Focus on Economic Data: U.S. Employment and the Unemployment Rate - April 4, 2008
Glossary terms from:
The industry involved with conducting financial transactions. Also, conducting business with a bank, e.g., maintaining a checking or savings account or obtaining a loan.
Any activity or organization that produces or exchanges goods or services for a profit.
Fluctuations in the overall rate of national economic activity with alternating periods of expansion and contraction; these vary in duration and degrees of severity; usually measured by real gross domestic product (GDP).
Spending by households on goods and services. The process of buying and using goods and services.
An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something. The effort, loss or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.
The opportunity to borrow money or to receive goods or services in return for a promise to pay later.
Unemployment caused by fluctuations in the overall rate of economic activity or phase of the business cycle.
The quantity of a good or service that buyers are willing and able to buy at all possible prices during a period of time.
Unemployed people who have given up looking for work and are therefore not counted as part of the labor force.
An increase in real output as measured by real GDP or per capita real GDP.
The percentage of the total population aged 16 or over that is employed.
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.
Unemployment caused by the short-term movement of people between jobs and by first-time job seekers entering the labor force; always present in a dynamic economy.
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.
Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.
Accommodation in houses, apartments, etc.
Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.
A piece of work usually done on order at an agreed-upon rate. Also a paid position of regular employment.
The quantity and quality of human effort available to produce goods and services.
The people in a nation who are aged 16 or over and are employed or actively looking for work.
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.
The amount of money that people pay when they buy a good or service; the amount they receive when they sell a good or service.
A process of manufacturing, growing, designing, or otherwise using productive resources to create goods or services used to to satisfy a want.
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).
Economic regulation is the prescription of price and output for a specific industry, often a natural monopoly. Social regulation is the prescription of health, safety, performance, environmental, output and job standards across several industries.
Earnings from an investment, usually expressed as an annual percentage.
Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.
The situation that results when the quantity demanded for a product exceeds the quantity supplied. Generally happens because the price of the product is below the market equilibrium price.
Standard of Living
The level of subsistence of a nation, social class or individual with reference to the adequacy of necessities and comforts of daily life.
The type of unemployment resulting from people's present abilities, skills, training and location not matching up with available job openings that reflect the basic structure of the economy.
The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time.
Compulsory payments to governments by households and businesses.
The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.
Money collected by the government from one group and given to others. Examples include Social Security benefits, unemployment insurance payments and agricultural subsidies.
Types of Unemployment
Their are varying types and degrees of unemployment. Cyclical unemployment occurs with downturns in the economy and evaporates when the economy rebounds. Frictional unemployment details people who are unemployed while transitioning between jobs. Structural unemployment deals with an offset of skilled workers and available jobs. Seasonal unemployment is another situation in which skilled workers are mismatched with the number of jobs. Hidden unemployment the unemployment of potential workers, which is not reflected in official statistics. Hardcore unemployment describes persons who may be unemployable due to physical or mental incapacitation.
The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.
The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labor force.
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.
People employed to do work, producing goods and services.