Decontrol of Wages

October 29, 1946

Report Outline
Decontrol of Wages
Operation of Wage Controls
Earnings During and After World War Ii
Special Focus

Decontrol of Wages

Final Decontrol of Wages, soon to be ordered by President Truman, will place squarely on the shoulders of labor and management the responsibility for preventing another inflationary race between pay and prices. For the first time in more than four years, wages will be the subject of free collective bargaining, with no limits set by public authority to increases in rates of pay.

Early removal of all wage controls became a virtual certainty when President Truman announced the decontrol of meat, Oct. 14, and told the country by radio that the lifting of other price controls would be accelerated. Controls have since been removed from a very large number of food items. Since August, 1945, wages have been controlled indirectly through the regulation of prices; without price controls, it will obviously be impossible to hold wage rates under government regulation for any extended period.

The prestige of wage control suffered a severe blow in September when Stabilization Director Steelman overruled the Wage Stabilization Board by granting over-ceiling increases in pay to striking A.F.L. maritime workers. The two industry members of the board submitted their resignations in protest, Oct. 9, and pressure has been mounting steadily ever since for complete abandonment of government controls over workers' compensation.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cost of Living and Wages
Apr. 17, 2020  Inequality in America
Sep. 08, 2017  Universal Basic Income
Apr. 08, 2016  Future of the Middle Class
Apr. 18, 2014  Wealth and Inequality
Jan. 24, 2014  Minimum Wage
Jun. 19, 2009  Rethinking Retirement
Mar. 06, 2009  Middle-Class Squeeze
Mar. 14, 2008  Gender Pay Gap
Dec. 16, 2005  Minimum Wage
Sep. 27, 2002  Living-Wage Movement
Apr. 17, 1998  Income Inequality
Oct. 27, 1978  Wage-Price Controls
Jun. 16, 1978  Military Pay and Benefits
Mar. 23, 1966  Rising Cost of Living
Oct. 25, 1961  Price-Wage Restraints in National Emergencies
Jun. 21, 1961  Wage Policy in Recovery
Jun. 11, 1958  Prices and Wages in the Recession
Sep. 18, 1957  Control of Living Costs
Nov. 02, 1955  Wages, Prices, Profits
Jan. 26, 1954  Minimum Wage Raise
Jan. 02, 1954  Cost of Living
Jan. 21, 1953  Guaranteed Annual Wage
Dec. 17, 1952  Future of Price and Wage Controls
Nov. 19, 1951  Fringe Benefits and Wage Stabilization
Dec. 06, 1950  Wage Control
Jun. 13, 1949  Wages in Deflation
Jun. 04, 1947  Guarantees of Wages and Employment
Oct. 29, 1946  Decontrol of Wages
Dec. 01, 1945  Minimum Wages
Sep. 29, 1945  Wage Policy
Oct. 27, 1944  Wage Security
May 17, 1943  Incentive Wage Payments
Aug. 25, 1941  Prices, Profits, and Wage Control
Apr. 28, 1941  Wartime Changes in the Cost of Living
Sep. 21, 1940  Two Years of the Wage-Hour Law
Nov. 01, 1938  Industry and Labor Under the Wage-Hour Act
Jan. 20, 1938  Wage Rates and Workers' Incomes
Apr. 11, 1935  The Cost of Living in the United States
Sep. 01, 1930  Wages and the Cost of Living
May 24, 1930  The Anthracite Wage Agreement
Feb. 20, 1925  Measure of Recovery in Profits and Wages Since 1920–21 Depression