The United States economy of the 1970s was wrought with hardship. In both 1973 and 1979, the world suffered crises regarding oil, that which it was becoming further dependent upon. Many countries suffered economic stagnation as well as currency inflation, that which came to be known as "stagflation". Further, stock markets worldwide crashed during 1973 and 1974.

1973 Oil Crisis

In 1973, the world experienced what came to be known as an "oil crisis". The price of oil inflated dramatically over a short period of time, with countries dependent on oil naturally suffering as a result.
According to the government website
( source )

"During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations"

As a result of this,

"The 1973 Oil Embargo acutely strained a U.S. economy that had grown increasingly dependent on foreign oil."

According to CBC news' website:
( source )

"Within a few months, the price of oil went from around $3 a barrel to about $12."

1979 Oil Crisis

In 1979, the world experienced yet another oil crisis. In the years preceding Iran had become an important supplier of the world's oil. According to a TIME magazine article of the time:
( source )

"Worldwide, Iran normally supplies about 20% of the total petroleum imports of all the consuming nations."

During and partially because of Iran's importance as an exporter of oil, many of Iran's people grew ready to revolt. As of 1979's first months, revolution was underway, and as a part of such, much of Iran's people went on strike. Oil production in particular was held in disdain, and so oil was not pumped, let alone exported.
According to that same TIME magazine article:

"Even if all of Iran's striking oilworkers were to go back to their jobs this week, it could take as long as six months to bring the country's production back to an acceptable level."


Some countries' economies came to be somewhat stagnant, that which is resembled by increases in unemployment and decreases in economic growth. In addition, some countries' currencies came to lose their value, or "inflate", at accelerating rates. The combination of these economic conditions came to be known as "stagflation".

In the United States specifically, Richard Nixon chose to disallow income and prices to change across the country. In addition, he applied taxes to imports and halted the practice of converting foreign currency to gold( source ).

Soon after Richard Nixon enacted those policies, the Oil Crisis of 1973 occurred. These foremost factors amongst others resulted in relatively high inflation and unemployment rates all throughout the decade.
Inflation rate data
"Misery Index"
According to, the unemployment rate reached about 20% as of the end of 1979. United States dollar inflation rate and unemployment followed similar patterns, with rises in unemployment implying a rise in inflation, and vice versa.

1973 - 1974 stock markets crash

Between 1973 and 1974, stock markets crashed internationally. According to, it was the 7th worst stock market crash ever as of 2008 September 20( source ). According to that same source, the impacts of the crash started on 1973 January 11 and about ended on 1974 December 6.

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