Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Department, Unemployment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The monthly unemployment rate released by the Labor Department doesn't tell the whole story.

While it's bad enough at 9.1 percent, there's a number behind the number that paints a broader picture. The Labor Department compiles the figure to assess how many people want full-time work and can't find it — a number the unemployment rate alone doesn't capture.

Combined, the 14 million officially unemployed; the "underemployed" part-timers who want full-time work; and "discouraged" people who have stopped looking make up 16.2 percent of working-age Americans.

In a healthy economy, this broader measure of unemployment stays below 10 percent. It's been 15 percent or more since the Great Recession officially ended.

When things eventually get better, America's 14 million unemployed will compete with each other, the underemployed looking for full-time work and the discouraged who may get back into the job market. That could keep the unemployment rate high.

The Dalai Lama on  Unemployment (part two)

So there might be different ways in which individuals will respond to the challenges of change. What is important is to acknowledge this fact and try to work out how best to cope with the immediate problem itself. For example, if you need employment as a means of your livelihood and if you become unemployed, then all your efforts should be put into looking for new employment so that your livelihood will be secure. But there are two different responses. One person may feel demoralized and become sort of paralyzed, thinking, There is no hope, I lost my job, what am I supposed to do? But another individual in the same situation might look at it as an opportunity to make some changes. As a challenge. So that is the more positive way, the more proactive way of dealing with this problem. But of course it is not easy.

There may also be other ways that might help at least reduce the mental anxiety of dealing with the situation, so that a person can use all their mental energy to find new work. For Buddhists, there are certain thought processes and considerations that help--for example, the belief in karma [one's actions] and ultimately taking responsibility for one's own karma. Although this kind of mental attitude may not have any effect in physically resolving the situation, at least it will help ease the individual from the psychological effect of losing the job, and so on. And of course, believers in other religious systems can also take some consolation in their own beliefs.

--from The Art of Happiness at Work by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Dr. Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

1 comment:

Ivan Secherev said...

From Russia. Not many Buddhists here, but I will follow this blog due to the news feature.

Ivan Secherev