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Underemployment in California: The Worst within the United States

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In the United States, California was one of the states that had the highest underemployment rate within 2011. This information was released by a recent Gallup poll. Aside from California, four other states also had high unemployment rates, which included Nevada, Michigan, Florid, and Mississippi. These five states each had high percentages of underemployment. Those who are unfamiliar with the term underemployment should know that this refers to the number of people who are either currently employed or working part-time but would rather be working full-time positions. Some economists also refer to underemployment as those who are currently working for a lower amount than they should be earning, based on the skills, degrees, and abilities they have.

The average rate of underemployment is anywhere from 15.6 percent to 20.9 percent. All five of these states had a higher underemployment average, ranging from 21 to 24 percent. A below average underemployment rating would be anywhere from 6 percent to 15.5 percent. There were two states with exceptionally low underemployment rates, which included North Dakota and South Dakota, both of which had an underemployment rate of anywhere from 6 percent to 11.9 percent. There were several other states that had lower underemployment rates, including Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Vermont, and Hawaii.

A volunteer for Women at Work, Cara Eichorn, says that many of the clients who are using the Women at Work agency resource are only landing part-time positions or contractor work, even though they would prefer to land full-time positions. Those clients that are employed for contractor work usually will not receive medical benefits, which may be a necessity for most people.

Eichorn says that it is important for the clients to think strategically. She says that they should only accept part-time work that will help them in the long run, by helping them to gain a full-time position with the company they have been working part-time with. She says that by accepting a part-time position, people are able to get their feet in the door because everyone has to start somewhere. She says if employees prove they have what it takes, they usually end up being full-time employees for the company that they have been working for.

The executive director of Women at Work says that a lot of the clients are accepting the part-time work because they are unable to find anything else. She says that many of these clients have high hopes that accepting part-time work will open up doors for them in the future, helping them to move forward and get a full-time position eventually. Most clients will agree that some work is better than having no work at all. At Women at Work, more jobs are coming in which has been encouraging to the clients who have been seeing work for quite a while.

Underemployment in California: The Worst within the United States by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes