Prof Michael Blagg
September 19, 2011
The down turn of the economy has stirred up some issues that most people were not prepared to deal with. The unemployment rate is at a petrifying rate and the worst part is that it is even worse than it looks. There are many factors in addition to the unemployment rate alone that are going to prolong the recovery of the job market. In this paper, “underemployment” is defined and explained in terms of rates. Reasons why people are underemployed and how they got there are discussed. Why do people fear underemployment? What are some things that people can do to get themselves out of the rut of being underemployed? What are some ways to prevent unemployment?
These questions are answered along with many other questions as well. Although underemployment may seem like only a negative thing, these times in our economy are very a very important part of this country’s history and long term growth. Underemployment teaches a very valuable lesson to many people. When the economy is in a downward slope, the strongest people will survive in this economy and the weaker people will have devastating consequences.
Having recently celebrated Labor Day 2011, the truth is that many US workers are very scared of what direction this economy is going. We are now in the slowest economic recovery since the great depression and it is highly affecting families and their financial recourses are dwindling. The unemployment rates are very deceiving because they do not account for those whom are underemployed. The definition of underemployment is [A measure of employment and labor utilization in the economy that looks at how well the labor force is being utilized in terms of skills, experience and availability to work. Labor that falls under the underemployment classification includes those workers that are highly skilled but working in low paying jobs, workers that are highly skilled but work in low skill jobs and part-time workers that would prefer to be full-time. This is different from unemployment in that the individual is working but isn't working at their full capability.] (Investopedia.com)
According to the Huffington Post, the 14 million unemployed Americans are not only competing with each other; they are competing with 8.8 million other people that are part time workers, which fall under the category “underemployed”, are not considered unemployed. There is also 2.6 million people that are not counted as unemployed because they have just given up on looking for work. Combined, the 14 million unemployed Americans, the part timers or underemployed workers that want full time work, and the people that got discouraged and just gave up looking, equal 16.2 percent of the working-aged Americans. (Wiseman & Leonard, 2011)
The unemployment rate does not fully explain the reality of this country’s economy. It does not put into account all those business owners whom are hanging on by a string trying to keep their heads above water and their businesses open. It does not show how many workers that are taking a lot less pay to try to keep some income coming in. It doesn’t show those who have had their hours cut down to just under full time so they lose their benefits. Many workers are going back to college, racking on more debt in hopes to be more marketable in the work force.
The issue here is that the recovery of unemployment is going to be prolonged more than the media makes it seem because they are not putting into account that those whom have part time work will most likely get moved to full time before any new people get hired. Next, all those discouraged people that gave up looking will eventually jump back into the market. With the scarcity of jobs people are taking anything they can to pay the bills, so the jobs that are normally considered “entry level” or “college” jobs are being taken by...