4 Career Solutions to 4 Types of Unemployment

I just read an interesting article about the 4 types of Unemployment. However, it left me wondering what job-seekers think of this. Knowing the cause of your job loss, can help you plan your career solution.

As a career advisor, I customize my approach to the client's unique needs. Debriefing the loss is essential for moving forward in your career. Only then can we formulate, an effective career action plan. Here are my ideas.

Structural unemployment is a due to a lack of demand for the workers that are available. This is one of the most challenging types of unemployment to address. I worked as a college advisor in Vancouver, Canada during a recession. To help retrain workers, our school launched a program to educate workers from struggling industries. I recall having one client with a Grade 9 level of high school, who'd been earning $48 hour as a forklift driver in a unionized shop. He had enjoyed this level of income for over 15 years. Even with great retraining in the technology sector, there would still be an income gap. His salary was out of sync with current, market demands. We helped him come to terms with the loss of his old life, industry and income level. 

Frictional unemployment is unemployment that comes from people moving between jobs, careers, and locations. It is a healthy sort of unemployment which indicates hope in future jobs and career potential. In a recessionary economy, career advisors see very little of this. Everyone who has a job, clings to it desperately. There is a fear of job loss and the uncertainty of unemployment. I would advise employers to treat their staff well during the bad times. They will remember your kindness with loyalty when the economy rebounds.

Cyclical unemployment occurs when the unemployment rate moves in the opposite direction as the GDP growth rate. So when GDP growth is small (or negative) unemployment is high. Again, this is the luck of the draw. You may have graduated when there was negative GDP and low unemployment or the opposite. When I first graduated, it was during a weak economy and I had to really struggle to launch a career. This early hardship has served me well in the ensueing years.

Seasonal unemployment is unemployment due to changes in the season - such as a lack of demand. This type of unemployment is prevalent in seasonal industries fisheries, farming, hospitality etc. Some would argue that teachers are seasonal workers who experience annual unemployment each Summer. There was recently a debate about whether educators and educational support staff should receive unemployment insurance each Summer.

The ability to ramp up your income and work is very valuable. To recession proof your career,  I would recommend a part-time, freelance job or consulting job in addition to a regular full-time job. During the year, it may be challenging to maintain this side-job along with a full-time job. However, if you are ever laid off or suddenly have greater financial need,  you will be glad to have this option.
© 2013 All Rights Reserved. Sharon B. Cohen Global Career Consultant.

Contact me if you'd like guidance on the path to your ideal career Sharon B. Cohen

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