Why were so many people unemployed?

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  • Why were so many people unemployed?
    • Wall Street Crash
      • Trigger of depression
        • Share prices in USA and investors lost their money
        • Affected USA economy and the world because USA was the richest country
        • 29th October 1929
    • Savings
      • People saved money so they wouldn't lose their jobs
        • Companies went bankrupt because no on bought goods
        • Led to unemployment
        • Unemployed had no wages and people bought less from shops
    • Coal
      • Other countries mine coal cheaper
        • Brtish coal miners didn't want to invest into modernisation
        • British coal: £1.56 per tonne. USA coal: 65p per tonne
        • In 1929, 18% out of work (national average: 10%)
        • In 1932, 41% out of work (national average: 23%)
        • In 1936, 25% out of work (national average 12.5%)
    • Textiles
      • Industry in competition with Japan and USA
        • 1929-39, British industries reduced in size by 40%
        • Wool/cotton declined due to man-made fibres in the 1920s
        • In 1929, 14.5% out of work (cotton)
        • In 1932, 31% out of work (cotton)
        • In 1936, 15% out of work (cotton)
    • Iron and Steel
      • Less demand for iron/steel to make ships/armaments
        • USA and Japan undercut British prices
        • USA and Japan plants were more efficient and modernised
        • In 1929, 20% out of work
        • In 1932, 48.5% out of work
        • In 1936, 29.5% out of work
    • Shipbuilding
      • Fall in world trade after WW1 (less ships)
        • 1930-33: 1,400,000 tonnes of shipping decreased to 133,000 tonnes
        • Internal disarmament (fall in demand for ships)
        • Japan and USA produced ships at cheaper prices
        • In 1929, 23% out of work
        • In 1932, 59.5% out of work
        • In 1936, 31% out of work
    • Government Policies
      • Allow goods to come into Britain freely (free trade in the 1920s)
        • Britain had to pay tax for exports (paid import duties)
        • Paid imports to foreign governments
    • Competition Abroad
      • Other countries made goods cheaply and in larger quantities
        • Britain used old fashioned methods and out of date industries
        • People didn't buy British goods and British exports were declined
        • By 1932, 3 million people were out of work in Britain
        • British companies such as Palmers Shipyard in Jarrow closed down

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