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June 15, 1940

The City of New York, Department of Welfare Report for 18-Month Period January 1, 1938-June 30, 1939

JAMA. 1940;114(24):2410. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810240064033

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Every seventh person in Greater New York's 7,000,000 population received some type of aid through the department of welfare during the eighteen months ended June 30, 1939, at a total cost of $213,345,253. This is an annual expense of about three times the annual expenditures for all purposes of the entire federal government in the decade before the Civil War, for a population of between twenty and thirty million. Jan. 1, 1938, the department of welfare had 11,081 employees, of whom only 10 per cent were civil service appointees. Eighteen months later the staff had dropped to 10,370, of whom 79 per cent were civil service appointees. The burden of relief rose and fell in close direct correlation with unemployment. During the eighteen months $2,397,296.58 was expended for medical care, of which $1,527,586.50 was paid to doctors. "We must pay wages to our workers which will enable them to maintain

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