Apr 2, 2021 in Analysis

Reducing Unemployment and Underemployment in the United States

Reducing Unemployment

Unemployment and underemployment are one of the main economic concern in many countries or states in the world today. It is a biting problem in many economies, and governments are always seeking a new way of solving this problem. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is a situation where a person does not have a job, but have actively searched in the past four weeks. It also includes people who have been laid off for more than seven days. There are many reasons why people end up being unemployed. Understanding the reasons for unemployment is essential in coming up with a solution to the high rate of unemployment in the United States. The most important causes of unemployment are structural, cyclical and seasonal unemployment. The United States has experienced approximately 11 recessions since 1948 when the postwar ended. The different government regimes have tried various methods over the years to turn around recessions and reduce the high rates of unemployment. Some government regimes have embarked on tax while others have embarked on stimulus spending.


Unemployment rate in America remained high at 7.6 % in June 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statists reports on all matters relating to unemployment in the United States. In America, unemployment rate averaged 5.82 % from 1948 until 2013. In 1982, unemployed rate hit 10.8 % and recorded the lowest rate in 1953 when it was 2.5 %. Unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for jobs as a percentage of the labor force.

Unemployment is a major problem around the world, especially in the developed countries, including America. More than 197 million are unemployed. 75 million of these are young or youth aged between 15-24 years. Although United States celebrates renewed economic growth, something is terribly wrong. Even as its gross domestic product. Consumer durables and retail sales awake from their slumber, unemployment remains to be a biting problem in the economy. Low skilled workers are more hit and find it more difficult to get jobs.

The table 1 below shows the unemployment rate In United States


The solution for solving the problem is obviously creating new jobs. A healthy economic growth rate of approximately 2-3 % is adequate to create the 150,000 new jobs that are needed to keep the rate of unemployment from rising. In United States, there are more than 310 million people. More than 8 % of this workforce is unemployed, and this translates to approximately 13 million people. It is most troubling that jobs are the first priority of most Americans; many Americans wake to joblessness every dawn. Although the American economy created approximately 162, 0000 jobs in March of 2013, the first notable increase since the beginning of the recession, the unemployment rate is still high and stands at 9.7 % in June, 2013. The number of unemployed people rose to over 15 million. The percentage of the unemployed people who are out of work for 27 weeks or more increased to 44 %. This was an increase form 41 % in February.

Solving the problem unemployment will require a multidisciplinary action; it will require implementing informed policy intervention. Several methods have been used to solve unemployment, but this problem continues to persist. Unemployment cannot be ended with the use of a single method. This is because causes of unemployment are diverse and keep changing. Various methods can be used to solve the problem of unemployment in America. The first way of ending unemployment is effectively implementing the unemployment insurance and unemployment benefit. This is a joint state-federal government program that provides income support to workers who have lost a job. Through this program, nearly all full time and some part time workers who meet basic criteria are eligible for the unemployment insurance. Payments in this program are determined by a persons past wages. This program can be an effective way of ending the high rate of joblessness in America. The program parameters vary across states, but weekly benefits can be approximately $ 300. However, unemployment insurance has restrictions which make it not very effective in solving the problem of unemployment. Unemployment insurance programs stringent entitlement discourages many people from joining. Benefits under unemployment insurance must prove that unemployment did not happen as a result of persons own responsibility. These requirements keep those who quit voluntary away from collecting their benefits. In addition, petitioners must regularly answer questions connected to their job search.

The debate on discovering solutions to the unemployment problem has concentrated on the essential role of faster economic growth and cuts in real wages. Faster economic growth in a country is seen as the only mean of generating more jobs. To end unemployment in an economy, methods of dissemination and accumulation on the available jobs and workers can be improved. In most cases, there is always a job opportunity and a worker who is willing to take that job, but lack of such information makes a person search for a job for a long time. In Swedish model, there is a job center with an integrated database of jobs . In this database, there are employees and employers. This type of database could help reduce time spent by an average worker on the unemployment roll and, thus, reduce the unemployment rate. Finally, the best solution to solving the problem of unemployment is through surveying the unemployment programs. This will aim at reducing, frictional, cyclical, seasonal and structural unemployment in the United States. These programs will aim at changing people to match existing jobs while others generate jobs to match current worker skills.

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Reducing Underemployment

Underemployment is a situation in which a worker is in a job or employed, but not in the desired capacity. This can be in terms of compensation, level of experience or skill. Underemployed people compete for any other available job just like unemployed people. An important way in which employment has come to be hypothesized is underemployment. While recent labor market data has shown falls in the number of people out of work, there has also been a significant increase in underemployment.

The economy has more workers who are willing to work for more hours. Since the eve of the recession in 2007, there has been an almost 100 % increase in involuntary part time work. It has risen from 724,000 to 1.48 million workers. This is a clear indication of that the total number of people finding themselves underemployed has risen by approximately one million since the start of the recession.

Underemployment rate was 8 % in March 2010, but it has risen to approximately 11 % in the year 2013. This means that more than one in every ten workers in employment in the United States is underemployed. There is an increasing concern that underemployment is becoming an ever-more permanent feature of the labor market. It is becoming normal for more people not working and earning enough. Additionally, underemployment rates are experienced differently by age factor, region and occupation.

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In any economic condition, one thing that is always true is that it is better for a person to have a job than not have one. According to Gallup Daily, one in every three youngsters is underemployed while 18.1 % of adults in the workforce are underemployed. Most of the solutions to the problem of underemployment rest with those who are underemployed. It is through a persons efforts that he or she can find a more fulfilling job. In that case, social networking can offer a good solution to the problem of underemployment. Social sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter make it easier for searching a new job. An underemployed person can use his or her existing connection to find a more fulfilling job. With the help of the available social media networks, one can easily contact colleagues, friends or even family friends. They may serve as connections to potential job. However, this solution may not offer a good remedy to all people. There are those people who are illiterate or are not technologically updated to have accounts in these social media networks.

Therefore, the best solution to solving the problem of underemployment is for a person to follow a company that suits his or her interests. All underemployed workers are looking for a career and a future that their current part time job does not offer. This is because a career is not built by part time of unfulfilling job. A good career can only be built with a full time employment opportunity that only a company can offer. Making a list of companies that best suit a person is thus a good way of getting to work in a company of interest. After making a list of these companies, one should embark on researching more about these companies. In the process of doing this, a person will find out on how to apply for a job. Additionally, a person should look for people who are already working.


It is not surprising that employment and unemployment rates are still stagnant. This problem remains a thorn in the flesh in the American economy. Solving the unemployment problem can be best achieved through surveying the unemployment programs. This will be essential because all types of unemployment will be effectively studied and eliminated. Underemployment can effectively be solved by identifying companies that can offer a more fulfilling job.


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