Student videos

Unemployment [Head Start in A-Level Economics]

  • Levels: AS, A Level, IB
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

In this third online lesson in the Head Start to Economics series, we look at aspects of unemployment in the labour market.

Huge thanks to Paul Goldsmith who has produced and provided this worksheet to accompany this Head Start lesson. Download it here.

What causes unemployment?

Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. Our opening video reviews the latest data for UK unemployment and looks at seasonal, frictional and cyclical causes of unemployment.

What causes unemployment?

Structural unemployment

In this second video we focus on structural unemployment in the labour market

In some countries, unemployment rates are very high.

Long term unemployment is a particular structural problem for many governments. In some cases, over half of those unemployed have been out of work for at least a year.

Automation and future jobs

In this third video we look at whether automation will cause higher unemployment in the future.

​Automation and future jobs

Student Activities

Suggestions for further reading and research

Tutor's collection of resources on unemployment can be found here

Follow what is happening in the economy (including changes in unemployment) from the BBC home page

The latest news on unemployment from the Financial Times

The Deloitte Monday Briefing on the Future of Work and Automation (June 2018)

This article from the Guardian(May 2020) is worth a read on some of the economic and social consequences of a period of very high unemployment

Job destruction – are robots to blame? | Economics, briefly
Why taxing robots is a bad idea | Economics, briefly.

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