Statement on Minimum Wage, January 14, 1913

That Is Minimum for Respectable Living in Chicago, Jane Addams Says:

New York, Jan. 14. -- Jane Addams of Hull House and the United States is in this city on a brief business trip. While declaiming sufficient knowledge of conditions on which to base an estimate for New York City, she considers that the minimum wage on which a working woman can live decently in Chicago lies between $8 and $10.

"Of course, I believe in a minimum wage below which working women shall not be allowed to work," she declared, "but the wages must vary with the industry. That is the purpose of a minimum wage board; to fix the rate in the various industries. We have the example of England, which began with the chain and nail making, window curtains and lace industries. In the United States I believe we should begin with box making and the clothing trades. Then we can gradually work into the other industries. We can't break into them all at once. It would disturb industry too much. Of course, there is a minimum below which a girl cannot live decently if she is entirely self supporting. In Chicago I believe that minimum lies between $8 and $10. 

"Of course, conditions vary widely in every city and the individual boards must fix conditions for each place. But there are certain general truths, and one is that girls cannot live decently under a certain minimum wage. That wage should be guaranteed to them for the sake of society as well as for their own sakes. After that the increases must come according to the individual ability."

Item Relations


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>