Introduction to Types of Unemployment

What you’ll learn to do: examine causes and types of unemployment, including cyclical, frictional, structural, and natural unemployment

Man holding sign "the next pink slip might be yours"

Workers become unemployed for different reasons, some of which are more problematic than others. Consider the following two examples, neither of which is considered a “layoff”: a college student quits her part time job when she graduates from college to look for a career and a steel worker becomes replaced by an industrial robot. We typically don’t see the former as a major social problem, but we often see the latter that way. What causes different types of unemployment and what government policies, if any, can help get those individuals back to work? These questions are what we’ll consider next.