Unemployment, as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively looked for work within the past four weeks. The unemployment rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labour force. An economic condition marked by the fact that individuals actively seeking jobs remain unhired. Unemployment is expressed as a percentage of the total available work force. The level of unemployment varies with economic conditions and other circumstances.

The recognition of the concept of “unemployment” is best exemplified through the well documented historical records in England. For example, in 16th century England no distinction was made between vagrants and the jobless; both were simply categorized as “”sturdy beggars”", to be punished and moved on.

In the set up of a modern market economy, there are many factors, which contribute to unemployment. Causes of unemployment are varied and it may be due to the following factors:

• Rapid changes in technology
• Recessions
• Inflation
• Disability
• Undulating business cycles
• Changes in tastes as well as alterations in the climatic conditions. This may in turn lead to decline in demand for certain services as well as products.
• Attitude towards employers
• Willingness to work
• Perception of employees
• Employee values
• Discriminating factors in the place of work (may include discrimination on the basis of age, class, ethnicity, color and race).
• Ability to look for employment

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