Frictional unemployment

Frictional unemployment is voluntary unemployment that lasts the time between a worker leaving a job and finding another. That is, the unemployed decided to leave their job voluntarily, either to rest, study or to find another job. 

Frictional unemployment is therefore subject to the personal situation of each worker. The reasons for leaving the job depend on each person: from study, family care, to change of place of residence, even going through a simple disagreement in the conditions of the current position. The latter case is called search unemployment (or waiting). It occurs when looking for another job in the same sector, but with better pay.

Frictional unemployment is one of the reasons why full employment is not achieved (at least not in the Keynesian sense). In this way we can agree that real unemployment is the unemployment rate itself less frictional (or voluntary). Another cause for not reaching full employment is structural unemployment, which is the mismatch between what companies seek and the knowledge or skills offered by workers.

Graphical representation of frictional unemployment

The Beveridge curve is used to represent the level of frictional unemployment .  This relates the vacancy rate and the unemployment rate through a negative slope – not to be confused with the Philips curve , which establishes a relationship between unemployment and inflation . In this way, changes in the labor market based on supply and demand for employment will cause the Beveridge curve to move in one direction or another

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