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USA National Standards for Concept "Unemployment"

NATIONAL STANDARD 18 - ECONOMIC FLUCTUATIONS: Students will understand that: Fluctuations in a nation?s overall levels of income, employment, and prices are determined by the interaction of spending and production decisions made by all households, firms, government agencies, and others in the economy. Recessions occur when overall levels of income and employment decline.

Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Interpret media reports about current economic conditions and explain how these conditions can influence decisions made by consumers, producers, and government policy makers.

Changes in national levels of spending, production, and income can seem rather abstract and remote to students, because individuals can do little or nothing to change overall levels of economic activity. However, these activity levels can have a profound effect on students' future welfare, their job opportunities, the level of their prospective earnings, and the prices they will pay for things they buy. It is important, therefore, for students to understand possible causes of changes in these levels and how such changes can produce problems (such as unemployment and inflation) or opportunities (such as increased employment). Understanding these macroeconomic forces equips students to anticipate and respond intelligently to economic developments. It also enables students to predict the economic consequences of proposed government policies and to make informed choices among alternative public policy proposals.

You can find additional online lessons on US Standard 18 from the Council for Economic Education Website.



NATIONAL STANDARD 19 - UNEMPLOYMENT AND INFLATION: Students will understand that: Unemployment imposes costs on individuals and the overall economy. Inflation, both expected and unexpected, also imposes costs on individuals and the overall economy. Unemployment increases during recessions and decreases during recoveries.

Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Make informed decisions by anticipating the consequences of inflation and unemployment.

Inflation and unemployment are important because they affect national levels of economic growth and standards of living. Some aspects of inflation and unemployment can be addressed with public policies. Various political leaders and parties often have different ideas about which policies should be followed to deal with inflation and unemployment, however. The controversial policies, and the fact that almost everyone is affected by unemployment or inflation, explain why these two problems and alternative approaches to combat them are so widely reported in the news media, and why understanding them is important to people in a democratic political system.

You can find additional online lessons on US Standard 19 from the Council for Economic Education Website.