In 1887, following the State’s third census, the position of Commissioner of Industrial statistics was established under PL 1887, chapter 621. Aside from tabulating statistical data regarding the state’s workforce, the Commissioner of Industrial Statistics also assumed the responsibilities of the Superintendent of the Census (see Chapter 63 of the 1882 Public Statutes). Additionally the commissioner was required to report statistical details to the General Assembly regarding “the condition of labor and business in all mechanical, manufacturing, commercial and other industrial businesses of the state especially in relation to the social, educational and sanitary condition of the laboring classes”.
In 1919 (Public Law Chapter 1741), the Commissioner’s title was changed to the Commissioner of Labor who took over all responsibilities formerly performed by the Commissioner of Industrial Statistics. The chapter also created the State Board of Labor whose duties was to report to the General Assembly any recommendations relating to the laws of the state regarding labor, promote mediation and conciliation of controversies and disputes between employees and employers and to avoid resort to strikes, lockouts, boycotts, blacklists, discriminations and legal proceeding in or arising out of such controversies and disputes and matters of employment. The board also prescribed rules of procedure and had the power to conduct investigations, to hold hearings and to summon witnesses. The commissioner reported monthly to the board in all matters relating to labor