Why Don't the Unemployed Volunteer?

According to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployed people don't like to volunteer. Well, that may be jumping to conclusions-but the statistical fact is that the volunteer rate barely budged in 2009 despite numerous among us being unemployed.

In fact, the report states that "during the year ending in September 2009, 29.7 percent of all employed persons volunteered. By comparison, the volunteer rates of the unemployed (22.9 percent) and those not in the labor force (22.6 percent) were lower."

I'm not blaming the unemployed, since I know full well they have plenty to do despite their lack of employment. There are jobs to be searched for, networking connections to make, emails and phone calls to follow up on. If you do get work, even temporarily, you have to jump on it.

However, this cool graphic from the New York Times shows that the majority of an unemployed person's time is spent sleeping, watching TV, and doing household chores-with only a half hour given to job searching.

Personally, I had all good intentions of volunteering for a nonprofit during the holiday season-yet between freelance work and other projects (including dish washing) I never actually could carve out the time to do it. But I know that when I'm fully employed, I truly will have less time for charitable contributions-so why can't I do them now?

Have you had time in your job search to set aside a day and volunteer for a good cause? Why or why not?

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