February 1, 2011 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 50 years ago

Spokane’s unemployment rate hit its highest peak in years. No percentage figure was given in that era, but The Spokesman-Review reported that the unemployment rolls in Spokane were averaging between 7,000 and 8,000 people.

“And things may get worse before they get better,” said an employment security official. He said that the area’s metals industry had just announced plans for a 135-man layoff.

The only bright spot was the lumber industry, which was gearing up for hiring.

From the national economic beat: Meanwhile, newly inaugurated President John F. Kennedy announced a three-point plan for beating back the nationwide recession.

His plan called for (1) paying GI life insurance dividends early to pump money into the economy, (2) lowering interest rates to encourage homebuilding and purchasing, and (3) starting an experimental food-stamp program to feed the hungry in Appalachia and other depressed areas.

He also said he wanted to extend unemployment benefits.

Kennedy specifically ruled out a tax cut, but said he would keep an eye on the economy’s performance over the next few months to see if further action was necessary.

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