Or "How it stops people from getting a job"
Okay, first off, being unemployed sucks. especially if you WANT to be employed. Secondly, this is not a blog entry about the people on unemployment. It is a blog entry about how, once again, the government is going about something all wrong (okay, not ALL wrong. Yes, I think the government should try to help people out who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own [i.e. layoffs]...but then, that may just be me and my whole 'bleeding heart liberal'-ness).
Here are the general rules for receiving unemployment benefits:
1. You meet minimum requirements for having worked at a place (that is, you worked for a certain amount of time, and earned X amount of money, prior to your termination).
2. You must have been terminated through no fault of your own (i.e. laid off--if you got fired or quit, you don't qualify).
3. a. You must be able to do your old job or a job similar to it (so...no long term disability)
b. You must be available to work (if you're offered a job, you must take it. If you don't then you no longer qualify for unemployment benefits because you could have been employed, you choose not to be).
c. You must actively be looking for a new job (prove you have applied for, at a minimum, a job a week).
4. Be a U.S. Citizen, or otherwise legally allowed to work in the U.S.
Now, I don't have problems with rules 1, 2, or 4. It's that darn rule 3. And not even the whole thing, just part B and C.
Of course, those parts are there to guarantee that people are actively trying to become employed, otherwise, people could just take advantage of the system.
Unfortunately, the side effect of these parts of the rule just make the people following them more picky about which jobs they apply for (because they don't want to be forced to take a job that they don't really want), and apply for less jobs over all (because "if I need to apply for one job a week, and I found two jobs that I'm qualified for and would like to do today...then I better just apply for one this week, and then apply for the other next week because I'm not guaranteed to find a job I'm qualified for that I want to do next week").
Funny part is, if they just got rid of one of those requirements, it probably would solve the problem...besides, it should be pretty obvious who actually is looking for a job and who isn't. But I'm sure the state governments don't have the capability of making sure that people are actually trying to find a job (mostly because this would require people to actually go through every application that someone has filled out and looked at what their old job was, and talk to the people to get a feel on if they're trying to find a job, or if they're just cruising by on welfare).