The Problem of Unemployment

The Problem of Unemployment

The Problem of Unemployment

The Problem of Unemployment

Excerpt

This volume is the result of a suggestion made by a group of business men in Philadelphia and New York that there should be undertaken at Swarthmore College a comprehensive and continuing study of the problem of unemployment, including the results of economic research and of practical measures for regularization which were being undertaken in various industries.

The Board of Managers of the College quite reasonably felt that it would be unwise to embark on so far reaching and expensive a project, one which was out of the line of ordinary academic work, without a preliminary survey of the field. Funds for this survey were generously given by a donor who refuses to allow his name to be mentioned, and Professor Paul H. Douglas of the University of Chicago was invited to come to Swarthmore to undertake it.

The task which Professor Douglas was called upon to do was a difficult one, and he accomplished it with a success which far outran the expectations of all those connected with the study. It was nothing less than to analyze the vast amount of material which had been printed on the subject, to bring together fugitive reports of experiments in the regularization of employment in a hundred different industries, to summarize the experiences of other countries in the organization of employment exchanges and plans for unemployment insurance, and to organize all this material on the various aspects of the question in such a way as to indicate what are the most promising lines of inquiry and by what means definite results could best be reached. That achievement, of which this volume is the permanent record, constitutes the first and most important step in attacking the problem.

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