Unemployment rates are one of the top economic measures used to measure the economy. The general mindset is that low unemployment is good and high unemployment is bad. While there are many truths to that statement, most people ignore the good parts of a high unemployment rate.
Good for Businesses
Companies generally try to avoid layoffs to keep their workers employed and producing. Large, widespread layoffs are bad press and bad for the individual workers. Companies usually lay people off for one of two reasons: cost cutting or efficiency increases.
If a company cuts costs, it increases profits. Increased profits mean that the company has more free cash flow to invest in expanding the business or will return a higher profit to investors. Either way, no one can argue that increased capital investment and profitability is bad for the economy.
Investors and politicians are hung up on employment data, but they are ignoring that many companies are posting major profits. In many cases, companies are posting record profits or have returned to pre-recession levels.
While some may argue that education is not good intrinsically, I argue that it is. Coming from a family of educators, I think furthering your education is one of the best decisions anyone can make.
While the cause for the motivation is not great, any motivation to increase your job skills and educate yourself should be welcome. The unemployment rate for people with business and engineering degrees is lower than other areas and the unemployment rate for people with advanced degrees is much lower than people with less education.
A lot of people are going back to school during their unemployment. Those skills will ultimately raise the standard of living of those going through the programs and will increase their productivity when they re-enter the work force.
I know that this is the optimist look at a bad situation, but it is important to focus on the major benefits to companies after layoffs. As long as the quality and quantity of work is not compromised, there is no reason to keep the extra expense.