Must be 4 paragraph’s long Assessing Economic Data (Government Unemployment Data) 1. BACKGROUND. a. Managers must be able to do more than locate essential data. They must also be able to assess/evaluate that data for its usefulness, accuracy, reliability, etc. This applies regardless of the source of the data: government, business, media, etc. b. CASE STUDY: UNEMPLOYMENT DATA. The national unemployment rate is currently 3.5% (Dec 2019 from www.bls.gov). While this number looks very good as a macroeconomic measure, when we dig deeper we find that the employment situation is not equally good for all demographic categories. Reducing unemployment (while also protecting price stability) is a key goal of our macroeconomic policy, so government officials, economists, and business managers watch these numbers closely. Clearly we need a reliable and useful measure of unemployment. We spend millions gathering, publishing, and analyzing this data; is it money well spent? 2. REQUIREMENT. I want you to answer this question: “Do you think the current published unemployment rate of 3.5% accurately reflects the unemployment situation? 3. PREPARATION. To support your assessment you are welcome to do as much background reading and research as you desire, but I want you to complete the following steps (as a minimum): a. Carefully read the section “Unemployment” in Chapter 10 of the text. b. Visit http://www.bls.gov and do the following: (1) Under “Subject Areas” click on “Unemployment” section and then select the “National Unemployment Rate”. Note the topics available. (2) Click on “CPS FAQS” and become familiar with how and why the U.S. measures unemployment. (3) Be sure you research, understand, and consider these categories: underemployed, discouraged, etc. c. Be sure you research, understand and consider this labor force measurement: Labor Force Participation Rate. Visit this bls webpage: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000 d. Visit this BLS webpage: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm Research the other measures of unemployment, especially the U-6 measure of unemployment? (Many believe this is a more accurate measure of unemployment.) e. Now review this BLS Publication CPS Handbook of Methods Ch1.pdf Review the methods used to collect and analyze the data. You will be paging through a number of different pages to review the BLS methods. The site also contains information on the statistical reliability of the data; make sure you scan the statistical information. (Hint: statistical information should be a part of your assessment.)
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