August 21, 1943

Report Outline
Problems of Transition to a Peace Economy
Treatment of Veterans of Earlier Wars
Benefits for Participants in Present War
The Shadow of Postwar Unemployment

Problems of Transition to a Peace Economy

Problems that will arise during the period of demobilization after World War II are already receiving serious attention at Washington and the state capitals, and from management and labor groups in industry. Students and economists agree that the procedures developed for the demobilization period will have far-reaching effects upon the entire postwar economy of the United States. There is wide agreement that an orderly transition can be achieved only by wise and thorough planning on a national scale.

According to studies of the Department of Labor, a sudden ending of the war would immediately project some 8,500,000 service men and women back into civil life and would result in demobilization of a minimum net number of over 6,000,000 workers in war industries. The figure of 6,000,000 for war workers was predicated on the most favorable possible conditions, and admittedly may prove an underestimate. The National Resources Planning Board has stated that plans for postwar readjustment will touch altogether “the life interests of 20 to 30 millions of demobilized service men and war workers.”

At the peak of the American effort in World War I there were only 4,800,000 men under arms, as compared with the goal of upwards of 11,000,000 for next year, and there was nothing comparable to the complete conversion of the major industries to war production that has marked the present conflict. The 14,500,000 men and women to be returned to peacetime pursuits after World War II will be equal to nearly one-third of the total number of persons employed in the United States in April, 1940, prior to the initiation of the rearmament program.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World War II Demobilization
Nov. 18, 1950  Conservation of War Materials
Jan. 04, 1946  Future of Light Metals
Jul. 21, 1945  Aid to Displaced War Workers
Dec. 06, 1944  War Veterans and Employment
Nov. 11, 1944  Reconversion of Agriculture
Jul. 28, 1944  Priorities in Demobilization
May 16, 1944  Termination of War Contracts
Jan. 17, 1944  Lend-Lease Settlements
Nov. 30, 1943  Disposal of Surplus War Materials
Nov. 11, 1943  Military Government of Occupied Territory
Oct. 22, 1943  Government War Plants
Sep. 27, 1943  Termination of War Controls
Aug. 21, 1943  Demobilization
U.S. at War: World War II
Unemployment and Employment Programs
Veterans' Services