Eurostat: bezrobocie w Polsce wyniosło 6,5% w XII (w całej UE – 7,4%)
Wskaźnik ten w Polsce wyniósł 6,5% wobec 6,4% w listopadzie i 8,1% rok wcześniej.
W strefie euro bezrobocie ukształtowało się w grudniu na poziomie 8,0% wobec 7,9% przed miesiącem i w porównaniu do 7,2% rok wcześniej.
Najniższy poziom wyrównanej sezonowo stopy bezrobocia odnotowały Holandia (2,7%) i Austria (3,9%), a najwyższy Hiszpania (14,4%) i Łotwa (10,4%). Polska odnotowała największy spadek tego wskaźnika (do 6,5% z 8,2% przed rokiem).
Metoda pomiaru – wyjaśnienie:
Eurostat mierzy zharmonizowaną stopę bezrobocia jako procent osób w wieku 15-74 lata pozostających bez pracy, zdolnych podjąć zatrudnienie w ciągu najbliższych dwóch tygodni, którzy aktywnie poszukiwali pracy w ciągu ostatnich tygodni w odniesieniu do wszystkich osób aktywnych zawodowo w danym kraju.
Według danych Głównego Urzędu Statystycznego (GUS), stopa bezrobocia mierzona jako odsetek bezrobotnych zarejestrowanych w urzędach pracy wobec całości cywilnej ludności aktywnej zawodowo, wyniosła w grudniu 2008 roku 9,5% wobec 9,1% we listopadzie i w porównaniu do 11,2% rok wcześniej.
Though many people care about the number of unemployed, economists typically focus on the unemployment rate. This corrects for the normal increase in the number of people employed due to increases in population and increases in the labor force relative to the population. The unemployment rate is expressed as a percentage, and is calculated as follows:
As defined by the International Labour Organization, “unemployed workers” are those who are currently not working but are willing and able to work for pay, currently available to work, and have actively searched for work.
Since not all unemployment may be “open” and counted by government agencies, official statistics on unemployment may not be accurate.
- Labour Force Sample Surveys are the most preferred method of unemployment rate calculation since they give the most comprehensive results and enables calculation of unemployment by different group categories such as race and gender. This method is the most internationally comparable.
- Official Estimates are determined by a combination of information from one or more of the other three methods. The use of this method has been declining in favor of Labour Surveys.
- Social Insurance Statistics such as unemployment benefits, are computed base on the number of persons insured representing the total labour force and the number of persons who are insured that are collecting benefits. This method has been heavily criticized due to the expiration of benefits before the person finds work.
- Employment Office Statistics are the least effective being that they only include a monthly tally of unemployed persons who enter employment offices. This method also includes unemployed who are not unemployed per the ILO definition.
European Union (Eurostat)
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, defines unemployed as those persons age 15 to 74 who are not working, have looked for work in the last four weeks, and ready to start work within two weeks, which conform to ILO standards. Both the actual count and rate of employment are reported. Statistical data are available by member state, EU12, EU15, EU25, EU27, EA11, and EA13. Eurostat also includes a long-term unemployment rate. This is defined as part of the unemployed who have been unemployed for an excess of 1 year.
Three methods of data collection are used in the European Union. The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) collects data on all member states each quarter. For monthly calculations, national surveys or national registers from employment offices are used in conjunction with quarterly EU-LFS data. Monthly unemployment rates are interpolated from monthly data from member states to provide “harmonized data.”
At this time Germany‘s unemployment data are collected separately from the (EU-LFS).
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures employment and unemployment (of those over 15 years of age) using two different labor force surveys conducted by the United States Census Bureau (within the United States Department of Commerce) and/or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (within the United States Department of Labor) that gather employment statistics monthly. The Current Population Survey (CPS), or “Household Survey”, conducts a survey based on a sample of 60,000 households. This Survey measures the unemployment rate based on the ILO definition.The data are also used to calculate 5 other unemployment rates as a percentage of the labor force based on different definitions noted as U1 through U6:
- U1: Percentage of labor force unemployed 15 weeks or longer.
- U2: Percentage of labor force who lost jobs or completed temporary work.
- U3: Official unemployment rate per ILO definition.
- U4: U3 + “discouraged workers”, or those who have stopped looking for work because current economic conditions make them believe that no work is available for them.
- U5: U4 + other “marginally attached workers”, or those who “would like” and are able to work, but have not looked for work recently.
- U6: U5 + Part time workers who want to work full time, but can not due to economic reasons.
Note: “Marginally attached workers” are added to the total labor force for unemployment rate calculation for U4, U5, and U6.
The Current Employment Statistics survey (CES), or “Payroll Survey”, conducts a survey based on a sample of 160,000 businesses and government agencies that represent 400,000 individual employers. This survey measures only nonagricultural, nonsupervisory employment; thus, it does not calculate an unemployment rate, and it differs from the ILO unemployment rate definition. These two sources have different classification criteria, and usually produce differing results. Additional data are also available from the government, such as the unemployment insurance weekly claims report available from the Office of Workforce Security, within the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration.
These statistics are for the U.S. economy as a whole, hiding variations among groups. For January 2008 in the U.S. the unemployment rates were 4.4% for adult men, 4.2% for adult women, 4.4% for Caucasians, 6.3% for Hispanics or Latinos (all races), 9.2% for African Americans, 3.2% for Asian Americans, and 18.0% for teenagers.
These percentages represent the usual rough ranking of these different groups’ unemployment rates. The absolute numbers change over time and with the business cycle. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides up-to-date numbers via a pdf linked here. The BLS also provides a readable concise current Employment Situation Summary, updated monthly.
Limitations of the unemployment definition
The unemployment rate may be different from the impact of the economy on people. The unemployment figures indicate how many are not working for pay but seeking employment for pay. It is only indirectly connected with the number of people who are actually not working at all or working without pay. Therefore, critics believe that current methods of measuring unemployment are inaccurate in terms of the impact of unemployment on people as these methods do not take into account the 1.5% of the available working population incarcerated in U.S. prisons (who may or may not be working while incarcerated), those who have lost their jobs and have become discouraged over time from actively looking for work, those who are self-employed or wish to become self-employed, such as tradesmen or building contractors or IT consultants, those who have retired before the official retirement age but would still like to work (involuntary early retirees), those on disability pensions who, while not possessing full health, still wish to work in occupations suitable for their medical conditions, those who work for payment for as little as one hour per week but would like to work full-time. These people are “involuntary part-time” workers, those who are underemployed, e.g., a computer programmer who is working in a retail store until he can find a permanent job, involuntary stay-at-home mothers who would prefer to work, and graduate and Professional school students who were unable to find worthwhile jobs after they graduated with their Bachelor’s degrees.
On the other hand, the measures of employment and unemployment may be “too high”. In some countries, the availability of unemployment benefits can inflate statistics since they give an incentive to register as unemployed. People who do not really seek work may choose to declare themselves unemployed so as to get benefits; people with undeclared paid occupations may try to get unemployment benefits in addition to the money they earn from their work. Conversely, the absence of any tangible benefit for registering as unemployed discourages people from registering.
However, in countries such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and the European Union, unemployment is measured using a sample survey (akin to a Gallup poll). According to the BLS, a number of Eastern European nations have instituted labor force surveys as well. The sample survey has its own problems because the total number of workers in the economy is calculated based on a sample rather than a census.
It is possible to be neither employed nor unemployed by ILO definitions, i.e., to be outside of the “labor force.” These are people who have no job and are not looking for one. Many of these are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force. Still others have a physical or mental disability which prevents them from participating in labor force activities.
Typically, employment and the labor force include only work done for monetary gain. Hence, a homemaker is neither part of the labor force nor unemployed. Nor are full-time students nor prisoners considered to be part of the labor force or unemployment. The latter can be important. In 1999, economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger estimated that increased incarceration lowered measured unemployment in the United States by 0.17% between 1985 and the late 1990s. In particular, as of 2005, roughly 0.7% of the US population is incarcerated (1.5% of the available working population).
Children, the elderly, and some individuals with disabilities are typically not counted as part of the labor force in and are correspondingly not included in the unemployment statistics. However, some elderly and many disabled individuals are active in the labor market.
In the early stages of an economic boom, unemployment often rises. This is because people join the labor market (give up studying, start a job hunt, etc.) because of the improving job market, but until they have actually found a position they are counted as unemployed. Similarly, during a recession, the increase in the unemployment rate is moderated by people leaving the labor force or being otherwise discounted from the labor force, such as with the self-employed.
For the fourth quarter of 2004, according to OECD, (source Employment Outlook 2005 ISBN 92-64-01045-9), normalized unemployment for men aged 25 to 54 was 4.6% in the USA and 7.4% in France. At the same time and for the same population the employment rate (number of workers divided by population) was 86.3% in the U.S. and 86.7% in France.
This example shows that the unemployment rate is 60% higher in France than in the USA, yet more people in this demographic are working in France than in the USA, which is counterintuitive if it is expected that the unemployment rate reflects the health of the labor market. .
Due to these deficiencies, many labor market economists prefer to look at a range of economic statistics such as labor market participation rate, the percentage of people aged between 15 and 64 who are currently employed or searching for employment, the total number of full-time jobs in an economy, the number of people seeking work as a raw number and not a percentage, and the total number of person-hours worked in a month compared to the total number of person-hours people would like to work. In particular the NBER does not use the unemployment rate but prefer various employment rates to date recessions .
Types of unemployment
According to economist Edmond Malinvaud, the type of unemployment that occurs depends on the situation at the goods market, rather than that they belong to opposing economic theories. If the market for goods is a buyers’ market (i.e.: sales are restricted by demand), Keynesian unemployment may ensue while a limiting production capacity is more consistent with classical unemployment.
A common typology of unemployment is the following:
Frictional unemployment occurs when a worker moves from one job to another. While he searches for a job he is experiencing frictional unemployment. This applies for fresh graduates looking for employment as well. This is a productive part of the economy, increasing both the worker’s long term welfare and economic efficiency. It is a result of imperfect information in the labour market, because if job seekers knew that they would be employed for a particular job vacancy, almost no time would be lost in getting a new job, eliminating this form of unemployment.
Classical or real-wage unemployment occurs when real wages for a job are set above the market-clearing level. This is often ascribed to government intervention, as with the minimum wage, or labour unions. Some, such as Murray Rothbard, suggest that even social taboos can prevent wages from falling to the market clearing level.
Structural unemployment is caused by a mismatch between jobs offered by employers and potential workers. This may pertain to geographical location, skills, and many other factors. If such a mismatch exists, frictional unemployment is likely to be more significant as well.
For example, in the late 1990s there was a tech bubble, creating demand for computer specialists. In 2000-2001 this bubble collapsed. A housing bubble soon formed, creating demand for real estate workers, and many computer workers had to retrain to find employment.
Seasonal unemployment occurs when an occupation is not in demand at certain seasons.
Cyclical or Keynesian unemployment
Cyclical or Keynesian unemployment, also known as demand deficient unemployment, occurs when there is not enough aggregate demand in the economy. This is caused by a business cycle recession, and wages not falling to meet the equilibrium rate.