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In politics unemployment in often a high profile issue, particularly in the event of a recession. Unemployment is generally defined as the condition of being able and willing to work but unable to find a job. The unemployment rate? is an important economic indicator?, and a measure of economic performance. Economists define three types of unemployment
  • frictional unemployment - which is the length of time people spend between jobs (for those with skills that are in demand).
  • cyclical unemployment - refers to unemployment created by a recession (for those which skills for which there is temporarily a reduced demand)
  • structural unemployment - long term unemployment (for those whose skills are not in demand)
Why unemployment exists: While ideally, an economy could achieve full employment this seems to rarely happen outside of times of war. The following are all reasons why unemployment is common in developed countries.
  • disposable jobs/disposable employees - both employers and employees find it convenient at times to change jobs/employees frequently.
  • income support program?s (including parents) make it possible to live without a job, or by only working part of the year.
  • technological change frequently makes skills obsolete, particularly if there is a lack of post secondary education?.
  • unemployment is good for capitalism - (also called Marxian unemployment) having a reserve pool of labor ensures that there is competition for work, which helps keep wages and inflation down. Governments, if they choose can adjust their economic, monetary or immigration policies to ensure that the number of job seekers somewhat exceeds the jobs available.


employment, education, self employment?, income support programs?, labour market

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Sources and Resources

unemployment - wikipedia

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