Some Perspective: Unemployment During The Depression Vs. Unemployment Now

Comparison’s between our current economic condition and the Great Depression may be highly exaggerated, if this chart is to be believed.

Right now our unemployment situation may seem bad, but it’s nothing compared to the harrowing days of the 1930s, according to this chart from Carpe Diem.

Great Depression 99

One reason why unemployment hasn’t ballooned, like in the 1930s, may be the means by which the government has combated the recession.

Timothy Hattan of the Australian National University writes:

In the interwar years, as today, governments were put under severe pressure to do something to cope with the depression. Much of their effort went into maintaining high wages and ameliorating the plight of the unemployed in order to stave off unrest. These policy packages contained interacting elements that magnified the shocks and caused their effects to persist. In the current recession active demand-side policies have averted such pressures so far, although that might change with a return to austerity as the case of Greece shows only too clearly.

Read Hattan’s full piece on why this time our response has been different here >

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