Award Date

12-1-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Christopher Stream

Second Committee Member

Christina Springer

Third Committee Member

Lee Bernick

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen Miller

Number of Pages

161

Abstract

Oil prices have greatly increased and decreased over the past few years, and have constantly been responsible for causing undesirable world economic performance and employment effects. The increase of oil prices usually leads to the rising prices of services such as production costs, energy bills, and petroleum products. Therefore, the increase will lower the productivity level, which affects interest rates and inflation rates, investments, product selling prices, consumption levels, unemployment rates, and real wage rates (Loungani, 1986). The oil price shocks since the 1970s have had a significant impact on the economy and are considered an important element of economic change that can affect the world economy at the same time, due to high inflation, slow growth, and high unemployment rates. The impact of increases in oil prices is significant to the oil countries. Oil revenues always lead to budget surpluses, which lead to economic development and new sources of income. Bletcher, Thomas, Muradzikwa, Smith, and De Villiers (2009) stated how employment is considered as a measure of economic growth and success for many nations. Increases in the unemployment rate are usually due to other factors such as oil price changes, energy prices, economy activity, population demographics, technology changes, and business cycles.

Oil price changes have been acknowledged as a problem impacting the global economy and the workforce. Governments and policy makers have taken different steps and have adopted differing policies to reduce the unemployment rate. When oil prices rise, the increase will cause some companies to take cost-cutting measures such as a reduction in employment, cutting some major expenses, reductions in output, and reductions in wages that result in reducing individual and household incomes. Evidence from the literature reveals that oil price changes affect individuals differently with their time and terms in their jobs at the organization and their experience levels. The skilled worker’s rate increases when the oil price rises. Employees with long years of experience in the workforce encounter bigger wage reductions following oil price increases. Employment and the workforce are a challenging concern for politicians, leaders, and governments. Oil price changes can have a negative impact on the economy and can result in high unemployment rates, lower growth, high interest rates, and a slower economy. Significant increases in oil prices were a factor of the U.S. higher unemployment rate and recessions, causing high unemployment rates, a drop in stock market prices, and decreases in the housing market.

A large part of the empirical research studies examines the relationship between oil price changes and the macroeconomic movement. Little research has studied the relationship among oil price changes, employment, and the workforce. The objective of this research study is to investigate if a relationship exists between the changes of oil prices and employment. A quantitative research study will be conducted to examine if a relationship exists between oil price changes and their effect on employment in six countries, namely Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the U.S.

Disciplines

Public Policy

Language

English

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