602PART NINETHE REAL ECONOMY IN THE LONG RUN◆The unemployment rate is the percentage of those whowould like to work who do not have jobs. The Bureau ofLabor Statistics calculates this statistic monthly based ona survey of thousands of households.◆The unemployment rate is an imperfect measure ofjoblessness. Some people who call themselvesunemployed may actually not want to work, and somepeople who would like to work have left the labor forceafter an unsuccessful search.◆In the U.S. economy, most people who becomeunemployed find work within a short period of time.Nonetheless, most unemployment observed at anygiven time is attributable to the few people who areunemployed for long periods of time.◆One reason for unemployment is the time it takes forworkers to search for jobs that best suit their tastes andskills. Unemployment insurance is a government policythat, while protecting workers’ incomes, increases theamount of frictional unemployment.
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