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Full text of "Evidence study"



NATIONAL RECOVERY ADMINISTRATION 
DIVISION OF REVIEW 



EVIDENCE STUDY 
NO. 14 

OF 



THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY 



Prepared by 
ROBERT K. LYLE 



August, 1935 



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



THE EVIDENCE STUDY SERIES 

The EVIDENCE STUDIES were originally nlanned as a means of gathering 
evidence bearing upon various legal issues which 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 now 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. 

2. Boot and Shoe Mfg. Ind. 

3. Eottled Soft Drink Ind. 

4. Builders' Supplies Ind. 

5. Chemical Mfg. Ind. 

6. Cigar Mfg. Industry 

7. Construction Industry 

8. Cotton Garment Industry 

9. Dress Mfg. Ind. 

10. Electrical Contracting Ind. 

11. Electrical Mfg. Ind. 

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

13. Fishery Industry 

14. Furniture Mfg. Ind. 

15. Genera± Contractors Ind. 

16. Graphic Arts Ind. 

17. Gray Iron Foundry Ind. 

18. Hosiery Ind, 

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

20. Iron and Steel Ind, 

21. Leather 

22. Lumber & Timber Prod. Ind. 



23. 
24. 
25. 
26. 
27. 
28. 
23. 
30. 
31. 
52. 
33. 

*- * • 

2 : . 

57. 
38. 

40. 
41. 
42. 
43. 



Mason Contractors Industry 

Men's Clothing Industry 

Motion picture Industry 

Motor Bus Mfg. Industry (Dropped) 

Needlework Ind. of Puerto Rico 

Painting & Paperhanging & Decorating 

Photo Engraving Industry 

Plumbing Contracting Industry 

Retail Food (See Wo. 42) 

Retail Lumber Industry 

R( tail Solid Fuel (Dropped) 

Retail Trade Industry 

Robber Mfg. Ind. 

Rubber Tire Mfg. Ind. 

Silk Textile Ind. 

Structural Clay Products Ind, 

Throwing Industry 

Trucking Industry 

Waste Materials Ind. 

Wholesale & Retail Food Ind. (See No. 

Wholesale Fresh Fruit & Veg. 31) 



In addition to the studies brought 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 

45. Automotive Parts & Equip. Ind. 

46. Baking Industry 

47. Canning Industry 
43. Coat and Suit Ind. 



49. Household Goods & Storage, etc. (Drop-' 

50. Motor Vehicle Retailing Trade Ind, ped) 

51. Retail Tire & Battery Trade Ind. 

52. Ship & Boat 31dg. & Repairing Ind. 

53. Wholesaling or Distributing Trade 



L. C. Marshall 
Director, Division of Review 



0^<*\, 



I 



k\\* 



C Oil TENTS 



Pa^e 

Chapter I - NATURE Oi 1 THE INDUSTRY 1 

Code Definition . . . . 1 

Description of the Industry 2 

Number of Establishments 2 

Geographical Distribution 3 

Size of Uiii ts 4 

Total Production of all Furniture 4 

Production of Household Furniture 5 

Production of Wood Household Furniture, 

by States 7 

Production per Concern 7 

Chapter II - LABOR STATISTICS 9 

Number of Employees, by Principal States 9 

Section Distribution of Employees 10 

Wage Earners Classified by Size of 

Establishment 10 

Classification of Wage Earners by Sex 10 

Full-Time Hours per Week 11 

Actual Hours Worked per Week 11 

Average Hourly Wage Hates 12 

Sectional Hourly Wage Rates 13 

Average Weekly Earnings 14 

Chapter III - RAW MATERIALS 15 

Principal Materials Consumed 15 

Cost of Materials Compared with Total 

Value of Product 15 

Chapter I? - DISTRIBUTION 15 

Methods of Distribution 16 

Number of Distributors 16 

Chapter V - GENERAL INFORMATION 18 

Trade Associations 18 

Exports 18 

List of Experts 1 



Q 



APPENDIX - LABOR DATA 20 



8353 ~i- 



TABIDS 



Page 

TABLE I - NUMBER OF ESTABLISHMENTS ALL 

FURNITURE MAfTUFACTURIKG 2 

TABLE II - NUMBER OF ESTABLISHMENTS IN ALL 
FURNITURE MANUFACTURING, BY 
PRINCIPAL STATES 3 

TABLE III - VALUE OF PRODUCT, IN ALL FURNITURE 
MANUFACTURING, BY PRINCIPAL 
STATES 4 

TABLE IV - VALUE OF PRODUCT, HOUSEHOLD 

FURNITURE, AND ALL FURNITURE 5 

TABLE V - VALUE OF PRODUCT OF HOUSEHOLD 
FURNITURE, DY CLASS AND BY 
MATERIAL 6 

TABLE VI - VALUE OF PRODUCTION OF FOOD 
HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE BY 
PRINCIPAL STATES, 1931 7 

TABLE VII - PRODUCTION AND NUMBER OF CONCERNS 
IN ALL FURNITURE MANUFACTURING, 
CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO VALUE OF 
PRODUCT, 1931 

TABLE VIII - NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES, IN ALL 
FURNITURE MANUFACTURING BY 
PRINCIPAL STATES 

TABLE IX - WAGE EARNERS IN ESTABLISHMENTS 

CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO NUMBER 

OF WAGE EARNERS, 1329 10 

TABLE X - AVERAGE FULL-TIME HOURS PER WEEK 
IN ALL FURNITURE MANUFACTURING, 
BY PRINCIPAL STATES n 

TABLE XI - AVERAGE ACTUAL HOURS PEP. WEEK IN 

ALL FURNITURE MANUFACTURING 12 

TABLE XII - AVERAGE HOURLY "AGES III ALL 

FURNITURE MANUFACTURING, BY 

PRINCIPAL STATES 13 



8353 -ii~ 



TABLES 

(Continued) 



Paffls 



TABLE XIII - AVERAGE HOD ELY WAGES, NORTH AND 

SOUTH, BY SEX l- ; 

TABLE XIV - AVERAGE HOURLY WAGES, AND AVERAGE 
WEEKLY WAGES, IN ALL FURNITURE 
MANUFACTURING 14 

TABLE XV - TOTAL VALUE OE PRODUCT, TOTAL LABOR 
COST, AND TOTAL COST OE MATERIALS 
IN ALL FURNITURE MANUFACTURING 15 

TABLE XVI - NUM3ER OF WHOLESALE AND RETAIL 
ESTADLI SHMENTS DI STRIBUTING 
PRODUCTS OF THE INDUSTRY, BY 
PRINCIPAL STATED 1? 

TABLE XVII - VALUE OF PRODUCTS EXPORTED, BY 

PRINCIPAL GROUPS 13 



APPENDIX- TABLE I - EMPLOYMENT , PAYROLLS, 

HOURS AND WAGES, 1933-1934 21 



-oOo- 



-lii- 



THE FJEHITuRE MiOTJFACTURIM} IHDUSTRY l/ 
Chapter I 

hATuRE OF THE INDUSTRY 
Code Definition 

The Industry as defined by the Code covers the manufacture or production 
of products commonly known as "household furniture" (other than mattresses, 
pillows, and box springs), whether used in the hone or elsewhere; wood of fie 
chairs, wood office desks, wood office tables, parlor frames, chairs in the 
white, furniture parts made of wood, and other unfinished household furnituri 

Under Code operation many other special items, such as card tables, 
smoking stands, foot stools, book ends, booh racks, porch and patio furnitui 
metal porch furniture, garden tables and chairs, camp stools and chairs, end 
steamer chairs were classified as being products of the Furniture Manufactur- 
ing Industry, whether made of wood or metal. 

The Bureau of the Census classification for this Industry, embraces 
establishments engaged in the manufacture of furniture made of wood, metal, 
fiber, reed, rattan, and willow; and data are in some cases broken down for 
four general classes, as follows: 

(1) Household furniture - furniture commonly used in dwellings, in- 
cluding hammocks and sewing machine cases and cabinets. 

(2) Furniture and fixtures for offices and stores - desks, chairs, 
lockers, shelving, counters, tables, partitions, window backs, show cases, 
wall cases, cabinets, and other office and store furniture and fixtures. 

(3) Professional, laboratory, hospital, barber, and beauty-parlor 
chairs, tables, cots, etc. 

(4) Furniture for public braidings - including schools, theaters, 
halls, churches, and seats for public conveyances. 

Therefore, general statistics of the Bureau of the Census, in addition 
to covering the Furniture Manufacturing Industry as defined by the Code also 
cover either completely or in part, the following Coded Industries: 

Business Furniture, Storage Equipment Filing Supply 
Industry (Code Ho. 88) 

Commercial Fixtures Industry (Code Ho. 415) 

Metal Hospital Furniture (Code Ho. 527) 

Public Seating (Code Ho. 477) 



1/ Various topics mentioned in the outline — particularly those listed in 
Sections V and VI — are not covered in this Report because of the lack 
of pertinent information. 

8353 



-2- 

However, since the category "household f urni ture , " which constitutes 
by far the major part of the Industry as defined "by the Code, accounts for 
70 to 30 per cent of the total value of the product as reported "by the Census 
and since the Code in addition covered some other groups the Census data may 
be considered roughly applicable to the Industry as covered "by the Code. 

Description of the Indus tr" 

It is difficult to present a general description of the Furniture Manu- 
facturing Industry. Household furniture as it enters into commerce is not 
a standard product. Thousands of different articles s-re made, and there is 
tremendous variation among then as to design, construction, and type of 
material used. 

Seldom do any two factories make the same pattern and there is a wide 
variation in the quality of the product. Some manufacturers make only bed- 
room furniture, others make dining-room or living-room or upholstered furni- 
ture, while others make one or more of the types mentioned. In the productio 
of the higher grades or quality products, it is not uncommon for one company 
to make all of the above types while other manufacturers specialize on par- 
ticular products such as chairs, tables, desks, breakfast sets, and 
specialties. 

Manufacturing processes vary according to the type and quality of the 
product, special order work and the finer tyoes of all kinds of furniture 
being produced largely by hand labor and highly skilled artisans, while 
other types of cheaper goods are produced by modern mass production methods. 
There are innumerable gradations between the two extremes, depending largely 
upon the price range in which the manufacturer is doing business. 

Number of Establishments 

The number of furniture manufacturing establishments as reported under 
the Census classification for the Industry is presented in Table I. 

TABLE I 

NUMBER OF ESTABLISHMENTS, 
ILL FURNITURE MANUF AC TURING 



L r ear Number 



1921 3,038 

1923 3,047 

1925 3,259 

1927 3,228 

1929 3,778 

1931 3,148 

1933 2,411 



Source: Census of Ilanufac tares , "Furniture." Establishments 
whose annual production is less than $5,000 are 
excluded. 



8353 



In 1929, the peak year, the 3,778 plants reporting were located in 44 
states (522 coxmties) . There were "but five states, namely, Idaho, Nevada, 
Horth Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, for which the Bureau of the Census 
did not publish data. Nearly 40 per cent of all establishments were concen- 
trated in three states — How York had 20 per cent of the total; Illinois, 
10; end California 9 per cent. This percentage distribution does not hold, 
however, in relation to employees, production, and other statistical facts. 

The total number of establishments reporting to the Census Bureau in 
1931 end 1933 fell from the 1929 peak of 3,778 to 3,148 and 2,411 respec- 
tively, representing a percentage decline of appro.-.:imatel;r 17 paid 36. 

Geographical Distribution 

The distribution of establishments among the 11 leading producing states 
for the years 1929, 1931, and 1933 is shown in Table II. 

According to records of the National Association of Furniture Manu- 
facturers, household furniture was produced in 589 cities, 449 of which had 
less than 50,000 inhabitants. Of the 2,083 manufacturers listed in its 
records, 842 were located in the 449 cities of under 50,000 inhabitants, 
and spread over 39 states. 

TABLE II 

NUMBER CI? ESTABLISHMENTS IN ALL FURNITURE 
MANUFACTURING, BY PRINCIPAL STATES J 



State 



1931 



193: 



U. S. Total 

California 

Illinois 

Indiana 

Massachusetts 

Michigan 

Missouri 

New York 

North Carolina 

Ohio 

Pennsylvania 

Wisconsin 

Total 11 States 
Total 37 Other States 



5,778 

339 
375 
199 
217 
209 
98 
772 
145 
211 
265 
111 



2,942 



836 



3,148 

272 
315 

159 
204 
165 

83 
666 
115 
153 
245 

90 

2,478 



670 



1,411 

206 
243 
128 
181 
128 

54 
484 
101 
128 
200 

69 



1,91 



489 



Source: Census of Manufactures , "iurniture." Establishments 
production is less than $5,000 are not included. 



whose annual 



a/ Data include establishments manufacturing household furniture, furniture 
and fixtures for offices, stores, professional laboratory, hospital, 
barber and beauty parlor furniture, and furniture for public buildings. 



835c 



~4~ 



Size of Units 



For the most part this Industry is couponed of relatively small units. 
It is not dominated hy a few producers or "by any one section of the Industr; 
It is characterized by intense competition and pronounced individualism. 
(Compare Table X below) 

Total Production of All Furniture 

According to the Census of Manufactures, all products classified as 
furniture in 1929 had a total value of $948,116,353. Similar figures for 
the years 1931 and 1933, which show the trend of production during de- 
pression years, are $432,239,230 for the former year, and $297,729,931 for 
the latter. The declines from the 1929 peal: amounted to approximately 49 
per cent and 69 per cent, respectively. 



Table III shows value of product in all furniture manufacturing by 'the 
11 principal producing states, for the years 1929, 1931, and 1933. These 
states a.ccounted for 34 per cent of total production in 1929, 83 per cent 
in 1931, and 82 per cent in 1933. 

TABLE III 

VALUE OF PRODUCT, III ALL FJKMITUBE 

ILHTUFACTUimiG, BY PRINCIPAL STATES a/ 

(In Thousands) 

State 

U. S. Total 

California 

Illinois 

Indiana 

Mas s achus e 1 1 s 

Michigan 

New York 

North Carolina 

Ohio 

Pennsylvania 

Virginia 

Wisconsin 

Total 11 States 

Total 37 Other States 



1929 


1931 


1933 


$943,116 


$482,289 


$297,730 


44,995 


25,143 


13,133 


130,555 


47,367 


28,782 


83,496 


32,659 


21,259 


41,922 


24,144 


15,497 


99,715 


42,721 


7 r^A 

do, 00U 


159,772 


90,247 


50,363 


56,737 


33, 820 


25,625 


60,577 


32,248 


Xo, OOd 


55,512 


51,709 


19,280 


28,221 


22,907 


16,231 


36, 640 


18,078 


11,803 


793,123 


401,043 


244, 750 


149,993 


81,245 


52,930 



Source: Census of Manufactures , "Furniture." Establishments with annual 
value of product less than $5,000 are not included. 

a/ Data include establishments manufacturing household furniture, furniture 
and fixtures for offices and stores, professional laboratory, hospital, 
barber and beauty parlor, furniture for public buildings. 



835C 



-5- 

produotion of Household Furnitu re 

The Census of Manufactures data presented in Table V show the value of 
product of household furniture, by kind and material • Values reported for 
the kind designated as "household" furniture for the years 1929, and 1931, 
and 1935, end specifically covered, "by the Furniture Manufacturing Industry 
Code, as shown in Table IV, were $659,025,503, $350,973,529, and $235,308, 639 
respectively, representing approximately 70 per cent, 73 per cent, and 79 
per cent of all kinds of furniture included in the Census classification. 

TABLE IV 

VALUE OF PRODUCT, 

HOUSEHOLD FUBHITUEE AHD ALL FUEITITUEE 

(In Thousands) 



Item 1929 1931 1933 

All Furniture $948,116 $432,289 $297,730 

Household Furniture 659,023 350,980 235,309 



Per cent household 
if of total 69.5 72.3 79.9 

Source; Census of Manufactures , 1935, "Furniture." Establishments with 
annual value of product of less than $5,000 are not included. 

The percentage decline in value of production of household furniture 
from the 1329 level was 47 per cent in 1931, and 64 per cent in 1933. This 
indicates that the value of household furniture produced declined during the 
depression years slightly less than did furniture production as a whole. 



8353 





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-7- 

Production of Wood Hous ehold Furniture., 
"by States 

According to Census figures, vood household furniture production in 
1931 aggregated $316,785,173* Tin distribution of value of product among 
the leading producing states is shown in Table VI. These eleven states 
accounted for $256,374,733, or 81 aer cent of the whole production of wood 
household furniture, 

TABLE VI 

VALUE Or PRODUCTION CF WOOD HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, 
BY PRI1TCIFAL STATES, 1931 



State Value of Product 



U. S. Total $316,785,173 

New York 49,469,532 

North Carolina 31,950,477 

Illinois 28,362,774 

Indiana 27,098,912 

Pennsylvania 23,408,482 

Virginia 22,185,912 

Michigan 19,974,999 

California 16,121,101 

Massachusetts 14,702,439 

Ohio 13,175,442 

Wisconsin 9,923,653 

Other States 60,410,440 



Source^ C ensus of Manufactures . "Furniture." Establishments whose annual 
production is lens than $5,000 are excluded. 

Production Per Concern 

Table VII shows the Census of Manufactures data tabulated to classify 
concerns according to value of product per concern in 1931. It should be 
noted that these figures cover the usual Census classification, that is, all 
sorts of furniture - household, office and store, hospital, public buildings, 
and the like. From this table it has been computed that a little more than 
36 per cent of the manufacturers covered by the Census report for 1931 pro- 
duced about 33 per cent of the total value of production; the remaining 63 
per cent producing only 17 per cent. It is reasonable to assume that a 
similar percentage relationship holds true for the production of household 
furniture. 



8353 



-8- 
TABLE VII 

PRODUCTION AITD NUMBER OF CONCERNS 

IK ALL FJENITURE MANUFACTURING, 
CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO VALUE CF PRODUCT, 1931 a/ 



Value of Product 
■per Concern 



Total 

$5,000 to $19,999 
20,000 to 49,999 
50,000 to 99,999 
I'D, 000 to 249 f 999 
250,000 to 499,999 
500,000 to 999,999 
1,000,000 to 2,499,999 
2,500,000 and over 



ITuriber of 
Concerns 



5.148 



Total Value of 
Production 



$482,289,230 



709 


8,264,040 


707 


23,311,841 


572 


41,091,907 


656 


104,114.562 


303 


104,098,873 


141 


94,612,783 


52 


76,763,382 


8 


30,031,922 



Source: Basic data from Census of Manufactures, 1931; tabulation prepared 
by the Code Authority, and published in Atraendiz of the Transcript 
of Hearings on the Code for Furniture Manufacturing Industry. 

a/ Data include establishments manufacturing household furniture, furniture 
and fixtures for offices and stores, professional laboratory, hospital, 
barber. and beauty -oarlor furniture, and furniture for public buildings.. 

Establishments uhose annual production is less than $5,000 are excluded. 



8353 



chaeier ii 

LABOR STATISTICS l/ 

Number of Employees, by Principal Stat es 

According to the Census, the Furniture Manufacturing Industry employed 
193,399 wage earners in 1329. Employment dropped to 105,Ho8 in 1333, ?nd 
recovered to 107,100 in 193 *■• The number employed in the principal furniture 
producing states during 1329, 1931 9 and 1333 > an & the United States total in 
193^-j are tabulated in Tahle VIII and present a rather uniform decline v.'ithin 
each state except Virginia, for each successive -neriod up to 193^-, when a 
slight increase is reported. 



TA3LE VIII 

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES, IS ALL PDHHI5TOHB MANUFACTURING, 
BY PRINCIPAL STATES a/ 



State 



1929 



1Q 



?3i 



1933 



L93U 



U. S. Total 

California 

Illinois 

Indiana 

Massachusetts 

Michigan 

Neir York 

North Carolina 

Ohio 

Pennsylvania 

Virginia 

Wisconsin 

Total 11 States 

Total 37 Other 
States 



193,399 

7,931 
23,767 

IS, 700 
S.59S 
20,9Ul 
25,220 
15,609 
10,707 
12,159 
6,285 

g,7lU 

158,631 



3>+,76s 



127,605 

5, 539 
12,069 

11,013 
6,153 
n,Us6 
is, 291 

12,27c; 

7,15s 
5,526 

6,^-83 
5,803 

10H,S5U 



?2,751 



105,488 

U.083 

10,055 

8,722 

5,357 
9,026 

13,159 
11,809 

6,167 
7,023 

6,559 
U.S35 

86,795 



is, 693 



107,100 



Source: Census of Manufactures , "Furniture. " 193^ figure 
computed by use of Bureau of Labor Statistics index 
as published in Trend of Em-olo^rme nt. Establishment; 
whose annual production is less than $5,000 are ex- 
cluded. 



a/ Data cover the four Census Classes: (l) Household Furniture. 

(2) Furniture and fixtures, for stores and offices. 

(3) Professional laboratory, hospital, barber and beauty parlo: 
furniture and 

(h) Furniture for Public Buildings. 

1/ For/ ad'j ifcional labor data t see the Appendix. 
S3 53 :' 



-10- 
Sectional Distribution of Emr> Ioy ees 

The Census of Manufactures shows that Turing 1929 a nd 1931 states 
designated as beine in the Northern Area employed 79»6 and 78.8 per cent, 
respectively, of the total number Qf wage earners employed in the rarniture 
Industry; and that southern states accounted for 20. 4 and 23.2 per cent of 
the total employment reported. 

Wage Earners Classified by Size of F str~blif3Ja.ie.nt 

Table IX gives the distribution of wage earners among establishments 
classified according to number of employees. It shows that in 1925 nearly 
three quarters of the total number of establishments, in which only about 
one-fifth of the total wage earners were employed, were relatively snail 
in sise, averaging not more than 5C workers per establishment. More wage 
earners — about 30 per cent of the total — ■ were employed in plants 
averaging 100 to 25O employees than in any of the other size groups. 

TAILS IX 

WAGE EARNERS IH ESTABLISHMENTS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING 
TO NUMBER OP WAGE EAEKERS, 1929 



Number of 


rs 




E 


stablishments 




Ware Earners 


Wage Earne: 








Cumulative 




Cumulative 


Per Estab- 








Fer Cent 


Fer Cent 




Per Cent 


Per Cent 


lishment 




Nui 


aber 


of Total 


of Total 


Number 


of Total 


of Total 


1 - 


5 


1, 


,037 


27.5 


27o 


2,665 


1.4 


1.4 


6 - 


20 


1, 


,010 


2b. S 


5^»3 


12,423 


6.4 


7.S 


21 - 


50 




7U5 


19.S 


7M 


24, 752 


12. S 


20.5 


51 - 


100 




471 


12.5 


Sb. 


34,172 


17.7 


1" ~ 


101 - 


250 




3S2 


10.2 


96.S 


39,211 


30.6 


6C.9 


251 - 


500 




SS 


2 3 


99.1 


29/036 


15.3 


S4.2 


501 - 1 


,000 




24 


.6 


9S-7 


16,180 


8.4 


92.S 


1,001 and 


over 




8 


• 3 


100.0 


14,355 


7- u 


100.0 


Total 




3: 


,7'?5 , 


a/ 100.0 


100.0 


193,399 


100.0 


100.0 



Source: Census of Manufactures (1929) Vol. I, page 67. Establishments 
whose annual production is less than 55,000 are excluded. 

a/ Total establishments reported as 5>77 : ^> " J - 1 ' t 13 of these --rere classi- 
fied as having "No wage earners." 



Classification of Wa.qe Earners by Sex 

The Census of Manufactures for 1929 shows the total number of -rage 
earners by sex. The Industry then employed 131,609 males and 11,791 
females - 93»9 an( l 6.1 per cent of the whole, respectively. 



>353 



-11- 



Full Tine Hours Per Week 



Table X shows the average full-tine hours per week in the Furniture 
Manufacturing Industry, both for the United States as a whole and for lead- 
ing producing states, in 1929 and 193 -•• 

TABLE X 

AVERAGE FULL-TIME HOUHS PER WEEK 
III ALL EURITITURE MANUFACTURING, 
BY PRINCIPAL STATES 



State 



19 



29 



1S31 



U. S. Total 

California 

Georgia 

Illinois 

Indiana 

Kentucky 

Maryland 

Massachusetts 

Michigan 

Missouri 

New Jersey 

Hen York 

North Carolina 

Ohio 

Pennsylvania 

Tennessee 

Virginia 

Wisconsin 



51.9 
U6.9 

55.1 
50.0 
52.6 
57.0 
51.0 
US. 2 
51.2 
51. £ 
U0.9 
51.2 
55.0 
53.3 
53.1 

55.0 
53.3 



5liS 

U7.2 
5^.0 
56.1 

51,5 
5U.2 

Uo.- 

. 
51.0 

50. s 

H-o»6 
51.2 
5^.1 

53.5 
53.2 

520 
55.0 

53-3 



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wa.^e s and Hours of Labor in the 
Furniture Industry . 1910-1931 (Bulletin 571). 
Coverage of samples used is 23 per cent of employment in 1929, 
and 24 per cent in 1931« 



Actual Hours Worked per We e]; 

Average full-time hours means virtually "average maximum work week, " 
for it represents the number of hours a man would work if he worked si:: 
days a week at the prevailing number of hours per day. However, aost './age 
earners do not work six days a week; when the average full-tine week is, 
say, 5^ hours (six days of nine hours each), many a wage earner will work 
only four days, making his actual work wee:: J>o hours. The Bureau of 
Labor Statistics started reporting average actual hours in 1932. These 
data are presented in Table XI. 



S3 53 



-12- 

TABLS XI 

AVERAGE ACTUAL HOURS PER WEEK 
IN ALL FURNITURE MANUFACTURING 



Year Hour; 



1929 46.8 

1931 39.7 

1933 35.8 

1934 34.5 



Source: 1929 and 1931 data are from National Industrial 
Conference Board Se rvice Letters ; 1933 and 1934 
from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trend of Employment . 

These figures are averages for the entire Industry as defined by the 
Censxis. It will "be noted that even though the Code -oerraitted a maximum of 
40 hours per week during 1934, the average for the year was about 12 per 
cent less, or 34.5 hours. 1/ 

Average Hourly Wages. 

The Department of Labor has made two extensive studies entitled "Wages 
and Hours of Labor in the Furniture Industry," one covering 1929 and the 
other covering 1931. Its findings were published in Bureau of Labor Statis- 
tics Bulletins Numbers 526 and 571. 

The wage figures used were obtained from payrolls or other records by 
agents of the Department of Labor from representative furniture factories". 
in 17 states, the principal product of these factories being wooden house- 
hold furniture. 

Average wage rates per hour in each of these 17 states during 1929 and 
1931 are recorded in Table XII. 



1/ Testimony appearing on page 47 of the transcript of the Public Hearing 
on the Furniture Industry Code to the effect that the Industry normally 
operated an average of 55 hours per week probably meant that during 1929 
( a great many furniture factories had a full-time work week of 55 hours. 



8353 



-13- 

table xii 

average houbli trices 
ii: all furniture manufacturing, 
3y principal states 

(In Cents) 



State 



1929 



1931 



U. S. Total 

California 

Georgia 

Illinois 

Indiana 

Kentucky 

Maryland 

Massachusetts 

Michigan 

Missouri 

Hen Jersey 

ITevr York 

North Carolina 

Ohio 

Pennsylvania 

Tennessee 

Virginia 

TTisconsin 



U9.O 

59. 1 

55,3 
U3.U 

50.5 
62.0 

53*5 
U6.7 
61.5 

55. s 

33.1 

Hs.5 

rf • J. 

31.3 

29. s 



Ui.i 

52.1 
2U.1 
1+S.S 
33>^ 
38,3 
H7.1 

58.1 

^2.5 
5s. 

U6.q 
23. S 
42. 5 

M.3 

26.6 
23.6 
U2.0 



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U ages and Hours of Labor 
in the Furniture Indust ry. 1Q1C-1931 (3ulletin 571). 
Coverage of samples use:", is 23 per cent of employment 
in 1929 and ?k per cent in 1931. 



Sectional Hourly ¥a/?e Rates 

Since the approved Code set up tno nininum wages — one for the 
North and one for the South — average hourly wage rates for the two 
geographical sections are presented in Table XIII 

TAPES XIII 



S3 53 



AVERAGE HOURLY "AGES, NORTH AND SOUTH, 
BY SEX 





Males 


Females 




Year 


North South 


North 


South 




1929 
1931 


53. 8 3^.7 

U6.6 2S.9 


36.5 

33. s 


19.1 

is. 7 





Source: Basic data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wages and Hour s 
of Lab or in the Furniture Industry (Bulletins Number 526 
and 571), Table A. 



-14- 



A vera-^e Weekly Earning s 

Ta"ble XIV shows the course, of average weekly earnings frors 1929 to 
193 1 !-. Not a great deal of the decline from 1929 to 1933 ^ as regained in 
193^i c "- ue presumably to relatively short work weeks. 

Data are also presented to show hourly rates for the years 1929, 
1931 > d933> and 193 1 - 1 -' The averages given for 1929 and 1931 differ sone- 
what from those shown in Table XII, due to the fact that both the saaple 
and the source are different. 



TABLE XIV 

AVEEAGE HOURLY WAGES, AND AVEEAGE WEEKLY WAGES, 
IH ALL EUElJITUEE I'lAHUTACTUBIHG 



Average Hourly Average Weekly 
Year Wage a/ Wage b/ 



1929 $.U67 $2U.Ul 

1931 .U35 IS. 18 

1933 .366 13.^3 

193 h ,W+ 15. U2 



Source: As indicated in footnotes. 

a/ 1529 and 1931 rata are National Industrial Conference 

Bosrd figures multiplied by O.S5 to make them comparable 
with Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 1933 and I93H. 

b/ Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trend of Employment . 



S3 53 



-15- 

Cliapter III 

RAW MATERIALS 

Principal Materials Consumed 

Lumber products consisting of logs, hardwood, soft-wood, plywood and 
veneers constitute the basic material used in the manufacture of household 
furniture. Other necessary materials are fabricated iron, steel, and wire; 
textiles; paint and varnish; glass; twing; and leather products. 

Cost of Materials Compared with Total 
Value of Product 



As shown in Table XV in 1929, the cost of materials was 43.8 per cent 
of the value of the finished product. During the depression years the per- 
centage which materials cost is of total value showed successive increases — 
47.9 being the percentage in 1933. According to data prepared by the trade 
associations, costs of materials and supplies registered a further increase 
during 1934 without a compensating increase in the sale price of the product 
into which they entered. 

TABLE XV 

TOTAL VALUE OP PRODUCT, TOTAL LABOR COST, 

AHD TOTAL COST OF MATERIALS 

IE ALL rURiilTURE MANUFACTURING 





Total Value 
of Product 
(OOO's) 


Total Labor Cost 
Amount Per Cent 
(OOO's) of Total 


Total Mater i 


.als 


Cost 


Year 


Amount 
(OOO's) 




Per Cent 
of Total 


1929 
1931 
1933 


$948,116 a/ 
432,289 " 
297,730 


$212,832 25.6 

125,972 26.1 

76,345 25.6 


$415,650 
217,896 
142,587 


6/ 


43.8 
45.2 
47.9 



Source: Census of Manuf actiu-es, "Furniture . " Establishments whose annual 
production is less than $5,000 are excluded. 

a/ Represents sales (shipments and deliveries); other years represents pro- 
duction. 

b/ Includes purchase of fuel and electrical energy. The cost of fuel and 
energy is about 3 per cent of the total cost. 



8353 



-16- 

Chapter IV 

DISTRIBUTION 

Methods of Distribut ion 

The greater part of all h i ie] "id furniture is produced for stock 
and from there it is sold to retailers which include retail furniture 
stores, department stores, and in smaller towns, general Merchandise 
stores. Much furniture is distributed to the consuming public through 
mail order houses, which, as a rule place contracts for their require- 
ments over periods of six to twelve months, and often contract for the 
entire output of one or more plantSo 

Hotels, clubs, public buildings, etc., usually contract directly 
with manufacturers for their furniture requirements. 

Mumber of Distributors 

The only available statistical data as to the number of concerns 
which distribute furniture products are the Bureau of the Census figures 
shown in Table XVI. 



8353 



-17- 



TA3LS XVI 



NUMBER 0? WHOLESALE AMD .RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS 

DISTRIBUTING PRODUCTS OP THE INDUSTRY, 

BY PRINCIPAL STATES 



Number of Wholesale a/ 

Estab l ishrents 
1929" 1933 



Number of Retail 

Stores b/ 
YJ29 1933 



U. S. Total 

California 

Illinois 

Massachusetts 

Michigan 

Missouri 

New Jersey 

Nevr York 

Ohio 

Pennsylvania 

Texas 

Total 10 States 

Total 38 Other States 



1,146 



730 



25,153 



17,418 



137 


72 


103 


100 


47 


35 


33 


23 


36 


19 


13 


9 


296 


190 


67 


35 


89 


55 


34 


23 


060 


561 


286 • 


169 



1,239 


752 


1,439 


1,017 


751 


604 


838 


569 


811 


557 


667 


511 


2,618 


1,927 


1,280 


907 


1,898 


1,293 


1,339 


806 


.2,800 


3,943 


.2, 273 


8,475 



Source: Census of Fnolesale Distributio n, Table 2 A, and 
Census of Retail Distribution , Table D. 

a/ Wholesale establishments included: antique goods, furniture, 
general line, household, office, second-hand and specialty 
lines; importers have been excluded. 

b/ Retail establishments included: furniture stores, furniture 
stores and under taker, furniture and hardware stores. 



8353 



-IB- 
Chapter V 
GENERAL INFORMATION 
Trade Associations 

The leading trade association is the National Association of Furniture 
Manufacturers, Incornorated, organized in 1928. This association succeeded 
the National Alliance of Furniture Manufacturers and other allied organi- 
zations which had existed over a period of forty ^ears prior to disbanding 
in 1928, as a result of prosecution by the Federal Trade Commission under 
the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. In 1933 the National Association of Furniture 
Manufacturers reported a membership of over 550 manufacturers. 

The second most active trade association is the Southern Furniture Manu- 
facturers Association, organized in 1911 as a combination of existing organ- 
izations. This association reported a membership in 1933 of about 150 of 
the leading furniture manufacturers in its district. 

These two associations cover between them the entire field of houselold 
furniture manufacturing in the United States. The Southern Association dom- 
inates in the territory south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi 
River. The National Association covers all other territory, and also has 
a smattering of members in the Southern Association territory. Fublic testi- 
mony indicates that membership in these two organizations, together with 
supporting local associations, represents well over 10 per cent of the house- 
hold furniture produced in the United States. 

Two other specific trade associations in this Industry are the Wood 
Office Chair Manufacturers Association, and the National Association of Wood 
Office Desks and Tables, which have a combined membership of over 50 manu- 
facturers and represent over 80 per cent of the total production in these 
lines. 

Exports 

The value of furniture exoorted when comoared w~' th the total amount 
produced is insimif icant . Records show the value of that exjorted in 1929 
to have been $5,350,000. By 1934 this had declined to $919,793. 

TABLE XVII 

VALUE OF PRODUCTS EXPORTED, 
BY PRINCIPAL GROUPS 



Gr o^ 1929 1931 1933 1934 



Total $6,360,000 $1,743,531 $676,989 $919,793 
Chairs 795,000 244,206 106,893 151,760 

Other Metal 

Furniture 1,948,000 379,671 127,393 179,519 

Wood Office Fur- 
niture and store 

fixtures 549,000 154,239 44,156 67,56 3 

Other wood, willow 

and wicker Furni- 

ture 3,068,000 965,415 398.547 520,791 

8353 (Continued on following page) 



_in_ 

TABLE XVII (Continued) 

Source: Foreign Commerce and Navigation , Eureau of Foreign and Domestic 
Coinii'erce. 

List of Experts 

The following list fives the names of several nen thoroughly acquainted 
with the Indiistry: 

Dr. A. ?. Haake, General Manager 

National Association of Furniture "rianufacturers, 

566 Lake Shore Drive, 

Chicago, Illinois. 

C. B. Irrin 

Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

J. T. Ryan, Secretary, 

Southern Furniture Manuf acturers Association, 

High Point, Uorth Carolina. 



8353 



-20- 
APPENDIX 
LABOR DATA 

The 'labor data presented here are unpublished data resulting from 
a special tabulation made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in coopera- 
tion with the Division of Research -and planning, KRA. The special 
labor data presented here for the years 1933 and 1934 are the best 
available for the Industry as defined by the Code. They represent 
exclusively those branches of the Furniture Manufacturing Industry 
covered by the Furniture Manufacturing Code. The published Bureau. 
of Labor Statistics data for furniture manufacturing are based upon 
the Census definition of the Industry, which includes, in addition 
to household furniture, the four groups listed on page 2, above. 

For this reason, the published Bureau of Labor Statistics data 
used in Chapter II are not exactly comparable with the data presented 
in this Appendix. However, since household furniture accounts for 
70 to 80 per cent of the total value of product in the Industry as 
defined by the Census, and since the Code also covers the manufacture 
of so-ie office desks, chairs, and tables, the published Bureau of 
Labor Statistics data are reasonably representative of the Code In- 
dustry. 



8353 



-21- 



APP3FDIX 



TABLE I 

EMPLOYMENT, PAYROLLS, HOURS AND WAGES, 
1933-1934 a/ 





Index, 


1933 = 


100 


Average 
Hours 
Worked per 


Waee s 


Year 


Average 
Hourly ej 


Average 


and 


Employ- 


Pay- 


Man- 


Weekly c/ 


Month b/ 


ment c/ 


rolls 


c/ hours 


d/Week e/ 


(Cents) 


(Dollars) 


1933 














January 


84.5 


67.6 


69.2 


30.1 


32.5 


10.73 


February 


84.5 


71.2 


76.8 


53.4 


30.8 


11.30 


March 


75.7 


53.3 


61.2 


29.7 


30.1 


9.37 


April 


77.7 


63.2 


71.7 


*^0 • u 


30.5 


10.75 


May 


84.6 


• 74.0 


87.8 


38.1 


29.1 


11.56 


June 


93.4 


39.3 


106.1 


41.7 


29.2 


12.60 


July 


101.6 


98.5 


118.4 


42.8 


23.9 


12.71 


August 


113.0 


128.5 


125.9 


40.9 


36.3 


14.94 


September 


■ 126; 6 


155.4 


132.1 


38.3 


41.3 


15.92 


October 


130.0 


159.9 


138.8 


39.2 


41.4 


16.06 


November 


119.6 


130.0 


116.0 


35.6 


41.6 


14.09 


December 


108.8 


111.1 


96.0 


32.4 


42.6 


13.25 



Average 



100.0 100.0 100.0 



36.3 



34.5 



12.77 



1934 














January 


97.8 


95.6 


73.6 


29.5 


43.3 


12.54 


February 


101.8 


112.9 


C £ K 


34.8 


41.1 


14.41 


March 


101.7 


111.7 


94.7 


34.2 


41.2 


14.22 


April 


97.4 


107.7 


90.7 


34.2 


42.1 


14.38 


May 


97.6 


107.1 


89.1 


33.5 


42.8 


14.35 


June 


100.2 


109.7 


91.7 


33.6 


42.5 


14.36 


July 


100.5 


106.0 


87.6 


32.0 


42.9 


13.86 


August 


103.4 


119.0 


97.4 


34.7 


43.0 


15.11 


September 


107.0 


125.3 


102.9 


35.3 


43.3 


15.16 


October 


109.5 


132.0 


109.2 


36. 6 


42.7 


15.75 


November 


107.8 


126.9 


103.4 


35.2 


43.4 


15.40 


December 


107.0 


129.8 


105.2 


36.1 


43.6 


15.85 


Average 


102.6 


115.3 


95.6 


34.1 


42.7 


14.62 



Source: Unpublished data secured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 
cooperation with the Division of Research and Planning, NBA. 

a/ Reporting establishments considered to be almost completely covered 
by the Furniture Manufacturing Industry Code. 

(Footnotes Continued 
on Following Page) 



8353 



-22- 



TA3LE I 
( Continued) 



b/ Figures reported were for the payroll period nearest the 15th of the 
month. 

c/ 3ased upon a representative sample covering an average of about 260 
establishments and nearly 50,150 employees in 1933. The sample was 
considerably larger in 1934, 

d/ Computed: Index of employment times average hours worked per week 
reduced to 1933 - 100. 

ej Based upon a representative sample covering .an average of 145 es- 
tablishments and nearly 17,600 employees in 1933. The sample was 
much larger in 1934, 



T