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Monday, 8th October 2012

The Problem with Structural Unemployment in the U.S.

Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research

Following the most recent recession, an attempt has been made to explain current levels of unemployment as resulting from structural unemployment, or a mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the types of jobs available. The evidence, however, indicates that the issue is actually a lack of aggregate demand. Since accepting one of these views over the other will lead to very different policy solutions, it is important to accurately assess the cause of unemployment.

This issue brief finds that the evidence is overwhelming consistent with the view that a lack of demand, caused by the collapse of the housing bubble is at the root of U.S. unemployment. In this context, measures that focus on improving skills - a remedy for structural unemployment - will have little effect on overall employment.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

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