Unemployment, as defined by the U.S. Government. is the number of people seeking work who cannot find it during the period of study, usually a month. This definition reflects a neoclassical economic theory which links total employment with aggregate demand. In other words the higher the Gross National Product (ONP) the higher the employment. According to the theory the actual number of people working is the result interaction of this aggregate demand and the number of people willing to work at the going wage rates, i.e., the supply of labor. "Willing to work" is translated in the government definition as "those seeking work." This approach to defining unemployment combines elements of the theories originally put forth in the 1930's by john Maynard Keynes and more classical free market notions as put forth by the likes of Milton Friedman. However, the policy prescriptions which emerge from this definition are distinctly Keynesian.
Stanback, Howard J.
"The Political Economy of Unemployment,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 7
, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol7/iss6/8