THE ECONOMY: Unemployment Uproar

In Washington last week, the calculating machines in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics clanked out a figure that looked big and black: between mid-December and mid-January, nonfarm employment dropped by two million jobs. Examining the statistics from individual cities, the Labor Department promptly listed Detroit and Toledo as "distress" areas, i.e., entitled to special consideration in the placing of Government contracts. Across the U.S., politicians, journalists, labor leaders, economists and businessmen were arguing a pressing question: Just how bad is unemployment in the U.S.?

Far from Critical. After reaching a postwar low in October 1953, the number of unemployed...

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