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Employment Research

A brief glossary of terms used on this website.

Cyclical unemployment : associated with jobs lost due to recession; it is the deviation from the natural rate of unemployment

Discouraged workers : people who do not have a job and are no longer looking for work because they think there are no jobs available to them

Employed: those 16 years of age and older who have a job

Frictional unemployment : results when people are temporarily unemployed, either because they are new to the job market or are searching for a better job

Full employment : is the level of employment where there is no cyclical unemployment

Labor force: workers classified as in the labor force are those who are either employed or unemployed

Labor force participation rate : measures the labor force as a percentage of the civilian non-institutional population

Natural rate of unemployment : the sum of frictional and structural unemployment

Output gap: the difference between actual GDP (output) and the potential GDP (potential output)

Short-term unemployment: transitional, lasting 26 weeks or less and includes workers leaving one job for another

Slack in the labor market : represents the difference between the current unemployment rate and the full employment rate defined by central bankers

Structural unemployment: caused by a mismatch in the skills held by those looking for work and the skills demanded by those seeking workers

Underemployed: people who work part-time but want a full-time job, or those who are overqualified for the job they have and earn less pay than they would at a job consistent with their education and experience

Unemployed: those who don’t have a job but have looked for work in the past four weeks.

Unemployment: for a detailed analysis of unemployment and its associated terms, please read “ Making Sense of Unemployment Data” by Scott Wolla.