The Public Works Administration (P.W.A.), a New Deal government agency headed by Harold Ickes, was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act in June 1933 during the Great Depression. It allowed 3.3 billion dollars to be spent on the construction of public works to provide employment, stabilize purchasing power, improve public welfare, and contribute to a revival of American industry. When President Franklin Roosevelt moved industry toward war production and abandoned his opposition to deficit spending, the PWA became irrelevant and was abolished in June 1941.


  • Works Progress Administration, America Builds: The Record of WPA (1939)
  • Harold L. Ickes, Back to Work: The Story of WPA (1935)
  • Jason Scott Smith, Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956 (2006)

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