How Unemployment is Impacting the Middle Class

The impact of Unemployment on the Middle Class

As our country enters a supposed recovery period after the recession, many Americans are still scratching their heads.  Jobs don’t seem to be available, even after months of searching.  Many Americans have taken lower paying jobs, sacrificed healthcare benefits, and struggle to make ends meet.  What does this lack of jobs mean for the middle class?

While it has been over four years since our recession began, the new “recovery” period is boasting an added 120,000 jobs this year.  While this seems like a huge number, the one thing the media is failing to report is that this number doesn’t even begin to keep up with the demand.  Keep in mind these numbers are for an entire year; each month, even more people than that become working age.   What are all these people doing to sustain themselves?

Many Americans have simply given up on finding a job. 

Literally thousands of people have quit looking for a new job.  Many of these individuals came from good paying positions, but are now left without the means to support themselves.

This has left a huge burden on the American taxpayer, as more and more people have become dependent on public assistance.  Food stamp recipients and unemployment benefits are through the roof.  How long we can afford to sustain this deterioration is yet to be seen, but eventually the money will run out.  

As more and more people face unemployment, the problem is made worse by the fact that these individuals are not spending money on traditional services, thus compounding the problem and making it difficult for businesses to survive.  As a result, fewer companies are hiring full time employees.  Even with corporate payroll services making it easier to track hours, productivity and benefits, corporations are still shirking at new hires.

The current economic state lends itself to government dependency

While the welfare system has long been flawed, the current state of affairs demands that we look at how we take care of our struggling.  The extended unemployment benefits, combined with food stamps, often total higher wages than working a minimum wage job.  This makes it impossible for someone with an education to be willing to work for less than they can make by staying home.  This same mentality has kept the lower class under the finger of government benefits for too long.

More people are finding that they can survive on the government, but this needs to shift. Instead of the government keeping tight restrictions on corporations, there needs to be fewer limits.  Tax incentives need to be given to companies that create new jobs, and those who work need to be offered an incentive as well.  This will bring the economy back to the concept of taking pride in your work, instead of weighing the benefits of working as opposed to simply giving up.

America has long been a leader in innovative and creative ideas, and as a people we can find the needs and create solutions.  While our economy struggles, it is more important than ever to think outside the box and find new ways to keep our country’s economy stimulated.

The best way to deal with this economic downturn is to keep in mind that we are still in a much better position financially than many other countries.  We can share housing, shop at thrift stores, adapt our diets, and limit spending.  With these steps, many Americans will survive comfortably until the recession is over.  Maybe not like we are used to, but we are still fortunate in many ways.


This guest post was written by independent journalist Patrica H. Hugley who frequently blogs about accounting and online payroll services.

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