Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unemployment problems

There are many many problems that result from unemployment, including non economic problems. The greatest is probably the inability of the unemployed to provide for himself and his family (herself and her family) as well as the inability to fulfill one's vocation through work. The problem is exacerbated when employers have greater discretion on who to hire because of the huge availability of job-seekers. Two things I have read recently highlight this problem.

One is from a Reader's Digest article where Cynthia Shapiro, a former HR executive and author of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know quoted “Once you’re unemployed more than six months, you’re considered pretty much unemployable. We assume that other people have already passed you over, so we don’t want anything to do with you.”

The other is from this Yahoo news article that reports that numerous employers won't even consider you for employment if you've been convicted of a crime, including minor misdemeanors, which happens to include 65 million Americans.

I'm not arguing that employers should not hire the best candidates in favor of a felon or someone without experience or necessary skills, but it is a serious problem when employers won't even consider convicted criminals and those who've been unemployed for over 6 months.

There is only one direction for these people in our society to go. Recessions aren't felt evenly, the poor/unemployed suffer a much greater share of the burden than those who are better off. It is our responsibility to help these people. Not to just give them handouts, but to enable them to find jobs, provide them with stability, and in the case of criminals, help them turn their lives around. We should share our wealth in the good times and our burdens in the bad times.

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