Low Unemployment Isn't Good for Everyone

We usually think of today's four percent U.S. unemployment rate as a good thing, right?

Not always. Few realize that four percent equals 5.6 million Americans who are without a job. Critics are sharp to criticize that anyone--these days--can find a job, but in some cases, this may not be true.

'Americans, particularly those who graduated a number of years ago, face structural unemployment where the skills possessed do not match the skills needed to fill the positions that are vacant,' says Dr. Steven E. Abraham, J.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at State University of New York at Oswego. 'Many jobs that exist today demand certain skills that were not taught several years ago in high schools or colleges. If the unemployed do not possess the skills demanded by today's employers, the fact that there is a low unemployment rate does not help.

Corporate restructurings and acquisitions, where highly qualified, college-educated professionals are out on the street, are a direct cause/effect for the unemployed. To make matters worse, this also is the group that may be the highest paid.

'As companies want to bring in 'new blood' and/or reduce expenses, the first people to be let go are the middle-aged executives who are making high salaries but do not have the skills to keep up with new technologies. Unemployment can be especially devastating on these employees, as they struggle to keep their families fed without a job.'

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