Employment and Unemployment: A Crazy Mixed Up World

by Michael Haberman on August 10, 2010 · 0 comments


I have a lot of friends and know of many more people who are unemployed and have been for quite awhile. I am sure you do too… in fact you may be looking for work yourself. You hear from them that jobs are just not available. So listening to them and watching news reports you just get the idea that no one is doing any hiring and that business are being conservative in adding people. But then you read an article like the one that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, August 9th. Written by Mark Whitehouse it is called Some Firms Struggle to Hire Despite High Unemployment (no link, you will have to look it up.)

In his article Mr. Whitehouse tells the tale of many businesses who cannot get people to apply for jobs they have available. There was a previous article that indicated that many employers were having difficulty finding workers with the level of advanced training that was now needed. However, Whitehouse’s article doesn’t indicate that is the problem. For him the issues appear to be:

  • 99 weeks of unemployment benefits allows job seekers to be “pickier” in their choices. He tell of several people turning down job offers because the wage was less than the unemployment benefit.
  • Many of the unemployed are what he calls “middle skill, middle wage”. They are unwilling to take a low skilled, low paying job. Human resources positions fall into this catagory?
  • Housing situations keep people from relocating for a job. Especially given that the “job security” and “loyalty” bonds have been broken.
  • Some people just cannot get themselves to “bite the bullet” and take a job that is lower than their expectations.
  • Some babyboom workers have decided to live on unemployment and savings until they can collect Social Security benefits.

According to Whitehouse “Some economists fear the U.S. could end up with a permanent caste of long-term unemployed, like those that weigh on government budgets in some European countries.”

So the question I have for you readers, if you are unemployed, is are you on your way to being a member of this permanent caste? Answer my questions if you would:

  • What do you think are the reasons for still being unemployed?
  • Are you willing to change careers?
  • Are you willing to change geography?
  • Are you willing to adjust to a smaller income?
  • How are you getting by?

You can respond anonomously, no identity is needed. Thanks.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 10, 2010 at 11:50 am

I was unemployed for over a year…. Truthfully, even though I was over qualified for most of what I was reponding to, no one would interview me for just that reason. Took 14 months for someone to say, if you are willing to take a step back, we are willing to hire you.

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Anonymous August 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I was laid off while pregnant, so I couldn't look for another job until a few months after i had the baby. When I began looking I think I had trouble getting employment because all the jobs required a degree in HR, which I don't have. 20 months later I now think its because I have been unemployed for almost 2 years. The problem is the few interviews I have had when they ask what I have been doing I cant say I had a baby if I want any chance of getting the job. So now although I apply for any job my concern is the longer I am out of my field the harder it will be to get back in. The jobs are out there, and I have experience, it's just not getting me the interviews or the job.

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