Dictabelt 10B.2

John Kennedy, Willard Wirtz
White House Telephone

W. Willard Wirtz: Hello?

President Kennedy: How are you?

Wirtz: Good.

President Kennedy: You got a statement you might make tomorrow in connection with unemployment?

Wirtz: Just about [unclear].

President Kennedy: --he reason it has gone up by 3/10 of a percent?

Wirtz: Well, the largest factors in it are a substantial increase in the work force beyond what's normal.

President Kennedy: Why would that be in the winter?

Wirtz: We're trying to figure out what it is. As nearly as we can figure it, most of the--the largest increase is in connection with applications for part-time employment. Now, these are two figures that jump around pretty badly.

President Kennedy: Yeah.

Wirtz: And the increase in the work force is 700,000, most of which is--

President Kennedy: In how long a period?

Wirtz: Oh, in one month.

President Kennedy: My God!

Wirtz: Now, most of that is seasonal. It always jumps between January and February, but it's about 200,000 too high. The part-time employment requests make up about half of this. Teenagers make up about half of it.

President Kennedy: Yeah.

Wirtz: These--but all I'm saying to you that these are three--this work force figure--

President Kennedy: Yeah.

Wirtz: --the part-time figure, and the teenagers, are all three of them figures that jump around from month to month.

President Kennedy: Yeah, so we get--

Wirtz: But--but it's hard to bite into anything more than that, and--

President Kennedy: Well, you're going to say something about our programs?

Wirtz: Tie it in with the tax program and the youth unemployment thing.

President Kennedy: Yeah, why don't--youth unemployment, tax, what else is there? Education, I would think. Don't you think?

Wirtz: Uh, let's see . . .

President Kennedy: Back in school.

Wirtz: We'll try to work in a tie-in on that. I gather we don't say anything yet about accelerated public works. Is that right?

President Kennedy: Well, I think the accelerated public works, I think we better have you wait on that.

Wirtz: I think that's right.

President Kennedy: You know, and then we hit it another month.

Wirtz: [Unclear.]

President Kennedy: What? That vocational? Well, you know all the stuff.

Wirtz: Yeah. I'm not sure I see the tie-in on education.

President Kennedy: I see?

Wirtz: I'll see, but--

President Kennedy: Well, the only thing I was thinking about . . . skills. I don't know. Maybe not.

Wirtz: Probably--and the unemployment thing got to tie it in with too.

President Kennedy: Yeah. Maybe not education.

Wirtz: I think that's a little hard.

President Kennedy: Right. OK.

Wirtz: OK.

President Kennedy: Fine.

Wirtz: Will do. We'll check it over there.

President Kennedy: Thank you. OK.

Wirtz: Right. Thanks.