Home Articles Job Search Unemployment Facts, Federal & State Benefits, and Tips to Gain Employment

Although the United States' job market is beginning to look up, those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic discover that getting out of unemployment is not easy. Finding work takes time. In December 2020, the number of Americans unemployed for a little more than a month increased from less than half a million to nearly three million. The number of unemployed persons who were without a job between three and six months fell to 1.6 million in the same period.

In America, the number of long-term unemployed rests at close to 7 million. These are people who have been unable to find employment for more than six months. It accounts for more than 37% of the unemployed in the nation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, long term unemployment is defined as having lasted for more than 27 weeks.

In December 2020, the unemployed race-wise breakup revealed that Blacks were the worst affected, followed by Hispanics and Whites. The Asian community was the least affected, presumably because of the emphasis on education within the community.

The statistics for long-term unemployment by race revealed that the Hispanic community was faring better than the most. The Asian community was bearing the brunt of this form of unemployment.

According to the BLI, the unemployment rate for workers above 55 years rose 6% in December 2020. This is the first time in nearly half a century that workers aged 55 and above have to deal with more job losses than mid-career workers.

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Job Hunting and the Unemployed

Statistics reveal that those facing long-term unemployment find it harder to gain employment than those seeking a job change. Unemployed people spent up to nine hours a week looking for jobs and applied for around eight jobs a month; whereas, those wanting a job change spent a mere 1.2 hours a week looking for vacancies and applied to approximately 1.2 jobs a month.

Steps to Stay Afloat and Find Employment

2022 was a challenging year for many. SMBs, mom and pop stores, exporters, importers, traders, and small manufacturers lost out on business, and the effects were felt by their employees too. With millions of Americans seeking a good job in the job market, the competition for positions is tough. However, if you approach the matter in a structured manner, you can improve your chances of getting hired and getting fair compensation for your expertise and experience. While you’re hunting for a suitable job, you may want to consider the various unemployment compensation avenues available to you.

The novel coronavirus has affected employment rates all over the world. Employers are resorting to all kinds of cost cutbacks. For the week ending January 16th, 2021, there were 900,000 unemployment claims. There are around 16 million Americans on unemployment benefits at present. This is the highest number ever since the Department of Labor began maintaining records.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.2 3 has been bolstered by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021. It is meant to support qualified unemployed workers, such as laid-off workers, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and workers with a brief work history will receive State Unemployment Insurance (UI). Many states support qualified unemployed workers for a maximum of 26 weeks. You can file for these benefits online.

Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA) is an option for self-employed people and others who may not typically be covered by traditionally offered benefits. This program allows individuals to claim benefits up to April 5th, 2021. Claimants can claim for up to 50.2 weeks.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is an opportunity to avail an additional $300 per wee by workers that qualify for state and federal unemployment benefits. This amount is credited automatically to the beneficiary’s account.

Should You Switch Jobs?

It’s a decision that can pay off for you. A job switch based on relevant skills, learning, or just plain opportunity to earn and learn can supplement funds accrued through state and federal benefits.

If attempts to find a job within your current line of work are not yielding fruit, then you may want to consider aspects of your skillset that may help you land a job in another line of work. A CAD/CAM operator, a content writer, a driver, etc., are just some examples of people with skills that can be used across niches. A person with good communication skills can take this skill set to a different work environment and contribute meaningfully.

Spending some time in self-evaluation and doing a SWOT analysis on one’s professional standing will allow you to apply for jobs in a more meaningful manner.

A phase of forced unemployment is also an opportunity to upgrade skills or learn new things. One can pick up rudimentary skills on diverse subjects online, learn a trade offline, or improve existing skills. Be it proofreading, academic writing, SEO, music, copywriting, or a certificate course in subjects such as geology, language, cooking, coding…the choices are endless, and there are opportunities to cash in.

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