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 programs (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, stewsinc at eol.ca" class="wiki wiki_page">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