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Dear John Harnly
Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!
The questions asked in columns 21 & 22 were simply to verify work status prior to the start of the Federal Census which began on April 1, 1940. If the person being interviewed answered "Yes" to Question (Column) 21, Question 26 asks for the amount of time the person worked prior to those dates. You can find more information about the columns and their meanings here: https://1940census.archives.gov/questions-asked.asp .
We hope this information is helpful in your research!
For Persons 14 Years Old and Over – Employment Status:
- 21. Was this person at work for pay or profit in private or nonemergency Govt. work during the week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
- 22. If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public Emergency Work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during the week of March 24-30? (Y or N)