Our economy is currently recovering from one of the worst economic recessions of all time. While the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to nearly 10%, some out-of-work citizens are finding it better to enjoy their free time, then stress over the difficulties of finding a new job.
“Funemployment is when unemployed individuals decide to enjoy the free time that unemployment provides. The term was coined during the financial crisis of 2008-2009 to describe those who had recently lost their jobs and were choosing to use their newfound freedom to travel, go to the beach, be physically active and generally enjoy themselves until they found a new job” (Investopedia.com).
How might these individuals financially afford to spend money on life’s luxuries without a steady, if any, income? Simple, they collect weekly unemployment benefits of up to $475 (recently raised from $450 per week, under Obama’s administration). Furthermore, the American Recovery and Investment Act prolonged the maximum timeframe for receiving unemployment insurance to a staggering 79 weeks! That wouldn’t entice me to proactively search for a job immediately after being laid offer.
Let’s examine this phenomenon more closely. Most unemployed workers choosing to become funemployed are in their 20s to early 30s – this being because they do not have families to feed or mortgage payments to make. A typical entry-level position for gradates of the Class of 2010, as reported by National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), is $48,661. If a recent graduate were to accept unemployment benefits for their first year after graduation, their pre-tax earnings would equate to $24,700 ($2,400 of which is tax-free!). This is making me second-guess my government status of “unemployed.”
Are you reconsidering the daily commute through traffic to sit at a cubicle without a view of the outdoors?
Check out “Stuff Unemployed People Like” for some interesting ideas, and share your thoughts below.