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List of Benchmarks for Economics

Standard 5.Understands unemployment, income, and income distribution in a market economy
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Not appropriate for this level
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Not appropriate for this level
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that unemployed people are those who are willing and able to work at current wage rates, but do not have jobs
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Knows the four basic categories of earned income: wages and salaries, rent, interest, and profit
   2. Understands that wages and salary are influenced by forces of supply and demand for labor, as well as an individual's productivity, education, training and skills
   3. Knows that the government defines "the labor force" as people at least 16 years old who either have a job or are actively looking for work
   4. Understands that the unemployment rate (i.e., the percentage of the labor force considered to be unemployed) rises during a recession, and the economy's production is less than its potential level
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands that personal income is influenced by changes in the structure of the economy, the level of gross domestic product, technology, government policies, production costs and demand for specific goods and services, and discrimination
   2. Understands the concept of supply and demand in the labor market (e.g., if wage or salary payments increase, workers will increase the quantity of labor they supply and firms will decrease the quantity of labor they demand)
   3. Understands that for the functional distribution of income economists analyze what percentage of national income is paid out as wages and salaries, proprietors' income, rental income, and interest payments and trace that pattern of income distribution over time
   4. Understands that the personal distribution of income classifies the population according to the amount of income they receive, including transfer payments
   5. Understands that governments often redistribute income directly when individuals or interest groups are not satisfied with the income distribution resulting from markets, and that governments may also redistribute income indirectly as side-effects of other government actions that affect prices or output levels for various goods and services  A 
   6. Understands that the standard measure of the unemployment rate is flawed (e.g., it does not include discouraged workers, it does not weigh part-time and full-time employment differently, it does not account for differences in the intensity with which people look for jobs)
   7. Understands that many factors contribute to differing unemployment rates for various regions and groups (e.g., regional economic differences; differences in labor force immobility; differences in ages, races, sexes, work experiences, training and skills; discrimination)
   8. Knows that economists do not define full employment as 100 percent employment of the labor force because there is always some unavoidable unemployment due to people changing jobs (i.e., frictional unemployment) or entering the labor force for the first time
   9. Understands frictional, seasonal, structural, and cyclical unemployment and that different policies may be required to reduce each

 A  = Assessment items available