30 Rock — Structural Unemployment

In this scene from 30 Rock, Liz Lemon is faced with the possibility that her job may become obsolete. She meets others (a travel agent, an American auto worker, a saxophone soloist) who are no longer employed because consumers are no longer willing to pay for their services/goods.

Thanks to James Tierney for the clip!

Adam Ruins Everything — Unemployment Rate

Adam reviews the requirements for individuals to be considered unemployment under the most traditional classification of unemployment (U3). While he mentions that this isn’t a perfect measure, he doesn’t mention the other types of unemployment. This could be a good introduction to the different types of unemployment counted by the BLS.

Billy Joel — Allentown

I heard this one on the radio and forgot that I used it one semester online to talk about structural unemployment. This could also be a good song to play before class if you play music before you begin your lecture. I may be a bit more fortunate since I teach in Pennsylvania.

The Internship — Trailer

Billy, played by Vince Vaughn, and Nick, played by Owen Wilson, are salesmen whose lost their jobs because of increased computerization. The two don’t want to be left behind so they apply (and are accepted) to an internship at Google even though they are much older than their cohort.

Superstore: Structural Unemployment for Travel Agencies

Structural unemployment occurs when the skills and trades are no longer in demand from the general population rather than market fluctuations. Adam’s girlfriend, Amy, quickly points out that his travel agency failed because people use the internet to book travel and no long need travel agents.

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