In Farewell to Manzanar, what was the monthly pay for an internee?
The top monthly wage for an internee at Manzanar was nineteen dollars a month. Pay for unskilled labor started at eight dollars a month.
Soon after the internees arrived at Manzanar, a call went out "for people with any kind of skill to offer their services". Although work was entirely voluntary, thousands responded, wanting "to do their part" in a spirit of community and even patriotism. In Jeanne's family, her brother Woody signed on as a carpenter, one of her brothers-in-law was a roofing foreman, and another ran a reservoir crew. Jeanne's mother was a dietician, which in camp was "high-priority training". Her job was to assist the camp cooks in dealing with "allergy cases, diabetics, nursing mothers, (and) infants who required special feedings". Although the pay was minimal, Mama was happy to have the chance to earn the money. She had managed to store a small portion of the family's belongings at a warehouse in Los Angeles before they had had to evacuate, and owed a monthly fee which she worried about constantly (Chapter 5).