Unemployment refers to the inability for willing workers to find gainful employment. The degree of unemployment in a nation is one indicator of the economic health of the country. Many factors can negatively affect the unemployment rate including corporate downsizing, mergers, implementation of automation technologies, and job outsourcing to other nations. Some argue illegal immigration impacts the unemployment rate, though critics of this viewpoint counter that jobs held illegally are generally low paying or undesirable.
In the United States, workers pay into unemployment insurance through a deduction or unemployment tax that comes out of every check. Benefits can then be paid to the unemployed person for a period of time to help with bills, food and other expenses. During this time an unemployment advisor meets with the candidate and supplies him or her with job leads. The candidate is also expected to make personal efforts to find work, such as checking the daily newspaper or looking at online employment hubs.
There are many options today for workers that likely help to curb unemployment rates. The Internet provides a rich landscape for job recruiting. In some cases when gainful employment can’t be found a person will turn to temporary agencies until a permanent position is found. Companies will often contact temporary agencies when they need someone to fill in for an employee who has taken a leave of absence, or if they have backlogged work or special projects. It’s not uncommon that a person sent on a temporary assignment ends up being permanently hired.
When unemployment is high, mid-level jobs are the most difficult to find, while minimum-wage jobs are always plentiful but are not profitable and are therefore not considered gainful employment for the majority of the work force. Highly skilled professionals, particularly in medicine and technology are generally in demand and can often find work through personal networking or by using a headhunter.