Glossary Terms:

Focus on Economic Data: U.S. Employment and the Unemployment Rate, April 2013

Glossary terms from:
http://www.econedlink.org/e1164


Bank

A financial institution that provides various products and services to its customers, including checking and savings accounts, loans and currency exchange.

Business

Any activity or organization that produces or exchanges goods or services for a profit.

Consumers

People who use goods and services to satisfy their personal needs and not for resale or in the production of other goods and services.

Discouraged Workers

Unemployed people who have given up looking for work and are therefore not counted as part of the labor force.

Economic Growth

An increase in real output as measured by real GDP or per capita real GDP.

Economics

The study of how people, firms and societies choose to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses.

Federal Reserve

The central bank of the United States. Its main function is controlling the money supply through monetary policy. The Federal Reserve System divides the country into 12 districts, each with its own Federal Reserve bank. Each district bank is directed by its nine-person board of directors. The Board of Governors, which is made up of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to 14-year terms, directs the nation's monetary policy and the overall activities of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee is the official policy-making body; it is made up of the members of the Board of Governors and five of the district bank presidents.

Full Employment

The natural rate of employment; generally considered to be about 93-95 percent of the labor force, allowing for frictional unemployment of 5-7 percent.

Income

Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.

Interest

Money paid regularly, at a particular rate, for the use of borrowed money.

Job

A piece of work usually done on order at an agreed-upon rate. Also a paid position of regular employment.

Labor

The quantity and quality of human effort available to produce goods and services.

Labor Force

The people in a nation who are aged 16 or over and are employed or actively looking for work.

Labor Market

The labor supply and labor demand curves. The intersection of the labor supply and labor demand curves determines the equilibrium wage and the quantity of hours people work at this equilibrium wage.

Markets

Places, institutions or technological arrangements where or by means of which goods or services are exchanged. Also, the set of all sale and purchase transactions that affect the price of some good or service.

Monetary Policy

Changes in the supply of money and the availability of credit initiated by a nation's central bank to promote price stability, full employment and reasonable rates of economic growth.

Occupation

A job or profession; also a category of work, sometimes identified by the degree of skill required.

Open Market Operations

The buying and selling of government bonds by the Federal Reserve to control bank reserves and the money supply.

Recession

A decline in the rate of national economic activity, usually measured by a decline in real GDP for at least two consecutive quarters (i.e., six months).

Resources

The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.

Risk

The chance of losing money.

Services

Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.

Trade

The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.

Unemployment

The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.

Unemployment Rate

The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labor force.

Work

Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.

Workers

People employed to do work, producing goods and services.