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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press "Skilled Workmen in Demand Despite Vast Unemployment"

"Skilled Workmen in Demand Despite Vast Unemployment"

Saturday, 28 April 2012 16:23

That was the headline of a Washington Post article (March 13, 1935, p 22). The subhead was, "technological progress has been so rapid during the depression that welders and other experts, idle since 1929, are outmoded." The first paragraph told readers:

"unemployment may run into the millions, but as the iron, steel, and metal-working industries improve, a scarcity of skilled workmen is developing, states the magazine Steel this week."

This shows that technology might change rapidly, but economic reporting at the Washington Post doesn't. Many of the stories it has written in the last two years about shortages of skilled workers in the midst of mass unemployment could have been plagiarized from this 1935 piece.

It is also striking that this piece, like much current economic reporting, relies exclusively on business sources. The article does not make any reference to any independent experts and of course, no one from a union or any workers' organization.

(Thanks to Seth Ackerman for sending me this gem from the past.)

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by cemmcs, April 28, 2012 6:15
What a great find!
written by Kat, April 29, 2012 6:18
Yes, thank you very much Seth Ackerman.
"You may think you are living in modern times, here and now, but that's the necessary illusion of every age." -E.L. Doctorow

Anyway, Frank Bruni is serving as the mouthpiece of our corporate leaders today. It's his turn.
written by Ellis, April 29, 2012 7:17
Thanks, this is truly a gem!
Same thing on CNN
written by AndrewSolarski, April 29, 2012 8:32
CNN also ran this same story, again, at http://money.cnn.com/galleries...d=HP_River - I can't find qualified employees. Propaganda never takes a day off.
written by Christian Mannhood, April 29, 2012 8:31
This is the best article on the subject, entitled "100K Manufacturing Jobs". That 100K job? Well wait 10 years, maybe.

An aspiring machinist -- a popular factory job -- can start training at 18 and then do a one- or two-year manufacturing apprenticeship. In five years, he or she could be making more than $50,000. In 10 years, that could double to $100,000.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.