Employment and unemployment

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  • Employment and unemployment
    • Employment- a person's regular trade of profession (the job they do)
      • Economically active- people aged 16 years or over who are either employed or unemployed but want to work
      • Economically inactive- people aged 16 or over who are out of work and are either not seeking work or unavailable to start work e.g caring for relatives, long-term illness or students
      • Benefits of employment include: financial security, opportunities and new skills, confidence, self-respect, social relationships and leisure time
    • Reasons for unemployment since 1990: automated phone systems to replace a person on the end of a phone, banking over the phone or internet instead of face-to-face, use of internet has grown as people use it to book holidays so no need for travel agents
      • Factors of employment and unemployment are dependant upon: education- young people being encouraged to remain longer in education, gender- more women are in paid jobs, contracts- growth of part-time and temporary employment, self-employment- 3.7 million in UK, immigrants- seeking employment
      • Groups vulnerable to unemployment
        • Young people- New deal schemes give help to unemployed to find work, provide employment opportunities and specialist training
        • Disabled- more likely to suffer discrimination when seeking employment
        • Lone parents- Cost of childcare and loss of benefits may contribute to unemployment
        • Over 50's- due to age discrimination the opportunities can be limited . Many older workers find it difficult to adjust and retrain for new jobs
    • Effects of unemployment
      • Without employment an individual is more likely to feel worthless and have low self-esteem
      • A lack of self-confidence can reduce attempts to find employment. They might increase of take up smoking to escape reality
      • Unemployed individuals may worry about debt and the responsibility of feeding and clothing family. Paying rent or mortgage may be a burden
      • The unemployed may find it difficult to occupy themselves. Work provides a sense of purpose. Being at home for long periods time can result in boredom
      • Due to lack of financial resources, children of unemployed parents may not have the opportunity to go on school trips or buy latest clothing
      • The removal of work can mean a loss of social contacts with friends and puts a strain on family relationships.
    • Effects of unemployment on society
      • Social problems such as homelessness, poverty, crime, drugs and alcohol abuse
      • Demand for welfare benefits- jobseekers allowance, housing benefit and council tax
      • Demand on health and voluntary services- depression, isolation, self-harming behaviour. Health services need to be equipped to deal with these issues in areas of high unemployment
      • Children in high areas of unemployment may have less motivation to work hard at school. School may find it difficult to recruit staff.
    • Support services available
      • JSA- available for those under retirement age who are out of work or working less than 16 hours a week.
      • Income support- available to people aged 16-59 who cannot work and do not have enough money to maintain standard of living e.g disabled, carers
        • Job grants- designed to help with the cost of moving from unemployment into work. One-off payment which is free of tax.
      • Housing benefit- helps towards rent from a private landlord or housing association
    • Government employment schemes
      • Work trials- enable employers to try out unemployed people in a particular job for up to 15 days while the person remains entitled to benefits
      • Work-based learning for adults- 25 and over who are unemployed for long periods. Offers focused training and help with developing basic skills.
      • Training schemes- government funded and provide work-based training. Paid a training allowance or wage
      • Programme centres or job clubs- offer training on the completion of CV's and preparation for interviews. Have access to telephones, internet, stationary and photocopying facilities
      • Apprenticeships- help young people leaving school or college to achieve vocational qualifications and skills


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