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Seasonal Unemployment

Seasonal Unemployment

Unemployment is one of the most prominent problems faced by nations for centuries together. My article will help you understand the nature of seasonal unemployment.
OpinionFront Staff
Seasonal joblessness is commonly termed as a seasonal employee layoff. A common effect is that a large group of people, in spite of a good amount of skill sets, routinely face unemployment at fixed time of the year. A further glance through this article will enlighten you about what this unemployment truly is and how to avoid getting affected by it.

Prominent Causes

It is often seen to happen in areas where there is a rapid change in seasons and climatic conditions. Similarly, a pattern of such unemployment can be seen amongst communities with limited occupational skills. Seasonal unemployment is also seen amongst migrant communities who take up certain short time work as a means of temporary source of income.

Seasonal Occupations
  • Agriculture is one of the most common occupation which has such unemployment as a prominent feature. It is a very common problem in countries that are primarily agrarian economies. Here we see a sudden surge in employment opportunities in agricultural areas during the peak sowing and harvest seasons. After the harvest period is over, the employment suddenly goes slack. However, the same employees may be hired as farm laborers in the next agricultural season.
  • In fruit picking industries, there is a demand for skilled fruit pickers and expert in fruit processing technology during the peak season. This demand fades after all the fruit processing activities are completed for the year. e.g. This phenomenon is commonly seen in western India where Alphonso mangoes are grown. The fruit picking season generally lasts from March to May each year. By end of May, all activities such as fruit picking, fruit processing and canning are completed. The employees of mango orchards now face unemployment.
  • Different nations have their own tourist peak seasons depending on the country's location and best time for visiting the country. At the height of the season, there is a high demand and cut neck competition between transport industries, hospitality industries, manufacturing industries, entertainment industries and so on. But once the season ends, there is a sharp rise in seasonal employee layoff.
  • There is a surge in demand for woolen products during winters and rainy wear during the monsoons. But have you ever wondered what happens to people engaged in manufacturing these products during off seasons? You guessed it right. They face seasonal unemployment.
Government's Take on Issue of Unemployment
  • It might shock you, but government never takes such unemployment into consideration while calculating the unemployment indexes for a financial year. This is because a significant amount of unemployment may have some negative effects on calculations made to assess a nation's growth. This may further affect the nation's reputation and economic status.
  • As means to take care of this unemployment, the government distributes some allowances and unemployment benefits to the people.
Avoiding Effects of Unemployment

It is not always possible to hold back from getting affected by unemployment. Some common ways to avoid this problem are:
  • Get additional skill sets to qualify you for a better and permanent job that may or may not be related to the seasonal job.
  • Alternately, you may opt for getting new skill sets and qualifications that help you take up a job in the off-season. The plus side of this solution is that you have two sources of income during the whole year.
  • One may gain expertise in processing of seasonal products after their manufacturing or production is done. Similarly, after a peak season of seasonal employment, one may engage oneself in production planning and market survey activities for the following year.
  • You may develop strong skills in the work that you perform during the peak season. My point is that, your expertise in the occupation will make you an indispensable team member during peak season activities. As such, you can negotiate with your employer to give an off-season employment allowance and continue to stay employed all through the year.
  • If you happen to own a small and private business which is seasonal in nature, you may opt to diversify your business into manufacturing other products or providing some other kinds of services during the off-season period.
So if some of you are seasonally unemployed, then relax! The problem may sound very grave but there are some sure shot solutions to overcome it. Have faith in your capabilities and you may very soon be a diversely skilled person.