October 6th 2012
SO 100 75
Rhetoric and Reality
Unemployment occurs when an individual who is actively searching for a job but is unable to obtain one. Long-term unemployment is a category, which falls under unemployment, where people who are actively searching for work have been jobless for more than 27 weeks—that’s six months without a job. Numerous people are affected by unemployment and long-term unemployment, first hand while unintentionally affecting loved ones as well.
As of May 2012, research shows approximately 30 percent of Americans who are unemployed have been searching for work and have been jobless for over a year’s time ...view middle of the document...
The unemployment rate for persons with Doctoral degrees in 2009 was 2.5, Masters degree 3.9, Bachelors 5.2, high school grads 9.7. Thirty-six percent of the 9.7 unemployed high school graduates have been unemployed for over a year (Thompson, Derek). These statistics show that, although the higher educated individuals have lower unemployment rates, the percentage of unemployed workers among those who have been unemployed for over a year is significantly high. A huge surprise in the outlining of the long-term unemployed is the racial aspect. Statistics show that African Americans and Asians are the two top races who have the highest long-term unemployment. Asians surpass African Americans, which is unexpected but if you think about it, they are a larger population, which means there is more competition in the professional world. Derek Thompson mentions, two out of every five unemployed workers who are African American or Asian, has been jobless for over a year (Thompson, Derek). Lastly, long-term unemployed individuals are located all throughout the United States (and the rest of the world). California and Florida have the highest share of people (in the United States) who have been out of work for more than a year. Statistically, the Pacific region of the United States, which contains California, has an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent with a “long-term” unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. The South Atlantic region of the United States, which contains Florida, has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent and a “long-term” unemployment rate of 3.4 percent (Thompson, Derek). The working class who are employed may see people who are jobless as not being educated enough, not working hard enough, etc. but these statistics show anyone can be unemployed—as long as they are still searching for work, they are not of any lesser status.
From a sociological perspective—these people who are unemployed may be suffering from emotional damages. Losing a job is one thing, but searching for one for over a year and having no luck is even worse. A passage from “Voices of the Jobless” shows the criticism unemployed people endure. The passage reads: “Possibly the worst thing about being unemployed is having to suffer through the pundit and the politician classes gassing on interminably about what it’s like to be unemployed, what kind of people are unemployed and how they think and act, when none of them knows or understands one damn thing about it, nor do they even want to. Get down here on the ground, and try to go a year on $350 a week with no hope in sight, and then tell us why the lazy unemployed just need a good swift kick to get the country moving again.” (Thompson, Derek). People who have jobs do not see the struggle these long-term unemployed individuals are enduring and do not understand what they are going through, therefore, they have no reason or right to criticize these people and blame them for the economic crisis we are currently suffering. Surveys show,...