Hope and Change: Chronic Unemployment in the U.S.
Bonita Guesman, 59, who has occupied several jobs, now starts all over again at the Goodwill Industries classrooms in the South Side on Monday, July 20, 2015. She is going to complete her GED program after she had got laid off.
She had been looking for a job for five months until she realized that every potential employer wants to see a high school diploma beside professionally written CV and other documents. Bonita has been working her entire life to support herself and her family. A woman used to work mostly in the legal and banking. She had worked for 8 years at Bank of New York Mellon and when she got laid off she faced some difficulties in the labour market.
Tired of always being refused, Bonita decided to completely change the situation. A woman applied to high school to get her GED.
Millions of able-bodied Americans, as well as Bonita, tend to disappear from the job market being in ignorance about their future job. Despite working stability, many economists still are hedged about the state of the economy.
What Do Economists Consider?
Generally, economists strongly disagree with a common opinion. The economic activity rate or a percentage of running adults or those who are looking for a job is extremely small. It is the lowest since October 1977. However, this recession isn’t caused by a lack of jobs. In total, 3 million jobs were available during the previous year.
Bruce Fallick, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland who has studied the decline in labor force participation considers a young generation to be one of the decline reasons.
Those who stayed at high school for too long or started a family too early caused falling labor force participation. Still, there are more reasons. Adults in their 40 or 50 being laid off don’t really hurry to get back to the work. The reason is unknown.
However, being unemployed for too long can make job skills no longer in demand. Exactly this outcome most economists foresee mostly for the middle-class. Sometimes they develop problems that may keep them out of the work (alcohol or health issues, for instance).
Social Factors: Help or Disservice?
Some people consider such social supports as disability insurance to be harmful to society. The reason is that they encourage people to stay jobless. Stanford economist Mark Duggan found out that dissatisfied adults aged 25-64 hold job seekers from participating in a job market. Nevertheless, Economic Policy Institute disagrees with the aforesaid assumption. It supposes population growth and baby booms to be a decline reason.
In a case Congress does not replenish the program’s trust fund; disability insurance benefits will be cut. Even though, this money supports about 11 million people. However, it may work as a good stimulation for jobless to find work. Those who are in need should put together and work hard.
The Other Side of Job Seeking Process
Sometimes a job-seeking process may be tough. Older job seekers usually face online application process problems. Still, lots of companies prefer this type of application. Guesman, by the way, suffered from this issue too. She used to ask about an interview meeting and came herself to persuade potential employers to hire her. But now she doesn’t consider this idea to be good. ‘My review was nice, however, I don’t think they even look through it,’ she said.
Yet, highly skilled professionals outlast some problems too. Jackie Newman, for instance, a biology professor at the University of Pittsburgh has been worked for 12 years there before she was laid off last August.
She refused to take any other position in academia and started looking for a new job. She thought her biology background would be a privilege. However, she didn’t manage to arrange an interview and decided to create a new resume. She gave up searching for a job because she was sure no one even looks at her documents.
Now Newman is focused on networking and a ‘survival’ job, earning about $10 per hour at Office Max. Patrick Ferraro, an employer relations consultant at the Career Development Center in Pittsburgh, says Jackie is not the only one surviving these problems.
Looking for a job and being considered seems to be depressing for highly educated professionals. They may give up soon due to repeated rejections. Nevertheless, there still exist optimistic people. Kurt Meixner, the banker in the past and welder in present, cashed out his retirement savings and now completing a program at Community College of Allegheny County.
He remained hopeless for the job market until last year. However, his younger classmate who earned $20 per hour motivated Kurt to think positively and to use his management experience in order to get a job.
Guesman is planning to continue her education in the fall at CCAC and to run a part-time job. But after graduation, she is dreaming to work on herself.
“I want to be my own boss for a change,” she says.