You’ve probably seen articles in the news and blogs discussing the present administration has been instrumental in the decreasing unemployment rate. Maybe you read beyond the headline and noted, buried around the seventh paragraph, that part of the reason may be caused by people who stop actively looking for work. What I’d like to understand is; where do these get tracked?

From all reliable accounts (news, government rolls), they don’t. The numbers decrease, providing a positive indicator to unemployment. But these numbers represent real people, don’t they? The people aren’t disappearing, are they? If the unemployed (filers) have exhausted their benefit (26 to 40 weeks), and are turned down for more, a) why the discontinuity of tracking, and b) where do they turn for assistance?

Now, I haven’t reached my limit on unemployment and I haven’t received a warning that I’m getting shut off. I would expect to have to fill out some sort of survey at the end of the process. And this process might ask, ‘What other means of support will you depend on?’ (perhaps supplying multiple choice selections). Apparently, this process doesn’t exist, otherwise it would definitely be reported on.

So, where do these people disappear? Here’s my potential list of options, feel free to supplement them:

  • personal savings
  • retirement accounts
  • credit cards
  • mortgage loans
  • life insurance loans
  • family loans/gifts
  • personal property sales
  • residence sale
  • cash only employment,
  • social security
  • disability
  • welfare
  • All these options do not require reporting to a tracking agency, save for the retirement account which gets reported to the IRS (the rules regarding withdrawals and the twenty percent penalty assessed are another story). As for welfare, assuming you had a decent paying job the previous calendar year, you will not qualify. Same again for social security, barring severely obvious needs.

    The stigma of receiving unemployment is very real. Adding to that burden, by having to provide information to the government after the government/economy has failed the individual, is insult. But providing that information is only the beginning to creating a complete solution to the invisible unemployed.