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Unemployment: History, Incidence and Prospects

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Unemployment in Britain stands at a post-war record and is expected to rise in the 1980s. Microeconomic policies to reduce unemployment – public works projects, job creation, training, improvements in labour market information, and reductions in the size of the labour force – all have precursors in the sixteenth century. The incidence of unemployment is very uneven, some 3% of the labour force account for 70% of weeks of unemployment in any year. This has resulted in a breakdown of the National Insurance system. It is not technological progress but our inability to generate economic expansion without severe balance of payments problems and inflationary pressure that will be responsible if still higher unemployment levels emerge.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1980

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