Is Unemployment a Social Problem  Essay

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Unemployment: A Social Problem?

There are few problems that nations face more perplexing than that of unemployment. The condition of being unemployed is in some ways natural to a capitalist system, as businesses try to succeed while spending as few resources as possible, and a flexible workforce means most people are willing and happy to change jobs several times throughout their lives. The problems of unemployment then often only go noticed during periods of economic slowdown, when the number of out of work individuals rises far beyond the ability of private business to give these individuals jobs. Unemployment is a significant social problem caused by poor economic conditions, and as such, unemployment should not simply be characterized as an individual's inability to find meaningful work, but also a nation's inability to provide meaningful employment to the entirety of its workforce.

A highly developed economy requires a busy and proactive society to fuel it. The perceptions of individuals, as well as the overall unemployment figures of the society, has a correlating link with the impression of the healthiness of a nation's economy. (Paul & Moser, 2009) Gone are the days when government provided security nets have protected the less fortunate for an indefinite period of time. A 'normal' unemployment rate in the United States is about 5%, and that
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level has been fairly consistent for more than 50 years. Only during recessions has that number increased, and this past recession caused unemployment at some times to reach over 10%, doubling the amount of unemployment workers. The entire economy suffers as a result, because with so many individuals receiving less money from their former employers, goods and services have been reduced or eliminated in these worker's annual budgets. ("The effects of," 2011) A ripple effect courses through the entire economy as less money is being spent and former luxuries are cut off.

The manufacturing sector has been hit particularly hard as a result of the latest worldwide recession, and many of the millions of jobs lost simply will not return due to higher efficiency robots as well as outsourced labor to foreign markets. (Riley, 2006) Workers who have spent their entire lives in the manufacturing sector must now somehow change careers amidst a weak economy, and therefore society's confidence in it is weakened. The perpetrators of globalization and the onset of outsourcing have been targets of much wrath by the hands of blue-collar workers. Families and school districts suffer when manufacturing plants close, and entire regions of the United States, particularly the heavily industrialized Midwest, have changed shape due to the change in demand for workers in these states.

Governments are meant to control markets and…

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Works Cited

Block, F. (1981). Policy analysis. Retrieved from

Paul., & Moser (2009). Psychological effects of unemployment and underemployment. Retrieved from

The effects of unemployment: The effects on society. (2011). Retrieved from

Riley, G. (2006, September). Tutor2u. Retrieved from

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