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From 1900 through the Depression
BLS continued to collect regular surveys of wage data by occupation and industry after the turn of the century. Changes in survey coverage were dictated mainly by Federal government data needs. Thus, a large survey program undertaken for the War Industries Board in 1919 produced occupational pay rates by industry, State, and (for some industries) by city. Between 1934 and 1940, the selection of industries studied was determined largely by administrative needs under the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Public Contracts Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, with emphasis on nationwide data for relatively low-wage industries.
Statistics Support the War Effort
In the early 1940's, BLS survey activity shifted to heavy industries essential to war production. Implementation of wage stabilization policy during the war required a large-scale program of occupational wage studies by industry and locality. After 1945, the emphasis on local data continued with industry studies generally designed to yield both national and regional estimates for occupations unique to specific industries.
Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001