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a long line of people outside waiting to file for unemployment

“The Fight Against Unemployment” Enrolling for Fall 2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. suddenly experienced mass unemployment, and the employment level has not fully recovered more than two years later. Unlike most wealthy countries, the U.S. lacks modern institutions that support the unemployed with cash benefits and job-search assistance. This helps to explain why the share of working-age people in the workforce has been declining over the past 25 years, and why employers now face an acute labor shortage.

“The Fight Against Unemployment” (ILRID 4635/6635) is a two-credit course about what unemployment is, why unemployment exists under capitalism, how layoffs can be managed and avoided, how supports such as unemployment insurance work, and how the U.S. differs from the rest of the world in its treatment of the unemployed.

Students enrolled in this course will have an opportunity to take an additional two-credit engaged learning component to serve the unemployed through the ILR Ithaca Co-Lab or to carry out research with Professor Greer. For more information, please contact Greer at