« WSAU Opinion Blog

OPINION - Seek and ye shall find...

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)   I knew someone who was involved in a child support case. They were ordered by a judge to seek work. They were required to report their job-search activities to the court clerk. They had to apply for at least 15 jobs a month.

I didn’t know what the requirements would be. This was a case where one parent would have been stuck paying all of a child’s expenses, while the other unemployed parent didn’t contribute.

I would have thought 15-a-day would have been more like it.

Now consider unemployment benefits. First, almost everyone qualifies. We’ve heard stories where people have been poor employees; yet still qualify for cash payments at the unemployment office. You get a basic 26-weeks. In Wisconsin there are additional benefits that could extend to 64-weeks. At times it’s been as long as 99-weeks.

What does an out-of-work person have to do to keep the money flowing? Apply for two jobs a week. Governor Walker proposes doubling that to four jobs.

When I graduated from college, I couldn’t wait to get out on my own and start my radio career. I did some on-air work in high school, and had to set that aside when I went off to college. I missed it… and now that my formal schooling was over, I was chomping at the bit to find a job – any job. But the broadcasting industry wasn’t knocking at my door… I had to convince them that I had something to offer. I applied for 60 jobs before I got two offers. Back then, you’d have to send an audition tape with your resume, which was expensive. I had to beg my mom and dad for the money for cassette tapes and postage.

At 4 tapes-and-resumes a week, I’d still be living in my parents’ basement.

When you’re out of work, finding a job is your full time job. If it isn’t, it won’t happen.

Here’s another statistic you should know:  two-thirds of people on unemployment find a job… wait for it… within two weeks of their benefits running out. In other words, the job search tends to get serious when the well is about to runs dry.

4 job applications instead of 2 doesn’t go far enough. Shorten the length of unemployment compensation, and you’ll speed up idle workers’ job searches.

Chris Conley