Unemployment is a structural issue which can’t be solved within current financial system

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Unemployment is a structural issue. Photo by Nathan Cowley

For the majority of the unemployed, being without a job is not due to their own choices. Unemployment is a structural issue, and finding a job is not as simple as just walking into one. This should also be taken into account in the pursued policies.

The structural nature of unemployment is hinted at by the ratio of unemployed individuals to job vacancies, which is consistently around 5:1. This means there are five job seekers for every available job. In reality, those who are already employed also apply for these positions, and unemployment cannot be simplified as such. The number of unemployed is increasing, and the statistics do not include those who are outside the labor force. For example, students might “take away” a job opportunity.

Unemployment is a complex phenomenon that can rarely be entirely attributed to an individual’s choices. Often, broader societal factors, economic fluctuations, an individual’s health, technological changes, and strategic decisions by companies play a role. Very few are voluntarily unemployed. In such cases, it either means having a lot of money and living off it or having poor life management. The latter group can be punished by reducing the basic social benefit in Finland.

Structural flaws in society unfortunately create barriers to the employment of many, regardless of individual capabilities. For example, regional labor markets can be imbalanced, making it difficult for job seekers to find suitable opportunities. Additionally, certain industries may have overcapacity, increasing competition and complicating employment. In many low-wage sectors, up to 200 people may apply for 1 job. If you know even a bit of math, you understand that not everyone can get a job in such situations.

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Rapid technological advancements and increased automation can also cause structural changes in the job market. Certain tasks may disappear entirely, while new job opportunities emerge in different fields. This requires continuous training and adaptation to evolving job requirements. Not everyone has the ability to do this, and in the future, the state may not even support adult retraining.

Decisions by companies, such as outsourcing and rationalization, can lead to job reductions without the individual’s abilities or efforts having an impact. The dynamics of the labor market are complex, and an individual’s opportunities may largely depend on these larger factors. If local “negotiations” are increased and layoffs are facilitated, even qualified workers may get fired. Entrepreneurs are not all-knowing gods; there are both wonderful people and super experts as well as complete idiots and fools among them.

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Discrimination is prevalent in job hunting

It is crucial to understand that individuals may face discrimination or other barriers that hinder employment. Discrimination occurs based on factors such as age, gender, ethnic background, or health. These factors significantly impact job acquisition.

It can be concluded that there are many external factors behind unemployment that affect an individual’s opportunities for employment. Finding a job is not as simple as just walking into one. While personal decisions may influence unemployment, it is important to understand the complexity of unemployment and consider a broader context when assessing this phenomenon.

One classic myth maintained by the right wing parties is the enormous size of benefits, and that’s why right-wing parties propose cuts as a solution. In reality, many unemployed individuals live on low income, and they receive a net amount of only 640 euros per month. However, it’s convenient for politicians to create a narrative that resonates with the public, making it easier to implement cuts.

It’s worth considering: if you wouldn’t want to be unemployed and live on 640 euros per month, why would anyone else voluntarily choose to live in poverty? If you’re pondering someone unemployed who is supposedly avoiding work, consider how many hardworking people you know. You may realize that the percentage of unemployed individuals deliberately avoiding work is marginal.

If the proposed solution to unemployment is cutting benefits and telling people to “get a job,” nothing improves. That’s a fact.

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