Do you think people are less inclined to accept possible job offers while they are receiving unemployment compensation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would argue that people are at least somewhat less inclined to accept possible job offers while they are receiving unemployment benefits.  However, the degree to which this is true will depend to a great extent on the nature of the job offer and the amount of money that the person is getting in benefits.

The first thing to understand is that unemployment benefits are not extremely generous.  For example, looking at this link, we can see how much a person might get in my home state of Washington.  Let us imagine that I was making about $40,000 per year before I got laid off.  That means that I was taking home something like $770 per week when I was working.  By contrast, I can only get about $400 per week in benefits.  This means that I would be very likely to take any job that would pay me a wage close to what I was making before.

Another thing to consider is that benefits do not last forever.  They usually only last between one quarter and one half of a year.  If I turn down a good job offer because I want to stay on unemployment benefits, I really run a risk.  My benefits will run out before too long and I might not get another job offer. 

So, I would argue that people are at least somewhat less inclined to accept jobs if they are getting benefits.  This will be particularly true if the job is not a very good job in the first place.  However, benefits are not very high and do not last very long so most people, I think, would tend to accept any good job offer even if they were getting benefits.

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