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Trends of Employment and Labor Turn-Over
Labor Force, November 1946
WHO IS COUNTED IN THE LABOR FORCE
Labor force.-Persons 14 years of age and over who are
Employed. Those who, during the census week, (1) work
The civilian labor force, employment, and unemployment remained virtually unchanged between October and November, according to the Bureau of the Census Monthly Report on the Labor Force. In November 1946, approximately 58,970,000 persons were in the civilian labor force, including 57,040,000 employed and 1,930,000 unemployed.
Unemployment remained close to the 2-million mark for the fourth successive month. Approximately 4 out of 5 persons seeking work in November were men; nearly 2 out of 5 were veterans.
An increase of 10,000 in employment between October and November represented the net effect of divergent movements in agricultural and nonagricultural employment. The number of farm workers declined seasonally by 720,000 during the month as fall harvests were completed in many areas. Nonfarm employment expanded by 730,000, largely reflecting the continued inflow of veterans and the usual shifting of men and women from farm to nonfarm activities at this time of year.
Note on Census revision
The Census Bureau has revised its labor force estimates, July 1945 to October 1946, in order to take account of improved estimates of the male civilian population now available for this period. The main effect of the revision on the current estimates is to lower non
agricultural employment by about 350,000. Revised estimates of labor force, employment, and unemployment are shown in the accompanying table. For more detail, see United States Bureau of the Census, Monthly Report on the Labor Force (MRLF-No. 54), December 16, 1946.
Revised estimates of total labor force in the United States, classified by employment status and sex, July 1945 to November 1945
[Source: U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census]
Total labor force consists of the civilian labor force and the armed forces. All data exclude persons in institutions. Estimates of the armed forces during the Census week are projected from data on net strength as of the first of the month.
Summary of Employment Reports for November 1946 GAINS during November 1946 raised employment in nonagricultural establishments to practically the wartime peak of December 1943. Preliminary estimates indicate that seasonal increases for trade in December will raise the total above the high point of the war years.
The gain of 287,000 employees between October and November primarily reflected increases of more than 200,000 each in manufacturing and trade. The only declines were in contract construction (176,000) and in government (41,000).
Manufacturing employment was 14,970,000 in November, about 21⁄2 million above the reconversion low in February 1946. Of the 209,000 added to factory pay rolls in November, 194,000 were production workers.
Industrial and Business Employment
By far the largest single gain in production-worker employment was in the food group, which normally experiences a seasonal decline at this time. The increase of 49,000 production workers in food manufacturing was concentrated in the slaughtering and meat-packing plants which expanded production schedules after the ending of price controls.
Other increases of more than 10,000 production workers each, between October and November, were reported by the iron and steel, nonelectrical machinery, textiles, and electrical machinery groups. Lesser increases were reported by all but two of the remaining groups with only apparel showing any decline.
Although employment in the automobile industry was only 4,000 above the October level, the number of production workers was 223,000 above a year ago. This was the largest gain over the year for a simple industry, with iron and steel and nonelectrical machinery following close behind.
TABLE 1.-Estimated number of employees in nonagricultural establishments, by industry
Total estimated employment 1
Contract construction and Federal force-account construction.
Finance, service, and miscellaneous.
Federal, State, and local government, excluding Federal forceaccount construction..
Textile-mill products and other fiber manufactures.
Leather and leather products.
1 Estimates include all full- and part-time wage and salary workers in noragricultural establishments who worked or received pay during the pay period ending nearest the 15th of the month. Proprietors, selfemployed persons, domestic servants, and personnel of the armed forces are excluded.
Paper and allied products.
Printing, publishing, and allied industries.
Products of petroleum and coal..
Estimates for manufacturing have been adjusted to levels indicated by final 1944 data made available by the Bureau of Employment Security of the Federal Security Agency and are comparable with the production-worker estimates shown in table 2.
TABLE 2.—Estimated number of production workers and indexes of production-worker employment in manufacturing industries, by major industry group
Estimated number of employees (in thousands)
Estimated number of
November November November November 1946
13, 110 793 1, 014 3,871
Production-worker indexes (1939-100)
The estimates and indexes presented in this table have been adjusted to levels indicated by final 1944 data made available by the Bureau of Employment Security of the Federal Security Agency.
From the end of hostilities to November 1, 1946, more than 1.6 million persons have left the pay roll of Federal war agencies-half a million outside the country and 1.1 million within the continental area. Although most of this numerical decline occurred in the War and Navy Departments, a gradual climb on the part of the War Assets Administration (to a total of 57,000 on November 1) masked a drop of almost three-fifths in the employment of the other war agencies. The drop reflects the abolition of 14 agencies, including the Office of Censorship, Office of War Information, and War Manpower Commission, etc., as well as the gradual dismantling of some of the others.
Moving in the opposite direction, the Veterans Administration and Post Office Department led the agencies in the peacetime group with a gain of 200,000 during the same postwar period, while others in this group, such as the State and Labor Departments, which are absorbing the dwindling functions of abolished war agencies, had a net addition of 40,000 workers.
In spite of these opposing trends in the war and the peacetime agencies since VJ-day, war agencies had over half the 2,438,000 total Federal employment on November 1, 1946. This figure was 34,000 lower than on October 1, but it does not represent a stabilized postwar level, further retrenchment being required on the part of both war and peacetime agencies by congressional action taken last June and by continued Budget Bureau vigilance over employment ceilings.
In the postwar period under discussion, two women were dropped from full-time Federal positions within continental United States for every man dropped; until on November 1, 1946, women occupied only 29 percent or substantially less than a third of such positions, as compared with 40 percent at the war's end.
Within the Washington, D. C., area, the men-women changes have been even more dramatic-one man has actually been added to the pay roll for every three women taken off. This has reduced the proportion of women in Washington from 61 percent at the war's end to 48 percent on November 1, 1946.
Unfortunately it is not known how many of the women leaving the Government service have left voluntarily.
The Federal pay rolls shown here consist, for the most part, of two biweekly pay rolls, or pay for 4 weeks. Three biweekly pay periods ended in November 1946, however, and as a result the pay rolls are abnormally high and cannot be compared with the pay rolls for other months. At present a method of adjusting Federal pay rolls to a calendar month basis is being worked out and the adjusted figures