Employment Issues

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Employment issues have existed for as long as people could be employed. But before we talk about what employment issues consist of, it is crucial to define what all of this entails. The concept of employment has two main key parties which are those of employers and employees. Essentially, employees contribute their labour and expertise for the employer who conducts business and compensates those very employees for their hard work. This compensation can occur in various forms (like based on working hours, by a yearly salary or by gratuities), and usually this compensation is provided in addition to some employee benefits that are non-monetary in nature and instead offer provisions like housing, various kinds of insurance, daycare (if the employees have children), sick leave, vacations (paid and non-paid), and some other specialized benefits which are unique to every establishment. It is by definition of an economy that unemployment will exist in any kind of setup since there are only so many jobs that exist and people have always been more in number than available jobs at any time (some situations in Japan have been the exception), which has led to a significant part of every country’s population to be unemployed at any given point of time. Of course, since the COVID-19 virus has hit the world, the unemployment rates have increased manifold since going to one’s workplace had become practically impossible for a lot of companies and the same was true for the customers and clients of those very companies. This is why, the profit margins of literally every profitable entity declined drastically within the year of 2020 and that in turn resulted in the loss of jobs for millions of people. Of course, the United States of America, has schemes like unemployment benefits for people who had lost their jobs due to o fault of their own along with certain other eligibility requirements.[1] Since the lockdowns were implemented all over the world by the different governments of the countries, the sheer number of people that applied for unemployment benefits in the United States in 2020 had exponentially increased which is also a huge testament to the fact that many people lost their jobs without any fault of their own.

A popular solution to this problem of people not being able to arrive at their workplace in order to work has been the work from home initiative that a lot of companies have resorted to in order to have some sort of control on the spread of the virus in their workplaces due to the fundamental requirement of people in the workplace to interact with each other, thus potentially spreading the virus. The companies have allowed their employees to work from the comfort of their homes, and by doing they maintain their productivity, their own profitability and of course server the general public by not encouraging the spread. This is also a huge advantage for the people who are allowed to work from home since they do not lose their job and are thus able to make ends meet even in the hard times of the COVID era.

This brings us to the main problem that is being seen in today’s time - the lack of employment, which is measured in a statistic called the unemployment rate that refers to the amount people that are unemployed in comparison to the total number of people in the labour force in a country, the causes for which can vary because of various reasons like the state of the country’s economy, competition due to globalization and international trade, country specific policies in place by the government or any new technologies or innovations that have occurred during a specific period of time.[2] Almost every country in the world has commissions and agencies, and the ones in the European Union are the most notable because they help the countries help the people who, after having met certain requirements of age and previous employment capability, have been unemployed for a period of one year or more, and are then classified in the statistic of long-term unemployed, and they do so by encouraging the unemployed people to register with these agencies so that the agencies can in turn provide each individual with an in-depth assessment in order to identify their needs and potential within eighteen months of them registering with the agency along with offering a job integration, which basically allows the unemployed people to get mentored by counsels, they are helped with searching for a job, helped with further education and training, with support of housing, transport and child services etc.[3] Therefore, as is evident, even countries want to help their citizens attain job security albeit at a basic level, so as to help the economy of those countries as much as possible.

The definition of unemployment rates itself has gone through a lot of criticism because of fundamental deficiencies that is possesses like not taking into account the significant part of the population that is incarcerated (who may or may not be employed), not taking into account people who have recently lost their jobs, those who have been self employed for a considerable amount of time, and those people who have retired from their specific jobs before the official retirement age that exists in the country but still wish to work. Obviously, these categories are very niche in nature, but they together make up a hugely consequential percentage of the total population of a country but are not counted in estimating the unemployment rates and thus cause it to be factually incorrect. Even though unemployment will always exist, the world is trying to help as many people as it can now more than ever, since the volatility of jobs has really come to light after this year.

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