• A woman working as a cashier in a store at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California. Courtesy of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library via the Mountain West Digital Library. 

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    Margaret Ito working as a cashier in Tule Lake
    • Creator
    • Francis Stewart
    • Description
    • Photo of an evacuee woman, identified as Margaret Ito, working as a cashier in the store at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California during World War II
    • Rights
    • This material may be protected by copyright. Permission required for use in any form. For further information please contact the Multimedia Archivist, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Utah - J. Willard Marriott Library

  • A former Seattle grocery store owner working as a filing clerk at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California. Courtesy of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library via the Mountain West Digital Library. 

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    Hana Uyeno, formerly an owner of a grocery
    • Date
    • 1943-01-20
    • Creator
    • Francis Stewart
    • Description
    • Photo of an evacuee, identified as Hana Uyeno, the former owner of a grocery store in Seattle, Washington, working as a filing clerk at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California during World War II
    • Rights
    • This material may be protected by copyright. Permission required for use in any form. For further information please contact the Multimedia Archivist, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Utah - J. Willard Marriott Library

  • A line of community police at a summer carnival parade at Granada Japanese Relocation Camp, 1943. Courtesy of the University of Southern California Libraries. 

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    Summer parade at Granada Japanese Relocation Camp
    • Date
    • 1943-07-10
    • Creator
    • Joe McClelland
    • Description
    • Photograph of "Amache summer carnival parade." Shown are a line of community police for the internment camp.
    • Rights
    • Http://maryknollmissionarchives.org/?page_id=1917 ; Maryknoll Mission and Diakonia Archives, VID Specialized University. Http://maryknollmissionarchives.org/?page_id=17. Maryknoll Mission and Diakonia Archives, VID Specialized University. Maryknoll M... more
      Http://maryknollmissionarchives.org/?page_id=1917 ; Maryknoll Mission and Diakonia Archives, VID Specialized University. Http://maryknollmissionarchives.org/?page_id=17. Maryknoll Mission and Diakonia Archives, VID Specialized University. Maryknoll Mission Archives, P.O. Box 305, Maryknoll, N.Y. 10545-0305; http://maryknollmissionarchives.org/. Archives@maryknoll.org ; http://maryknollmissionarchives.org/?page_id=1669. less
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    • University of Southern California Libraries
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    • University of Southern California. Libraries

Employment at the camps was not mandatory, but most adult internees chose to work. Not only was it a way for them to pass the time and to earn a wage, but also internee employment was necessary for the everyday operations of the camps. The majority worked full-time, usually around forty-four hours per week. At first, internees were not paid for their work, but this later changed. Rates of pay varied depending on the type of work performed and the skill of the worker. For instance, professional and technical work would earn sixteen dollars per month, a mid-range rate was twelve dollars per month for skilled work, and the lowest rate was eight dollars per month for unskilled work. As an added benefit, internees who worked were given a clothing credit of $3.75 month.

Before life in the camps, Japanese Americans made much more money than they did while interned. They also made significantly less than their Caucasian counterparts who staffed the camps. For example, internee teachers at Heart Mountain Relocation Center were paid $228 per year while base salaries for Caucasian instructors set at $2,000 per year.