1. Go to the Bureau of Economic Analysis website, www.bea.gov, and access the BEA interactively by selecting “National Accounts” and then “National Income and Product Account Tables.” Select “Frequently Requested NIPA Tables,” and find Table 1.1.1 on GDP. What is the current GDP growth rate for the U.S.? Examine the trend over the past few years. What trends interest you? What stage of the Business Cycle would the U.S. economy be in currently given the trends? Why might GDP not be considered an accurate measure of economic well-being of a country? Identify at least three limitations of GDP as a measure of economic well-being.
2. Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm, and click on “Employment Situation Summary” to get the most up-to-date summary of unemployment in the U.S. or the “Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted.” What interests or surprises you about the summary table? How does that rate compare with the rate in the previous month or quarter? Discuss the differences in unemployment rates by gender, age, education, etc.