Unemployment and New Jobs

February 1, 1961

Report Outline
New Administration and the Job Problem
Full Employment Goal and Automation
Proposals for Expanding Job Openings

New Administration and the Job Problem

Kennedy's Request for Aid to the Unemployed

Special aid to the unemployed heads the list of measures proposed by the new administration to combat the recession and pave the way for increased long-range growth of the American economy. President John F. Kennedy told Congress, in his State of the Union message on Jan. 30, that “During each month some 150,000 workers are exhausting their already meager jobless benefit rights.” To meet that situation, he said he would send to Congress within 14 days “a measure to improve unemployment compensation through temporary increases in duration on a self-supporting basis.”

The President did not go into detail, but it seems clear that the plan he has in mind will closely follow provisions of the Temporary Unemployment Insurance Act of 1958. That measure offered the states loans to finance extension of benefits, under the federal-state unemployment insurance system, to a maximum of 39 weeks. Seventeen states took advantage of the offer, and five additional states independently financed an extension of their benefit payments. The amount of the weekly payments was not increased, and no such increase was proposed by President Kennedy on Jan. 30.

Urgency has been given to the unemployment problem at this time by a sharp and rapid growth in the number of men and women out of work. The total in January has been estimated at 5½ million men and women. Only a month earlier the number did not exceed 4½ million, but that total for December represented an increase over November that was nearly three times the usual increase for the last month of the year. The number of unemployed in December, moreover, comprised almost 7 per cent of the civilian labor force.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mar. 06, 2020  Universal Basic Income
Mar. 18, 2016  The Gig Economy
Mar. 06, 2012  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 31, 2009  Straining the Safety Net
Apr. 10, 2009  Business Bankruptcy
Mar. 13, 2009  Vanishing Jobs
Apr. 25, 2003  Unemployment Benefits
Jan. 21, 1994  Worker Retraining
Sep. 09, 1988  Help Wanted: Why Jobs Are Hard to Fill
Mar. 18, 1983  The Youth Unemployment Puzzle
Dec. 24, 1982  Federal Jobs Programs
May 28, 1982  America's Employment Outlook
Jun. 27, 1980  Unemployment Compensation
Oct. 14, 1977  Youth Unemployment
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
Unemployment and Employment Programs