Via Stephen Williamson I see this chart and narrative


The figure shows total hours worked per adult for the 1930s. There is little recovery in labor, as hours are about 27 percent down in 1933 relative to 1929, and remain about 21 percent down in 1939. But increasing aggregate demand is supposed to increase output by increasing labor, not by increasing productivity, which is typically considered to be outside the scope of short-run spending/monetary policies.

My immediate question –out of curiosity as much as anything else – is whether or not this productivity growth was driven by a shift of labor into high productivity/high wage sectors like manufacturing.

My employment data set only goes back to 1939, so I can’t tell.

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