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Full text of "Evidence study"

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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NATIONAL RECOVERY ADMI NISTRATIO N 

AKH 8 1S36 — " 



DIVISION OF REVIEW 



EVIDENCE STUDY 

NO. 7 

OF 



THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY 



Prepared by 
SOUTHGATE HAYNIE 



JUNE, 1935 



PRELIMINARY DRAFT 
(NOT FOR RELEASE: FOR USE IN DIVISION ONLY) 



THE EVIDEl^CE STUDY SERIES 

The EVIDENCE STUDIES v/ere original]. y planned as a means of gathering 
evidence Gearing upon various legal issues v/hich arose under the National 
Industrial Recovery Act. 

These studies have value quite aside from the use for which they were 
originally intended. Accordingly, they are ncy made available for confidential 
use within the Division of Review, and for inclusion in Code Histories. 



The full list of the Evidence Studies is as follows; 



1. Automobile Manufacturing Ind. S3. 

2. 500 t and Shoe Mfg. Ind. 24. 

3. Bottled Soft Drink Ind. 25. 

4. Builders' Supplies Ind. 26, 

5. Chemical Mfg. Ind. 27. 

6. Cigar Mfg. Industry 28. 

7. Construction Industry/ 29. 

8. Cotton G-ar/ient Industry 30. 

9. Dress Mfg. Ind, 31. 

10. Electrical Contracting Ind. 32. 

11. Electrical Mfg. Ind. 33. 

12. Fab. Metal Prod, Mfg., etc. 34. 

13. Fishery Industry S5. 

14. Furniture Mfg. Ind. 35. 

15. General Contra.ctors Ind. 37. 

16. Graphic Arts Ind. 38. 

17. Gray Iron Poimdry Ind. 39. 

18. Hosiery Ind. 40. 

19. Infant's & Children's Wear Ind. 41. 

20. Iron and Steel Ind. 42. 

21. Lea,ther 43. 

22. Lumber & Timber Prod. Ind. 



Mason Contra.ctors Industry 

Men's Clothing Industry 

Motion Picture Industry 

Motor Bus Mfg. Industry (Dropped) 

needlework Ind. of Puerto Rico 

psinting 3: Faperhanging & Decorating 

photo Engraving Industry 

Pl-umbing Contracting Industry 

Retail Pood (See No. 42) 

Retail Lumber Industry 

Retail Solid Fuel (Dropped) 

Retail Trade Industry 

■Rubber Mfg. Ind, 

Rubber Tire Mfg. Ind. 

Silk Textile Ind. 

Structural Clay products Ind, 

Throwing Industry 

Trixcking Industry 

Waste Materials Ind. 

Ifholesale & Retail Food Ind, (See No. 

Ifliolesale Prelsh Fruit & Veg. 31) 



In addition to the studies broijght to completion, certain materials have 
been assembled for other industries. These MATERIALS are included in the series 
and are also made available for confidential use within the Division of Review 
and for inclusion in Code Histories, as follows: 



44. Wool Textile Industry 49. 

45. Automotive Parts & Equip • Ind.. 50. 

46. Baking Industry 51. 

47. Canning Industry 52. 

48. Coat and Suit Ind. 53. 



Household Goods & Storage, etc. (Drop-' 
Motor Vehicle Retailing Trade Ind, ped) 
Retail Tire -5: Battery Trade Ind, 
Ship & Boat 31dg. & Repairing Ind, 
Wholesaling or Distributing Trade 



L. C. Marshall 
Director, Division of Review 



c»^:i%\. \f\^^ 



CONIEMS 

Pa;?:e 

CniP[CEE I - THE IIATUBE OP TIIE IHDUSTHY 1 

Hrxiter of Plants, Estalalishiients or Units 1 

lliun'ber and Classification of liemliers 1 

The l\riua"ber of FlantB, EstaLJ.isliraents or Unito 

in Each State 4 

Capital Investnent , 5 

ll-uifoer of Eailures 5 

Total Value of Products and Volume of Produc- 
tion , ,, 5 

CBLAPQSE II - LABOR STATISTICS 9 

H-ui-nher of Employees 9 

Total Annua,l Ifeges Paid ty the Industr;- , 9 

Average Ho\irl:/ TJaee Sates 13 

Average Hours Uorked liTeekly "by Bvdlding Con- 
struction Workers 16 

Average Weeks Worked Per Yee.r Per Employee 20 

UiunDer of Emplojrees Under 15 Years Old 25 

IKijnher of Employees in Each State 26 

Per Cent Which Total Wages Paid in Eive States 
is of Total Volume and Total Annu^d Wages 

Paid in Each State 27 

CHAPTER III - I'lATERIALS ; RAW AiH) SEMI-PROCESSHID 29 

Principal Materials Used in Construction, the 
Estimated Value of Es-ch s.nd the Per Gent 
wliich Each Comprised of AJ.1 Materials Re- 
ported As Used 29 

Total Material Costs in the Construction In- 
dustry 20 

Imports hy Years, 1929 Through 1934, of Speci- 
fied Prodxicts Consvxisd in YAiole or in Part in 
the Construction Indu.stry 31 

IT-oiiher of States Wliere Specified Semi-processed 
Ifeterials and Specified Tj'pes of Machinery, 
Used in Whole or in Part in Construction, Are 
lirniifactured, an-d the Total Value of the 
products Listed. 34 

Product or G-roup of Products Wliich ire Produced 
in 35 '"or Eewer States 

ITeiaes of States Engaged in Mining G-ypsiua 35 

Qij^jitity, Value and Per Cent of G-yps-ujn Consrixiied 

liy the Construction Industry............ 36 

Per Cent of Total U. S. Haaiufacturing Prod\\ction 

Consumed in Cons triact ion in 1929 37 

Shipments of Domestic Portland Cement from Hills 
into Hon-cement and Cement-Producing States 
in 1931 and 1932. 39 

Amount Spent for Machiner;-- and Equipment 39 

Percentage Wliich Materials Costs Are of Total 

Voltuae 39 

General Da.ta on production Materials Used in 

Construction • • ^ 

8311 -i- 



COIITEITTS (Cont'd) 

Paisre 

CH.APEBE lY - PHODUCTIOIJ MD DISTPJBIHIOII 41 

YoJLue of Coiistrf.ction in Poiii' Representative 

States • 41 

lTat^^l■•e of Advertising Media Used, 41 

Shifts in Voli-ime Tdj C-30gra.ph.ic ilreas 41 

Productive Capacity of Construction Industry 42 

Per Cent of Productive Capacity Utilized 42 

Other Information • '^'^ 

CHlPoER V - TPJfflS PRACTICES • . . • '^ 

Unfair Trade Practices Prior to the Code and 

Their Effect Upon the Industry ^ 

Trade Practices, Wliich, Because of Abusive Use, 

jjecaxie Detrir;ient?l „ 

Unfair Trade Pr.actices Which Are prevalent Hoy, 

Insteiices Waeve Unfair Trade Pi-actices in One 
Area Have Spread to Another A^-ea or Affected 
the rioT/- of Interstate Comuerce • • • 

Effect of Prices Q;aoted hy Individ-oal LlemTDers 

in an Area uoon the National Price Structm-e 

■ "49 
of the Construction Industry?-,, .,,.»..........•••.••• ••••• 

CHAPTER YI - THE IlIDUSTRY - C-EHERjUj IjJFORIvliffllOH. ^ ^. 

Brief History of the Construction Industry..., '^^ 

CHiBACTSRISTIC DE'ffiLOPMEHTS lil GEIISRAL 

BUILDIHG CCHSTRUCTIOH S IlIGB 1923 5*^ 

CHARACTERISTIC BEYELOFIvElITS III HEAYY CON- 

STHUCTIOII • ^^ 

CHARACTERISTIC DEYELOPMSIMTS III STREET PAYING .. , 

MID EIGHUAY COHSTRUCTIOil ^^■ 

CHARACTERISTIC DEYEL0P1.IE1TTS JUiONG SUBCOIIIBJICT- ^ ' 

IHG GROUPS ' '5^ 

Brief History of Trade Associations and Coopera- * . 

tive Activities Uithin the Construction In- 
dustry and Ifejnes of National Associations '"/ 

in Indus tTj ,«•.... • • • • ^^ 

Histor-'- of RelE.tionshi-0S Bet\7een Lolior and ,•. / 

Il£,na^ement • 

Representative Character of Employer Associa- , l, 

tions Sponsoring Code • • 

La'oor Groups and Numhers of Hem'bers in Each 

in the Constru.ction Industry. v-'- 

The Pinaiicial Condition of the Industry in 
1933 as CoLToared to Its Condition in 1929 

and 1931. . .\ ^^" 

Effect of Code on Construction Industry 

Qjualified Memoers of the Construction Indu-stry 

Uell qualified on the Indu.s trj'" ' s Prohlems ^^ 

Quelif ied to SpeoJ- Aliout Then. 



8311 ~ii- 



T1A.3LES 1/ 



Page 



I Classification of Meabers of the Construction 
Industrz' According to Codified Divisions in 
Hiich Tt.eir Fiinction, with the H-iutfoer of Mern- 
hers Shown fo:.; Each Division in 1929, 1933 
and 1955, and a Classification of Llemljers in 
the Divisions Covered hy the 1929 Census of 
Constraction According to Those PLeporting 
Volumes Greater Than $25,000 Each and Those 
Reporting Vo3-VjneK of Less tho.n $25,000 Each 2v^ 

II Ifoiahers of Menfoers of the Construction Indus- 
trjr in 1929 as Eeported hv the Census of 
Con&tracticn hy States. 4-5 

III Eanl:ruptcies Reported hy Dun and Bradstreet as 
Constraction Code Insolvencies in the Four 
Quarters of 1934 and the jj'irst Q,uarter of 
1935 5 

IV Defaults on Crovernment Contracts in 1933 and 

1934 6 

V Total Construction Volu'ae in the United States 
in 1929, 1931 and 1933 as Reported "by T. ¥. 
Dodge and Classified lay T^rpe of TTork 7 

VI Privately Financed Construction Contracts as 

Avrarded in 37 States 8 

VII TiTage Earners in the Construction Industry as 

Reported "by the 1930 Census of Occupations 9 

VIII Estimated Wage Funds on Hew Construction Proj- 
ects in the Construction. Industry 11-12 

IX Hourly ¥age Rates in 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1934 
as Reported hy Specified Agencies for Various 
Tj.'pes of Construction Workers 13-14-15 

X Average Hourly Earnings Per Month of Building 
Workers in the United States, as Indicated 
hy CoLTTatations of the U. S. B-uxeau of Lahor 
Statitstics from Reports Received from ahout 
10, 000 Sstahlishinents I.ionthly 15 

XI Range in Average tfage Rates Reported for 

Building Workers "by Different Agencies in 

Mid-1933 16 • 

XII Average Hours Worked Per Week per Building 
Construction Worker per Month in 1934 in 
25 States, as Reported "oy the U. S. Bureau 
of Lahor Statistics • • • 18-19 



8311 -iii- 



■MBLSS (Cont'd) 

XIII Skilled Wage Kates, and Average Annual 
Earnings and Ho\irs of SnolojTnent for 
Graitsinen in Areas Covered 'hj Regional 
Agreements Under the Construction Code 21-23—23-24^25 

XIY Ktmber of Employees in the Construction 
Industry Bet'.7eea the Ages of 10 and 17 
Years as Reported "by the 1930 Census of 
Occiipations 26 

XV SuEiher of Employees in the Construction 
Indiistry in Five States as Reported "by 
the 1930 Census of Occupations 26-27 

XYI Per Cent Hfxiich Total Wages Paid in Five 

Representative States Was of Total Con- 
struction Volume Reported in Each. 58 

XVII Total Wage Payrients in Five Re-oresentative 

States " 28 

2VIII Valu.e of Construction Materials hy Kinds 
and Per Cent TThich Each Comprised- of 
Total Materials Used, as Reported in 
the 1929 Census of Construction 29-30 

XIX Total Estimated Cost of Materials Used in 

Construction, 31 

XX Imports of Portland Cement, Iron and Steel 

and LuLioer Used in Constriiction , 32-33 

XXI ll-ujnher of States Wliere Specified Semi-Proc- 
essed Materials and Specified I^^ies of 
Machinery, Used in Wliole or in Part in thst 
Construction Industry, are Manufactured, ,, • 

and the Total Value of the Products Listed 34-35 

XXII Humher of States Engaged in Mining Gjn^sijri 35-36 



'■C)'-*'0 



XXIII Quantity, Value and Per Cent of Giposum Con- 
siimed hy the Construction Industry in the 
United States in 1931, 1932 and 1933 36-37 

XXIV Per Cent of Total U. S. Manufacturing Produc- 
tion Consumed in Construction in 1929 37 

XZvV Destination of Building Lime Shipments from 

Plants in Ohio in 1931, 1932 and 19S3 38 

XXVI Shipments of Domestic Portland Cement from 

Hills into Non-Cement and Cement-Producing 

States in 1931 and 1932 39 



8311 -iv- 



TABLES (Cont'd) 

Pai°;e 
yjLYll Ei.ipl07ees, Payroll and Value of Prodixction of 
Certain Industries Vfcor.e Prodacts are Con- 
Gvraed in V/liole or IJearly So '[rj the Construc- 
tion Industry in the United States 40 

SXVIII Total Construction Volu-ie in Pour P.epresenta- 

tivo States 41 

]CSIX Trade Practice Comolaints, Cons trijict ion In- 
dustry and Supplcnents 48 

XSX Volume of Construction oy Contractors Outside 
of Kome Cities and States, as Ileported ^oj 
the 1929 Census of Construction 49 

X]lKI national Exolo-^'er Associations; Constraction 

Industry/. 58-59-60 

]iXXII Disputes in the Suilding Trades 64 ■' 

XXXIII Contractor Associations Sponsoring; Construe- C"" 

tion Code Entitled to Seat on Code Authority 55-56-67 

XXXIV Professional Associations S:ponsorin3 Constriac- 

tion Code Entitled to Seat on Code Axithority.. 68 ■ 

XXXV Associations S"oonsorin3 Other Supplemen- 
tary Codes S9 

XXXVI Summary Data - Associations Sponsoring Approved 

Codes, April 12, 1935 '. 70 

XXXVII Status APL Unions P^mctionins in Cons trv.ct ion 

Industry 72-73 

XXXVIII Unions i!liose Meinhers in Snail Nvjifoers or Occasion- 
ally Engage in Construction Work 74 

XXXIX ITmnhers of Construction Corporations Reporting Net 
Incomes or Deficits in 1929, 1951 and 1932 to 
the U. S. Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the 
Totals of the ilet Incomes or Deficits Reported 76-77-78-79 

XXXX 'otal Construction, 1933 and 1934 80 

X2CQCI Changes in Average Value of One and Two-Fanily 
Housing Construction Per So;aare Poot of Ploor 
Space Since 1929 80 

XXXXII Changes in Average Valtie of One and Two-Pahiily 

Housing Construction Per Square Foot of Ploor , 
Space Since 1932 "oy Class of Operation 81 

XXXXIII Per Cent of Union Lie:ihers Unenployed in the 

Building Trades 81 

8311 -V- 



TABLES (Cont'd) 

PaiSie 
GBAR1 A - Building Construction, Wage Rates and 

Mat erials 1''' 



-oOo- 

1/ Tallies are designated "b;.^ nn.ioers, ca.ptions and pages. 
In the report, however, "jrhere the contents of tables 
are explained adequately \)j the accojTipanying text, 
carotions ha,ve been OEitted to e:qDedite the prepara- 
tion of this re-oort. 



3311 -vi- 



-1- 

PACTS CONCEIVING THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY 

I. THE NATURE OF THE IIIDUSTRY 

NTimTjer of Plants, Establ i sliiaents or Uni ts 

According to the Industry reports of the Research and Planning Division, 
the total niini"ber of neintiers of the Construction Industry in 192S was 183,284, 
and in 1933, 155,018. These estimates are "believed to be the most early 
correct available. They cover contrs,ctors engaged in the actual work on 
projects, and do not include about 16,000 practicing architects and 20,000 
engineers estimated, also in the Division's Industry Reports, to be engaged 
in the Industry. 

Other sources reporting the number of members in the Industry e.re: 

(a) Tlie 1929 Census of Construction !_/, reporting 144,396 members in 
1929. The figure given is considered not to be inclusive, inasmuch as the 
Census of Construction was compiled from answers to questionnaires to which 
replies were not m.andatory and covers only a major portion of the Industry. 

(b) The Occupational Census of 1930, reporting 167,512 Builders and 
Building Contractors. This figure if useful at all, would be applicable only 
to the Building Construction Section of the Industry, It undoubtedly includes 
many self-employed journeymen v/ho reported themselves as contractors, 

(c) The mailing lists of the various divisional code authorities and the' 
Construction Code Authority, containing all together a total of 123,044 names 
of firms or members as of March 10, 1935. The Code Authority mailing lists 
are believed to be not inclusive of all members in the Industry. 

(d) The Architectual Record's data, showing that 9,575 firms of Archi- 
tects and Engineers, including partnerships and individuals, participated in 
the 1929 building program. This figure is useful, only because of the absence 
of aay other data indicating the groupings into firms of the professionals in 
the Industry, 

Number and Classification of Members 

The 1929 Census of Construction cla-ssified the 144,396 firms reported in 
the industry as comprising 30,597 who performed volumes of business greater 
than $25,000, having averaged $204,277 each, and 113,799 members who performed 
volumes of less than $25,000, having averaged $8,988 apiece. 

A classification of members according to the codified divisions in which 
they function, with the totel number of memlsers estimated for designated years 
in each division and with the numbers of members shown as designated by the 
Census of Construction as having performed volumes greater than $25,000 or 
less than $25,000 is shown in Table I, preceding. 

ry Throughout this report it should be borne in mind that all data reported 
as taken directly from the 1929 Census of Construction is not inclusive 
of the entire Construction Industry in the United States, 



8311 



J 



TABLE I 

CI^SSIFICATION O" M'-JhB' H3 OF THrJ COKSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ACCORD IjJO TO CWIFIED DinSIOMS 
IN hHICH l-H.-.Y rWCVL'Ai, WITH T>" hUM» R 0>> hJAIB isS SHOWN i- C»i EACH UlVIilUN IN 1929 1933 
AilD 1935, AKa A Cl.ASSIii'ICATION OF Kt-bB'-RS IK i'H JlVISIOJuS .OV.<i D BY Wi. 1929 CINSOS OT* 
COK.STRUCTlOa ACCORDING TO TWOS^ '<' Poii'f IM VoUJi; S ORIATEK WAH #25.000 EACH AWJ) THOS!l R3- 
POlWINa VOUIME L>:3a than $25,000 hMH 



-8- 



Hleoellenecnu Soaro«0 



Wart^er of Tirma 



1929 A/ 1933 y 1933 Z/ 



Tixma 
P«rf am- 
ine Over 
•25,000 
Toluae 
In 1929 1/ 



Cengw of Cooetrttctlcp 



Average Voloae 
Per riTB Per- 
f (Mnalng Over 
125,000 VolUM 
In 1929 3/ 



1. Senmral Contraatiog Qroap 

Balldtng Conatruotl«i 
HS^sroy and Street C(mstruetiOD 
S«aV7 saA lUHwij C@n8^ru«tion 
Pipe Liae Conetraetlmi 

2. Tbe Five Serrloe Trades 



103>2^ 155.018 123,0Ml 



37.579 

5.^12 

2'313 ^, 
22 V 



*5,316 



A 



3. 



Painting and Deoorating 39,000 

CLeetrieal Contraotiog 25,000 

Mooflng and Sheet Metal Indaatry B,969 
Plmbiag Contraoting 25,000 

" .000 



BaatlBg, Pipl^ A Air CeBditionig g ■>^,, 
Total 113,969 

^e Tseiva Other Tradea 



r 

\h 

[9 
If 

h) 



Elevater H&nu aoturiEg 
CeBeat-&«i Cciitraotiag 
Tili aitd Mai^Ie Oontraotii^ 
Maara CoBtraeting 
Reailient Flooring 
9eoA nooir Laying 
lasalatS^ ^oatraetiag 
Kalaaeis Ir laetS7 
Plasterii^ and Latklng 
Terrasso a d loaalo 
Esrble Con j««tiag 
StMie Sett ng 

Total 



150 

2,255 
'^.271 

2,500 

3,000 
10,000 

225 

1,000 

165 

23,999 



20,000 

5>12 

2§y 



27,7«W 



1>0,000 

17,000 

10,000 
25,000 
16,000 

ica.Goo 



126 

2,200 

2,500 



10,000 
19,27« 




68,620 



330 

2,1^ 
7,000 

2.500 
1.2?8 

in 

1^,000 

Hoo 



30,597 



3,863 
3075/ 



25,500* i»v,766 



1,102 
1 928 



t 26 2/ 
l.'W3 



10,176 



129 



673 
382 2/ 



623 



11/ 



♦ 20^,277 



259,000 
266,000 
797,000 



282,530 §/ 



76,000 
163 000 

«S,900 

87,000 7/ 
155.000 

96,300 §/ 



600,000 

132.000 §/ 
126,500 

96,000 2/ 
131^,000 



^8,9a^^ (2,831)12/ i^w.ooo ^ 



rima Per- 
foralng 
Leee Than 
,000 in 
>29 3/ 



14^ 



113,799 

96 
30.338 




91 

mi/ 

8,481 2/ 



1. 

3, 



3,«o« 



u/ 



Average 
Voluae 
Per Flra 
Perfoaiaiag 
Leas 1%Ml 
<23.000 V 



I «.988 



10,971 

12. 



U,005^ 




10,993 

6.7^9/ 



7.«7 



u,iw 



U/ 



(1,922)11/ i,**? V 



(Poot BOtea en felloalng paga) 



-3- 
(Foot notes) 

* Total nutn'ber on General Contractors Code Authority. 

_l/ Based on Industrj;- Reports "by the Research and Planning Division. The 
bases and computations for all estimates listed in the columns "below 
these dates may "be found in the Industry Reports for the 33ivisions in- 
dicated. 

2/ The figures in this column are "based on the num"bers of Mem"bers on Code 
Authority mailing lists on March 10, 1935. 

3/ As reported in the Census of Construction. 

4/ The operations of these contractors are considered functions of Heavy and 
Railway Construction. 

5/ Includes Pipe Line Construction Contractors. 

6/ Is average; not totaJL. 

7/ Includes Heating Contractors or Contracting. 

8/ Includes Mar"ble Contractors or Contracting. 

9/ Includes Carpentry Su'b- contractors or Su'b- contracting. 
10 / Included in Census of Construction data on Tile and Mar"ble Contracting as 

given in this ta'ble, 
11 / There is no way +0 determine whether all or any of these figures cover 

"Stone Setting, " "because they are given in the Construction Census under 
the heading "Stonework." 
12 / Is only the num"ber of firms whose reported volumes were used in determinin 
the average volume per firm in this group. 



8311 



~4- 

The ITuml3er of Plants, .Estaljlishments or Units in Each State 

The 1929 Census of Construction !_/ , reports the numtier of Liemhers 
of the Construction Industry "by States as follows: 



TABLE II 



State 

Maine 

New Hampshire 

Vermont 

Massachusetts 

Rhode Island 

Connecticut 

New York 

Hew Jersey 

pennsylvejiia 

Ohio 

Indiana 

Illinois 

Mi chigan 

Wisconsin 

Minnesota 

Iowa 

Missouri 

North Dalcota 

South Daliota. 

Nehraska 

Kansas 

Delaware 

Maryland 

District of Columhia 

Virginia 

West Virginia 

North Carolina 

South Carolina 

Georgia 

Florida 

Kentucky 

Tennessee 

Alabama 

Mississippi 

Arkansas 

Louisiana 

Oklahoma 

Texas 

Montana 

Idalio 

Wyoming 



Niimher of Memhers 

891 
737 
331 

6,689 
1,206 
4,759 
20 , 720 
8,455 
13,909 
9.029 
3,615 
9,293 
7,166 
5,345 
2,468 
3,196 
2,147 

480 

524 
1,282 
1,582 

284 
2,239 

788 
1,180 

949 

659 

401 

773 
1,406 
1,562 
1,181 

635 

452 

625 

767 

955 
3,902 

490 

316 

216 



ly The Construction Census, as stated, is incomplete. 

(Tahle II continued on next page) 



8311 



TABLE II - Cont'd . 

State Htunlier of Mem"bers 

Colorado 1,509 

New Mexico 231 

Ari zona 348 

Utah 751 

Nevada 166 

Washington 1 , 840 

Oregon 1,371 

California 14,476 



Capital Investment 

Capital investment in the Construction Industry in 1929 vras reported 
"by the Census of Construction as follows: 

Establishments cf all classes, numbering 26,718 reported the inventory 
value of their equipment at the close of 1929 as $407,039,722. 

More complete data are not available, and as stated, the Construction 
Census provides only a partial figure. 



Number of Eailures 

■Bankruptcies, reported by Dun and Bradstreet, as Construction Code 
Insolvencies, cover only quarters in 1934 and 1935. They are as follows: 





TAB 


LE III 




1934 






Bankruptcies 


First Quart 


er 




193 


Second " 






143 


Third " 






139 


Fourth " 






169 


AL, 1934. . 






. . 644 


1935 








First Quar 


tef 




139 



8311 



-6- 



Definite or partial defaults on G-overrunent contracts for 1932, 1933 and 
1934 are shown in the following Table IV: 

TABLE IV 

DEFAULTS OK GOVEHIMEHT CONTRACTS 1/ 



1932 



1935 



1934 



number of 
Definite 2/ 
Defaults 



ZO 



36 



37 



^'lumber of Contractors 
Involved in 
Definite Defaults 



24 



31 



31 



Number of Partial 3/ 
Defaults 



24 



16 



11 



Ntunber of Contrpctors 
Involved in Partial 
Defaults 



19 



16 



10 



1/ Including contracts under the Architect of the Capital; the Depart- 
ments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Justice, lle.vy. Treasury and 
War, or their divisions; the District of Colunbia and the Veterans 
Adrainistration. Source is Bureau of Contract Info'^mation, Washington, 
D. C. 

2/ Contracts definitely defaulted are those terminated and awarded again. 

3/ Contracts partially defaulted are- those which, although completed with- 
out termination by the awarding authority, have required particips.tion 
or assumption of responsibility by surety companies, financial in~ 
stitutions or others besides the original contractor. 

Total Value of Products and Volume of Production 

The production of the Construction Industry generally is classified under 
two major headings. The first is "Building Construction," The second is 
"Engineering Constru.ction. " The first again is subdivided into "Non-ReG- 
iden'tial Building," under which is included commercial, industrial and educa- 
tional buildings and into "Residential Building," under which usually is liste. 
apa.rtments and hotels, a.nd one and two family houses. "Engineering Construc- 
tion." com.prises dams, reservoirs, highways, public works, streets, utilities, 
etc. 

The P. W. Dodge Corporation estipiates annual expenditures in the United 
States for Building and Engineering Construction in 1929, 1931, 1933 and 1934 
as follows: 

A6.ditional compa.rative d^ata on construction voluiue in 1932, 1933, 1934 
and 1935 a,re as follows: 



8311 






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-8- 



T A3LE VI 

PRIVATELY ?IMMCBD CONSTRUCTION COITTMCTS 

AS AWARDED IN 37 STATES 

(in thousands of dollars) 



Monthly Average 
1st 4 raos. total 
Month of April 



1932 

$48,624 

229,424 

61,175 



1953 

$47,542 

143,638 

38,934 



1934 

$47,310 

166,126 

53,428 



1935 
(1st 4 months) 
$52,224 
208,895 
71,425 



CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS FOR RESIHCNTIAL BUILDING 1/ 
AS AWARDED IN 37 STATES 
(in thousands of dollars) 



Monthly Average 
1st 4 nos. total 
Month of A-pril 



1952 

^<>0 y 339 

114,025 
28,895 



1953 

$20,772 
58,921 
19,144 



1954 

$20,737 
80,477 
22,770 



1935 
(1st 4 months) 
$28,379 
113,515 
42,281 



Source; Dodge Statistical Research Service 
P. ¥. Dodge Corporation 
Contract Awards in 37 Eastern States 

1/ Residential "building includes apartments, dormitories, hotels, dwel- 
lings ("both owner occupied and sale or rent classification), two 
family houses, housing developments, and, from January, 1934 to date, 
H.O'L.C. improvements. 

The Research and Planning Division in its Industry Report on Construction, 
dated Octo''oer 25, 1933, estimated total 1929 consti^J.ction as approximatelj'- 11 
"billion dollars. 

The 1929 Census of Construction accounts for contra,cts aggregating 
$7,285,720,244, a portion of which is duplication comprising work fcrice ::eported 
once "by the general contractors and again hy the su"bcontractors. The Census 
therefore o"btained reports actually on $5,778,453,565 worth of construction, 
of which ahout $1,507,266,679 was suhlet. 

The Federal Emplojnnent Stahilization Board found evidence that construc- 
tion in 1929 totalled $10,500,000,000, excluding the value of services render- 
ed independently "by architects and engineers, "but including the day la'bor work 
on nev.' and maintenance operations performed without contractors directly "by 
pu"blic and private agencies. 



8311 



-9- 

II LAJOR STATISTICS 

Kuin'ber of Employees 

In its report on the Construction Industry, dated October 25, 1933, the 
Research cuid Planning:; Division estimated that in 1929 ahout 3,000,000 rjorkers 
were enoloyed directly in the Construction Industry. 

Estimates of the n-umhers of employees in the 18 codified Divisions of the 
Industry, listed in Tahle I a-s given in the various industry reocrts hy this 
Division, indicated 2,589,822 employees in 1929 and 1,438,651 in 1933. 

The Census of Constmction shows that 27,102 reporting estahlishments 
were emplojang 945,235 \7orkers in August of 1929, the month in which the maxi- 
mum numher of v.'orkers were on the payrolls of these estahlishments. 

The 1930 Census of Occupations lists 3,059,162 wage earners in the Con- 
struction Industrj?- as follows: 

TABLE VII 

Brick & Stone Masons & Tile Layers 170,903 

Carpenters 929,426 

Electricieiis 280,317 

Cranemen, Hoistmen & Derrickmen (Engineers) 60,886 

Painters, G-laziers & Varnishers ("building) 430,105 

Paperhangers 28 , 328 

plasterers &, C.-zent Jirif htr? 85,480 

Plumbers & C-as & Steam Fitters 237,814 

Roofers & Slaters 23,636 

Stone Cu.tters 22,888 

Structural Steel Workers 28,956 

Building Operatives, Not Otherwise Specified 18,442 

Building Laborers 419,802 

Unclassified Employees in Road & Street Work 8,565 

Laborers in Road 5: Street Work 290,354 

Foremen, etc, in Road & Street Work 23,250 

TOTAL* 3,059,162 

Voting strength reported by 20 A.F. of L. Unions in the Construction In- 
dustry indicated their total memberships in 1929, 1933 and 1934 as follows: 

In 1929... 974,200 

In 1933 631,000 

In 1934 635,200 

Total Annual Wages Paid by the Industry 

,. In the 1929 Census of Construction, 30,597 firms of all classes reported 
that they handled $6,250,267,000 worth of business, of which $1,455,494,000 
was let under su.bcontract ; leaving a volume of $4,794,773,000 actually per- 
formed lij these establishments. The saine group of firms i-e-norted total wage 
pajTnents as $1,467,542,000. Thus the total wage payments of $1,467,542,000 
comprised about 30,6 per cent of the volume of $4,794,773,000 performed. ;rhis 
30.6 per cent, however, is the labor percentage of the total of Building ojid 

8311 



J 



-10- 

Hea.vy o-iicl Higli\7ay Construction in 1929. It nould not he applica'Dle to the 
total voltijiies in later years 'because of the changed ratios of Heavy and 
Highway Construction to Bu.ilding Construction in those years. 

Ds,ta in the 1929 Census of Construction, ho'jever, also indicate that 
alDOut 53.5 per cent of voluue coraprised wages and 7.3 per cent, salaries in 
the Building Construction Section of the Industry, while in the Heavyv and 
Highway Division, wages made up a,"bout 38.5 per cent of volume and salaries, 
ahout 1,5 per cent. 

In Tp.hle VIII these percentages are applied to Building and to Heavy 
and Highway Construction Volurie as reported "by the P. W. Dodge Corporation 
for the United States for the years 1929, 1931, 1933 and 1934. The Tahle, 
however, does not show ninor deviations caused "oy chenges in wage rp„tes and 
iiiaterio.l prices S'uhsequent to 1929. Some ds.y lahor, maintenazLce, repair gjiid 
reconditioning work likevdse rmdouhtedly is not inclu.ded in the voltine totals 
as shown. The estimated total wage funds for the Industry as indicated, 
therefore, mas'" he considered highly conser/ative. 



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-13- 



Avero/ce Hoirrly ¥af;e Eates 



Avero^ge hourly \ia^e rates for the Construction Industry as a vzhole 
have little significance. Thex-e are too many \7idely different divisions 
in the Industry and the T,7age rates paid to the various skilled v/or]rers in 
them have raiijT^ed from o.hout 10 cents hourly to $2.50 houi-ly. 

Average hourly uage ra,teri for vea-ioxis specific types of skilled 
craftsmen in different Divisions of the Industry, as reported hy the imions 
concerned, the Suilders Association, the Architect-oral Record ajad other 
orgo^iizations for the years specified are e.s follov/s: 

TABLE IX 

PAIhgSBS 
llovs-lir Wase Ha^te 



1929 



l)]3uilders ' Ass 'n, 
2) Union 



$1.10 Average 
1.137 Average 



•112. cities 
138 cities 



1931 



l)Builders ' Ass'n. 

2) Union 



$1,092 Average 
1.148 Average 



120 cities 
129 cities 



193:; 



l)liuil6.ers ' Ass'n. 
2) Union 

3)Architectural Record 
4)lntern9.tional Society 
of Liaster Painters 
(A.&.C.) 



$ .835 Average 
.957 Average 
.900 Average 



113 cities 
87 cities 
47 cities 



.750 Average - S5 cities 



1934 



l)Br.ilders ' Ass'n. 
2) Union 

3)Architectur3.1 Record 
(II.A.3.E. - Peh.) 



$ .933 Average 

1.013 Avertvge 

.905 Average 



113 cities 
88 cities 
46 cities 



ELECTRICIA!:?S 
Hourly Tl3^;e Rate_ 



1929 



l)Builders' Ass'n. 



$1,213 Average - 112 cities 



1931 



l)Builders' Ass'n. 



$1.2X8 Average - 117 cities 



1933 



l)Br.ilders ' Ass'n. 
2)Contrs,ctors (A.G-.C.) 
3)Architectiiral Record 

(1T.A.B.E.) 
4) Union (1932) 



$1,051 Average 

.369 Average 

1.111 Average 



114 cities 

370 cities 

48 cities 



1.227 Average - 54 cities 



8311 



-14- 

ELECTHICIMS - Cont'd . 

Hourly Wage Ro.te 



L934 



1) Builders' Ass'n. 

2) Architectural Record 

(N.A.B.E.—FelD.) 



$1,071 Avera.ge 
1=093 Average 



114 cities 
46 cities 



PLUIvBERS 



Hourly Wage Rate 



1929 



l) Builders' Ass'n. 



1931 



l) Builders' Ass'n. 



1933 



1) Builder's Ass'n. 

2) Nat'l Ass'n. of Real 

Estate Boards 

3) Architectural Record 

(Uat'l Asc'n. of 

Builders' Exchanges) 

4) Union (1932) 



$1,313 Average - 107 cities 



$1,303 Average - 121 cities 



$1,068 Average - 113 cities 



.805 Average 
1.106 Average 



49 cities 
■48 cities 



1.204 Average - 40 cities 



1934 



1) Builders' Ass'n. 

2) Architectural Record 

(K.A.B.E.— Feh.) 



$1,167 Average 
1.105 Average 



113 cities 
45 cities 



BRICICLAYERS 



H ourly Wagie Rate 



1929 



l) Builders' Ass'n. 



1931 



l) Builders' Ass'n. 



$1,512 Average - 114 cities 



$1,509 Average - 121 cities 



8311 



32ICKLAYEaS - Cont'd. . 
Hourly Wag-e Rate 



1933 



1) Builders' Ass'n. 

2) Union 

3) Contractors (a.G-.C.) 

4) Architectural Record 

(II.A.B.E.) 



1934 



1) Builders' Ass'n. 

2) Arcliitectural Record 

(U.A.B.E. - FelD.) 



$1,204 Average 

1.205 Average 

.885 Average 

1.218 Average 



$1,257 Average 
1.214 Average 



115 cities 

135 cities 

193 cities 

48 cities 



115 cities 
46 cities 



HOD CARRIERS 



Eourl^'- Wage Rate 



1929 



l) Builders' Ass^n= 



1931 



l) Builders' Ass'n. 



1933 



l) Builders' Ass'n. 



1934 



1) Builders' Ass'n. 



$ .781 A,verage - 103 cities 
$ .764 Average - 110 cities 
$ .624 Average - 96 cities 
$ .657 Average - 107 cities 



TABLE X 



Month 

January 

FelDruary 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

Septemoer 

Octo'ber 

Novemher 

December 

8311 



AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS PER MOITOE OE BUILDING 
WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES, AS IlfDI GATED BY 
COMPUTATIONS OF THE U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STA- 
TISTICS FROM REPORTS RECEIirED FROM ABOOT 10,000 
ESTABLISHIVENTS MONTHLY. 

1934 

Average Houi'ly Wage Rate (in cents) No. Reiporting Firms 



77.5 

79.2 
79.0 
77.4 
77.5 
77.2 
78.8 
79.7 
80.1 
80.1 
81.9 
83.5 



7,471 
10,001 
10,281 
10,410 
10,647 
10,727 
10,725 
10,479 
10,491 
10,366 
10,338 
10,054 



J 



-15- 

The accompanying Chart A reveals cleprlj how little meaning is to "be 
attrihiited to any quotation of average wage rates for construction workers 
as a whole. Such averages, to have any significance at all, must he averaged 
for specific classif ica.tions of wage earners within specific Industry divi- 
sions, sxid even then, depending xtpon the soui^ces, the average may vary widely. 

This is shown for the B-ailding Construction Division of the Industry as 
a whole in Chart A, which traces the the different average vrage rates for 
identical classes of workmen which different agencies reported as existing at 
the close of the years 1929, 1931, 1933 and 1934. It may he seen that in the 
middle of 1933, average wage rates as reported hy different agencies varied 
greatly as follov/s: 

TABLE XI 

RAIJGE I'N AVERAGE WAG-S RATES REPORTED FOR 
BUILDIlvTG WORKERS BY DIPPERENT AGENCIES IN MID-1933 

Reporting Agency Average Reported, Mid-1933 

Engineering Hews Record 81 

A. G. C. -78 

National Real Estate Boards 49 

The chart, moreover, shows the relative stability of average rates prior 
to 1930 and the wide variations each year since 1930 in the wage rates as 
reported hy each of the agencies named, as well as the spread in the averages 
8.S between the rates reported "by them all at given periods. 

Average Hours Worked Weekly hy Building Construction Tiiforkers 

The accompanying tahle shows the average number of hours worked weekly 
per employee in the Building Construction Industry d-oring each month in 1934 
in the major cities of 25 states. 

The averages, however, fail to give a true picture of the Industry as a 
whole. Although they are given here for the designated States as a whole, 
they actuallj'- are based on data furnished by a certain group or certain groups 
of employers in one or more large cities in the states, as pointed out by 
the B'oreau of Labor Statistics. 

The national average, for instance, is based upon reports received by 
the Bureau from about 10,000 firms in the 25 states designated in the accom- 
panying chart and in other states. These 10,000 firms, inasmuch as they were 
able to report themselves as having any em;ployees at all, must have occupied 
a relatively favored position in the Industry in 1934. Their particular 
group of employees, furthermore, excluded the many thousands of construction 
workers known to be wholely or mainly unemployed. The averages shown, there- 
fore, should be indicative of the conditions of only the workers covered by 
the re-ports, and not of the industry as a whole. 



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-20- 

Average Weeks Worked Per Year Per Enroloye e 

Constriaction i,7orkers are employed "by the hour. The average numher 
of weeks worked per employee per year, therefore, signifies little. An 
average of any sort, furthermore, whether for hours or weeks worked, or 
wages received, v/hen it relates to a classification as general as "con- 
struction workers", vrhose occupations and wages vary greatly, will prove 
of small value for any use excepting as a vague indicator of conditions. 

Although other dat'-. in this report, including the chart showing wage 
trends and the tahle of weekly hours worked as computed hy the Bureaux of 
La'bor Statistics, have dealt with sta.tistics on the highly general subject of 
""building construction workers", there is given here additional findings 
as derived in this Division's exoerience in ohserving and analyzing facts 
and figures from various localities covered by area agreements for specific 
construction divisions. The following table shows average hourly wage 
rates and yearly earnings and hours worked in the yea^rs I929 and 1933 ^°^ 
skilled construction workers, as determined in laany cases from data fur- 
nished at public hearings by employers and employees within the respective 
listed areas: 



8S11 



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lyTumljei- of 5m-ployees Under 16 Years Old 

The 1930 Census of Occupations lists the following nuralDers of emploj'ees 
"between the ages of 10 and 17 years as engaged in construction i7ork: 

TAEL3 XIV 

Carpenters Ap'irentices 1,925 

Electriciems " 2,509 

plumbers " 1,956 
Apprentices to Other Building 

and Hand Trades 4,844 

Carpenters 3,096 

Painters, Glaziers & Varnishers 2,360 
Operatives in Indtistry not 

Otherwise Listed 273 
Laborers & Helpers, Building 

Industry 10,772 

Total 25,735 

IJumber of Employees in Each State 

The number of employees in five states, as reported in the 1930 Census of 
Occupations, is as follows; 



Alabama 

Carpenters Apnrentices 
Electricians " 
Plumbers " 
Brick & Stone Masons & 

Tile Layers 
Carpenters 
Electricians 
painters, Glaziers & 

Varnishers (building) 
Paperhangers 
Cement Finishers 
Plasterers 
Plu-.ibers & C-as & Steam 

Fitters 
Roofers & Slaters 
Stone Cutters 
Structural Iron Workers 
Operatives not Classified 
Laborers & Helpers 

TOTAL 

California 

Carpenters Apprentices 
Electricians " 



TABLE 


XV 

Illinois 




38 


Carpenters Apprentices 


351 


26 


Electricians " 


439 


33 


Pi-umbers " 
Brick & Stone Masons & 


618 


2,055 


Tile Layers 


14,001 


13,056 


Caroenters 


59,979 


3,179 


Electricians 
Painters, Glaziers & 


22,070 


3,649 


Varnishers (building) 


35,848 


236 


pajDerlmngers 


1,018 


228 


Cement Pinishers 


1,583 


689 


Pla.sterers 

plumbers & Gas & Steam 


5,332 


2,177 


Fitters 


16,781 


244 


Hoofers & Slaters 


2,008 


159 


Stone Cutters 


1,150 


251 


3-i-rc.Gtural Iron Workers 


2,803 


134 


Miscellaneous OTJeratives 


1,429 


3,078 


Laborers & Helpers 


34,516 


29,290 


TOTAL 
New York 


199,931 


198 


Carpenters Apprentices 


435 


228 


Electricians " 


710 



(Continued on the following page) 



8311 



-27- 
TABLE XV (Continued) 



Pl-amliers Apprentices 




174 


Brick & Stone Masons & 






Tile Layers 


5 


410 


Carpenters 


64 


682 


Electricians 


21 


215 


Painters, G-laziers & 






Varnishers (building) 


26 


580 


Paperhangers 




537 


Cement Finishers 


1 


522 


Plasterers 


6 


669 


Plumbers & G-as & Steam 






Fitters 


13 


405 


Roofers & Slaters 


1 


681 


Stone Cutters 




679 


Structural Iron Workers 


1 


551 


Miscellaneous Operatives 


1 


064 


Laborers & Helpers 


22 


155 


TOTAL 


167 


750 


Pennsylvania 







Plumbers Apprentices 




821 


Brick & Stone Masons & 






Tile Layers 


31 


587 


Carpenters 


113 


641 


Electricians 


42 


905 


Painters, G-laziers &, 






Varnishers (building) 


76 


004 


Paperhangers 


2 


021 


Cement Finishers 




802 


plasterers 


11 


594 


Plumbers & Gas & Steam 






Fitters 


41 


207 


Roofers & Slaters 


3 


926 


Stone Cutters 


3 


700 


Stru.ctural Steel TaTorkers 


6 


924 


Miscellaneous Operatives 


4 


061 


Laborers & Helpers 


70 


508 


TOTAL 


410 


846 



Carpenters Apprentices 






515 






Electricians " 








636 






Plumbers " 








828 






Brick & Stone Masons 












& Tile Layers 








16,492 






Carpenters 








67,525 






Electricians 








26,691 






Painters, etc. 








28,299 






Paperhajigers 








5,443 






Cement Finishers 








1,769 






Plasterers 








6,233 






Plumbers, etc. 








22,693 






Roofers & Slaters 








2,874 






Stonecutters 








1,571 






Structural Steel Wo 


rkers 






2,000 






Miscellanaous Operatives 






1,790 






Laborers & Helpers 








46,021 






TOTAL. , 








..231,980 


Summary 












F IP »*iK't— '^^- f *^ *^^ '^^ 




State No, 


Const, 


Workers 


P 


Dpulation 


Pop, 


Per Worker 


Alabajna 


29 


290 


2 


646,248 




90 


California 


167 


750 


5 


677,251 




34 


Illinois 


199 


931 


7 


630,654 




38 


New York 


410 


846 


12 


588,066 




30 


Pennsylvania 


231 


980 


9 


631,350 




42 


TOTAL 


.1,039 


797 


38 


173,569 




37 (Av. for 
Total) 


Per Gent Which Total Wages Paid in I 


ive 


States is 


of Total 




Volume 3jid Total Alinual Wages Paid 


in Each of These States 





8311 



-28- 

For tlie Industry in the five representative Statea selected, the 1929 
Census of Construction shor/s that the follov/ing proportions of total volume 
performed \7ent to wages for labor, skilled and Linslcilled: 

TABLE XVI 

State Per Gent to Laljor 

Alatama , 39 .6 

California. 27.2 

Illinois , 33.4 

New Yorke » 34 

Pennsylvania, , 30.9 

The application of the above percentages to volumes in the respective 
states, as reported by P. W. Dodge, indicates, for the year designated, the 
total wage payments to construction workers as shorm in the following table, 

TABLE SVII 



1929 1929 Wage 

State Volume P a;sTnents 

Ala. * 85,367,700 l/ $ 33,800,000 

Calif. 2/ 

111. $ 678,440,800 l/ $226,300,000 

i\T. Y. $1,497,307,200 l/ ^509,000,000 

Penn's,$ 650,000,000 l/ $200,800,000 



1/ P. W. Dodge reports in 1929 covered 
awards of contracts valued at $5,000 
or more each. The Dodge Con^oration 
estimates tiiat projects valued at 
less than $5,000 comprised about 23 
per cent of the totai of the larger 
projects in the United States in ad- 
dition. This 23 per cent additional 
to the reported volume of larger 
projects reported, therefore is added 
for the 1929 volumes as given here. 

2/ Ho Dodge figures on California. 



8311 



-20- 
III MATERIALS - RAW AM: SMI-PROCESSED 

Frinci'pal L.iateria.ls Used in Con p tiuction, tl io Ectlmated Value of Each and the 
Per Cent TTliich Each Conrprisec^ of All Ma.terjpls Re'^orted as Use d . 

In the tahle which follov/f;, the estiraated total value of materials used 
in 1925 is $2,^77,600,000. On the "basis of Census of Construction data, in- 
dicating thiat raa.terial costs in 1929 were aoout 35*5 P'^^ cent of totp„l voli^jne, 
the value of naterials as given in the ta.hle indicate a total volume of sli;p;ht- 
ly less than $7,000,000,000. 

As stated, the estinates of the total 1929 volume of constriaction vary. 
The most incl-asive estimate is considered to he $7s901s'^C)'^jOOO, as reported h;'' 
P. U. Dodge for I929, including Dodge's estimate of the volume of projects 
valued at less than $5,000. 

37 applying 35»5 p6^ cent to $7>301»^i-00»QC)0, or to any other estimate of 
totp.l 1929 voluine, other estimates of total material costs, differing from the 
estimate in the tahle, may he derived, and the percentage ratio of each of the 
materials listed may he applied to the ne^: total to determine the respective 
values of each material used on the Do.sis of any other volume estimate uhich 
may he deemed more a.ccurate. On the hasis of 0. volume of aho\it $7,000,000,000, 
hovrever, the value of laaterials used and the per cent which they comprised of 
total materials in I929 were as follows: 

TABLE XVIII 



Kind of Material 



. Per cent l/ 
Valuei/ of 
Total 



Total 



$2,U77.6 100.0 



Sand, Gravel, Crushed Stone, Slag, Cinders 

Brich, (face, common, fire, paving, etc.) 

Gut Stone, Granite and Marhle 

Cement 

Plaster, etc. 

Struct-o.ral Steel 

Reinforcing Steel 

Metal Doors, Windows, and trim 

Luinher, roixgh and finished 

ilillrrork 

Ha.rdwax'e, rough and finished 

Paints, Varnishes, Glass 

Roofing and Sheet Metal 

Hee.tlng a.nd Ventilating Equipment and supplies 

Pl\ij.foing and Gas-fitting Equipment and supTjlies 

Electrical ApiDliances and Supplies 

Elevators, Dumh-waiters and Eauipment 

Pipe, drain tile, vitrified, Concrete, Segnent-tile, 

Corruga-ted 
PiiJC, Cast Iron, Sheet and Tuhe steel, etc, 
(Continued on next page) 



257.7 


10, U 


101,6 


h.i 


69.4 


2.S 


22-3.5 


S.9 


2k. S 


1.0 


200.7 


3.1 


7^.3 


3.0 


27.3 


1.1 


1S3.3 


7.^ 


7^.3 


3.0 


29.7 


1.2 


52.0 


2.1 


S9.2 


3.6 


19s. 2 


s.o 


205.6 


S.3 


156,1 


6.3 


Sl.g 


3f3 


32.2 


1.3 


52.0 


2,1 



S311 



-30- 
TABLE XVIII (Cont'cL) 



Bit\i::iinous paving naterials, Tar, Asphalt, a.nd Oil 

Macliiner7 

Meta,l products, U.E. S. (including raetsd furniture) 

All other liaterials 



39.6 


1.6 


?9.7 


1.2 


29.7 


1.2 


2i45.3 


9.9 



Source: 15th Census of the United Stn.tes ~ 1930* Construction Industry 
(p»27)} P'J.rea'a of the Census, U. S. Depo.rtnent of Comnerce, 

1/ Estinates hased on reports of pa,rt of constr-cction estatlisliinents through-- 
out the United States, showing $1, 573 j 000, 000 rrorth of materials, hy kinds 
used hy them. All valties in millions and tenths of nillions of dollars. 



are: 



Other materials used in conr_,tru.ction, not covered in the preceding table, 

Tile ( fireproof ing) 

Tile Pacing, Terra Cotta, Z].oor C^ Wall 

Concrete and Cinder Block 
Riprap, rubhle, etc. 
Lime 

Cast Iron, Miscellaneous, E::cluding Pipe 
Metal and Wire Lath and Furring 
Ornamental Metal Work 
Lath, Shingles and Shalces (rood) 
Composition Board 
Waterproofing liaterials 

Finished Flooring, Other Than Cenent, Wood and Tile 
Screens, Shades, Awnings, etc. 
Wire Ca.'ble Guards, Fencing, etc. 
Wood Piling and Timher 
Ready Mixed Concrete 
Freight, Hauling or Trucking to Job 
Cast Forms, Beads, etc. 
Chemicals and Chemical Products 
Mineral products (non-metallic) not elsewhere 

classified. 
Sealing Materials 
Textiles and Caulking Materia.ls 

Total Material Costs in the Constru-ction Indiistry 

The 1929 Census of Construction indicates tha^t for 30»597 firms in the 
United States, the total costs of naterials comprised 35*5 psj-" cent of the 
total volume of business which thej;- performed. 

Applying this ratio to the total voliirae of const3niction in the United 
States in the years 192S, 1931} 1933 s-J-i'l 193^, naterials costs were: 



g3ii 



.Jl 



-31- 
TABLE XIX 

Total Voliune Material Costs * 

1929 $7,901,UOO,000 $2,210,000,000 

1931 ^,293,733,000 1,525,000,000 

1933 1,761,393,000 625,000,000 

I93U 2,OS7,7lU,000 7^2,000,000 

* The application of the I929 ratio of material costs to total costs 
to the total volijines of later years, of course, results only in an ap- 
proximate figure. Fluctuations in mpterial costs, or labor or other costs 
may have changed the ratio slightly for these years, but there is avail- 
able no data for the industry &s a trhole upon which the later ratios may 
he computed with exactness. 



Im-Qorts by Years^ 1929 through iq3^> of ST}ecified Products Consumed in 
Whole or in Fart in the Const'raction Industry . 

Data were found on imports of Portland Cement, Iron and Steel and 
Lum.ber, as set forth in the table on the following page. Perhaps, as 
on many other topics covered by this report, more complete information 
might be worked up if time permitted. 



S31I 



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2311 



other data on the production of uaterials and/or equipment used in the 
Industry follows: 

Huiaber of States Where Specified Sc-mi^pro ces sed M a terials and S'oecified Types 
of Machinery, Used in 'Jhole or in Fart in Constr uc tion, are L'anufactured and 
the Total Value of the Products Listed. 



TABLE XXI 

Product or Group of Products TVliich 
Are Produced in 35 oi" Pevrer States 



Kura'ber of 
States 
En.^aged in 
Production 



Valuel^ 



Portahle and ready cut houses 

Uallpaper 

Cement 

G-lass 

Building Stones for exterior use 

Marhle 

Roofing slate 

Other stones (sandstone, "bltiestone, etc.) 
Sand-lime hrick 
Cast iron pipe 

Doors, shutters, and window se,sh and frames, metal 
Hardware not elsewhere classified 
Nails, spikes, etc. not made in wire mills or in 

plants operated in connection \7ith rolling mills 
Plumbers' supplies, not incliiding pipe 

or vitreous-china sanitary ware 
Stear.if itting and hot water heating appa.ratus 
Stoves and ranges (other than electric) 

and warm air furnaces 
liachinery 

Cement and concrete machinery 
Cement making machinery 
Cement and concrete block machinery 
Concrete mixers 
Other cement and concrete machinery 

Conveying and elevating machinery 
Belt type 
Bucket type 

Cranes (including hoists^^id derri^is) 
Crawler 
Locomotive 
Overhead traveling 
Stationary 

Dredging, excavating and roaxl-'building machinery 
Dredging machinery 
Excavating machinery 
Road-building machinery 

(Continxied on next page) 



25 

9 

35 
23 

30 

9 
21 

17 

13 

22 

2S 

12 

2S 
25 

35 



$ 11,575 
30,00s 

267,509 
303, S19 

6,217 
5,20s 

3,1^9 

2,971 

SO, 261 

72,160 

229,^76 

12,S55 

129, 67U 
22s, 310 

271,7^7 



9 

10 

15 
15 


U,3S7 

1,1^7 

ii,Uos 

2,9S5 


2U 
21 


iU,206 
9,327 


15 

9 
IS 

23 


6,626 

5,953 

23,059 

22,202 


17 

22 
25 


3,6^2 

57,103 
30,69U 



S311 



-55- 



( Cont < d) 

Product or Group of Products TJliich 
Are Produced in 35 o^" Ferer States 



Kurnlaer of 
States 
Engaged in 
Production 



Value 1/ 



Elevators and elevator machinery 
Passenger 
Freight 

Motor vehicles 
Commercial 

Pneumatic machinery 
Air compressors 

Stone working machinery 

'.7ood-T7orking machinery 

Paving materials: asphalt, tar, crushed 

slag and mixtures 

Roofing, "built-up and roll: asphalt shingles, 

roof coating 

other than paints 



A - Total 

B - All manufacturing industries. Total 

C - Per Cent A is of B 



21 $ 29,UUU 
23 lU, 6oo 



31 



277,352 



20 


39,623 


12 


■2.125 


33 


35,151 


2U 


■29,275 


23 


103,506 


- 


2,373,932 

70,U3U,S63 
3.^ 



Source: 15th Census of the United States - Manufactures - i929-V0l.II - 

(pp. ^69, 561, S35, S69, SS6, S96, 913, 921, 936, 969, 972, 992,993. 
1103, 1106, 1336, and 1350), Bureau of the Censu.s, Department 
of Commerce. 

ij Value in thousands of dollars, 

Names of States Engaged in Mining G-:/-asum in 1932 and 1933 

TA5LE XXII 

State Volume 



(in thouse.nds of short tons) 



1932 



1933 



Kumher of States 
United States 

Arizona 

California 

Iowa 



- -17 

i.355 



(Continued on next page) 



50 
17s 



1/ 



_ _ 16_ 
„ii335_ 

1 

57 
173 



S311 



i 



-35- 



TABLE XXII (Cont'd) ITames of States Engaged in Mininne: G.^/psuin in 1932 and '33 

Kansas 

Michigan 

IvTevada 

New York 

Oklahoma 

Texas 

Other States 



1/ 


63 


2U9 


211 


SI 


7^ 


3H7 


36U 


1/ 


97 


110 


112 


3U0 2/ 


1S3 i/ 



Source: Minerals Yearbook, 1932-'33, (p. 621) and 193U (p,S52) 
IJ. S. Department of Interior. 

1/ Included in Other States 

2j Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, 

South Dakota, Utah, Yirginia, and Wyoming, 
j/ Colorado, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. 



Quantity. Value and Per Cent of G-ypsum Consumed "by the Construction Industry 



TJ\3LE XXIII 
(Qjiantities and Values in Thousands) 



193,1. 



1932 



1933 



Use 



Short Short Short 
Tons Dollars '-^"^^ Dollars Tons Dollars 

Sold for use exclu- 
sively "by construc- 
tion industry - 

Without Calcining - 
To Portland 

Cement Mills 66^ 1,266 3^6 
Calcined ^ 
For iDuilding 

purposes 

TOTAL 2,lgl 19,903 1,21s 12,127 1,137 ll,2Ug 



752 377 



669 



1.^17 18,637 832 11. U3^ 760 10.^79 



Sold for use largely 
or exclusively "by 
industries other 
than construction 
industry - 

Without Calcining - 
For agriculture 
For other purposes 
Calcined - 
To plate glass wks 
To terra cotta wks 
For other manufac- 
turing purposes 
For other purposes 



2S 
SI 


139 
161 


16 
^3 


S9 
89 


11 

33 


9\ 
13 


25 
6 


122 

^3 


12 
2 


100 
12 


IS 
2 


127 
15 


IS 

2S 


2U9 


27 
17 


309 
120 


26 
16 


2S6 

iiU 



TOTAL 



1S6 



S9S 



117 



719 106 



S311 



(Continued on next page) 



679 



-37- 

TIBLB XXIII (Cont'd) 

Total sold for all 
purposes 2,567 20,801 1 , 535 12,906 1.24Z 11,927 

Per Cent of total 
sold for use excl^l- 
sively "by construc- 
tion int^ustry - 92.1 95.7 91.2 94.4 91.5 94.3 

Source: Minerals Yearbook, 1932-33 (p. 622) and 1934 (p. 853) 
U. S. Department of the Interior. 

1/ Includes sales of domestic crude gypsum and gypsum 
products made from domestic crude gypsum. 



per Cent of Total U. S. Manufacturing production Consumed in Constriaction 

in 1929 



TIBLS XXIV 
Item Value 1/ 

A. Total Maniifacturing production 70,434,9 

B. Products consumed ty the construction 

industry 2,477.5 2/ 



Per cent B is of A 



3.5 3/ 



Source: 15th, Census of the United States, 1929, 
Ivlanufactures., Volume II (p. 15) and 
Construction Industry (p. 25). Bureau of 
the Censusj United States Department of 
Commerce. 

1/ Values in Millions and Tenths of Millions of 
Dollars. 

2/ Estimated from an 83 per cent sample. 

3/ This percentage is helieved to he higher, owing to the fact 
that the figures assigned to total manufacturing production 
include large hut indeterminahle amounts of duplication 
arising out of the use of the products of some industries 
as materials ty other industries. 



8311 



i 



(D CD (D 

n a a 

•H -H .H 

iH rH H 



EH 



S311 




h"! cJM^i'L?]^ 



4 

J 



Shipments of Donestic Portland Cement From kills Into ?Tor.-cement and 
Cement Producing States in lbi51 and 1935 



(in Thousands of Barrels) 



States 1931 1932 

Non-cenent Producing States 

Arizona 

Connecticat 

Dela¥/are 

District of Columbia 

Massachusetts 

Mississippi 

Nevada 

New HaiiTp shire ■ - 

ITew Mexico 

North Csxolina 

North Dalcota 

Rhode Island 

South Carolina 

Vermont 

Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico 
TOTAL 
Cement Producing States - Total ij 
Cement and ITon-cement Producing 

States ~ Total 
Per cent of total shipments shipped 

into Non-cement Producing Str?,tes 
Value of aJ-1 shipments in 

thousands of dollars 140,960 82,022 

Source: Minerals Yearbook 1932-33 (pp. 497-498) U. S. Department of 
Interior. 

1/ This total includes "both intrastate and interstate shipments. 
Amount S'pent for Ma^chinery and Equipment 

The 1929 Census of Const-^iction reports that establishments numbering 
26,713 had at the end of 1929 a total oi $407,039,722 invested in equipment 
and machinery, 

Percentg.ge which Material Costs are of Total Volume 

The 1929 Cens^^s of ConstrLxction reported that for 30,597 firms material 
costs made up 35,5 per cent of their total volume of business performed by 
own forces. 

2311 



438 


151 


1,477 


808 


347 


298 


1,250 


1,070 


3,0^4 


2,126 


525 


467 


155 


648 


437 


267 


265 


174 


1,015 


434 


258 


175 


570 


305 


2,251 


358 


312 


250 


746 


660 


13,068 


8,222 


114,083 


72,621 


127,151 


80,843 


10.5 


10.2 



i 



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3311 



-41- 

IV. PSOFJCTION AMD I3ISTS.IBUTI0K 

Value of Construction in Four Representative Sta tes 

The value of conctraction in four representative states in 1929, 1933 and 
1934 is shown in Tatle XI'IVIII. 

TABLE XXVIII 

TOTAL CONSTHUCTIOK VOLllffi IN roUH 
EEPEESMTATIVE STATES 1^/ 

Str.te 1929 1953 1934 

Alatana $ 69,417,7002,/ $ 25,762,400 $ 21,222,900 

Illinois 551,440,8002/ 78,540,700 117,747,500 

Nerr York 1. 217,307,200^/' 209,682,000 225,526,400 

Penns7/lvania 528, 556,400S/ 77,055,200 103,649,000 

1/ The voluine of construction in each of 37 eastern States is ohtaina.lDle from 
P. ^. Dodge Heports. 

2/ Totals reported for 1929 cover onl;^ -orojects valued at nore than $5,000, 
ivhereas the totals of 1935 and 1934 include sone projects of lesser value, 

nature of Advertising; Media U sed , etc . 

Ver^'' little national advertising is done by individuals or concerns in 
this Industry, In national, popular nagazir.es there appears occasionally an 
advertisement or so 'b;'- a large contracting firm. 

Extensive cajnpaigns hovever are carried on "by the producers of constr'ac- 
tion materials, whose advertisements, with those of various contractors, appea 
regularly in publications such as "The Engineering News Record." Material 
producers likewise use national popula.r magazines extensively. 

Operative Builders ha,ving homes and other property to sell advertise wide 
ly in local newspapers but in so doing the^r are not advertising constraction 
services but the sale of real property. 

Sales efforts in the construction industry are extensive but do not ofte; 
involve advertising. Leads are secured through Construction Hews Services, 
from personal conta.ct, connections, affiliations, etc. Sales presentations ai 
made in the for.n of estimates and engineering or economic studies, etc, Data 
on sales or estimating costs are lacking. 

Shifts in Volume by G-eograt)hic Areas 

The voltune of construiction may rise or fall in various areas as a result 
of or in conjunction with other economic changes, such as: 

1. Improvements or declines in general economic conditions in a region, 

2. The launching in an area of a construction project financed by & 
■oolitical or other agency and causing an increase in real estate and 
other values in the region, and pdding to the incomes of the local 
peoples by wage payments; the improvement in local conditions brought 

8311 ■ . " ■■ 



-43- 

about "by a large -oro.ject of this cort nay Give iripetus to all othei- 
kinds of tuilding activities. 

3. The shifting of industries to different sections of the co\mtr7/ np.y he 
s.ccompanied hy corresponding shifts in constraction vol-ujne, 

4. Agricultural characteristics of different sections of the country, de- 
termining economic conditions in those sections in different years, may 
he important factors influencing the volf^ne of construction. In the 
same year, a profitable cotton crop may increase construction activi- 
ties in the South, while a poor wheat crop may depress building in 
other regions. 

5. As in the case of agricultural characteristics, so also in the case of 
other naturoJ characteristics in various regions; an unprofitable year 
in the coal mining regions of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia may de- 
crease construction in those states, while a boom mariret for copjper or 
lumber may inprove construction a.ctivities in various copper or lumber 
production regions. 

Productive Car)acity of Construction Indust ry. 

The "oroductive caiDS-city of the Industry is practically unlimited, depend- 
ent only UTDon the volume of capital and the number of skilled craftsmen avail- 
able. When, for example, the industry in 1929 performed a volume estimated as 
high a.s 11 billion dollars, the productive capacity was bj'- no means utilized 
fully. 

Per Cent of Productive Ca-pacity Utilized 

Inasmuch as the productive capacity of the Industry is practically tuilimit 
ed, the proportion of the productive capacity utilized Ta&j not be determined 
accurately in any one year. Assujning the 1929 capacity as 100 per cent, how- 
ever, the volumes* performed in recent years indicate utilization of the capa- 
city in the following degrees: 

1931 54.2 per cent 

1933 22.3 per cent 

1934 26.2 per cent 

Other Inform-ation 

Many specific examples of the interstate character of operations in the 
Constraction Industry are available. 

Boulder Dam, for instance, wa„s constructed by Six Companies, Incoroarated, 
which itself was composed of six firms, located in various parts of the United 
States as shown on the following page. 



As estimated by F. W. Dodge, 



8311 



Six 

Companies, 

Incorporated 



-43- 

Farticj-patinff: Firms 

(Utah Construction Company . 

( (Henry J. Kaiser & ) . . 
( (W, A, Beachtel Co.) 

(McDonald and Kskn, Ltd. . , 
(Morrison - Knudson Company 

(j. F. Shea & Company. . . , 

(Pacific Eridge Company. , . 



Location 

■ ■ — * 

Ogden, Utah 
Oalcland, Calif. 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Boise, Idaho 
Portland, Ore, 
Portland, Ore. 



The three organizations which hid on Boulder Da,ra moreover were located in 
three different parts of the United Stp.tes . , , , San Francisco, California, 
Baltimore, Maryland, and Lincoln, i'lehrasks,. 

Research will disclose many firms, located in many different parts of the 
country, have oeen on hand to hid on and perform work in any localit;?- where thf 
vol^urne of construction has been suff icientlj'' Is.rge to attract them. Firms tvor: 
all of the United States were operating in Florida during the Florida, boom of 
1925 and 1926, and in other localities where Doom conditions have arisen. 



8311 



I 



V T31JDE PEA.CTICES 

Unfair Trade Fi-g„ctices Prior to the Code and Thei r 
Effect ITpon The Ina-ustr;.' 

(1) T he tfj.-'nin?'^ out by architects o r e nginc3ers, in competition nith 
other rg-chitects, en,^ineers or public offic ials, o f deficient pl-?ais or 
s-oecifications . Lxpon nhich contractors are forced to hase their hids . This 
results often in los-jes to contractors xrhose hids may therefore he in- 
o.cci-'-rate, or in losses to OT.-ners . 

( 2 ) The callin": for an e::cessive nunher of rlternate "bid proposals : 
which greatly increases the cost of preparing hids paid \Thich nay he a 
device to heo,t do-.rn hid 2:)rices. 

(G) Bid Peddling , A contractor is consic.ered to be "peddling" his 
bids if, after having alread;^ sp.buitted an original bid on a project, he 
learns nhat the low bid on the project hs.s been and offers by some means 
or other to redp.ce his hid below the low hid, or if by other devices he 
lowers his original bid. The resT-ilt of the practice is to lower prices and 
stand,ards in the industry. 

(4) Bid Shopping . An awarding authority is consid-ered to be engaged 
in "bid shopping" when it rejects all original bids on a project, often 
revealing the low bid, for the purpose of callin,^ for new bids at still 
lovrer prices, or vrhen it by other devices seelcs to indp.ce a low bidder to 
reduce his price. The effect upon the indiistrjr is the sane as tiocut of 
"bid peddling." 

( 5) The witliliplding by general contractors of pa^.mients a..ue to sub- 
contractors or inateri?.! men , so that such contractors may utilize the funds 
witlilield to finance other projects for which, often, because of prede- 
pression financial stringencies, they were having difficulty in obtaining 
necessar^T- money, 

(6) B:cce s s ive Back-Chargi ng . This practice arose on larger projects. 
Fnen subcontractors lieA perfonaed their shares of jobs they would find 
themselves presented with a bill from the general contractor calling for 
the pajTnont of excessive fees for having used soae of the contractor's 
equipment, such as scaffolding or hoists, or for s\ipplementary services. 

(7) The Substitution of Inferior liaterials . Intense competition 
giving rise to the practice of hid peddling and hid shopping, end result- 
ing in prices which were imreasonably low, often forced contractors or 
subcontractors to substitxxte cheap a-nd inferior ma,terials in order to save 
themselves possible losses on projects \7iiere prices had been thus cut. 
Desire for greater profit also results in the substitution of inferior 
materials, 

(8) Unhalaziced Bidding . This is a practice in which contractors in 
heavy end highway constraction ordinarily engage. On many projects, bids 
are based on numerous and different units, such as per cubic yard of dirt 
or roch to be removed, or per thousand feet of Imiber to be used. By 



8311 



i 



-45- 

taliinr advantage of their ov/n findings on the rmiiibeT of units and their 
costs, as against the specifications of an a^JTon-ding authority's engineer, 
contractors retaliate the specific "bids on luiits of xrorh so that the total 
of their "bids for all units will "be 1o\t and at the sane time nay Vring high 
profits on certain tmits of the vrork which they snaspect will "be more numerous 
than, the axrarding authority's engineer ha,s estiraated. Lihe\7ise, ^q-j quoting 
high prices on ujiits of vrorh -.vhich vri.ll "be completed in the early life of a 
project and keeping the units performed near the end of a low price, a con- 
tractor is a"ble to force an owr).er to hear a large portion of the finarncing 
costs through the greater part of the life of the project v/hile keeping his 
total "bid sufficiently low. The un"b.alaacing of oids of course assumes many 
other fonas. 

(9) RedLicing Wa/^es, Lengthening "IJorking Eqijts sjid Deoasing Other Con- 
d.itions of ^Torlcnen . These practices a.rose from and accentu.s,ted depression 
conditions. They 'oroke dowia the foundation upon which the competitive 
stsjidards, such as they were, had "been maintained and helped plujige the in- 
dustry?- into the chaos existing in 1933. 

(10) Inecaiities Arising from Loose CrG3.it Practices , Lien acts made 
and still mal^s owners as well as contractors responsihle for the paj'Tnent 
of materis,l and other "bills. As a result, credit was loosely extended to 
irresponsi'ble contractors, who often would finish projects c^id leave dehts 
for materials, etc., to "be paid li^'' o\7ners. The a'bility to emploj'- this 
method to defrau.d ovaiers naturally resulted in loose "bidding "by irresponsi"ble 
controxtors, often cutting "bid prices "below ajiticipated costs. Contractors 
thus performing contracts at a loss were ena"bled to thrive, especially 
during the period ira;:iediately preceding the depression. 

(11) Th e "Kick-Back Eacket"" . To avoid the payment of wa.ge scales 
required "by "[Jnion agreements or otherwise, there developed \7hat "became 
known as the "]:ick "back racket." In order to und.ercut the required rate, 
some contra^ctors would pay the reqn.ired scale to their employees in full. 
Thereupon, the employees, i-..ir.:ed.iately upon the receipt of their pay checks, 
Tfould he forced "by the contractors (-onder the threat of losing their jo"bs, 
etc.) to give "back, or "kick "back" a portion of their daily or weekly 
earnings. 

(12) The Lnjn-oing or Su."bletting of La"bo r. TJlien a contractor o"btains 
a contract for a project from an orrner, he nay tai:e it upon himself to 
furnish only the materials for the jo"b and to let out to a su.i)contractor 
or a journeyman the responsi"bility for providing the necessary la"bor for 
the jo"b at a specified price. Such su"bcontracts calling for the provision 
of la"bor alone are often negotiated at a low price, at which the contractor 
who provides the material is safegiiarded against loss, while the profit^ of 
the su"bcontractor or lahor gang foreman ordinarily depends uj^on his a"bility 
to hire as little la'bor as possi"ble at as low wages a.s possihle, and to 
ejrploit the lahor thus emplo-yed as thoro-u^hly as possihle. The imposition 
of such conditions upon a su"bcontractor or a jom-neyinan gang-foreman 
naturally results in the degredation of la''oor conditions and of the la"borers 
thus hired. The results, of course, are th3 debasement of lahor standards 
for whole communities, the unsettling of competitive conditions and hrjrried, 
slipshod worlc, causing dissatisfaction ai-iong project owiiers and injuring 
the reputation of the original contractor. 

8311 



-46- 

(13) Settiri;';; Bid Price Belovf Cost with the E:coectation. of Grinding 
Profits Out of SuTjcontractors, or of Frofitin,?: Tj;," not Paying Material Bills , 
By this practice a contractor submits his oid on a project helow his oi7n 
estimated cost, e:cpecting to taice advantage of competition among suibcontrac- 
tors in order to recoup not only the losses liut also perhaps some profit. 
Bound up v;ith this pra.ctice are the practices of "bid peddling, hid shopping, 
etc. 

(14) The Em-pl07/tient of Prison Lahor , Especially in the Street Paving 
and Hishv.-ay Construction Suhdivision of the Industry, convict lahor in some 
States has "been substituted for free lahor. Contractors in Street paving 
and Highv/ay Construction i\sti-ally have a great deal of capital invested in 
mechanized equipment. These contractors, in the States where convict lahor 
has moved into the field, have found themselves confronted with ruination 
and the loss of exoensive equipment, which in many cases have heen put up 
as collateral for credit. With impoverished crews of worlanen, they have 
heen cijriven into States where convict Irahor has not demoralized the mai-ket, 
and in those States they have slashed prices and wages in desperate attempts 
to sove their equipment rjid their "businesses. 

Trade practices ff.iich, Becaxise of Ahusive Ure. Became Detrimental 

Llany of the unfair trade practices in the Construction Industry are 
the ou-tgrowths of normal practices, and their unfairness depends often upon 
the degree in which and the purposes for which, the normal practices are 
engaged in, 

1. Calling for alternate hids may "be justifia'ble to give the "bidding 
contractors a clear leeway to siiggest nev/ and perhaps cheaper and more 
efficient designs and to provide an idea of the relative costs of designs. 
Only when an excessive nxuaher of alternate "bids are required and the pujrpose 
is to ""oeat down prices, does this practice "become -unfair, as listed under 
No. 2 in the list of imfair trs.de practices. 

2. M awarding authority may "bo justified in calling for new "bids^ 
upon d-iscovering that true competition has "been a'bsent or upon discovering 
that the specifications upon \7hich hids have "been received will prove 
"beyond the financial means of the awarding authority. When new "bids are 
repeatedly called for in order to "beat down prices, however, this consti- 
tutes an unfair trade practice, 

3. General contractors a:id owners have al\7ays witliheld 10 or 15 per 
cent of the monthly amounts owing for work performed, usually to "be paid 
upon the completion of a joh or upon the receipt of the final pajnnent from 
an 0T,7ner, The practice "becomes unfair, however, when the amounts witliheld 
are e:ccessive or are 'TitMield for devious p^irposes; as listed as ITum'ber 5 
in the list of unfair trade practices, 

4. It is considered ethical for a suDcontractor of his o^m accord, to 
pay reasonahle fees for the use of a general contractor's equipment. General 
contractors, however, have "been known to force stfocontractors to use their 
equipment in order to overcharge them for it. And often, altho-ugh not pro- 
vided in contracts, general contractors will su"bmit su"bcontractors with "bills 
for excessive payments for the use of the general contractor's equipment 

8311 



-47-. 

and general services. Under the latter conditions, the prs^ctice iDecomes 
xinfair end is knov/n as "excessive "back charging," a,s listed o,s IJumber 6 in 
the list of -unfair practices. 

5. Inferior materials, if agreed to hy the omier, nay oe sf.hstituted 
justifiably on a project for the salce of e^cpediency, or for other reasons. 
The substitution of inferior materials without the laio\7ledge of an owner, 
however is unfair, as listed as i'lvunher 7, in the list of luifoar practices. 

6. Unbalanced bidding ms.y be justifiable if the o\Tner of a project is 
able to secure finances more cheaply than the contractor, gnd therefore, "by 
unbalancing the unit price bids so that the OTmer, and not the contractor, 
will carry the heavier financing costs during most of the life of the 
project, a savings is achieved on the total costs. Unbalanced bidding, 
however, may serve as a. means for contractors to tal:e advantage of unfore- 
seen circxmistances (foreseen by the contractors but not by the engineers 
who prepared the plans and specifications upon which the estimates are 
based), by which the units run higher than were estimated, thereb;r enabling 
the contractors often to profit unreasonably at the expense of owners. In 
this and in similar instances unbalanced bidding mprf be considered an imfair 
trade practice or at least a sharp practice as described as Number 8 of the 
list of unfair trade practices. 

7. In a few service trades, such as Painting and Decorating, the 
letting of contracts for la.bor services alone, when the contracts guarantee 
fair wages, etc., may be justified. There are Interior Decorators in maiiy 
cities and towis, for e:cample, \7hose work consists of designing and advising 
and vrho maintain no forces of their own. When they secure decorating con- 
tracts, involving, for instance, painting, they go into the field and hire, 
proba-bl;'- through a subcontractor, the necessary skilled la.bor, while they 
furnish the ma.terials. Under these circ-umstances, therefore, the Iximping 

or subletting of labor nay be justifiable, but under other circiunstances, 
this practice nay be considered unfair both to labor and to competitors 
and results in the dire consequences set forth under llumber 12 of the list 
of unfair practices. 

The development or the ca.uses of the other imfair practices set forth 
in the list of -onfair practices are debatable. There of course, may be 
found peciiliar circumstances when some of then as well may be justifiable, 
but, as stated, the determination of unfair practices in the Industry must 
be based noi-e upon the degree or the purposes of the practices, as well a.s 
upon the practices themselves. 

Unfaar Trade Practices Wliich are Prevalent ITow 

Because of the extremely decentralized condition of the Construction 
Industry and the large nunbers of large and small units, it is not to be 
doubted tliat there are members engaging today in -onfair trade practices. 
Whether unfair tra.de practices are practiced \7idely enoiogh now to be con- 
sidered "prevalent" in the industry, however, data are lacking to determine. 

Trade practice complaints in the Construction Indxistry filed with the 
IJRA since the approval of the Code have covered the follovring specific 
practices (including violations of provisions in the Construction Code or 

8311 



-4G- 

its Cliapters aimed to curl) various unfair practices): 

Bid Peddling 

SulDmitting Bid After Opening Date 

Failure to File Duplicate 

Violation of Registration Provision 

Selling or Bidding Belor,' Cost 

Contract to Other Tlio,n Lowest Bidder 

Parity to All Bidders 

Collusion "between A\7arding Authority and Bidder 

Revision after Bids Opened 

Called for too Many Alterna,tes 

Reliates 

Siihcontract or Material Men Financing Joh 

Miscellaneous and Unclassified 

Failure to Pay Filing Fee 

ComlDining Costs of Other Products to Conceal Costs 

Tailing Bid after Opening Date or Place 

Selling or Shipping Tile 

Suhstitution of Inferior Grade 

Failure to Awor-d Contract to Original Bidder 

Failure to Pay Assessment 

Doing Work without License 

Loa,ning License 

Misusing License 

Inadequff.te Accounts and Records 

The following talDulation shows data reported hy the Compliance 
Division relative to the numher of complaints on hand at the end of each 
reporting period and the nunher of new complaints docketed during the 
pei-iod: 

TABLE XXIS 
TRADE PRACTICS COLIPLAICTTS 
CONSTRUCTION imUSTRT AND SUPPLEIvIENTS 



Period ending 



Numher of Corn-plaints 



Docketed 


On hand at 


during 


end of 


period 


period 


63 


196 


139 


261 


180 


357 


160 


399 


121 


394 


175 


385 


161 


382 


133 


356 


172 


389 



January 


5, 


1935 


Jrnuary 


19, 


1935 


Fehruary 


2, 


1935 


February 


16, 


1935 


March 


2, 


1935 


March 


16, 


1935 


March 


30, 


1935 


ipril 


13, 


1935 


April 


27, 


1935 



8311 



..J 



-4-9- 

Instr^tices Wliei-e Unfair Conpetitive Practices in Ono Area Have Spread to 
Another Area or Sffected the FloTf of Interstate Commerce 

It na7 not "be stated exactly' where the various unfair competitive 
practices in the Construction Industry first arose. There are no records. 

Unfair practices coinnon in recent j'-ears, however, are laiotm to have 
gromi out of the highly competitive situation existing in 1925. They had 
"become accentuated in 1926 thro-oghout the United States. 

Specific instances of these practices were cited almost weekly in the 
"Americaja Contractor" under the heading, "The Plying IlorteJ" Box," from 
Juiie of 1926 through the Pall of 1927. The material covered interviews 
with contractors in 14 States, and traced the development of an.d specifically 
exemplified the outgrowth of ujifair practices from prevailing conditions, 
and set forth their results. Similpjr information, also with specific 
examples, may he ohtained from the "ijnerican Contractor", issues from July 
of 192G through the lall of 1930, under the title, "The PLajahling Mortar Box." 

Effect of Prices Qiioted hy Individital Members in an Area Uoon the ITationcJ 
Price Structiu-e of the Construction Industry 

The 1929 Census of Construction indicates that reporting contractors 
performed the following volujnes of hxisiness outside of their home cities 
and outside of their home states: 

TABLE HX 

llumher of Total Volume fo Outside Volume fo Outside 

Contractors Volume Oo.tside Home City Oatside Home 

Ee-oorting Performed Hone City Home State State 

1/ 2/ 2/ 2/ 

29,799 $6,013,034 $2,576,887 43 $1,057,352 17.5 

l/ All classes of estahlisliments 

2/ Total of vol-ime of business ti-ansactions 
in Thousands of Dollars 

Prom the above it may be seen that 43 per cent of the total volume 
of 29,799 contracting establishments of all hinds was performed outside 
of the home cities of tliese cstablisliments, and that 17.5 per cent of their 
total volume was performed outside of their home states. It shotild be 
evident therefore that price cutting by any individual or gro-ap of individ- 
uals in an^r ojrea, city or state must aJfect prices in other areas, cities 
or states where these individuaJ.s also operate. 

As also indicated, there are many contractors whose operations cover 
the entire United States, p,nd it is obvious that their price levels are 
of national consequence. 

The national effects of local price and wage levels are also maiiifested 
by large migrations of skilled and un-skilled construction workers; as evi- 
denced in the migration of construction operatives to Florida, during the boom 
of 1925 sjid the emigration of construction workers from states where convict 
labor has depressed the wages azid. conditions of those engaged in loighway con- 
struction ojid maintenance . 
8311 



J 



-50-- 

CFJiP[l!ER VI 

THE INDUS mi - GENEKAL liviromiATIOSr 

Brief History of the Constraction Industry 

CHABACIERISTIC DEVSLOPMEWTS IK GEi^IEEAL BUILDING 
CONSTRUCTION SINCE 1S23 

GroiTth of Pre-Depression Fro'cleins 

Construction organizations and tlieir facilities for performing iTork \Tere 
rapidljr expanded in 1923 and 1924. There occui*red simultaneously an acvite 
shortage of meclianics and tuilding materials. The shortage was overcone, hut 
the number and the capacity of contracting organizations continued e:manding 
heyond recraireraents. The outcome was a "buyers' market in the huilding indus- 
trj'-. The situiation was acute as early as 1926. 

The need for a continuous volume of business to keep down overhead costs 
gave rise to "bid shopi:5ing" and "bid peddling, " v/hich soon dominated the in- 
dustry. 

As such practices grew more common and while 10 or more contractors were 
conroeting for every reasonably sized project open to competition, the total 
overhead costs of the industry ascended. Prospects for individual profitable 
operations declined. Pujids and energ;^ were v/asted. The waste was cha.rged to 
the industrj'^'s cost of doing business. It assumed staggering proportions, 
despite several futile a.ttempts to devise procedures to eliminate "bid shop- 
ping" and "bid r)eddling, " the antagonisms among the various groups in the in- 
dustry, general contractors, architects and subcontractors, became sharper* 

Increase in Loose Credit Practices 

Puj-'ther complications arose out of the financial and legal relations pe- 
culiar to the buildin™ industr^r. The lien laws ordinarily establish a d.vB.1 
liabilit:/ for a conti\-;,ctor' s debts. An owner thereby is responsible for impaid 
labor and ma-terial bills incurred by a contractor in improving his property. 

These laws and boom-time methods and laxities broixght about loose credit 
pra,ctices v/ithin the industry. Irresijonsible contractors, performing contracts 
at a loss, were enabled, to thrive. 

General contractors, bearing the brunt of this competitive condition, 
passed on their woes to subcontractors and material men. Hade possibly b3'- a 
continiially increasing vol-ome of demand, a steadily declining price level for 
materials constituted a saving feature in the "futures" operations tj'pical of 
the industry. 

Stable ijage Rates as Protection for Contractors 

Chiefly for two reasons labor was not seriously affected by these pre- 
depression circumstances. The first reason was that general contractors \7ere 
able to opers-te with greater assurance, in a "futures" market when v.'age rates 
\"ere stable and insured in advance. Unstable rates complica,te the ^'ork of es- 
tima.ting and jjrevent contractors from figuring jobs excepting on a wild, gamb- 
8311 



-51- 

ling "basis. StalDilit^'- in this res-oect, therefore, rs an economic necessity. 
Each "building contractor must know what his competitor is goinf; to pa3'- for la- 
tor hefore he may figui-e his own price in the competitive "futiir-es" narhet. 
Otherijise chaos reigns. 

The second reason for the comparative stahility of pre-depression -.T^e 
ra,tes and for the escape of labor from competitive enhroilments was the ex- 
istence of strong labor organizations in the building crafts field. Collect- 
ive bargaining had generally established vage rates. Even in open-shop 
communities, such as St. Paul and Minneapolis, San Erancisco and Detroit, the 
emplajrers cooperated in fixing wa,ge scales almost up to the level of those set 
'oy tinions , and they pledged themselves to pay these rates. 

Because of these several factors, r/age rates rose gradually from 1922 to 
1930, v,'hereas material prices in 1926 began the decline which continued until 
1932 and 1933. 

Other Factors in Labor Conditions 

The rise in wage rates was accelerated grea,tly by speculative or opera- 
tive builders who, for reasons not connected with the general economic interes 
of contractors, f reouentl:'- offered bonuses or increased wages to craftsmen in 
order to speed up specific projects. 

The seasonable characteristics of the industry, ho'-^ever, have complicated 
labor and vrage scale problems. Activity within the different crafts varies 
with the parts they play during the different stages of con=;tru.ction projects. 

Labor requirements during the busy season of the year necessitate a tre- 
mendous excess of reserve man-power during the off-peak seasons. Erequently 
from 30 to 40 per cent of the carpenters, masons, iron workers and other 
structural craftsmen may be found unemployed while there is a shortage of heat- 
ing, -olriabing, electrical and plastering workers and other finishing tradesm.en. 
In other m.onths mary be fouJid from 40 to 50 per cent unemploj^ment in all trades. 
Considered therefore with an eye on the comion pool system of labor mobiliza- 
tion, wage rates for building mechanics have had to achieve a high hourljr level 
if annual earnings were to be sufficient to induce men to remain vrithin the 
industry. 

The fact that m.ost operations were, and remain, the operations of skilled 
craftsr.en has played a -part in emplover-emploj.^es relationships in the building 
section of the indr.stry. Approximately 70 per cent of the total labor time ex- 
pended in building construction is that of skilled or semi-skilled workm.en. 
The reno.ining 30 per cent is classified as unskilled. 

Variations of Labor Costs 

Wage rates have varied for different classifications of labor in ratio 
with the degree ofskill required in each, although the factor of skill lias beer, 
modified considerably b"/ the degree of strength of the resi^ective labor organ- 
izations. 

In different sections of the country wage scales have varied \7idely, re- 
maining, however, fairly stable for each of the various trades in specif ic 
localities oluring the successive years between 1922 and 1930. In the higher 

8311 



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vrage centers, as a rule, the competition xor jobs among' workmen ijlio collected 
in these centers from all over the coujitry enalDle the selection of the hest 
mechanics. In such localities, therefore, procluctivitj^ per man-hour was great- 
er, and tended to counteract the effect of higher rates xvpon Duildin,™ costs. 

The percentage which lahor costs comprised of the total value of work 
performed likewise varied widely among the different trades. It ranged from 
a low of hetween 15 and 17 -oer cent for marble setters to between 40 and SO 
per cent for painters cuid from 42 to 55 per cent for plasterers. The medio.n 
range of total labor costs to total value of production vras betvreen 50 and 37 
per cent for all trades involved in general building construction, 1/ 

Labor cost percentages, however, varied widely among different individujal 
jobs. They were complicated by factors of management and, to a greo.ter extent 
by uncontrollable factors such as labor supply and weather. 

In viev; of such un-oredictable variations in Isibor costs, therefore, it 
obviously becomes all the more necessary to remove uncertainties as to v;age 
rates. 

Qverexoansion and Credit Practices 

The ra;oidly increasing volwne of available business was accompanied b^-' a 
tendency for most contra.ctors to erpand their facilities and operations still 
more rapidly. This tendency brought about two conditions; first, an inten- 
sification of competition despite the increasing volume, and second, the 
necessity for additional outside financing by those firms ^-.hich were overex- 
tended in a, given period. Before intensified competition drove dovrn the pro- 
fit margin, banJc capitsl was available in quaiitities sufficient to meet the 
requirements of overextended firms. Later, however, when intensified compe- 
tition reduced profit margins to levels vrhich made loa.ns -nrecarious to banlcs, 
other devices were resorted to in order to secure the required finpjicing. 
There arose generally the wractice by which subcontractors were forced to 
finance general contractors. The practice became T\rides-nread. 

Pajniients duixe to subcontractors oj general contractors were withheld in in- 
crea.sing proportions. Contracts normally permitted a general contractor to 
vrithhold from 10 to 15 ver cent of the monthly amounts owing to subcontractors 
for work performed, usuallj'' to be paid ixpon the comoletion of the job or upon 
the recei-it of the final po-yment from the owner. But this CListom degenera.ted 
into the practice of withholding from 25 to 50 per cent of the amouats of the 
arao-unts due to subcontractors, and general contractors thus were eno.bled to 
ewploj these unpaid sums to finance other projects. 

The practice was recognized as an unfair method of competition ajnong 
general contractors and as an imposition uwon subcontractors. Efforts to 
correct it neve fu.tile, excepting in a few instances, such as the banding to- 
gether of subcontractors and some general contractors in New York Cit3'- to es- 
tablish the Credit Bureau, of the Building Trades of New York Gitj. The Bureau 
partially alleviated the condition, but it failed to secure the full coopera- 
tion of either general contractors or subcontractors, because the constantly 
diminishing sujjply of ready money rendered increasingly necessar;- the passing 
on of financing to subcontractors, 

1/ Based on data in the 1S29 Census of Construction, 
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"Bad: Clmi-j-^inA'. " 

"Back charging" was another practice croppinry up in this period. It -Tas 
s, system v'herein general contractors required subcontractors to p?."" charges 
for itens such as lighting, scaffolding, the installation of laddernays and 
stairs, sxreeping and cleaning uj), "back patching," hoisting materir.ls r.nd 
occasionally for shanties used loy vrorkraen. "Back charging," of covv-se, oec0-me 
a feature on the larger operations. There \ras little opportunity for such 
levies on small residential or store huilding projects. 

Ovmers and contractors in sone instances, ho'-rever, went so far as to vjith- 
holo- final estirar.tes for long Deriods of time, often hy the artifice of issuin. 
notes sta,ving off a settlement date until after lien rights had lapsed. An 
increase in inter-city and ixiterstate operations vrorsened the situation. On 
certain projects general contra.ctors frora distant cities would call together 
suhcontractors from many other localities. As a condition of secixring work, 
they would demand of the subcontractors vraivers of lein rights. Large "balance 
of pa-;Tnents subsequently would be withheld indefinitely. The breadth and 
fertilit3r of the field in which these practices flourished are well depicted 
in the 1939 Oensus of Construction, showing that only 59 per cent of the total 
business of 9,89o re-3orting contra,ctors was performed in their respective home 
cities, while 15.4 per cent of the total was performed outside of their re- 
spective ho ine s t c"', t e s . 

Spread of Segregated Contract System 

.inother factor ajjpeared during this period to vex the industry, A grow- 
ing nuiaber of owners began building on a segregated contract S3'"ste;n b;- which, 
with the assistance of architects or superintendents, they closed their ovm 
subcontracts for the various special operations on their respective projects. 
Thus general contractors found their work of coordinating different specializ- 
ed construction operations being performed by usurping owners. Because of the 
antagonisms elreadj shown to have been growing between general contractors a^nd 
subcontractors, many subcontractors became proponents of the segregated con- 
tract sj'stem and its inherent tendency to eliminate general contractors. 

The general building contracting industry, therefore, may be seen to have 
been sick in 1929, prior to the onset of the dejpression. A shake-iip v/as por- 
tended, slrjii'o or no slump. 

Depression and Declines 

Tims rn accnm-olation of problems risen from, tl^e exigencies and the reck- 
less ways of seeming prosperity began agitating and upsetting the industr^r vrher 
building volume in 1929, some nine months before the stock market crash, began 
dropping. A 13,5 per cent decline from the 1928 volume of building projects 
valued at more than $5,000 each was re-oorted by the ?. W. Dodge Corporation foi 
1929. The decrease i;7as about $794,800,000, or from $5,832,200,000 in 1928 to 
$5,027,400,000 in 1929. For the same two years the volujue of projects valued 
at less than $5,000 was re^ported b3'- Dodge to have dropped 10.2 per cent. 

Crash of I7a:"^:e Structure 

In the chaotic conditions orevalent in the ino-ustrj^ by 1933, the stabilit;- 
of wage rates was lost. Slight breaks in the established scales in 1930 had 
widened, to send the wa.f-e striicturt by 1932 tiombling into wreckage and thus it 
8311 



.Jm 



-54- 

remained to 1934. 

The tine had come when general contractors fotmd it impossible to deter- 
mine v/age rates in advance. There uas no means of knowing v/hat rates competi- 
tors would figure. Guessing "became necessary; guessing at rates vfhich looked 
small enough to undercut the other fellow and trusting to luck that such rates 
could he forced upon the employees of the general contractor and the suhcon- 
tractors involved. The interlocking of SLich "futures" estimating with increas- 
ingly fierce competition created a situa.tion in which once the wage structure 
had hegun tottering, the collapse was not to he stopped without outside inter- 
vention. 

The Prevailing Wag:e Act 

The federal Government in 1931, attempted to halt the down swing as it 
effected federal building. Urged by organized labor, the Bacon-Davis Prevail- 
ing Wage Act was passed. 

Opposition to the Act came from organized contractors. There was no 
prevailing rate, they argued. The spread in rates the contractors declared to 
have been already so great aiid the economic compulsion to cut wages so insur- 
mountable, that the sole remaining hope was for the Federal Government to writf 
into the specifications for each project the minimiim i-ates to be paid in each 
trade on each job. A bill thus to amend the Bacon-Davis Law passed by Congress 
in 1932, biit was vetoed. 

The Prevailing Wage Law failed to check the downward trend of wages or re- 
duce the spread in \;age pcijonents. Several times organized labor fought for anc 
obtained from the Secretary of Labor decisions establishing rates approximatiUt' 
those set by unions as the prevailing rates in certain localities. Bvit it is 
not aroparent that the Act halted the decline even on Federal projects. At best 
it re"tard.ed here and there the decline in top rates and thereby, however, in- 
creased the spread bet-'-.een the high and lov/ rates paid in the commLmities afr- 
fected. Its general failure is e:cemplified by the complaints of a group of 
general contractors in Atlanta, Georgia in 1932 that their competitors were 
paying comnon buildiUcg laborers wages rates as low as 5 cents per hour and 
that 10 cents per hour had become common in that city. They added their voicer 
to the general outcry that something be done to set a bottom. 

Summary 

The precarious situation of general building contractors in the first halj 
of 1933 therefore may be summed up as follovrs; 

1. Sapped by loose credit practices, the industry had become em^ieshed in 
a credit stringency acutely strangling it, 

2. The volume had dwindled to the smallest on record; to 16,5 per cent of 
that in 1929. 

3. Unfair trade practices were ramnant, agitating the crosscurrents of 
antagonism and recalcitrance among architects and subcontractors to a calmina- 
tion threatening enou^jh to give rise to proposals in Congress and in vc-xlov.s 
State legislatures for laws that would have prevented general bu.ilding contrac- 
tors from performing public building contracts. 

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4. Wage rates were in chaos, for"bidding intelligent predeterminations of 
labor costs and degrading the exactitudes of estimating to a gaiiae of cliance 
fron which emerged too often losses event-ually made up from lahor pa^rrolls. 

Almost vanished w. s the purchasing -oouer of ahout 515,000 building work- 
men normally emnloyed by general contractors and of about 900,000 others nor- 
mally in the services of special or subcontractors. The division of available 
work liad reduced their standard of living to less than subsistence requirementj 

Codes, A Last Resort 

The predicajaent of the industry generally was conceded to be hopeless vn- 
less throug'h Governmental power correctives were to be supplied and effectively 
applied. Of that last resort, however, many were skeptical. Many still are 
skeptical. But none to date has suggested an alternative to the code method. 
Complaints against the non-enforcement of code provisions have been n-umberous. 
Individual, local and regional opposition to specific regulations, as in the 
instance of the General Contractors' Code, has been common. But the pressing 
need for the application of an external force has been universally recognized 
as a la,st hoioe. 

CHAEACTEPJSTIC DETELOBiENTS IN HSAF/ CONSTRUCTION 

The above summary of important trends and happenings in the Genero,! Build- 
ing Contracting Division of the Industry in the last decase as stated, does noi 
include a fe\? major points having to do with the history of other Divisions 
since about 19.23, These may be summarized as follows: 

In the Heavy Construction Division of the Industry, rapid growth of 
mechanization and the larger scale of financing required, because of the size 
of most projects, were factors differentiating considerably the course of this 
Division in the last decade from the courses of most other Divisions. Opera- 
tions in the Division are frequently conducted on a na.tional or regional scale, 
and contractors in it have always been accustomed to rapid changes in total 
and individual volumes of business. A srummary of important changes in the 
Division from 1923 to the first half of 1933 follows: 

1. The stringencies of finance and surety compo,nies since the depression 
rendered the less well financed concerns incapable of competing for available 
projects, and drove many firms into combinations or into idleness. 

2, The rapid depletion of assets because of high carrying charges on 
idle heavy equipment, depreciating or becoming obsolete, or losing value in a 
declining market for both used and new equipment, forced numerous firsm into 
competition at losing prices in order to carry or to liquidate equipment invest 
ments. 

3. Y/ages in this Division were extremely susceptible to redrxtion; first, 
becf-use they constituted the major item of cost which coriJ.d be changed at 
pleasure, and, second, because unionization in this Division h£.s been extremely. 
limited. The progressive intensification of competition between 1923 and 1933, 
therefore, bore down most heavilj?- upon ws-ge rates, 

4, "Unbalanced bidding" was a practice characterizing this Division 
particularly. Because of financial stringency and the pressure to e::tr?,ct high 

8311 



^56- 

■unit prices from early operations in order to carry through the renainder of 
projects involved to corApletion, this form of "bidding hecame increasingly pre- 
valent, 

5. The vol-urae of business of this Division 'bet'-^een 1929 and 1S35 declined 
less than the volumes of other Divisions. The decline was 44 per cent in this 
period. 

CHAEACTERISTIC DEVELOBffiivlTS IN STREET PAVIN& 
MiB HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION 

In addition to the parts pla^red hy prison lahor in degrading the ^rrages 
and working conditions of free laoor in some states, and the consecuent ixo- 
setting of competitive standards in other states, the major conditions and 
their results in the Street Paving and Highv/ay Construction Division of the 
Industry from 1923 to the first half of 1933 may he summarized as follows: 

1, The pressure of hanks and security companies for the liciuidation of 
assets, e::isting primarilj?- as mechanized equipment, as in the Heavy Construc- 
tion Division, forced cutthroat competition causing reductions in charges for 
eqiiipment and wage rates. 

2, Because of the liquidation process, continuous since 1930, assets vrere 
rapidl;^ depleted. 

3, Public agencies, including states and the Federal G-overnment, because 
of the necessity for relieving unemployment, stepped int6 the Street and High- 
way Construction field, and became to an increasing degree, competitors as well 
as members of this Division. 

4, Intensified competition enabled almost entirely by the variability of 
wage rates depressed the earnings of the workmen of contractors so lov? that 
many States supplanted the privately employed woriimen with publicly employed 
day-labor crews, or set minimum scales in project specifications. Other pn.b- 
lic agencies, having heard the cries for unemployment relief, undertook, on a 
relief basis, orojects ordinarily performed by contractors said on these the 
public agencies paid rates as low as any in the construction field, 

5, The volume of the Division had dropped in 1933 to 39 per cent of that 
in 1929. 

6, On July 21, 1932, the Emergency Reco:-struction and Finance Act was 
enacted. It provided an appropriation of $120,000,000 for Federal aid to 
states for highway construction and maintenance and reqtxired that state high- 
way depart;ients establish minimum wages for workmen engaged in Federally 
financed work. Work by hand, rather than by machinery, was made m.andatorj'- in 
a few operations. 

CHARACTERISTIC DEVELOPMENTS AMONG SUBCONTRACTING GROUPS 

In the period from 1923 to 1933, the major characteristics developing in 
the 17 major groups of subcontractors (which have not been mentioned already 
in connection with developments in other Divisions) v/ere as follows: 

1. Many established firms declined to the status of small employers, 
8311 



J 



-57- 

2. Scores of thousands of employees were displaced ty the groring pro-c- 
tice of some subcontractors doing their orn v;ork with their o\7n hands; causing .-. 
in some of the subcontractor grouiJS unenployraent greater tlian v.-as vmrrcjated by 

t he vo lui'-ie de cl ine . 

3. An unlcnouTi number of journeynen entered the contracting field and 
sought and performed small jobs and contracts in order to keep themselves 
occupied. 

4. Because of the haphazard and cutthroat practices inherent in the pool 
system governing the distribution of both volui-ie of business and enplo3n-.ient , 
the standard of living of all employees had been reduced to or belor/ subsis- 
tence requirements. 

5. In the subcontracting groups, and in the relations betrreen subcon- 
tractors and general contractors and owners, the practices of "bid peddling" 
and "bid shop'ping," as \7ell as most of the other unfair trade ;oractices listed 
in this report flourished. 

Operations of the Conrtruction Industry 

kP. outline of operations, as on a typica,l construction project, follows: 

Plans and specifications having been prepared by architects or engineers, 
the OTiner or his agent, acting as the awarding authority, advertises for gener- 
al contractors and/or specialized contractors to submit bids on the project. 

Any number of competing general contractors and/or speciaAized contrac- 
tors may submit bids. Before submitting their bids, competing general contrac- 
torB maj'" call for subcontractors' bids for the performance of special opera- 
tions, and may call for material prices, or they may base their bids on their 
own estimates and call for sub-bids and material prices afterwards. In any 
case the project and/or portions of it are l^anded over for completion xisiii:,lly 
to the general and/or specialized contractors submitting the lowest bids. 

TiThen the project or a portion of it is awarded to him for construction, the 
general contractor, if he intends to sublet sone of the vrork (he nay perform the 
entire project or his portion of it with his o\7n forces if he desires) and if he 
has not already received sub-bids from subcontractors, mair set about calling for 
bids from. svLbcontractors and ordering the materials he v/ill need. To the siib- 
contractors v/ho offer the lowest bids for the performance of their respective 
specialized operations are generally awarded the subcontracts. 

M3.terials are ordered so that they will be delivered on schedule as needed 
while the work progresses. If the awarding aiithority has awarded narts of the 
project to specialized contractors, such as plumbing or electrical or roofing 
contractors, these contractors perform their respective tasks as progress on the 
job allows. 

Most important on snj project is the coordination of all specir.lized oper- 
ations, su.ch as the installation of piping before the floors or walls are built, 
or of electrical wiring, etc. , and the organization of work on the jjroject so 
that as soon as one subcontractor, for instance, finished his special operations, 
the next special operation will be started immediately and no tim.e will be lost. 
This coordinating of operations usua,lly is the responsibility of the general 
contractor or engineer or architect or all of them, 

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On a large project tliers may "be anywhere from 12 to 1,000 material a.nd 
subcontracting firms involved in the work or in f-arnishing materials; some- 
times most of then may "be located in different cities or states. 

The general contractor hires his own men for worlc which he performs 
himself, while the various suhcontractors and/or specialii^ed contractors 
hire their own men. 

Monthly payments (excepting 10 or 15 per cent of the amounts due, which 
is held hy the o^mer or his agent until the project is completed), are made 
"by the owner to the general contractor and/or the specialized contractors, 
and the general contractor, in turn, usually distributes among the subcon- 
tractors their respective shares. 

There are scores of variations in this procedure. 

BRIEF EISTORY OF TMDE ASSOCIATIOIIS AlID COOPERATITE 

ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE CONSTHUCTION IIOUSTRY AW 

NAlvIES OE mTIOimi ASSOCIATIONS IH INDUSTRY 

Number and Variety of Emijloyer Association s 

The countless intersecting cleavages of economic group interests, as 
well as the basic issue of volume promotion upon which all members tend to 
unite, are reflected in the organizations in the Construction Industry. The 
resultant maze of organizational structures comprises at least 68 national 
associations, having hundreds of state and local branches and chapters. They 
compete or interlock with at least 55 regional associations. Local group 
associations, either independent or affiliated with other local, regional, 
or national organizations, are so n-omerous and in such a state of flux as to 
defy enumeration. They run into thousands. In addition in the industry 
there are scores of thousands of members always among the unorganized, al- 
though rarely may a nember of exoerience or standing be found who at one 
time or another has not participated in some organization. 

For industr-'- members to belong simultaneously to several associations, 
which may be op-oosing eacli other over conflicting economic issues, is not 
uncommon^ 1/ 

TABLE X]SI 

NATIOML EJiPLOYER ASSOCLA.TIOWS: 
CONSTRUCTIOII Il'IDUSTRY 

Inclusive of Most or all Divisions of Industry 

American Construction Council 
Construction League of the United States 



1/ Several members of the Executirve- Board of the National Association of 

Buildin,- Trades Emplo:"-ors and of the Board of its ally, the National Asso- 
ciation of Biiilders ' ErzcIiP-nge s , for "d--anple, were found at the same time 
to be members or exectitives in the Associated General Contractors of America 
during the period' from June 30, 1933 to Jan-uary 31, 1934, when the two 
former associations were contending with the latter before the National 
Recovery Administration over the issue of a separate code for the Building 
Construction Subdivision of the Industry. 

8511 



-59- 

Partially Inclusive 

National Association of Builders Exchanges 
National Association of Building Trades Employers 
National Committee of Building Congresses 

Designers 

American Institute of Architects 

American Society of Landscape Architects, Inc. 

Architects Small House Service Bureau, Inc. 

American Engineering Council 

American Association of Engineers 

American Institute of ConsiiJ.ting Engineers, Inc. 

American Societjr of Civil Engineers 

American Society of Municipal Engineers 

American Society of Keating and Ventilating Engineers 

American Association of State Highway Officials 

American Institute of Quantity Surveyors 

Building Officials Conference of America 

National Engineering Inspection Association 

National Associ?.tion of Poner Engineers 

National Conference on Gitj Planning 

G-eneral Contracting 

Associated G-eneral Contractors of America 
Associated Pipe Line Contractors of America 
American Railway Bridge and Building Association 

Suhcontractin g 

Ashestos Contractors National Association 
American Institute of Steel Construction, Ind. 
American Association of Water Well Drillers 
Cement-Gun Contractors' Association 
Contracting Plasterers' International Association 
Heating, Piping and Air Conditioning Contractors 

National Association 
International Society of Master Painters and Decorators, Inc. 
Institute of Steel Plate Construction 
Mason Contractors Association of the United States and 

Canada 
Metalic TIall iStructure Association 
National Concrete Chimney Builders Association 
National Elevator Manufacturers Association 
Natioiu.l Erectors Association 

National Association of Electrical Contractors 
National Resilient Flooring Association 
National T/ood Flooring Contractors Association 
National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association 
National Kalamein Association 

National Association of Metal Purring and Lathing Contractors 
National Association of Meirhle Dealers 
National Association of Sheet Metal Contractors 

8311 



-50- 

Table XXXI (Cont'd) 

Natiohal Association of Ornamental Iron, Bronze & Wire Mfrs. 

National Association of Master Plum"berG of the U.S.A. 

National Screen Ansociation 

National Slate Associa,tion 

National Stone Setting Contractors Association 

National Terra Gotta Manufacturers Association 

National Terazzo & Mosaic Association 

Plumtihg and Heating Industries Bureau 

Roofing and Sheet Metal Industries Conference 

Simplex Concrete Pile Association, Inc. 

Tile end. Mantel Contractors Association of America 

United Roofing Contractors Associa.tion 

Weatherstrip Trade Association of America 

Specialty IncluBive 

Asphalt Institute 

American Concretel institute 

American Road Builders Association 

American Institute of Sanitation Service 

America.n Water Works Association 

Highway Industries Association 

Land Developers and Home Builders Division of the 

National Association of Real Estate Boards 
National Rivers and Karhors Congress 
National Municipal Incinerator Association 
River and Harhor Improvement Association of the U. S. 
Standard Steel Building Institute 

Practically every locality presents in miniature the complex organiza^tion- 
al picture existing for the country as a r'hole. The failure to corral the "bulk 
of the industry vrithin a single organization thus comes to light clearly 3.s 
a consequence of the fundamental economic structure of the industry itself. 
The multitudinous and contending local, regional and national associa.tions are 
the natural outgrowth of the multitude of conflicting or contending special 
economic interest;:^. The idea for an all-inclusive organization of the Con- 
struction Industry, however, frequently has "been advanced. 

National Associations and Their Experiences 

The National Association of Builders Exchange wp.s formed in 1897, At no 
time since, however, has it "been able to extend its field to interest agencies 
involved in Highway or Heavj'- Construction. It has failed to bring ujider its 
wings architects and engineers, neither of fhora have oeen attracted "by the 
succession of small "deals," which are the life l)lood of an exchange. It has 
"been frought with cleavages as between the special interests of ma.terial pro- 
ducers and vendors, general contractors and assorted groups of subcontractors, 
so that no major problem was to be acted upon without endangering the local 
or national exchange structure. The one, safe line has been the promotion of 
building volume, a common interest i/hich ha.s served in a way to enable both 
the National Association of Builders Exchanges a,nd the many local exchanges to"" 
survive constantlj'- recurring organizational crises, 

8311 



-61- 

In 1918 ■onder the auspices of the ChaTnher of CoFinerce of the United State; 
there was Is^iJiched the Federation of Construction Industries, 9,n agency intend- 
intended to encompass the entire construction industry. Almost innediately it 
was confronted rdth group conflicts, and vraiished. 

The Ainerican Construction Council was l':'i.ijjiched in 1924. It attracted 
lahor and architects, "but no significant grouos in Heavy Construction and High- 
way Construction. Its promotional 3.ctivity for 'ouildin,-; construction kevt it 
alive in the Btiilding Division many years. The Association, however, diTindled 
axjaj to 3, skeleton following attempts to discourage over-speculation ''oy opera- 
tive huilders, to develop an a-oprentice training program and to reform methods 
of real estate "bond underwriting and flotations. Since then it has been kept 1 
a few man^ufacturers v.'ho encoura^ged its promotional activities. 

In 1918 the National Association of Building Trades Employers was formed 
to bargain with labor in the interests of ern'oloyers. It drew members from all 
Industry Division and in 1953 claimed 6,030 members in 45 cities. 

Representatives of special interest national organizations in 1931 found- 
ed the Construction League of the United States on a program at first confineci 
almost entirely to the promotion of constniction volume. The League was in- 
terested primarily in Federal, State a.nd local appropriations of public for ■ 
construction work. Aroimd this core of activity it grew rapidly in strength 
and prestige and m.oved tentati37:ely to expand the scope of its activities and 
to enter upon som.e of the intra- industry problems rooted in the special econom- 
ic interest of major groLips in the industry. Such endeavors had not matured 
prior to the advent of NPJl, but the League nas on the stage as the strongest 
and most active and representa,tive organization purporting to speak for con- 
struction as an industrj;-, 

A major characteristic of all of these inclusive national organizatiohs, 
however, is their inability, when questions of serious economic import crop, up 
to claim the undivided support of their resiDective members for whom they seem 
to be best qualified to speak. 

HISTORY OF RZLATIOITSKIP BSTWEEIT 
LABOR Al^D I-IANAG-EIIEKT 

A history of the rela.tions betvfeen labor and management for the Construc- 
tion Industry as a whole may not be summarized, because such a history perforci 
is made wp of the histories of these relationships in thousands of different 
localities throughout the United States. Likewise the history of rela-tionship; 
within each Division of the Industry in each locality may differ considerablj'-. 

For the highlights of r, history of this pha-se of the Construction Industr 
however, the reading of William Haber's "Industrial Relations in the Building 
Industry" is recommended. The facts which follow were taken from this volume. 
They comprise, at best a scants;- outline. 



8311 



-.62- 

1791 - The first stril'e in the building trades when Philp.delphia carpen- 
ters str-uck for higher overtime pay and for workin'^ hours from "si 
to six." The strike v/as lost. 

1800 - The desire of "better conditions and a. shorter working day had 

"brought a"bout "by 1800 the forma,tion of many unions in the "building 
field. 

1836 - The master carpenters of Philad.elphia organized a masters' associa- 

tion "for the purpose of putting down, the com"bina,tion called the 
'Trade Union. • " 

1837 - Depression put many unions out of existence. 

1850 - This year sa^v a growing cooperation among employers against unions 

1835) 

1853)- Dates when carpenters tried unsuccessfully to form national unions 

1865) 

1864 - la,tional union of palsterers formed. 

1865 - National 'brickla.yers' union formed, 

1873-79 - Depression, hampering national union organization, 
1877 - Hationa.l granits cutters' union formed. 
1882 - Brotherhood of Painters formed, 

1887 - National stone cutters union formed. 

1888 - Steanf itters' national union formed. 

1889 - Plura'bers national union formed. 

1890 on - Many other nationaJ. unions formed, 

1897 - The National Building Trades Council was formed as a res^ilt of pre 
posals for it "oy Sa.raual Gompers at the 1888 Convention of the 
American Federation of Iia"bor. 

1910 on - Period of stabilization and grovftn of national unions. 

As stated, any national history of employer-employee relationships in the 
Construction Industry must "be made up of a series of histories of various 
localities, A summary of the history of collective "bargaining in Chicago fol- 
lows: 

1875 - Year marking post-depression revival of "building activites ac- 
companied "by a revival of union activities and a:a increase in the 
num"ber of unions. 

1887 - The first ar"bitration "board in the local building trades was es- 
tablished as a result of a bricklayers' striice. 
8311 



-63- 
1890 - A local Building Trades Coiincil was organized. 

1893 -1900 - This period, san the growth and strengthening of local unions. 

1894 - The contractors organized a "building conference committee, r'hich 

quickly v^ent out of existence. 

1889 - A Building Contractors' Council ttp.s organized as a "war m.easure." 

It resemhled the Building Trades Council, and was empowered to take 
any action it saw fit, to order a lockout, to supervise agreements, 
etc. 

1899 - Contractors coniraittee appointed, to confer with union comm.ittee, 

1900 - Having failed to secure union agreement upon six basic demands, the 

contractors declared a lock-out. 

1901 - Various affiliated locals having withdraira and made separate a.gree- 

ments with the contractors, the Building Trades Council disbanded, 

1907 - The anions by this year had restored their central organization to 
a stable basis, 

1908-11 - Increase in jurisdictional disputes, which were handled by the 
Contractors' Coujicil. 

1911 - This yea,T found both employees and employers thoroughly organized. 

1913 - An important strike and a lockout of 27,000 eraploj'"ees and the sit- 
imtion from which emerged the Joint Conference Board composed, of 
em.ployees and. contractors to arbitrate d.isputes. 

1S15 - The year in which 19 trad-e agreements expired, involving the in- 
terests of more than 40 employer trade associations, 1,000 in- 
dividual emplo5''ers and 80,000 workers. The new agreements ad.opted. 
incorporated no-strike clauses, etc. and. brought about op-oosition 
from the Building Trades Department of the American Federation of 
Labor. .and culminated in strikes or lock-outs involving about 60, 
000 employees. The strikes and lock-outs ?/ere settled by com- 
promises, the last of which enabled, the readmission of the lathers 
into the Building Trades Council in 1920. 

1917-18 - 'War Conditions in these years resulted in a carpenters strike .' 
for higher wa,ges, which was followed lij a general building lock- 
out involving more than 100,000 men in the erection and materials _ 
trades. The employers capitulated and an agreement was consummat- 
ed to run until May of 1920. 

1921 - Stril-es, resiilting in the award of September 7, 1921 by Judge K, K. 
Landis, reducing wages, requiring peaceful arbitration, etc, A 
Citizens' Committee t© Enforce the Landis Award was set up imd.er 
the sponsorship of various employer organizations and it instituted 



8311 



i 



-64- 

boycotts against all unions refusing: to abide lij the award. To 
replace members of unions refusing to reco;5nize the Landis Award, 
nore than 12,000 were imported into the City of Chicago a,nd 600 
guards were employed to prevent interference with strike brea'-ing 
activities. 

1922 - The Building Trades Council was rsorga,nized to include only the 22 

unions adhering to the Landis Awa.rd. 

1923 - The anti-Landis award unions returned to the council. The Landis 

Award expired on May 3 of this year, and raa-ny contractors ^had be- 
come indifferent toward the Award, 

1926 - The Building Trades Cotmcil had regained its favorable bargaining 

position in relation to employers. 

1927 - The Building Construction Emplo3/ers' Association met the demands of 

unions, and severed its connection with the Citizens' Committee 
to enforce the Landis Award. In this year, rlso, although desert- 
ed by most contractors, the Citizens' Committee issued a statement 
that it woiild remain in existence "as long as there is one con- 
tractor who demands its services." 

In brief it may be said that the history of the relationships between 
building labor and employers has been a history of changing balances of power. 

Labor Departm-ent data on the number of strikes a^nd lock-outs in the B'aild- 
ing Trades from 1919 through 1933 show the following: 

TABLE ESI I 

DISPUTES II THE 3UILDING TElDES 

!Io. of No. of 

Year pis-putes Year Disputes 

1919 473 1927 194 

1920 521 1928 134 

1921 583 1929 212 

1922 113 1930 186 

1923 208 1931 215 

1924 270 1932 199 

1925 349 1933 113 

1926 272 

Re-ore sent active Character of Em-ployer Associations 

The representative character of various employer associations which spnn- 
sored approved codes or codes awaiting approval is shown in Table XXXIII. 
Table XXXIV, Table XXXV and Table XXXVI. The tables are self-explanatory. 



8311 



-65- 



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cd 


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+= 


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03 




03 


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a 


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CD 




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to 


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p! 


P 




-H 


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PI 





a •H 


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t> 




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d 


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03 


03 


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rH 


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d 


n 


03 


03 


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p 


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a 


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a 


!> 


pi 


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w 


p 


r^ 


03 


hD 


(0 


a 03 




u 


03 







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p 


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^,£i| o) t:!! p| 



2311 



-71- 
LaTJor G-rou'os and I'Jum'bers of Members in Each in the Construction Industr y 

Tables XXXVII and XXXVIII show the unions affiliated rith the American 
Federation of Labor whose members are enga^^ed \?holly or partially in the Con- ' 
struction Industry, the nnojnbers of members in these unions in 1929 and 1953 ] 
and the numbers of local uaiions in them in 1929. The tables are self-explan- ' 
atory. | 



8311 



-72- 













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•H 






Pi 




•H 


t 


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o 


fj 


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■H 


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d 


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rd 




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cf. 


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r: 


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cd 


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U 




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ffl 


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Ph 


O 


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Pl 




ffl 




^ 


nd 


T! 


,i4 


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■H 


Pi 


rj 


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Pi 


r-l 


fH 


'o 


r-d 


Pi 


ffl 


Pi 


•H 


o 


O 


•H 


cb 


CO 


l^H 


bi) 


ffl 


M 


+3 




ffl 


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o 


o 


Pi 


ffl 


Fh 


ffl 


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fH 


ffl 


b 


ffl 


ffl 


fl 


ffl 


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rt 




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nd 


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8311 



-73- 



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c23ll 



-75- 

The jpinancial Condition of the Industry in 19oo as Connared to Its Condition ir 
1929 and 1931 

The tens of thousanc's of scattered iinits in the Construction Industry and 
the constant shiftin-'^ of their diverse financial positions and the differences 
in their respective f^mctions mai'-e it virtually iiripossihle to fraxne, in regard 
to the financial condition of the Industry as a whole, 3.ny stateraent or set of 
statistics that ^70U.ld not "be almost too general for any use, excepting as a 
vague indication. As stateif., the Industry coraprises T'ell over 183, OOu firms 
operating in all parts of the United States within various different Divisions 
of the Construction Industry. 

In sorne divisions, investnents in heavy, mechanized equipment have con- 
stituted prohlems of increasingly seriou.s import during the decline in the 
volu-ne of construction since 1929. In other divisions, fixed capital prac- 
ticalD.y does not exist, so that the decline in voluine has resulted in the re-r 
maining volume "being divided perforce 'among the existing mem'oers who have not 
iDeen driven "by the scarcitj'- of work from the construction field. 

The only discoveraole data which, might "be u.sed to indicate the financial 
condition of the Industrj- since 1929 are income tax retu.rns to the Bureau of 
Internal Revenue. Significant data from these returns are set forth in Ta"ble 
XXXIX which follows and is seli-explanator;^/. 



8311 



-76- 



X! 



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EH 



o 



EH 



cb 



W OQ 



O 



O 



pi 
o 
u 



> 
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CO 

!=: 

o 
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C! 
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■d 
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cr 



to) 

&' 

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fn CD g 

c fe o 

p^ y 

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Ph f^ |-^ 



E\0 

Pi 
■H 
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U 

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Pi -P 



cr 



s 

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o [;:; 

Pi 

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a 

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cr 

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P: -P O 
CD (D !i 
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CTv ^ 

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CO 






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2311 



-77- 



o 
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3311 



-80- 

Effect of Code on Construction Industry 

There are, as stated, no statistical data sufficiently inclusive to in- 
dicate accurately the Tjrevalence of -unfair trade i^ractices in the Construction 
Industry today. The effect of the code and its sup-olements uiDon the Industry 
and its divisions, however, is lielieved to have diminished to an unl.oiovjn de- 
gree the number of merahers re.^ilarly engagin-^ in unfair trade practices. 

Little data are available to ascertain the extent to i*ich the code hello- 
ed to maintain "bid prices ahove costs, althou,i:^h the "buoying influence of the 
code and its supplements upon wage levels in the indiistry prohatly has helped 
to maintain prices, at least among the members who have adliered to the wage 
provisions in the codes. 

Wage data, as given elsewhere in this report, indicate that the average 
wage rates -oaid to construction workers in some cases represented slight in- 
creases in 1934 as compared to those in 1932, although in several instances 
the data reported for certain specialized craftsmen indicated slight decreases 
in their hourly wEige rates in 1934, as compared to those in 1933. 

Other data indicate the following changes In volume, etc., since the in- 
deption of the Construction Industrj'-'s Code: 

1. An increase in the volume of total construction hy both public and 
private agencies as follows: 

TABLE XXXX 

1933 1954 

Total Construction $1,761,893,000 $2,087,714,000 

2. That current sauare footage costs for the construction of one and 
two-family houses have just about been maintained, but are below their level 
in 1932, The following data show the average value of one and two-family 
housing constru-ction per square foot of floor space as indicated by the F, ¥, 
Dodge reports on total sauare feet of such housing constructed in 37 states and 
the total valixe of the same by years since 1929; 

TA3LE IXXXl * 

Year Contract or Reported Index ij' 

V alue per Sauare S'oot WT^"ber 

1929 $4.50 98.7 

1930 , 4.47 98,0 

1931 4.11 90.1 

1932 ^-. 3.63 79.6 

1933 3.22 70.6 

1934 3.37 • 73.9 

1935 (3 months) 3.39 74.3 



* Computed from data in Dodge Statistical Research Service Reports. 
1/ 1926 equals 100. 



8311 



-81- 

Data in the nrecedins; ta"Me are reo^rted "by Hodge "by class of operation 
as follo\-s: 

TABLE XXXXII 



Year 




Total of All 


Qi^ner Occupied 


Dwellings for 






Contract or 


and T\70-Fa,7nily 


Sale or Rent 






Reported Value 


Housing Contract 


and Housing 






Per Square Foot 


Value per 
Square foot 


Developments 
Reported value 
■^er Square Foot 


1952 


$3.65 


$3.70 


$3.52 


1935 




3.22 


5.30 


3.05 


1934 




3.37 


3.66 


2.80 


1955 (3 


F.onths) 


5.39 


5.62 


3.14 



Additional data r^hich may show the effedts of the Code on conditions in 
the Industry are given in the ilraerican Federation of Lahor's "Unemplojnnent 
Report" for January of 1935, indicating the percentage of union ineinhers in the 
Building Trades who ■^ere unemployed during various months of recent yeexs. 
Such data are set forth in the succeding tahle for the years 1933 and 1934. 

TABL": XSCSIII 

PSR CE1:T of Ul^ION lISIffiEHS UlIEIiPLOYED 
IIT THE 3UILDIHG TRADES 























Aver- 


Year 


Jan . 


Feh. 


Mar. 


Apr . 


llsy Jnjjie 


Jiily Au^. 


Sept. 


Oct. 


I'Tov. 


Dec. 3.1-ie 


1933 


70 


71 


72 


71 


68 66 


67 66 


63 


62 


65 


62 67 


1934 


58 


55 


55 


58 


57 55 


57 60 


58 


56 


56 


57 57 



Prom the foregoing, it may he seen that in 1933 throughout the year a,n 
average of 67 per cent of all union memhers in the Btiilding Trades T;ere un- 
employed, whereas in 1934, an average of 57 per cent of the union memhers were 
jobless. The improvement is shc-m despite a slight increase in total union 
memh er ship in the Building Trades in 1934. 

Qjialified Memhers of the Construction Industry 
Well Posted on the Industry's Prohlems Qual- 
ified to Speeik Ahout Them 

Buildin.'^ Contractors 



Perhard P. Meyne: 



General Buildln!°: Contractor with exceptional emerience in 
the handling of lifficiilt remodeling operations, is a been 
student of econoi.iics of the huilding industr?,'-. He is a 
member of the National Committee for drafting a standardis- 
ed mechanic's lien act of the Department of Commerce, Ad- 
dress; 7 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. 



8311 



Ei M. Craig: 



Arthur Hol6.en: 



-83- 

Secretary of the ITational A? so Gift ion of Building Trades 
Employers, is one of the best ojialified men in the huilding 
industry to s-oeak upon relations "between contractors and 
their emplo^rees. He has been actively engaged in negotiat- 
ing and ohserving the effects of lahor agreements for more 
than 40 years. 
Address: Builders' Building, Chicago, Illo 

An architect and menher of the firn of Holden-HcLaughlin 
Associates, is a deep student of the building industr;'', its 
problems, the relationships betvyeen its vprious groups and 
between employers and employees. 
Address: 561 Fifth Avenue, Uew York, l.Y. 



T. 3, Holden: 



Vice President of F, W, Dodge Corporation, is one of the 
best q"ualified men in the coi^ntry as regards volume of con- 
struction and the statistics of the building industrj". 
Address: 119 West 40th Street, Hevr York, Hew York, 



Peter A, Stone! 



Theodore Crane; 



C. M, S-oofford; 



A, E. Horst; 



Burt L. Knowles; 



8311 



Former editor of the jimericar. Contractor and the G-eneral 
Building Contractor publications of the F. W. Dodge Cor-por- 
ation, is extremely well informed on all phases of the build- 
ing industry including the relations between employers and 
employees and marketing methods and relationships of produc- 
ers and distributors of construction materials. He is a 
Unit Chief in the Division of Hesearch and Planning, Kationa 
Recovery Administration, since August, 1933. 
Address: 1805 Kilboiirne Place, IT.W. , Washington, D, C. . 

Professor of the School of Contracting, x.-here he occu.pies thi 
Thompson-Starrett Chair at Yale University. For severs.l 
years, editor in chief of the G-eneral Bixilding Contractor, 
and well qualified as an exjoert on building construction. 
Address: ¥eirhall, lew Heaven, Masse 

Professor of Structural Engineering at Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technologjr; is also a Eiember of the engineering firm 
of Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, He is well advised as to 
structural materials, their production, distribution and use. 
Address: Cambridge, Massachusetts* 

The Henry W, Horst Company, is a deep student and widels^ 
experienced engineer and contractor, having a detailed LjIOwI- 
edge of the work in the construction of highways, hes.vy con- 
struction operations, such as subways, dams, public wox'-ks 
projects such as sewers, and in the construction of buildinge 
of all kinds, inclu.din- reside.-nces, 

Mr. Horst is Clialrman of the Divisional Code Authority for 
the General Contractors, ■ 
Address: lolS Schaff Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 

Of E. D. Y«'ard Company, widely exoerienced builder of indus- 
trial structures and other tjq^es of buildings, who also has 
had considerable experience in heavy construction. He is 
well q\i0,lified as an expert on the relations between material 
producers, distributors, and purchasers in the Construction 
Industry. Address: 82 Foster Street, Worcester, Massachusett 



«83- 

Chester W. Wright: Architect pnd General Contractor of the firm Wright and. 

Kremers; is exceptionally well qualified as an ejroert on 
the trends of constriiction costs, on evolution of factors of 
design and construction methods, on lator relationships 
and particularly as to the costs of industrial accidents and 
accident prevention methods as applied in the building 
industry. 
Address: Niagara. Falls, New York, 

Joshuas, Barney: A building contractor and engineer of the firm of Earney- 

Ahlers, He is exceptionally well f]ualified on matters of 
teclinical improvements in the building contracting industry, 
on labor efficiency, labor costs, and labor relationships. 
Address: Barney- Ahlers, New York City, N, Y. 

Stephen y.Voorhees: Architect of the firm of Vorhees-Cmelin and Walker, 101 

Park Avenue, He^J York City, Highly qualified to discuss 
phases of the building industry. 

Mr. Voorhees has served as Cnairman of the Construction Code 
Committee and the Construction Code Authority since the 
inception of K.S.A. 

John W. Harris: Of the firm of Hegeman and Harris; general building contrs.c- 

tors; is highly qualified as to building costs, services, ar 
trade practices. 
Address: 360 Liadison Avenue, New York, N. Y, 

K. S. Cole: Executive Secretary of the Tile and Mantle Contractors' 

Association, is one of the best qualified subcontra.cting 
executives, most familiar with the trade practices affecting 
relationships between architects, general contractors, and 
subcontractors engei,ged in the building section of the con- 
struction industry. 
Address: Investment Building, Washington, D, C. 

F. P. Byington: Vice President of Jolms-Manville Sales Corporation; is 

exceptional].y '-rell a'oalified as to the relationships beti^reen 
producers, distrib\itors, and purcliasers of constru-ction 
materials used in the building industry. 
Address: 22 East 40th St., New York, N. Y. 

Theodore E, Laist: Formerly Engineering Professor at Antioch College, Yellow 

Springs, Ohio, is exceedingly well informed as to building 
costs and material prices. 
Address: not at hand. 

Heav^;- and Highway Contractors ; 

E, M. Sciimidt: Editor of Engineering News Record, has a vast store of 

experience on the development and relationships existing in 
all branchei:; of heavy construction and highway industries. 
Address: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 330 West 42nd 
Street, New York City, N.Y. 

Richard Hopkins: An outstanding highway contractor and Professor at Cornell 

University. Is extremely well informed about all phases of 
highway engineering, construction trade practices, a,nd la-bor 
relationships. Address: Box 1025, Albany, New York, 

8311 



Ward P, Christie; 



-84- 

Consulting Engineer, formerly with Uhlen and Company, and 
engineer of the Associated General Contractors of America; 
is a life long student of economics, business relationships, 
trade practices, and labor policies of all sections of the 
construction industry. 
Address: National Press Building, Washington, D. C» 



Colonel Hugh L« Cooper: 

Consulting Engineer; is one of the outsta,nding hj^-draulic 
and power plant designers and bTiilders, 
Address: 101 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y, 

Ralph D. TTinstead: Formerly editor of The American Contractor, published by 

the Po W, Dodge Corporation, and of The Constru.ctor, pub- 
lished by The Constructor, Incorporated, Washington, D. C. 
Is informed as to the statistics of all branches of the 
construction industry, merchandising methods of construction 
materials, labor relationships, and other phases of the 
industry. Since March, 1934, connected with Research and 
Planning Division of National Recovery Administration. 
Address: 2:26 Chester Street, S.E., Washington, D, C, 



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