Great Depression Unemployment

Sandy Iyer, Parker Sahm, Yvonne Kim

Causes of Unemployment

Unemployment rates in America during the great depression were about 25% which means about 1 out of every 4 people couldn't get a job. Unemployment rates during the Great Depression show a great collapse in labor markets in just a few years, and a noticeable reason was not noticeable until the beginning of World War 2. This was because, like the first World War, America had higher demands that brought it back from the hardships of the depression.


There were two main causes behind this massive unemployment rate in 1929 after Wall Street collapsed: consumer buying confidence plummeted and factories producing goods had no choice but to cut their production due to over production and lay off workers. A ironic thing to know- wages got higher due to products prices dropping.


Effects of Unemployment.

In addition to lower job rates, employes felt a sense of insecurity for salary. The Great Depression affect work life along with the personalities of the workers in their outside lives.


Crime, suicide, prostitution, alcoholism, and cigarette smoking rates increased. College attendance decreased although male high school attendance increased due to the bleak prospects of landing a job- many men decided to stay in school longer. Marriages were delayed and although divorce rates decreased, abandonment rates, when a husband would simply run away from his family, increased. Birth rates fell. Dust Bowl states such as Oklahoma and Arkansas experienced a decrease in population as many people migrated to other states, such as California and Arizona. The blues gained popularity.

"Any system of economics is bankrupt if it sees either value or virtue in unemployment. " -Jimmy Carter

Works Cited

Borade, Gaynor. Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.


"Great Depression Unemployment." HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.


"Unemployment Statistics during the Great Depression." Unemployment Statistics during the Great Depression. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013

"48e. Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression." Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression [ushistory.org]. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.