As most of us know by now, unemployment in the U.S. has reached the highest point in these last few years that it has in the past few decades. Not everyone is getting a job as easily as my wife. While claims come and go about the causes of unemployment and how to fix it, the reasons for this change are many and diverse. People are not just unemployed because they fail to take initiative. Some people are forced to not work because of external forces, like the bad economy or even personal injury. Recognizing the financial difficulty and stress this puts on families is important because it helps broaden the scope of the unemployed. It helps us move beyond the equation of the unemployed with lazy individuals.
Some people are not able to work because they had an accident at work. Often times it is because they were working in a job that required physical labor, but not always. A fall at work or unexpected injury of any sort can cause disabilities that last a long time. If the employee is having difficulty receiving all of the benefits that are due to them, they may have to file a claim for personal injury compensation. This can be a long process and it only adds to the amount of stress.
Laid Off Unexpectedly
As a result of the poor economy, companies are shutting down or going out of business. This leaves people who have been working at these jobs for decades out of work. While they may have been good at their job, it doesn’t equate with being talented with getting another job. Performing well on the job and marketing yourself are two different things entirely. While employees are no longer staying at their job very long these days, it still doesn’t mean that they have mastered the skills to get a job. Combined this with the horrible economy that put them in this situation in the first place and it means a tough road ahead.
College graduates are another group of people who often find themselves unemployed. They graduate college with a four year degree expecting to have a ticket to success. Instead, they find themselves in a volatile economy with lots of applicants for every job. Their lack of experience in the work force puts them at a huge disadvantage. They may be ambitious, but they too haven’t refined the skills that is required to land a job. The most resourceful graduates will take what they can get for the time being and try to gain some experience. They may even take an Americorps position that literally pays less than minimum wage in order to get experience in their field. Their ability to stay at home for another year or two while they get their feet on the ground allows them to be under-employed instead of unemployed.
Getting a Job Isn’t Easy
In this economy, while I do think that there are creative ways to make money and save for your future, getting a job is not easy by any means. Recognizing the multiple causes behind employment helps to show that those who are unemployed have more complicated stories than just laziness.
What other causes are there for unemployment?