• ECON 545 Week 5 | DQ: Unemployment

Week 5: Discussion Question

Unemployment is an indication of the health of the economy. Unemployment means that there is a portion of the productive population (labor force) that is not producing and unable to earn income for consumption and/or for investment. The more unemployed workers there are, the less output the economy will be able to produce. High unemployment also means that there are less wages available in the hands of people to consume, which reduces the incentive or need for suppliers to produce at full capacity (lower GDP). Moreover, unemployment means that there are more workers available for work in the labor market (high supply) than jobs (demand). Higher unemployment leads to a reduction in the price of labor (wages).

Now let's examine the unemployment in the United Sates. Follow the link below to review up-to-date national data.

  1. Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Links to an external site.)
  2. Click on and review the following links to learn about the relationship between age, race, gender, and unemployment.
  • Employment Situation Summary
  • Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
  • Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
  • What interests or surprises you from the summary tables?
  • Discuss the differences in unemployment rates by gender, age, educational attainment, and so forth, and provide possible explanation for the variations in unemployment over time and the variation in unemployment by age, gender, educational attainment, and race.

ECON 545 Week 5 | DQ: Unemployment

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