Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paid Work: What Options Presently Exist?

...that is, in an overall sense across the U.S. After all, this is a very spread out country with equally spread out job opportunities - often thousands of miles apart. More paid work can be had than even recently, for those with the stamina and initiative to seek out flourishing areas. Certainly it can be done: indeed, my father needed to find work away from home for nearly two decades, before he was able to retire hence return to our hometown.

As unemployment statistics return to a (more) normal range, one hopes that all eyes will remain focused on actual labor participation in the marketplace. There is a strong cultural expectation for both sexes to remain at work as long as possible, which is not likely to change any time soon. How much does accessible work matter to populations in general? How much commuting - and living temporarily away from home - will remain the norm? Time will tell, particularly as populations adjust to the limits which the Fed has set on monetary conditions.

Fortunately I had several decades of productive (paid) work history, before my own working options became limited. Health concerns have made me more cautious than I used to be about solo out of state moves, after a new start - in an area distant from family - went awry. While still recovering from surgery, I began the "unpaid" work which gradually became a broader project for economic access.

At least there were many good years of friendships and a wealth of experience in the workplace to be glad for. Reflecting on those years still brings me benefit in the present. This is why I remain especially concerned for all who struggle to find good work options at the outset of their working lives. It's those formative work years that sets one's expectations and goal sets for the future. When that gets thwarted...what can one do? In a sense it's like being stuck in a neutral gear, instead of the normal "drive" which takes us down the road of life.

Today's paid work opportunities often exist at opposite ends of the income spectrum, That in turn means a different approach on the part of job seekers. While higher income positions remain relatively easy to move for (and travel for to seek out ahead of time), often this isn't the case for lower paying positions. These also tend to be the ones where employers understandably prefer that applicants already have a local address.

Hence some low skill positions may remain unfilled when not enough locals apply, while potential applicants from other states have an extra issue to consider. After all, getting a local address first can be a gamble, if no job opportunity actually pans out. The prospect of ending up homeless (when the money runs out) also frightens some job seekers, as local online forums can attest. Because of circumstance such as this, short term subsidies could assist with moving costs, to match up job seekers with hiring employers. At the very least, this political possibility is one that many could agree on.

Of course in the long run, better work options need to exist wherever we are, particularly if real economic growth is to occur. One of the benefits in that regard is that it would eventually be possible to reassess the disabilities that actually keep individuals out of the workplace. Chances are, if knowledge based services work is more broadly shared, only a fraction of today's disabled individuals would feel compelled to remain on the sidelines. And that would be a tremendous plus, as well.

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