Assignment 1: Unemployment and the Economy

Assignment 1: Unemployment and the Economy

For this assignment, you should use the information in the textbook and the information found on the official Department of Labor website, http://www.bls.gov/home.htm.

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Unemployment is one of the major concerns that people have in today’s economy, since losing one’s job can be one of the most devastating events a person can experience. But what do the numbers actually mean? What is the actual state of the economy, in terms of its ability to generate jobs for its citizens?

Questions:

  1. What is the labor force participation rate? What was the labor force participation rate in 2008? How has it changed since 2008 and what does this change imply for the state of the economy? Does the labor force participation rate effect the unemployment rates reported in the media?
  1. How is unemployment measured and reported?
  1. What is a discouraged worker? Are they included in the basic unemployment rate? Are they included in any measure of unemployment? How has the number of discouraged workers changed since 2008? How does the exclusion of the discouraged worker affect the basic unemployment rate reported in the media?
  1. What is frictional unemployment? What is structural unemployment? What is cyclical unemployment? What economic policies should be used to deal with these types of unemployment? Which type is most prevalent in today’s economy?
  1. Unemployment insurance is designed to help the unemployed. Do these benefits encourage or discourage a person from looking for work? How long should these benefits last?
  1. Does the existence of unions help or hurt the overall economy and the employment rate? Why or why not?

Deliverables:

  1. Submit an 3-6 page paper in Microsoft Word format, to the W2: Assignment 1 Dropbox by Saturday, April 4, 2015, addressing the above-noted items.
  1. Create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation of 5-10 slides that summarizes your findings in your report. Post your presentation to the Assignment 1 Discussion Area by Saturday, April 4, 2015.

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