The Problem of Structural Employment

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The economic recovery in the US in 2011 has been characterized as a jobless recovery and the primary factor contributing to this is the structural unemployment that is present in the country. The figures best speak for themselves both as to the existence of structural unemployment and the importance this is getting in the United States in socio-economic terms. The data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistic in January 2012, reflecting the employment in November 2011, showed that the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, while the number of unemployed people decreased by 594,000. At the same time, however, while the number of job vacancies increased by 35 % since the lowest level reached in June 2009, unemployment decreased by only 9.4 %, a significantly lower level (The Threat of Structural Unemployment, 2012). The respective difference in figures can be translated through the increased proportion of structural unemployment in the overall unemployment figures. While estimating structural unemployment is difficult, most figures place somewhere around 8 %. In an absolute value, this has no particular mean, but if we are to look at this comparatively, structural unemployment had generally remained at values around 2 % through the past decades (Salmon, 2011). We can thus point towards an accelerated growth of structural unemployment in the last years, as a consequence not only of the economic crisis (more directly linked with cyclical evolutions of unemployment), but
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