Upcoming Classroom Economist: Making sense of unemployment metrics

Unemployment is one of the most frequently mentioned economic indicators, one closely watched by economists to measure the health of the economy and a cornerstone in the study of macroeconomics. But can students make sense of the way it is measured and recorded? Is there a way to make learning about an economic statistic interesting and maybe even fun?

In the fifth edition of the Classroom Economist, coming in early 2012, teachers will find a technology-based toolkit on the topic of unemployment, with video, PowerPoint, and SMART Board applications that make it easy to reach digital natives. This edition contains six components to enhance classroom lessons and increase the knowledge of both teachers and students:

  • Chat with an Economist—Bring an expert to your classroom! Dr. Melinda Pitts, research economist and associate policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, offers an economist's view in this video feature describing the types of unemployment and how labor force statistics are calculated.
  • Lesson demonstration—Watch a master teacher demonstrate an interactive lesson on unemployment that focuses on understanding key terms and the way unemployment is measured.
  • Smart lesson—Get your students out of their seats and actively engaged with this interactive whiteboard lesson, aligned with all other components of the module to reinforce important concepts.
  • PowerPoint lesson—Use the PowerPoint presentation with audio to review main ideas, build your own lessons, or use as a tool for students to explore the topic on their own.
  • Test Your Knowledge—This PowerPoint-based assessment checks understanding—and has the versatility to function as a quiz, a classroom game, or even as a way for you to brush up on your own knowledge.
  • Resources Guide—Want to learn more? Looking for other lessons on the topic? The guide gives you a wealth of ideas to make a classroom lesson complete.

If you are searching for lessons and ideas on the topics of inflation, money, monetary policy, or the fractional reserve banking system, just one click and you're there. Invite the Classroom Economist to your classroom today!

By Lesley Mace, economic and financial education specialist, Jacksonville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
November 2, 2011