General Information

Unemployment During The Great Depression

Unemployment during the great depression was at one of the highest levels ever in history. In America the unemployment rate reached nearly 25% at its peak. This graph shows the percentage of Americans unemployment from just before the Wall Street Crash in 1929, to the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939.

American Unemployment Rate

Life during the great depression was destitute and many people were starving as the economy collapsed all over the world.
In England, unemployment during the great depression also rose dramatically, negatively affecting people’s finances and credit, particularly in industrial towns and cities. Glasgow experienced 30% unemployment whilst in Newcastle the major industry of ship building fell by 90% and unemployment rose to 70%. These desperate times led people to take drastic action. On 5 October 1936, 200 working men from Jarrow (a town in North East England) marched, all the way to London to make their cause know to parliament. They handed over a petition of 12000 signatures to parliament, however the Prime Minster of the time, Stanley Baldwin, refused to see any the representatives.
The mass unemployment during the great depression finally ended in Britain as Britain, and many other countries, prepared for and fought in World War Two.

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