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ECON303: Labor Economics

  • Unit 9: Unemployment  

    The equilibrium level of unemployment in a country can never be zero because, at any given time, there are people who are entering the labor force, or are between jobs, and are counted as unemployed.  Most people perceive the unemployed as those who have been laid off from their jobs.  Although it is true that this group of people comprises the majority of the unemployed population when the economy is experiencing a cyclical slowdown or recession, during normal years, the unemployed population encompasses a wider group that also includes those who are new entrants or reentrants to the labor force. 
               
    In this unit, we will study different types of unemployment and then move on to the different components of job-hunting, followed by the impact of unemployment insurance on the length of unemployment.  We will conclude the unit by learning about efficiency wages and its relation to unemployment.

    Unit 9 Time Advisory

    This unit should take you 8 hours to complete.

    ☐    Subunit 9.1: 2 hours

    ☐    Subunit 9.2-9.5: 3 hours

    ☐    Subunit 9.6: 1 hour

    ☐    Subunit 9.7: 1 hour

    ☐    Assessment: 40 minutes

    ☐    Assignment: 20 minutes

    Unit9 Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    - Analyze trends in unemployment.

    - Identify the different types of unemployment.

    - Analyze the issues related to job search.

    • Describe the concept of efficiency wages.
  • 9.1 A Brief Look at Unemployment Data  

    • Reading: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Monthly Labor Review: October 2010, Vol. 133, Number 10: Sylvia Allegretto and Devon Lynch's “The Composition of the Unemployed and Long-term Unemployed in Tough Labor Markets”

      Link: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Monthly Labor Review: October 2010, Vol. 133, Number 10:Sylvia Allegretto and Devon Lynch's “The Composition of the Unemployed and Long-term Unemployed in Tough Labor Markets” (PDF)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on the above link and then click on "Archives" on the top bar.  Click on October 2010, Vol. 133, Number 10 and find the article “The Composition of the Unemployed and Long-term Unemployed in Tough Labor Markets” to access the pdf file showing the historical trend in unemployment.  Please scroll down to page 3 and pay particular attention to Chart 1, which illustrates the unemployment trend in the US from January 1979-September 2010. 
       
      Note on the text: This reading is from the October 2010, Vol. 133, Number 10 edition.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

    • Lecture: Widener University: Professor Karen Leppel's PowerPoint Lectures on Economics course EC315: Women, Men, & Work: “VIII. Employment, Unemployment, and Part-Time Employment”

      Link: Widener University: Professor Karen Leppel's PowerPoint Lectures on Economics course EC315: Women, Men, & WorkVIII.  Employment, Unemployment, and Part-Time Employment” (Powerpoint)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on the above link and then click on the chapter "VIII Employment, Unemployment, and Part-Time Employment."  Please go through slides 1-40 to learn about types of unemployment in brief, the natural rate of unemployment, underemployment, and gender issues in unemployment.  This reading covers subunits 9.2-9.5.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

  • 9.2 Types of Unemployment  

    • Reading: Professor Robert Schenk's CyberEconomics: “Overview: Resource Markets”

      Link: Professor Robert Schenk's CyberEconomics: “Overview: Resource Markets” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Clicking on the link above will take you to the main page of the reading.  Please select "Types of Unemployment" from the left side tab to read about the difference between the three types of unemployment.  After reading the article, please click on the "Review" tab to assess yourself.
       
      Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Professor Schenk, and can be viewed in its original form here.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

  • 9.2.1 Frictional Unemployment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by Professor Karen Lappel's reading above unit 9.2  and the reading assigned under Unit 9.2.

  • 9.2.2 Structural Unemployment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by Professor Karen Lappel's reading above unit 9.2  and the reading assigned under Unit 9.2.

  • 9.2.3 Cyclical Unemployment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by Professor Karen Lappel's reading above unit 9.2  and the reading assigned under Unit 9.2.

  • 9.3 The Natural Rate of Unemployment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by Professor Karen Lappel's reading above unit 9.2  and the reading assigned under Unit 9.2.

  • 9.4 Underemployment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by Professor Karen Lappel's reading above unit 9.2  and the reading assigned under Unit 9.2.

  • 9.5 Gender Differences in Unemployment and Involuntary Part-Time Employment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by Professor Karen Lappel's reading above unit 9.2  and the reading assigned under Unit 9.2.

  • 9.6 Job Search: External and Internal  

    • Reading: McGraw Hill Higher Education: Online Learning Center: Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, and David A. Macpherson's “Contemporary Labor Economics, 8th edition: Student Edition: Chapter 15 (PowerPoint Presentations)”

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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  • 9.7 Efficiency Wages and Unemployment  

    • Lecture: University of Ulster: Professor Vani K Borooah's “Teaching Material for Microeconomics: Efficiency Wages”

      Link: University of Ulster: Professor Vani K Borooah's “Teaching Material for Microeconomics: Efficiency Wages” (PDF)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on the above link and then click on “Efficiency Wages.”
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

    • Reading: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition: “Student Resources: Chapter 15: Unemployment”

      Link: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition:Student Resources: Chapter 15: Unemployment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on Chapter 15 (HTML) from the Table of Contents and then click on the Examples (HTML) icon on the left hand bar.  Please read the example analytically.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

    • Assessment: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition: “Student Resources: Chapter 15: Unemployment”

      Link: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition:Student Resources: Chapter 15: Unemployment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on Chapter 15 (HTML) from the Table of Contents and then click on the Quiz icon (HTML) on the left hand bar to assess your understanding of this chapter.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

    • Assessment: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition: “Student Resources: Chapter 15: Unemployment”

      Link: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition:Student Resources: Chapter 15: Unemployment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on Chapter 15 (HTML) from the Table of Contents and then click on the Exercise icon (HTML) on the left hand bar to answer the questions based on unemployment.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.