Public Employment Exchanges

September 2, 1931

Report Outline
Foreshadowed Relief and Employment-Exchange Contests
Controversy Over Wagner Employment Exchange Bill
Functions and Problems of Public Employment Offices
Public Employment Offices in the United States
Special Focus

Foreshadowed Relief and Employment-Exchange Contests

During recent weeks public attention has been concentrated upon preparations for the relief of distress during the coming winter to the exclusion of other aspects of the unemployment problem. At the end of August, President Green of the American Federation of Labor predicted that by January, 1932, seven million persons would be without work in the United States. August had seen a slight gain in employment, he said, but this was only a seasonal improvement and would “not lessen our winter problem.” At the end of July, when Green had made a similar forecast, President Hoover had declined to estimate the future extent of unemployment but had said: “The problem, whatever it is, will be met.”

Appointment of Walter S. Gifford, former director of the Council of National Defense, to head the President's Organization on Relief of Unemployment was announced August 19, 1931. “It is clear,” the President said, “that irrespective of the improvement in employment, many localities in the United States will be faced during the coming winter with a heavy relief load due to unemployment.” The new organization is now engaged in a survey to determine the probable requirements for relief. An intensive drive by private and public welfare organizations to raise funds for unemployment relief will be conducted during the five and a half weeks from October 19 to November 25.

If by the time Congress reconvenes in December it appears that the funds raised by charitable organizations, taken in conjunction with relief appropriations by state, county, and municipal governments, will be insufficient to meet the need, there is certain to be a renewal of the struggle for federal relief appropriations that featured the last session of Congress. The coming winter will also see a renewal of the contest over the Wagner employment exchange bill, involving the principle of federal aid to the states in the placement of labor, which was vetoed by President Hoover after the last session of Congress adjourned. When this measure was vetoed, Senator Wagner (D., N. Y.) announced that he would reintroduce it and press for its immediate passage when Congress met in December, while the President asked the Secretary of Labor “to coöperate with the various interested organizations to draft a plan for presentation to the next session of Congress which will avoid the difficulties presented by this bill.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jul. 11, 1975  Underemployment in America
Dec. 16, 1970  Unemployment in Recessions
Mar. 05, 1965  Unemployment Benefits in Times of Prosperity
Apr. 03, 1964  Overtime Pay Rates and Unemployment
Feb. 01, 1961  Unemployment and New Jobs
Jan. 07, 1959  Lag in Employment
Apr. 16, 1958  Emergency Jobless Aid
May 16, 1956  Lay-Off Pay Plans
Nov. 12, 1953  Jobless Compensation in Boom and Recession
Feb. 25, 1949  Defenses Against Unemployment
Jul. 30, 1945  Full Employment
Nov. 25, 1940  Unemployment Compensation
Jul. 10, 1939  Problem of the Migrant Unemployed
May 19, 1936  Unemployment and Recovery
Sep. 02, 1931  Public Employment Exchanges
Aug. 19, 1929  The Stabilization of Employment
Feb. 21, 1928  The Employment Situation in the United States
Jan. 23, 1926  Unemployment Insurance in the United States
Economic Crises
Unemployment and Employment Programs