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Strayer University Unemployment

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In the current state of this economy, unemployment is a wide spread issue that needs to be addressed. Unemployment benefits, contrary to what many may believe is not easily obtained. Unemployment benefits, unlike welfare or food assistance, are not something that is given to an individual just because they have no income or are not trying to receive income. Unemployment benefits are money set aside on an individual’s behalf while they are working class citizens, in case one day they may become unemployed and need assistance.

And since this is the case some may ask, why it is not easily obtained or kept. As it stands now, one of the criteria to receive unemployment compensation is, an individual must actively seek employment no matter what is going on in his or her life. For example, if a person is ill while receiving benefits he or she must still seek employment. If he or she does not, they will not receive benefits for that time period and are at risk of losing his or her benefits completely.

The disbursement of unemployment compensation in the United States need to change because the people who need and deserve them are made to suffer without them when they need them the most, and they are too difficult to obtained when a person has been laid off from work. It is as if the government is not concerned with the well being of these individuals and their families.

In this country, each state adheres to different unemployment regulations. According to Lancaster (2012), “Individuals will not be denied benefits under provisions relating to their availability for work, active search for work, or refusal to accept work solely because they are seeking only part-time work (Puerto Rico)” (p. 13). Most people that have been laid off from work were not laid off because they were just lazy and did not want to work. A lot of them are people who have worked hard for most of their lives. In some states, if a person is unemployed and receiving benefits, he or she must seek employment and report the results of their search to their local unemployment office.

To some, the unemployment office may sound more like a baby sitting service instead of a government ran establishment. To justify this behavior, there was a study conducted on unemployed individuals. Van Ours (2006) stated, “Putting a limit on the duration of benefits tends to speed up the job search” (p. 352). In this economy, it is not an easy task to find employment. Unemployed individuals are already experiencing heartache and stress from being laid off, and to add to that they are being pushed and watched over every week by the government to find new employment right away. The government should understand that these individuals are not going to find new employment overnight.

According to McConnell (2011), “Even if a former full-time employee seeks only part-time employment he or she can still risk being disqualified from receiving benefits” (p. 130). If it was left up to those who have been laid off and are receiving benefits, they would probably have chosen to stay at their last place of employment. Many people are not overjoyed with their current choices of careers, but being laid off and unemployed has to be worse. Having a career gives some people a sense of responsibility and security. And when that is ripped away from them, the government chooses that time to kick them while they are already down by putting some serious demands on them.

If a person is ill and unable to seek employment, and can provide proper documentation to support this claim, he or she should still receive their benefits for that time period. If an individual’s body shuts down he or she cannot make it continue to push forward, especially when the doctor has them hospitalized. It is already shameful enough that the benefits that an individual is receiving do not cover much of anything for the family in need. In fact according to Kahan and Wentworth (2011), “Unemployment insurance covers, on average, about a third of a worker’s pre-layoff wages” (p. 18).

According to Lauringson (2011), “Though unemployment benefits are assumed to have a mainly negative impact on exiting unemployment, a positive impact on post-unemployment can occur” (p. 29). The changes in this economy and capital replacement has put many out of work and displaced, but yet they are still being punished like they asked for this to happen in their lives. It is even worse for those who have been employed in the same field for many years. Once they are unemployed they may have to be retrained in order to gain new employment, which in turn makes the process of finding a new job harder.

According to Lauringson (2011), “As the job arrival rate declines, there are fewer opportunities to exit unemployment” (p. 8). Exiting unemployment is a major priority for those who are unemployed but it is not an easy task. No individual looks forward to being a statistic and that is exactly what the government is making them out to be. If an individual needs to be retrained to re-enter the job market who will be responsible for paying for their education.

There are no positive aspects of unemployment; it is known to be really bad for the production of the economy. Long-term unemployment is an even bigger strain because it can lead to poverty. However, these things cannot be avoided if there are no private investments. For example if private companies do not expand their activities fast enough the economy suffers. But, the suffering starts with those who are laid off due to lack of labor. Companies that are experiencing operational downfalls feel the need to lay off employees to keep up with the economy. Some are outsourcing their labor for cheaper pay, some are experiencing slow to no production at all, which result in downsizing or closing.

According to Kono (2011), “Trade openness and high social spending go hand in hand, at least in wealthy democracies” (p. 3). However, with no production, trade, or sell, there is more room for unemployed individuals. The government does not realize the strong role they play in the unemployment rate and neither to the companies that have the ability to hire, those who are actively seeking unemployment. Koning (2010) concluded that corruption and nepotism in our country keeps people unemployed also.

With the pressures of being unemployed and being force to job search some have actually fallen sick. Some have become victims to substance abuse and suicide. The government is well aware of these issues, yet they continue to make things difficult for those who are or have become ill during their time of unemployment. According to Mitchell (2010), “Unemployed workers who are ill are least likely to find new employment” (p. 61). No company wants to run the risk of hiring an individual who is ill then have them not show up for work because they are sick.

This is even more of a reason for the government to back-off just a little. According to Krueger and Mueller (2010), “Unemployed workers express much dissatisfaction with their lives, and their self-reported mood worsens the longer they are employed” (p. 43). In this country everything revolves around politics, and when there is a law or regulation that needs to be changed, the people has to vote on it. However, when it comes to certain issues, such as the regulation of unemployment, the people are left to accept what is handed down by the government, which is not very much. And if an individual has lived a luxurious lifestyle due to what they were making before the layoff their bills will become major debts.

According to Goerke, Pannenberg, and Ursprung (2010), “Unemployment benefits vary greatly across countries, both with respect to their structure and their level” (p. 150). However, the different states in the United States regulates its benefits closely the same. There is no reason why any family should have to suffer when there is an individual unemployed. If the country would put harder regulations on those who have never had a job but are receiving food or cash assistance, those benefits could be given to those who have been laid off. According to Lancaster (2012), “There are more individuals receiving SNAP food assistance that are not currently receiving unemployment” (p. 12).

People are not asking for handouts but yet they are being treated as such. It has gotten so bad that many who were unemployed have begun taking positions for lesser earnings, and no benefits. If they rush out to get positions where they do not have benefits and become ill then they face another issue, with no help from the government. Unemployment is not an issue that can be fixed overnight but there are many ways that the process can start. However, if society does not stand up and demand a change, it will always remain the same. It is sad to know that people have to face these issues when they have been laid off but life is not fair.

Unemployment reduces the production of consumer and capital goods, causing a decrease in the current living standards and economic growth. The unemployed and their families suffer economic and social hardship due to loss of income and social stigma attached to being unemployed. The unemployed undergo financial hardships as their debt levels increase and possibly leading to homelessness and shelter snags. Van Ours (2006) stated, “Realizing that being laid off is not self implemented is the first step to coping with the stress of being unemployed and assist in an individual’s motivation to not give up” (p. 355).

Although citizens who are unemployed have various steps they can take in recovering from being laid off, so do companies and businesses. The sooner this observation is realized by the government the better off those who are unemployed will be. Krueger and Mueller (2011) stated, “Counting social costs of unemployment is very difficult but it has been linked to social trends including rising crime rates, increased drug and alcohol abuse, and health problems.

Individuals who have been laid off face a lot of difficulties, and then they run the risk of becoming depressed amongst other major issues that are tied to being unemployed. The government is not offering any help for those who are ill or become ill during this time. But yet, they will strip away the benefits from these individuals. The negative consequences of being laid off have a widespread effect on various individuals, communities, and American society that quickly molds into a snowball effect. According to Valletta, Rob, Kuang

Georke, L., Pannenberg, M., & Ursprung, H. (2010). A positive theory of the earnings relationship of unemployment benefits, Public Choice, 145(1/2), 150. Kahan, K., & Wentworth, G. (2011). Out of work and out of luck. Nation, 294(1), 18. Koning, P. (2010). Disability insurance and unemployment as substitute pathways. Applied Economics, 42(5), 579.

Kono, D. (2011). Insuring free trade: Unemployment insurance and trade policy. Business and Politics, 13(3), 3.
Krueger, A., & Mueller, A. (2011). Job search, emotional well being, and job finding in a period of mass unemployment: Evidence from high frequency longitudinal data. Brooking Papers on Economic Activity, (1), 43.

Lancaster, L. (2012). Changes in federal and state unemployment insurance legislation in 2011. Monthly Labor Review, 135(2), 15.
Lauringson, A., (2011). Disincentive effects of unemployment insurance benefits: Maximum Benefit duration versus benefit level. Baltic Journal of Economics, 11(1), 29. Lauringson, A., (2011). Unemployment benefits in a
period of crisis: The effect on unemployment duration. University of Tartu-Facility of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series, (82), 8.

McConnell, C. (2011). No fault of her own: Redressing family responsibilities discrimination
in the state unemployment compensation systems. Labor Law Journal, 3(62), 130. Mitchell, M. (2010). Gender and unemployment insurance: Why women receive unemployment
benefits at lower rates than men and will unemployment reform close the gender gap?,
Texas Journal of Women & The law, 20(1), 69.
Van Ours, J. (2006). How shortening the potential duration of unemployment benefits affects the
duration of unemployment: Evidence from a natural experiment. Journal of Labor Economics, 24(2) 352.

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