Focus on Economic Data: U.S. Employment and the Unemployment Rate, February 4, 2011
Glossary terms from:
One of many choices or courses of action that might be taken in a given situation.
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).
A result or effect of an action or decision; may be positive or negative.
An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something. The effort, loss or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.
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.
The percentage of the total population aged 16 or over that is employed.
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.
Individuals and family units that buy goods and services (as consumers) and sell or rent productive resources (as resource owners).
Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.
A rise in the general or average price level of all the goods and services produced in an economy. Can be caused by pressure from the demand side of the market (demand-pull inflation) or pressure from the supply side of the market (cost-push inflation).
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.
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.
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.
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 job or profession; also a category of work, sometimes identified by the degree of skill required.
Natural resources, human resources, capital resources and entrepreneurship used to make goods and services.
The amount of output (goods and services) produced per unit of input (productive resources) used.
The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.
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.
Money set aside for a future use that is held in easily-accessed accounts, such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.
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 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.