A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration

By Betty Grimes Lindley; Ernest K. Lindley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
Youth Inherits the Depression

BOYS AND GIRLS 16 TO 24 YEARS OLD MAKE UP ONE-SIXTH OF the population of the United States. How these youth, approximately 21,200,000 in number,1 are occupied is not accurately known. The best available data indicate that in November 1937:

5,200,000 were attending schools and colleges;2

3,00,000 -- nearly all girls-were engaged in homemaking or, for other reasons, were neither in educational institutions nor available for gainful work;

7,100,000 were employed;3

1,800,000 were employed part-time;

3,900,000 were unemployed -- that is, able to work, and seeking work, but unable to find it in private industry.

Of these youth who could find no jobs, nearly 2,400,000 were boys. More than 1,000,000 were boys in their late teens and the others were 20 to 24 years old. More than 1,500,000 were girls, about half in their teens and half from 20 to 24. The boys alone outnumbered the entire American expeditionary force to France during 1917-18. Boys and girls to-

____________________
1
Based on Census Bureau's Estimate of Population for October 1, 1937.
2
Estimate based on attendance in colleges and last two years of secondary schools during 1935-36, with percentages added for increased enrollments since then and for retarded pupils.
3
Includes those temporarily absent from regular jobs. These figures on fulland part-time employment and unemployment are estimates based on the enumerative test census of November-December 1937. This was taken on 1600 postal routes, representing 1½ per cent. of the entire population, as a check on the voluntary unemployment registration of November 16-20.

-6-

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