Questions on Unemployment

1202 Words5 Pages
Question A Although the employment rate is often used to 'take the temperature' of the relative health of the economy, as such it is only an imperfect measure. As noted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate does not take into consideration discouraged workers. These workers are "not counted as unemployed because they had not actively searched for work in the past 4 weeks" (Ranks of discouraged, 2009, BLS). Chronically unemployed workers have often given up hope because they have been searching for jobs for so long. Given the uniquely detrimental, long-term impact of the recent recession upon young, nonwhite persons, and males, the ranks of the uncounted unemployed are particularly high amongst these 'discouraged' demographics. Another critical measure of economic health not given as much significance as the unemployment rate is the underemployment rate, or persons employed at part-time occupations who desire full-time work. Seasonal employment can also artificially swell the labor force, such as when people are employed around the holidays, but are likely to be let go soon afterward, as consumer spending dips. Even employment by the government for the census temporarily, artificially swelled the ranks of the employed in some states (Unemployment drops in 18 states, rises in 14, 2010, USA Today). Given the knowledge of these statistics, it would clearly behoove the government to have policies designed to increase employment that specifically could
Open Document