Causes of Unemployment and Poverty Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Poverty & Unemployment

Poverty and unemployment are unquestionably two of the primary scourges that afflict the United States as well as other countries around the world. There are strong ways in which they correlate but they do run the gamut from recessions, offshoring of jobs, industry and employment shifts in the country and so forth. This brief report will explore the links that exist, what is being done about them, what is working and what is not. Even though a sliver of the population will always be unemployed and/or impoverished, it is no less painful to notice and watch when it happens.

The first point to be made about both poverty and unemployment is that there is always going to be at least some of both in the United States. However, the hope is that it is always temporary rather than ongoing and perpetual. Even so, there is a reason that a national unemployment rate of about five percent is considered "full employment" (Investopedia, 2016). The idea behind that is that there will always be a portion of the population that is out of work due to layoffs, being fired, people quitting for new jobs and so forth. As such, there are always people that are going to be looking for work. In general, the usual remedy to assist in dealing with that is unemployment insurance as provided by all of the states in the United States. However, those benefits are based on lookback periods and other measurements of income and work history. As such, someone with a sporadic work history or low wages is not going to get a large amount of benefit from unemployment benefits, if any at all. There are indeed other benefits that can bridge the gaps such as welfare (CBS, 2013).

Even with the above, there are people that, for whatever reason, perpetually reside and remain in poverty. There is a litany of reasons (or combination of reasons) for this. This includes having a felony record, being perceived as a "job-hopper," not having the proper high school and/or college education and having a skill that is not in demand. For example, there was a time that manufacturing was an extremely huge work sector in the United States. However, that has been a major and pivotal shift over the last generation or two towards a knowledge/service sector economy whereby people with advanced or vocational skills like lawyers, doctors and so forth do quite well and the rest of the populace has to scrum for the service jobs that typically pay less, if not much less. Manufacturing is still a huge industry in the United States but it is not what it was and much of what remains in the United States requires college or similar education due to it being high-tech or otherwise not something that a person off the street can learn easily or quickly. The simpler manufacturing that was the backbone of the blue collar workers of yesteryear has largely gone either south of the Border to Mexico or overseas to countries like China, Indonesia and Bangladesh, among others (Roberts, 2016).

Another factor that was touched upon before are recessions. To be sure, all levels…

Sources Used in Document:


CBS. (2013). 80% of U.S. adults face near-poverty, unemployment, survey finds. Retrieved 28 July 2016, from

Clemens, J. & Wither, M. (2014). The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of Effects on the Employment and Income Trajectories of Low-Skilled Workers.

Investopedia. (2016). Full Employment Definition -- Investopedia. Investopedia. Retrieved 28 July 2016, from

Le Tellier, A. (2013). The human side of poverty: Why poor people make bad decisions. Retrieved 28 July 2016, from

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