Types of unemployment and causes. Types and forms of unemployment

Unemployment is a phenomenon that can be interpreted differently depending on the specific form in which it is presented. Also important is the methodology of its research. What are the unemployment classification criteria that are popular among Russian experts? What can be affected by statistical figures reflecting the employment crisis of citizens?

Approaches to the classification of unemployment

Before considering the types of unemployment, let us examine the aspect associated with the definition of the term under study. The fact is that among Russian experts there is no single approach to its interpretation. Unemployment, for example, can be understood as a phenomenon that reflects the objective impossibility of a person to find a job, or as a condition in which a certain percentage of the working-age population does not have employment due to natural market reasons. In turn, both interpretations of the term imply certain factors determining the corresponding status of citizens.

Types of unemployment

Modern Russian experts identify the following main types (or forms) of unemployment:

- natural;

- friction;

- structural;

- cyclic.

At the same time, if we talk about the level of the national economy, several of these types of phenomena can be simultaneously observed in it at once. In turn, at the level of any industry, the types of unemployment can be represented in a less broad spectrum.

Natural and frictional unemployment

Some experts believe that unemployment is a phenomenon that reflects the desirability of using economic resources. Thus, in any national economic system, one way or another, it will be present due to natural causes, reflecting supply and demand in the aspect of personnel. The market system of the economy is designed in such a way that the dynamics of the corresponding mechanisms can be non-permanent, accordingly, the unemployment rate will then be noticeably volatile. Its increase or decrease may be due to various factors: seasonal or, for example, certain macroeconomic trends that contribute to the frequent transition of people from one job to another.

Types of unemployment and causes

Under conditions of marked volatility, unemployment is called frictional.It can be considered a kind of natural, since it is due to completely market patterns. At the same time, there are specialists who believe that frictional nature is only an indicator, and not a systemic mechanism, and therefore this term sometimes denotes unemployment due to factors that may differ from market factors. However, it is rather an exception. In practice, frictional is often understood as a phenomenon of natural market nature.

Consider other types of unemployment. The structural one is especially interesting because, as many experts believe, quite clearly observed in our country. We study its features.

Structural unemployment

Structural unemployment suggests that the employment crisis is caused by an imbalance in the sectoral distribution of demand for personnel, that is, in some segments there is an oversupply of specialists, in others there is a shortage. Many researchers who tried to determine which types of unemployment were most pronounced in Russia came to the conclusion that it was the subject under consideration that could be observed in most sectors of the Russian economy.

This is due to a significant shift in the priorities of citizens in the choice of professions that have a very limited demand for the modern model of the national economic system of our country. Russians acquire humanitarian specialties, and engineering and blue-collar occupations are not very willing to learn. As a result, there is a significant shortage of personnel in production, and in a number of segments of the service sector, where humanitarian workforce is required, there is an oversupply from specialists.

Types of unemployment table

Structural unemployment, therefore, to a lesser extent reflects the objective economic problems in the country: businesses still attract specialists - at least those that are in the labor market. However, this type of unemployment can slow down the dynamics of economic development and subsequently cause tangible difficulties in the national economy. So, for example, when the Russian economy is now likely to have to deal with tasks related to import substitution, many enterprises are experiencing a shortage of personnel for opening new industries.

Note that many Russian experts attribute structural unemployment to the categorynatural. And there is a logic to this: the demand for specialists really appears due to mainly market reasons. From here, by the way, and outstripping wage growth in many industries, relative to the average Russian level. Competition for specialists arises in the relevant labor market, the main instrument of struggle in which becomes the salary offered by employing companies.

Cyclical unemployment

In turn, there are types of unemployment that are caused precisely by economic problems at the level of the national economic system. The most frequent scenario is that under crisis conditions, the country's enterprises simply cannot afford to hire new personnel, while there are a lot of specialists, especially young ones, in the market. There is cyclical unemployment. According to some experts, it is observed in many countries of Europe, especially in its southern part.

Types and forms of unemployment

After examining the nature and types of unemployment, we consider the main factors causing the emergence of relevant problem situations in the field of employment. Let's start with the friction type of the phenomenon.

Factors of frictional unemployment

Consider this type of unemployment. Friction variation of this phenomenon is due to natural economic reasons. It may occur due to the fact that the employment service does not work well enough in the industry or at the level of the national economy as a whole. That is, for example, young specialists, who are in great demand, cannot find a company in which their salary and other working conditions would suit them. Although it is on the market.

Types of unemployment and examples

Another option is the lack of preparedness of specialists to move to a place where there are many vacancies for his profession. This circumstance may in some cases be complicated by administrative barriers. For example, in Russia, when moving from one city to another, registration is required. To carry out which is not always possible, therefore a person, knowing that such a problem exists, prefers not to move.

Another possible factor is structural changes in the national economy of a country, predetermining the desire of citizens to migrate from one job to another. For example, in Russia now the civil service is especially prestigious. Employees of government agencies and institutions under their jurisdiction receive a decent salary, have social guarantees.At the same time, some time ago, the civil service was viewed as not the most promising area of ​​activity. But as soon as the state began to pay attention to the timely indexation of the salaries of civil servants and, in general, to develop the sphere, channeling significant budget resources to it, people began to think more often about moving from commercial enterprises to the civil service.

Factors of structural unemployment

Continuing to consider the types of unemployment and the reasons for causing them, we will study the relevant factors for structural unemployment as well. Some experts associate its pronounced manifestation with changes in the key industries for the country's economy, changes in the structure of demand for goods and services. The international factor also influences: many enterprises in the national economies of different countries of the world are export-oriented. Changing the structure of production, the employer can reduce the number of personnel or announce a set of new ones, but with a different specialization.

Another factor in structural unemployment is the lack of well-developed national education policies.Actually, we said above that many Russians prefer to master the humanities, while there are not enough personnel in the industry. This is largely due not so much to the subjective preferences of citizens as to the imperfection of the education system. In particular, at the school stage, as many analysts believe, Russia does not have a well-established procedure for identifying adolescents with a predisposition to a particular profession and the subsequent development of relevant skills that would then make it easier for them to study at a university in the specialty that is in demand .

Factors of cyclical unemployment

Cyclical unemployment appears when there are obvious crisis trends in the national economy. Other types of unemployment, which we have named above, are considered by experts, rather, as quite natural for a healthy and properly functioning national economic system.

The employment crisis arises if enterprises do not develop and do not recruit new personnel, or even completely curtail production and reduce specialists. At the same time, crisis trends are observed, as a rule, not in a particular industry, but at the level of the entire national economic system.Production is usually also someone’s customer or supplier. If it is closed, then the contractors may suffer from it.

Essence and types of unemployment

At the same time, as soon as things start to go better in any of the sectors, this contributes to giving positive dynamics to other segments that depend on it. And because the way out of cyclical unemployment is usually observed at the national level, it was, for example, in the Russian Federation in the early 2000s, when the country began to emerge from the crisis of the 90s. Most sectors of the country's economy grew at a steady pace, many still continue to grow rapidly.

Unemployment on a voluntary basis

After examining the main types of unemployment and their causes, we consider one interesting phenomenon. The fact is that in almost every country there is a significant percentage of citizens who, because of their subjective desire, do not want to formally find employment. Or work in principle. Some experts believe that this phenomenon is a kind of structural unemployment. That is, a person who is fully educated and having a profession, without finding a job in his specialty, simply stops searching and decides that he will not work officially.

Other analysts believe that the types of unemployment we examined above and the phenomenon under study are completely different social categories. The fact is that unemployment as a term implies that a person somehow strives for employment, but for some reason cannot get a job. However, a citizen, for example, may well resign from an excellent position of his own accord and become a freelancer, simply deciding that this type of employment suits him better. Is he considered unemployed in this case?

The question is ambiguous. At least this case does not fit the main types of unemployment, which we have defined above. In economics, in the industry, everything can be fine, but a person is not going anywhere to get settled. This circumstance, as many experts believe, makes it possible not to classify the phenomenon in question as unemployment.

Hidden unemployment

The main types of unemployment in the economy, which Russian experts distinguish, are supplemented in some studies by another. The fact is that in many enterprises there is such a practice: due to certain crisis trends, specialists are not reduced, but are transferred to vacation at their own expense or to the minimum salary. De jure, they are quite busy, but de facto they have no work.This phenomenon is called by some analysts of hidden unemployment. Its specificity, however, is that, as experts note, it can always turn into reality.

Ambiguity of criteria

Unemployment is an ambiguous phenomenon. It is interpreted in different ways, they interpret certain social phenomena often according to dissimilar criteria. The types and forms of unemployment we have mentioned reflect one of the many concepts of classification of the term in question. Let us examine some examples by means of which it can be traced how difficult it is sometimes to classify a given state of employment of citizens.

Many experts prefer to study the labor market, exploring at the same time the types of employment and unemployment. And if, for example, it turns out that a significant percentage of citizens work part-time or, for example, under civil law contracts, then it is not clear whether these people are classified as unemployed and included in official statistics. Very much depends on the specific methodology that the researcher uses.

Types of structural unemployment

In the methodology of some researchers, the unemployed are all those who do not have a contract concluded according to the norms of the TC.That is, for example, an individual entrepreneur, co-owner of an LLC or a joint stock company with a share in a business of several billion dollars can be considered unemployed if he does not hold an official position in the company. Interestingly, many Russian banks, considering loan applications, adhere to similar criteria. An entrepreneur or co-owner of a business for them is often a less desirable client than a person who has an employment contract.

Voluntary unemployment, the essence of which we have examined above, is also among the phenomena, the criteria for assigning them to one or another category of social phenomena are ambiguous. Much depends on the personal attitudes of citizens who have chosen an alternative to the official method of employment. Many people would never agree to consider themselves unemployed, although according to the methodological principles adopted at the level, for example, of state statistics bodies, they can be attributed to this category of citizens.

These or other types and levels of unemployment do not always provide the average person with an unambiguous tool for understanding the real situation in the country's economy. For example, high rates for frictional unemployment will be somehow temporary.However, they can significantly affect the ambiguity of perception of the corresponding figures by society.

Above, we looked at the types of unemployment and examples of countries and regions of the world where, according to some experts, they are observed. However, in different states, the criteria by which a particular level of the phenomenon under consideration will be considered high or moderate may vary greatly.

The consequences of unemployment

Having studied the main types and forms of unemployment, we investigate an interesting aspect related to the influence of this phenomenon on the society and the economy of the country. First of all, we note that there is a point of view that the phenomenon in itself cannot be considered a full-fledged subject of management of a society or economic processes, since unemployment, as some researchers believe, is a phenomenon that should be understood as derived from the fundamental processes occurring at the national level. economic system. The concept and types of unemployment are understood by many economists primarily as indicators, but not factors.

However, there are researchers who believe that unemployment can still be a factor affecting socio-economic processes, especially in the scenario when it is expressed in certain numbers.State reports of statistics and analytical centers dealing with unemployment issues may well influence public attitudes. This can be seen both in the aspect of business activities and at the level of public institutions that are not related to business. In the first case, for example, an enterprise may, after examining unemployment statistics, decide whether to open a new factory line or not. Above, we examined the types of unemployment and their examples in several regions of the world. Corresponding indicators may affect the investment attractiveness of companies operating in a particular national economic system. Regarding non-profit institutions, in particular educational ones, unemployment figures in a particular industry may affect the prospects for citizens to choose appropriate curricula.

Having considered what unemployment is, the causes, types, consequences of this phenomenon, we summarize our small study by visualizing its key aspects. We use the tabular format. If we need to once again review the main types of unemployment - the table below, as well as the signs that characterize them, and the reasons for the occurrence of relevant phenomena.

Types of unemployment

Signs of



In society there is a certain, as a rule, a small percentage of unemployed citizens, due to the market laws of supply and demand in the labor market. In general, the situation on the country's labor market is stable.

Enterprises, developing and changing, can periodically hire staff or reduce it.


In the methodology of many experts - a kind of natural unemployment. There is a high volatility of unemployment indicators in individual industries, less often in the national economy.

Inefficient employment system does not allow enterprises to quickly find the right specialists, and applicants - the best place to work.

Administrative difficulties associated with the relocation of applicants from one city to another.

Macroeconomic trends, causing changes in the priorities of citizens relating to work in various sectors.


Imbalance of supply and demand in the labor market in different industries.

The development of technology, modernization of production, requiring the involvement of new personnel with a different qualification.

Deficiencies in the national education system.


People cannot find work due to the fact that there are few vacancies.

Crisis trends at the level of the national economy.

The table does not include the voluntary and hidden types of unemployment, since in the expert environment there are significant differences in the aspect of the classification criteria for these phenomena.

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