Unemployment and the Economy

Question
Assignment 1: Unemployment and the Economy
For this assignment, you should use the information in the textbook and the information found on
the official Department of Labor website, http://www.bls.gov/home.htm.
Unemployment is one of the major concerns that people have in today?s economy, since losing
one?s job can be one of the most devastating events a person can experience. But what do the
numbers actually mean? What is the actual state of the economy, in terms of its ability to
generate jobs for its citizens?
Questions:
1. What is the labor force participation rate? What was the labor force participation rate in
2008? How has it changed since 2008 and what does this change imply for the state of
the economy? Does the labor force participation rate effect the unemployment rates
reported in the media?
2. How is unemployment measured and reported?
3. What is a discouraged worker? Are they included in the basic unemployment rate? Are
they included in any measure of unemployment? How has the number of discouraged
workers changed since 2008? How does the exclusion of the discouraged worker affect
the basic unemployment rate reported in the media?
4. What is frictional unemployment? What is structural unemployment? What is cyclical
unemployment? What economic policies should be used to deal with these types of
unemployment? Which type is most prevalent in today?s economy?
5. Unemployment insurance is designed to help the unemployed. Do these benefits
encourage or discourage a person from looking for work? How long should these benefits
last?
6. Does the existence of unions help or hurt the overall economy and the employment rate?
Why or why not?
Deliverables:
1. Submit a 3-6 page paper in Microsoft Word format, to the W2: Assignment 1 Dropbox
by Saturday, February 22, 2014, addressing the above-noted items.
2. Create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation of 5-10 slides that summarizes your findings
in your report. Post your presentation to the Assignment 1 Discussion Area by Saturday,
February 22, 2014.
1. What is the Labor Force Participation Rate?
Answer: The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working-age persons in an
economy who:
? Are employed
? Are unemployed but looking for a job
Typically "working-age persons" is defined as people between the ages of 16-64. People in those
age groups who are not counted as participating in the labor force are typically students,
homemakers, and persons under the age of 64 who are retired. In the United States the labor
force participation rate is usually around 67-68%.
http://economics.about.com/od/unemploymentrate/f/labor_force.htm
What was the labor force participation rate in 2008?
66.25%
How has it changed since 2008 and what does this change imply for the state of the
economy? http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/jun/01/scorecard-economy-obama/
http://change.gov/agenda/economy_agenda/
Does the labor force participation rate effect the unemployment rates reported in the
media?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/09/how-much-is-obama-toblame-for-the-worst-labor-participation-rate-in-40-years/
2. How is unemployment measured and reported?
http://economics.about.com/od/unemployment-category/a/Measuring-Unemployment.htm
https://www.boundless.com/economics/unemployment/measuring-unemployment/measuringthe-unemployment-rate/
3. What is a discouraged worker?
Person who wants, and is available for, a job (and has looked for it in the past 12 months) but is
not looking now because (he or she feels) either no jobs are available or there is none for which
he or she qualifies. Discouraged workers, by definition, are not included in the computation of
unemployment statistics.
Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/discouragedworker.html#ixzz2tn3qb6aL
Assignment 2: Measuring the Economy?s Performance
Prepare a 4-6 page analysis by answering the questions below. Be sure to cite your references
using APA format.
For this assignment, you should use the information in the textbook and the information found on
the official government website: www.bea.gov/index.htm
Based on the information contained in the textbook and on the Web site above, answer the
following questions:
1. What does gross domestic product (GDP) tell us? How did GDP change from 2008?
What caused these changes? What is real GDP? What was real GDP in 2008 and has it
changed since 2008?
2. What was national income (NI) for 2008? What does national income tell us? What is the
difference between GDP and NI? How has NI changed since 2008? What caused these
changes?
3. What was disposable income (DI) for 2009? What does disposable income consist of?
How did DI change from 2008? What caused these changes?
4. Does GDP measure the well-being of society? Why or why not?
5. What was GDP in 2008 (sometimes called GSP) for your state? How does your state rate
when compared to other states?

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