SINCE ONE OF THE primary purposes of the WPA has been to provide jobs for unemployed workers, the number actually employed from month to month and year to year is, of course, of utmost importance to those who are interested in judging its usefulness. Considered as a single unit, the total volume of WPA employment, during the first six years of its history, is sufficient to stagger even a wild imagination. By contrast, the estimated number of man-years required to build the pyramids of Egypt-- which have long been symbolic of gigantic undertakings--looks small.1
Although during the six years 1936 through 1941 the WPA has employed on the average about 2,060,000 persons a month, employment has ranged from an average of 1,136,000 in 1941 to an average of 2,717,000 in 1938.2 The monthly average number employed in the several fiscal and calendar years is shown in Table 21, and the number employed in fiscal years in Diagram 3.
In addition to those employed by the WPA, an average of some 512,000 workers has been employed between January, 1936, and January, 1941, on projects of other federal agencies, while an average of some 776,000 youths were aided each month through the programs of the CCC and NYA. Detailed employment data for these several programs are presented on a monthly basis in Appendix Table 1.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The WPA and Federal Relief Policy. Contributors: Donald S. Howard - Author. Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1943. Page number: 531.
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