Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Job Seeking Is A Part Time Task?

Sen. John Albers wants those receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits to volunteer 24 hours a week or lose their "handout". He would amend current unemployment law to add the following:
The individual has performed at least 24 hours of service per week, either paid or unpaid, for a nonprofit charitable organization.
His justification?
“At the heart of welfare is the notion that government is responsible for the prosperity and success of our lives,” Albers said in a statement. “It is not. Government is responsible for providing the environment and helping people when needed with a 'hand up' and not a 'hand out.'”
I suppose we should give Sen. Albers a break since he's only been in office a little over a year and actually understanding the laws, portions of which have existed for decades, before commencing to tinker would be a terrible burden.

Unemployment Insurance is no hand out. It is exactly what it is named - insurance. Employers pay a relatively modest premium, in the form of a payroll tax, in reality no different than the subsidy they pay on most other forms of insurance (health, disability, etc.), and if the employee is separated through no fault of their own, that employee receives a weekly payment (once again, think of disability plans) for a period of their unemployment.

In exchange, employers benefit from a more stable workforce and through the various human resources functions of the Department of Labor, easy access to that workforce.

In order for the recipient to receive the benefit, they must not only be available for employment but actively seek employment. Actively seeking employment means using the majority of the work week mailing resumes, interviewing and networking.

Now, along comes the seasoned Senator Albers with the notion that actually using the majority of your week to search for work is counterproductive to searching for work. Those lazy lucky ducks would be much better served by squeezing 24 hours of picking up trash in between actually trying to find a job.

I would think the "conservative" approach would be to actually understand the system instead of immediately implementing radical change. And I bet Sen. Albers could accomplish this herculean task of educating himself in less than 24 hours a week.

No comments: