Mixed Message of Extended Unemployment Benefits

Many people were greatly relieved by the continued extension of benefits for long-term unemployed individuals. The extension of benefits absolutely provides financial benefits and financial security for affected individuals and families. That’s the plus side!

Now for the negative side…the longer many individuals are unemployed, the larger the gap between their skills and the skills needed to reenter the workforce. If someone doesn’t use computer skills for a few months or longer, keyboard speed decreases and program updates may be unfamiliar.

We too often have applicants turn down positions because, “I net more money on unemployment.” This is particularly true for parents who have to pay for child care. Others tell us, “I don’t want to accept a temporary position as it messes with my unemployment” or “I am getting by on unemployment—I’ll just wait until my benefits run out.”

Working a position in a different industry, at a lower pay rate, on a temporary basis or for reduced hours are all acceptable in today’s economy. Working in any position keeps an individual in the workplace where there are expectations for attendance and performance. This will definitely help an individual earn promotions and better opportunities once more positions are available.

Julie Aguilar
Principal, CSP