Putting The Un In Unemployed
The current unemployment rate for the United States is 9.1%. That’s not as high as it’s ever been, but it’s definitely on the high end of the spectrum and higher than it has been in quite some time. Some people blame the recession and the layoffs that came with it. Some people say the rate is high because new jobs aren’t being created. Others say that the jobs are there but employers are refusing to hire new employees, leaving positions unfilled and people out of work. I’ve also heard that the stock market is to blame. Surprisingly, the one place I haven’t seen blame laid is on the unemployed themselves.
The problem I see is that some people are simply happy to collect unemployment benefits and/or live off of family members or friends. This blogger points out ways that our government makes it easy to remain unemployed and profit from it. There are countless articles and blogs dedicated to the amazing perks of remaining among the jobless; you get to sleep late, eat breakfast every day, spend early afternoons in the park, and take up a new hobby. Your family will become closer due to the time spent together, and maybe you can start your own business, possibly selling on eBay or maybe at one of those Work At Home websites. It’s great… except for the fact that you don’t have a job.
I understand completely that there are a good number of unemployed folk out there who are working their tails off to try to find work and who refuse to give up hope. I also know that sadly, the majority has gone the opposite route and is seeking ways to be happily unemployed rather than continue to seek for work. When I worked for a chiropractic office, we had a lot of turn over in our marketing department and with our massage therapists. Every single one of them filed for unemployment after being terminated and about 2/3rds earned unemployment compensation, approximately 20 people. What was stopping them from getting another job and bouncing back? Why did they feel the need to immediately file for unemployment after termination?
The problem isn’t that there isn’t a single job out there available, the problem is that the unemployed person doesn’t want the job that’s available. When I chose to leave the chiropractic office, I started with a new company the very next day. When that company didn’t work out for me, I immediately scored an interview with another. After a week of actual unemployment, I landed in the job that I currently hold. I always had the back up plan of going back to waiting tables if nothing panned out, but thankfully I didn’t have to. The short-term job I held was definitely NOT something I wanted to do, but it was a job. When you’re out on your ass, you take what you can get and keep actively searching for something better. I’ve been part of the work force since I turned 16 and in the 14 years I’ve held jobs, I’ve never had an issue finding a job or been forced into unemployment because I couldn’t find work. The jobs are there, they are always there, you just have to search hard and sometimes lower your standards a bit.
I don’t believe that 95% of the people receiving unemployment should be getting it. The only valid reasons I can think of for earning it are reasons associated with workers compensation or employer misconduct, and that becomes a separate legal issue. Unemployment wages are funded by the company, who pays 6.2% to 5.4% of the first $7,000 of the employee’s wages per year into a fund that pays for unemployment. Once that is paid, the employer pays a very small percentage with a dollar maximum before they are done for the year. It’s not a lot. This site claims that this money is paid back to the employee when they file for unemployment and this is an excellent reason for every person who is laid off should take advantage of unemployment benefits since the money has been set aside for them for this very situation.
Surely I’m not the only one who looks at that and thinks it’s a load of crap. EVERY person should “take advantage” of this? Why, so they can get comfortable and file to receive Extended Benefits from their state once they exhaust the funds from their company, or any one of the other federally funded programs that are in place to take over once the regular unemployment benefits are over? The percentage the employer pays should be reserved for people who actually DESERVE unemployment, and NOT those who whine because it’s too hard to find a new job. Not for those who consider themselves above flipping burgers and bussing tables and want the benefits over a less than desirable job, and not for those who are just plain lazy. Saying it’s too hard or blaming the economy is nothing more than an excuse and a way for people to feel justified in staying home and collecting a paycheck for doing close to nothing.
Obviously, I’m highly against unemployment. If you’re reading this and you’re collecting or know someone who is, I’m pretty confident that I can find reasons why you or your buddy shouldn’t be doing so. If you’re a special case, obviously this isn’t about you. All I’m saying is that good things don’t come to those who wait, and nothing comes to the guy sending out the minimum amount of applications required to keep his unemployment checks coming. Except for free money, that is. But what good does it do? What are you accomplishing? What does it do to your self-worth to sit there knowing that you’re getting money you haven’t earned because you’re too sad and pathetic to find a job?
When I was getting tired of the position I’m currently in, I started throwing my resume out there. I don’t have a degree or overly impressive job experience, but my resume looks pristine and highly professional. I received half a dozen calls for interviews from legitimate companies over the span of a week. Thankfully, I didn’t need it because I found a new employer within the same building, but it proves that with time and effort and care about the way you sell yourself to a potential employer, you can find work. In the meantime, get yourself a “for now” job, something to tide you over while you’re on the hunt for something more permanent. NONE OF US are above dropping fries at Burger King or straightening racks of clothes at Marshalls. Be an adult and quit treating unemployment benefits like Mom and federal funding like Dad. Hand out time needs to end. It’s time for everyone to being to stand on their own two feet, own their situation, and accept responsibility for either making it better or falling on your face. The only person who dictates your success or failure is you.