Unemployment Issues in the United States
Carson Hall Sales
Dr. Ajith Silva
BEHS210 Section 6380 Semester 1309
Table of Contents
Introduction and Statement of Purpose
Ronald Reagan once said that “Unemployment Insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.” However, unemployment is not defined by voluntarily deciding to leave a job. Involuntary termination comes in two forms, dismissal and layoff. If the employee is dismissed, or “fired”, then it was their fault for not complying with the conditions of their employment. A layoff results from a reason not related to performance. For example, the company could be going out of business, discontinuing a good or service, illuminating specific positions or the position could have been a temporary one.
On a larger scale, the current recession in the United States has dramatically effected its labor force. Initially, “the female labor force… [increased] by about a million women” but since then “[the] growth stopped and a slight reversal occurred” (Higgs, 2014). The male labor force has had its own inconsistencies. Although in the last year the percentage of Americans out of work has fallen, the rate of unemployment is reason to be concerned. The total civilian employment is still two million jobs below its level at the end of 2007 as shown in the graphs from the article (Higgs, 2014).
The question is will economic and policy change put millions of people back to work. Some studies show a decline in people seeking employment if given other options like retirement or government programs. Other people may suffer from health problems associated with the loss of their job. One fact is certain that if the United States does not see the return of employment rates that it can lead to a slowly dissolving economy. Therefore, “medical interventions, social welfare initiatives, and public health policies” are required to “protect mental health during… adulthood [which] could ultimately improve population health in the future” (Mossakowski, 2009). The Political Perspective on the Issue
As mentioned in the introduction, the question of how the government views unemployment has long been debated. Welfare. In a reference to Esping-Andersen who studied the welfare state, the article describes how the “generosity” of the government causes higher unemployment (Denier & Smith, 2012). Welfare assists citizens whose income falls below the poverty line. They can receive food stamps, cash assistance, free or reduction in rent housing, health insurance, daycare and other benefits depending on their circumstances. The fear is that people will realize their ability to function solely on the assistance. Thus, “employees deploy less effort at work… employees will quit demanding jobs [and] it prolongs spells of unemployment by reducing the incentive to find work” (Denier & Smith, 2012). Neoliberalism. A political philosophy that supports privatization, deregulation, free trade and open markets is Neoliberalism. The Reagan and both Bush administrations focused on policies formed from this philosophy which led to economic depression. During the Clinton administration, the fundamental idea was “to ‘develop the economy before the military’… [which] inaugurated the era of the ‘new economy’” (Jinhua, 2013). During this period, the unemployment rate was at its lowest.
Neoliberal policies expand the gap between the rich and poor. Due to the removal of restrictions on finance, trade and investment, capital could expand to better quality innovations. For example, the improvement in technology and the use of more efficient manufacturing reduced employment opportunities. Companies constantly search to limit their labor and product costs which can be done by decreasing “blue-collar employment” (Jinhua, 2013). The Economic Perspective on the Issue
Homelessness, based on the responses in a study, is caused from “unemployment, cost of housing, substance abuse, medical or mental health...
References: Diamond, P. (2013). Cyclical unemployment, structural unemployment. Research Review(19), 31-34.
Fogg, N. P., Harrington, P. E., & McMahon, B. T. (2010). The impact of the great recession upon the unemployment of americans with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 193-202.
Jinhua, L. (2013). Analysis of the high unemployment rate in the USA. World Review of Political Economy, 4(2), 218-229.
Kozman, D., Graziul, C., Gibbons, R., & Alexander, G. C. (2012). Association between unemployment rates and prescription drug utilization in the United States. BMC Health Services Research, 12.
Mossakowski, K. N. (2009). The influence of past unemployment duration on symptoms of depression among young women and men in the United States. American Journal of Public Health.
Notara, V., Koulouridis, K., Violatzis, A., & Vagka, E. (2013). Economic crisis and health: The role of health care professionals. Health Science Journal, 7(2), 149-154.
Vroman, W., & Woodbury, S. A. (2014). Financing unemployment insurance. National Tax Journal, 67(1), 253-268.
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