Structural Unemployment in The United States
RISING unemployment even in periods of record prosperity is the most ominous economic problem in the United States today. Early in the 1950’s, the official unemployment rate was below 3 per cent for an extended period. But in each of the prosperity periods since then, the official unemployment rate has been progressively higher. At this writing, it has been more than six years since the official rate was below 5 per cent. For some time now, the United States has had a substantially higher rate of unemployment than any other major industrial country. This job shortage in the richest nation in the world has contributed to rising crime rates, racial demonstrations, and other symptoms of growing social tensions. And the lack of jobs has developed during a decade in which the low birth-rates of a generation before made the growth of the labour force abnormally slow. The sharp post-war rise in the birth-rate will bring a sharp rise in the next few years in the number of new job-seekers entering the labour market. By the end of the 1960’s, the net annual increase in the labour force is expected to be nearly twice the average of the 1957–62 period.I Unless the United States finds and corrects the causes of rising prosperity unemployment, this problem and the social tensions which it aggravates will rapidly grow worse.
KeywordsLabour Force Unemployment Rate Aggregate Demand Labour Force Participation Rate Structural Unemployment
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Notes And References
- 1.Manpower Report of the President and a Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources, Utilization, and Training by the United States Department of Labor, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964, p. 17 (hereafter cited as Manpower Report, 1964).Google Scholar