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The unemployment rate for the month of October 2001 was 5.4 percent, up a sharp 0.5% from September. The number of individuals employed decreased by 415,000. The purpose of this lesson is to report the unemployment and employment announcement, to provide interpretations of the significance of the changes in conditions, and to discuss a number of related economic concepts. The lesson includes additional data on the distribution of unemployment and definitions of unemployment and the costs of unemployment. The causes of unemployment are presented along with discussion of possible alternative policies. The case ends with exercises for students and activities that teachers can use in classrooms. The case offers an opportunity to enhance our understanding of the relevance of the announcements and the causes and consequences of one of the more important challenges economic policymakers face.
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