No matter where you are, losing your job is never a good thing, but there's no question that some places have better unemployment benefits than others.
There are countries that will pay you up to 90 percent of your previous salary. Beyond the actual unemployment check, there are other benefits, such as generous severance-pay requirements, a large windows of time for how long you can collect unemployment benefits and compensation for housing, medical and child-care costs.
In Denmark, for example, you can collect unemployment benefits for up to four years. (In the U.S., there are no legal requirements but most companies pay you one week’s salary for every year worked.)
Austerity measures there and elsewhere have had little impact on unemployment benefits, said David Grubb of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The recession also had little impact, he said, except for the U.S., where the duration of unemployment benefits was extended.
The U.S., in fact, did not make the list. It ranks as “average” in the unemployment department, with the average collection being 53 percent of prior wages. Where the U.S. loses out to other countries is that it doesn’t offer assistance with living expenses except for food stamps.
The housing component cannot be underestimated, Grubb said. Most of Europe has a housing allowance, so “not a lot of people wind up homeless,” he said. “In Japan, you might – and in the U.S., you almost definitely would,” he said.
Other countries that didn’t make the list may seem like they have good benefits, like Canada and Japan, but the requirements to qualify for benefits are nearly impossible.
In Japan, for example, you have to show that you have virtually nothing left in the bank and there are regular home inspections of the unemployed to make sure you don’t have a flat-screen TV or expensive car.
The UK didn’t make the list because the average benefit is only 45 percent of your prior wages, but the big perk is they pay 100 percent of your housing costs.
So what countries did make the list? Click here to check out the Best Places to be Unemployed*.
By Cindy Perman & Paul ToscanoPosted 3 Dec 2010
* Based on the average percent of prior wages paid to the unemployed