March 23, 2018 

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YIELD CURVE: A curve plotting the yields (or returns) on securities with different maturity lengths. The standard yield is for U.S. Treasury securities with lengths ranging from 90 days to 30 years. The five maturity lengths are usually 90 day, 180 day, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year, and 30 year. The shape and slope fo the yield curve indicates the state of the economy and what's likely to come. A normal yield curve has a slight positive slope, with slightly higher yields for longer maturity securities. A steep yield curve suggests the end of a contraction and beginning of an expansion. An inverted, or negatively sloped yield curve is the sign of an upcoming contraction.

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TOTAL FIXED COST: Cost of production that does NOT change with changes in the quantity of output produced by a firm in the short run. Total fixed cost is one part of total cost. The other is total variable cost. At any and all levels of output, fixed cost is the same. It doesn't change. This includes cost that is not dependent on, or unrelated to, production. The best way to identify fixed cost is to produce zero output. Fixed cost is incurred whether or not any output is produced. A cost measure directly related to total fixed cost is average fixed cost.

     See also | total cost | fixed cost | fixed input | total variable cost | average fixed cost | quantity |

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The proportion of the civilian labor force 16 years or older that is actively seeking employment, but is unemployed and not engaged in the production of goods and services. The unemployment rate is estimated and reported monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. It is used not only as the prime measure of labor unemployment in the economy, but also as a key indicator of business-cycle instability. In principle, the unemployment rate measures the proportion of the labor that is willing and able to work, but not employed. In practice, the official unemployment rate is simply the ratio of total unemployment to the total civilian labor force, in percentage terms.

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