Unemployment is a familiar affliction of our age, but its nature, causes and cure remain matters of dispute. As with many familiar things, closer examination leads to deepening mystery. Its pathology is complex, with social as well as economic ramifications. Accounts of Paradise make no mention of regular employment but depict a regime of eternal idleness, while in Hell sinners are in a state of full employment, perpetually stoking. So, from one viewpoint, work is painful and to be avoided, and those who are paid for not working should consider themselves fortunate. But from another, work, with its regular routine and activities, forms an essential framework for the personality, giving the worker status and a sense of identity, both within the family and in the outside world. The worker is the provider on whose wages the household depends for its livelihood, and by whose products and services human societies are sustained.
KeywordsLabour Force Economic Perspective Full Employment Labour Force Survey Employment Office
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