FileUnemployment

The national Unemployment Rate in September 2017 was 4.2%, a fall of 0.2 percent, compared to the previous month. In aggregate, there were a little over 33,000 jobs reduced from the economy during this month. The negative impact of Hurricane Harvey and Irma could be felt in industries such as food services and drinking places which registered a negative growth.

By the end of September 2017, the number of unemployed persons declined by about 331,000 to 6.8 million.

Unemployment Rate among Major Workers Groups

  • Adult Men – 3.9%
  • Adult Women – 3.9%
  • Teenagers – 12.9%

All the categories above recorded a positive growth during the month, both in comparison to the previous month and to the same period in 2016.

Unemployment Rate among Ethnic Groups

  • Blacks – 7.0%
  • Asians – 3.7%
  • Whites – 3.7%
  • Hispanics – 5.1%

 In the categorization based on ethnicity, the jobless rates among Blacks saw a considerable decline of 0.7% from the last month. All other groups recorded negligible decline.

 General Highlights

  • Those falling into the category of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) witnessed a marginal decline during this month. It stood at 1.7 million, covering 25.5 percent of the unemployed persons.
  • The number of people who worked part-time for economic reasons was 5.1 million. People falling under this category wanted to work full-time but were employed part-time since their hours were cut or could not find full-time hours, both due to involuntary reasons.
  • In the category of marginally attached to the labor force, a little over 1.6 million persons were tagged under this. Since people falling under this segment had not looked for employment in 4 weeks before the survey, they were not considered as “unemployed”.

Employment Data in Various Industries (Top Highlights)

1) As an after-effect of the hurricanes, a little over 105,000 jobs were lost in the food services and drinking places. On an average, this industry has added 24,000 jobs per month over the last 112 months.  

2) At +23,000, Health Care added the highest number of jobs among all categories during September 2017. In the last 12 months, it has gained an average of 27,000 jobs per month.

3) Transportation and warehousing were the second highest grosser at +22,000 jobs followed by financial activities that clocked +10,000 jobs during September.

Other Highlights
  • The average workweek for all employees was 34.4 hours, the same as the previous month.
  • The manufacturing workweek was 40.7 hours, unchanged from the previous month. The overtime was 3.3 hours.
  • The average hourly earnings for all employees was $26.55, up by 12 cents from August 2017.
  • With an increase of 9 cents, the average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees in the private sector were $22.23.

The trade-off between inflation and unemployment

The trade-off between inflation and unemployment was first reported by A. W. Phillips in 1958—and so has been christened the Phillips curve. The simple intuition behind this trade-off is that as unemployment falls, workers are empowered to push for higher wages.

Firms try to pass these higher wage costs to consumers, resulting in higher prices and an inflationary build up in the economy. The trade-off suggested by the Phillips curve implies that policymakers can target low inflation rates or low unemployment, but not both. During the 1960s, monetarists emphasized price stability (low inflation), while Keynesians more often emphasized job creation.

Relation between inflation and unemployment
Striking Inflation

Stagflation in the 1970s

The experience of so-called stagflation in the 1970s, with simultaneously high rates of both inflation and unemployment, began to discredit the idea of a stable trade-off between the two. In place of the Phillips curve, many economists began to posit a “natural rate of unemployment”. If unemployment were to fall below this “natural” rate, however slightly, inflation would begin to accelerate.

Under the “natural rate of unemployment “theory (also called the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment, or NAIRU), instead of choosing between higher unemployment and higher inflation, policymakers were told to focus on ensuring that the economy remained at its “natural” rate: the challenge was to accurately estimate its level and to steer the economy toward growth rates that maintain price stability, no matter what the corresponding level of unemployment.

Pros and Cons of the NAIRU Effect

The NAIRU has been extremely difficult to pin down in practice. Not only are estimates of it notoriously imprecise, the rate itself evidently changes over time. In the United States, estimates of the NAIRU rose from about 4.4% in the 1960s, to 6.2% in the 1970s, and further to 7.2% in the 1980s. This trend reversed itself in the 1990s, as officially reported unemployment fell. In the latter half of the 1990s, U.S. inflation remained nearly dormant at around 3%, while unemployment fell to around 4.6%. In the later Clinton years many economists warned that if unemployment was brought any lower, inflationary pressures might spin out of control. But growth in these years did not spill over into accelerating inflation.

Depicting the inverse relation between inflation and unemployment through the Phillips Curve

The early idea for the Phillips curve was proposed in 1958 by economist A.W. Phillips. In his original paper, Phillips tracked wage changes and unemployment changes in Great Britain from 1861 to 1957, and found that there was a stable, inverse relationship between wages and unemployment. This correlation between wage changes and unemployment seemed to hold for Great Britain and for other industrial countries. In 1960, economists Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow expanded this work to reflect the relationship between inflation and unemployment. Because wages are the largest components of prices, inflation (rather than wage changes) could be inversely linked to unemployment.

The theory of the Phillips curve seemed stable and predictable. Data from the 1960’s modeled the trade-off between unemployment and inflation fairly well. The Phillips curve offered potential economic policy outcomes: fiscal and monetary policy could be used to achieve full employment at the cost of higher price levels, or to lower inflation at the cost of lowered employment. However, when governments attempted to use the Phillips curve to control unemployment and inflation, the relationship fell apart. Data from the 1970’s and onward did not follow the trend of the classic Phillips curve. For many years, both the rate of inflation and the rate of unemployment were higher than the Phillips curve would have predicted, a phenomenon known as “stagflation.” Ultimately, the Phillips curve was proved to be unstable, and therefore, not usable for policy purposes.

Monetarists’ Rebuttal

The 1960s provided compelling proof of the validity of the Phillips Curve, i.e. that a lower unemployment rate could be maintained indefinitely as long as a higher inflation rate could be tolerated. However, in the late 1960s, a group of economists who were staunch monetarists, led by Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps, argued that the Phillips Curve does not apply over the long term. Their contention was that over the long run, the economy tends to revert to the natural rate of unemployment as it adjusts to any rate of inflation.

Consider a scenario in which the natural rate of unemployment is prevalent. (The natural rate* is the long-term unemployment rate that is observed once the effect of short-term cyclical factors has dissipated, and wages have adjusted to a level where supply and demand in the labor market are balanced). If workers expect prices to rise, they will demand higher wages so that their real (inflation-adjusted) wages are constant.

Now, if monetary or fiscal policies are adopted to lower unemployment below the natural rate, the resultant increase in demand will encourage firms and producers to raise prices even faster. As inflation accelerates, workers may supply labor in the short term because of higher wages — leading to a decline in the unemployment rate — but over a longer term, when they are fully aware of the loss of their purchasing power in an inflationary environment, their willingness to supply labor diminishes and the unemployment rate rises to the natural rate. However, wage inflation and general price inflation continue to rise.

Over longer periods, higher inflation would not benefit the economy through a lower rate of unemployment; by the same token, a lower rate of inflation should not inflict a cost on the economy through a higher rate of unemployment. Since inflation has no impact on the unemployment rate in the long term, the long-run Phillips curve morphs into a vertical line at the natural rate of unemployment. Friedman and Phelps’ findings gave rise to the distinction between the short-run and long-run Phillips curves. The short-run Phillips curve includes expected inflation as a determinant of the current rate of inflation and hence is known by the formidable moniker “expectations-augmented Phillips Curve.”

(* Note that the natural rate of unemployment is not a static number but changes over time due to the influence of a number of factors. These include:

  • The impact of technology,
  • Changes in minimum wages,
  1. The degree of unionization.

In the U.S., the natural rate of unemployment was at 5.3% in 1949, rose steadily until it peaked at 6.3% in 1978-79, and declined thereafter; it is expected to be at 4.8% for a decade starting from 2016).

Walk into a dinner party with strangers and the conversation starts with what you do for a living, children from kindergarten to near adults in high school are constantly faced with the question of what their parents are and what they do; by and by our identities are inseparable from our field of work, position and employment status. Looking at the flip side, each of these casually made remarks holds within them the reactions of shock and pity when the other is unemployed for the time being.

Stigma in the society when it comes to unemployment, for however short a time it may be, can cause distress to the individual and their loved ones – pushing them to their limits both physically and mentally. The proportional relationship between unemployment and physical health is undeniable, but the way it impacts social behavior can often be trivialized and overlooked even though it is just as or even more important. From a simple act, such as living a double life to hide one’s idleness or keep financial distress from your family by continuing to live a lavish lifestyle through credit and debt, emotionally destructive decisions such as these can both waste time as well as curb positive results.

Unemployment and its Solutions

From clinical depression, alcoholism to cope, and even increased rates of suicide, the situation seems grim, but know that unemployment isn’t permanent and the consequences can be dealt with, as can the societal stigmas. The issue is two-fold, both which exist as two sides of a coin.

1.  Questioning Self and guilt

Though it is easier said than done, it is of utmost importance that you do not link your self-worth to your employment status. Blaming oneself for the lack of a steady income, or for being laid-off, can keep you from even getting out of bed every morning, consequently cutting down on your proactive actions to solve the issue at hand.

What’s worse, doubting and guilt can keep you from accepting support or help, and even imagine stigma and persecution where there may not be any.

2.   Stigmatization and pity from others

The reaction of people around you can cause anguish in a large way as well; negative perceptions and even pity and sympathy can function as then looking down on you. It’s all about dealing with the situation at hand, making it essential for you keep your head up high and work towards objective and constructive solutions.

Working through unemployment

The solution to social stigmas when it comes to being a part of the unemployed section of society, even for a few months, is primarily to do with perceptions. Even from the opinion of a potential employer, the need to keep occupied and productive in one way or the other is seen as a positive use of time, not to mention being engrossed will keep you involved, distracted and usefully engaged.  

Keeping busy

Building upon a curriculum vitae and resume in the present job market isn’t about only official work experience and recommendations, in fact, an out-of-the-box involvement in activities is greatly appreciated and makes your resume stand out – pointing towards your active participation in community projects and exercises even at a time of difficulty.

Look to spread out to areas outside your comfort zone and field, focusing on skills such as teamwork, community interactions, multitasking, and initiative – all skills that an employer is bound to notice in an application. Social stigmas and an employer’s hesitation can be handled with one swift sweep, showing both the other and yourself that you aren’t one of the lazy and languid unemployed.

Even as a direct result, a mere volunteering project and a non-profit initiative can lead to employment opportunities – allowing you alternative modes of networking and relationship building and pointing you towards areas you may not have considered before.  

Sharpening your gray matter

A few months of losing touch with constant work can make you lose speed and skill – it is not always like riding a bike and adjusting in your new place of work can be an issue for a while. If you are out of work, keep updated on the current activities in your field, keep your brain cells working and try and explore opportunities in freelance and apprenticeships that may not pay much but will at least keep you in the loop.

Alongside, it is an idea to extend your skills as well, taking certificate courses and updating your resume through learning as opposed to only clear-cut work experience. Stagnation is the greatest worry when one is unemployed, and adding to your aptitude and expertise can only ever help.

Dealing with the hiring process

The constant job hunt is a given through the period of unemployment, and the stigmas often translate into difficult questions in the scenario of a job interview. When and if you are faced with questions regarding your not having procured a job in the given amount of time, steer clear of negative answers that may blame the situation or other agencies. Instead of mentioning the economy of the country, the increased unemployment status of individuals and a company that should have hired you but didn’t, try and bring the conversation back to your achievements and how you have worked through your time without a stable income.

Negative approaches to answering questions, as well as a general defensive attitude will most certainly be counterproductive. Both in handling conversations with family and friends, as well as with potential employers, it is important to stay sharp and positive and not allow yourself to be shaken by remarks that may be inappropriate.

While employers being discriminatory or tactless about your employment status can be unfortunate, the fact remains that the need is ours at the end of the day and we don’t have much choice but to work around their insensitivity and direct the dialog in more optimistic, constructive and beneficial directions, for both.  

Every statistic points towards losing a steady income as one of the key causes of anger, depression, health deterioration, fear and anxiety in today’s adult population of the United States, if not of the rest of the world. While anxiety of the future is difficult to shake off, if you find yourself or a loved one in such a position, keeping your self-esteem up, being as efficient as possible and having a purpose through this time is extremely important. Even though the tension can seem to be overwhelming, it is important for you to keep up a routine, taking part in activities that will not only help you survive the period of unemployment but also have you walk out on the other side stronger and prepared.

Acceptance is essential, as is the understanding that it isn’t a permanent setback and with time and effort you will be able to get your life back in order. Though changes and budget cuts must be made, they are only valid until you bounce back.

Support Systems

Even if your reflex is to pull away and withdraw from those closest to you, remember that for mental stability as well as monetary help, these are the people who will be able to help most. Social stigmas do exist and they cannot be done away with, but never underestimate the positive impact of social interaction – a friend who listens without judgement can be a powerful stress relief and a mentor or guide will be able to give you advice, all of which will be out of reach if you withdraw from your circle of friends.

Physical Exercise

Now is the time to make up for your lost time at the gym or morning jogs. Not just a great way to create a new routine and keep in shape, physical exertion releases antidotes to relieve stress and relax muscles – the endorphins released when you run are enough to boost your mood, as is the satisfaction of getting rid of anger and frustration with a little kickboxing!

Not to Lose Efficiency During Unemployment
Running is one of the Best Exercise

The To-Do List

What next? Here is a 8 point plan to keep you occupied, organized, positive and focused, allowing you to concentrate on what is most important – your strengths.

1.   Space and time

The first thing that most people who are unemployed begin to miss is their own workspace – the room, cubicle, cabin or even just the desk. Start by setting up a room or corner for yourself at home where you can keep the files important to you, access the web, and focus on the task at hand.

We know distractions at home are inevitable, but it’s important to create a niche for yourself as soon as possible. If your daily tasks include familial obligations, carve out a little ‘me’ time as well, and stick to giving yourself a few hours towards being productive. You can choose to be a part of a co-working space close to home as well, where freelancers from different fields work in a space outside of their homes to be a part of a community even though their jobs don’t call for it.

2.   Self-motivation tactics

Determining career goals, listing out priorities both in life, finances and work preferences, and having a checklist to keep you focused can all be powerful self-motivators. The time you spend hunting for work is a job and must be treated like one – with fixed hours, networking and daily requirements.

3.   Other channels of productivity

Productivity and resume building is not only about concrete work experiences – companies are flipping through piles of applications in search of out-of-the-box initiatives, volunteer work, socially responsible acts with non-profit organizations and small entrepreneurship projects and apprenticeships.

Don’t focus on only the monetary benefits, it’s a good idea to develop skill sets and learn new things through short courses and certificate programs; the world is rapidly changing, as are the requirements for each field of work, especially in terms of technology.

4.   Portfolio, CV, Resume

Now is your chance to update and rework on your portfolio, list your strengths and add skills to your CV and Resume. Self-assessment is a part of the process, boosting your confidence in yourself, as well as allowing others to see you for all that you are capable off.

5.   Additional letters

Offbeat applications are all about that little extra something, so add letters of recommendation, intent, and excellence to your portfolios. A simple typed letter letting the company know why you want the job, why this particular post is perfect for you and what you will bring to the table can make all the difference.

6.   Upcoming interview preparation

It’s a good idea to network, talk to others who have been through the same process and look online for sample questions and interview preparatory information. The entire application process aside, many get rattled during the interview, lose their train of thought or choke-up because of fear.

Practice with friends and family or in front of a mirror if that is more comfortable, and know that the individual in front of you is not out to get you.

7.   Research

Broaden your horizons, look at opportunities outside of the classified section in the daily news, and apply for jobs that may not fall under your exact expertise or previous area of work. Try and see where your other strengths may help, ones that may not necessarily by academic in nature. From building a strong portfolio to understanding your aptitude and going through the application process, research through conversations with people, media, and the internet is always of great help.

Look at which companies are of most interest to you, and get to know about the space you are working towards – extra information will take you a long way when you are faced with an interview panel.

8.   Be prepared

Don’t wait for the phone to ring before you get together your documents and run through interview questions – prepare in advance for any such event and be ready to walk out the door at even a moment’s notice.

A nation’s economy is its backbone, having an immediate as well as a lasting impact on pretty much every single citizen. The need to want the country’s economy to grow and flourish – to want the currency to hold its position globally, to keep import and export healthy and financially viable, to strive for employment for all and to have a yearly budget that looks after the needs of all, amongst many other things, are essential to the sustainable existence of generations to come.  

From affecting the savings of every family to budgets of the largest charities, workers keeping the jobs they have to the unemployed and economically backward having an easier time finding work, and even retirement savings and insurance – a strong economy can make all the difference.

What is it that makes a nation’s economy develop and grow? Understanding that isn’t about having a degree in micro-economics or being a math wizard – all you need is to comprehend how economics works into daily life and burst the myths that are commonly believed.

One of the most common flaws in understanding the economy of a state is looking at it as one static whole, which can be divided into parts of various sizes, where in the differences in size creates the economic hierarchy. This analogy functions much like cutting a cake for all the guests at dinner, but the economy doesn’t quite work that way. Firstly, the whole is a not a static constant, instead, it can be made to increase by us creating wealth, and shrink in size if there erroneous decisions made. While the size of the part each individual gets depends on the wealth they create, it is possible to assure a larger part for each citizen as compared to what they would have gotten before.

The 2008 Crisis

The importance of a growing economy is most easily proven when we look back at the crisis in 2008, marked by the fact that the consumption rate in the United States of America in 2007 and 2008 was much larger than its GDP – the Gross Domestic Product. The GDP measures a nation’s economic prowess and performance.

Ways to Build a Strong Economy

The subprime mortgage crisis marked the beginning of the recession in the US, caused by a sudden drop in housing prices which couldn’t be made up for due to foreclosures and mortgage wrongdoings not having value anymore. Between 2000 and 2004, loans were granted without any problem at all, and the façade of a high demand was kept up – causing the prices of houses to remain high even though they should have technically dropped. When the tables turned in 2007, prices dropped but the money had already been invested, pushing the banks into a state of economic emergency.

While the cause of this crisis has been attributed to various flaws in government and housing policies, financial institutions, regulations, consumers and credit agencies, the primary concern did arise when subprime mortgages and loans allowed for fervent investment in homes without a worry of repayment in the near future.

The recession had a gross effect on the stock market, housing prices and employment status across the entire continent – each falling by 50%, 30% and 6% (9 million workers lost their jobs) respectively. Though the stock market got back up in approximately five years, the widespread unemployment and low housing prices remained.

Keeping the economy at its best and constantly growing for years to come is essential for our lives and that of the future generations.

While there is much debate about how that can truly be achieved, here are 5 ways which illustrate steps towards economic growth.

5-ways-to-build-a-strong-economy-2

Keeping Manufacturing Units in the Country

From cheap labor abroad to the lack of tax incentives within the US, manufacturers have relocated to other parts of the world in startling numbers. This outsourcing of production and manufacturing is a game changer when it comes to the lack of good employment opportunities for residents. What is more, the manufacturing unit takes with its facilities and profits, making the rate of investment back in the country significantly less.

That has to change – manufacturers keeping their holdings in the country and forming a bond with the government with tax reforms can generate job opportunities for millions, whilst allowing for the investment of profits in other companies and consequently increasing the economic structures further. Companies should be allowed to get back their overseas profits at moderated rates, as long as a part of a sum is invested back into the boost of workforces and increased manufacturing scope and capacity.

Free and Fair Trade

A very small percentage of American companies export, even though approximately 95% of the world’s consumer base is in countries outside of the US. Policies incorporating trade and export as a way to build financial strength can make a large difference not only to the economy of the US but to the other nations we trade with as well.

Global competitiveness, relationships with other nations through import and export, and exchange of both tangible and intangible products and skill can be a crucial player when it comes to economic forte, but the first step lies in the hands of the policy makers.

The Strength of Innovators and Entrepreneurs

For a country’s economy to flourish, it must call for new and fresh ways to build upon each of its industries and sectors – giving investors a reason to look their way and keep the demand-supply relationship with consumers alive and thriving.

For a country which has grown year after year because of its groundbreaking and state of the art ideas, industries and businesses, it is essential for new blood to be allowed to innovate, compete, take risks and develop new launch pads for the next generations. If the economy does not continue to forge new bonds with entrepreneurs, a time will come when the major wealth makers of the country will either reach stagnancy, or the monetary funds will pool up into pockets.

Crowdfunding; Bringing the Nation Together

From the time of the crisis in 2008, start-ups both big and small have had a hard time getting hold of investors and capital to get the ball rolling on their ideas.

A solution that has off-late led to a very functional way to tackle this issue is Crowdfunding, where in individuals can contribute small sums or money towards an entrepreneur or innovation they believe in, allowing it to grow with the support of numerous people. Breaking notions of distance and monetary strength as necessities to become an investor or entrepreneur, crowdfunding fundamentally democratizes the concept of investment and keeps the creation of wealth going even in times of recessions.

Bridging the Gap Between Economic Growth and the Environment

Last but definitely not the least, economic growth is often used as an argument to hold back on environmental laws and policies – constantly stating that it is either one or the other than can be strengthened at a time.

At a time like today, when the need to save and be efficient is a matter of life and death, the assumption that both economy and environmental strength cannot coexist is flawed. Economic strength itself boils down to the individuals in society, their livelihoods at present and the sustainability of the financial and social model for generations to come. When the environmental deterioration is left out of the discourse, long-term arguments fall flat.

For the economy of a country to strengthen and grow, sustainable sources of energy, environment-friendly infrastructure, innovation to cut down carbon emissions, and regard for careful and efficient waste management have to be worked into the system itself, instead of being postponed or looked at as hazardous to the economic boost.

Economic growth and Unemployment

A fast-paced economy is known to provide its citizens with better jobs. But with an exponential rise in education, the employment opportunities have not grown at the same pace. As a result of the same, many unemployed youths are being registered for suicidal behavior. Failing to meet employment expectations after college is being seen as one of the biggest threats to nation’s economy and growth.

A Perfect Life and its Side-Effects

A lush green home with well-equipped amenities is being projected as the best life for today’s youth, which is leading them to hopelessness and depression in the case of unemployment. There is a rapid growth in therapist consultation to overcome such situations but of all, there seems no solution as yet. A nation thriving for consumerism and materialism as its representatives of the perfect life, there seems no moment of free air that’s free of debt and the resulting pressure.

According to JasonFoundation, 3,041 suicide attempts are registered every single day in the nation which clearly indicates the kind of mental stress nation’s youth is going through. The youth suicide statistics are disturbing as suicide is the second biggest cause of death among college youth(age 12-18). There are several measures being resorted to avoiding such tendencies; but it is being seen as a result of increased competition and hence, the pressure on nation’s youth.

Unemployed Youth
For Hope, cut the rope

How to tackle Suicidal behavior and Unemployment

1. Staying busy

The biggest challenge faced during unemployment is to stay motivated and away from all the surrounding negativity that sets in. This is possible if you can take up a hobby or do something that you really enjoy. Improving your job-skills simultaneously is an excellent way to prepare yourself for all the future opportunities.

Setting a routine and introducing discipline in your daily chores is an excellent way to get rid of the laziness and stay active. It also helps to keep negative thoughts at bay and gives you the power to think positive and stay focused. The major hazard of being unemployed is to not be able to use your time effectively, which if overcome, can result in impressive results and a joyous being.

2. Avoiding critical behavior

One of the major reasons behind increasing suicidal tendency among nation’s youth is the pressure they face from family and friends. Evaluating people based on their professional achievements should be avoided as it can cause a major disconnect in one’s confidence and self-esteem. It should also be made sure that the close ones refrain from being critical of the unemployed person and try and motivate him to achieve his dreams. This way, with everyone’s support, it becomes easier for the person to put in more efforts and achieve his goals without being fearful of the results.

Critical behavior from family is considered to be one of the major reasons behind suicidal tendencies and change in behavior can provide a lot of support. It can also help them stay positive and not feel neglected. The same should be taught in schools and practiced at home to ensure no life is lost due to unemployment.

3. Having a closed circle

Another effective way to avoid negative thoughts is to maintain a closed circle. Staying close to your loved ones without letting any outer people interfere in your personal life, or persuade you into something wrong should also be practiced. This way, your dear ones are aware of your emotional and mental situation and can provide you with emotional and financial support in times of need.

Staying away from people who make you think badly of yourself will also help you minimize the surrounding negativity and move ahead with increased motivation. Getting rid of habits like drinking, smoking could also help you stay calm and relaxed without pressurizing yourself much.

4. Family support

Our family is the one that stands by us in the good and the bad times. It is the family that holds our hand and keeps us from falling by providing us the strength to move ahead in life with a high-head. It is important for today’s youth to stay close to their family and keep them updated about all the ongoing events. Hence, whenever there is a situation where you need support, you will never find yourself fighting along with it.

According to a study, being with family also reduces stress and anxiety, key factors for developing suicidal tendency. The emotional support also makes us feel safe and protected. It also keeps you wary of unwanted people and helps you stay strong about yourself. This way, you can not only treat the ailment but also develop a bond with your family.

It is advisable for parents to take some time out for their children and stay close to them. In a world where technology runs humans, it is difficult to figure out emotions from faces hidden behind the messages exchanged. Hence, pay a visit to your children on a regular basis and make sure you make them feel at home and safe.

Live LIFE

The essence of life is to be happy. These steps will not only help you create a better life for yourself but also make you a better human being. With patience and continuous efforts, you can achieve what you want. Getting rid of those suicidal thoughts is difficult but with dedication and hard-work, you can live a life you desire, which is free of fear and full of life.

Do you like planning for future? Have you planned your finances well? How easily can you make it through difficult times? We are living in a time where money is a necessity and a continuous in-flow of the same is required. In the case of any diversion from the routine path, there can be a tension that can induce stress and worry.

Unemployment Crisis
Taking a streamlined approach helps

Why should we plan for future?

Managing for difficult times is mandatory as it is never pre-decided. While growing up, we are always taught to prepare for future so that if there is an emergency, one is not caught in a situation. Midlife unemployment is one similar situation that’s critical and can affect your family life. Keeping a check on contract details may avoid this situation but it is important to ensure that your finances are well-planned and do not create a havoc in case of an emergency.

How to manage midlife unemployment crisis?

  1. Plan your finances: Lack of money can create a lot of stress resulting in depression and several other worries. Thus, it is crucial to plan finances so that there is no stress if an unplanned situation surfaces. Further, even if there is a situation, ample supply of money can keep stress at bay and help you prepare for upcoming opportunities.
  2. Be patient: Stress can induce irritability and make you feel unwanted. But losing patience cannot solve a problem and only make things worse. Therefore, it is important to not lose focus or pressurize yourself to perform. Giving you the time & space to rebound and look for goals is essential. Midlife unemployment often creates a messy situation but with your pragmatic approach, you can reach a solution.
  3. Do not lose hope: Giving up on a situation is the easiest thing to do. But being thoughtful and persistent is a winner’s way of doing things. If faced with such a situation, you too should believe in yourself and muster the courage and will to realize your dreams. One often feels negative and hopeless in such situations, but with constant effort, you can motivate yourself to create a better future for you and your family.
  4. Follow a passion: Each one of us has a hobby that we never get bored of, and pursuing the same in times of crisis will help you feel positive and stay motivated. This will also help you create some good moments that you can cherish in hard times and make it through easily. Research shows that people who don’t give up on their hobbies are happier and tend to live long.
  5. Talk to your family: There is only one family. And there is no other person who can back you like them. So, staying close and connected to your family is important as sharing your situation with them can lend you emotional support and hence, relief. You may even borrow some money from them if needed. They are non-judgmental and will help you focus on the right things without criticizing you. Thus, talk to your family and tell them how you feel because there is no one like them.
  6. Stay Vigilant: Most of the companies provide their employees with unemployment benefits and being knowledgeable of the same, can save you from a lot of trouble. There are companies that can assist you with evaluating your eligibility and the amount for insurance benefits. It is safe and risk-free. Filing unemployment is necessary as it not only entails you to your rights but also keeps you aware of any opportunity possible for you.
  7. Hone your skills: In case of unemployment due to poor managerial or technical skills, you can try & learn the same during your free time. This will boost your confidence and help you perform better in future without being conscious. Having good interpersonal skills helps us communicate better and also prevents us from any confusion in difficult times. Thus, it is important to be open to learning more and connect with people, in order to grow in life.
  8. Keep trying: The most important fact is that life is all about trying and trying hard. So, don’t give up on you and strive to learn more each day and silent the critic with your achievements. Unemployment is just a phase but it gives you sufficient time to process what went against you and work on same. Stay motivated and fit to keep trying for bigger goals, while improving your skills each day. And in no time, you will succeed.

Importance of Staying Positive

Everyone goes through hard times but it is how we come out of it that matters the most. So, stop crying and start living. This time is not meant to put you down but help you discover yourself and realize your potential. There is nothing that cannot be achieved once you are determined and have the willpower to achieve your goals. Midlife unemployment is just a phase that introduces you to the better half of your life. And with assistance from professionals, it is a cakewalk!

 

A common question that haunts unemployed individuals, especially the retired ones is whether or not they can claim Unemployment Compensation along with Social Security Retirement benefits. As you may know, this program offers people with a weekly benefit amount to provide financial assistance while they don’t have a major or stable source of income.

All applicants for UI are required to satisfy certain criteria, out of which one is that the claimant should have zero or negligible income. This is the reason why most people wonder whether receiving social security retirement benefits will raise your income to the earnings ceiling as stated by the rules of UI.

Can UC be collected along with social security retirement benefits and vice versa?

Unemployment Benefits And Social Security

The answer is – Yes, in most cases. There are two reasons behind this. If your question is whether social security benefits will be hindered by receiving UC, then you can be rest assured. Receiving UC will never affect your social security retirement benefits because social security does not consider UC as earnings. This means that won’t be pushed closer to the ceiling placed as cut off for people between ages 62 – 66.

If your worry is about UC being affected because you receive social security retirement benefits, then here’s what you need to know. Typically, most states in the US will not reduce UI benefits because you are claiming social security retirement benefits. However, as UI is given out by the state government, it varies from state to state. Following are the list of states that take social security benefits into consideration and reduce the benefit amount while providing UC –

  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota

Will Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota and South Dakota change UC rules in the near future?

Yes, there is hope. Even now in Minnesota, the rules don’t apply always. Which means that the state does not reduce UI benefit amounts in all cases where a claimant is receiving social security retirement benefits. Since the last few years, American Association of Retired Persons (A.A.R.P) and National Employment Law Project (N.E.L.P) have been working together to persuade the states to remove laws that limit UC benefits for individuals receiving social security.

Whom should I approach if I have any questions?

Irrespective of which state you are from, if you have any queries regarding anything with unemployment compensation, your state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency is where you need to go. Authorities present there will guide you through the process of filing for UI and will gladly clear your questions. You can also interact with them by phone on the dedicated customer service or you can connect with them online.

Keep in mind that not declaring your income sources while filing for UI or not reporting any income you receive during subsequent weeks during which you receive benefits, may result in severe consequences.

Things to keep in mind

Unemployment insurance is a social welfare program conducted jointly by the state and federal governments. The idea to provide temporary financial assistance to those who really need it. While there is no conflict in collecting both UC and Social Security, it is vital that you continue to fulfill the eligibility criteria laid down by the UC rules. And one of those rules is that you actively seek new job opportunities. If you are indisposed to work further, you may not be able to claim UI. Speak with your agency. They will guide and advise you on all matters related to UC.

The bottom line

As long as both agencies are notified about the income received from each other, there is no conflict in collecting UI and social security together. It is a sad truth that during difficult economic times, often millions of senior citizens are left unemployed and often social security benefits are not sufficient to cover the basic needs.

Remember, you can collect UC only if you satisfy all the rules, including base period wages. You can read more about UC eligibility criteria to know more. Alternately, you can also make use of the eligibility checker tool, to get an idea of whether or not you will qualify for UC. The UC filing process is quite easy and can be done online.

People who fall into this category often feel that they are too young to be retired and sitting at home yet too old to be hired. While this is not always true, tedious working hours may no longer agree with you. Hence, it’s an ideal time to start a small business of your own, something that gives you joy. You could also use this time to connect with loved ones who were ignored by you in your better (read hectic) days. Stay positive and confident. You can also visit our discussion forum for some healthy interaction with folks from your region.

With 8 years of president ship behind him, Barack Obama successfully reduced the unemployment rate to below 5%, a monumental success given that he took office when the country was facing its greatest economic downward spiral. But is that all? There are indeed many states, who have really pushed their limits. After exploring the most friendliest States for starting a new business, here’s our take on the top cities with the lowest unemployment rate, packed with one of the lowest tax rates, better housing facilities, and low business costs too. They are truly the new sunshine states, in the most literate sense of the word.

The US, in its record since the 2008 economic crisis has hit the lowest unemployment rates in other specifics too, with a record low veteran and teenage unemployment rates.

Let’s examine why these states apart from having the lowest unemployment rates, can also be the best places to raise a family, consequently ticking all the right boxes.

While on paper (as stats indicate), as of July 2016, the state with highest unemployment rate would be Alaska, with a rate of 6.7%, while South Dakota stands at the lowest, at 2.8%. This sounds like we could nearly prove that for many economic models, the full unemployment is may no longer be a prerequisite/assumption but a realized dream! (Well, almost!)

Top 5 States With Lowest Unemployment Rates

  1. South Dakota – 2.8%
  2. New Hampshire – 2.9%
  3. Nebraska – 3.1%
  4. North Dakota – 3.1%
  5. Vermont – 3.2%
Map of states with lowest Unemployment Rate
Map of states with the lowest Unemployment Rate

But are they also the best cities to live in and raise a living? Is a city with low unemployment rate all you need to lead a prosperous lifestyle? Turns out, it isn’t. Here, we give you the highlights as to what makes a city friendly enough to figure in our list –

Our Picks For Places To Start Work And Raise Families

Cities within the state of Texas, Utah, Nebraska and North Dakota easily from our top picks. It is a more than a decent mixture of ingredients, encompassing, low tax rates, good education system, state-backed innovative programs, high civilian employable population combined with lowest unemployment rates, all consistent over the years, and business friendly too. These factors are what increasingly matter to most people looking to establish a foothold in an urban set-up.

Nebraska

In places like Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, there is incredibly low unemployment rate combined with high civilian workable population. Lincoln, as a city, stands at third place, with 3.3% of unemployment rate with a civilian labor force of 177,377 as of July 2016.  

Its economy is highly reliant on its primary, agricultural sector, freight transport, telecommunications, manufacturing industries, information technology, including the transportation sector.

Close to one-third of its population possess a bachelor degree, making it a highly competitive labor market when compared against other states whose educational qualification lie in between one-fourth or 25%. Nebraska’s State Department of Labor is also well-known for its efforts to train eligible unemployed populace with skill sets that help increase their prospects of finding a new or a better job.

Benefit schemes in the State of Nebraska are also one of the most sought-after, for they provide unemployment benefits from 1 week to 26 weeks. As computed by Gallup Daily Tracking, Nebraska is found to have one of the highest job-creation indexes at 35 and its track record boasts of the lowest of all percentages of ‘letting-go workers’ which stands at 8.

Utah

Similarly, Logan, Utah with a Civilian Labor Force of 67, 870 has an unemployment rate of 4.0%.

Utah seems to have understood that to create a favorable environment for employees to stay, it is not enough to just create a welcoming business environment. In addition, it should be a place where they can picture themselves settling down to raise their families and go on living. To fulfil these aspects, Utah has spent a lot of money trying to make people favor them into believing they have the best of class housing facilities and can provide an overall good quality of life, which they do! Utah also benefits from having a high number of colleges both in terms of favoring graduates and also families looking for a secure place of education.

North Dakota

Our third favorite is North Dakota with highly prosperous cities like Bismarck which with a civilian labor force of 62,242 stands first with an unemployment rate of 2.9% (when ranked against cities). The cost of living charges closely follows national average with the national average cost of living index at 100. While Fargo is one the most prosperous of its cities with overall costs of living lower than the national average, Bismarck has a slightly above average for groceries, housing, and health with below average indices for transportation, and utilities.

A study combined with the tools of research correlating tax incentive programs (including tax rates) to unemployment rates are found to be having a direct relationship to each other. After evaluating the census data of a particular state (as published in the Review of Regional Studies by Kala Seetharam Sridhar), that post implementation of tax incentive programs, over time, effectively impacts the unemployment rate.

When a city turns into an enterprising zone, welcoming new businesses and creating an environment which entices them, can at the end of a year, approximately affect up to 3% of its unemployment rates. This can easily be the case with the cities within Texas. It is not one or two, but a numerous number of cities that have qualified into being one of the most business-friendly of states, not to forget the least tax rates too. Odessa, Texas, with a civilian labor force of 83, 418 has an unemployment rate of 3.9% and Midland, with a Civilian Labor Force of 87, 857 has an unemployment rate of 3.3%.  

Texas though has a very high record in terms of percentage of hiring new workers at 44%, it is job creation index falls a little short at 31 though still holds itself at the national average.

Why Is It Important To Pick From The Best American Cities?

Politics of fear has been the defining criteria for developing a fixed perception that America has been damaged internally with an increase in export of jobs through MNCs looking to setting up enterprises abroad. But real stats have a way of breaking these myths circulating around, as, in the past 10 years, U.S. has created 10 million jobs with a few hundred thousands of jobs still being created every month. July saw 255,000 new jobs being added to the market, while the figure has been consistent for the past few months too. In short, this may be some of the best times to live in for the labor market has met its surplus with a tenacity not seen since the Reagan days.

If you are one to be unemployed and are looking for alternate options at securing a job, we hope to have answered all your questions. File Unemployment is one place where you can get answers on, eligibility criteria, benefit amount calculation, weekly and other benefit schemes from all States in the U.S. Go and check out our Community Forums to get instantaneous answers to your queries, by both people who have received benefits as well as our experts in the field.  

The unemployment ratio in the USA has been showing a deteriorating nature but at a very slow pace. Despite sinking oil prices and a rally on the wall street, the unemployment rate in the USA has sunk below 5% for the first time in the past eight years. “The United States Of America right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world”, says Obama, the president. With the longest streak of the private sector and more than 14 million new jobs being introduced, the economy is the strongest over the past two years.

Striking Union Worker

Yet, if you are one among the 4.9% of the unemployed bunch or a striking union worker, here’s everything that you would want to know when you apply for the unemployment benefits; the requirements and eligibility that would qualify you for the same.

Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits are social benefit programs that are paid by the government to eligible workers between 40-50% of their previous salary. The fund paid by the government is contributed largely by the state and federal payroll taxes levied against employees to workers who are unemployed due to no fault of their own.

Unemployment Benefits For Striking Workers In USA

In most of the places across the globe, striking workers are not eligible to collect benefits because the government considers them to have left their job voluntarily. A bill emerged during a six-week strike involving Verizon workers, who walked off the job in protest of telecommunications giant’s contract demands. About 4,600 of the 40,000 East Coast employees were on strike work in New Jersey.

Seth Han, a legislative director for the communications workers of America, a union that represents a thousand Verizon call center workers in New Jersey, proposed to pass the bill.

Under this bill approved by the State Senate Labor Committee, workers can access unemployment insurance in labor disputes when an employer violates the terms of an employment contract or the collective bargaining agreement. And striking workers are eligible after a 30-days waiting program if the dispute isn’t promoted by an employer’s failure to comply with contract terms.

Verizon spokesman, Ray mcConville said that the employees on strike do have an option of seeking coverage under Cobra (the federal law that allows people to keep paying their health insurance they lost through work)

Are You Eligible For UI Benefits?

You are eligible for the UI benefits if you fall into any of the following categories-

  • If you are locked out by your employee or laid off due to lack of work because of the strike.
  • If you quit the job during the labor disputes, then you can be eligible to receive the unemployment benefits.
  • If you are fired during the labor disputes.
  • If you are replaced during the labor disputes.
  • If you are a member of a union that is currently on strike and you do not participate in the strike, you may still collect benefits, if you happen to lose your job during the strike. If you are barred from collecting unemployment benefits during the strike, you will become eligible once the work stoppage ends or if your unemployment is not related to the strike.
  • If there is a time lag between when the strike ends and when the employer resumes work, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits during this period. This generally depends on the nature of the delay.

Factors Affecting Eligibility

The following factors affect the eligibility of an unemployed striking worker-

  • If the unemployed person has made an unconditional offer to return to work after a certain period, then he will not be eligible to receive the unemployment compensation.
  • If an employer is providing any sort of financial aid to the striking union workers, then this makes them ineligible for the same.
  • If an employee is willing to return to the workplace as per the employer’s terms, then he/she become unqualified to receive the benefits.
State To State Difference In The Unemployment Benefits

The fingerprint of no two individuals are the same, they say. Similarly, no two states in the USA provide similar unemployment benefits to the striking workers.

  • In the state of New York, an unemployed striking worker cannot claim the benefits until the union has striked for a duration of 49 days. A week later after filing your application, you will be able to collect your first check.
  • In Texas, the applicant must indicate if he/she is a union member.
  • In California, the agency requires a phone interview for applicants who are involved in a strike, lockout or a labor dispute.

Given above are the requirements in a few states in the US. Similarly, every other state asks for different pieces of information while deciding your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Procedure To File A Claim

Are you unsure about how to register for your unemployment benefits? If so, keep the following things in mind while doing so-

  • Once unemployed, you should contact the State Unemployment Insurance Agency as soon as possible. There are provisions to do the same over a telephone or mail, in some of the states in the US.
  • Accurate details of yourself (which includes your name and permanent address) and of your previous employment should be given when asked for, in order to make sure that your claim is not denied.
  • If you have worked in a state that you are not currently residing in, or in multiple states, the UI agency where you live now can provide information on how to file your claim with other states.
  • Generally, it takes more than a week or two for you to receive your first benefit check. In some states, a waiting period of one week is required.

Is It A Grey Sky Lying Ahead?

“10 years ago I was proud to begin working on bipartisan efforts to save unemployment insurance. Let’s do it again, quickly in this new year.” After four years of rarely weighing in on domestic issues as she served as America’s top diplomat, Clinton is increasingly placing her position on the unemployment benefits issue. The introduction of benefits to striking labor workers is one big move and promises a very bright future.

Despite being a very thoughtful and effective measure, the benefits program for the unemployed striking workers faces uncertainty. A new Rasmussen report on national television and the online survey finds that 57% of likely US voters oppose a law in their state that would allow union workers to collect unemployment workers while on strike. 32% favors the law while 11% are undecided. This leads us to another dilemma as to what is going to happen in the near future.

Yes, the brick has been laid, but what’s to come over it is something that none of us are aware of.

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