What is the economic result of demobilization in 1920 America on Hundreds of thousands of returning soldiers looking for jobs?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After World War I ended, American soldiers returned to the United States. When they came home, they faced economic issues. One issue was that they needed to find jobs. During the war, women and African Americans had begun to work some of the jobs that the men were doing before the war began. They also began to work in industries that produced materials for the war effort. After the war ended, many of those jobs were no longer necessary, as American industries converted their production back to peacetime production. Thus, the returning soldiers were competing with other people for the jobs that were available. This led to tensions between the returning soldiers and the African American workers, who also wanted jobs.

Another economic issue that developed because of the demobilization was that many strikes occurred. Because there was a surplus of workers, companies didn’t need to raise wages. There was a higher rate of inflation after World War I ended, as people wanted products that they couldn’t get during the war. As prices of products increased, workers wanted more pay. However, since there was an abundance of workers, businesses didn’t need to increase the wages that they were paying the workers.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major result of demobilization was an increase in unemployment.  As the men came back, they were looking for jobs, but the country was in a bit of a recession and there were not enough jobs to go around.

The men who had gone off to war came back and could not find jobs.  Their jobs had not been protected when they went off to fight in the war.  This meant that they had to look for new work and could often not find it because the economy was in a slump.

krishna-agrawala | Student

It appears to me that the picture of unemployment and recession painted in the answer above is rather exaggerated. Except for two short periods temporary recession, first one starting in last quarter of 1918 and ending in first quarter of 1919, and the second one in 1920, the American economy experienced an unprecedented boom in 1920's.

I have no published reference to support my view, but I do consider it highly improbable that American soldiers returning to their homes after the World War I, were immediately thrown out of army, turning them into unemployed persons seeking jobs. I am sure that  these people must have been honourably discharged from the army with handsome rewards and perhaps some pension. Also these soldiers must be having lot of accumulated savings in absence of opportunities to spend their earnings on war fronts. Under these conditions, I am sure the that they had enough money to spend for enjoying their life after returning from a long war. and this spending must have contributed to the economy to the boom of 1920's after World War I. And I am sure ex-American soldiers must have found enough jobs once they really needed them in 1920's.