Whenever you lose a job, you hope it won’t be long before you find Periods of long-term unemployment can be financially and emotionally distressing. Causing worry, anxiety, and more.

This is a result of businesses not doing well or certain skills no longer needed in the workforce. Learn more about the steps to take when you have to deal with unemployment and what to do next if you find yourself unemployed. But first let’s go over what long term unemployment is.

What is long term unemployment?

Long term unemployment as those who have been unemployed for 12 months or more.
The official unemployment rate was 34,9% in the third quarter of 2021.
The results show that South African labour market is more favourable to men than it is to women. The proportion of men in employment is higher than that of women. The unemployment rate among men is lower than among women. The unemployment rate among women was 37,3% compared to 32,9% among men. The official unemployment rate among black African women was 41,5% during this period compared to 9,9% among white women, 25,2% among Indian/ Asian women and 29,1 among coloured women.
Being unemployed can have a devastating impact on your finances if it happens to you. But, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact.
This article will shed more light on what steps to take when you have to deal with unemployment.

What to do if you are unemployed long term

Depending on the reason for joblessness, there may be several options available to you during this difficult time that you’re unemployed long term.
  • File for unemployment insurance benefits
Apply r unemployment as soon as you become unemployed. Applying for benefits can be done online through the unemployment benefits website.
This is a great first step. But, there are a few other steps you can take during this difficult time.
  • Review your expenses and cut back where possible
If you are unemployed long term, take a look at your expenses and try to cut back. Reevaluate subscription services and other miscellaneous expenses. Determine what things you can temporarily do without.
Budget any money you have in savings and see what expenses you can cover and for how long. Consider making extreme cuts to housing, food, and transportation expenses.
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  • Communicate with lenders and creditors
If you are struggling to pay your bills it’s important that you communicate with your lenders. Call loan and other creditors and ask for payment deferrals or payment plans. They may even have special financial aid programs you can join.
It is, however, important that you’re aware of the fine print, specifically around fees.
  • Tap into your personal and professional network
Get letters of recommendation from former supervisors. Ask former bosses or co-workers if they can refer you to jobs. Put time on your calendar each day to job hunt and network.
Looking for ways to earn extra income can also ease the financial burden. You can consider gig work or side hustles for extra income. Examples of things you can do include:
  • Uber/InDriver
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Food/Grocery Delivery Services
  • Task Rabbit/Fiverr/Upwork
  • Restaurant/Retail work
  • Babysitting
  • Dog Walking/ Pet Sitting
  • House sitting
  • Focus on your mindset
Facing a job market and not getting a job can be an incredibly frustrating setback on your career path.
Family relationships and friendships might suffer. The mental and emotional impact on your career goals can leave you feeling deflated.
However, you can still find opportunities during unemployment. You can use your leisure time to improve on a talent or learn new skills to help fill employment gaps on your resume. Make it a priority to focus on your mindset and mental wellness.
It’s also important not to isolate yourself and to reach out to supportive family and friends. Journaling, meditating, and gratitude can help with mindfulness even during this difficult time.
Keep in mind that unemployment is only temporary. With continued effort, you will get through this. As you start to get back on your feet, be sure to prioritize the importance of saving.

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