The labor force in every economy throughout the world faces different challenges that arise on a daily basis. Among these challenges is unemployment. The introduction of technology and technological devices has seen an increase in the number of people who are rendered jobless since their work has been taken over by machines. However, this is not the case always. There are various factors too that have contributed to unemployment. These include weather patterns, end of old jobs and creation of new jobs, career change, etc. These factors contribute to what is known as seasonal unemployment whereby people have fluctuating employment patterns.
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Research Findings and Discussion
It was found out that there various reasons that cause seasonal unemployment. One of the causes of seasonal unemployment occurs when a particular industry depends on weather for it to thrive. Therefore, a shift in weather patterns would result in lack of work to be done thus causing seasonal unemployment. For example, the agricultural sector depends heavily on weather. As a result, there is a lot of work to be done during harvesting time that causes an increase in employment opportunities while at other times, there is little work to be done hence few people are employed (Farley and Russell Sage Foundation 94).
Another factor that was found out to be one of the causes of seasonal unemployment is a change in technology. It was found out that new technology requires new skills. Therefore, most people, because of lack of these skills are rendered jobless, an issue that can be solved after a few month of training in the relevant technology. For example, there are many people who lost their jobs in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to lack of computers skills whose possessions increased the chances of one being employed by nearly every business or organization on the market at that time. Therefore, unlike cyclical unemployment whereby unemployment is as a result of depreciation of the GDP of a particular economy, seasonal employment as a result of the introduction of new technology is virtually caused by depression of one’s productivity due to lack of skills to use a particular form of technology thereby leading to unemployment (Farley and Russell Sage Foundation 86).
There are various examples that can be cited to show seasonal employment since the great depression in 1930. According to Gonzales (1999), the immigrants into the United States worked tirelessly and in hard conditions, moving long distances in such of jobs because of their seasonal nature in the 1950s (127). Similarly, the end of 1980s and early 1990s was another period that experienced seasonal employment as the wave of the dot com age moved among different economies, causing some people to be seasonally unemployed as they did not have the technological know-how that could help them sustain their jobs.
It is argued that seasonal unemployment that has had dramatic shifts since the great depression of the 1930s. This has been as a result of the shift in productions methods in most economies of the world. For example, most economies in 1930 were agrarian economies, which later moved into industrial economies and currently most economies depend on information technology as their mode of production. These shift or rather the movement from one mode of production has resulted in a state of seasonal unemployment.
While the changes in climatic seasons, one’s career, etc may come with positive gains in any society, they have been known to result in seasonal unemployment in the labor market. However, there are no specific measures that can be used to determine the level of seasonal unemployment in the society. However, it is important to note the following;
- Seasonal unemployment remains to be one of the commonest forms of unemployment especially in agrarian economies.
- Unless wisely tackled, seasonal employment can result in cyclical unemployment which affects the economy.
- In regard to the above point, it is important to note that seasonal unemployment is closely linked to cyclical unemployment.
- Seasonal unemployment can be attributed to a shift from one era to another in an economy such as the shift from agrarian to industrial economy.
- Employees can be able to deal with seasonal unemployment through obtaining certain skills through a continued process of learning, thus being in a position to keep up with the ever changing technology in production.
- The government too can aid in reducing the percentage rate in seasonal unemployment by creating employment that require different skills in their economy such as small processing industries.