Measuring Underemployment


by Rachel Vilsack

In December, Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, its lowest rate since August 2008, and considerably lower than the national average of 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate measures people who are not working, but who are available and actively seeking work. Some workers—like those who are discouraged or those with some other barrier to looking for work—are not included in the official calculation. We can see how they impact the national rate, as there are six different measures of the unemployment rate produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) each month. But is there a measure for people who are underemployed?

 

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Working Part-Time for Economic Reasons


by Amanda Rohrer

Anecdote and evidence don’t always seem to agree when it comes to the unemployment rate and the economy. Although Minnesota’s unemployment rate has been declining consistently for the past two years, most people still have stories about friends, family, and neighbors who just can’t get a break. All the published unemployment rate tells us is the percentage of the adult population actively seeking employment. There are two major areas it’s not designed to cover. First, it doesn’t count potential workers who aren’t active in their job search efforts. Second, it doesn’t count people who are working, but could be working more or in more demanding or better paid jobs — the underemployed.

 

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Unemployment and Education


by Ellie Schriner

The unemployment rate is an important measure of economic health; however, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Unemployment rates are produced monthly in each state and for the country as a whole, but these rates can be broken down further to better illustrate the rates for different groups of people. One factor that greatly impacts a group’s unemployment rate is educational attainment. Some jobs require higher education levels, like a college degree, while others do not, leading to variation in the nature of the work and the unemployment rate by education level.

 

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Underemployment in Minnesota


by Teri Fritsma

There’s unemployment, and then there’s underemployment.  Unemployment includes people who are out of work and are looking for work.  Underemployment includes a much larger group of people–those who don’t necessarily fit the strict definition of being unemployed but are also not in the best of economic circumstances. 

 

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Are You an Unemployed Minnesotan? Don’t Miss this New Site!


by Teri Fritsma

If you’re out of work, underemployed, or just looking for ways to tighten the belt, be sure to check out this brand new site: MinnesotaUnemployed.com.  Here’s what Peggy Byrne, the site’s developer (and an unemployed Minnesotan), says about it:

 

“The purpose of this site is to provide easy user-friendly access with direct linkages to information and services that will help not only the un- and underemployed affected by the economic crisis — but also those working to address their needs. In addition to providing a wealth of information about job search sites, career resources, training and education, the web site also provides valuable and useful linkages to information about housing, health care, food, money, faith-based resources, transportation, bargains and leisure time.
 
The site was put together with little or no funding.  It was the idea of an unemployed individual (me) who was spending mind numbing hours and hours in front of a computer looking for jobs and resources. I partnered with the JOBS NOW Coalition who provided me with free office space and then put me in touch with Five on Four Web Design. They then designed the site with content that I provided. They have been working free of charge until I am able to raise some money to support the site.”
 
 
Counselors, jobseekers, and career explorers will find lots of great stuff here.  Personally, I recommend checking out the Bargains section. 
 

Transitioning to a lower-paying job


by Teri Fritsma  

Lately, we’re hearing more stories about people who are moving from high-paying, high-prestige positions to much lower-paying jobs just to keep an income after a layoff.  Are you in this boat?    

You might think that it would be easy to walk into that coffee shop or retail store and get a job.  (Who wouldn’t want to hire a barista with an MBA?)  Not necessarily.  Being over-credentialed can actually work against you, because employers are interested in finding employees who’ll fit in and who won’t leave in a month when something better comes along.

 

So here are some ideas to help you position yourself for a job for which you’re overqualified.

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Underemployed? Here are 5 ways to spend your extra time.


by Teri Fritsma

Are you underemployed? You’re not alone.

According to February’s estimates, about 14.8 percent of Americans were categorized as either un– or underemployed.  (This definition includes people who are marginally attached to the labor force or are working part-time when they’d rather be working full-time).  

If this is you (or even if it isn’t) here are 5 ways to spend your time.

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