Unemployment and the Labour Market

  • Rosalind Levačić
  • Alexander Rebmann


Unemployment is an emotive issue and this is reflected in the terminology adopted in the economic analysis of unemployment. The Keynesian concept of full employment has already been used in the previous chapters but without any careful consideration of what it means. The social objective of achieving ‘full employment’ has had a powerful appeal in this century and, following the adoption of Keynesian economics, its maintenance has been treated as a prime responsibility of government. Only in the last decade has it become increasingly apparent that government policies are unable to produce the low rates of unemployment experienced in the 1950s and early 1960s. Consequently more attention is now being given to analysing the supply side of the economy. It is to this topic that we now turn, this chapter outlining Keynesian and neoclassical ideas on the determination of the level of unemployment. In doing so we consider whether full employment has a satisfactory theoretical definition and, if given such a definition, it is possible in practice to measure its appropriate level.


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Copyright information

© Rosalind Levačić and Alexander Rebmann 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalind Levačić
  • Alexander Rebmann

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