Unemployment – Part 1: The Issues

Home Editorial & Opinion Unemployment – Part 1: The Issues

Tim Ajmani
The Corsair

One of the biggest issues today in the world is the unemployment rate. According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate “represents the number unemployed as a percent of the labor force.”

Dealing with a high unemployment rate is harmful to the production and existence of any country, not just the United States.

As of August 2011, Pensacola’s unemployment rate was 10.3 percent, slightly above the United States rate of 9.1 percent. In fact, since 2001, Florida has experienced as much as a six to seven percent increase in unemployment.

There are many reasons for this drastic increase. Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times, implied in his recent column, “How Did The Robot End Up With My Job?”, that technological advances are a big contributor to the increase in the unemployment rate, saying that “we have gone from a connected world…to a hyperconnected world”.

It isn’t an understatement. I’m willing to bet that the technology in the world increases five to ten times a day, if not more. Machines are replacing manpower in certain areas, and that is only going to increase in the near future.

Another big factor is that companies today are choosing outsourcing as a far more productive option than staying in the United States.
In other countries, many people are far more willing to take a lesser amount of pay than people in the United States.

While many supporters of outsourcing claim it will save companies money and have more Americans in higher level job positions, the negative is that many of the skilled and semi-skilled employees in the United States will be without jobs.

Despite the problems that the United States has, some countries have it even worse. Earlier this year, the country of Egypt was in a state of revolution. One of the main underlying causes was unemployment. The high unemployment rate in Egypt contributed to a higher percentage of poverty, causing many to blame the government for the country’s problems.

In Spain, the problems are so bad that September saw the amount of unemployed rise to as high as 4.2 million people, increasing the overall unemployment rate to 21 percent, which is one of the highest of any country in Europe.

Undoubtedly, the issues of unemployment will be one of the most addressed in the upcoming United States presidential campaign and election.
Given the negative mindset surrounding the American Economy, it is very likely that most voters will be interested in the Republican Party’s nomination for president, as well as the most popular Independent candidate.

Obama’s contributions to increase the efforts of decreasing unemployment have resulted in mixed feelings in many Americans.
Some applaud him, while others degrade him. Regardless of whom the next president is, decreasing the unemployment rate will take time, and won’t simply happen overnight.

This is a two part installment. In Part I, Tim Ajmani explores issues regarding unemployment in the United States, as well as the rest of the world. In Part II, Ajmani will discuss possible solutions to the unemployment problems.