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Unemployment's Massachusetts Roots

New unemployment figures for August reveal that nearly one in 10 U.S. job-seekers can’t find work. On this Labor Day, we trace the history of modern-day unemployment back to its Massachusetts beginnings.

Historian Alex Keyssar says the focus on the unemployed really began not with the Great Depression, but with a different economic crisis. The financial panic of 1873 had led to the widespread belief that a quarter-million people were jobless in Massachusetts. Incredulous of that figure, the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics and Labor went on the hunt for a better — more politically tolerable — figure.

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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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