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According to investopedia.com, discouraged workers are those who have, “… given up on searching for a job because they found no suitable employment options and/or were met with lack of success when applying.” Interestingly, not all individuals that have lost their jobs and that are also termed “discouraged workers” are completely out of steam. What they are doing to survive unemployment may come as a surprise to you!
1) Many discouraged workers are becoming entrepreneurs:
As a result of the challenges presented by the current economy, unemployed workers forced to get creative with their careers are embracing entrepreneurism. Supported by multiple online reports and documentaries such as Erik Proulx’s Lemonade movie, jobless workers are ditching the search for employment by others and are successfully hiring themselves instead. According to the Kauffman index, 2009 is the year to be, “remembered as the year business startups reached their highest level in 14 years.”
2) Some discouraged workers are going back to school:
Unemployment presents an opportunity for individuals to update their skills or acquire new skills. As a result, many discouraged workers are finding their way back to school. 75 college presidents have reported a double-digit enrollment, according to George Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges, in a recent CNN article. This account is supported by Judy Jeffrey, Director of Iowa State’s Department of Education, who has also acknowledged the recent rise in the number of enrolled community college students.
3) Other discouraged workers are volunteering their time to keep their work experience current:
From Pro Bono assignments, to helping out at various healthcare institutions, or even homeless shelters, the unemployed are not staying idle as they lend their expertise and time to those who can use them. Volunteering one’s time does not just benefit the institution that receives assistance, but helps the volunteer maintain a sense of meaningful existence, while keeping their skills current.
4) A good number of discouraged workers are seizing this opportunity to do those things that they have always wanted to do:
There exists a population of jobless individuals who do not seemed worried at all, as they take advantage of the economy to comb the beaches, travel the world, catch up with family and friends, or just kick back and relax, these are the “funemployed!” According to Kimi Yoshino, in a recent Los Angeles times article, “These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s.”
5) Still a significant number of discouraged workers are doing… Nothing!
There are individuals out there that have become so discouraged by the bleak economic environment that they have completely given up not only on the job market but also on trying to further or sustain their careers in anyway. Such individuals have attempted job-searching and may also have attempted entrepreneurship with little or no success.
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