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 http://www.rootspoint.com/1940-census-free/.

What did your family do in 1940?

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