History

Study Notes

Living Standards in the Weimar Republic (1924-29)

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas, WJEC

After 1924, living standards in the Weimar Republic started to improve mainly due to the position of Stresemann.

What are living standards?

Living standards mainly refer to the financial quality of life which people have in a country. Living standards can get worse when the economic circumstances are poor such as high unemployment. They can however, get better when economic circumstances are good, when wages rise for example.

In the Weimar Republic, after the First World War, living standards were poor due to the economic difficulties which the country faced such as hyperinflation. After 1924, living standards started to improve mainly due to the position of Stresemann.

Unemployment

Unemployment stood at 4% in 1924. However, from this point onwards unemployment began to fall. Before the economic difficulties set in during the global depression, unemployment had fallen to just 1.3 million. There was also more help for those who became unemployed. An Unemployment Insurance Act took 3% of worker’s wages and provided a form of unemployment benefit to those who were out of work.

Employment & Pay

As well as employment increasing, standards of employment and pay also improved. The average number of hours in a working week fell and, despite the fall, wages increased by 25% between 1925 to 1928

Housing

After 1918, the housing stock in Germany was of poor quality and also in short supply. To improve this, the government announced that rent would have a tax of 15% placed upon it which would fund house building. Housing Associations built most new houses. Sixty-four thousand new homes were built this way and half as much again were built by companies. Significant progress was made by those building houses. However, by 1928 there was still a shortage of houses.

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