Unemployment - Resources

Middle School
Meet Kit: An American Girl PDF icon
In this lesson, students listen to the story "Meet Kit." Through discussion and role playing, students learn the impact that unemployment and reduced consumer and business spending have on people's lives.

High School
Economic Turbulence
A review of the book Economic Turbulence: Is a Volatile Economy Good for America? by economists Clair Brown, John Haltiwanger, and Julia Lane.

Everyday Economics: Labor, the Economy and Monetary Policy
This installment examines labor and its role in the production of goods and services. It looks at what affects the labor market, as well as what role the Fed and government play in employment.

Jobs Calculator
The Atlanta Fed's Center for Human Capital Studies has a new jobs calculator. It calculates the net employment change needed to achieve a target unemployment rate after a specified number of months. The user can adjust the target unemployment rate, the number of months, and the assumed labor force growth.

The Labor Force and Unemployment
This lesson in Extra Credit, the Atlanta Fed's online newsletter, features a classroom activity aimed to increase student understanding of key terms relating to unemployment and how unemployment is calculated. Extra Credit is posted six times a year, and is designed to help teachers looking for timely information on economic and personal finance topics, lesson plans and ideas for use in the classroom. Each issue also includes a calendar of upcoming teacher workshops or other events offered by the Fed or its education partners.

Podcast: The Labor Market
Episode 10 gives young people who are looking for that first job an opportunity to learn about the basics of the labor market in the United States. A brief explanation is given of the roles played by education, supply, demand, productivity, and government regulation.

Podcast: Unemployment
The Economic Lowdown is a podcast series produced by the economic education department of the St. Louis Fed for high school students. The series covers topics in economics, personal finance, banking, and monetary policy.

Teaching Tips: Recessions 101 PDF icon
The article "Recessions 101: When is a downturn a recession?" from the spring 2009 issue of TEN magazine examines when an economy officially enters a recessionary period. Read and discuss the article in class using the directed discussion questions and extension activities. "Teaching Tips" provide ways that teachers can integrate current issues and research into their classrooms using Federal Reserve research.

Teaching Tips: Minorities in the Tenth District PDF icon
This issue of the Main Street Economist focuses on the correlation between educational level and job opportunities for minorities in the Midwest. Read and discuss the article in class using the directed discussion questions and extension activities. "Teaching Tips" provide ways that teachers can integrate current issues and research into their classrooms using Federal Reserve research.

The Federal Reserve Today PDF icon
This booklet provides a detailed explanation of the functions, objectives, and organization of the Federal Reserve System.

The Great Depression
The Great Depression provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics—whether you're studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end, or the impact on Americans who lived through it. This curriculum is designed to provide teachers with economic lessons that they can share with their students to help them understand this significant experience in U.S. history. You can choose to download the paper version of the lessons or use the online learning modules.

The Great Depression Online
History holds many economic lessons. The Great Depression, in particular, is an event that provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics—whether you're studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end, or the impact on the Americans who lived through it. This curriculum is designed to provide teachers with economic lessons that they can share with their students to help them understand this significant experience in U.S. history.

The Story of Unemployment
This online course, part of the St. Louis Fed's Econ Ed Live series, answers the following questions: How do we know how many people are unemployed? Why are they unemployed? What can be done to get people back to work? Students get the answers to these and other questions in "The Story of Unemployment," including why education might be the best way to avoid unemployment in their futures.

The Veil of Discretion
This article looks at whether the Fed has too much freedom when it comes to monetary policy.

Turning Brain Drain into Brain Gain PDF icon
This lesson explores the concept of "brain drain," or loss of skilled labor from one area to another due to movement to a more favorable economic environment. After reading a scenario about brain drain in a rural community, students can discuss why it might occur and the resulting effects on the economy of the town.

What Is Unemployment, How Is it Measured and Why Does the Fed Care? PDF icon
In this lesson, students read and interpret choropleth maps, which contain unemployment data. They compare verbal descriptions of the labor market from the Federal Reserve's Beige Book with the mapped data. In addition, students compare unemployment data for different years.

In Plain English: Making Sense of the Federal Reserve
Want to learn about the Federal Reserve? Have no fear! In Plain English describes the structure and functions of the Federal Reserve System in an easy-to-understand interactive format. Topics include: Why Do We Need a Federal Reserve?, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve Banks, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), What Does the Federal Reserve Do?, and Independence and Accountability. The Federal Reserve System is an important but complicated institution. Make sense of the Fed in a format that is explained, In Plain English.

Why Price Stability Matters When It Comes to Jobs
This creative video from the Cleveland Fed's Drawing Board series explains how price stability relates to the labor market.

Advanced High School and College
5E Educator PDF icon
The 2011 Fall Edition of the 5E Educator concentrates on the causes of—and possible impediments to—economic recoveries. Inside the issue are two articles and accompanying activities that explore factors that determine the strength of recoveries and examine the severity of unemployment in the recent recession and recovery.