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Unemployment in the US

Different features and characteristics have characterized unemployment rates in the United States of America. Even though unemployment in the United States of America is low compared to other countries, especially the developing ones, there is still an unemployment rate. It differs whereby some groups have lesser unemployment rates while others have higher unemployment rates. Different societal formations and education cause this. For example, in the film industry, most of the actors are whites. This does not mean that blacks and other ethnic groups are completely excluded. Still, most actors who are whites can be seen as an indicator of employment and unemployment levels within the film industry. Unemployment can be discussed based on ethnicity, gender, age, qualifications & education level, and other causes of unemployment such as lack of experience and voluntary and involuntary types of unemployment.

Race and ethnicity are factors that determine the level of unemployment of a certain race to a very great extent. This means that in the United States of America, the race is a very important part of the unemployment and employment issues. This, however, is not as much as other countries whereby the general rates of unemployment are high than in the United States. For example, there is structural racism in the United States, and even though it has gone down and is not very much pronounced, it still exists among some people and especially white supremacists. This, therefore, means that if a white supremacist owns a business, the level of employing black people in that business as his workers are very few. It also implies that if the white supremacist employs black people, he will be doing so not because he wants to benefit them but because he wants to misuse them. On the other side, some black people also hate whites. It means that their businesses and their places of works might be filled with only black people. It is a societal problem since people from different races need to support one another and help reduce the hatred by making sure each other sees that life is better and good when there is understanding from both sides.

Unemployment due to racism continues to be a big issue. The unemployment rates of whites are the lowest in the United States at 4% in 11 states and the district of Colombia. However, from the whole of the United States, the unemployment rate of whites is at 5.3%. The whites are followed by Asians, whose level of unemployment is 5.6%, with a very slight difference. Hispanics have an unemployment rate of 7.9%, while black Americans or African Americans with an unemployment rate of 9.7%. This clearly shows that there is a problem of balance in the United States. This comes even after so many trials to bring about a racial balance and ensure that every American has access to the resources available within the states and the federal government. Therefore, race remains one very big issue when it comes to unemployment rates since there is a hatred deep inside the different people, especially extremists. It makes it almost impossible for them to accept others in their working fields.

The issue of race does not only make life difficult, but it also creates distinct racial problems or categories. This means that some places only belong to the whites while others only belong to the Asians or blacks, or Hispanics, which brings about segregation and grouping, which is not healthy for the business environment.

Unemployment based on the education level of the individuals is also another issue. This means that eh different people who reached different education levels have different employment levels. For example, those who attained high school education have their unemployment level, high school graduates with no college education have their kind of unemployment level, college education and associate degree, bachelor’s education, and masters and doctorate education level. This kind of unemployment variety also comes along with different salary groups, and therefore different people get different salaries for the jobs they do. This means those who have basic education receive salaries which are in line with their education level, which means it is the lowest or the basic salary set by different states and the federal government. The unemployment rates can also range from those of low education to those with higher education. This can be because of the efficiency with which those with higher education qualifications do their work and perform effectively than those with lesser education.

As of April 2021, the unemployment rate of those with basic education was 9.3%, those with a high school education 6.9%, those with college or associate degree 5.8%, and those with bachelor’s degree 3.5%. This is a clear depiction of how the rate of unemployment reduces with the higher the education level. It is a very important aspect of analyzing and looking at the levels of unemployment in the United States. Therefore the level of education is a big determiner of the rate of unemployment in the United States.

Apart from education level and race, age is also a very big factor in unemployment rates. Age is a very complicated factor because it cuts across the economy, and there are different businesses and works which require older people while others require younger people. However, some businesses decide to hire only young people while others decide to hire only older people with experience. Therefore when it comes to age, so many other factors come into play. One of the major factors is the issue of experience and efficiency. When a business majorly focuses on the efficiency of its workforce and experience, it may end up hiring those older people. However, young people are more flexible, more innovative and more lively, and appealing to customers. Therefore these factors determine how employment and unemployment fluctuate in the United States in terms of age.

In the United States, people between 45 to 60 years have lower unemployment rates than those between 16-24 years. The unemployment level of those between 16-24 is 14.9% which is very high compared with the 6.7% unemployment rate of 45-60 years. Therefore it is true that employers prefer those people who have experience and those who have been working for a long period which assures a person’s ability to deliver within the timelines and also be able to produce quality work as needed by most of the employers. Therefore, it is an important part of looking at the unemployment levels based on age, proving that the older age is more effective in the jobs they are given due to mainly experience.

The gender unemployment rate refers to the unemployment between men and women. This means that if both are at the same level of unemployment, there is a positive unemployment ratio. It also occurs that if women have a lower unemployment rate than men, the ratio is positive. However, if women are more unemployed than men, then the ratio is said to be negative. By March 2020, 4.4% of both men and women were unemployed. However, women’s labor force declined by 3.4% during the year while men had a drop of 2.8%. In southern America, the rate of unemployment between men fell fast than that of women. Therefore, it is difficult to exactly tell how the employment rate of men and women differs. There is very little to compare with women and female gender empowerment since they have almost the same level as men. However, in the past, the level of women’s unemployment was higher than that of men since men were mainly considered the providers in the family. This mainly was in the 18th and part of the 19th century whereby men occupied most of the parts of jobs in the society, and women did not mind about that.

However, of late, there has been a change in this. Therefore men have learned to work along with women. Therefore it isn’t easy to manage without women on board because, in some countries, there are laws set up to protect the rights of women whereby they have to get a certain percentage of employment in companies and firms. This also applies in politics, whereby there has been a push for equality, and this, therefore, more women getting more employment opportunities.

In conclusion, there has been a challenge with the unemployment levels in the United States. Therefore, it is up to the business owners and the federal government to make this lack of uniformity uniform. Once there is uniformity in the levels of unemployment, then there can be social justice. However, this uniformity can only be achieved by using different methods of ensuring that unemployment is done away with in a uniform manner.


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Ashenfelter, O., & Card, D. (1986). Why have unemployment rates in Canada and the United States diverged?. Economica, 53(210), S171-S195.

Johnson, G. E., & Layard, P. R. G. (1986). The natural rate of unemployment: explanation and policy. Handbook of labor economics, 2, 921-999.

Rothman, P. (1998). Forecasting asymmetric unemployment rates. Review of Economics and Statistics, 80(1), 164-168.

Census COVID-19 Data Hub. (n.d.). Covid19.Census.gov. https://covid19.census.gov/

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