Get Paid to Explain Why You're Unemployed

job opportunities for the unemployed If you can explain the current unemployment situation and come up with ways to help people find jobs, the government might have a check for you. It helps, of course, if you know a thing or two about research.

The U.S. Department of Labor just announced a competition to fund one or two qualified researchers to carry out projects that will help them make unemployment policies, and "contribute to the Department's mission of fostering, promoting, and developing the well-being of wage earners, retirees, and job seekers."

But you have to act fast. Proposals are due before March 1, 2011. And Uncle Sam isn't exactly offering a fortune -- just enough to keep you and a couple of assistants going for about a month, plus expenses, which could include travel. But hey, that's plenty of time to deliver a research paper at least 25 pages long, appropriate for submission to a recognized journal in the field. That's the main requirement, although there are others.

Now you might not be a skilled researcher yourself, but you could know one, or be supporting one -- a college student, for example -- who could take this project to his or her favorite professor and come up with a plan for some great summer jobs -- with all sorts of benefits and recognition.

Suggested topics include:
  • Employment and training
  • Unemployment and its effects on individuals, families, and communities
  • Factors that affect employment transitions and attachment to the labor force
  • Working conditions and worker safety
  • Effects of enforcement on employers' compliance with laws and regulations
  • Child labor and workers' rights around the world
  • The changing roles of women in the work force
  • Strategies to facilitate veterans' entry into the civilian work force
  • Strategies to remove employment barriers for people with disabilities
  • Retirement decisions

How about a nice trip to China to study child labor laws there? If you're clever, you and some of your colleagues could arrange an all-expense paid trip, and receive a salary for your efforts. Then there are the potential doors that could be opened by receiving a prestigious grant like this one.

If you or someone you know is interested, you can find details at the Department of Labor website. It seems like a pretty interesting way for the government to employ people: to find out better ways to employ people. Why not?

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