THE STATISTICS OF AVERAGE WAGES
As was noted in a previous chapter, State wage statistics are usually presented in the form of averages -- only in the exceptional case are classified earnings published. To be sure, some of the labor bureaus content themselves with a bare statement of minimum and maximum wages, but such cases are, fortunately, rare. Since many of the wage reports deal with average wages only, and then in a thoroughly reprehensible manner, it would not be amiss to ask at the outset what an average wage really is and what importance may be attached to it.
Webster's New International Dictionary states that an average is "Any medial estimate or generalization derived from a comparison of diverse specific cases." This thought may be more clearly brought out by an illustration. Two groups of men are working, -- ten carpenters at