Review these sections from the Macroeconomics chapter assigned in Unit 2.1, which define and discuss the concept of unemployment. As you will find out, there are specific characteristics that have to be present for for someone to be considered "unemployed". The mere fact of a person not having a job is not sufficient for that determination. Read this section of the text to find out more.



  1. Explain how unemployment is measured in the United States.
  2. Define three different types of unemployment.
  3. Define and illustrate graphically what is meant by the natural level of employment. Relate the natural level of employment to the natural rate of unemployment.

For an economy to produce all it can and achieve a solution on its production possibilities curve, the factors of production in the economy must be fully employed. Failure to fully employ these factors leads to a solution inside the production possibilities curve in which society is not achieving the output it is capable of producing.

In thinking about the employment of society's factors of production, we place special emphasis on labor. The loss of a job can wipe out a household's entire income; it is a more compelling human problem than, say, unemployed capital, such as a vacant apartment. In measuring unemployment, we thus focus on labor rather than on capital and natural resources.

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