Occupy and Unemployment: Could the lack of filing be linked to the movement?

Business, U.S. News

The state of the Nation is starting to improve as far as its unemployment rate. However, the Occupiers may feel differently.

Long Unemployment Lines

With the Occupy Movements still taking on fire from the media and from the “other percentile,” it has been brought to national attention that the unemployment office has taken a dive. According to a report from Annalyn Censky, CNN, this past week was the lowest recorded timeframe of people not filing for their unemployment benefits since 2008 (CNN 2011). Censky, quoting the Labor Department, states, “About 366,000 people filed initial jobless claims in the week ended Dec. 10… that was a decrease of 19,000 from the prior week, and far better than the bigger influx of claims that economists were expecting (CNN 2011).” Is this to say that the national unemployment rate is dropping? Have people finally started returning to the workplace? Is the Occupy Movement over? Far from it.

According to Censky, the unemployment rate is at 8.6%, which is lower than it has been in months. She continues to state that, prior to this week, unemployment offices were processing over 600,000 claims (CNN 2011). While this is an incredible number, it has numerically fallen since the beginning of December. This is in part due to the Occupy movement, for sure, but where have the other unemployed individuals gone?

If Occupiers are not filing for their unemployment, of course the number of filings is going to drop. There are only a few different reasons why someone would not file for their unemployment. Either the individual is being lazy and simply does not “feel like filing today,” is restricted by some outside interference, or no longer needs the unemployment.

First, if an individual is too lazy to be unemployed, there is something much worse than the job market in this country. It is doubtful that a person would refuse to get up and get out to file for unemployment simply because they didn’t feel like it. However, this is a society of instant gratification, and it is quite possible that some people feel entitled to not have to take the time to handle the responsibilities of unemployment…

Secondly, there may be an incident that prevents the individual from filing, but since this is a major source of income for that individual, it must be an important incident. If not, the individual sacrifices so much for blatant laziness. So perhaps with the death of a loved one, or a sickness in the family, therein lies a legitimate excuse. Going as far as a vehicle not starting is fair enough. But this is income being discussed here, right? Don’t these unemployed individuals need this money to support themselves and their families? This does not seem like a rational reason to miss filing for unemployment, but everyone gets one, right?

Lastly, hopefully and especially during these challenging economic times and with the holiday seasons rapidly approaching, the only other reason a person would not be filing for unemployment is that they no longer require it. If this is the case, congratulations! With the job market in its present situation, lack of employment is one of the biggest challenges faced by the American people these days. Not only are these individuals out of unemployment, they are allowing others who have not yet reached that destination to have access to the financial assistance and support they need to get back on their feet.

The only real question that remains is why then, if unemployment is coming down, why does the Occupy Movement survive? Maybe their demands have not been met in full? Maybe not all of them have been given jobs yet? Maybe there is simply a strong desire to protest something about our nation and these people seem to have found their niche? Whatever the case may be, it may be wise for them to consider filing for unemployment now since the rate is as low as it is.

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