This chapter reviews the reasons why unemployment was so high in the 1920s and 1930s, so low in the 1950s and 1960s, why it rose to much higher levels in the 1980s, and why it seemed to fall after the mid-1990s. Section 10.2 discusses the measurement of unemployment and examines movements in the unemployment rate, in historical and international perspectives. Section 10.3 sketches a theoretical framework capable of elucidating the mechanisms via which international and domestic economic events impact upon unemployment, and places that model in its intellectual context. Section 10.4 discusses and analyses the changes in unemployment from 1918 to 2000. Finally, broad explanations for the passage of unemployment during the century are revisited.
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