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Unemployment

Suit and Tie - USA-Focus.org

Sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, (and) poverty…
(Proverbs, The Message translation)

FOUNDING FATHERS’ PERSPECTIVE

“I think … we have … too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious …. Determine never to be idle….” (Thomas Jefferson)

“I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” (Ben Franklin)

“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can – and should do for themselves.” (Abraham Lincoln)

FACTS

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams)

There are currently 5.4 million job openings in the U.S. – the most in 15 years.
CNN Money, 6/9/15. “America has the most job openings in 15 years.


The unemployment rate is 40% (independent sources) The unemployment rate is 5% (federal government). CNBC, 5/20/15. “40% of Unemployed Have Quit Looking for Jobs”
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5/6/16


40% of women, 28% of men, 39% of youth don’t WANT a job.
Washington Examiner, 11/14/14. “Giving Up: 40% of women, 28% of men, 39% of youth don’t WANT a job”


The overall quality of the U.S. workforce ranks 14th in the world.
IMD World Talent Report 2015


In the next decade, there will be a need for 3.5 million new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Of those jobs, 2.5 million are predicted to go unfilled, due to a lack of qualified U.S. workers.
Deloitte, “The Skills Gap in Manufacturing – 2015 and Beyond”


53% of new college grads are unemployed or working jobs not even requiring a high school diploma. This ranges from almost full employment and large salaries among those graduates with science/technology majors, to almost no employment and minimum wage salaries among those graduates with majors like communications, social science, the arts, recreation, etc.
Forbes, 5/28/13. Adams, Susan “Half of College Grads are working a job that doesn’t require a degree”
Entrepreneur’s Magazine, 5/7/15. “The 10 highest and lowest paying college majors”


84% of high school students don’t have any job or work experience until they leave high school: the lowest amount in 20 years. “A poor work ethic” and “no previous work experience” are two of the top complaints employers have about their employees.
Online College. “13 Common Complaints Employers have about recent grads”
Washington Times, 5/24/12. “Number of High School Students with Jobs Hits 20 year Low”


In 2014, the state of Maine had 12,000 individuals collecting food stamps who were neither disabled nor had children at home, but just claimed a lack of financial resources. Maine passed a law encouraging these individuals to get off of welfare, It required them to either work 20 hours/week at a part-time job, enroll in a vocational program or do 6 hours per week of community service. A short time later, the number of recipients had dropped to 2500.
U.S. Herald, 4/5/15. “This is what happened when Maine forced welfare recipients to work for their benefits”


20 states are now requiring a work-for-food-stamps requirement similar to Maine’s, as was originally required nation-wide after the passing of a Welfare Reform Act in 1996. President Obama waived the enforcement of that law. Since Obama’s action, the number of people on food stamps has quadrupled.
Independent Journal Review, 11/11/15. Bevins, Shawn. “Here are the states that now have work requirements for food stamps recipients”
The Washington Post, 9/6/12. Rector, Robert. “How Obama has gutted welfare reform”

SUMMARY

The unemployment situation in the U.S. is NOT due to a lack of job openings, but to several other factors that could rapidly be addressed:

◊  The failure of high schools to maintain behavior standards and a work ethic comparable to what students will encounter in their careers.

◊  The failure of high schools to recognize work experience as an essential curriculum component for ensuring future student employment, and require it as a graduation requirement.

◊  The failure of high schools and colleges to provide students with better guidance in selecting college majors that have realistic employment potential.

◊  The government’s practice of making welfare entitlements so easy to qualify for, that it is destroying Americans’ work ethic.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

◊  Require all schools to maintain behavior standards and a work ethic comparable to what students will encounter in their careers.

◊  Require part-time employment as a high school graduation requirement for schools who want to qualify for state and federal funding.

◊  Make the amount of federal grants/loans available to college students dependent upon their chosen majors.

◊  Lobby the 30 states who are not requiring work-for-welfare to reinstate the provisions of the Welfare Reform Act, requiring part-time work, more schooling, or community service from anyone applying to receive food stamps.

Brief #2A: June 2, 2016

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