Statement on Public Works and Unemployment.
OUR DRIVE for increase in construction and improvement work to take up unemployment is showing most encouraging results, and it looks as if the work undertaken will be larger for 1930 than for 1929.
The Department of Commerce now has complete returns from the Governors of 16 States covering public works to be undertaken in 1930 by the State, municipal, and county authorities. They have partial returns from 13 more States. The total so far reported, and including the Federal Government is about $1,550 million, and in nearly all cases larger than for 1929. The surveys are coming in daily, and should be completed by mid-January.
The preliminary estimate of the railways for construction and betterments for 1930 was $1,050 million, and for the public utilities $2,100 million, including the telephones. The total of these items so far is $4,700 million. This does not include the balance of the State, municipal, and county work, nor the building construction, nor the industrial and factory improvements, which latter are now under survey by the special business committee.
The steel companies inform me this morning that the effect of the drive is already showing in their orders, which are beyond their expectations.
Note: The President referred to the survey by the National Business Survey Conference, which was organized in December 1929 to coordinate the President's program of voluntary wage maintenance, business stabilization, and expanded construction. See 1929 volume, Item 297.
Herbert Hoover, Statement on Public Works and Unemployment. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/210941