The prevention of mass unemployment is now universally considered a primary goal of economic policy. But to control unemployment we must understand its causes. This book seeks to remedy the widespread lack of understanding by a comprehensive exploration of the abundant statistics that have become available in recent years. What is unemployment? Where is it found? What are its characteristics? These are the questions to which the contributors in this volume address themselves.
Partial unemployment will be used here to mean the time not worked by involunatary part-time workers, or the amount by which time worked falls short of a full workweek. A full workweek is taken as 40 hours. Following Hitch, involuntary part-time workers are defined as (1) those who regularly work part time, yet prefer and could accept full-time work, and (2) those who usually work full time but were working part time during the census survey week because they had begun or ended a job during the week, or because of slack work, layoff, or reparis to plant and equipment. Those part-time workers not considered involuntary will be called "other part-time workers".