24 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2008
The extraordinary unemployment rates of black women during the Great Depression caused a sizeable number to leave the labor force as "discouraged workers." Consequently, while married white women entered the labor force in increasing numbers, the participation rate of married black women stagnated. The higher unemployment of black women was not primarily a function of their occupational or industrial distribution, but reflected unequal treatment within markets. This article adds support to the view of black economic progress as episodic in nature, with the Depression as a period of relative retrenchment for African Americans.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Sundstrom, William A., Discouraging Times: The Labor Force Participation of Married Black Women, 1930-1940. Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 38, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1104064