How People Found Work During the Great Depression

The job market can seem daunting. However, despite how it has been in the past, finding a job is not as hard as it was back then.

Today, there are more opportunities than there were before. Thanks to technology and the ability to even work remotely or virtually, the job market is healthy.

During tough times like the Depression, when the economy was in turmoil and jobs were scarce, life was scary.

Let’s explore how people found work during the Great Depression.

Great Depression
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What Was the Great Depression?

The Great Depression (TGD) was a rough time for people living during the 1930s and ‘40s. It was one of the hardest economic times in America – and the rest of the world.

It began with the stock market crash in 1929. From there, more than half of the nation’s banks failed, and people were laid off. During this time, it’s estimated 13-15 million Americans were unemployed.

TGD affected everyone in America. The poor, the rich, the young, the old. Fortunately, many people worked together to help each other out. Anything could happen at any time, and the future was uncertain for every American.

World War II is credited with ending the Great Depression when Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor created a high demand for factory jobs and unemployment.

In addition, WWII called women to the workforce, while men were drafted for the war.

Great Depression
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Related: How to Overcome Unemployment

What Jobs Were Out There?

Unfortunately, there weren’t many jobs available. During this time, most of the middle and lower classes were forced out of their homes because they couldn’t pay their mortgages.

Men and women worked; sometimes, even children. The most common jobs during this time were seamstresses, servants, or working in the textile or other positions with railroad companies.

Work was often dangerous; however, people would work it for little pay because they had to feed their families.

Many children dropped out of school to work and help feed their families. Those who survived offered essential services like plumbing and mechanics.

The military was also an attractive option for those who could get in. When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1932, he implemented work programs, which tried to alleviate the skyrocketing rates of unemployment and the death of the economy in his New Deal plans.

Great Depression
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How Did People Find Work?

The Great Depression was scarcity in every sense of the word. People lost their homes, their houses, their family, everything. Some had it rougher than others.

For many, the Depression happened over a series of time. It didn’t happen all at once.  It left many families struggling for years, as the Depression began in 1929 and ended in 1939; however, the economy was still in turmoil until 1941 with the beginning of WWII.

To pay their bills and support their families, people were forced to leave their homes and travel where there was work.

Most work available was farming related or working with the railroad, and many women found work as servants or seamstresses. Some families even made and sold toys out of their homes.

Work was always uncertain. People found temp positions and short term work – anything they could get to stay alive.


Have you experienced long bouts of unemployment? How did you handle the challenges of being unemployed?

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Hotel Job Opportunities – 7 Types of Jobs at Hotels

The hotel industry is vast, and employees in this industry are always in demand. People will always travel, will always need lodging at hotels, and hotels will always require the help of staff members to upkeep their facilities. Many hotels offer internships, seasonal and temp positions. If you’re looking for hotel job opportunities, here are 7 types of jobs at hotels.

Concierge. The hotel concierge is responsible for helping guests with the local area. A concierge will recommend bars, restaurants, and popular attractions, as well as book reservations, and let hotel guests know of any promotions or discounts in the area.

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Hotel Concierge

Event Planning. Many hotels house banquet and meeting rooms that can be rented out for business meetings, weddings, banquets, and more. The event planner is responsible for sales, closing contracts, providing quotes, and meeting with interested customers.

Manager. Many hotels house more than one management position, particularly if it’s a large property. For instance, general managers are responsible for all operations, while departmental managers oversee individual sections, such as guest service, sales, or housekeeping.

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Related: Hospitality Jobs – Why You Should Consider a Degree in Hospitality

Guest Service. Most guest service employees operate the front desk of a hotel. They greet and book guests, answer phones, handle questions, and more. Guest service staff are also the first employees guests see, so it’s important to leave a good impression.

Maintenance. Maintenance is the behind-the-scenes employees that keep hotels in tip-top shape. They troubleshoot equipment, repair furniture, and maintain the pool and grounds.

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Housekeeping. Housekeepers are responsible for maintaining not only clean hotel rooms, but also bathrooms, lobbies, and fitness areas. They clean and prepare rooms for new guests, as well as clean rooms during a guest’s stay.

Food Service. For hotels with restaurants or food establishments, they hire food service workers to prepare and serve food and beverages. Food service positions include servers, bussers, chefs, cooks, bartenders, caterers, and more.

Which hotel jobs interest you? Have you ever worked in the hotel industry?

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Hospitality Jobs – Top 3 Careers in Hospitality

Whether looking for a career change or considering a degree in hospitality management, there are many different career choices. Hospitality offers a dynamic environment and a sustainable salary for managers in this field. Plus, careers in hospitality offer healthy job outlooks. So, what are the top 3 careers in hospitality?

Tourism and Travel Manager. One of the best things about being a tourism and travel manager is you get to travel frequently – inside and outside the U.S. Careers include tour managers, travel agents, sales managers, and cruise directors. Typically, tourism managers make between $32,000 to $124,000 a year. Travel agents – approved and in-house – can fall on the higher end of the spectrum. Duties of the field include estimating travel costs, transportation, travel dates, staff management, and arranging guest entertainment.

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Food Service Manager. On average, food service managers make $48,000 a year, but they can make up to $80,000 working for resorts and other private properties. They are most often employed in restaurants, hotels, catering, and other related companies. Food service managers are in charge of managing daily food operations and keeping guests happy, among other duties.

Related: Hospitality Jobs – Why You Should Consider a Degree in Hospitality

Lodging Manager. The primary role of a lodging manager is making sure companies run efficiently and successfully, and also ensuring an excellent experience for vacationing guests. In general, lodging managers provide customer service, sales, budgeting, marketing, and more. They work in any lodging organization, including hotels, resorts, and motels. Salary can range from $29,000 to $88,000, varying by the size and location of the establishment.

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What draws you to a career in hospitality?

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Hospitality Jobs – Why You Should Consider a Degree in Hospitality

Hospitality is an incredibly important industry. It goes by many names and is the single largest business activity globally. Majoring in hospitality will give applicants an edge on the competition, higher salary, and more. If you’re considering this career path, here’s why you should consider a degree in hospitality.

Top Education. The U.S. offers many of the best hospitality schools in the world. Most of the top ten hospitality schools reside within the United States. Attending a strong hospitality program ensures you receive the best education and experience and are part of new industry developments.

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Plus, well-known companies such as Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood, as well as hundreds of others, visit major hospitality schools annually to recruit students to fill open positions.

Related: Paid Internships – Tips to Finding Work in Another City

Various Career Tracks. There are many different career paths you can take because the hospitality industry is so large. This means there will always be openings and job positions available. Graduates with these degrees can consider careers in hotel, food, travel industries and more.

Hospitality management has one of the highest earning wages in the industry. Management can range from cruise directors, travel agents, tourism and travel managers, human resources, food service managers, and many others.

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Management Career

High Demand. There will always be a demand for hospitality degree students. It’s the biggest business industry, especially in the United States. Hospitality impacts the economy locally and globally. Plus, it’s a resilient industry. People will always travel, regardless of the economy, whether for work or pleasure, and they’ll always need lodging, food, and entertainment.

Today, there are 1 million food service and 300,000 hotel establishments in the U.S. Plus, there are over 1 million hotels and 7 million food service-based companies. Every day these numbers continue to grow, as will be the demand for graduates in hospitality.

What draws you to a degree in hospitality?

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