Essays About Unemployment: Top 6 Examples and 5 Prompts

Read our guide to see helpful essay examples and prompts to further your understanding and write essays about unemployment.

Unemployment is an unfortunate circumstance many find themselves in; it is a challenge that civilized society faces today. When people are unemployed, they look for jobs but cannot get them. As a result, they are left without a source of income and cannot adequately provide for themselves and their families. This, in turn, can lead to various issues, including depression.

Unemployment is a social, economic, and political issue. It leaves many people in poverty and prevents people from obtaining a source of income. As a result, politicians capture the eyes of voters by promising to lower the unemployment rate to get elected. 

You can get started by reading these essay examples if you are writing essays about unemployment.

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6 Examples of Essays About Unemployment

1. Unemployment Reflection by Christopher Haynes

“In order to secure work, we must be prepared to change or upgrade our skills and be willing to relocate if necessary. But some people are not interested in retraining to find work in another field, some people do not have the confidence to go out and look for work, and some refuse to accept a job they feel is below their level. Unless people like this change their attitudes, they will not be able to find work.”

Haynes provides two perspectives on unemployment; first, that the government should do more to address it, and second, that if people want work, they must adjust to make a living. He believes that many are unemployed because they are unwilling to change their skillset or relocate to get a job. Therefore, more should be done to reduce unemployment, but it goes both ways; everyone must put in the effort.  

2. What I Learned From Nearly a Year of Unemployment by Becca Slaughter

“I remember feeling embarrassed and powerless. I was angry it wasn’t my decision. I was happy I didn’t have to go back there, yet I was stressed about not having anywhere to go. Ultimately, I felt an overwhelming sadness that left me terrified. While I was overflowing with confusing and contradicting emotions, I somehow felt empty.”

In her essay, Slaughter reflects on her unemployed time and how it changed her. Her previous job was long and stressful, but whenever someone would ask her what she did for a living, she was embarrassed and regretful for not being there anymore. In addition to losing her job, she feels like she lost a part of herself at that time. Thankfully, she got a new job, one less taxing than her previous one. 

3. Why Aren’t Europe and Canada in the Same Boat as U.S. for Unemployment? by Glen Hendrix

“You would think paying all that money year after year to a government whose purpose is to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” would entitle that person to a modicum of “blessings” to insure his “tranquility” and “general welfare” in case of some stupid virus pandemic. It would certainly be the “just” thing to do. And that person’s “posterity” might look a bit less bleak.

European governments and Canada did just that. And it’s not even explicitly stated in the preamble to their constitution.”

Hendrix criticizes the United States’ response to the unemployment problem caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that Canada and European nations have done a much better job. He discusses how much better their unemployment benefit system is compared to the U.S. and how it is ironic that the United States, whose constitution says all of these things promoting justice and wellbeing, cannot provide that for its citizens during a global pandemic. 

4. A Global Dilemma: How Unemployment Creates Poverty by Tess Hinteregger

“While unemployment can create poverty, poverty also reduces the chance of being employed. To ensure that those who are affected by unemployment do not fall into the negative cycle, researchers believe that governments should focus on improving quality education and training all young people so they remain in school.”

Hinteregger, in her essay, explains the link between unemployment and poverty, writing that it leads to the loss of income. People will also have to raise their families in poverty, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty. In addition, the poor may resort to violence to make a living. She points out the sheer irony of this issue, as unemployment causes poverty while poverty may also reduce the chance of being employed. 

5. Why has COVID-19 been especially harmful for working women? by Nicole Bateman and Martha Ross

“COVID-19 is hard on women because the U.S. economy is hard on women, and this virus excels at taking existing tensions and ratcheting them up. Millions of women were already supporting themselves and their families on meager wages before coronavirus-mitigation lockdowns sent unemployment rates skyrocketing and millions of jobs disappeared. And working mothers were already shouldering the majority of family caregiving responsibilities in the face of a childcare system that is wholly inadequate for a society in which most parents work outside the home.”

Bateman and Ross write about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. Many women are forced to go through so much to provide for their families; however, the lockdowns led to many of them losing their jobs. The unemployment rate for women rose dramatically, by 12 percent, from February to April of 2020. It has been difficult for them to balance work with taking care of their families, women’s primary role as dictated by society. 

6. Youth day and ordeal of Nigerian youth by Utomi Jerome-Mario

“Youth unemployment is potentially dangerous as it sends a signal to all segments of the Nigerian Society. Here in Nigeria, the rate of youth unemployment is high, even at the period of economic normalcy i.e. the oil boom of the 1970s (6.2 per cent); 1980s (9.8 per cent) and the 1990s (11.5 per cent). Youth unemployment therefore is not a recent phenomenon. But if what happened in the 1980s/90s were a challenge of sorts, what is happening presently, going by the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), is a challenge.”

Jerome-Mario’s essay focuses on several issues affecting the Nigerian youth, including unemployment. The country has a high unemployment rate; over a fourth of the youth population is unemployed. He stresses the importance of the youth using their voice to make a change and to persuade the government to care for its citizens more. 

Essay Prompts About Unemployment

1. Unemployment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How COVID-19 contributed to the nursing shortage?
Look into the impact of COVID-19 on the unemployment rate, particularly during the early months of the pandemic

The pandemic and its lockdown policies have undoubtedly caused many people to lose jobs. Look into the impact of COVID-19 on the unemployment rate, particularly during the early months of the pandemic. Which sectors were most affected? Pull data and statistics to show how the public was affected by the covid-19 pandemic in terms of unemployment.

2. The Connection Between Unemployment and Crime

Many say that unemployment leads to higher crime rates. Do you believe this is true? Research how unemployment is linked to crime; examine the effects of unemployment on mental health; and conclude whether this may contribute to the increased likelihood of committing a crime. 

3. Unemployment: Whose Fault Is It?

In Haynes’ essay, he claims that employers/the government, and workers are to blame for unemployment. After reading his essay and both arguments, who do you believe is at fault? Explain your response in detail, and make sure to provide a solid base of evidence.

4. The Causes of Unemployment

Unemployment has many contributing causes. Assuming a non-pandemic setting, research what causes unemployment and list them down in your essay. Elaborate on each one and, if you can draw connections, explain them as well. 

5. The Effects of Unemployment

As a grave issue, unemployment has many severe effects, notably poverty. For your essay, write about the effects of unemployment on a person, both physical and mental. How are they connected? What secondary effects might they produce? For a compelling and argumentative essay, answer these questions using research material and interview data.

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing?If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!

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  • Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.