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6.6: Key Terms

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    Cyclical Unemployment

    Unemployment closely tied to the business cycle, like higher unemployment during a recession.

    Discouraged Workers

    Those who have stopped looking for employment due to the lack of suitable positions available.


    Currently working for pay.

    Frictional Unemployment

    Unemployment that occurs as workers move between jobs.

    Labor Force

    The number of employed plus the unemployed.

    Labor Force Participation Rate

    This is the percentage of adults in an economy who are either employed or who are unemployed and looking for a job.

    Natural Rate of Unemployment

    The unemployment rate that would exist in a growing and healthy economy from the combination of economic, social, and political factors that exist at a given time.

    Not in the Labor Force

    Those who are not working and not looking for work, whether they want employment or not; also termed “out of the labor force.”

    Structural Unemployment

    Unemployment that occurs because individuals lack skills valued by employers.


    Individuals who are employed in a job that is below their skills.


    Out of work and actively looking for a job.

    Unemployment Rate

    The percentage of adults who are in the labor force and thus seeking jobs, but who do not have jobs. (1)

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