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October 18, 2018 

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RECESSION: The common term used for the contraction phase of the business cycle. A general period of declining economic activity. During a recession, real gross domestic product declines by 10 percent or so and the unemployment rate rises from it's full employment 5 percent level up to the 6 to 10 percent range. Inflation tends to be low or non-existent during a recession. Recession last anywhere from six to eighteen months, with one year being common.

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UNEMPLOYED PERSONS:

People who are NOT actively engaged in the production of goods and services, but ARE actively seeking employment in the production of goods and services. This is one of three official categories used to classify individuals by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) based on information obtained from the Current Population Survey. The other two categories are employed persons and not in the labor force. The sum of employed persons and unemployed persons constitute the civilian labor force.
While the general notion of unemployed persons is people who are willing and able to work, but not working, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has specific criteria designed to capture unemployment.

Two Criteria

The BLS places people in the unemployed persons category if they satisfy either of two criteria during the reference week established for the Current Population Survey: (1) not working, but looking for work or (2) waiting to be recalled, but not looking for work.
  • Unemployed and Looking: The criterion capturing the vast majority of unemployed persons is being out of work and actively seeking employment. Specifically this criterion includes anyone who was not employed during the reference week, was available for work, and had undertaken some sort of effort to find employment, such as having job interviews, contacting employers, sending out resumes, checking classified advertisements, or visiting employment agencies. An unemployed person actually need not make a great deal of effort to satisfy the condition of "actively seeking employment." A little bit of search effort is all that is needed.

  • Laid Off and Not Looking: The second criterion that captures unemployed persons is waiting to be recalled to a job from which a person has been temporarily laid off. The prime example is that of a factory that, in response to a drop in sales, cuts back production by temporarily laying off some or all of its workforce. Once sales increase, then most or all of these workers will be recalled to resume their previous jobs. The key is that these workers need not actively seek other employment to be considered as unemployed persons.

Two Examples

  • Phoebe Pankovic, Unemployed and Looking: Phoebe Pankovic was once 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 searching for other employment. She scans the want ads, sends resumes to prospective employers, and has been on several job interviews. Her job searching efforts are overkill as far as qualifying her for "seeking employment," but she definitely qualifies for the BLS criterion of unemployed and actively seeking employment. Phoebe is an unemployed person.

  • Peyton Patterson, Laid Off and Not Looking: Peyton Patterson has been a valued employee of the OmniMotors automobile manufacturing facility for several years. But a downturn in OmniMotors sales has forced the company to lay off 10 percent of its workforce. Peyton is one of those laid off. However, OmniMotors expects business to pick up in a month or so and Peyton will then be called back to work. Peyton is not overly concerned. This sort of thing happens every few years. Peyton is certainly not concerned enough to seek other employment. So he sits around the house most of the time watching television and waiting to be recalled. Peyton qualifies for the BLS laid off and not seeking other employment criterion. Peyton is an unemployed person.

<= UNEMPLOYEDUNEMPLOYMENT =>


Recommended Citation:

UNEMPLOYED PERSONS, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: October 18, 2018].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | 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 |


Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

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


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