The Extent of Unemployment

September 25, 1930

Report Outline
Extent of Currnt Unemployment
Extent of Current Unemployment
Trends of Employment in Industry
Farm Labor Supply and Demand
Employment in Industrial States and Cities
Special Focus

Extent of Currnt Unemployment

Preliminary Censsus Figures on Unemployment

Interest in the unemployment situation in the United States—a matter of public concern and controversy since the President's Conference on Unemployment of 1921—heightens as the Bureau of the Census announces its preliminary figures from the returns of the 1930 count, as the index numbers of employment sink to lower levels for the months since the census was taken, as the American Federation of Labor prepares for its annual convention in Boston next month, and as the 1930 congressional elections approach.

While unemployment is now generally recognized as primarily a problem of industrial organization and while there is growing understanding of its main causes, adequate data as to its extent have up to now been lacking. The absence of complete and reliable statistics upon the total volume of unemployment, its industrial and geographical distribution, and its duration has given rise to conflicting estimates and public debate concerning its extent and distribution. This debate, as well as a desire to analyze and appraise the many investigations of unemployment that have been made during recent years and the experience of foreign countries with systems for prevention and relief, led the United States Senate in May, 1928, to direct its Committee on Education and Labor to investigate the causes of unemployment and proposed methods for its control. Upon the recommendation of this committee, which Congress adopted, the Bureau of the Census undertook this year for the first time to collect scientifically acceptable statistics of unemployment in the United States.

The 1930 Census of Unemployment

Preliminary returns from the unemployment census of 1930 have been compiled and published to date for the entire country, for states by counties, and for cities of 100,000 or more. These census figures, so far as they go, shed the first trustworthy light upon the total number of persons out of work. The census data thus far announced do not purport to give a complete picture of the unemployment situation in the United States, and by the time the results are fully tabulated the condition of the labor market may be radically different from that during April when the census was taken. Nevertheless, the 1930 census affords a fair measure of the number of unemployed persons able and willing to work on the census date and a basis from which to estimate the subsequent trend of unemployment. If, therefore, the census is supplemented by figures currently collected concerning the condition of the labor market, results may be obtained which should approximate much more closely to the real unemployment situation than any estimates hitherto made.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
New Deal, Great Depression, and Economic Recovery
Feb. 20, 2009  Public-Works Projects
Jul. 25, 1986  New Deal for the Family
Apr. 04, 1973  Future of Social Programs
Nov. 18, 1944  Postwar Public Works
Apr. 12, 1941  Public Works in the Post-Emergency Period
Mar. 08, 1940  Integration of Utility Systems
Feb. 26, 1938  The Permanent Problem of Relief
Jun. 08, 1937  Experiments in Price Control
Jan. 05, 1937  Credit Policy and Control of Recovery
Nov. 27, 1936  New Deal Aims and the Constitution
Oct. 16, 1936  Father Coughlin vs. the Federal Reserve System
Sep. 25, 1936  Roosevelt Policies in Practice
Feb. 11, 1936  Conditional Grants to the States
Dec. 11, 1935  Capital Goods Industries and Recovery
Sep. 25, 1935  Unemployment Relief Under Roosevelt
Jul. 17, 1935  The R.F.C. Under Hoover and Roosevelt
Jul. 03, 1935  Six Months of the Second New Deal Congress
Jun. 04, 1935  The Supreme Court and the New Deal
Mar. 05, 1935  Public Works and Work Relief
Feb. 16, 1935  Organized Labor and the New Deal
Dec. 04, 1934  Rural Electrification and Power Rates
Oct. 26, 1934  Federal Relief Programs and Policies
Jul. 25, 1934  Distribution of Federal Emergency Expenditures
Jul. 17, 1934  Debt, Credit, and Recovery
May 25, 1934  The New Deal in the Courts
Mar. 27, 1934  Construction and Economic Recovery
Mar. 19, 1934  Price Controls Under N.R.A.
Feb. 15, 1934  Federal Promotion of State Unemployment Insurance
Jan. 10, 1934  Government and Business After the Depression
Jan. 02, 1934  The Adjustment of Municipal Debts
Dec. 12, 1933  The Machine and the Recovery Program
Dec. 05, 1933  Winter Relief, 1933–1934
Nov. 11, 1933  Power Policies of the Roosevelt Administration
Oct. 28, 1933  Buying Power under the Recovery Program
Oct. 19, 1933  Land Settlement for the Unemployed
Sep. 20, 1933  The Capital Market and the Securities Act
Jul. 18, 1933  Public Works and National Recovery
Jul. 01, 1933  The Plan for National Industrial Control
May 03, 1933  Economic Readjustments Essential to Prosperity
Apr. 26, 1933  Government Subsidies to Private Industry
Mar. 25, 1933  Rehabilitation of the Unemployed
Feb. 17, 1933  Federal Cooperation in Unemployment Relief
Nov. 16, 1932  Systems of Unemployment Compensation
Nov. 09, 1932  Policies of the New Administration
Aug. 18, 1932  Emergency Relief Construction and Self-Liquidating Projects
Dec. 28, 1931  Relief of Unemployment
Aug. 01, 1931  National Economic Planning
Jul. 20, 1931  Dividends and Wages in Periods of Depression
Feb. 19, 1931  Insurance Against Unemployment
Jan. 19, 1931  Business Failures and Bankruptcy Administration
Jan. 01, 1931  Federal Subsidies to the States
Dec. 08, 1930  Federal Relief of Economic Distress
Sep. 25, 1930  The Extent of Unemployment
May 16, 1930  Politics and Depressions
Dec. 20, 1929  The Federal Public Works Program
Jun. 08, 1929  The Federal Reserve System and Stock Speculation
Apr. 14, 1928  The Federal Reserve System and Price Stabilization
Feb. 25, 1928  The Federal Reserve System and Brokers' Loans
Unemployment and Employment Programs