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Social Welfare Issue Unemployment


SocialWelfare Issue: Unemployment

SocialWelfare Issue: Unemployment

Unemploymentis a critical social welfare issue that is affecting most countriesacross the world. Apparently, most governments are now faced with thehuddle of creating enough jobs for the thousands of graduates who areleaving school every year. According to Bittle and Johnson (2012),the gains made in education and civilizations, as a whole, havegreatly contributed towards this dilemma. Today, most families fromacross the world are getting the opportunity to send their childrento school because education has not only been made cheap, but alsovery easy to access. In addition, it has been made a basic necessityin regions such as Asia and Africa where the girl child was greatlydisadvantaged.

UnemploymentIssue in the United States

Americahas made remarkable strides towards curbing unemployment rate.According to a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as ofOctober 2016, this rate had fallen to 4.9% (Jeen &amp Lean, 2015).This is a major gain bearing in mind that it has always averaged ataround 5.81% for the past five years. Despite the gain however, thetotal number of unemployed persons seems unchanged in the sameperiod. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that these people havealways totaled to around 7.9 million in the past five years. Thelabor force participation on the other hand stand at 62.8%,representing a decrease of about 0.1% from the previous year (Jeen &ampLean, 2015).

Allthe above statistics clearly indicate that unemployment is still amajor issue in the United States despite the gains made in the lastfew years. Apparently, Bittle and Johnson (2012) note that this is sobecause the country has one of the best education systems in theworld meaning more young people are studying well and graduating.However, it becomes a major social dilemma when these young peoplefail to secure decent jobs after all the time and resources put inpreparing them both mentally and professionally. The hustle offinding a job is actually taking its toll on many youngsters. As Cha(2014) notes that some of them end up in drugs and crime due to thefrustrations while others generally give up on trying to find newopportunities.

Howthe Government is Addressing Unemployment

Forsome time now unemployment has been a major campaigning topic withevery presidential aspirant expected to state clearly the plans he orshe has in regard to making sure that American youth have jobs. Mostof these plans are always presented in form of policies. One of thecurrent policies in place that directly addresses joblessness is theunemployment compensation, also referred to as unemploymentinsurance. According to Cha (2014), this policy was coined with themain objective of lessening the effects of joblessness which isapparently a very critical social welfare issue. As highlightedearlier, there is always a general feeling of hopelessness in mostyoung people who struggle getting employed. When not guided orsupported efficiently, these youngsters fall for numerous temptationssuch as indulging in drugs, prostitution and other crimes.

Unemploymentcompensation achieves its objective by making small social welfarepayments to unemployed people. These payments are made by either thestate governments or other authorized bodies working on behalf of thegovernments. In most cases, they are based on the compulsorypara-governmental insurance system and are just big enough to caterfor the most basic needs of unemployed people who must be registeredby the relevance agencies and committed to seeking job opportunities(Bittle &amp Johnson, 2012).

Howas a Social Worker I can Contribute towards Addressing Unemployment

Unemploymentis a very critical and complex issue because its effects do not onlyaffect the unemployed victims but also people around them includingfamily, friends and the society as a whole. As noted earlier,unemployed people are usually at a higher risk of getting into vicessuch as drugs, prostitution and crime due to being idle and thefeeling of hopelessness. When they finally do, Jeen and Lean (2015)note that they become not only a burden but also a danger tothemselves, their families and the society. It is therefore importantthat anybody in a capacity to mitigate this situation should take upthe challenge and make his or her own contribution however small itmight look.

Asa social worker, there are very many contributions that one can maketowards helping fix the American unemployment dilemma. However, mostof them require working closely together with the key social welfarestakeholders that are either directly affected by the issue or havethe capacity to positively influence it. Basing on this therefore, itis important to first establish these stakeholders together withtheir significance in relation to the contribution they bringonboard. In my study of this social welfare issue in the currentcontext, I can identify the unemployed population, the government(whether federal or state) and role models/motivational speakers asthe three main stakeholders whose efforts can go a long way ineffective policy action.

Tobegin with, it is very important for the unemployed population tounderstand that being jobless is usually temporary and neither doesit define a person. Sadly, a number of current studies are showingthat most young people are giving up entirely just because they failto secure a decent job within the first six months after finishingcollege. For instance, a research by Jeen and Lean (2015) estimatesthat close to 2.6 million professionally trained individualsdesperately want a job but are not making any efforts whatsoever tofind one. Such individuals are convinced that unemployment is adeeply rooted social welfare issue and thus there is no need for evengiving it a try.

Theabove assumption and attitude is greatly misinformed. Therefore, foreffective policy action, social welfare workers can collaborate withvarious role models, public figures, motivational speakers, men andwomen of good character to inspire jobless people to change theirattitude towards their current status. Church leaders and communityelders can also be very instrumental in informing especially theyoung jobless people to view unemployment as just any other challengethat people face. It is also important to highlight the need of beingless selective as numerous opportunities are passing them becausethey have set their minds on specific jobs.

Thegovernment on the other hand has the objective of ensuring itsunemployment compensation program benefits the right people.Therefore, social workers can make their contribution by working withvarious government agencies and personnel to ensure that only thetruly unemployed people are registered and entered into the program.There have been numerous cases where people without professionaltraining have defrauded the state governments and benefited from thisprogram at the expense of genuine graduates struggling to find a job.

Recommendationsfor Policy Improvement

Thecurrent unemployment insurance has been a major issue of debatebecause there are nearly equal forces for and against its approach inaddressing unemployment concerns. According to Jeen and Lean (2015),supporters of this policy highlight the need to give professionallytrained but unemployed people a source of income since it is not intheir making that they do not have a job. The argument herein is thatit is the sole responsibility of the government to make sure itcreates enough jobs for its educated population. Since it has failedon this, it beats logic that the same government should take up theburden of fending for all affected individuals (Cha, 2014).

Opponentsof unemployment benefits on the other hand site the effects on thestate budgets as the number one decrementing factor as far as thispolicy is concerned. Therefore, in an effort of finding a balancebetween these two factions, this paper recommends some changes on thepolicy that will see the introduction of mandated individual savingaccounts for every employee currently working. This proposal isinfluenced by the fact that the current unemployment compensationplan is burdened by individuals who were previously working but gotlaid off for one reason or the other. Had this people made somesavings during their employment, the transition from one job to theother would to be burdensome and they would not need to entirelydepend on the government during that time of transition.

Policychanges are always tricky because there is no one single policy thatdoes not have its one set of challenges. More so, the fact thatpeople have the right to express their views implies that therecommendations presented herein are bound to face some objections.Perhaps one of the most anticipated one is the reluctance of presentworkers to set up a savings account due to the hard-economic times.


Bittle,S. &amp Johnson, J. (2012). WhereDid the Jobs Go? And How Do We Get Them Back?New York: Harper Collins.

Cha,J.M. (2014). Why Washington is reducing the Deficit Instead ofCreating Jobs. DemosExplainer, 6(2),23-29.

Jeen,J. &amp Lean, M. (2015). United States unemployment rate and what itimplies. TradingEconomics, 7(2),37-41.