ANOTHER VIEW OF
Since 1946, the achievement of full employment has been one of the main goals of economic policy in the United States. The Employment Act passed by the Congress in that year charged the federal government with promoting "conditions under which there will be afforded useful employment opportunities, including self-employment, for those able, willing, and seeking to work." This milestone legislation was a public commitment to the promotion of full employment. In the succeeding nineteen years, all administrations have abided by that commitment. And indeed, the resultant record on employment in these two decades is one that is unmatched in our history. The economy has remained free of serious depression, of the mass unemployment of the 1930's, the 1890's, or the 1870's.
Though the threat of depression is remote, unemployment has remained a major economic problem both in recession and in periods of insufficient growth. Thus, the government has launched active fiscal and manpower policies to reduce unemployment further through more jobs, better training, and more efficient matching of workers and jobs.
I begin with a review of postwar experience. The postwar period as a whole has seen sustained gains for the economy and for American labor. In the seventeen-year period 1947-1964, real Gross National Product was up by 83 per cent, or an annual rate of growth of 3.6 per cent; real Gross National Product per capita was up by 37 per cent, or an annual rate of improvement of 1.9