years. The other four, however j had 
distinct restrictions; An electrical equipment plant did not hire 
women for production jobs unless they were younger than 35 years; 
After that age, the firm said, "according to tests, their muscles 
stiffen," and they are not as efficient on production as are 
younger women* For matrons' jobs, however, this plant hired women 
45 years of age* A plant manufacturing piston rings gave its top 
age limit as 40 years. A department store refused to hire women 
who were "too old," since they could not pass the rigid physical 
examination required by the store. A manufacturer of small metal 
parts said that "older women can't stand the pace," and went on 
to express a further preference for younger women when he said, 
"The younger ones don't generally have previous standards and 
therefore are not so critical or likely to complain." Age re- 
quirements for hiring were in general the same for men as for women, 
although officials of three plants reported that they were willing 
to hire men at a somewhat younger age than the minimum age for 
women. 

Three of the firms interviewed (farmer war plants) reported 
that they required experience of new employees. An aircraft plant 
was hiring no inexperienced women because it could find enough 
experienced veterans to fill vacancies. Two. isther factories — 
producing electrical equipment and closures — hired inexperienced 
workers only when there were no experienced applicants; however, 
as former war workers were undoubtedly available for recall, there 
seemed to bo little opportunity for the inexperienced worker. 

An educational requirement was mentioned by only two plants. 
The mail order house was hiring no women who had not had some high 
school training and was gradually working toward a minimum require- 
ment of high school graduation. One electrical plant required 
high school education for inspection jobs. 

Discrimination against rarried women was indicated in one 
instance, that of an electrical equipment plant in which such dis- 
crimination had been prewar national policy. The plant reported 
that curing the war, of necessity, married women were hired, but 
after VJ-day they were the first to be laid off, and none had been 
hired since. 



29. 

The principle of racial equality in hiring made substantial 
gains in Baltimore during the war when many of the important em- 
ployers, on recommendation of the War Manpower Cemmission, hired 
Negroes on production work for the first time. No plant contacted 
reported a policy specifically excluding Negroes. Only four — 
all manufacturing plants — reported a policy of hiring Negro 
women. 

Other requirements for hiring reported were: physical 
examinations, required by seven of the eight firms, for both manu- 
facturing and nonmanuf acturing jobs; simple trade tests given 
applicants in an aircraft plant; and intelligence tests for -some 
inspection jobs in an electrical equipment plant. 



WOMEN'S APPRAISAL OF THEIR PROBLEMS IN FINDING JOBS 

Some 50 women cited one or more factors which they felt had 
hindered them in finding work they were willing to accept. 

Most often mentioned as factors in inability to find work 
were; (l) Lack of experience and/or skill, (2) failure to meet- 
age requirements, and (3) few openings in jobs for which trained. 
Together, these three factors accounted for 44 percent of all the 
responses to the question on problems in finding work, Other 
factors cited were; 

1. Racial discrimination, (All women reporting 

were Negroes.) 

2. Available jobs undesirable, 

3. Only day jobs available; must work nights. 

4. Transportation difficulties. 

5. Inadequate pay. 

6. Only night jobs available; want day work, 

7. Educational requirements. 



EXTENT TO WHICH PERIODS OF UNEMPLOYMENT '.ERE COVERED BY 
• UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS 

Almost half the women interviewed (148) had had some period 
of unemployment. The extent to which Unemployment Compensation 
payments covered the time spent in job-hunting is shown in Table 7, 



30, 

TABLE 7. MONTHS WOMEN WERE UNEMPLOYED AND PROPORTION OF TIME 

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION RECEIVED 





Proportion of unemployed time 


for which 


Number of months 




compensation received 




unemployed and 


Total i 


No com- 


.Less than, 


: 25, less :50,less 


: 75 to 


seeking work 


women 


.pensation. 


,25 per- 


; than 50 :than 75 


: 100 








cent 


, percent : percent 


; percent 


Total women : 








! 




Numbe r « 


1/ 147 


! 39 


1.4 


32 : 35 i 


1/ 27 


Percent 


100 


27 


9 


22 i 24 


18 


14 months and over : 


13 


i 1 


2 


8 , 


2 ' 


- 


12, less than 














14 months 


18 


: 3 


3 


. 7 


2 


' 3 


10, less than 




I 










12 months 


11 


: 2 


- 


: 2 


3 


4 


8, less than 














10 months 


23 


'. 2 


1 


'. 2 


10 


8 


6, less than 














8 months 


20 


3 


: 1 


: 4 


5 


7 


4, less than 














6 months 


: 13 


5 


2 


2 


3 


\ 1 


2, less than 














4 months 


: 27 


9 


4 


5 


8 


: 1 


Less than 2 months 


: 22. 


: 14 


1 


: 2 


: 2 


! 3 



1/ Excludes 1 woman who did not report length of period of unemployment, 

It is apparent that less than one-fiftft of the women received 
unemployment compensation benefits during three-fourths or more of the 
period of their unemployment; less than one-fourth received benefits 
for one-half the time; and over one-fourth received no benefits at all. 
Payments of $20 a week, the maximum benefit allowed, was received by 
95 percent of the 108 women who received compensation, on the basis of 
the high wages earned during the war period. 

According to the Maryland State Unemployment Compensation Law, 
an individual who is involuntarily unemployed is eligible for Unemploy- 
ment Compensation as long as her wage credits last, up to a maximum of 
26 payments for each benefit year, providing she is available for work, 
registers regularly with USES, and does not refuse a suitable job 
offered to her by the Employment Service. 

In almost half (47 percent) of the cases where reasons for dis- 
continuation of payments were reported, the women had drawn all the 
benefits due them. Second most common reason was return to work, which 
accounted fqr 26 percent of the cases. Just less than a fifth (18 
percent) of the women had unemployment compensation payments suspended 
when they refused jobs offered them. The remaining 9 percent had their 
unemployment compensation discontinued for miscellaneous reasons, in- 
cluding unavailability for work, failure to register with USES, leaving 
the city, illness. 



51. 

6. INDUSTRY AND OCCUPATION CHANGES 



EMPLOYMENT BEFORE ENTERING WAR PLANTS 

Baltimore, like every other war production area, drew heavily 
on her reserve labor supply in order to meet war production quotas. 
Over 40 percent of the women included in the study had never been 
employed before the war and nad had no prewar work experience; 
three out of five having been housewives and nearly two out of 
five schoolgirls the week before Pearl Harbor. 

The group of women currently employed in 1946 who had worked 
before the war had been in many types of industries in that pre- 
war period. A third had been factory production workers, a fifth 
clerical workers in various industries, nearly two-fifths had 
worked at trade or service jobs, and the remaining group in mis- 
cellaneous other industries. As the apparel industry is the 
largest woman-employing manufacturing industry in Baltimore, it 
is not surprising that over two-fifths of those who had been 
factory production workers were clothing workers before the war. 
The other factory women were employed for the most part in other 
traditional woman-employing industries such as textile, electrical, 
and food. 

Considering the higher wages offered in the war plants, 
compared to the wages paid for most jobs in the consumer -goods 
and service industries, and considering the better working con- 
ditions in most war plants, it is understandable that such indus- 
trial and occupational shifts should have taken place. The sewing 
machine operators, cuff turners, trimmers, and silk twisters of 
the apparel and textile industries, as well as the salesgirls in 
the retail stores, the restaurant vraitresses, the hospital maids, 
the household employees, and other service workers, became the 
assemblers, riveters, testers and inspectors, welders, operators 
of metal-working machines, packers, and other workers in war 
plants. 

However, while the women usually gainfully employed on 
production work in manufacturing, in hotels and restaurants, and 
as household employees and other service workers were shifting to 
new jobs in new industries, nine out of ten of the prewor clerical 
workers transferred to war plants and continued in clerical work 
in war plants despite the possibility of higher pay on factory 
jobs. Lloreover, the women who went from manufacturing jobs or 
the service industries to clerical work were relatively few. Half 
of the women who shifted from work in stores chose production and 
half clerical work in war plants. 



32. 

INDUSTRIES AND OCCUPATIONS IN WHICH WOMEN 
WERE EMPLOYED IN 1944 

The bulk of the women had held war jobs in October 1944 in 
the aircraft, electrical equipment, and shipbuilding industries — 
44 percent in aircraft, 28 percent in electrical equipment f and 
14 percent in shipbuilding. Such a distribution was not unexpected, 
for these three were Baltimore's major war industries. The re- 
maining women (14 percent) were engaged in the manufacture of iron 
and steal products, cans f or chemicals, or were in government in- 
stallations that were engaged in manufacturing war materials. They 
were employed in many types of work: nearly two-thirds were on 
production jobs such as assembling, machine operation, testing and 
inspecting, riveting, welding, and other; and one-third ware on 
clerical or similar work. 



INDUSTRIES AND OCCUPATIONS IN WHICH WOMEN FOUND 
" THEIR FIRST PEACE r BIB JOBS 

About three-fourths of the women continued to work after 
VJ-day. l/ As noted in an earlier section, some continued to 
work in the same plant on peacetime production, some remained on 
the first job they secured in other plants, others shifted about 
to two or three or four successive jobs; and a small group waited 
to be recalled to their former wartime plants. 



Significant industrial and occupational shifts were in- 
volved in the change from wartime jobs in manufacturing plants to 
the first peacetime jobs. 

About throe out of five women who found peacetime jobs did 
so in manufacturing plants (the majority found work with their 
wartime employers ) e The others found work outside of factories, 
chiefly in the trade and service industries. For the women who 
shifted to other manufacturing plants, postwar jobs were for the 
most part in the industries producing nondurable goods — apparel, 
textile products, and food ~ which are the traditional woman- 
employing manufacturing industries. 

Industry Gro up of First Feacetime Job 

Percent 
Industry Group of women 

Total 100 

Manufacturing 59 

Wartime employer 35 

Other employer 24 

Retail and wholesale trade 16 

Service industries 16 

Other industries. 9 



l/ Of the 1946 labor force group, 57 percent had worked the week 
boforo Pearl Harbor and 42 percent wore not in the labor force at 
that time. 



33. 

For factory production workers a shift to another industry 
usually meant a change in kind of work* The wartime riveters and 
welders, for example, became peacetime machine operators, packers, 
wrappers, and inspectors. In contrast, clerical workers on the 
whole stayed in the same line of work; they formed a third of the 
total employed both in 1944 and among those on early peacetime 
jobs. For the women who shifted to nonclerical jobs in the trade 
and service industries, the occupations undertaken were entirely 
different and meant a complete readjustment. 

Occupation Group of First Peacetime Job 

Percent 

Occupation Group of women 

Total 100 

Factory production 39 

Wartime employer 20 

Clerical and related 33 

Sales and related 12 

Servico 14 
Other 2 



INDUS TRIES AND OCCUPATIONS OF 1946 JOBS 

Though all the former war plants operating in the fall of 
1946 had converted to peacetime production and, with the exception 
of the shipyards, were employing some women, the total number they 
employed was only a fraction of their wartime total. They were 
taking on new women employees only if they were experienced in 
certain particular kinds of work. This restrictive hiring policy, 
together with the great reduction in the numbers of employees 
needed for their peacetime production, was responsible for the 
shift back to the nondurable goods and trade and service industries, 

As the plants had converted to a peacetime production basis, 
so had this group of displaced war workers shaken down to a peace- 
time employment status. Employment changes had taken place after 
the first peacetime jobs. By 1946, ten percent more of the 300 had 
left the labor force, a few women had been recalled from other jobs 
by their wr.rtimo employers, and others had shifted about from job 
to job. These changes may be seen by comparing the industries in 
which the women were employed in 1946 with the industries in which 
they held first postwar jobs. In 1946 there had again appeared a 
slight rise in the proportion of women employed in manuf ncturing 
plants which, in turn, o«used a do-crease in the proportion in trade 
ajid sernop industries . 



34. 

A distribution of the employed women by the industry group 
in which they were working in 1946 shows: 

65 percent in manufacturing plants 

45 percent for wartime employer 

20 percent for other than wartime employer 

12 percent in retail and wholesale trade 

11 percent in the service industries 

12 percent in other miscellaneous industries 

Leaving aside the 45 percent of the women who were still or 
again employed by their war employers, the remaining 55 percent of 
the women employed in 1946 had found .jobs in factories (apparel, 
food processing, iron arid steel products, and various other manu- 
facturing plants), retail and wholesale trade, service industries, 
government, communications, and other industries. 



1946 EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND OCCUPATIONS COMPARED WITH 
1944 WAR PLANT OCCUPATIONS 

The following detailed analysis of the individual women's 
major wartime and peacetime occupations is shown in order to throw 
some light on the queries, so often put to the Women's Bureau: 
"To what extent are former war workers currently employed in the 
same occupations as their wartime occupation? If they have changed, 
from what war jobs did they shift and to what current jobs?" 



WART HE OCCUPATION - 1944 



PEACETIME OCCUPATION AID EMPLOYT.fENT 
STATUS - 1946 



42 - 



assemblers and bench 


7 


workers 


4 




4 




8 



drill press, punch press, 11 
and other machine 1 

operators 1 

7 



assemblers and bench workers 
factory production workers other 

than assemblers and bench workers 
clerical workers 

other (telephone operators, sales- 
women, beauty operator, house- 
hold employees). 
5 - seeking work 
14 - hrd left labor force 

machine operators 
inspector 

clerical worker 

other (telephone operator, nurse, 
saleswoman, laundry operator, 
waitress, household employee) 
5 - seeking work 
10 - had left labor force 



(Cont'd) 



35* 



29 - testers and inspectors 



13 - testers and inspectors 
2 - factory production workers 

other than testers f.nd inspectors 

1 - clerical worker 

2 - other (saleswoman, waitress) 

4 - seeking work 

7 - had left labor force 



27 - riveters 



2 - riveters 

8 - factory production workers other 
than riveters 

3 - clerical workers 

2 - other (saleswoman, waitress) 
4 - seeking work 
8 - had left labor force 



15 - welders 



2 - clerical workers 
4 - other (saleswoman, waitress, 
laundry worker, nurse) 

4 - seeking work 

5 - had left labor force 



92 - clerical workers 



51 - clerical workers 
5 - factory production workers 
8 - other (telephone operator, sales- 
woman, beauty operators, 
waitress, own business) 
5 - seeking work 
23 - had left labor force 



A similar analysis of the principal war industries points 
up the fact that the majority of the women employed in 1946 in 
manufacturing plants were working for their wartime employers on 
peacetime production. Relatively few had found jobs; in other 
plants. The wartime electrical workers were the most fortunate 
in continuing in their same line of work; the shipyard workers, 
the least. This latter group also seemed to have had the greatest 
difficulty in securing suitable peacetime jobs, as one-third of 
those desiring employment in 1946 were out of work as compared to 
about one-tenth of the women who had worked in the various other 
war industry plants. 



36. 



WARTIME INDUSTRY - 1944 



PEACETIME II© US TRY AND EMPLOYMENT 
STATUS - 1946 



133 - in aircraft plants 



28 
24 



12 

10 
10 



2 - 



in same manufacturing plants as 

in 1944 
in other manufacturing plants, 

such as apparel, food, electrie- 

al, iron and steel 
in wholesale and retail trade 
in personal service industries 
in miscellaneous industries 

such as public utilities, 

government, insurance, and 

rgal estate 
in own business 

12 - seeking work 

35 - had left labor force 



85 - in electrical products 
plants 



41 - in same manufacturing plants 
as in 1944 
9 - in other manufacturing plants 
3 - in retail trade 

3 - in personal service industries 

4 - in miscellaneous industries 

6 - seeking work 
19 - had left the labor force 



40 - in shipyards 



2 - in same manufacturing plant as 

in 1944 

3 - in other manufacturing plants 
6 - in wholesale and retail trade 

4 - in personal service industries 
4 - in miscellaneous industries 

9 - seeking work 
12 - had left the labor force 



37. 

7. EARNINGS AM) HOURS 

EARNINGS 

Comparison of Gross Earnings in Fall of 1946 With Wartime Earnings 

Generally lower earnings than were reported during wartime 
were not unexpected among the employed women interviewed in Baltimore 
in the fall of 1946. Such an over-all trend was an inevitable 
result of the generally shorter workweek and of the shifting to 
nonwar industries where rates of pay would tend to be lower than 
they had been in war plants. For women fortunate enough to have 
survived the VJ-day lay-offs or, though laid off at the end of 
the war, to have been recalled subsequently, the shortened work- 
week, in itself, was enough to cut earnings somewhat from what 
they had been during the height of war production. Even harder 
hit, however, were women who went to work for other employers, 
for they felt not only tho economic effect of shorter hours, but 
also of generally lower rates of pay, ' 

The general reduction in oarnings is evident from a com- 
parison of the women's average $50 earnings for their last normal 
week on war work with the $37 average for their last normal week 
on jobs held in 1946. Ninety percent of the employed women interviewed 
in 1946 were working for less money in 1946 than on their wartime 
jobs; the earnings of about half were from 25 to 50 percent less 
in 1946 than their wartime pay. For the women Who in 1946 were 
working for their wartime employer (either because of continuous 
employment or recall subsequent to termination) the average at 
the later date was $44; for those working in 1946 for other than 
their wartime employers, earnings averaged $31. The loss of the 
wartime overtime pay for the former group was partly compensated 
for in some plants by "across-the-board" pay increases. Women 
who went into other manufacturing plants fared slightly better 
than those who took jobs in other industries; the women in the 
factories were averaging $32 weekly, while women in other jobs 
wore making, on the average, $29 weekly. 

The smaller proportion of women with high earnings in 1946 
than during the war further emphasizes the difference in earnings be- 
tween the two periods. The bulk of the wartime earnings fell in 
the high brackets. Nearly half the women earned $50 or more a 
week, whereas in 1946 not even a tenth of the women who were em- 
ployed earned this much. 

In the change from wartime to peacetime, not only did the 
greatest decrease in the percent of workers occur in the very 
highest wage-bracket jobs ($50 and over) but the greatest increase 
occurred in the very lowest wage-bracket jobs (under $30). Only 
1 percent of the women received wages under $30 on their war jobs, 
as compared to 27 porcont of those who were working when inter- 
viewed in 1946, 



38. 



Weekly gross earnings 
Average week's earnings 

All women 

Under #30 
$30 s under $40 
$40, under $50 
$50 and over 



On war jobj 
(91 women) 

$50 

Percent 
of women 

100 

1 
16 
36 
47 



On 1946 jobs 
(176 women) 

$37 

Percent 
of women 

100 

27 

35 

29 

9 



Women on factory production work in 1946 fared a little 
better than women in clerical positions; their respective average 
earnings were $40 and $39. On their war jobs, women production 
workers averaged $52 as compared to the $43 averaged by clerical 
workers . 



Earnings on All Jobs Subsequent to Last War Job 

An analysis was made of the earnings on all the jobs held 
by all the ?;omen who shifted from the war plants to subsequent 
jobso This analysis excludes women who worked continuously with- 
out a break in the plant where employed in wartime, women whe 
left the labor market, and women who never had a job after 
separation from the war plants. 

As previously stated, approximately one-half of the women 
who shifted from war work to peacetime jobs had one peacetime job; 
one-third shifted twice, and the remainder to three or four jobs. 
The average last normal week's earnings for all those who had one 
job was $32. A considerable number of those who had two jobs 
evidently benefited by the change, as the average for the group 
increased from $28 for the first job to $32 for the second. The 
averages for those who had three or four jobs also showed pro- 
gressive increase, from $26 to $28 to $34. 

A more accurate picture of the effect of the trend to lower 
earnings is apparent when the individual woman's experience is 
considered in relation to her earnings on her war job, rather 
than in relation to the number of jobs she held. Eighty-eight 
percent suffered a decrease from wartime earnings on every job 
they held. Of the women having one job (for the most part cleri- 
cal workers and those operating their own businesses), 86 per- 
cent earned less in 1946 than on their war jobs, 14 percent 
earned more. Of those having two or more jobs, 89 percent 
earned less on every j<?b, 11 percent more on. only one of the 
several jobs held. 



: ii i ;*- ; -■;"•„: ' *' 



'■Uk- 



#r<\ 






/ 






39. 

A larger proportion of the wartime production workers than 
of the clerical workers showed a decrease in earnings in their 
subsecuent jobs; also, the amount of the decrease for the clerical 
workers was proportionately smaller. As previously stated, the 
large majority of the clerical workers continued after the war in 
the work for which they were trained and consequently experienced 
a smaller cut in earnings than the many production workers who 
secured jobs in new fields. 

Take-home Earnings in 1946 

Even more significant than the gross earnings was the actual 
amount in the pay envelopes after legal deductions for social 
security and income taxes had beon made. (That many of these 
women continued pay-roll bond deductions is doubtful.) The average 
net earnings were $31 — certainly a small amount for a worker to 
depend on to maintain an adequate and healthful standard of living. 



HOURS 

The Shortened Postwar Work week Compared to Wartime Hours 

The general trend toward a shorter workweek since the war 
is shown by an examination of the weekly hours reported for the 
jobs hold in 1944 and for the 1946 jobs. 

ITinoty-five percent of the women had a scheduled workweek 
on their war jobs of 48 hours or longer (oither on straight 
scheduled weeks of this length or weeks of alternating hours which 
averaged this much), whereas only 22 percent of the women employed 
in 1946 were working as long as 48 hours. 

While the 6-day, 48-hour schedule was the usual workweek 
during the wpr, and 60 percent of the women worked these hours, 
the 5-day, 40-hour week was found to be the most usual for the 
women on their 1946 jobs. Nearly two- thirds of the women wore 
working these hours or less. 

Alternating shifts - working 5 days end 6 days in alterna- 
ting weeks - were a wartime moasure and were seldom found on 
peacetime jobs. 

Individual Workers' Experiences 

Mrs. A was earning $48.36 far 48 hours V as an 
electrician's helper in the shipyard when laid off in 
August 1945. After hunting work for a month, she took 
a job as b saleswoman, was paid $28 for 40 hours, and 
was still there when revisited in 1946. 



3/ All earnings quoted are gross earnings, as reported by worker. 



40. 

Mrs. B worked as a riveter in an aircraft plant. 
At the time she was laid off in August 1945, she was 
earning $48,10 for a 48-hour week . She was out of 
work for 13 months during which time she received 
unemployment compensation for 16 weeks, then found a 
.job in a Venetian blind factory and received $23 for 
45 hours. She was still there in 1946. 

Mrs. C, a painter in an aircraft plant, earned 
during the war #51 for 54 hours . She resigned July 
1945 and was out of the labor force 4 months. She 
then got a job as box decorator in a factory at $18 
fo r 40 hours , worked there 2 months, left because of 
Tow pay and, losing no time between jobs, went to a 
leather factory, where she was earning $33 c 80 for 48 
hours as an assembler and paster in 1946. 

Miss D, a sewing machine ©perator in an aircraft 
plant, was making $59 for a 45-hour week when laid off 
at the end of the war. She was unemployed for 1 month, 
then found work as a sewing machine eperater in a 
clothing plant and was paid $ 24 for 40 hours . When 
again laid off, she got another jzo at once in another 
apparel plant, *ere she was earning $28 for a 40-hour 
week when interviewed in 1946. 

Miss E, a clerical worker in a war plant in 1944, 
was earning $4 1.60 for 48 hour s. When laid off August 
1945 she hunted work for 1 month until she took a job 
as salesgirl, earning $26 for 40 hours . She worked 
there 1 month but left because she did not like the work 
or the company and again was a job seeker for a month, 
when she found a clerical job in a library as a stenog- 
rapher. There she was -earning $26.73 for a 40-hour week 
when revisited in 1946. 

' Miss F, an aircraft riveter, was oarning $5S for a 
48-hour week when laid off in August 1945. She took a 
month's vacation between jobs, and then took a job pre- 
ppring vegetables in a food plant, earning $27 for 48 
hours. She worked there 6 months, when she was called 
back by her wartime employer to her former job, where her 
earnings were $47.84 for a 40-hour week in 1946. 



41. 
8. .JOB COMPARISONS - PEACETIME JOBS AND WAR JOBS 



To ascertain how peacetime jobs differ from those women had 
during the war, Women's Bureau agents asked each of the women in 
the labor force to compare the job she was doing in the fell of 
1946 with the job she had held in 1944. If she was not presently 
employed, but had had another job subsequent to leaving the war 
job, the comparison was made between the last job held and the war 
job. ; 



JOB CHANGES OF WOMEN WHO WERE STILL IN PLANTS WHERE THEY 
. ' 'HAD' WORKED "IN ~19_44 

Reconversion to peacetime production had brought about re- 
adjustments which usually meant that, even though the woman was . 
working in the same plant as that in which she had worked during 
the war, her job wos a different one than her war job. A few 
women, however, who had continued to work during the entire 2- 
yeer period in the nlant in which employed in 1944, or who had 
been recalled subsequent to termination, reported no change in 
job content. The work they were doing in the fall of 1946 was 
the same as that they had been doing two years previously. Those 
whose occupations continued unchanged were clerical workers, 
cafeteria workers, and an industrial nurse (all of whom performed 
functions unaffected by the product of tho plant), and a few 
factory production workers, chiefly assemblers, machine operators, 
and inspectors. 

More often, however, workers still employed in the plants 
in which they had worked during the war reported changes in job 
content. 

These reports express the opinion of the worker and are 
not based on technical analyses cf job content. Further, the 
changes reported by the workers varied greatly in nature and ex- 
tent. However, certain generalizations can be offered from a 
compilation of their answers. 

(l) Evidence that the dilution of jobs which was character - 
istic of war production wds giving way to consolidation of duties 
\vns found in the fact that women frequently reported that their 
postwar work involved a greater variety of duties then did their 
war war Tel Guoh~ increased variety in the job, however, demanded 
broader skill and made the work mere interesting. 



42. 

Mrs. S, a riveter during the war, was discharged and 
later recalled to the same position. However, because the 
aircraft plant was converting war planes for use as com- 
mercial airliners, in place of manufacturing war planes, 
her work had changed considerably. In 1944 she was on a 
bench job on the assembly line, working exclusively on top 
and side panels, staying in the same spot all day long. 
Working on the conversion of army C-54 , s to commercial DC-4's, 
she had a variety of riveting jobs, working on the entire 
plane. Her work involved more physical strain because she 
had to climb U P on scaffolds, in and out of the plane. The 
variety of tasks assigned her also required more skill, and 
she was constantly learning new variations in riveting. 

Miss B S, a wartime riveter at an aircraft factory, 
was transferred to assembly. Work as an assembler was 
more interesting because it involved a variety of jobs, 
only one of which was riveting; for the same reason it re- 
quired broader skills. Assembly involved riveting, filing, 
fitting in bolts, and many other operations; it required 
the worker to make decisions as to parts to be used and 
procedure to be followed} it required, she said, "brain 
work" and "head thinking," as opposed to riveting which was 
"just holding the gun in place nil day long and steadying 
herself against the 'jumping* " Assembly, she felt, em- 
phasized mental capacity, while riveting was primarily a 
matter of physical endurance. 

( 2 ) Transfers to other jobs within the plant resulted in 
women doing work quite different from their war work . Some found 
it easier working on the new job, some more difficult; some were 
pleased with their new assignments, others did not like thorn as 
well as their war work. 

A welder in a shipbuilding plant, who was transferred 
by the firm to a factory clerical position, found her new 
work loss strenuous, less hazardous, and cleaner; welding 
had been hard on her eyes and throat. 

A solderer in an electrical equipment plant, who be- 
came a bench hand, was not as satisfied with this job as 
with her war job. Her bench work involved stripping 
rubber from cords and was hard on her hands; she had to 
be trained to work up speed in order to earn a piece- 
work bonus. 

A wartime electrician in an aircraft plant was re- 
called to take a job as an assembler. For 30 days after 
being recalled she worked directly under a higher-rated 
assembler in order to learn the duties of the new work. 
Assembly, she said, was harder work than was electrical 
work because it required heavy drilling' and constant standing. 
It was a more responsible position, too, because of the 
danger of damaging expensive materials; as an electrician, 
a mistake meant only replacing one small wire. 



43. 

( 3 ) Pr ornot i or is over the 2-year period resulted in women 
doing work which differed from that which they did during the war , 

A junior clerk in the office of an aircraft plant was 
promoted to senior clerk. Her new job presented greater 
variety of duties and increased responsibility. 

The case of Miss R, who had been a computor in the 
structural engineering division of a large aircraft plant, 
is an illustration of an even more far reaching change in 
job content. Early in 1946 she was promoted to the position 
of junior stress analyst. This work, considerably more 
responsible than that which she did as a computor, required 
the worker to plan her own work and make decisions independ- 
ently; whereas a computor's job was classified aa a non- 
technical job in the engineering department, her present 
job was in the first grade of technical jobs. This pro- 
motion was not, as might be thought, simply an advancement 
as a result of seniority and satisfactory performance, for, 
in addition to the background training she received during 
all the time she was a computor, she also completed two 
university night school courses in structural engineering, 
one of which was sponsored by the firm for which she worked. 
She pointed out that though her own work changed consider- 
ably as a result of her promotion to a higher-rated position, 
the work of the structural engineering department is the 
same now as it was during the war. She explained that the 
procedures involved in testing the airplane are quite con- 
stant, regardless of whether it is to be used as a warplane 
or a commercial airliner. 

(4) The readjustments in production not only changed the 
nature of the work ff but also, in some cases, increased or lessened 
the workload of the individual worker. 

A record clerk in nn aircraft plant, who kept records 
of changes in design and production, found that the end of 
the war meant that her work was greatly increased because 
the plant did a great deal of retooling and refcngineering. 
Furthermore, she had the added responsibility of training 
new workers since she was the only experienced person in 
her work. 

A timekeeper in & war plant, on the other hand, found 
her postwar job of timekeeper in a plant manufacturing tin 
cans to be easier because she had fewer workers for whom to 
keep time. 



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44. 

(5) An indication that the increased supply of labor had 
led to stricter production demands by management is found in the 
reports of some women - both office and plant workers - who felt 
that supervision was closer in postwar employment than it was in 
the Si.ro plants during the war. 



POSTWAR JOBS OF WOMEN WHO WENT INTO MANUFACTURING PLANTS OTHER 
THAN THE ONES IN MICH THEY WORKED DURING THE WAR 

The variety of manufacturing industries in which women found 
jobs after separation from their war jobs has been discussed in a 
previous section. Products of those plants differed considerably 
from war industry products. 

It is natural that, with greater diversity in type of in- 
dustry, the comparison of later jobs in these plants to jobs in 
war plants should reflect the divergence. Only among the cleri- 
cal workers were answers somewhat uniform. The girls who found 
jobs in offices of manufacturing plants found their duties much 
the same as during the war, though working conditions, almost 
without exception, wore reported to be less desirable than they 
had been in the war plants. Also, women often reported finding' 
themselves in somewhat more responsible positions, since postwar 
jobs ware in smaller plants. 

Production workers' answers varied greatly. More often 
than not, women found the jobs in civilian factories required less 
skill than those they had held in the war plants; more often, toe, 
they found them physically easier. Working conditions varied: 
some women reported them better, some not as good, and seme about 
the same as on the war jobs. 

A 3 felt she was worse off in her postwar job 
than she was during the war* Her war job as a 
riveter in an aircraft plant Was easy because the 
pace was leisurely. After leaving the war plant, 
she tried two other jobs and, at the time of tho 
1946 interview, was working as a machine operator 
in a candy and chewing gum factory. In this job 
she had to watch two machines and had to be more 
alert than as a riveter. Working conditions in tho 
chewing gum factory were not what they were in the 
war plant: she missed tho nice ladies' lounges, 
the rest periods, and the "smoking time" she had had 
as a war worker. 

V C presented a happier case. She, too, had 
beon a riveter in an aircraft plant and transferred 
later to a job as a cleaner. When interviewed in 1946, 
however, she was employed as a crane operator in a 
plant manufacturing steel wire. She entered the plant 



45. 

inexperienced in crane operation and was trained on 
the job by her supervisor; she learned the work easily 
and got her first raise after she had been there only 
5 weeks. V C said, "There's an art to running a crane," 
and felt her 1946 work was far more skillful than her 
war job. "It's strenuous," she said, but "I can take 
it." Though working conditions at the aircraft plant 
7/ere good, they were even better in the present plant: 
workers hud individual lockers, clean dressing rooms, a 
matron to assist them, shower rooms, and -a noderately- 
priced cafeteria. Of the plant personnel policy she 
could not be too complimentary: "They do everything 
for their employees." But what delighted her most about 
her job was the future it hold for her, which was a most 
important consideration with her because she was a young, 
divorced woman with two children dependent upon hor. 
She had been promoted several times and had seniority 
over 43 m<m in her department; she was next in line for 
a factory clerical position which she was looking for- 
ward to because it would be less taxing work. 



JOBS IN TRADE COMPARED YflTH JOBS IN WAR PLANTS 

The many women who were employed in trade establishments 
in Baltimore at the time of the 1946 follow-up were working at 
jobs distinctly different from the production jobs in the factories. 
There are no operative positions among salesgirls in the retail 
stores and among the specialized clerical positions in the mail 
order business to compare with the factory production jobs. The 
bulk of the women who want into trade were in jobs of the two types 
just mentioned. 

Apparently sales work was easily loarned, for none of the 
wemen roported any period of training, and a number of them felt 
that their selling jobs required less skill than the jobs they had 
had in '.Tar industries. Often reported, too, was that work in 
stores was cleaner and quieter than work in factories, though the 
constant standing made the work tiring. As with every other type 
of work into which women shifted after war jobs, satisfaction with 
the now jobs varied among individuals ; 

Some, like Mrs. M (a timekeeper in an aircraft 
plant during the war) who had said at the time of the 
wartime interview that she did not care to continue 
in that occupation after the end of the war because 
she felt capable of assuming more responsibility than 
work as a timekeeper involved, found sales work satis- 
factory. She considered a salesgirl's job "much higher 
class" than her war work and "clean, nice, and refined." 
She found working conditions in the store more desirable 
than in the war plant and the pace of work more leisurely; 
in war work, she snid, employees woi-e "hounded and driven." 



46. 

But Mrs. F, an exriveter, also went into sales work 
and compared it unfavorably with work in the aircraft 
plant — so much so that she quit after working 2 months. 
She said, "Sales work is too tough; it just doesn't pay- 
to do store work." She wants an "industrial job with a 
5-day week and off at 4:30." 

Women in clerical jobs at the mail order house were working 
in various capacities peculiar to that business; eontrol clerk, 
invoice clerk, exchange adjuster, stock clerk, biller, index clerk, 
collection clerk, error correction clerk. The firm had given them 
training, either on the job or in central classrooms; one woman 
who became a collection clerk was trained for 8 full weeks. On the 
whole, the women found that their jobs in the mail order house 
were more responsible than their war work, requiring nore concen- 
tration and attention to detail. This fact, together with the pro- 
duction quota system by which the firm requires each employee to 
get out a stipulated amount of work, led to comments of "terrific 
pressure" and "nerve-wracking work." 

In addition to retail sales and mail order jobs, there were 
other openings in trade. Some women had found jobs in the offices 
of stores; one ex-shipyard worker had gone back to her prewar em- 
ployer, a grocery supermarket, and was a supervisor; one woman 
had become n buyer in a dress shop, one a packer in a grocery ware- 
house, one a charwoman in a department store. 



JOBS IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRIES COMPARED WITH JOBS 
IN WAR PLANTS 

Jobs in the service industries had gone begging during the 
war. The higher wages offered in manufacturing plants had drawn 
women from restaurants, hotels, hospitals, laundries, and domestic 
employment into factor;' jobs. But with cut-backs in factory em- 
ployment after the end of the war, some women who hr:d to find other 
jobs went back into the service industries. As among women who 
held other postwar jobs discussed above, their satisfaction and 
reasons for satisfaction varied. 

Many women became restaurant waitresses, and their com- 
parisons of that work with the work they had done in the war 
plant presents interesting contrasts. Some of the women who be- 
came waitresses found the work cleaner than their jobs in war 
plants had been, 

L B, who had been a tack welder in a shipyard, 
said that her chief objection to her war job was 
that it was dirty work; only the fact that she made 
good money and did not have to work too hard made up 
for the dirtiness of the work. 



47. 

M 3, another waitress, also liked the cleanness 
of restaurant work; she said she had done factory wort 
during the war "just out of patriotism," 

F S and S B found waitress work preferable to thoir war 
work, in still other respects: 

F S liked the opportunity she had in the restaurant 
to take it easy when there were no customers, whereas 
the war plant had been a constant grind except for rust 
periods. 

S B had objected to her riveter job because it 
was confined to one process and to standing in one 
place, while her waitress work afforded somewhat more 
variety. 

There were other waitresses, though, for whom this work com- 
pared unfavorably with what they had done during the war: 

Mrs. S S found waiting on table more fatiguing 
than her work as a punch press operator. She had to 
work hard in order to make the tips which determined 
her earnings. Her war job required mechanical skill, 
whereas "a waitress' brains have to be in her feet," 
In the war plant, furthermore, she did not have the 
rush periods which are characteristic of the mealtime 
business in restaurants. 

A number of the women thought that working conditions in 
the restaurants in which they were employed did not measure up to 
what they had been in the war plants. One woman complained of 
the fact that she had no scheduled eating period. 

Besides the waitress job there were other positions in 
restaurants in which exwar workers found jobs: 

A hostess-waitress, who had done. the work of 
a cashier in a company cafeteria during the war, 
commented that she was doing work which she con- 
sidered of comparable skill to hor war work but 
was getting less money for it, 

A dishwasher said that though her job required 
little skill, it was considerably harder than her 
job as a fire watchman in a shipyard. 

Another dishwasher complained of much less pay 
than during the war and no premium overtime. 

A kitchen helper found the restaurant kitchen 
"stuffy and dirty." 



48. 

Laundry jobs, on the whole, wore not favorably compared 
with war jobs : 

A flatwork folder said the laundry was always 
too hot and damp. 

A shirtline operative conplained because working 
conditions in the laundry were poor and her job un- 
interesting. 

A hand ironer found her work more strenuous than 
that of a cleaner in tho war plant where she only 
"pushed a broom"; in her laundry job she had to work 
steadily and stand continuously; tho humidity was un- 
comfortably high, and she had rest periods only in the 
summer. 

Ono woman, however, provided an exception to the 
general rule of dissatisfaction with laundry work. 
She had been a spot welder's helper in an aircraft 
plant and had found the work so heavy she could not 
do it well; she hod had to hold large propeller parts . 
which were difficult to grasp because they were so 
awkward; she had never felt that she did the job 
efficiently. Her work as a sorter in a power laundry 
she could handle well, and she understood it more 
thoroughly. Even though the war plant was a nicer 
place to work « cleaner, adequate women's facilities, 
more pay — she was happier in her postwar work because 
she had the self satisfaction of knowing she was doing 
a good job. 

The work of a beauty operator was another occupation which 
attracted women after release from war plants. This job was unique 
among the jobs in the service industries in that it required a 
long period of specialized training; Maryland State law requires 
a beauty operator to train for 1,000 hours, equivalent to twenty- 
five 40-hour woeks, in order to obtain a license. 

Some women found a beauty operator's work dis- 
appointing, like A S after her experience as a teletypist 
in an aircraft plant. Not only had she liked her war 
job because it was office work, but she had found it 
interesting because it required mental skill and con- 
centration. Beauty culture, she said, was purely manual 
and she found it tedious, non-varying, and uninteresting. 

H H, on the other hand, felt that tho work of a 
beauty operator required her to use her cwn judgment, 
whereas her work ss an expeditor in the aircrnft plant 
had been "just doing what comes naturally." H H felt, 
furthermore, that training in a specific trade, such as 
beauty culture, would always make it easier for her to 
earn a living. 



't r ■ . 



50. 

H C found that the greatest difference in her new- 
position in her father's business from the job she held 
in the war plant was in the matter of skill and responsi- 
bility. Her new work required broad knowledge of the 
business, which she had because she had been associated 
vith it all her life. It was a position of responsibility, 
too, if production and service were to be maintained. 
Her war job, on the other hand, had been routine, and, 
in comparison, simple — just taking meal checks in the 
cafeteria of the plant. Though she had no formal period 
of training before going into catering as a full-time 
job, her father was training her more intensively in 
managerial end administrative duties, sinee she might 
hove to run the business when he retired. 

Mrs, E L was another exwar worker running a business. 
She and her husband decided to buy and operate a small 
restaurant-beer parlor. Ker husband had not been entirely 
weld since being injured in the First World War; they 
felt that, in a business of their own, he would have bene- 
ficial freedom from routine hours. They bought their 
rostaurv-.nt in June of 1945, and Mrs. L left the aircraft 
plant where she had boon an assembly supervisor for 3-g- 
years. Eoth felt more secure after buying their business. 
They were located just across the street from a large 
factory, and much of their trado was from workers at 
this plant. Menus were published a day ahead of time, 
and the factory workers ordered their next day's lunches 
when they came in' each noon. Then each day, about 10 
minutes before the crowd was due, waitresses and cooks 
served up the orders that had been given the day before. 
This eliminated the time the customers would waste 
waiting for their food, a distinct convenience to them 
since they had only -|--hour lunch period. — Mrs, E L and 
h';r husband managed the business jointly. She had com- 
plete charge of the kitchon, of buying food, and of 
hiring oooks. He managed the bar. Both waited on 
trade as they were needed. 



JOBS IN GOVERNMENT COMPARED WITH JOBS IN WAR PLANTS 

The municipal and Federal Government offices in the Baltimore 
area provided job openings for a number of wnnen who had been war 
workers. The offices of the Social Security Board and the Mari- 
time Commission, the puhlic schools. and public libraries, and a 
nearby army camp were among the Government agencies where women 
were working at the time of the follow-up study. 



51. 

Three of the women were operating tabulating machines at 
the offices of ono of these agencies in 1946: 

One had been a clerk-typist in an electrical plant 
during the war; she found her new job involved greater 
responsibility, though she was not working as hard as 
. she' did at the war plant; working conditions, she said, 
were better than they had been at the war plant. 

A former electrician's assistant in a shipyard 
found her work as a card punch operator required more 
concentration and greater accuracy than her war job; 
she received 6 weeks' training in this job when she 
first came to work there; except for pear lighting, 
she, too, considered working conditions superior to 
what they had been in tho war plant. 

The third woman had been an assembler in aircraft. 
She said her new work was less strenuous physically, 
but more mental concentration was involved than in air- 
craft assembly. In her estimation, working conditions 
in this office did not come up to what they were at the 
war plant. She was now in an old, crowded building, 
but during the war her working quarters had been clean, 
modern, and comfortable. 

Two other women reported - one less, one greater satisfac- 
tion an her 1946 job: 

R B, a former solderer in an electrical equipment 
plant, went into a job with the municipal government 
and was somewhat dissatisfied with it. She was a kitchen 
helper and janitress at a public school, which work, 
she said, was less skillful and much harder on her than 
her war work had been. She was on her feet constantly, 
whereas she could sit all the time at the war plant. 
Furthermore, she said she was unhappy in this new job 
because she had become well-accustomed to war work and 
hadn't been able to adjust to her present job. 

But a former clerk in an aircraft plant found that 
her new job as a stenographer in a public library was 
satisfactory. The stenographic position 'required more 
training, more skill, and involved more duties than did 
her war job. She liked working in a library better than 
in the aircraft plant. 



;••'.. i ,». 



52. 

JOBS IN THE TELEPHONE COMPANY 

The telephone industry provided job opportunities for many 
displaced women war workers. The company trained all in- 
experienced women for a period of at least 2 weeks. For special 
jobs — long distance, teletype — additional training was given. 

As with every other type of postwar job, the comparison 
with the war job, as reported by each woman, varied with the in- 
dividual: 

E J found the work of a telephone operator par- 
ticularly interesting; the company had teletype facili- 
ties in her local exchange, and she had been trained 
for handling teletype equipment part of the time. She 
thought her new work less strenuous than her job as an 
assembler in an electrical plant had been but that it 
required more concentration. Working conditions at the 
telephone company ware excellent. 

K B was pleased with her telephone work, too. 
She liked the feeling of teamwork in the operator's 
job; she had worked entirely by herself in her assembly 
work in the aircraft plant. She was also more satis- 
fied working in a place where she could wear street 
clothes; she disliked wearing overalls to work every 
day, as she hr.d had to do at the war plant. 

R G, however, was dissatisfied with a telephone 
operator's job. She disliked the split shift and close 
supervision. She found the work less skillful than 
that of her war' work as a patternmaker in a shipyard, 
but requiring more concentration. P'urthermore, her 
postwar work was nerve wracking, because each operator 
carried too heavy a load. 

M G had somewhat the same objections to telephone 
work* She said she had "too many bosses," and, though 
the v;ork was not as strenuous physically as her work as 
an assembler in an aircraft plant had been, she pre- 
ferred the factory work. A telephone operator's job, 
she said, is nerve wracking because of the heavy traffic 
through the switchboard. 



53, 



9. JOB PREFERENCES 



The question of job preference is an important part of 
the whole question of job satisfaction. Certainly a worker who 
is in work she prefers is more apt to be satisfied with her job 
than one who is not in a field of her preference. 

Each of the 222 women who was in the labor force at the 
time of the fellow-up study was asked what kind of work she pre- 
ferred. All but 15 of them expressed a preference. 



JOBS THE WOMEN PREFERRED 

Approximately three out of four who preferred particular 
jobs would like either factory productive or clerical jobs, as 
shown in the following summary: 



Job preference Percent of Women 

All women reporting 100 

Factory production job ..... 41 

Assembler and bench hand 10 

Sevang machine operator 2 

Other machine operator 10 

Riveter ..... 3 

Welder 1 

Tester and inspector 8 

Packer, wrapper, sorter 1/ 

Other production worker 7 

Factory maintenance or service worker 1 

Clerical or related worker 31 

Soles or related worker 3 

Restaurant or hotel employee .. 3 

Laundry employee ..., l/ 

Beauty operator. 2 

Household employe o l/ 

Other service employee 2 

Telephone operator . 4 

Teacher and nurse 1 

Other professional worker 2 

Own or family business 2 

No preference, 7 



_l/ Less than one-half of one percent. 



54. 

The most popular of the factory jobs were assembly and 
bonch work machine operation (other than sewing machine), and 
testing and inspection. Though riveting and welding havo often 
been considered the "glamour jobs" of the war plants, they ware 
not often mentioned as preferences. Only four-tenths of tho 
women who were riveters and welders during the war preferred 
these jobs; many women found such work nerve wracking and too 
strenuous physically. Clerical workers , though they prefer desk 
jobs, fool there is little difference between one office job 
and another and did not specify any industry. Household em- 
ployment and laundry work were erch mentioned only once: one 
woman liked household work because she enjoyed the duties inherent 
in that job, while the woman who listed laundry work as her 
preference (as described above) said she would rather do that 
v. r ork than anything else because she understood it well and could 
do it efficientlv. 



REASONS GIVEN FOR JOB PREFERENCES 

Reasons given by individual women for preferring par- 
ticular jobs over other jobs they oould do were varied. In manu- 
facturing jobs, and usually metal-using plants were specified, 
women mentioned good pay, interesting work, and desirable working 
conditions as reasons for preferring that kind of work. A number 
of the assemblers mentioned the fact thxt this work requires 
manual dexterity, and they like working with their hands. Testers 
and inspectors liked the responsibility connected with testing 
and final inspection. Women who preferred clerical jobs did so 
because they enjoyed the work, because they were trained for it, 
because working conditions are desirable. 

While such reasons as listed above are those which were 
commonly reported, there were many women who had unique reasons 
for preferring jobs: 

R M liked tin inspection because the rhythm of 
the work (flopDing tin plates to inspect for flaws) 
makes the day pass quickly. 

AW preferred a beauty operator's job because she 
enjoyed making people look their best; since she liked 
the work she did not find it as tiring as clerical work 
which she had done previously. 

V VT reported secretarial work as the job of her 
choice; she liked it because it was women's work, and 
she felt that if one is proficient in that line, one 
can always find a desirable job. 



55. 

The story of M V illustrates a preference based on individ- 
ual circumstances : 

Mrs. V, widowed early in life and in need of 
support for her small children and herself, had done 
housework and home laundry work until, during war 
production, she got a job as a cleaner in one of 
Baltimore's aircraft plants. She worked there until 
terminated in the VJ-day reductions in force. Her 
physical condition and advanced age (she is over 60 ) 
would have made it impossible for her to return to 
the kind of work she hid done before the war, had sho 
wanted to do so. When a Women's Bureau agent inter- 
viewed her in 1946 she was employed as a button sewer 
in a men's garment plant, and, for the first time in 
her life, on a job she liked. To Mrs. V being able 
to work in a clean, warm workroom and to sit while 
she worked were important factors in determining that 
this job was her preferred work. She liked her sewing 
job at much less money better than her war job because 
working conditions were highly regarded by her. 



EXTENT TO WHICH W0I.IEN WERE WORKING AFTER THE WAR 
ON JOBS THEY PREFERRED 

A majority of employed women, at the time of the follow-up; 
study, were on jobs of their preference. Nearly two-thirds of the 
working women were doing the kind of work they preferred to do. 
The ratio was even higher among clerical and factory production 
workers: four of every five of the women employed in these jobs 
were in the kind of work they preferred. However, women working 
in retail trade and service industries were not, as a group, so 
well satisfied with their work: only about one in every three pre- 
ferred work in these industries. 



EXTENT TO WHICH WOMEN PREFERRED THEIR PREWAR JOBS 

Apparently the job shifts which occurred after the war re- 
sulted in greater job satisfaction, for while about two-thirds of 
the womon employed in the postwar period were working on jobs of 
their preference, in only about half the cases where women had 
worked before Pearl Harbor was the prewar job her preferred work. 
There is considerable variation, however, in the comparisons of 
prewar with preferred jobs, depending upon the kind of work in 
which the women were employed before the war. 

Nearly two-thirds of the women who had left prewar jobs in 
the traditional woman-employing factories preferred factory jobs, 
but not in the 'Women's" industries; they preferred, rather, to 
work in metal-working plants. 



56. 

A large majority (78 percent) of those who were in clerical 
work before the war, and most of whom stayed in the same kind of 
work during the war, preferred such jobs. 

Only 14 percent of the women who had been in trade end 
service industries before going into war plants (they represented 
more than one -third of the prewar workers) listed work in these 
industries as their preferred jobs. 

Although over 10 percent of the prewar workers had been 
household employees, only one preferred this work in the postwar 
period* 



57, 

10. EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK IN 1946 



The job chances for Baltimore women during reconversion 
and in the normal peacetime production to follow was investigated 
in interviews with personnel officials of oight Baltimore business 
organizations — in both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing in- 
dustries. 

In nonwar industries, the nature of production varied little 
during the war, though volume of production was lessened because 
these industries, declared nonessential by the War Manpower 
Commission, were unable to get workers. In the early postwar 
period these plants had numerous openings, many of which were for 
women. One men's clothing plant hired women on all jobs except 
hand pressing; only 18 of the 173 jobs in the plant were held by 
men, A mail order house reported 2,500 women's job openings, the 
bulk of which were clerical positions. A retail department store 
reported about 325 women's job openings, in sales, clerical, and 
stockroom work. Such jobs were the same ones women had always 
held; the nature of the work did not change during the war nor 
did new "job opportunities for women develop as a result of war pro- 
duction. 

In plants that formerly manufactured war goods, the story 
was different. Interviews were held with officials of a large 
aircraft plant, two electrical equipment manufacturers, a plant 
making piston rings, a machinery plant, and a company which manu- 
factured closures and cans. The product of some of these plants 
had been different during the war than in the fall of 1946. Each 
reported that new job opportunities for women had been created 
during the war, either by the changed method of production or by 
the necessity for hiring women when men were not available, but, 
with production back on a peacetime basis and more men in the labor 
market, not all these jobs were still open to women equally with 
men. 

In the aircraft plant women seemed to have made sub- 
stantial gains: before the war woman had not teen employed in 
aircraft production, but during the war were taken on in many 
capacities — as assemblers, riveters, sheet metal workers, elec- 
tricians, in sound proofing, and in the paint shop — and some 
still were employed in all those jobs in peacetime production. 
The plant's personnel official reported that jobs on peacetime 
production required more versatility than did war jobs; and that, 
though individual operations in the manufacture of commercial 
planes were essentially the same as in mass production of war- 
planes, ^vorkers were assigned more diversified tasks. This same 
plant also reported women on more white-collar jobs than before the 
war and specifically mentioned a woman patent attorney and women 
engineers. 



58. 

Both electrical oquipment plants reported in interviews 
that though women had been placed in "men's" jobs during the war, 
men took over these jobs again in the postwar period. In one 
plant where women had been taken on for the first time as truck 
operators, welders, crane operators, and messengers during the 
war, management was filling the positions with men as the women 
left; some attempt was being made to place these women in other 
"women's" jobs without loss of wages or grade. The other elec- 
trical plant reported that the jobs new to women during the war — 
lathe, drill press, and other machine operation, tool room work, 
and testing — were considered "men's" work, and no women were 
kept on these jobs after the war. This plant maintained that its 
war product was more suitable for the employment of women, because 
of the weight factor and the skill required, than its peacetime 
product. 

Information from two of the metal working plants was 
similar; though thoy had had women on new jobs during the war, 
such jobs had been taken over by men again. One of these em- 
ployers said that regular production in the plant, as opposed to 
war production, was unsuitable for women because of the necessity 
of handling large castings and parts. 

The third plant, however, had created new positions for 
women as a result of war experience. Machine operation jobs had 
been re-engineered so women could handle them, and, in the early 
postwar period, women wore still retained in those positions. 



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60. 

(This sheet to be filled out only for women either now employed or 
seeking work) 



II Job experience and plans 

Do you expect to continue to work? Yes ^^^^^ No 



Give reasons for your employment plans 



YThat was your usual job before the war? 



What kind of work do you. prefer? 
Give reasons 



If employed, compare present job or if seeking work compare 
last job with 1944 job as to duties, skills required, retraining, 
dilution of job, plant working conditions, etc. 



If, since you left the 1944 job, you have refused any jobs 
offered 3 r ou, give jobs and reason for refusal. 



If, since you left the 1944 job, you have applied for any jobs 
and been refused, give jobs and reasons. 



Comment on problems in finding work. (Age, lack of experience, 
sex, etc.) 



III Personal Characteristics 

> - ■ ■ 

Age: 

[71 Under 20 

Q 20-25 

j_J 25-30 

□ 30-35 
[_J 35-40 

□ 40 - 45 

\ [ 45 or over 

Living arrangement: 

I j Apart from your family 

IV Family Responsibilities 



Race : 

Polite 
j \ Negro 
□ Other 



61. 

Marital status: 
|Z3 Single 

j_~] Married 
Widowed 
Divorced 



j | With your family 



How many persons in your family household, including 

yourself? ___ 

What is their relationship to you? 

How many 14 years and ov«r? . How many under 14? 

Who are the members in your family household who are working? 

(Excluding yourself) 

Of these, which ones contribute re gularly to the household 
expenses? 

What is your regular contribution to the household expenses? 

Amount Period 



If there hns been a change since last interview (Fall, 1944) 
in your marital status, living arrangements, number in household, 
family responsibility, explain. 



V Resident Plans 

Did you live in Baltimore before the War (Dec. T 4l)? 

Yes No 

; to return home 



Do you plan to remoin here 
move elsewhere . If so, where ? 



or 



Agent 
Date