24 Sep 2022


Frictional Vs Structural Unemployment

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Academic level: College

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The post has given two examples to differentiate the frictional unemployment from structural unemployment. However, the example of frictional unemployment slightly changes the meaning. According to you, the two types of unemployment make up the natural rate of unemployment. 

Frictional unemployment is a type of unemployment when people are jobless. It can happen in a healthy environment where workers are changing from one job to another or where employees are looking for new positions. It is not only voluntary but rather it can be involuntary. Voluntary means that workers can refuse to take the jobs available for various reasons. The example given for a graduate who is looking for a job, but can’t take the open position is relevant. However, it changes meaning when it is said that the student cannot take the available job because it is not in the field of their study. The reason is that it means there is a skill mismatch between the skills the position requires and the skills the student possesses. Therefore, it better explains structural unemployment. 

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On the other hand, structural unemployment is an unemployment type where there is a skill mismatch between the available jobs and the skills the employers require. The mismatch is caused by economic shifts as stated in your post. According to Werding (2006), the economic changes may make the available skills not relevant to the jobs or reduce the positions that human capital previously performed. For example advancement in the level of technology. The automated phone calls caused unemployment for the machine operators. Automated phone calls can give a direct response without the input of an operator. Hence, it creates structural unemployment. 


Werding, M. (2006).  Structural unemployment in Western Europe: Reasons and remedies . Cambridge: MIT Press. 

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