The history of unemployment
Looking back over the history of unemployment can give us perspective on whether its possible to ever build an economy where everyone who needs a job can get one.
How do governments measure unemployment?
Unemployment officially refers to all the people in an economy who are looking for work but are unable to find it. Read carefully though, because the definition of unemployment might be different to what you first think.
What causes unemployment?
People think about unemployment and its causes in all sorts of ways. Here’s a breakdown of the top five terms economists use to describe it.
What is ‘structural unemployment’?
‘Structural unemployment’ is the term economists use to describe unemployment that happens because of a mismatch between the skills workers have, and the jobs that are actually available. Structural unemployment usually happens because of technological change.
Do minimum wages cause unemployment?
A minimum wage is a limit on how little you can legally pay someone to work. Most countries have a national minimum wage, and cities or regions often set minimum wages higher than the national minimum.¹ Economists have been fighting about minimum wages for over 100 years.² One camp says minimum wages pose a nasty trade off: wages go up for some workers, but other workers lose their jobs. The other side thinks minimum wages can help all workers, with businesses footing the bill.