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We know that the Nazis didn't count women, Jews, and National Labour Service in the unemployment statistics, which was called 'invisible unemployment',

Putting the 'invisible unemployment' scenario aside, was the 'absolute' unemployment in the Nazi regime lower than the Weimar Republic?

Or was it just impossible to tell because the Nazis lied too much?

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    Please let us know where you have looked already. For example, does Unemployment in Nazi Germany help? Also, there was a big difference in the number unemployed in 1928 and 1931. May 8, 2022 at 4:36
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    It seems logical to me that unemployment rates would go down if you send a significant portion of your potential workforce off to get killed in a war while at the same time massively increasing production of armaments and ammunition, which, by definition, will be quickly used up or destroyed so they have to be produced again. May 8, 2022 at 11:42
  • @JörgWMittag In my answer it was the otherway around (and prepaired before the war started), but the result was the same. The present day events, thus not yet history (and thus off-topic), is more in line with your sample. That the result is the same in both cases, goes to show why one should learn from the mistakes of the past. That discussion must, however, wait until the present events become history (and thus no longer off-topic). May 8, 2022 at 13:28
  • Luke, please, where is your research? May 13, 2022 at 20:49

1 Answer 1

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We know that the Nazis didn't count women, Jews, and National Labour Service in the unemployment statistics, which was called 'invisible unemployment',

Your 'We know' source is mistaken insofar that the term 'invisible unemployment' is from this time period. The term was generally used to describe the situation in the Socialist countries (where unemployment officialy didn't exist).

It is also commonly used today for special employment measures that are especially funded. Then, as now, these peaple fell out of the unemployment statistics.

The Freiwilligen Arbeitsdienst, introduced in June 1931, was later replaced with a mandatory service in 1935 for men and 1939 for women.

Starting 1938, unemployed Jews were forced into Geschlossener Arbeitseinsatz.

Until the introduction of the Four Year Plan in 1936, the use of this term would be justified. After that, however, it would not.

By 1939 there was a 32% increase (as compaired to 1925) of employment with a 4.9% shift from consumer goods industry to the armaments industry.

Hitler’s Confidential Memo on Autarky (August 1936) lead to the introduction of the Four Year Plan.

Allthough Hitlers Autarky [economic independence] memo was confidential, the Four Year Plan was well known inside and outside of Germany. (See the David Lloyd George quote from 1936 in the Four Year Plan wiki page)


Putting the 'invisible unemployment' scenario aside, was the 'absolute' unemployment in the Nazi regime lower than the Weimar Republic?
Or was it just impossible to tell because the Nazis lied too much?

By 1939 it was definitely lower than that of the Weimar Republic.

The events of the Spanish Civil war (1936-39) and the condition of the German armed forces in September 1939 should make it clear that there was a high level of production that required a high level of employment.


Entwicklung und Ursachen der Arbeitslosigkeit 1946-1950, März 1950 - Statistik der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (PDF)
I. Die Beschäftigungslage bis zur Währungsreform und ihre Bedingungen
1. Abbau der Rüstungswirtschaft, Umstellung auf die Friedenswirtschaft

Nach dem Zusammenbruch des Deutschen Reiches im Jahre 1945 galt es wirtschaftlich und sozialpolitisch, die seit 1936 hochgezüchtete Rüstungswirtschaft zu liquidieren und die Produktionsstätten wieder auf die Friedenserzeugung umzustellen. Die hierbei gegebenen Schwierigkeiten waren außerordentlich groß und in ihrer Art sehr unterschiedlich. Der Übergang war umso schwieriger, als seit etwa 1936 (Beginn des Vierjahresplans) die Entwicklung der friedensmäßigen Erzeugung von Staats wegen bewußt vernachlässigt worden war und die deutsche Wirtschaft im Interesse der Autarkiebestrebungen die Verbindung mit dem "Weltmarkt" immer mehr verlor und in vielen Wirtschaftszweigen auf eine mehr oder weniger einseitige Struktur ausgerichtet wurde. Welches Ausmaß der Umstellungsprozeß gehabt hat, ergibt sich aus einem Vergleich der Beschäftigung in den Jahren 1925 und 1939 in den Wirtschaftszweigen, die im wesentlichen als Träger der Rüstungsindustrie anzusehen sind (Eisen- und Metallindustrie, Schiffbau, Fahrzeugindustrie einschließlich Luftfahrzeugbau, elektrotechnische und feinmechanische Industrie, chemische Industrie) und denen, die vorwiegend Konsumgüter erzeugen (Textilindustrie, Bekleidungsgewerbe, Keramische und Glasindustrie, Holzindustrie, Nahrungs- und Genußmittelgewerbe). Im Reichsgebiet (Gebietsstand von 1925) waren in den eben genannten Sparten der Wirtschaft, welche die Rüstungsindustrie mit einschließen, im Jahre 1925 rund 3,57 Millionen Arbeitskräfte tätig, im Jahre 1939 aber rund 4,71 Millionen, was einer Zunahme von 1,14 Millionen (+ 32 v. H.) Beschäftigten entspricht. In dem oben umrissenen Bereich der Konsumgüterindustrie wurden im Jahre 1925 rund 4,98 Millionen Mensdien beschäftigt. Diese Zahl ging bis 1939 auf 4,74 Millionen Beschäftigte zurück; dies bedeutet eine Abnahme um 0,24 Millionen Arbeitskräfte oder 4,9 v. H. Bei dieser Gegenüberstellung ist aber noch zu berücksichtigen, daß die Wirtschaftszweige, welche sich mit der Erzeugung von Konsumgütern befaßten, erst unmittelbar vor und hauptsächlich im Kriege selbst viele Arbeitskräfte für die Rüstungsindustrie hergeben mußten, wie z. B. in besonders großem Umfange die überwiegend Frauen beschäftigende Textilindustrie (Spinnstoffherstellung).
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After the collapse of the German Reich in 1945, it was economically and socio-politically necessary to liquidate the armaments industry, which had been cultivated since 1936, and to convert the production facilities back to peacetime production. The difficulties encountered here were extremely great and very different in nature. The transition was all the more difficult since from about 1936 (beginning of the Four-Year Plan) the development of peacetime production had been deliberately neglected by the state and the German economy in the interest of autarky efforts increasingly lost its connection with the "world market" and in many branches of the economy in a more or less one sided manor. The extent of the conversion process can be seen from a comparison of employment in the years 1925 and 1939 in the branches of industry that are essentially to be regarded as supporting the armaments industry (iron and metal industry, shipbuilding, vehicle industry including aircraft construction, electrotechnical and precision engineering industry, chemical industry) and those who mainly produce consumer goods (textile industry, clothing industry, ceramics and glass industry, wood industry, food and luxury goods industry).In the Reich area (territorial status from 1925) there were In the sectors of the economy mentioned, which include the armaments industry, around 3.57 million workers were employed in 1925, but around 4.71 million in 1939, which corresponds to an increase of 1.14 million (+ 32 per cent. H.) employees. In 1925 around 4.98 million people were employed in the consumer goods industry outlined above. This number fell to 4.74 million employees by 1939; this means a decrease of 0.24 million workers or 4.9 per cent. H.
With this comparison, however, it must also be taken into account that the branches of industry which deal with the production of consumer goods only had to give up a lot of labor for the armaments industry immediately before and mainly during the war itself, such as e.g. B. to a particularly large extent the textile industry (fabric production), which predominantly employs women.
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Verdeckte Arbeitslosigkeit: Hierbei handelt es sich um die Situation, wenn Beschäftigte mehr aus sozialen oder verwaltungsrechtlichen Gründen einen Arbeitsplatz haben, volkswirtschaftlich oder betriebswirtschaftlich aber eigentlich als Arbeitskräfte nicht benötigt werden. Diese Formulierung wurde gegen die einstigen „Ostblockstaaten“ verwendet, weil dort offiziell Vollbeschäftigung herrschte. Es wurde aber vermutet, dass viele dieser Beschäftigten tatsächlich wenig zu tun hatten.
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Hidden unemployment: This is the situation when employees have a job for social or administrative reasons, but are not actually needed as workers for economic or business reasons. This formulation was used against the former "Eastern Bloc" states because they officially had full employment. However, it was suspected that many of these workers actually had very little to do.
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