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Worked free response question on unemployment

This video walks through part of question 3 on the 2018 AP Macroeconomics exam. Learn how to solve problems about calculating the unemployment rate, calculating the labor force participation rate, and the relationship between unemployment and the production possibilities curve in this video.

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  • male robot hal style avatar for user Omar Alshaqra
    how does the ppc relate to unemployment? and how can we plot a point for unemployment rate on a graph which doesn't have unemployment on it? I'm confused.
    (2 votes)
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  • sneak peak green style avatar for user Luana Volkova
    Hello! Thank you very much for these worked examples, they really do help sort things out. I was wondering, where is it possible to view past exam questions? Both the test and the free response part. I'm taking the AP exam this year as a homeschooled student, but I am quite short in resources for preparation. Especially practice materials. If someone knows where I can view past exam questions and test that would really help! College Board is quite greedy on that part. Thanks :)
    (2 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user Prisha B
      Hello! On the College Board website, you can view sample free response questions, sample responses from students, and how the AP graders graded the them according to a rubric. Just look up something along the lines of "AP Macroeconomics sample free responses."

      As for multiple choice questions and AP videos, students typically utilize AP Classroom, also through College Board. Their teacher has to invite the students to the classroom (like with Google Classroom) and assign the questions. Students can also check whether they are registered for the exam. I'm not sure how this works with homeschooling, though.

      If you can't access AP classroom, you can look up the YouTube live streams that College Board always does before AP exams.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user fionahenry7780
    What are the roles of government in stabilizing the Jamaican economy?
    (2 votes)
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  • spunky sam green style avatar for user Nam Dy
    The population of Coukouville is 10,000. Of that number 2,000 are under 16 or institutionalized, 3,000 are not in the labor force, and 250 are currently unemployed. What is the unemployment rate in Coukouville?
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user erz
    20000/200000 = 0.1 = 10%, I don't get why we still need to multiply by 100%. Doing that gives 0.1*1=0.1 still, and there's no point is there?
    (1 vote)
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  • primosaur sapling style avatar for user laonvoentyhmeouussa
    Why the PPC is bowed out? Or why it indicates that there are increasing opportunity costs of production? Or it actually can be any shape and this is just an example? Maybe this is something that is stated in the former vids but I can't find them... Help, please.
    (1 vote)
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Video transcript

- [Instructor] We are told the following table shows labor-market data for Country X. And they tell us how many are employed, frictionally unemployed, structurally unemployed, cyclically unemployed, and also not in the labor force. So this first question here and actually we skipped part a because we want all of these to focus on our labor force, so calculate the unemployment rate in Country X. Show your work. So pause this video and see if you can work through that. All right so our unemployment rate is going to be equal to our number unemployed, unemployed, which is going to be the sum of the frictionally unemployed, structurally unemployed, and cyclically unemployed, divided by our total labor force. So our labor force is going to be our employed plus unemployed. So it's going to be number employed, employed, plus number unemployed, unemployed. And we want to express this as a percentage, and since they're asking us to show our work, we could even put that there, times 100%. It never hurts to give more clarity when someone asks you to show your work. And so what's this going to be? Our number unemployed is going to be 10,000 plus 5,000 plus 5,000, actually let me just write this, 10K plus five K plus five K, over our employed is 180K, and then our number unemployed is going to be plus 10K, plus five K plus five K, times 100%, which is equal to in our numerator, we have 20,000. I'll just write it out here. 20,000, our denominator we have 200,000, 200,000, times 100%. And so this is going to all, this is going to be 0.10, and then times 100%, this is going to be equal to a 10% unemployment rate. All right now part c, calculate the labor force participation rate in Country X. Show your work. So once again, pause the video and see if you can figure that out. So let's just remind ourselves what our labor force participation is. It is going to be our labor force, labor force, we could say number in the labor force, and then over our total eligible population. So you could say number in or I would say labor force, labor force, plus not in labor force, plus the number not in labor force. And you might say, well when your, this denominator is the eligible population, who's not eligible? Well it would be people who are not of working age, it might be people who are incarcerated or institutionalized in some way, could be people in the military. So then and of course we wanna express this as a percentage, so write times 100%, is equal to, so our labor force is going to be all of the employed or unemployed people. So this is going to be, it's essentially this denominator right over here, so it's going to be 200,000. That's our labor force. Divided by our labor force which is 200,000 plus the not in the labor force, so that's 100,000, and of course times 100%. And this is going to be equal to 2/3 times 100%, and so we could write 66.7, it would be 66.6 repeating, but 66.7% is our labor force participation rate. Fair enough. Now part d. Draw a correctly labeled graph of the production possibilities curve for Country X, with consumer goods on the horizontal axis and capital goods on the vertical axis. Indicate a point on your graph, labeled Z, that reflects the current level of unemployment. Pause your video and see if you can do that. All right now let's do that together. I'll scroll down a little bit so I have space to do that. So they tell us with consumer goods on the horizontal axis, so let me do it like that. So my horizontal axis, I'm going to have consumer goods, consumer goods, and then they say capital goods on the vertical axis. So it might look something like this. This is capital goods, capital goods, on my vertical axis. And it's production possibilities curve, and so they typically look something like this. Now they say indicate a point on your graph, labeled Z, that reflects the current level of unemployment. So this is very interesting. You might say hey it's a point on my graph, maybe I need to put it on this curve someplace. And that would not be the case here because we have some level of cyclical unemployment. You see it right over here. Cyclical unemployment, we are producing below our potential I guess is one way you could say it. So that means we would be behind the production possibilities curve. So that point labeled Z, labeled Z, I'd put it someplace behind the curve, and to get credit for this, anywhere behind the curve would suffice, so you could put it right there, our point Z. And since they're asking us to show our work and it's always good to do things properly so if they're grading this on an AP test for example, you would get points, it's always good to put a title too. So you could say production possibilities curve for Country, Country X, and we're done.