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April 26, 2018 

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SPECIALIZATION: The condition in which resources are primarily devoted to specific tasks. This is one of THE most important and most fundamental notions in the study of economics. Civilized human beings have long recognized that limited resources can be more effectively used in the production the goods and services that satisfy unlimited wants and needs if those resources specialize. For example, three ice cream parlor workers, can be, in total, more productive if one runs the cash register, another scoops the ice cream, and a third adds the hot fudge topping. By devoting their energies to learning how to do their respective tasks really, really well, these three workers can produce more hot fudge sundaes than if each performed all required tasks.

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UNEMPLOYED:

The condition in which a resource (especially labor) is NOT actively engaged in a productive activity, but IS actively seeking employment. This general condition forms the conceptual basis for one of the three categories used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) when classifying an individual's labor force status--employed persons. The other two BLS categories are employed persons and not in the labor force.
In general, people considered unemployed if they are not paid to engage in the production of goods and services, but they are actively seeking such paid production activity. The key to being unemployed is NOT just that a person is out or work, but that the person is actively seeking work.

A large portion of the society is not actively engaged in production but they are not considered unemployed because they are not seeking work. Students, homemakers, young children, and retired folks are common examples.

Phoebe Pankovic provides one of the more common examples of being unemployed. Phoebe had been a paid employee of Quadra DG Computer Works, working as an assistant to Preston Pumpernickel. However, she was not a very good worker. So Phoebe was fired. Phoebe has been frantically and actively searching for other employment. She scans the want ads, sends resumes to prospective employers, and has been on several job interviews. Being out of work and seeking work makes her unemployed.

While Phoebe provides a common example of being unemployed, a person can be unemployed in several different ways:

  • Like Phoebe, people can be unemployed if they have voluntarily or involuntarily left a job and are seeking another.

  • Alternatively, being laid-off from a job with the expectation of being recalled within six months also means a person is unemployed.

  • Some folks are unemployed because they are seeking employment after an extended period without a job or having looked for a job.

  • Still others fall into the unemployed category because they are seeking employment for the very first time.
The obvious direct contrast to being unemployed is being employed. Being employed means a person is engaged in production. Another alternative is to be totally out of the labor force. Students, homemakers, young children, and retired folks are common examples of people who are neither employed nor unemployed--they are simply not part of the labor force.

<= UNDERGROUND ECONOMYUNEMPLOYED PERSONS =>


Recommended Citation:

UNEMPLOYED, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: April 26, 2018].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | employed | unemployed persons | employed persons | not in the labor force | discouraged workers | marginally-attached workers | part-time workers | unemployment rate, measurement problems | Current Population Survey | Bureau of Labor Statistics | labor force | civilian labor force | employment rate | employment-population ratio | labor force participation rate |


Or For A Little Background...

     | unemployment | unemployment rate | unemployment sources | macroeconomic problems | macroeconomic goals | factors of production | full employment | business cycles | contraction | expansion |


And For Further Study...

     | natural unemployment | unemployment problems | unemployment reasons | unemployment, production possibilities | full employment, production possibilities | macroeconomic sectors | gross domestic product | macroeconomic markets | resource markets | inflation | stabilization policies | government functions | underground economy | business cycle indicators | inflation |


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     | Bureau of Labor Statistics | Current Population Survey Home Page |


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