Finding a Job vs. Gaining New Skills through Education

Aysegul Timur

In simple definition, there are three types of unemployment: frictional, structural and cyclical.

Frictional unemployment happens when individuals move from one job to another, thus the unemployment temporarily occurs when looking for a new job. Structural happens when the structure of an industry or skills experience changes. Finally, cyclical occurs when the economy is in recession due to a decrease in aggregate spending and output production.

The national unemployment rate is 8.1 percent in February 2009. Locally, it was at 8.8 percent in January 2009 in Naples-Marco Island and 11.5 percent in January 2009 in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

All these figures represent mostly cyclical unemployment, but it is hard to separate it from frictional and structural unemployment. Structural unemployment may be encouraged to rise by persistent cyclical unemployment.

The downturn in economic activities, especially in major industries in our local area such as construction and housing, creates discouragement for many workers hunting for jobs. In this case, how does one deal with this type of unemployment? The answer is very common: gain new skills through education.

In every class I teach at Hodges University, students tell me they are either unemployed or their dependent is out of work. However, I’m glad to see that they realize the importance of education and believe that education pays back, even in difficult economic times.

They see today’s economic conditions as an opportunity to gain new skills and to prepare them for the recovery. The positive news is that they are also encouraged and motivated by the new stimulus dollars.

The Workforce Development Board of Southwest Florida has been given stimulus dollars to help retrain and educate dislocated workers and displaced homemakers in our region. The following are some of the eligibility requirements:

Must be 18 years of age

Must be US Citizen or legal alien

Must have proof of social security number

If male born after 1/1/1960, must have registered for selective service

The following are some of the status categories that may qualify for this funding:

Student has been terminated or laid off, or has received notice of termination or lay off

Student has been terminated or laid off due to business closure

Student was self-employed but due to general economic conditions, can no longer make a living

Student has been dependent on income of another household member and is no longer supported by that income

The eligibility of students will be determined by the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board. Applications for this funding will be made available in the Hodges University Admissions and Financial Aid Offices.

Since these stimulus dollars are available now for qualified applicants, I recommend taking advantage of the opportunity and thinking about a career change.

This funding will not last forever and candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. In many cases, this funding will cover full tuition, books and fees. In some cases, the funding may also cover childcare and transportation.

You could turn negative aspects of the economy to a positive experience through investment in education.

Dr. Aysegul Timur


Aysegul Timur, Ph.D., Hodges University

Aysegul Timur, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Business Administration at the Kenneth Oscar Johnson School of Business, Hodges University. Dr. Timur received her doctoral degree in Economics from the University of South Florida, and both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration from the University of Istanbul. Her areas of specialization include business policy and organizational development, continuous improvement, statistics for strategic planning and health economics (especially pharmaceutical pricing). As a faculty member at Hodges University since 2000, Dr. Timur is also a management consultant and corporate trainer for local companies in Southwest Florida. Her distinguished teaching and scholarly attributes were recognized by the Hodges University community when she was awarded Professor of the Year for 2005 and Dean’s Research Award in 2007 at the Kenneth Oscar Johnson School of Business. Dr. Timur is a life time member of Sigma Beta Delta and Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Societies and a member of Southern Economic Association, International Health Economics Association and American Society of Health Economists. Her work has been published in several distinguished journals.

  • Print

Comments » 1

jheinzman writes:

Just dropped by to see the blog


Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.