Is unemployment Insurance making unemployment too comfortable?

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
August 21, 2012 3:58pm CST
While traveling out west to visit a sick relative I noticed that on one street corner was a man standing holding a sign that said "Family hungry, out of work anything would help. Thank You and God Bless" The next day I saw a different man holding the same sign and this time I had to stop for the light. As I looked at him I saw on the sign at a fast food restaurant "Now hiring for management and counter workers. Full Benefits and Bonus sign on". While driving around and back home I noticed that in every community we stopped in there were help wanted signs, 80% of the trucks we saw had a number to call to become a truck driver. On the local news in a major city a smaller trucking company (less than 100 trucks) had 15 trucks parked because he could not find drivers. His drivers were making $50,000 to $95,000 a years plus full benefits and safety bonus. In another community there was an article in the local paper about a company that provided non medical in home help. They had 40 positions open and could not find workers. They were paying $10 to $12 per hour minimum 4 hours a day plus some benefits. I pick up the local paper (covering about 40,000 families) and find two pages of help wanted ads ranging from unskilled to professional jobs. I have talked to some unemployed people and they tell me that with unemployment insurance and working for cash they are doing better than before. Others tell me that Unemployment is giving them a chance to start a business and get established before the benefits run out. Still others tell me that they can get buy until the right job turns up. None of them would consider taking a job that would require relocating or for less money than they were making before. With the food stamps and health insurance provided by the state they can not afford to work or get retrained. Yet you compare that to a couple of friends who were self employed and have now lost their business it is a different story. A couple are mowing lawns for money, others are working two or three part time jobs and trying to keep their business going. Is unemployment Insurance making it too easy to stay unemployed?
6 responses
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
21 Aug 12
I think the thing is...why work for less than you can get on unemployment? Wait till unemployment runs out and then go work for less. But it is kind of stupid to work for less that you get for not working. Those jobs you mention are temp jobs or part time...nothing you can support a family on My daughter just went through this...she got layed off her public city job...and went on unemployment while looking for another job. She found another job in her same field through an employment agency and took it. It paid about 1/3 less than what she was making but she was willing to make that cut to secure a stable job and work her way back up. She worked while they did a background check...but they had something that she didn't qualify for and she told them this when they started the background check but they said it shouldn't be a problem. so when the background was done...she didn't qualify for the job for the reason she told them about, so she wasn't hired at the job and went back to the employment agency. She went to start her unemployment up again and since the new job paid less than her previous job...her unemployment benefit was cut in half! So in her case...it would have been better for her to not have taken that job and not have tried to 'get work' and just stay on unemployment until it ran out...then go to the agency. Another reason those jobs are still "wanted" is ...ALOT of the people that are unemployed are highly qualified people and companys don't want to hire people that are more qualified than they are, are "to old", have far to much experience or are higher educated than they are. Case in point...my husband...unemployed for 3 years now after being unemployed for 5 prior to that. In construction he worked his way up from apprentice to piping superintendent over the last 30 years. He has workedon everything from an outhouse to the "big house" and nuclear power plants to solar plant and everything inbetween. He is 65. I have him on 4 different job search engines places and have sent his resume to probably 50 companies a week...every week for the past 3 years...and not only has he not been hired...no one has even called him back to say...sorry you aren't what we are looking for or job has been filled... no response from them at all. Why? He is older than those hiring him, he is more qualified than those hiring him and he has more work experience than those hiring him and they don't want him to over shadow them as they are afraid that he might take their job. Plus, they aren't going to take the chance on an "older" person...and his salary at the last job was rather high...fluke of a job I found him but it lasted 2 years until the project was done (casino in Las Vegas) and when he apples for even part time work to supplement his social security..they dont' want to hire him as they see his resume and they required you tellt hem your last salary and of course they aren't going to match it, but they thinkt hat you won't work a good job for so much less, so they won't bother hiring you,even if you are the most qualified. So no..it isn't making it easier to stay unemployed...it is helping during the unemployment time as employers don't care what you know...they only care about how much you will work for and even then will make up your mind for you as to how long you would be willing to stay.
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
23 Aug 12
When unemployment insurance was started it was for a few weeks to give you time to find a new job. Now it is almost 2 years and you can collect other benefits to help you out making it more attractive to remain unemployed than to get a job. I have been unemployed in the past and have started looking for work right away. I have been told by many people including those who do the hiring that it is easier to get a job when you have a job. Even a part time job or a job out of your field shows that you are willing to work and this is a positive in the hiring process.
• United States
22 Aug 12
I don't know where you live, but here in NYC, I just hired a staffer whose previous job was one level higher than mine right now, so I know there's people willing to take a hit in rank and pay as an alternative to unemployment. I don't know how indicative these truck driving jobs you mention are of anything. Driving a truck requires special licensing, and enough physical ability to drive 8-12 (or more) days on the road. (See, some close friends of mine are truck drivers.) There's any number of physical problems that make that job impossible for plenty of people who'd otherwise do it.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
23 Aug 12
These are the people that unemployment was designed to help those who are willing to get back in the workforce and work their way back up the career ladder. I agree that Truck Driving is not for everyone but many companies will train you and help you get the proper licensing in stead of a sign on bonus. Even McDonalds is now paying a starting wage of $8.00 to $8.50 per hour starting/training wage and there are some benefits. The benefits are not the greatest but you do get health insurance (usually a high deductible), a 401k plan, Uniform provided free, training and college tuition credits. Many of the so called service jobs do provide more than the minimum wage but not as much as unemployment or welfare and that is a sad commentary on the country's values. We pay more not to work than to work.
• United States
24 Aug 12
It's great that some trucking jobs will train those who are physically capable of doing the job. It's great that McDonalds pays something better than absolute minimum wage. There's still 4 unemployed people for every open job, and plenty of employers have open positions but wont' hire someone if they need training -- remember, I'm saying this as a hiring manager who talks to other hiring managers. I agree it's a sad commentary on the countries values that it's possible to find jobs that pay less than we pay in unemployment insurance. The point of unemployment insurance is to keep people in their homes and fed until they can find work. If a job pays less than that, that means someone working that job won't be making enough to keep themselves in their homes and fed, and that's a disgrace. It should not be legal. Thanks for making the case for increasing the federal minimum wage!
@EvanHunter (4028)
• United States
24 Aug 12
Several years ago I relocated to a different state to try and reconcile with my Ex-wife. I was desperate enough to take anything including fast food. They all had now hiring signs posted and the only place to call me was Taco Bell and I gladly went on the interview. I was determined to show my wife that 'yes I would swallow my pride and work at a fast food joint if that's what it would take to be with her'. I never got the job they hired some kids under the age of 18. It worked out for the best since I ended up getting a job at decent paying manufacturer. I also have to wonder how many of these places are really hiring at all and maybe they are hoping you will buy a drink while there filling out an application. As for benefits of being unemployed unless you got kids, in the state I live in, the only thing they will help with is food.
• United States
23 Aug 12
You must live in North Dakota because that's about the only state that has a labor shortage. First off, people who are on it paid into it while they worked, so they're entitled to collect if and when they lose their jobs. Secondly getting a job is not easy, especially if you don't have a car. I'm willing to bet where ever it is you work, if a homeless guy came into you're business every day looking for work you'd probably call the cops before you'd give him a job. I don't think McDonald's wants to hire a guy who has no access to a shower to work in their kitchen any more than most people want him handling their food. I love how people like to defend questionable and abusive business practices in the name of the business making money. But when someone needs a job their time and skills aren't important because they don't have a job. Businesses aren't acting in the best interest of the people, so there's no reason people should do anything that isn't in their own best interest. If that means more people sit around on unemployment holding out for higher paying jobs. It's just business.
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
22 Aug 12
I don't know if it is making it too comfortable, but at least in my experience you used really bad examples to try and say these people could easily have a job. Now don't get me wrong, you have people who abuse the system everywhere, you really do. Whether you are employed, not employed, rich, poor, etc. SOMEONE is abusing the system. The truck driving companies out here want you to have a special license. On top of having a special license, some of them will train you and then you factor in time. A male or female who has a small young family can't exactly leave for periods at a time especially if both of them need to work. If one has to stay home with a young child because they can not afford soaring child care prices in their area then truck driving is not really an option if it is cross country. Local truck driving is, but those jobs are few and far between from what they post in the paper. The McDonald's around where I live is hiring too, but they are requiring managers to have a degree in business or telling their employees to take business classes in order to get the position. I think less people would be on unemployment if you didn't need a degree for some of the most basic jobs like that OR if there were more apprenticeships. Singles and couples with no kids can relocate to find work a lot easier than couples with children or singles with children. I don't understand why singles and couples with no children aren't willing to go where the money is to be honest. I am currently a student, but I just had an interview for non-medical home care. They wanted at least 6 certifications which would require a class or two to get them all and totaled about $300 which obviously they wanted me to pay for. I would have if I had the money in the first place. Traveling is another issue. Not every place has transportation and not everyone has a car or can afford one. My husband and I saved up and bought a fixer upper for $400 and hopefully it lasts a year now that it is fixed. In my state or at least the county I am in, you can't get unemployment unless you can prove you were wrongfully fired or the firing manager (or something close) doesn't dispute your claim. I think it is harder on families, but people with no familial obligations should be willing to actually try for one of these jobs and get off unemployment.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
21 Aug 12
Welfare has for a long time been a way for a certain party to maintain a voting base. I remember a long time ago when Lyndon Johnson had his Great Society welfare program, I saw a report on TV, which was surprising since the three networks were and are highly biased toward liberals, about a man who was on welfare and because of his welfare payments was happily driving around in his expensive new car and sitting at home and watching his large expensive new TV while a relative of mine who was a school teacher could not afford those things. This guy could care less about getting a job; welfare was paying for his every need and luxury. I am sure there are many such examples with today's welfare programs.