What does Unemployment mean to you?
January 28, 2011 - So exactly what do you think of when you read or hear about unemployment? Is it just a number to you? There were about 14.5 Million Americans (that is 14,500,000 former workers laid off from their jobs) out of work last year as seen from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic website of final numbers from the December 2010 labor report.
Does unemployment have a meaning to you if you are working and the unemployment rate in the United States is 9.4%? If you are employed you are part of the 90.6% with a job. You are a very hard working member of the American Labor Force that continues to make this country run. Does being a member of either percent category have any meaning to you? Do you have an emotion you would like to express? Happiness perhaps? Disdain for others? Anger?
In reply to an article written by a Mr. Mark Johnson of the news website Obama.net (along with a comment from Ms. Nancy Green) I found a wonderful analysis of the reasons why some of those out of work continue to be out of work. Please make the time to visit Obama.net and read the article yourself, the title of Mr. Johnson's article is,
"99er’s Exhausting Unemployment Benefits, No One To Blame But Themselves"
Oh, Ms. Nancy Green, if you were out of work and had no money to pay for your mortgage or rent, would you call yourself a whiner?
My questions started with the 14.5 Million Americans out of work last year, have they been too lazy to do anything else but just sit at home and collect unemployment benefits? Is it even possible that all of the unemployed (yes, all 14.5 million Americans ) have been: looking for work, filling out job applications, going on interviews for open positions, and finding ways to make their lives better for themselves and their families? These 14.5 Million Americans were working at jobs before they were jobless. Do you really think any person would choose not to work and instead collect unemployment benefits? Do you think 14.5 Million Americans felt that they no longer needed a job and just stopped working? And that after all this time searching for a new job, they are still out of work because they decided that not having a job has a more positive future outcome than other options?
Is it possible that a people aren't working due to simple economic factors (supply and demand, growth verses retraction) rather than that the unemployed are as your state Ms. Green, "Ummm can we say LAZY?". A Global Economic Recession has caused many companies to look at ways to cut spending while increasing profits. And with limited growth predictions for the next few years, these same companies are not hiring very many people because of this limited growth. Is the company you are working for hiring a large number of the 14.5 Million looking for work? How many of those employed can say their company is doing their part and has hired 5,000 people in the last three years? 500 new hires perhaps? Let's say 50 new employees for 50 newly created jobs?
And is it even possible to consider that in the creation of the over 1 Million Jobs in 2010 (as presented by Mark Johnson) there would not be a job for every single person who was out of work? Even if every one of those jobs were filled by the unemployed, that would leave 13 to 14 Million people without a job in 2010? 13,500,000 Americans with no income and no job opportunities due to the recession.
And if you consider the fact that with new jobs created, and that "the jobs are there" for everyone, those with a job will apply with those who are out of work. Also new college graduates just entering the work force will apply for those same jobs. Not all of the over one million jobs created would have gone directly to the jobless. And again referring to the article, most of the jobs found in the Industry Employment Trends for December 2010 require some type of degree that most people recently unemployed would not be able to obtain in the year or two while out of work (jobs in accounting, education, healthcare, and information technology all need class time of several years and tuition funds to complete). I would say the recent college graduates would have the education necessary to be hired for those positions as they have the very specific education requirements for those positions.
People are expressing their fears and loss of work, which means loss of income. Being on unemployment does not create feeling of security, being unemployed creates uncertainty and worry of how to pay the bills. Being unemployed makes you wonder about the value of all your many years of experience when you can't find a new job. Unemployment funds are used to pay for shelter, food, and basic necessities, there is nothing left over, there is nothing extra. Yes you get to spend more time with your family, but it also gives you more time to stress about the fact that there is no real dependable income source for your present financial situation. Once there are no funds coming in, what do you do to take care of the basics? How do you take care of your responsibilities of a regular normal life?
I assume that you, Ms. Green, not only believe every "fact" of the article by Mr. Johnson, but view those on Unemployment Benefits in a very similar way. It has been opinions from working people who cannot believe that people are still out of work after all of this time and will only see the person out of work as wanting to continue that luxurious lifestyle created by unemployment funds. With that way of thinking there is no way for the country to move forward, because those who have a job cannot feel anything for those without. A better understanding of the true numbers of unemployed and what that means to the country in the long term is what is needed now. Long Term Unemployment is not a growth factor for the country. People want to work and are willing to work, ask anyone who is on unemployment if they want your job and are willing to trade places.
It has always amazed me how a person can use numbers or statistics in their own favor to represent their point of view. Unemployment did not just invent itself during this recession. In every economic downturn the United States has gone through, the number of people employed decreased, while at the same time the number of people unemployed increased. Simple concept. Could it be said that all of the people who were unemployed in the past and are presently unemployed at this time on benefits to be "LAZY" and have "No One To Blame But Themselves"? I totally disagree with Ms. Green and Mr. Johnson on this way of thinking, we all want to work and earn our keep. Who does not want to spend the time making a better life and is willing to do anything to reach that goal? One must be optimistic and believe that the unemployed are doing their best to succeed and survive, it is the only thing to do to be as successful as in the past.
Thanks for your opinion Ms. Green, I do hope the best to you as I would never want to see you laid off and lazy on unemployment. And as for Mr. Johnson, his article had some purpose as it created an emotion, enough to get a response out of me.