The U.S. job market appears to have a paradox: Many job seekers say they're desperate for work while many employers say they can't fill open positions. Are workers being too picky? Are employers being too cheap? Correspondent Paul Solman explores what's behind the disconnect as part of his Making Sen$e of financial news series. REPORT AIR DATE: April 6, 2012

This video is from the Making Sen$e with Paul Solman video series from PBS. Learn more about these videos and view a listing of the most recent videos we have available.

Key Concepts

Types of Unemployment, Labor Market, Wage, Cyclical Unemployment, Workers, Work Ethic, Structural Unemployment


A Fair Wage

Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn depends, primarily, on the market value of what they produce and how productive they are.

Grades 6-8, 9-12

Focus on Economic Data: U.S. Employment and the Unemployment Rate, March 6, 2015

This lesson uses the latest employment and unemployment data release by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the month of February, 2015, reported March 6, 2015. The lesson focuses on different ways of measuring the demand for labor and how the demand for labor affects...

Grades 9-12

LeBron James, The Cavaliers, and Derived Demand

PBS video author Paul Solman reports that LeBron James has added $200 million in value to the city of Cleveland since 2003. His presence brings in $100 million each year to the workers and local businesses surrounding the NBA team. The concept of utilitarianism states that the action which is mo...

Grades 9-12

Phillips Curve

This lesson explores the relationship of unemployment to inflation in the 1960s and after. Students will discover the short-run trade-off between inflation and unemployment when unemployment is less than its natural rate. Students will learn how wage setters formed adaptive expectations about fu...

Grades 9-12

Jobs: Who Needs 'Em?

In this lesson, students will look at the importance having some kind of job. At early ages they sometimes get the idea that money grows on trees and they should get anything that they want. This lesson will look at the consequences of having a job, having a non-paying job (like a stay at home mo...

Grades 3-5


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