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Underemployment - A Common Problem These Days

Posted by Danialle Riggins on June 21, 2010 at 7:32 PM

We have all heard stories about people not being hired for a job due to being "overqualified." In today's economy, being overqualified is the norm. With the unemployment rate nationwide standing over 9%, individuals with multiple degrees and numerous years of experience, are accepting entry-level jobs in new industries just for an income. This problem, on top of the other known problems, is changing how job markets look. The new problem is underemployment. Underemployment includes two things: individuals who are unemployed and looking for work; those who are settling for part-time work but wanted full-time work; and finally, those who are not actually looking for work at all.



We have ways of measuring underemployment. The majority of numbers referenced in regards to underemployment come from the US Labor Department known as U-6 statistic. Another way, economists and human resource specialists have been determining underemployment is through surveys such as the Gallup poll. Gallup estimated the unemployment publishing to be 19.9% of the workforce.



Underemployment will continue to be a problem due to two reasons. The first reason is due to numerous individuals accepting temporary work opportunities, which removes them from unemployment statistics. However, the temporary jobs end and most of those individuals will not qualify to be considered as unemployed under most states including Florida's regulations. Hence, the unemployment rate appears to have declined. The second reason is that underemployed individuals who come from high qualified backgrounds that accept entry-level employment become jaded quickly. After weeks of performing basic skills and job tasks, such employees become frustrated that they are not being offered the hours and income that they hoped to obtain.



Also some underemployment issues are related to the location. Depending on the state, an individual can experience underemployment  In January, Michigan California and Oregon had unemployment rates of above 20%. South Carolina Nevada Rhode Island had rates above 19%. Arizona, Tennessee and Florida have rates above 18%.



Given the condition of the construction, manufacturing, and sales industries not much will change in upcoming months. In today's economy, the problem of underemployment will continue. Even with federal jobs being offered to most states, and incentives for employers to hire, employers have tightened their belts and are primarily offering positions in a temporary or low-wage status. Other education is a forecast to be a growth of job areas. What the economics of United States will need is a new or renovated industry took to create jobs that were lost in the last two years.






Danialle Riggins, Esq. Riggins Law Firm.


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