Many have noted that the jobless rate hit 9.4% today, and many are calling that excellent news. Bloomberg reports:
The U.S. lost fewer jobs than forecast in May, reinforcing signs that the deepest recession in half a century is starting to abate….
“The recession is very close to an end,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, whose payrolls forecast matched the closest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. “The labor market is still pretty awful, but vastly better than it was.”
Michael Van Gorkom was laid off by Yahoo in late April. He didn’t panic. He didn’t rush off to a therapist. Instead, the 33-year-old Santa Monica resident discovered that being jobless “kind of settled nicely.” …
What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as “funemployment.”
While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts.
Not to have a type A meltdown, but what the hell are these people talking about?
I call shenanigans, after the jump.
Apparently, the funemployed are living the trust-fund baby dream:
Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they’re content living for today.
When people on welfare do this, we call them social parasites. Make no mistake: unemployment is a state entitlement program right out of the great society.
It’s necessary and very important for people who need it. But are we supposed to celebrate this now?
As frivolous as it sounds, funemployment is a statement about American society. Experts say it’s both a reflection of the country’s cultural narcissism — and attitudes of entitlement and self-centeredness — and a backlash against corporate America and its “Dilbert”-like work environment.
“Recession gives people permission to be unemployed,” said David Logan, a professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business. “Why not make use of the time and go do something fun?”
I’m not saying every unemployed person should be subject to ritualistic flagellation every night before bed. But this isn’t ‘Nam … there are rules.
Running around like you are reliving your teenage years — while taking public dollars, parental dollars, or severance dollars — is just weak. What’s next, popping out a kid you don’t even want, just so you can justify spending more time “experiencing life”? We have a phrase for that too.
Even if you are using your own savings — which is, of course, totally your right; you’ve been saving up for a rainy day, while others spent for the now — it seems a little childish to focus on fun.
Be an adult. Life is nasty, brutish, and short. It’s never “fun.”
For the ‘funemployed,’ unemployment is welcome [L.A. Times]
U.S. Economy: Job Losses Slow, Signaling Recession Is Abating [Bloomberg]