In the United States, full employment is one of out economic growth goals. "Full employment is the use of all of the available resources, those willing and able to work, to produce want-satisfying goods and services." In America full employment is considered "an unemployment rate less than or equal to 5.5%." The unemployment rate in the United States fluctuates. "As of September 2001, payroll employment fell by 199,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9% - from the second quarter.".
Unemployment is determined, first, by those who are eligible and able to work. Americans are then classified into one of three groups: The first group, being those who are under the age of sixteen years and/or those institutionalized; the second, those not in the labor force; or the third, those who are employed. In the first group, these people are not considered potential members of the labor force. The second group is composed of those who are potential workers but are not employed and are not seeking work. Homemakers, retirees, and full-time students are examples. The third group contains those who are actually in the labor force, working, or seeking work. .
More specific classifications of unemployment for statistical reasons include: age, gender, and ethnicity. As of September 2001, "the unemployment rates for each of the major worker groups- adult men (4.3%), adult women (4.4%), teenagers (14.7%), whites (4.3%), blacks (8.7%), and Hispanics (6.4%) -- showed little or no change over the month.".
The unemployment rate is determined by the mathematical configuration of: .
unemployment x 100.
In September 2001, "the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.0 million, seasonally adjusted, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9%.
Some causes of unemployment result in layoffs.