There are typically said to be three kinds of unemployment. They are:
- Structural. This is a type of unemployment that exists when a person's skills are no longer useful in an economy. For example, a person who made harnesses for horses might have become structurally unemployed when cars took over for horses. People who worked in manufacturing have had this happen to them in recent times as their jobs are taken by machines or are sent overseas.
- Frictional. This is a type of unemployment that exists when people are "between" jobs or are looking for their first job. A person who quits to look for a better job is frictionally unemployed. So is a person who gets fired for being bad at their job.
- Cyclical. This is a type of unemployment that exists when the demand for a person's skills evaporates due to bad economic times. The person's skills (unlike in structural unemployment) would still be useful, but the economy is so bad that there is not enough demand for their skills. A current example of this is people who work in construction and have lost their jobs because the economy is bad and there is less demand for new housing.
All unemployment is the same. This means that people do not have jobs. However, there are different reasons for unemployment. Let me give you a few reasons.
Some people do not have jobs because they were fired for some reason. Some people do not have jobs, because they do not want to hold down a job. There are many reasons for the latter. Perhaps, they are independently wealthy or want to live off the government.
Other people want to find work, but they cannot due to the difficulties in the economy. For instance, we still have over an eight percent unemployment rate. Other nations like Spain have a much higher unemployment rate. People want jobs, but there are none around.
In conclusion, all unemployment means that people do not have a job, but the reasons behind this situation is variable.