Graph of U.S. Unemployment Rate, 1930-1945

The unemployment rate rose sharply during the Great Depression and reached its peak at the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. As New Deal programs were enacted, the unemployment rate gradually lowered. Virtually full employment was achieved during World War II. This graph does not indicate the numbers of people were “underemployed,” meaning those who did not earn enough to adequately provide for themselves and their dependents.

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Source | Bureau of Labor Statistics, Historical Statistics of the United States Colonial Times to the 1970, Part I (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975), Series D 85-86 Unemployment: 1890-1970, 135.
Creator | Bureau of Labor Statistics
Item Type | Quantitative Data
Cite This document | Bureau of Labor Statistics , “Graph of U.S. Unemployment Rate, 1930-1945,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed October 4, 2015,