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An examination of the preceding table shows that the Chinese are engaged in 54 different occupations, the number employed in laundry work representing 84.63 per cent of the whole number of the nationality in the State. The next in numerical prominence are the dealers, representing 6.16 per cent. It is unnecessary to summarize the remaining branches of employment, as their relation to the whole number may be easily seen by reference to the table.
The second table shows the number of years resident in Massachusetts and also in the United States, according to classified periods of years. With these facts is correlated a presentation by classified age periods, the combined presentation indicating the number of years resident in the State and in the country, and the ages of the persons considered.
Length of Residence and Age Periods.
The greatest number of Chinese was found in the age period 30 to 39 years: there are but 34 under 20 years of age; and but seven over 60 years. This indicates that the Chinese in the State, of productive age, represent 95.75 per cent of the whole number. As regards 30, it was impossible to obtain exact ages.
It should be stated here that in preparing statistics on the Chinese we have excluded those persons born in China, but not of Chinese desceut. In preparing Census work, those persons born in China, whether of Chinese descent or not, are credited to that country so far as nativity is concerned, but it is evident that they should not be included in a consideration of those of Mongolian descent.
The opportunities of an education supplied to all classes in China are well known; this is plainly shown from the fact that 1,284 were reported as being able to read and write in the Chinese language. There were 264 reported as being totally illiterate ; but it is to be feared that this return relates to their inability to read and write English rather than to ignorance of their own language. All who are brought into relation with the Chinese are well aware of the great facility with which they acquire sufficient command of the English language to carry on their business.
By a United States statute passed May 6, 1882, it was provided that no Chinese could become a citizen of the United States by the usual procedure governing naturalization. As, however, the Constitution forbids the passage of ex post facto laws, this provision could not apply to those Mongolians who were eligible for naturalization before the passage of the Act. An examination of the preceding table relating to length of residence shows that there were over 500 Chinese eligible for naturalization. There are no statistics showing the number who have availed themselves of the opportunity to become citizens.
The State enumeration supplied the particulars in relation to the age periods, length of residence, and occupations of the Chinese, but the United States Census figures give only the number of persons of that nationality. The figures of the State enumeration could be increased proportionately to bring them up to the United States Census aggregate. The increase in the number of Chinese in 1900, as compared with 1895, was 77.51 per cent. If this ratio of increase be applied to laundry workers, that being the principal occupation in which the Chinese are engaged, an estimated number of 2,512 Chinese laundry workers would be secured. The United States Census for 1900 gave the whole number of male hand laundry workers in the State as 3,268, this number including, of course, all other nationalities as well as the Chinese.
It is interesting to compare the number of Chinese residents in an Atlantic State like Massachusetts with the number living in a Pacific State like California. In 1870, the number of Chinese in California was 49,277, or 880 to each ten thousand of the population; in 1880, 75,132,
or 869 to each ten thousand; in 1890, 72,472, or 600 to each ten thousand; and in 1900, 45,753, or 308 to each ten thousand.
The particular occupations of the Chinese living in California are not given in the United States Census, but from the Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 1901–1902, we find that of 51,156 adult males employed in industrial establishments, 49,340 were white, 1,587 were Chinese, and 229 were Japanese; the Chinese formed 3.10 per cent of the whole number.
These reports state further that in 1901 and 1902 there were about 50 gold mines owned or leased by Chinamen, who gave employment to about 500 of their own nationality.
THE UNEMPLOYED FOR A YEAR.
The most complete investigation ever made in Massachusetts, as regards the number of persons employed and those unemployed during a specified time, showed during the last State census year that of 925,781 persons employed in productive industries in the Commonwealth, 664,986, or 71.83 per cent, were employed continuously during the year; there were 252,456, or 27.27 per cent, employed irregularly during the year, that is, were out of employment for longer or shorter periods during that time; the number unemployed continuously during the year was 8,339, or 0.90 per cent.
It is with this latter class that we propose to deal in the present article. Naturally, the first and most important inquiry in regard to this class of the population would be as to previous occupation. We supply this information in the following table :