The Labor Market and the Unemployed

April 28, 1937

Report Outline
Employement Problems in Recovery Period
Occupational Characteristics of Job-Seekers
Vocational Training and Apprenticeship
Hiring Age Limits and the Older Worker
Special Focus

Employement Problems in Recovery Period

Progress of the recovery movement is being accompanied on the one hand by recurrent allegations of labor shortages and, on the other hand, by complaints as to the difficulties experienced by older workers in obtaining re-employment. Increasing industrial activity is opening up jobs for many thousands formerly unemployed, but it is apparently persons in the younger age groups who stand the best chance of finding work. At the same time, the developing demand for labor is disclosing lack or impairment of requisite skills and is directing attention to the need of devoting greater consideration to the problem of providing adequate facilities for the training or retraining of workers, so that as jobs become available there will be individuals qualified to fill them.

It is becoming evident that failure to make such a qualitative adjustment of labor supply to labor demand may result, as recovery proceeds, in producing the anomaly of acute labor shortages in the midst of continuing unemployment of substantial proportions. Vocational training and retraining, and special consideration of the problem of the older worker, thus appear as essential aids to alleviation of the unemployment problem and to reduction of relief burdens. Technological advances may or may not threaten a permanent job deficiency, but it seems clear that action taken to fit job-seekers to such jobs as are or are likely to be available will help to reduce the extent and the burdens of any permanent unemployment, as well as to avert distortions in the labor market.

Results of Surveys of Reported Labor Shortages

For a number of months, there have been frequent reports of shortages of skilled workers in various trades in various places. Such reports in some cases have been accompanied by demands for discontinuance of W. P. A. or P. W. A. projects, it being contended that there not only was no longer any need for this form of relief, but that it was actually interfering with the supply of labor for private work. Complaints of this sort investigated by the W. P. A. have been found almost uniformly to lack justification. In some instances the complaints appear to have been inspired by political motives. In others the shortage has been not of qualified workers, but of workers who would take jobs at the unreasonably low wages offered. In still others the impression of shortage has been created by failure to utilize existing agencies for connecting the man and the job. In one Middle Western city, for example, an employers' association withdrew its complaint as to a shortage of electrical workers upon being informed that over 200 such workers were on the active file of registrants at the office of the United States Employment Service in the same city.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Labor Unions
Aug. 07, 2015  Unions at a Crossroads
Sep. 02, 2005  Labor Unions' Future Updated
Jun. 28, 1996  Labor Movement's Future
Jun. 14, 1985  Organized Labor in the 1980s
Nov. 06, 1981  Labor Under Siege
Mar. 24, 1978  Labor's Southern Strategy
Aug. 20, 1976  Labor's Options
Oct. 27, 1971  Organized Labor After the Freeze
Oct. 19, 1966  Labor Strife and the Public Interest
Jan. 30, 1963  Strike Action and the Law
Sep. 20, 1961  Conflicts in Organized Labor
Aug. 04, 1960  Labor, Management, and the National Interest
Dec. 16, 1959  Future of Free Collective Bargaining
Nov. 04, 1959  Featherbedding and Union Work Rules
Feb. 18, 1959  Public Intervention in Labor Disputes
Jul. 09, 1958  Suits Against Labor Unions
Nov. 13, 1957  Right-To-Work Laws
Oct. 31, 1956  Union Organizing
May 01, 1954  State Powers in Labor Relations
Oct. 02, 1953  Toward Labor Unity
Apr. 11, 1953  Industry-Wide Bargaining and Industry-Wide Strikes
Sep. 03, 1952  Labor and Politics
Mar. 25, 1950  Labor Injunctions
Jan. 25, 1950  Trade Unions and Productivity
Sep. 26, 1949  Fact-Finding Boards in Labor Disputes
Mar. 05, 1949  Closed Shop
Dec. 01, 1948  Revision of the Taft-Hartley Act
Jan. 01, 1947  Labor Unions, the Public and the Law
Oct. 09, 1946  Revision of the Wagner Act
Sep. 25, 1946  Labor Productivity
May 29, 1946  Labor Organization in the South
Jan. 30, 1946  Compulsory Settlement of Labor Disputes
May 18, 1945  Labor Policy After the War
Mar. 29, 1945  Union Maintenance
Feb. 02, 1945  Labor Relations in Coal Mining
Oct. 12, 1944  No-Strike Pledge
Sep. 16, 1944  Political Action by Organized Labor
May 30, 1944  Unionization of Foremen
Apr. 01, 1944  Dismissal Pay
Apr. 29, 1943  Labor in Government
Apr. 09, 1943  Public Regulation of Trade Unions
Nov. 19, 1941  Labor Policies of the Roosevelt Administration
Oct. 23, 1941  Closed Shop Issue in Labor Relations
Mar. 29, 1941  Labor as Partner in Production
Feb. 12, 1941  Labor and the Defense Program
Feb. 23, 1940  Labor in Politics
Jan. 17, 1939  Settlement of Disputes Between Labor Unions
Jul. 01, 1938  Three Years of National Labor Relations Act
Nov. 12, 1937  State Regulation of Labor Relations
Jul. 10, 1937  Restrictions on the Right to Strike
Apr. 28, 1937  The Labor Market and the Unemployed
Mar. 26, 1937  Control of the Sit-Down Strike
Mar. 13, 1937  Collective Bargaining in the Soft-Coal Industry
Jan. 22, 1937  Responsibility of Labor Unions
Nov. 11, 1936  Industrial Unionism and the A.F. of L.
Jul. 30, 1936  Federal Intervention in Labor Disputes
Jul. 14, 1936  Labor Relations in the Steel Industry
Apr. 17, 1934  Company Unions and Collective Bargaining
Feb. 07, 1934  Settlement of Labor Disputes
Sep. 12, 1933  Trade Unionism Under the Recovery Program
Feb. 17, 1932  Wage Concessions by Trade Unions
Oct. 01, 1929  Status of the American Labor Movement
Jul. 20, 1929  Trade Unionism in the South
Aug. 31, 1928  Organized Labor in National Politics
Feb. 04, 1928  The Use of Injunctions in Labor Disputes
Sep. 09, 1927  Organized Labor and the Works Council Movement
Oct. 12, 1923  The A.F. of L. and the “New Radicalism”
Data and Statistics
Unemployment and Employment Programs