Finding a job can be kind of like dating. When a new graduate enters the labor market, she may have the opportunity to enter into a long-term relationship with

Finding a job can be kind of like dating. When a new graduate enters the labor market, she may have the opportunity to enter into a long-term relationship with several companies that aren’t really a good fit. Maybe the pay is too low or the future opportunities aren’t great. Before settling down with the right job, this person is still considered unemployed. Specifically, she’s experiencing frictional unemployment.

In the United States’ dynamic economy, this is a common state of short-term unemployment. Companies are often under high levels of competition and frequently evolve. They go out of business or have to lay off workers. Or maybe the worker quits to find a better position. In fact, millions of separations and new hires occur every month accompanied by short periods of unemployment.

Frictional unemployment helps allocate human capital (i.e. workers) to its highest valued use. Hopefully, workers are similarly finding themselves with more fulfilling jobs. Even when it’s caused by an event such as a firm going out of business, frictional unemployment is a normal part of a healthy, growing economy.

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