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Another Census of Unemployment?

Howard B. Myers and John N. Webb
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 42, No. 4 (Jan., 1937), pp. 521-533
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2767710
Page Count: 13
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Another Census of Unemployment?
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Abstract

In view of the numerous demands for an unemployment census, an analyzing of the possibilities and limitations of the census methods is called for. As indicated by the 1930 experience, it is doubtful whether a census can provide a satisfactory answer even to the relatively simple question of how many persons are out of work on a given date. Proper measurement of unemployment duration and accurate determination of the occupation and industry to which a worker is properly assigned require more detiled information than it is practicable to secure through the census method. The method is of little assistance in answering the important and complex questions of what proportion of the unemployed population is actually employable, and what work the employables are best fitted to do. The inability of the census method to provide the foregoing reasonable minimum suggests that attention should be focused on the development of current unemployment statistics through a national system of unemployment insurance and employment exchanges, rather than on further efforts to report a highly dynamic phenomenon through the device of another unemployment cesus.

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