During the depths of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was running about 25%, and the word “Depression” described not only the economy, but the mood of the country and its citizens as well. In the end, it was the need for jobs during the Depression that most likely won the battle for the hearts, minds, and pocket books of the voters, and judges, that were needed to approve the project. Laborers lined up by the hundreds to apply, and contractors were supposedly required to hire locally, although that was loosely enforced. Still, hundreds of good paying jobs were created - jobs that involved walking almost 800 feet above the choppy surface of the icy waters, in rain, or "just" fog, that made the metal surfaces slippery, and being buffeted by gusts of winds over 40 miles per hour, among other perks. Other jobs involved using a heavy, tethered diving suit to lay dangerous explosive charges under water. Joseph Strauss, to his credit, did institute several new safety features, including a long safety net that spanned the gate and saved nineteen falling workers from certain death.