Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Pros of Enabling DOL to Capture Accurate Unemployment Stats and All Employment Applications

I'm wondering how they gather these stats, considering that not everyone participates in Gallup polls, and the number of people actually approved for unemployment benefits is, I’m sure, considerably less than the number who apply, and once an individual is denied unemployment benefits, for whatever reasons, they are no longer required or allowed to report their job searches/applications, though they should be able to, for their benefit and for DOL information gathering purposes. If unemployment stats are in fact gathered in conjunction with unemployment benefits applications they would exclude a significant number of other individuals who are unemployed and toughing out job searches, etc. without resorting to the Department of Labor for unemployment benefits and/or intervention of any kind. This, of course, would further minimize the seriousness of unemployment as an epidemic ordeal.

Unemployment should only be defined as just what it is, the state of lacking employment or income, regardless of whether or not one is marginally attached or has job searched within the last four weeks or has given up hopes of finding employment after perhaps fervent attempts to do so. Unemployment is having bill collectors relentlessly pursuing you and having your credit take a dive as a result of not being capable of paying. Unemployment is lacking quality of life, you and those depending upon you for support (including minor children, in some instances), worrying, and perhaps aging prematurely wondering if in the near future you’ll be capable of keeping a roof over your head or if you’ll lose everything you’ve worked for over the course of perhaps many years, and/or worrying about whether or not you’ll keep the lights on, et cetera, et cetera.

DOL’s practice of not counting “marginally attached” individuals as unemployed is tantamount to censuring victims of domestic violence. In many instances, that is literally the case. In others this practice exacerbates discrimination and/or retaliation against employees or former employees who have participated in protected activities. 

The other flaw in this system of determining who is “officially” unemployed is the fact that, very likely, the Department of Labor does not have a method of determining who is job searching outside of DOL/Workforce Development websites and/or the limited number of individuals who participate in Gallup polls and other similar surveys.

If the Department of Labor clandestinely gathers stats from online job boards and/or has some other sophisticated system of collecting information on employment applicants who manually complete employment applications, this information, or this process should be publicized so that applicants are properly credited. If no such system exists, a system of the sort should in fact be implemented.

Enabling DOL Websites to Capture All Job Searches

DOL websites can and should be enabled to capture all job searches and save all employment applications, not merely those that are performed on their websites. This can be achieved by enabling DOL websites to sync with all online job boards, which could all be listed, for said purposes, in DOL web account holders’ dashboards. This would also introduce DOL web account holders to job boards that they, perhaps, were not previously acquainted with.

Job applicants to any and all job boards could also be encouraged to sync the job boards via which they submit employment applications with their existing or new DOL web accounts via DOL pop-ups and other advertisements or via query on employment applications completed through the online job boards and on company websites.

DOL/Workforce Development websites should also be enabled to, in all states, render printable employment referrals directly to employment candidates/applicants based upon their individual qualifications, as opposed to employment applicants having to walk in to career centers in any city/state* to acquire them from DOL staff (*The Georgia Department of Labor’s website is enabled to render printable employment referrals, whereas the Tennessee Department of Labor’s website is not enabled to do so). The noted referrals should also be remittable to prospective employers with employment applications completed through DOL/Workforce Development websites.

Applicants should also be capable of denoting in-person employment searches and/or manually submitted employment applications in their Department of Labor/Workforce Development web accounts and uploading any evidence of those applications. 

Unemployment/Underemployment Reporting of All Persons, Etc.

All individuals should be capable of reporting unemployment (distinguishable from applying for unemployment benefits) and underemployment via DOL/Workforce Development websites, and though employment and underemployment or wages per se are automatically reported to the Department of Labor when individuals are formally employed, as anyone can request a proof of income statement from their local DOL office. The reason for this is to rectify any discrepancies in DOL's employment/income reports juxtaposed employment/income reported by the individuals themselves. DOL's employment/income reports should also be viewable and printable by each individual from their DOL web account.

Applicants should also be capable of reporting other issues during this process, like flaws in company employment application processes, unreasonable or offensive competency tests or character examinations. Applicants should also be able to report employment blacklisting via this system, or any other reasons that they might be experiencing difficulty acquiring employment, and they should be capable of uploading any evidence to that effect...

The Department of Labor should, of course, investigate these reports and perpetually work to resolve all employment barriers (including challenges to outsourced or work-from-home opportunities) and/or any barriers to self-employment. The prescribed technological improvements would better enable this.

The Department of Labor should desire to and should work to see actual declination in unemployment. Implementation of Flex Employment offices and Substitute Employment systems for all professions, which would improve employee/employer satisfaction and lead to more permanent placements, should be among the options for accomplishing this...

In Summation    

Enabling DOL websites to capture all job searches performed via the internet (and not merely those performed via state DOL/Workforce Development web and physical sites by traditional means), and allowing job searchers to denote in-person searches and/or manually submitted employment applications in their online Department of Labor/Workforce Development accounts would help to provide more accurate stats regarding job search activities of unemployed individuals. This, and enabling applicants to readily and simultaneously report issues with company websites to companies and the Department of Labor, would also provide more in-depth insight into and help to address the issue of why certain individuals experience challenges acquiring employment, despite remittance of multitudes of applications, whether there are flaws in application processes, either on employers’ websites or on part of applicants...

The prescribed could further and best contribute to the public good by utilization of the noted information and other demographics of local populaces by DOL appointees who should proactively recruit, prepare, and connect employable persons with opportunities, noting that the more unemployment stats actually decrease, the more economies flourish...

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