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THE FIRST ANNUAL REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONER OF LABOR,

MARCH, 1886.

INDUSTRIAL DEPRESSIONS.

With compliments of

Canell D. Wright,

Commissioner of Labor.

WASHINGTON:
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

1886.

12584 LAB

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

LIBRARY
JUL 14 1938

CONTENTS.

Page.

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF LABOR,

Washington, D. C., March 17, 1886. SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the first annual report relating to the information collected and collated by the Bureau of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor was established by act of Congress, approved June 27, 1884, which provided for the appointment of a Commissioner of Labor by the President, and a Chief Clerk, to be appointed by the honorable Secretary of the Interior, and such employés as might be necessary to conduct the work of the Bureau. No officers were appointed, however, until January, 1885, when, under a commission received from the President, I assumed the duties of Commissioner of Labor January 31, and February 3 Mr. Oren W. Weaver was appointed Chief Clerk. The policy under which it seemed to me best that the operations of the Bureau should be conducted was submitted February 4 in a communication to the Secretary of the Interior, the features of which policy need not be restated. March 11 I submitted for your approval an outline of the first year's work of the Bureau. This outline related to the collection of information relative to industrial depressions, the investigation comprehending a study of their character and alleged causes, whether conte poraneous in the great producing countries of the world, and whether, as to duration, severity, and periodicity, they have been similar in such countries. The outline also comprehended the collection of data relating to the variation of wages in different countries and in different parts of this country, in the cost of living in the same localities, and the cost of production, and, in fact, all such alleged causes of industrial depressions as might offer opportunity for illustration through classified facts. The suggested remedies for such depressions were also comprehended in the outline. March 11, a year ago to-day, you did me the honor to approve this outline of work, when I entered at once upon preparations for carrying it out. Unavoidable circumstances prevented the several

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