Some factors that affect unemployment rates in the United States include the demand for goods and services, availability of unemployment benefits, and availability of skilled workers, states the Congressional Budget Office. When demand for goods and services decreases, businesses do not need workers, which results in increased unemployment rates.
Unemployment rates also increase when skilled workers do not live in the areas where employment is available, states the Congressional Budget Office. In addition, over time, the skill levels of unemployed individuals decrease, and employers often perceive individuals who have been unemployed as being of a lower quality. These factors keep unemployment rates higher even when demand for goods and services increases.
In addition, the demand for skilled workers increases with emerging technologies, while the demand for unskilled workers decreases. This can contribute to higher unemployment rates. However, as of 2015, this factor has affected wages more than it has affected unemployment in the United States, explains the Experimental Economics Center, known as EconPort.
Unemployment benefits in the United States are only offered for a short time, compared to other places where people can receive payments for years, explains EconPort. This encourages people to actively seek employment and stay in the work force.
Wages also contribute to unemployment rates. For example, if a company is not willing to pay at least minimum wage, it does not hire additional employees, even if demand for their services increases, explains the International Monetary Fund. Workers may not accept a job if the company offers a lower wage than one for which they are willing to work.