Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals a disturbing truth about the unemployed and the jobless benefits they receive. On average, more than 80% of the chronically unemployed are more likely to go shopping, watch TV, or play sports rather than look for a job.
Of the remaining unemployed people, only 20% spend between two to three hours a day trying to find a job including sending out resumes and cover letters, using job boards, working with recruiters, attending job interviews or developing new skills in a changing economy.
The conclusions were developed using data collected the BLS data for the “American Time Use Survey.” The survey revealed that about that 41% of the unemployed shopped in stores, on the telephone or on the Internet and that about 22% of those who shopped, shopped for items other than groceries, food, or gas.
In addition, 83.7 percent of the unemployed watched television or movies on an average day while 25% participated in or watched sports, exercise, or recreation activities.
To gather the data and compute the percentages, the BLS interviewed unemployed Americans about how they spent their time on the previous day, where they were and whom they were with and then adding the findings to prior surveys taken from 2010 to 2014 to arrive at averages.
In a related story to help the low income and unemployed Americans with social safety net programs to help them temporarily whether economic downturns, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, has exceeded 45 million Americans for 50 straight months.
To put this number in perspective, this number of beneficiaries easily exceeds the total population of Canada by ten million people.
The USDA has been tracking data on Food Stamp program participation since 1969 when approximately 2.3 million Americans were receiving food assistance under the program. Average participation in 2014 hit about 46,500,000 – an increase of 16 times the number of people in 1969 receiving Food Stamps.
When the government – currently $19 trillion debt – becomes one stop shopping for income, food, shelter, phone, health care and other assistance, you need to ask: why work when everything you need is “free.”