Macroeconomic Challenges - Unemployment and Inflation

Case Study: Macroeconomic Challenges: Unemployment and Inflation

This assignment is broken in to three parts.

         Part I (Intro and Data): Due in Week 5

         Part II (Analysis and Solution): Due in Week 6

         Part III (Presentation)


A high unemployment rate in any economy is a symptom of dysfunctionality in the economy. People need income to consume, and consumption leads to production, and production leads to higher demand for labor (employment), so unemployment is a crucial macroeconomic issue that confronts all modern economies.

A lower unemployment rate, however, is not the end of the problem. The type of employment and the price of labor (wages) have to be sufficient in order for consumption (which is the major component of GDP) in the economy to be healthy.

If wages are low or if the prices in the economy are high, consumption would be low and thus, production and demand for labor would be low, too. High unemployment rate, high part-time employment rate for economic reasons, low wages, and high inflation could have negative effects on economic growth.

Assignment Description

In this assignment, you need to identify two main issues related to unemployment and inflation. Then you are going to study their past trends, provide an overview of their current status, and provide solutions to overcome them.

You will use data, articles, experts' opinions, and government reports to draw a clear picture of the current unemployment and inflation issues.

Some areas you might consider are (you could also choose different topics) the following.

         Part-time employment rates for economic reasons

         Unemployment rates among young college graduates

         Unemployment rates by gender

         Unemployment rates among Black and Hispanic communities

         Low supply of labor (professionals) in certain industries

         High supply of labor in education

         Low wages by profession and their causes

         Low demand for labor in some industry (you could choose whatever industry you wish)

         Low wages in some parts of the country

         High unemployment rate among workers with high school diploma or less

         The increase in the price of housing and its effect on investment

         The increase in the price of healthcare and education and their effect on consumption

Your research needs to be structured with consistent and clear thoughts. It also needs to be supported by facts and data. Your results need to be based on solid facts. Your conclusion and recommended solution need to be thorough and based on your findings and understanding of macroeconomic challenges and macroeconomic policies

Important Note:

The case study itself is a one assignment that is broken into two parts over two weeks. Part I is due in Week 5 and Part II (including Part I from Week 5) is due in Week 6.

The final and complete case study submission that is due in Week 6 must contain the portion of the assignment that was due in Week 5. In other words, the final assignment that is due in Week 6 must contain the following sections: (1) Introduction (2) Data (3) Analysis (4) Reflection (5) Solution (6) References.

The References should include a minimum of five sources in the final Week 6 submission.  As an example, 3 sources could have been used in the Week 5: Part I assignment and 2 or more additional sources could have been used for the Week 6: Part II assignment, equaling 5 or more total professional sources in the final combined References page.  Note that all references used for Week 5: Part I should be included in your Week 5 submission and in your Week 6 submission.

Part I: Due in Week 5

Writing Style and Page Number Requirements

Font Type: Times New Roman or Arial

Font Size: 12

Spacing: Double

Number of Pages: The final combined Part I and Part II case study should be six (6) to eight (8) pages total, not counting the Title page and References page

Structure and Requirements

         Title Page

o   Title of the paper

o   Name of the author

o   E-mail address of the author

o   Class name

o   Professor's name

o   Date


Your introduction needs to include the following.

o   Include a clear definition of unemployment and inflation and how and why they occur and rise in the economy.

o   Also provide your understanding of the relationship between economic growth (GDP), high/low unemployment, high/low Inflation, high/low wages, and the way they impact one another.

o   Include an overview of the current unemployment and inflation rates in the economy using facts and statics.

o   Include a brief description of the two unemployment or inflation-related issues that you are going to address in this paper and their importance. Basically, why do you think they are important to research and resolve?


o   Obtain data from at least five credible sources (not Wikipedia) to provide facts about unemployment, inflation, and wages and their growth pattern and their current status.

o   Obtain data about changes in unemployment and inflation rates for a period of 10 years.

o   Obtain historical data (10 years or more) about GDP growth rate (percentage) and Real GDP volume (in dollar value).

o   Obtain data about the changes in the real wages since the year 2005 (before the recession).

o   Obtain historical data (10 years or more) about the two issues you are going to address, as well as data about their current status.

o   Use tables, graphs, and figures to support your argument. You can find the latest unemployment and inflation data at www.bls.gov (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

         Reference List
Use at least five (5) professional sources to support your argument for the Parts I and II combined  - Minimum of two (2) sources for Part I. The references need to be in APA format. To learn more about APA format, click on the link below.

APA Resource

Part II: Due in Week 6

Writing Style and Page Number Requirements

Font Type: Times New Roman or Arial

Font Size: 12

Spacing: Double

Number of Pages: Six (6) to eight (8) pages that include Part I and Part II combined.  Note that this 6-8 number of pages is not counting the Title page and References page that are also required.

Structure and Requirements


This section needs to contain the following discussions based on the data that was gathered and your understanding of unemployment, inflation, GDP, aggregate supply, and aggregate demand, monetary policy, and fiscal policy.

o   Unemployment: Discuss the trends of unemployment rates over the past 10 years and provide your objective analysis of the changes in unemployment and the current rates. Place extra emphasis on the periods where unemployment was either too high or too low (higher or lower than the natural rate of unemployment).

o   Inflation: Discuss the trends of inflation rates over the past 10 years and their relationship with GDP growth and decline. Highlight the years that inflation was either higher or lower than usual and state the reason(s). Also state the effect of the high and low rates on GDP.

o   Wages: Discuss the changes in real wages by major professions or industries and highlight the periods wages declined or rose and state the reason for this unusual change.

o   Two Issues (your choice): Here you will need to discuss the two unemployment or inflation-related issues. Provide an overview of their trends and use facts to highlight the major changes in their trends and their current statuses. State the reason(s) why you believe these two issues represent a challenge for the economy.

         Reflection and Critical Thinking

This section needs to cover the following areas.

o   Connect all of the dots together by relating your above analysis to other areas in the macroeconomy. Basically, you will link changes in unemployment, inflation, wages, and GDP to one another and how they impacted each other during periods of economic decline (recessions) and periods of economic growth (expansion).

o   Highlight the causes of the two issues that you selected and how they impact the economy negatively and why they do need to be addressed by policy makers.


o   State which macroeconomic policy (monetary policy or fiscal policy) that might resolve the issues you highlighted above, and state how this policy could be implemented and why it would solve these problems.

o   Finally, provide your own solution. Basically, answer the following question.

What would you do to solve the macroeconomic issues you addressed if you were in charge of the U.S. economy? State why.

         Reference List

Use at least five (5) professional sources to support your argument. The references need to be in APA format. To learn more about APA format, click on the link below.
This reference list should include the references used in Part I that was due in Week 5 as well as the references used for Part II, for a minimum of five sources total from Parts I and II combined.

APA Resource

Part III: Due in Week 6


Submit a presentation of your Week 6 Macroeconomic Challenges Case Study. Review the requirements below and follow the steps explained to create a presentation with an audio component.

Presentation Requirements

Your completed presentation should contain both text and audio recordings.

Text Component

         Prepare five to seven PowerPoint slides.

         The slide should be attractively designed and easy to understand.

         The slides should effectively combine text and visual elements (graphs and tables).

         Avoid using long blocks of text. Instead, use bullets and short phrases to highlight your ideas.

         Use visual elements to provide evidence and make the presentation visually more interesting.

Typical Presentation Organization

         Title Slide: Title of project, your name, the name of the class, and the date of submission

         Introduction/Overview Slide: A brief statement of the two macroeconomic variables that you selected and the main points that you are going to discuss

         A Few Body Slides: Provide an overview of the trends and current statuses of the two variables using data and/or graphs. Provide a brief description of the main challenges and or opportunities related to the two variables that you selected.

         Conclusion Slide: Your proposed solutions to resolve issues related to the status of your two variables and/or solutions to improve these two variables

         References Slide: The list of the references you used to conduct your research

Audio Recording

         Record a 5- to 7-minute presentation, explaining the content of each slide.

         Your narration will be attached to each of your PowerPoint slides, which is commonly referred to as a Narrated PowerPoint.

         Audio does not have to be attached to the title slide or references slide but is expected to be included for all of the other slides (introduction/overview, body slides, and conclusion).

How to Record Audio in a PowerPoint Slide

1.       Open your PowerPoint Presentation.

2.       Click on Insert at the top left corner of your presentation.

3.       Click on Audio at the top-right corner of your presentation and select Record Audio.

4.       To start recording, click on the recording button (the square with the red dot in the middle) and start talking.

5.       To stop recording, click on the stop button (the square with the blue small square in the middle).

6.       Move to the second slide and repeat the process explained in Steps 1 through 5. Make sure you save the file every time you complete the recording for each slide.

Macroeconomic Challenges - Unemployment and Inflation

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