Focus on Economic Data: U.S. Employment and the Unemployment Rate, December 5, 2008
Glossary terms from:
Monetary or non-monetary gain received because of an action taken or a decision made.
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).
People who use goods and services to satisfy their personal needs and not for resale or in the production of other goods and services.
The opportunity to borrow money or to receive goods or services in return for a promise to pay later.
A conclusion reached after considering alternatives and their results.
Unemployed people who have given up looking for work and are therefore not counted as part of the labor force.
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.
Economic units that demand productive resources from households and supply goods and services to households and government agencies.
Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.
Spending by all levels of government on goods and services; includes categories like military, schools and roads.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a calendar year.
Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.
A practice or arrangement whereby a company provides a guarantee of compensation for specified forms of loss, damage, injury or death. People obtain such guarantees by buying insurance policies, for which they pay premiums. The process allows for the spreading out of risk over a pool of insurance policyholders, with the expectation that only a few policholders will actually experience losses for which claims must be made. Types of insurance include automobile, health, renter's, homeowner's, disability and life.
Money paid regularly, at a particular rate, for the use of borrowed money.
The purchase of capital goods (including machinery, technology or new buildings) that are used to produce goods and services. In personal finance, the amount of money invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment instruments.
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.
A special type of loan for the purchase of a house or other real estate.
The amount of money a person receives within a pay period after taxes and other deductions are taken out of his or her paycheck.
People and firms that use resources to make goods and services.
A good or service that can be used to satisfy a want.
A process of manufacturing, growing, designing, or otherwise using productive resources to create goods or services used to to satisfy a want.
The amount of output (goods and services) produced per unit of input (productive resources) used.
In a credit arrangement, the total amount spent during the billing cycle.
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
GDP measured in dollars of constant purchasing power. The measure is obtained by adjusting nominal GDP (GDP measured in current prices) by an appropriate price index, usually the implicit price deflator. Often used as a measure of economic activity.
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).
A regular payment, often at monthly or biweekly intervals, made by an employer to an employee, especially in the case of professional or white-collar employees. Salaries are paid for services rendered and are not based on hours worked.
To keep money for future use; to divert money from current spending to a savings account or another form of investment.
Money set aside for a future use that is held in easily-accessed accounts, such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
A plan for setting aside money for future use.
Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.
A federal system of old-age, survivors', disability and hospital care (Medicare) insurance which requires employers to withhold (or transfer) wages from employees' paychecks and deposit that money in designated accounts.
Use money now to buy goods and services.
An ownership share or shares of ownership in a corporation.
Compulsory payments to governments by households and businesses.
The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.
The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.
The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labor force.
Payments for labor services that are directly tied to time worked, or to the number of units of output produced.
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.