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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > D, E > Discouraged Searchers

Discouraged Searchers 

These are individuals who would like to work but have given up looking for a job.  They are not included in a jurisdiction’s official unemployment rate.

(Mankiw, N. Gregory, Ronald Kneebone, Kenneth J. McKenzie and Nicholas Rowe. 2008. Principles of Macroeconomics, 4th Canadian ed. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, p. 195.)


The phenomenon of discouraged workers can often lead to an underestimation of the true economic impact of recessions, by lowering the official unemployment rate lower than it would be if these people were still actively looking for jobs.

The unemployment rate only tracks individuals who are without work but are actively searching for work as a percentage of the labour force. For this reason, discouraged searchers, since they are not actively searching for work, are not included in the official unemployment rate, even though they would like to be working.


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