What is structural unemployment

What is structural unemployment?


According to gradinmath, structural unemployment is based on a mismatch between the supply and demand for work. As a rule, structural unemployment is limited to a specific region: it occurs in structurally weak areas. To combat structural unemployment, a state makes investments to strengthen infrastructure and introduces job creation measures.

Types of unemployment

This lesson covers structural unemployment. You will get to know the causes of structural unemployment and find out which measures the state is introducing to combat structural unemployment. Finally, we will introduce you to the other forms of unemployment. To deepen your knowledge, you can answer a few exercise questions after the text.

English: structural unemployment

What are the causes of structural unemployment?

The causes of structural unemployment are manifold. Fewer companies are represented in the structurally weak regions because the expected profits cannot be achieved here.

Another problem is that many job seekers do not meet the qualifications employers want. There is a great shortage of skilled workers in structurally weak regions. Technological developments are also not as pronounced in structurally weak regions as in economically strong areas. The season is not a cause of structural unemployment.

Typical causes of structural unemployment are:

  • Companies are moving to more cost-effective regions
  • Technological development leads to job losses
  • Workers are not sufficiently qualified

How can structural unemployment be combated?

Structural unemployment can be prevented by the job seeker changing the center of his life. He moves from his structurally weak place of residence in the country to the city. Here he benefits from a better infrastructure and a greater number of jobs.

The state combats structural unemployment by introducing job creation measures. However, this possibility will only lead to a reduction in structural unemployment in the long term.

In the tax area, too, the state has options to influence structural unemployment. This includes B. the commuter allowance. If an employee receives more money, they will also have to take a longer journey to their place of work. This possibility is offered by applying the commuter lump sum as part of the annual income tax return.

What are the other forms of unemployment like?

Unemployment occurs when the demand for labor exceeds the supply of labor.

The disparity in the labor market can be caused by several factors. To counteract unemployment, it is divided into different forms.

In addition to structural unemployment, a differentiation is made according to:

  • Voluntarily and involuntarily unemployed
  • Frictional unemployment
  • Economic unemployment
  • Seasonal unemployment
  • Base unemployment

Voluntary and involuntary unemployment

Voluntary unemployment is related to the attitude of the job seeker. If he does not want to find a new job and only receive unemployment benefit, he will bring it about by making only a small effort to find a new job. The state can counteract voluntary unemployment by reducing the unemployment benefit of the person concerned.

The most common form in practice is involuntary unemployment. It arises from the fact that an applicant cannot find a new job despite numerous applications or an employer terminates his employee.

Frictional unemployment

An employee who constantly changes his job is frictionally unemployed. Fractional unemployment is also known as “search unemployment”. It can be voluntary if an employee terminates his or her job himself. If the employment relationship is prematurely terminated by the employer, there is involuntary unemployment.

Economic unemployment

The cyclical unemployment is due to the national economy. It arises when the demand for work can be met by the supply of work. This is because entrepreneurs are producing fewer products and need fewer employees due to lower demand for goods.

Seasonal unemployment

Seasonal unemployment is caused by the seasons. Certain products or services cannot be offered due to weather conditions. So that z. For example, if a construction company does not have to file for bankruptcy in winter, it fires staff. With the seasonal short-time work allowance (Saison-KUG) and the grant winter allowance, the state has created two options to support the construction industry with the impending decline in orders.


During the winter months, a foreman on the construction site cannot work regular hours. Depending on the weather, he works a maximum of three to four hours a day. The other hours are taken into account as lost hours. For this, the foreman can claim a winter allowance of € 2.50 per lost hour.

The basic unemployment

The prerequisites for basic unemployment are given when state measures to eliminate cyclical unemployment take effect and not all employees can be placed. With this form of unemployment, the distinction between voluntary and involuntary unemployment plays a major role.

What is structural unemployment