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  Category: Articles » Careers & Jobs » Employment » Article
 

Unemployment Problem Solved -- 7 Proposals




By Virginia Bola, PsyD

The subject is constantly in the news and was a orime issue in the recent national elections - the infamous jobless recovery. More than 8 million Americans are still out of work with another 4 million underemployed or no longer looking for work. Good manufacturing, technical and services jobs are being shipped to India, Asia, and other developing countries. The mood of the middle and working class becomes more pessimistic, the outlook for their immediate future more grim.

Politicians debate solutions: abrogating current trade treaties, providing protection for various industries, investment in retraining programs, wishful thinking that lower taxes will turn everything around, the promise of a labor shortage within 15 years.

Meanwhile, the population grows, demanding the creation of 150,000 new jobs per month just to stay even. Where are the more than 2 million 2004 jobs promised by the Council of Economic Advisers?

They will come when the government truly invests in the social and financial welfare of the working public. Historically, the U.S. has looked at employment only in times of crisis - recession or alarming unemployment figures. Rather than "quick fixes," we need a national long-range policy on employment which addresses the issue, in good times and bad, with sustained interest, analysis, and support.

Here are seven proposals:

1. Create a National Office of Employment to develop long term strategies and oversight of the U.S. labor market in order to track trends, analyze data, research emerging problems, and prepare early interventions.

2. Identify growing and potential industries and the skills they will need in future staff.

3. Design a plan which allows for the rapid retargeting of training courses as Community Colleges and vocational schools are traditionally 5 to 15 years behind current needs.

4. Provide substantial tax incentives for businesses to hire in the U.S. rather than shipping their jobs to low income countries.

5. Devise "red-tape-less" programs to reward employers with significant tax credits for hiring the long-term employed and new trainees.

6. Overhaul the processes of State Unemployment Offices by implementing coordinated support programs in which workers participate as part of receiving unemployment benefits and employers participate as a means of meeting their future needs for staff.

7. Provide incentives for employers to hire more part-time workers. Simultaneously, America must reframe its social policy to promote a new work ethic of reduced work hours, along with increased leisure and volunteer activities, to allow more workers to be employed, albeit for fewer hours. Due to the negative emotional effects of living without work, our society needs to stress high employment rather than high productivity which often translates into fewer workers, working harder and longer.
 
 
About the Author
Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a respected Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. Author of an interactive and emotionally supportive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.unemploymentblues.com

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  Some other articles by Virginia Bola, PsyD
Personal Contacts: The Key to Successful Networking
When the word "networking" is used, we tend to think of upwardly mobile college graduates with a bursting day timer in hand chatting up the competition ...

Overwhelmed and Overworked: The Myth of American Productivity
Employment finally seemed back on track during the last few months of 2004. Politicians crowed that "Our tax cuts are working." Then, without warning, further job growth slowed to a crawl, resulting in a ...

Job Winning Tactic: Organize Your Attack
Looking for work is an energy-devouring ordeal, often leading to running in circles and not getting anywhere. A systematic approach can help you focus ...

Job Search Survival: Emotional Damage Control
Looking for work is a roller-coaster ride: high with elation when you think you've found a great position, low with discouragement ...

Unemployment Challenge: Downward Mobility
All the indicators show an improving economy and, finally, the start of job growth. More than eight million unemployed workers ...

Layoff Survival Technique: Create Your Own Job Security
In a time of economic downturn, international turmoil, company restructuring and corporate mergers run amok, thousands of people are either out of work or fearful of losing their jobs. ...

  
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