A number of policies were introduced which caused the unemployment figures to drop.
Women were no longer included in the statistics so any women who remained out of work under the Nazi’s rule did not exist as far as the statistics were concerned.
The unemployed were given a very simple choice: do whatever work is given to you by the government or be classed as “work-shy” and put in a concentration camp.
Jews lost their citizenship in 1935 and as a result were not included in unemployment figures even though many lost their employment at the start of Hitler’s time in power.
Many young men were taken off of the unemployment figure when conscription was brought in (1935) and men had to do their time in the army etc. By 1939, the army was 1.4 million strong. To equip these men with weapons etc., factories were built and this took even more off of the unemployment figure.
With these measures in place the unemployment figure had to fall drastically and many saw the Nazi figures as nothing more than a book-keeping trick. However, many would have been too scared to speak out against the Nazis or pass negative comments on the published figures – such was the fear of the Gestapo.
However, there is no doubt that work was created. The Nazis introduced public work schemes for men who worked in the National Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD). Their work would have included digging ditches on farms to assist irrigation, building the new autobahns, planting new forests etc. The men of the RAD wore a military style uniform, lived in camps near to where they were working and received only what we would term pocket money. However, compared to the lack of success of the Weimar governmentand the chronic misery of 1931 to 1932, these men felt that at least the Nazi government was making the effort to improve their lot.