Your Ancestor’s Occupation in the 1940 Census

The 1940 United State Federal Census provides us a snapshot of our family’s work life. Beyond just the typical census question about occupation, the 1940 census asks everyone 14 years old and over the following questions about their job:

1940 United States Federal Census

21. Was this person at work for pay or profit in private or nonemergency Govt. work during the week of March 24-30? (Y or N)

22. If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public Emergency Work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during the week of March 24-30? (Y or N)

If neither:

23. Was this person seeking work? (Y or N)

24. If not seeking work, did he have a job, business, etc.? (Y or N)

For Persons Answering “No” to questions 21-24:

25. Indicate whether engaged in home housework (H), unable to work (U), or other (O).

If “Yes” in Column 21:

26. Number of hours worked during week of March 24-30, 1940

If “Yes” in Column 22 or 23:

27. Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 – in weeks

Occupation, Industry, and Class of Worker:

28. Occupation

29. Industry

30. Class of worker

31. Number of weeks worked in 1939 (equivalent full-time weeks)

Income in 1939 (12 months ending Dec. 31, 1939):

32. Amount of money, wages, or salary received

33. Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary (Y or N)

Supplemental questions were asked of 5% of the population, including inquiries information about occupations, veteran status, and social security.
The 1940 United States Federal Census does a lot more than show you were your ancestor lived. Take some time this weekend to learn more about their work. Start searching for free

What did your family do in 1940?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *