What is 'Funemployment'

Funemployment refers to unemployed individuals who decide to enjoy the free time that unemployment provides. The term was coined during the Great Recession between 2007 and 2009 to describe those who had recently lost their jobs and were choosing to use their newfound freedom to travel, go to the beach, be physically active and enjoy themselves until they found a new job. Individuals who decide to become voluntarily funemployed aren’t entitled to collect unemployment benefits unless they resigned from previous employment due to a reason, such as unsafe work conditions, discrimination or harassment.

BREAKING DOWN 'Funemployment'

People who describe their joblessness as funemployment are typically younger individuals with fewer financial responsibilities or people who have accumulated enough savings to enjoy the extra time their unemployment has afforded them. People who describe themselves as funemployed often point out that, during times of recession, finding a new job can be a long and stressful process so, rather than spending their days worrying about their future, they take advantage of the chance to do things they would be unable to do if they were working.

Advantages of Funemployment

  • Lifestyle: Funemployment provides individuals with uninterrupted time to pursue their interests and passions. For example, a philanthropist may decide to volunteer for their favorite charity or sit on the board of a nonprofit organization that gives back to the community. Parents may use funemployment to create a lifestyle that allows them to spend more time with their children.

  • Career Perspective: Funemployment gives individuals time to assess their career aspirations. For instance, a person may decide they’re better suited to a different industry and opt for a career change. After realizing the flexibility that funemployment provides, an individual may decide they want a job that allows them to manage how many hours they work, such as an independent contractor or freelancer.

Limitations of Funemployment

  • Financial: Funemployment may lead to financial hardship if an individual has no other source of income. The lack of a consistent paycheck may limit the length of time a person can stay funemployed, as bills, rent and mortgage repayments mount.

  • Reentering Workforce: Periods of long funemployment might be difficult to explain to future employers, who want to see a history of steady employment. For example, a person who has been funemployed for several years might have to explain how they spent that time when interviewing for a job. Individuals who hold industry licenses and certifications may not be able to renew these while funemployed, making it difficult to re-enter the workforce.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Structural Unemployment

    Structural unemployment is a longer-lasting form of unemployment ...
  2. Disguised Unemployment

    Disguised unemployment is unemployment with low productivity ...
  3. Paycheck to Paycheck

    Paycheck to paycheck is an expression used to describe an individual ...
  4. Underemployment

    Underemployment is a measure of employment and labor utilization ...
  5. Growth Recession

    Growth recession describes an economy that is growing at such ...
  6. Frictional Unemployment

    Frictional unemployment is unemployment that results from temporary ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    The Cost of Unemployment to the Economy

    Unemployment carries many costs, both obvious and hidden, for an economy.
  2. Financial Advisor

    How Labor Force Participation Rate Affects U.S. Unemployment

    While a falling unemployment rate sounds like a good thing, it can actually be indicative of people leaving the labor force because they can't find a job.
  3. Personal Finance

    Planning Your Second Career

    How to find a second career if you want to do more than retire in your later years.
  4. Insights

    The Downside of Low Unemployment

    Yes, the unemployment rate can be too low.
  5. Personal Finance

    America’s Labor Market: Hidden Distortions and Uncertain Forecasts

    Employment reports released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have a profound impact on political, business, consumer, and investor behavior.
  6. Investing

    The Difference Between Investing and Speculating

    The difference between investing and speculating may surprise you.
  7. Insights

    What is jobless growth?

    What are the effects that a jobless growth economy has on workers and investors alike. Learn about these effects here.
  8. Personal Finance

    5 Careers That Fit Your Lifestyle Goals

    Ever wish for a job that gives you less stress, more time with the family, or more money? Here are five careers that match your specific lifestyle goals.
  9. Personal Finance

    8 Reasons To Tough Out Your Job

    Yes, there are many reasons to search for a new job - but consider these eight factors before burning a bridge.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How did the Great Recession affect structural unemployment?

    Structural unemployment is difficult to measure, but there are hints in the data that the spike in unemployment following ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between structural unemployment and cyclical unemployment?

    Learn more about about the differences between structural and cyclical unemployment and when cyclical unemployment becomes ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between frictional unemployment and structural unemployment?

    Learn about structural unemployment and frictional unemployment, the differences between the two and their main characteristics. Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between cyclical unemployment and seasonal unemployment?

    Learn about the key differences between cyclical and seasonal unemployment. Read about distinguishing features of each of ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center