Today in NC State History: Few jobs during Great Depression

May 27, 2013
By Bill Krueger

blog_series63As more than 5,000 seniors graduated from NC State earlier this month, it was not unusual to hear stories of some new grads having difficulty finding a job. There are signs that the economy is recovering, but a lot of businesses are still being careful about adding additional employees. The national unemployment rate has been hovering just under 8 percent for the past several months.

But imagine what it must have been like for seniors graduating in 1932, during the worst of the Great Depression. The national unemployment rate reached 25 percent that year, just three years after it had been at .04 percent.

So it’s no surprise that on this day in 1932, the Technician reported that “a large number of seniors will leave State College without a job.”

But the article went on to note that the news was not bleak for all graduating seniors. It noted that job placements were exceeding the expectations of a few months ago and that about 75 percent of graduates with business degrees had found jobs. The story noted that four ceramic engineering students and several chemical engineering students had landed jobs. About half of the textiles majors had found jobs.

The story said that seniors had found jobs at businesses such as Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance, the U.S. Post Office Department and Carolina Power & Light.

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