Great Depression Paper

Submitted By metsdude86
Words: 868
Pages: 4

Jonathan Baturgil
Inacio
Modern World History
5/1/10

The unemployment rates of the United States today compared to the rate during the Great Depression is drastically different. During the Depression, up to 25% of the U.S. population was without a job. Nowadays however, only 9.3% were jobless over the past year. New Jersey specifically had an unemployment rate of about 9.2%; still quite high, though looked at next to the numbers of the Great Depression it is clearly much better. I will now elaborate on how these unemployment rate percentages impacted the United States today, our state of New Jersey today, and America during the Great Depression. Then I will discuss how life would be different in my area of the country if the unemployment rate was as high today as it was then. If you do not have much knowledge on the effect of unemployment rates, you will discover how much of an impact it makes on who it effects after reading this paper. First I will talk about how the United States during the Great Depression was effected due to the large amount of people without a job. When the unemployment rate reached its peak during this time in 1933, one in four Americans who wanted to work simply could not find a job. Even if you had a job, the income for most working people fell a whopping 43%. Farming was hit hard as well, for most farmers lost their homes and land, and eventually went hungry. All of these issues lead to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program. This gave the American people and American government a new relationship, which branched off into the creation of several federal agencies. These agencies gave thousands of unemployed people different kinds of jobs, from arts to construction. Following this came the making of the Social Security System, which was designated to help Americans go through times of economic hardship. Despite the mixed opinions to the “New Deal” Roosevelt received a strong support from American people. Though the Depression did not end directly after all these programs, it did indeed help our poor country at the time. This leads me into discussing the present economic problems in the United States today, and what problems we had to overcome. Similar to the beginning of the Great Depression, big companies and banks took high risks on Wall Street which began our so called Recession. What seemed to happen overnight, real-estate prices quickly went down, as did job availability. Houses originally worth less were being paid for much more, as many people began to lose their homes. While this was occurring, people who lost their jobs could not find another equal paying job anywhere they looked. It seemed as if jobs vanished in mid-air, which made it more difficult for families to pay for food, gas, etc. as those prices increased. People just had less money by the day, while everything around them increased in dollars. All of these problems were happening throughout the country, though it seemed New Jersey and the Tri-State area was hit the hardest. Many New Jersey people worked for Wall Street and other financial industries, which were obviously the ones who took the toughest blow. Furthermore, with Jersey being one of the most densely populated…