<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain frictional and structural unemployment
  • Assess relationships between the natural rate of employment and potential real GDP, productivity, and public policy
  • Identify recent patterns in the natural rate of employment
  • Propose ways to combat unemployment

Cyclical unemployment explains why unemployment rises during a recession and falls during an economic expansion. But what explains the remaining level of unemployment even in good economic times? Why is the unemployment rate never zero? Even when the U.S. economy is growing strongly, the unemployment rate only rarely dips as low as 4%. Moreover, the discussion earlier in this chapter pointed out that unemployment rates in many European countries like Italy, France, and Germany have often been remarkably high at various times in the last few decades. Why does some level of unemployment persist even when economies are growing strongly? Why are unemployment rates continually higher in certain economies, through good economic years and bad? Economists have a term to describe the remaining level of unemployment that occurs even when the economy is healthy: it is called the natural rate of unemployment    .

The long run: the natural rate of unemployment

The natural rate of unemployment is not “natural” in the sense that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not a physical and unchanging law of nature. Instead, it is only the “natural” rate because it is the unemployment rate that would result from the combination of economic, social, and political factors that exist at a time—assuming the economy was neither booming nor in recession. These forces include the usual pattern of companies expanding and contracting their workforces in a dynamic economy, social and economic forces that affect the labor market, or public policies that affect either the eagerness of people to work or the willingness of businesses to hire. Let’s discuss these factors in more detail.

Frictional unemployment

In a market economy    , some companies are always going broke for a variety of reasons: old technology; poor management; good management that happened to make bad decisions; shifts in tastes of consumers so that less of the firm’s product is desired; a large customer who went broke; or tough domestic or foreign competitors. Conversely, other companies will be doing very well for just the opposite reasons and looking to hire more employees. In a perfect world, all of those who lost jobs would immediately find new ones. But in the real world, even if the number of job seekers is equal to the number of job vacancies, it takes time to find out about new jobs, to interview and figure out if the new job is a good match, or perhaps to sell a house and buy another in proximity to a new job. The unemployment that occurs in the meantime, as workers move between jobs, is called frictional unemployment    . Frictional unemployment is not inherently a bad thing. It takes time on part of both the employer and the individual to match those looking for employment with the correct job openings. For individuals and companies to be successful and productive, you want people to find the job for which they are best suited, not just the first job offered.

Questions & Answers

what is scarcity
Edmore Reply
Scarcity is the limitedness of resources relative to human wants. In economic sense means that the available resources are not sufficient to satisfy all human wants.
Innocent
Moreover, Fiscal policy deal with government revenue and expenditure. Government expenditure puts money in public hands while government revenue withdraws the money. Role of fiscal policy is to reduces money circulation as a means of reducing demand.
Innocent
What is an inflationary spiral?
Innocent
Suppose that you 're nominated as a Minister of Finance in your country's. How can you finance a deficit budget?
Innocent
Can you explain the terms 'fiscal deficit' and 'fiscal policy'?
Brahmani Reply
fiscal deficit refers to the government expenditure exceed expected to the government revenue
Innocent
fiscal deficit is like budget deficit
Innocent
fiscal policy it occurs when the government takes and maintain the strategic to resolve the inflation.
Innocent
What is inflation?
Braa Reply
increase in general price level
suresh
a sudden increase in prices of goods that effects our cost of living
Brahmani
what is Debenture in economy
Gideon Reply
what is economic
Vida Reply
Economic is a seines which study the human behavior as ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Debrah
Economics is the study of how human make decisions in the face of scarcity. These can be individual decisions, family decisions, business decisions or societal decisions.
Wandji
Economics is a science that study human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which may have alternative uses.
Elizabeth
in my opinion, economics helps us to learn decision making not only in short term but in long term too
shubham
What is Debenture in economy
Gideon
what is special directives
Emmanuel Reply
what is demand
Joseph Reply
Demand simply refers to the amount of goods and services which the consumer is willing and able to purchase at each price
Owusu
Demand refers to the quantity of goods and services an individial is willing and able to purchase or buy at various price over a period of time
Elizabeth
what is mean by unitary elastic demand
Bangniyel Reply
demand is said to be unitary elastic when the percentage change in the demand is equal to the percentage change in the price
George
what is the principle of equi-marginal utility
Reliance Reply
what is Economics and it important
Anita Reply
what is production
Anita
what is Economic
Anita Reply
what is the meaning of Economic
Anita
economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Boso
I don't know.
natchanan
u don't
Ssali
@ Boso thanks for the definition ✌
Raewyn
boso u r too much u try
Liambee
ya nyc
Ssali
Thanks kk
Anita
pls can I ask more questions
Anita
what is production
Anita
production is creation of goods and services
George
what is macroeconomics and microeconomics
Anita
macroeconomics deals with larger economic units such as GDP,GNP,employment while microeconomics deals with smaller economic units such firm and household
George
Thanks
Anita
Explain the ff Scarcity Ends Demand Supply Choice Scale of preference
Anita
macroeconomics deals with larger economic units such as GDP,GNP,employment while microeconomics deals with smaller economic units such firm and household
George
Gross Domestic product...it represent the total value of the products produced within the country including foreign industries
George Reply
what is products
Anita
what are the favourable demand
Odia Reply
list of climate that affect demands
Odia
What is two major forms of international trade?
Musa Reply
What is Economics and why it is important
Abdul Reply
De ans,Economics is the study of women behavior as a relationship between end and scared mean which have alternative uses.
Anita

Get the best Principles of economics course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Principles of economics' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask