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Econ Focus Reading Q&A

Full Employment

Time required: 30 minutes

Timothy Cook

This article on full employment discusses full employment, factors influencing the unemployment rate, and why there will never be zero unemployment.

In Class Handouts

(Note: the answer key is available at the St. Louis Fed's Econ Lowdown Teacher Portal. See the online assignment section for more information.)

As an Online Assignment

Visit the Reading Q&As in the St. Louis Fed’s Econ Lowdown Teacher Portal, to assign an online version of the student materials and to collect student scores on the questions. The materials are still free—but having them in the portal keeps students from accessing the answer key.

Related Resources

Maximum Employment Infographic and Related Activities

Unemployment Short Courses

Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics

Standard 19: Unemployment and Inflation
Grade 12 Benchmarks

  1. The unemployment rate is an imperfect measure of unemployment because, among other reasons, it does not: (1) include workers whose job prospects are so poor that they become discouraged from seeking jobs and leave the labor force, and (2) reflect part-time workers who are looking for full-time work.
  2. Unemployment rates differ for people of different ages, races, and sexes. This reflects differences in work experience, education, training, and skills, as well as discrimination.
  3. Unemployment rates differ for people of different ages, races, and sexes. This reflects differences in work experience, education, training, and skills, as well as discrimination.
  4. Some people are unemployed even when the economy is said to be functioning at full employment.

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