The Great Depression: Unemployment

Kristen S. Blake S. Kenzie S.

The Peak

In 1932, the unemployment rate in America was 23.5%. This rate represented the peak of American unemployment rates during the Great Depression

Analysis of Graphs

Based on the commonalities between all of the graphs, 1932 was the most economically severe year of the Great Depression. During this year, the Gross National Product was lowest, the number of bank closures the highest, unemployment the highest, and stock prices the lowest. Between all of the indicators, we have sufficient evidence that 1932 was the year in which the economy was worst. In 1933, the US went off the Gold Standard.

The Dramatic Jump

During the 1930s, many banks and businesses failed and wages decreased. As a result, the economy was less active as people worked to save money as opposed to spending money like in the “roaring twenties”. When less money was spent, businesses had to cut back on their workforce because they were not making nearly as much money or needing as much production. This created a deadly cycle.

Worker Prosperity

Although workers got by, they did not share in the economic prosperity. Presidents like Harding and Coolidge were strongly pro-business, and the heads of companies aimed for a quick profit over worker benefits. Workers had jobs, but many pro-labor measures were cut, and post-war strikers seldom got the demands they requested during the Great War.

Hoover Doesn't Get Re-elected. Why?

1932 was the most severe year of the Great Depression, as mentioned above. After years of economic depression and unemployment, the American people, especially the unemployed, were angry and looking for a scapegoat to blame. Hoover, the president, was a perfect target. The American People simply wanted a change.