Unemployment & the Labor Force; Definitions Thereof
We currently define the unemployment rate as the percentage of workers without jobs in our labor force. We currently define our labor force as workers who are actively looking for jobs. However, those definitions are both simplistic and problematic, excluding complicated factors and variables that keep us from arriving at a more precise unemployment rate.
For instance, we currently include student and elderly workers in the calculations of employed workers, while excluding them from the calculations of the labor force. In addition, we currently exclude long-term unemployed workers and prisoners from our definition of the labor force. Both of these variables might tend to skew the unemployment rate downward, and thereby give us an inaccurate view of the state of employment in our nation.
My research paper will seek to examine our current definitions and calculations, and provide a more thorough overview of our unemployment rate by accounting for these additional variables, and any other factors that I may discover during my research.
I plan to use an empirical-analytical methodology as a foundation for this research paper by using archival research created and gathered by highly regarded resources, including professional journals and government websites. Although analyzing existing data will lead to practical limitations, it will outweigh the risk to the credibility of the paper that would be raised if I were to use less recognized resources.