Essay on Unemployment Is a Serious Social Issue

2267 Words Mar 8th, 2012 10 Pages
LAT1 Task 5 Final 8-2-11
Paul D Burns
Western Governors University

Unemployment is a Serious Social Issue
Unemployment is the condition and extent of individuals out of work within an economy, measured by the “official” unemployment rate (U-5). This measure is the number of unemployed workers divided by the total civilian labor force. As of June the “official” unemployment rate stands at 9.2%. What is rarely reported, and even more ominous, is the underemployment rate. This rate includes two groups that are not considered in the official unemployment rate: discouraged and part-time workers (U.S. Congress, 1986, p. 12). As of June 2011 the U-6 rate stands at 16.2%. There is evidence that underemployment is pervasive in the United
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Businesses that may potentially relocate to depressed areas look at the potential labor pool available for employment in their decision process. Underreporting of unemployment may keep businesses from relocating (U.S. Congress, 1986). With more people being out of work, and for longer periods time, we see an increase in financial hardships to American families.
With the official unemployment rate at 9.2% and the underemployment rate hovering at 16.2% it is estimated that nearly 11 of every 100 workers permanently lost their jobs over a three-year period (McLaughlin, 2011, p. 1). It is also understood that those who are less employable are individuals who will remain unemployed longer and are less likely to be rehired (Aaronson, 2010, p. 32). One cannot ignore the financial ramifications this causes to American families.
To understand the financial hardships the unemployed face we must first study where their financial support comes from. Financial resources utilized by a study of 324 unemployed blue collar workers included unemployment benefits (48%), federal means-tested programs (56%), public assistance (44%), and 20% were assisted by charitable organizations (Sales, 1995, p. 487). Further, the unemployed relied on family and friends (42%), their own ability to earn money (41%), personal savings (23%), and loans (17%) (Sales, 1995, p. 488). It is also apparent that the longer the

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