Why Some Unemployment Is a Good Thing

Most people would argue that since cyclical unemployment is the by-product of a weak economy, it is necessarily a bad thing, though some have argued that recessions are good for the economy.

What about frictional unemployment? Let’s go back to our friend who quit his job as an economic research to pursue his dreams in the music industry. He quit a job he disliked to attempt a career at the music industry, even though it caused him to be unemployed for a short while. Or consider the case of a person who is tired of living in Flint and decides to make it big in Hollywood and who arrives in Tinseltown without a job.

A great deal of frictional unemployment comes from people following their hearts and their dreams. This is certainly a positive type of unemployment, though we would hope for these individuals’ sakes that they do not stay unemployed for too long.

Finally, structural unemployment. When the car became commonplace, it cost a lot of buggy manufacturers their jobs. At the same time, most would argue that the automobile, on net, was a positive development. The only we could ever eliminate all structural unemployment is by eliminating all technological advancement.

By breaking down the three types of unemployment into cyclical unemployment, frictional unemployment, and structural unemployment, we see that an unemployment rate of 0% is not a positive thing. A positive rate of unemployment is the price we pay for technological development and for people chasing their dreams.


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