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PHYSICAL CAPITAL: The synthetic resources used to produce goods and services. Capital is a factor of production that has been previously produced. Unlike other types of material items, capital does not become a part of the product. This should be compared with financial capital and human capital.

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MONETARY POLICY: The Federal Reserve System's use of the money supply to stabilize the business cycle. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System determines the total amount of money circulating around the economy. In principle, the Fed can use three different "tools"--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements--to manipulate the money supply. In practice, however, the primary tool employed is open market operations. To counter a recession, the Fed would undertake expansionary policy, also termed easy money. To reduce inflation, contractionary policy is the order of the day, and goes by the name tight money.

     See also | Federal Reserve System | money | business cycle | stabilization policies | central bank | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | Federal Open Market Committee | tight money | easy money | fiscal policy | interest rate | inflation | unemployment | expansionary monetary policy | contractionary monetary policy |


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CIVILIAN LABOR FORCE

Everyone in the economy, 16 years of age or older, who is neither institutionalized nor in the military, and is either employed or unemployed but actively seeking employment. The civilian labor force is the "official" specification for the national economy's labor supply. It is used for such calculations as the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate. In particular, the unemployment rate is technically specified as the "percent of the civilian labor force that is unemployed." The size of the civilian labor force (along with the wildly popular unemployment rate) is estimated monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from data generated by the Current Population Survey (CPS).

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