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The boundaries of unemployment. Institutional rules and real-life experiences

Abstract : The boundaries of unemployment Institutional rules and real-life experiences Didier Demazière Any definition of unemployment spurs debates on the issue of measurement: precisely how many unemployed are there, who should be considered unemployed and what criteria apply? This leads to discussions on how to measure unemployment: some ask how do we quantify unemployment according to the source, with particular regard to survey and administrative data; others point out that the figures depend on which indicators are used, calling for a diversification of the instruments used to measure unemployment; while others still warn that the scope of international harmonisation is limited if specific national and institutional features are not taken into account. It is now accepted that there is ‘no “correct” figure for the number of unemployed; on the contrary, there are as many statistics as there are sources and ways of conventionally – not arbitrarily – defining unemployment’ (Marchand, 1991, p. 8). Therefore, this is not just a matter of statistics but of the very definition of unemployment: what is to be understood by the term; is there any consensus on the category of unemployed; where should the line be drawn between unemployed and not unemployed; who decides who is to be called unemployed; and who has authority over the different meanings?
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 11:35:05 AM
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Didier Demazière. The boundaries of unemployment. Institutional rules and real-life experiences. The deconstruction of unemployment as a political question: employment as a floating signifier, 2018. ⟨hal-03552357⟩

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