Why Some People Prefer Unemployment to Having a Minimum Wage Job


The minimum wage may be on the rise in cities and states across the country, but that doesn’t make those jobs any more desirable to many workers. The sad fact is good jobs are hard to come by. Even though the American workforce is, by and large, more skilled and educated than at any time in the past, a lot of people are being left behind. Many jobs can be automated or outsourced to countries where labor is a bargain. This is part of the reason why so many Americans are struggling and find themselves stuck in unemployment.

While plenty of people are content with forgoing work — whether that means collecting unemployment benefits or making ends meet through some other means — others feel their jobs are more than just a place to punch a clock. Some jobs become an identity. They are the focal point of one’s adult life. For those folks, being out of work is more than just a temporary setback. It’s an affront to who they are. And each time they fail to hear back after applying for a new job or are rejected after an interview it’s like being kicked in the stomach.

Nobody likes to be kicked when they’re down. That can make giving up an attractive alternative. If you’re getting unemployment benefits or otherwise getting by, why bother trying to get a job? It’s a complicated question about incentives that is best left to politicians and economists to figure out. But a recent study might give those who’d rather stay unemployed more justification to do so.

A new study found unemployed workers who re-enter the workforce can have worse health outcomes than if they remained unemployed. These jobs also pay lousy wages and can burn out workers. Can unemployment, in this case, actually be better for you? Let’s take a quick look at the topic.

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