The Great Depression

The Great Depression ushered in an era of extreme difficulty, especially in the Beehive State. In 1933, Utah’s unemployment rate was 36%, the fourth highest in the nation, and for the decade as a whole it averaged 26%. By 1932, the wage level for those who had not lost their jobs had declined by 45% and the work week hours by 20%. Unable to pay rent or meet mortgage payments, many families were dispossessed from their homes. In the summer of 1933, the Deseret News reported hundreds of homeless families were camped out on vacant lots throughout the city.

“Anything can happen to a person while traveling. Records of the Travelers’ Aid Society which are long and varied show that travelers often are subjected to unusual situations which require the assistance of social agencies. The Travelers’ Aid society fills in for this much needed service. The work of the society has been greatly complicated during the long period of unemployment because of the great number of transients who have wandered about the country in search of employment.”

Quote and Photo Credit: The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah) · Sat, Dec 2, 1933 · Page 8

*Source information (https://historytogo.utah.gov/great-depression/)

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