Julie spent the entire summer of 2007 working for a tree planting company in Central British Columbia. At the end of July, her contract ended because of weather conditions. She spent the month of August looking for a job but was unsuccessful. In September of 2017 Julie stopped looking for work and instead decided to attend the UBC. As a result, Julie would be considered seasonally unemployed in August but would not be unemployed in September because she is not part of the labour force.

I cannot figure out if this paragraph is true or false. I think it is frictional unemployment in August as she is actively looking for jobs. But it also fits for the seasonal unemployment since she is dismissed because of weather condition. So I dont know how to define this situation.

  • $\begingroup$ It seems there is a contradiction here - she cannot spend the entire summer working for the tree planting company if her contract ends in July. If the question said “she WAS to spend the whole summer working for the tree planting company,” then it could be assumed that when she is looking for work in August and September she is doing so to finish out the summer season. $\endgroup$
    – MAA
    Jan 23, 2018 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


What "seasonally unemployed" means?

First, to be "unemployed", one must actively be seeking for work, as the OP stated. The adjective "seasonally" here would reflect the fact that Julie is looking for a seasonal job, and couldn't find any. But this information is not provided to us. Irrespective of her past employment, Julie may have been looking for a permanent job, in which case she should not be categorized as "seasonally unemployed".

  • $\begingroup$ Seasonal unemployment occurs when there is a limited need for a type of work to be performed during a particular period of the year, basked on factors such as deadlines or climate. Julie was fired because of weather condition in July, as there is a limited need for tree planting in July. Does that mean she is seasonally unemployed in July? And in August, she is actively looking for a job but was unsuccessful, but the paragraph does not state that she is looking for a seasonal job. So she is categorized as frictional unemployed. Am I correct? $\endgroup$
    – Erik Yu
    Nov 25, 2017 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ @ErikYu I don't know. My point is that the description of the situation is incomplete. If Julie was looking for a seasonal summer job she is in one category. If she was looking for a permanent job, she is in another category. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2017 at 0:20

The paragraph is true. In August, she is willing to work but cannot find a job; so, she is unemployed. In September, she intentionally stopped searching for job; so, she is not counted in the labour force

Whether in August she is frictional or cyclical (I assume you mean “cyclical” instead of “seasonal”) let's go back to the definition.

From wikipedia: Frictional unemployment is the unemployment that results from time spent between jobs when a worker is searching for, or transitioning from one job to another.

In the case, it was not related to any imperfect information of the market, and it is not related to structural unemployment. Instead, it should be treated as cyclical unemployment.


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