Topic: Unemployment in the U.S.


Volume: 5 pages

Type: Essay

Format: APA


Unit IV Essay Write a minimum of a five-page essay, using proper APA format, on the topic of unemployment in the U.S. Use a minimum of three scholarly sources. You have the freedom to take any aspect of unemployment that you desire to research. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations. All references and citations used must be in APA style.

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit IV

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

4. Examine the effects of unemployment and inflation on the economy.

Reading Assignment
Chapter 7:
Unemployment and Inflation
Chapter 8:
Productivity and Growth
Unit Lesson
One would think that unemployment and its measurement would make it easy to determine who is
unemployed and what the national rate of unemployment is. However, it is a complex issue and one that
has multiple factors for consideration. We will consider a few of the issues to tweak our interest for
further readings.
As of July 2015, the “U.S. unemployment rate drops to 6.1%” (Randle, 2014). Is this considered a good
unemployment rate or a bad one? Is 6.1% a high number or a low number? Should the goal for political
leaders be 0% unemployment? There are questions that need to be considered and are best viewed through
economic theories.
The definition of who is unemployed is agreed upon, but there is much argument about who should be
included or excluded. Should a 16-year-old looking for a job be included or excluded? Should a 70-year-old,
who just lost his or her job, and is actively looking for a job, be counted? What about a 62-year-old, who after
years of trying to find a job, gives up and stops looking; should that person be counted?
Oner (2010) gives a summary of definitions of who is unemployed. In the U.S., to be counted as unemployed
one must be out of work and in active pursuit of a job, such as applying for jobs or sending out resumes.
How does the government collect the unemployment statistics? Oner (2010) states that the government
sends out a monthly survey of 100,000 individuals based on statistical sampling. This sample includes those
looking for work and those that are unemployed. Yes, it is self-reported and is defined as the percentage
looking for a job.
Who is excluded from being considered unemployed? If one does want a job and is of working age, he or she
is not included. If one has been unemployed for a long time and no longer looking for work, this group is not
considered as unemployed. If one has a job that is part-time or is self-employed but did not receive pay in a
prior pay period, these would be considered to be employed, and this can cause inflated employment
numbers (Oner, 2010, para. 3-4).
Consider the classifications for unemployment: frictional, seasonal, structural, and cyclical. By viewing
through this scheme, one can grasp where unemployment is coming from and develop economic policies to
address. Each classification above likely would take a different tactic to address.
Frictional unemployment is essentially the time from when one loses one job until one finds find another job.
This is considered natural and occurs as it takes time to interview, find a job, be selected, hired, and start
work. The match between job market and worker finding each other is natural.
Unemployment and Inflation
BBA 2401, Principles of Macroeconomics 2
Seasonal unemployment occurs because a unique market may require more or less workers during part of
the year. For example, in south Florida fruit pickers are seasonal workers. In your own area where you live,
one will note the need for seasonal workers in many retail stores during December for the shopping season.
Structural unemployment means that the workers in one area no longer have the skills needed for the current
set of jobs in an area. For example, if in North Dakota there is an oil boom, and the demand is high for oil
workers, but the current work force was trained to do textiles, this creates a mismatch or structural issue that
must be addressed by training, labor force moving, or other types of structural adjustments.
Cyclical unemployment comes because of expansions and contractions in the general economy. In a
contraction, demand goes down, and the amount of labor needed to produce the goods and services that are
being demanded, resulting in excess supply of labor, and thus, unemployment.
As one studies the readings on unemployment and inflation, consider the economic factors, how these factors
affect you, your family, your neighborhood, your country, and the world. View what you consider through the
lenses of the models studied.
Oner, C. (2010). Back to basics: What constitutes unemployment? Finance & Development, 47(3), 48-49.
Retrieved from
Randle, J (2014, Jul 04). US unemployment rate drops to 6.1%. Voice of America. Retrieved from
Suggested Reading
Click here for the Chapter 7 Presentation in PowerPoint form. Click here to access a PDF version of the
Click here for the Chapter 8 Presentation in PowerPoint form. Click here to access a PDF version of the
Learning Activities (Non-Graded)
The online tutorial below [link to MyCourseTools tutorial of same name] focuses on specific topics in Unit IV.
The Costs of Inflation
Non-graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study.

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