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Great Depression, factor income inequality, economics, 1920s United States, finances, economic downturn


Economics | Inequality and Stratification | United States History


The great, in the Great Depression, refers to the severity and prolonged duration of the economic downturn. The BEA reports that in 1933, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States was $64.1 billion, compared to $87.2 billion in 1929. Real GDP in the United States plunged over 25% over the course of four years. In industry, "not until 1937 did the physical volume of production recover tot he levels of 1929, and then it promptly slipped back again . Until 1941 the dollar value of production remained below 1929." Furthermore, in 1932, 22.89% of the civilian labor force was unemployed, the highest recorded percentage in the economic history of the United States. John Kenneth Galbriath reports that, "in 1933 nearly thirteen million were out of work, or about one in every four in the labor force. In 1938 one person in five was still out of work." Due to the enduring and severe nature of the economic calamity that afflicted the United States throughout the 1930s, the Great Depression has provoked a plethora of economic interpretations of reasons for the abnormal depth, and duration of the economic depression.

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