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Unemployed? How Long Until You Find That Next Job 401

An anonymous reader writes "If you're unemployed like me, you probably want to know how long it will last. Well, someone decided to see if they couldn't stastistically predict how long they would be unemployed by polling others - the results page is up for a variety of industries and it's interesting. Clearly the more data put in, the better the results, so while your at it, submit your own information."
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Unemployed? How Long Until You Find That Next Job

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  • I18n (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:51AM (#5823560)
    How hard would it have been to make this international ?
  • by KDan ( 90353 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:52AM (#5823563) Homepage
    Well, he sure won't find a job in a department that's involved in any kind of statistical work, that's for sure. The main thing which comes out of his tables is that there is little no correlation between salary and unemployment length. The only remotely useful table in there is the unemployment by industry, but there the sample is far too small to derive any conclusions...

    There's nothing wrong with not finding correlation per se, but the author of the site presents the tables as if they had some meaning, without mentioning the fact that their only meaning is that they have no meaning... He should certainly make a note about it, and that page would certainly gain from having the Pearson correlation coefficient calculated for each table (and having only two data columns in each table).

  • unemployment (Score:5, Informative)

    by prmths ( 325452 ) < minus caffeine> on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:56AM (#5823573) Homepage
    I've been unemployed since January of 2002. Thats about 28 months so far
    but anyways.. I've noticed that things look like cr*p lately and it'll be a while before they improve. So i've decided that i'm going back to school to get my master's. I've wanted to do it anyways... Hopefully that'll put me in a higher standing than I am now..

    On a side note; I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the times or not, but a friend of mine told me that even if someone has a ton of experience, and then they graduate college with a bachelor's or masters or whatever... Some employers tend to ignore all work experience prior to graduating. does anyone know if this is true? if it is, i think it's the most retarded HR practice i've EVER heard of. Can someone PLEASE enlighten me on the subject.
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <john AT jmaug DOT com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:58AM (#5823579)
    They'll stop sending you that check when you don't look for a job. Or when you miss out on 2 interviews with the unemployment officers. My friend was unemployed, it sounds nice, $400 a week for doing absolutely nothing but there's alot of work involved.
  • by NETHED ( 258016 ) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:06AM (#5823601) Homepage
    Excuse me, but have you read the FAQs of Slashdot? Click here if you have not []
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:3, Informative)

    by mark_lybarger ( 199098 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:13AM (#5823617)
    insightfull indeed. to my knowledge, this isn't tax dollars. the unemployment system is a governement system, but it's funded by companies who pay into the system. i'd like to see the budget where the outpays comes from actual tax dollars. if employers didn't have to pay into the unemployment system, chances are (albeit quite low) they would pay their employees a little more who could save for such an event.
  • by phusers ( 661084 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:19AM (#5823626)
    For the unemployed out there, I can only offer some economic view on what needs to happen. According to Okun's law, there needs to be a 2.5% growth in the GDP in order for unemployment to go down. The GDP figure was released last week and well, unemployment won't be going down for a while. Sorry guys, until the economy picks up somehow either through increase consumption spending, govt expenditures in the form of jobs, or increased business investment the economy will not grow to the required 2.5% and will not lower unemployment.
  • by Jason Mark ( 623951 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:25AM (#5823645)
    Odd Tood (the site this is hosted on has some of the funniest Flash animations I've ever seen. Esp. his first one "Laid Off"... but didn't he get busted because he made some damn good money in his "tip jar" and never reported it to the IRS? Anyone have the skinny on this? PS: watch the videos. You'll laugh. [].
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:26AM (#5823650)
    The Tech boom is gone. And will probably not happen again. The days of $100k a year for using front page is over. So no longer expect management to treat you like gods. You are like everyone else in a tough echonomy. That being said you will have to find ways to be more adaptive in your skills and you may have to do some things you may not want to do. Including working with Microsoft Stuff, accecpting payrole of around 40k a year (depending on your locataion).
    Also you can nolonger expect people to be looking for you. You will need to be proactive. Look for companies from all different types of areas. And post your resume even if they dont have any job openings, write a coversheet for the company. Then if you dont get a responce withing a week give the company a telephone call and ask them if they got the resume.
    So it really depends how long it takes for you to get a job offer. If you just sit their with your resume posted on the web and mabey e-mail a resume to a couple of places asking for a 100k job it may take a years until inflation rises. But if you are really active then you can get a job within a couple of weeks.
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkEdgeX ( 212110 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:46AM (#5823726) Journal
    The requirements and benefits vary (sometimes wildly) from state to state. The variables can be--

    1) Number of weeks you can get benefits (some states offer as little as *one* month of benefits, while others offer up to 6 months of benefits (not counting federal extensions which can push that over a year right now)).
    2) Maximum amount benefits can be each week (I've seen numbers as low as $380 quoted, and I guess one state gives a maximum of $560 a week-- in Washington state, the maximum is $496/week, and naturally every state has their own set of formulas and work periods they use to calculate what YOUR unemployment will be).
    3) Work search requirements (again, can vary greatly from state to state-- in Washington, you have to apply for a minimum of three jobs a week and keep these in a log which you can randomly be required to show and have authenticated; if you go on Extended Benefits (EB, something seperate from TEUC/TEUC-X, but still federally subsidized) you have to apply for four jobs a week (or, as they define it, 'job contacts')).

    I mistakenly made the assumption that every state was identical, but they're not. Unemployment is, as I understand it, mostly funded by each state through taxes on businesses or other fund collection methods. As far as the federal extensions go, the Department of Labor gives out the cash but gives states the choice on how to implement it (legislation language not withstanding, of course, but generally the language is such that each state can easily integrate the extensions into their own state-funded plans easily).
  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjiboo ( 640195 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:55AM (#5823757)
    Hope this is relevant. [] is an interesting compilation of stats about the UK job market, e.g. average earnings by skill, region etc.
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Genom ( 3868 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:37AM (#5823923)
    Aye, same deal in MA. I think we can do the reporting over the phone as well, but I always just sent in the card they'd send me every two weeks. 3 yes/no questions:

    Did you look for work?
    Were you able and available to work?
    Did you work?

    That's it. If you did work, there were some salary questions as well. If you didn't, it was just those three questions, a signature, and a stamp.

    According to the materials I was sent when I signed up, a "journal" of sorts is required here too. I did this, although I was never asked by anyone for it (it's not like it takes that long to record who you apply to, speak to, etc.. if you're actually looking!). I can see how it would be *very* easy for someone to exploit the system and never look for work at all.

    Up a bit north from here, in NH, the process is a bit different. AFAICT, claimants need to actually meet physically with an Unemployment Office employee every week or two, produce proof that they actually *did* actively look for work, and basically justify their claim.

    IMHO, the NH system seems the better of the two. I'm sure there are loopholes, etc... but it definitely would cut down on claimants looking for a 26-week vacation after being laid off.
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Discopete ( 316823 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:39AM (#5823935) Homepage
    I look at unemployment as salary my previous employer didn't pay me.

    Of course here in Arizona I can only get a max of $205 a week (after working for 2.36 years making $600+ a week).

    I also no longer have medical insurance, as the cut-off level for state medical insurance is less than what I get from unemployment.

    So its either starve and get med ins. or eat and dont.

  • by rppp01 ( 236599 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:45AM (#5823966) Homepage
    I hear you loud and clear on the job search. I lost my high paying job in Nov of 2001. I spent a few months looking for work, I even lowered my expectations of pay by 50%. My father suggested I take any job I could find- that is what he did when he was unemployed. So I did. I took a job that made less than I was getting on unemployment AND was treated like crap for it. I worked a helpdesk job that was taking advantage of the surpluss of IT guys in the market.

    I left that to find a data entry job that paid slightly better, but was only temporary. I then moved closer to family, (2 states away) and spent 3 months looking for work before I found this job. Think I'm going anywhere? I am making 40% of pay that I made at the job I lost in 2001. I am buried in debt, and don't know how I get by. I have no idea on earth how people can survive without a job in this current situation. Not without unemployment.

    And it is hard to swallow, going from 70+ a year to 8 an hour. I feel for everyone out there going through this.
  • by DZign ( 200479 ) <averhe@ g m a i l . com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:58AM (#5824044) Homepage
    It's just the other way around ?

    If you want to make $25000 (or have the skills/age/.. for this wage) you're going to be unemployed for 4 months on average.

    However if you're more experenced, older, ...
    and apply for jobs where you'd make $85000,
    it'll take you a month more before you find
    a job like this..
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkEdgeX ( 212110 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:01AM (#5824064) Journal
    Yeah, the medical insurance thing to me was a joke. Let's see.. I got that CORBA/COBRA (whatever stupid acronym it is) paperwork that says my medical insurance will be costing me hundreds of dollars a month, obviously not something I can pay on zero income, even with unemployment checks. So then we go check out the state-run medical coverage system (in Washington state, this would be 'Basic Health'), and whee, wouldn't you know it, unemployment counts as income for purposes of eligibility determinations, and I easily surpass the highest program they offer! As you say, eat, or get to see a doctor, but not both.

    And it gets even better. In *every* state, unemployment compensation is taxable, so at the end of the year you owe taxes on any unemployment you were paid (most/all states will deduct 10% of your unemployment for you from each check, but sometimes this is not the default, so you can be stuck with a nice hefty bill come April 15th). Why unemployment is taxable is beyond me, as one elected official once put it, it's like kicking people when they're down, and it's just plain wrong.
  • Irrelevant. It's not just tech jobs that are hard to find, it's ALL jobs. People are fighting over retail jobs at this point. A 40k job working with Windows would be heaven; but even those jobs are insanely hard to find. And every opening will result in HUNDREDS of applications.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:41AM (#5824251)
    As a *brick and mortar* architect (I read /. because I am conscripted into IT "manager" postition here), I can tell you that other professions have it far worse. We make half the money and are laid off en masse far more regularly than programmers et al. Welcome to the real world.
  • by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:47AM (#5824690) Homepage
    Statistics often make sense on a demographical scale, but never on an individual scale.


    If 1000 polled people all indicate that it took them precisely one year (365 days) to find a job, then - assuming good random selection of the sampling pool - there is a statistically strong case that an individual will need one year to find a job. On the other hand if 1000 people indicate it took them on average one year, but their individual times were uniformly distributed between 0 days and 730 days (2x365), then there is a strong case that an individual's experience will be unpredictable... despite the average time being the same.

    The likelihood of a group statistical inference being representative of an individual's experience is encapsulated in the standard deviation. A wide standard deviation indicates low individual correlation, while a narrow std dev suggests that an individual experience would correlate well to the group statistic.

  • by cosimo ( 516163 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:52AM (#5824731)
    There's been a lot of slamming going on here about this page, what its good for, etc. First off, the url ends in oddtodd just because the idea actually started on the oddtodd forums. Beyond that, it's completely seperate. Yes, I realize the report pages offer little information statistically - at least at this point - I know that comparing one's unemployment and salary There's been some criticism that I don't say that the tables don't mean jack (yet). A few things in my defense - I sent the link to a few yahoo groups. In each of those cases, I pointed that out. It also says so in the help, and up until recently it said so on the main page. I also figured that people have a brain and can figure out that if you are comparing yourself to 7 people.... Anyway, the site's mostly for fun with some statistical stuff being pulled out. IT's a general audience site. Someone here suggested I just list correlation coefficients. Common, would anyone understand it? Finally, it's much harder to calculate correlation coefficients on the fly - simple everyday "I can understand what that means" figures like averages and maximums are much easier and people actually know what they are. Does that mean that I won't try to use the questions for some "real" stats? No, I do plan to, but I'm not able to run SPSS regressions on the fly - mostly cause I wouldn't know where to start to make it work. Anyway, thats it. Comments / thoughts welcome.
  • by zzyzx ( 15139 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @11:04AM (#5824811) Homepage
    $9/hr won't pay a lot of people's mortages. Moreover working there takes away your time that you can use to find a better job. Taking Unemployment isn't laziness. It's something you earned by working.
  • Re:Unemployment! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DarkEdgeX ( 212110 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @11:12AM (#5824873) Journal
    Something I read recently from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a pretty good arguement (I think) for extending the current unemployment extension for another 3-6 months--

    Looking Back and Looking Forward:
    An Assessment of the Temporary Federal Unemployment Benefits
    Program and the Needs of the Long-term Unemployed [] - Direct link to PDF article []

    Basically, comparisons are made between the current extension and previous extensions (the previous ones being the recession of 1991/1992, and the one prior to that in the early 1980's), ranging from how they were implemented to the length of the extensions provided. It shows a history of shorter and shorter unemployment extensions, and that with this latest recession, instead of tieing the end of the extension benefits to the decrease of unemployment figures, they've been hardcoded to specific dates (the 1991/1992 extension, it seems, was legislated such that it would be valid until unemployment percentages dropped back to a specific point).

    Another thing to keep in mind is that there's an entire federal fund set aside for emergency unemployment, and while some might not believe the current situation qualifies, I personally believe it does. There's billions of dollars sitting in this trust/account that can only be used for unemployment extensions, but this Congress/Senate refuses to act on the issue and provide the aid that more and more people (myself included) need to get by. And what makes it worse in my eyes is that instead of helping people out in the short term while providing long term growth, this Congress and Administration seems bent on only implementing tax cuts, and resisting any attempts to extend unemployment.

    What really irks me though, is that they pushed through an extension [] of unemployment benefits for airline industry workers. Yeah the airlines took a beating after 9/11, but so did a lot of other people. It seems wrong to extend it just for people who were working in profession X but ignore everyone else.

    Anyways, just some food for thought on unemployment, the benefits it can have, and maybe why it should be extended further for those who have run out of options.
  • Good and Bad (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @12:21PM (#5825480)
    I understand that the job market out there, in general, sucks. Personally, though, I currently have the best job situation I could be in on a personal level. At the beginning of the Internet bubble, people started to get hired because they knew a little about computers, and got paid well for it. The problem with that is that many of those people never expected on the skills they had while the market had employeers paying for job training, and sitatutions where companys allowed employees to take time to teach and train themselves. A lot of folks took the cash and never expanded on their skills.

    Myself, I got my foot in the door because I knew a little more about computers than your average idiot. And I then took every opportunity to expand on my skills. When I was hired at one place, they gave me respobility for backups, because nobody else wanted to do them.

    Well... backups may not be sexy, but they lead to something for me. (1) I leadered a lot about several various UNIX's because I had to know how to back them up. (2) I was the only person in a very large (10000+ employees, over 500 UNIX servers) company that knew the root password to EVERY unix box in the company. (3) Because of 1. and 2. I was a person that had to be consulted about anything (major or minor) done to any of the UNIX servers the company had. Because of that, I got to sit in on meetings and training classes that most people either didn't get invited to, or didn't want to go too. I know... It was a major pain in the ass at times. But after seven or eight years of doing a lot of shit work, I had not just a minor understanding of things... I became the EXPERT in many things.

    Come port 9/11 and all the Interest in Disaster Recovery (as opposed to backup-restore) I got tons of cash to build out new DR systems. Got to learn a lot of things.

    In all that time... I know of people who didn't really learn much, who didn't try much... etc. Come the bubble-bust... and a lot of those folks who didn't learn anything, who assumed they were computer gods because they knew how to do "ps -ef" or "ps auxwww" or about the -c option to grep (so they didn't have to do wc -l)... well, they found themselves out on the street because they didn't stay very current. A lot of folks know UNIX basics. Not very many can talk intelligently about Kernel internals, or large scale system design and building. Being that I was there, I know a lot of people who had the chance to learn that stuff that said "ah, screw it. Somebody else around here will do it they'll only get the same pay check I get now. Not worth my effort."

    Well, now I still have a job and they don't. I don't know if I should really feel that sorry for them.

    Because I know what I know now, I still get job offers from some companies. I can pick and choose my options... where I want to live, what I want to do, control of budgets, etc. The bubble burst had kept my pay under some control of late, but that seems to be lifting again. I don't know why... maybe just companies in a reseasion who have decided to pay a bit more to get real quality people rather than just have across the board pay caps now.

  • Social Security (Score:3, Informative)

    by luzrek ( 570886 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:59PM (#5829379) Journal
    Actually Social Security Benefits were designed to get people to stop working when jobs were scarce (therefore creating new job openings). Because most working class people didn't have sufficient retirement savings in the 1930's, and jobs were hard to find, the 65+ set wasn't leaving jobs, therefore the 20-40 set couldn't get jobs. By taxing everyone that was working and giving benefits to the 65+ set to stop working jobs were created for the 20-40 set. Social Security is much more like a bribe to your grandfather to get him to give you his job (in theory). Social Security is supposed to be a perimnate lifestyle change.

    The problem with Social Security will occur when the Baby Boom generation retires (unless they seriously raise the minimum age for retirment benefits, to 75 or so). This is because the number of people working vs the number of people drawing benefits will be something like 5 to 1 (or less).

    In contrast unemployment insurance is supposed to be a (very) stopgap measure, and is funded much more through a "banking" type mechanism. Additionally, unemployement insurance (as well as other emergency entitlements) is really aimed at low income people. Wealthier people (persumeably anyone who is maxing out what Unemployement insurance will give you) are supposed to have sufficient savings, and enough "fat" in their lifestyle, so that through some thrift they can make it through a dry spell. Unfortunately, I don't think that many people in late 90's IT industry (or other "boom" markets) saved enough money and the demands on the local economies near the "boom" centers drove the costs of living through the roof so these people never felt rich.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.