A Clearing-House for Labor


WE lack labor. The railroads are crippled for want of it. The farmers hesitate to plant seed for fear they cannot get labor for the harvest. Factories, public utilities, ammunition factories, shipyards, send up a cry for men. Strangely enough, tens of thousands of men walk the streets of our cities in idleness in the midst of the labor shortage. Appeals to patriotism apparently go unheeded. High wages, instead of attracting them into steady employment, lead only to more frequent periods of idleness. They profiteer in the nation’s day of stress as willingly as many of their employers. Neither impairment of our military efficiency nor the sufferings of millions who lack the necessities of life move them. What is the explanation? Why this anomaly? Why a labor surplus in the face of a labor shortage?

An explanation which at least points to one important cause of the phenomenon is this: labor is standing idle during a labor shortage because an unorganized labor market has impaired the efficiency and morale of hundreds of thousands of workers. Men have become accustomed to idleness, unaccustomed to sustained efforts. Irregularity of employment, migration from industry to industry, the cheap lodginghouse, the saloon, pawnshop, brothel, municipal police court, and lack of continuing responsibilities have done their deadly work. Men who started out with ambition and promise have degenerated into inefficient, irresponsible, migratory laborers — tens of thousands of them into almost unemployable ‘ bums.’

Labor is not scarce in America, so far as quantity is concerned. I question the probability of any quantitative shortage of labor during the war. If such shortages should occur, potential supplies of female and minor labor will fill up the gap. But labor of quality is scarce in every manual occupation — in agriculture, mining, forestry, manufactures, transportation; and there is no reservoir from which that quality shortage can be relieved. Our hope for relief rests solely in such mobilization as will place the existing skilled labor where it will do the most good, in subdivision and specialization of tasks so that partly skilled persons may be able to perform them, and in intensive training of promising young workers for such work as they can be prepared for during the emergency.

One of the most striking phases of the labor shortage is the scarcity of good common labor. Any one knows that an employer who needs a machinist cannot use a casual laborer. It is not difficult to realize that a farmer who needs a dairyman cannot use a harvest-hand. But many people do not yet appreciate the fact that there are different classes or types of common laborers, just as there are different classes of mechanics. Degrees of reliability, intelligence, steadiness, and physical efficiency are of just as great importance among common laborers as degrees of skill among mechanics; and the presence or absence of these qualities means the presence or absence of ability to earn wages.

The shortage of competent American labor is not simply a war shortage. A considerable portion of our skilled labor-supply has always come from Europe, and a relative decline in the emigration of skilled laborers to America has been the mainspring of our interest in industrial education in recent years. Every one familiar with the labor market has known likewise that the Italian and Slavic immigrants from southeastern Europe have furnished us with our principal supply of common laborers during the past two generations, and that American common laborers have been, on the whole, of declining value.

The shortage is no new one. But Europe has heretofore protected us against the pressure of our lack. The war, with its stoppage of immigration, contemporaneous with a sharp increase in the demand for American products, raw and manufactured, suddenly made the shortage acute. It twisted the tourniquet. We suddenly became conscious that we were no more independent of Europe’s birth-rate than we were of her dyes. We need labor now. After the war, when millions of Europeans will have died in arms or been crippled in action, will immigration relieve our shortage again? If it would, is it sane public policy to permit conditions to continue which destroy the efficiency of hundreds of thousands of men, simply because we can find others to take their places? Will a nation that is willing, if necessary, to lay down the lives of millions of men and billions of treasure to ‘make the world safe for democracy ’ allow social arrangements to continue which condemn whole armies of men to economic inefficiency and moral deterioration?

One of the principal reasons why uncounted thousands of American laborers are of such low quality that employers do not ‘want to give them standing-room,’ and prefer the immigrants, is a disorganized labor market. Erroneous labor policies stimulate labor turnover and labor migration, and result in a progressive deterioration of the laborer. We educate them for inefficiency instead of efficiency, and train them in shifting instead of in sticking; we discourage self-respect, encourage thriftlessness, and compel continuous movement. If we had set ourselves to devise ways and means of destroying the efficiency of American labor, we could not have chosen methods better suited to our purpose than the conditions characterizing our present labor market. Constant labor turnover and constant labor migration will demoralize a working force as rapidly as it can be accomplished.

I am not ignorant of the fact that many personal causes contribute heavily to labor inefficiency. No man can watch the flow of migratory labor through any distributing point, like Minneapolis, without witnessing tragedies of drink, of drugs, of feeblemindedness, of bad home training, of defective education, and of moral failure, that wring his heart. But contact with tens of thousands of laborers of every type and description has forced the conclusion upon me that the moral failure of a very large percentage of these men is the result of the industrial and social conditions that surround them rather than of initial viciousness on their part. Initial personal fault accounts for some of them. But economic conditions beyond their control or understanding account for more. They are victims of drink, vice, drugs, and women, largely because the nature of their work prevents a normal home life, normal community life, normal citizenship.

You are familiar with common laborers. You see them daily, standing on street corners, riding in street cars, sweating in excavations, loafing at saloon or pool-room doors. You have probably hired them at one time or another. You may have shared their life. But have you ever really become acquainted with them? Do you know where the common laborer comes from, what his experiences are, what becomes of him, what his types are? Or is he one of those commonplace experiences that you are so familiar with that you do not really know anything about him? You know that there are more than a dozen different kinds of machinists, and that different kinds of carpenters have different types of skill which bring varying rates of pay. Do you realize also that there are at least five distinct classes of common laborers, varying in skill, in the kinds of work they follow, in productive capacity, in earning power, in social significance?


I was in a gas-retort house one night in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It was the hour for drawing the coke and recharging the retorts. Three stokers opened the little retort doors and drew the red-hot coke out on the floor. Then, standing twelve or fifteen feet away from the red-hot open retorts they threw from four to six hundred pounds of coal, with scoop shovels, into openings twentyone inches wide and fourteen inches high, and filled nine retorts without letting a single piece of coal fall on the floor. They were common laborers. They worked twelve hours a day and seven days a week. Their job consisted simply in drawing coke, cleaning retorts, and shoveling coal into the retorts. But they had the skill of men who had thoroughly learned a job, who had developed an expert skill in that job, who remained steadily on the job. They were a part of that plant. But more than that, they were heads of families, citizens of Oshkosh, integral parts of the economic, political, and social life of the nation.

Here is the first and highest type of the common laborer: the man who is a part of an industry, who has an occupation, who is a citizen in a community, is the father of a family, perhaps a member of a lodge, a club, or a church. You find this man by the million in our industrial and social life. He runs the bulk of our simpler machinery, operates our street cars, furnishes our watchmen, janitors, and a thousand other kinds of steady help. Upon his shoulders rests a heavy portion of our social fabric. He represents no social problem so long as he can maintain this status — except the problem of an income inadequate to provide his family with a safe subsistence and a dependable future. Probably four out of every ten workmen are found in this category.

But this is not the only type of common laborer who is a permanent factor in the life of the community. A second important type is the man who works irregularly, who has a continuous succession of employers. He works for a while for contractor Jones, then for Smith, then for Brown. He gets a temporary job in a factory, then in a brickyard, and next in an excavation. At his best he is a man with a family—struggling for existence. His wife commonly assists in the bitter struggle by keeping boarders, or by doing washing or sewing; his children are found at the work-bench as early as the law allows, and high-school education is not a thing that his family can think about. In a somewhat lower variation of the type we find this family intermittently on the rolls of the charities, whenever two or three weeks of continuous unemployment, a sickness or other slight calamity assails them. In a third variation we find a single man living in cheap boarding-houses and generally deteriorating steadily under the influence of drink and irregular habits. The struggle for existence of the married man of this last class is harder, more bitter — but he has more to fight for.

The distinction between this general group of laborers and the one first described is found in the relative steadiness of the first group’s employment, and the relative unsteadiness of the second’s. One works for the same employer for considerable periods of time; the other changes employers frequently. Individuals of the first group frequently pass into the second group, when they lose their steady jobs and are unable to get others. Individuals of the second group sometimes pass into the first group by fortunately dropping into a steady job.

To some this may seem a flimsy basis for classification. It seems somewhat vague, leaving a middle ground, a twilight zone, where a considerable number of people lie in either group, or both, or sometimes in one and sometimes in the other. But it at least has the merit of conforming to life, and it calls attention to two types whose life experiences differ considerably. The members of the group with steady employment are never far from destitution. They are poor, very poor. They have a hard time to make ends meet. They commonly have to take their children out of school by the time that they are sixteen years of age. A period of unemployment, a bad sickness, or other misfortune, will quickly bring them to the point where they must have help. But ordinarily they are making ends meet. The wife or children may have to earn part of the living, but the family is self-supporting, and as it looks ahead it sees a prospect of steady income and of continuing self-support. It has a certain sense of assurance, of confidence, of hope.

The group which works at a succession of jobs, on the contrary, continually hears the wolf’s claws scratching on the door. They live in constant uncertainty, constant fear. They have no more assurance of continuing income, no solid basis for hope, no opportunity to get a few dollars in the bank, no justification in starting to buy a home. They are living from hand to mouth, and never know at what moment the hand may be empty. Their self-respect and honesty are always under the strain of fear; their working efficiency is deteriorated by a continual change of jobs that makes it impossible for them ever to attain efficiency at any. They are, by force of necessity, jacks of all trades and masters of none, and after they pass thirty-five and their strength begins to wane, the effects of undernourishment and the declining courage that accompanies a life of fear, all bring a steadily declining efficiency.

The ’professional casual’ is a third distinct type of resident laborer. He is a distinctly lower type than either of the others, but recruited from their ranks. Every employment office is familiar with this type. Any city with three hundred thousand people will have perhaps three or four hundred well-known individuals. Some of them are steady patrons of the state or municipal offices, some of the Salvation Army, some of the charities. Others hang around saloons, hotels, settlement houses. Individuals of the type can be found in almost every country town and rural community. They are a distinct social group.

At some times, especially in the winter, the employment office finds among them laborers and mechanics who ordinarily work steadily but who are temporarily unable to get work and are taking odd jobs to carry them along. For instance, our office carried a machine operator with a wife and family for about four months at odd jobs, until he was able to get a steady job. He has now been working steadily ever since last September in a machine-shop. But these are not casual workers. They do not belong to the type. They are doing casual work only temporarily, and they neither live the life, nor think the thoughts, nor have the point of view of the true casual.

The casual never seeks more than a day’s work. He lives strictly to the rule, one day at a time. If you ask him why he does not take a steady job, he will tell you that he would like to, but that he has n’t money enough to enable him to live until pay-day, and no one will give him credit. If you offer to advance his board until pay-day, he will accept your offer and accept the job you offer him, but he will not show up on the job, or else will quit at the end of the first day. He has acquired a standard or scale of work and life that makes it almost impossible for him to restore himself to steady employment. He lacks the will-power, self-control, ambition, and habits of industry which are essential to it.

The causes which produce the casual are many. A striking number of them are young. In general, these seem to be defective — defective in those mental traits which are the basis of industry and ambition, and in the sense of responsibility; defective in moral stamina or training, and addicted to drugs, drink, and vice; or defective physically and unable to do steady, hard work. Absence of the moral ideas and motives which cause most of us to work is probably more important in explaining these younger casuals than any other one explanation. Some of them have families which they make little or no effort to support, never working if they can get some one else to feed them. Others do not know in the morning where they will lay their head at night. They live permanently in the city, but have no residence. Some of them are moral failures, some defectives.

When we turn to the group of casuals who are older their explanation is even more complex. Many are moral failures, mental defectives, or physical unfits, as already described. Others are the residuum of our labor market. Starting out as common laborers twenty years before, they were for a time steady workmen; then they became subject to irregular employment, either because of industrial conditions, or because of drink or a taste for traveling. Gradually they became more and more irregular in their working and life habits, and crystallized into casuals living from day to day and hand to mouth, without self-respect or ambition. They are almost parasites in the body politic.

Not all common laborers are residents of a community, however. Intermingling with the resident laborers we find a multitude of men who are continually wandering from place to place: to-day working in a factory in Minneapolis; a month from now on a construction job in Des Moines; later, bobbing up on a dam job in Wisconsin; migrating to the harvest fields in the fall, and then to the woods, to construction work, or to some factory job for the winter. These men too reveal distinct sub-groupings. We find among them temporary migrants, skilled migrants, common laborers, and tramps.

The temporary migrant is found particularly in agriculture and contracting. Many farmers, farm-hands, and city men, who are permanent residents of some community for the bulk of the year, go to the harvest fields in the fall. Many carpenters, painters, and other classes of mechanics, or steady laborers, leave town during periods when local employment is slack and good opportunities are presented elsewhere. This is particularly noticeable now, when so many are leaving their permanent homes to work for the government in other localities. But most of these men will either return to the towns from which they start, or else take up a permanent abode in some other locality. They do not spend their life in travel.

The true migrant — the Ishmaelite of modern times — has no abode. He lives where he happens to be. If he gives you a so-called permanent address, it is the place he left years ago, never to return, or else it is fictitious. This type of migrant reveals two distinct classes — the skilled migrant and the unskilled.

We find the skilled man in such types as tile-ditchers, cant-hook men, farm-hands, and steam-shovel engineers. Side by side with them are common laborers who work on construction of dams, railroads, bridges; in the lumber woods and harvest fields; or wherever large gangs of men are assembled from distant places.

These men have no homes. They have either no families or several families. They live in the camp or the lodging-house. Their pleasure is found in the saloon and its accompaniments; in the pool-room or the movie; or in the rough jokes of the camp. When in town they are the prey of the saloon, the ‘hook shop,’ the second-hand store, the employment agency, the municipal police court, the lodging-house thief, the pickpocket. On the job, they are ordinarily parts of a gang who are ‘ hands ’ in the eyes of foreman and employer. In camp their lot is often little better. I have known cases where men have worked a month and have been in debt to their employer at the end for employment fees, post-office fees, board, hospital fees, and transportation.

When I was a child, I was much interested to learn that the Arabian Bedouins, wandering over the desert, travel certain routes year after year by which they pass through certain oases at certain times. Tens of thousands of these camp-workers follow a similar trail — passing from industry to industry and locality to locality in a more or less regular path of migration. As the seasons pass, they move from contracting to harvest to lumber-woods to railroad work, and often insist on going to certain definite localities at each season.

I am trying to make clear that we have in America several hundred thousand, probably more than half a million men, who have no homes, who are residents of no community, who are parts of no particular industry, whose contact with the life of our nation consists in contact with cheap lodging-houses, private employment agencies, secondhand stores, and pawnshops; vicious women, saloons, and municipal police courts; industrial camps, where the minimum of decency and cleanliness is maintained; the brake-beams of the freight car; and a total absence of any home, church, or community life.

These Ishmaelites of the twentieth century are one of the by-products of our economic system. The exploitation of a continent’s natural resources, the single-crop system of agriculture, the alternations of industry due to the seasons, the fact that in a new country labor has to be attracted to new points in the process of developing new enterprises, have been the economic bases of a labor-distribution system in which labor has been shifted here and there to meet the demands and needs of capital and land. We have forgotten that, while labor may be a commodity, laborers are not. We have met the needs of industry without protecting the personalities of laborers. We have developed our resources while spoiling citizens. Hundreds of thousands of men for whom no individual industries, no community, no particular group of socially visioned people have felt themselves responsible, have been steadily deteriorated and ruined by a life of migration and irresponsibility.


We will now trace the relation of the employment system in America to the labor types. We are very charitable in speaking of it as a system; for it is precisely the absence of any system of distributing labor which is the outstanding characteristic of the situation. We have, in all centres where laborers congregate, commercial agencies which make a business of selling jobs to laborers for a fee. We have state and municipal offices in nearly half of the states, but in most cases each local office works individually and without any correlation with other public offices in the same state. The Federal government has had an extremely crude employment system in the post-offices, and has made a weak attempt at federalstate coöperative offices in the Immigration Bureau. Both of these experiments were failures, and the Federal government is now attempting to develop a real organization of the labor market through the Department of Labor. Little practical progress has been made, and no genuine success will be achieved until the nation more fully recognizes some of the fundamental facts in the situation with which they are seeking to cope.

The essence of our industrial policy with respect to labor has been continuous turnover. In every industry, though not in every individual establishment, our employers have followed a policy of hiring and firing. If a man did not happen to make good at a particular task, he was discharged and some one else hired, instead of being transferred to some other task better adapted to his qualities. Foremen have considered the power of discharge as their one unfailing method of discipline. Discharge has been in industry what spanking used to be in the home and the schoolhouse. In each case it has been the means by which those too lazy to think of better ways of proceeding have dealt with the weak in their power. Excessive discharge in industry has been as disastrous in its effects on the industrial and social efficiency of labor as excessive whipping on the soul of a child. It has weakened the worker’s self-respect, decreased his self-reliance, and encouraged subservience. The continual change of jobs has prevented the worker from ever learning any job well, and has destroyed all interest in his work.

The losses are equally disastrous from the employer’s point of view. It takes the time of foremen and bookkeepers to hire and fire, and the time of foremen to instruct the new hand; fellow employees and machinery are slowed down while he learns his job, and breakage and waste are increased. Millions of dollars are lost to employers every year by the slowing down of their plants and wastage of time and materials caused by excessive labor turnover.

There are certain principles which I believe must be recognized in order to reduce the social losses that I have been pointing out. We must have a system of employment offices, national in scope and monopolizing the whole employment business, which will be so carefully worked out that every worker can be placed in the nearest job that he is able to fill and will have access to every job open to a particular capacity. Our system must be able to keep every workman employed with the maximum steadiness; must be able to sift and classify the laborers, so that individuals who have a tendency to degenerate into casuals may be spotted and if possible held to steady employment; and must be able to sift out and furnish employers with the kind of men they want. It must dovetail the industries of each locality so as to use every man in the locality as steadily as possible in that locality.

To accomplish these manifold purposes we must have a national system of employment offices, with branches in every locality, and a central clearinghouse. Within this national system must be zones or districts, with clearing-houses for each district; and within the districts must be sub-districts with their own clearing-houses. If a local office in a sub-district could not fill an order, it would telephone the order to its clearing-house, which would seek to obtain a man from some other local office in the sub-district. If the demand could not be filled in the sub-district, it would be transferred by the subdistrict clearing-house to the district clearing-house, which would seek a man in the district. Similarly, if the district could not fill the order, it would clear the demand through the national clearing-house.

This clearing-house system, if it were combined with a monopoly of the labor market, would enable the public employment offices to check labor migration by always finding the nearest man who was competent to fill the position. We should not then have men leaving Chicago to fill jobs in St. Louis at the same time that men are leaving St. Louis to fill the same kind of jobs in Chicago. The pressure would be put on men to make them remain where they are, instead of to cause them to move. Within a big labor market like New York or Chicago tens of thousands of jobs would be filled annually by local men which are now filled by outsiders; tens of thousands of men kept at home who are now emigrating to other localities.

The effect which such a system of offices might have upon labor turnover is even more important. That portion of the labor force which is most frequently changing jobs would soon be recorded in the files of the employment offices. A glance at a workman’s card would show his history — whether he was a casual, an irregular laborer, or normally a steady man. It would show the kind of work he has followed. Any local office desiring further information concerning a certain man could quickly get it by telephoning or telegraphing other offices in which he was registered. The sifting of men and their individual treatment would become a practical possibility instead of a theoretical ideal. The offices could use pressure to hold a man steady.

The record of employers would be equally useful. Those plants which revealed excessive turnover could be easily sifted out, and the matter brought home to the attention of their managers. By personal interview, bulletins, and correspondence the offices could call to the employers’ attention the causes of excessive turnover, its cost and its treatment. The criticism of workmen against individual firms could be brought to the employer and the faults corrected.

To illustrate. A certain firm in Minnesota has been employing two or three hundred men in a construction camp for about two years. They have a good camp, with steam heat, iron beds, good wash-rooms, and other conveniences. The firm provides good food. The foremen do not drive the men. The wages are high. Nevertheless an excessive turnover of labor continued. The public employment bureau determined to find the cause. Upon investigation, man after man reported that the company was providing good food but poor cooks were spoiling it. The company, for their part, showed that they were paying high wages to their cooks. But they were not getting the service. Correction of the difficulty quickly cut the turnover. In two similar cases it was found that a brutal foreman was the cause of frequent quitting; in another, wages had fallen below the market rate. An office in continuous touch with the employers and men of a given labor market develops a surprisingly intimate knowledge of the conditions in the several establishments.

But most important of all the advantages are two — that the market for labor would be centralized, and that those in charge would be interested in serving the needs of the employer and the employee rather than in personal profit. Centralization in the labor market has the same advantage that centralization in any market has. The buyer and seller have the maximum opportunity of getting in contact with some one with whom they can do business. At present, with a large number of unrelated employment offices operating in the same town, — state, federal, commercial, philanthropic, trade union, and the rest, — the employer who wants a certain kind of man frequently places his order in one office while the employee who seeks that kind of work files his application in another. The two fail to meet. With a single coördinated system of offices, the two will come together in every instance.

An employment system run for profit will never give either our industries, our workers, or the nation sound service. The profits of the employment agent come at so much per head. The more heads, the more dollars. The greater the turnover, the larger the profits. The interests of the employer demand a small turnover. The interests of the laborer demand a steady job. The interests of the employment agent are exactly opposite: the more men he sends out, the greater the number of fees. Private agencies are daily shipping men by the thousands who they know will not stick. Frequently they know that the man’s real intention is to jump the job he is sent to and go to some nearby work. But what’s the difference? Large turnover means large fees, and large fees are the object.

The state and municipal offices as heretofore managed in this country have in most cases (not in all) developed a similar motive favoring turnover. In their case it is unconscious. They measure their efficiency by the cost per head to the state of the men sent out. They brag that it has cost the state but 30, or 25, or 19 cents per man sent out, as compared with the two-dollar fee collected from workmen by the private agencies. Since most of the state and municipal agencies have a set budget, say five or ten thousand dollars per year, approximately, all of which they spend, their average cost is lowered in proportion to the number of men sent out while spending the appropriation. The larger the business, the smaller the average cost per job filled, and the better the showing. The national result is an emphasis on the number of men sent out rather than on the quality of service rendered. Instead of studying their local market, to develop policies that will give the local workers the maximum continuity of employment and local employers the steadiest possible labor force, their effort has been concentrated upon getting orders for jobs vacated, and men to fill them. They have made no effective effort to decrease labor turnover, and if they do, they will impair their showing before their legislative bodies by running up a higher per-capita cost for placement. Cheapness rather than quality has been the criterion thus far applied to their service. And it is the criterion that will continue to be applied until we establish a comprehensive system of employment offices, in charge of men who understand the employment problem and are technical experts in dealing with it, and who are independent of the annual and biennial criticism of local legislative bodies, not conversant with the problems being worked out. It is only under such conditions that the employment organization can attack and solve the vital problem of our labor market.


I have emphasized two points as fundamental to a successful organization of the labor market: first, a consolidation of all public employment agencies into a single system under the auspices of the Federal government, with sub-districts and clearing-houses just as we have in the Federal Reserve banking system; and, second, a monopoly of the labor market, so far as employment-agency work is concerned, by this Federal employment system. A further word on these two points is now necessary.

The country had no lack of employment agencies when the war broke out; it has none now. The only trouble is that they are not of much use. The postmasters were acting as the employment agents. The Federal Immigration Bureau was also running a system of employment offices. This is now discontinued, and a new set of Federal offices, under an employment chief of the Department of Labor, is in process of establishment. More than one half of the states had state employment offices. Many municipalities had employment offices. The Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A., charity societies, commercial associations, settlement houses, the Salvation Army, and other semi-public or charitable organizations, were running a host of agencies, more or less defiled with the taint of charity. Thousands of private profit-getting agencies were in operation in all of the labor centres.

The number of employment agencies in the country ran into the thousands, probably the ten-thousands. But each was a distinct unit. The postmasters had no effective system of coöperating with each other, and made no attempt to coöperate with the immigration bureau offices. The various immigration offices were distinctly local, and had no system of coöperating with one another. They had no clearing-houses. They were in no effective coöperation with state offices except in half a dozen cities. The state offices of each state were, as a rule, run as local offices and without any centralized management of the state labor market. The philanthropic agencies cooperated neither among themselves nor with the public offices. Decentralization, disorganization was — and is — the keynote of the situation.

The first essential step now is legislation that will weld all of the existing state and municipal offices into a Federal system, centralized, coördinated, systematically managed, and controlled by big, far-seeing policies. The same legislation should eliminate forever the private commercial agency, which has cursed our economic system far too long. Monopoly is essential in order to ensure that all orders for men and applications for work shall be brought to the same office, so that buyer and seller may have their needs met with maximum rapidity and efficiency. It is likewise essential to check turnover and migration. Philanthropic agencies, operated without profit to their owners, might be permitted to continue if operated in close coöperation with the public system. But practically all of them would go out of business as soon as a proper organization of the market was established.

The plans suggested are not theoretical. England has for years been operating a system of employment offices not materially different from the plan suggested. Ohio is to-day operating a system of twenty-two offices on similar principles. A clearing-house for public non-commercial employment agencies is now clearing for over seventy agencies in New York City. Many able men in this country are already sufficiently experienced in employmentoffice management and sufficiently conversant with the problems to be solved, to undertake the installation of an American system that will be an ideal for the world.

The war has revealed how acute is the need. The time is ripe. An aroused public should demand a termination of the suicidal labor policies which have been ruining the efficiency of American labor.