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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam related to governments paying unemployment.

It’s one of the more difficult general training questions that I’ve seen recently so take a look at my answer!

Also check out my online courses and writing correction service.

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio and take notes for some extra practice:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay General Training: Governments Paying Unemployment

In some countries, governments provide payments for unemployed people.

How does this impact people?

Is this a positive or negative development?

Real Past IELTS Test

In many nations, the government gives unemployment benefits to its citizens in need. This allows people to make ends meet during difficult times and is largely a positive development.

The effect of unemployment is that struggling individuals and families are able to survive challenging periods. A good recent example of this would be the record unemployment rates in the wake of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. In the United States alone, millions of workers lost their jobs. Many families live paycheck to paycheck and without government support they might lose their homes or struggle to put food on the table every day. Government money allowed them to persevere in a difficult period and use their time to look for a new job. Depending on the conditions of the payments, they can try to find a quality job rather than settling for the first position offered by a company trying to exploit the leverage of an historic jobless rate.

This is largely a positive development because it has wide-reaching effects in society. The one qualification to unemployment benefits is that some individuals will try to take advantage of them and remain jobless while living off government charity. These rare instances aside, society benefits from lifting its most vulnerable citizens out of poverty. Without aid some individuals may turn to illegitimate means of supporting themselves. It is unlikely most would become criminals, but the greater effect would be economic. The unemployed cannot buy products and stimulate the consumer economy. The money the government hands out allows them to keep buying food, going shopping, and props up both large and small businesses. A good economy in turn increases the chances that businesses will begin hiring again and unemployment will decline.

In conclusion, unemployment payments are a great boon for those without jobs and benefit the whole of society as well. It is important that unemployment agencies are well-run and strictly regulated to ensure continuance of the crucial social service they provide.

Analysis

1. In many nations, the government gives unemployment benefits to its citizens in need. 2. This allows people to make ends meet during difficult times and is largely a positive development.

  1. Paraphrase the topic for the whole essay.
  2. Give a clear overall opinion.

1. The effect of unemployment is that struggling individuals and families are able to survive challenging periods. 2. A good recent example of this would be the record unemployment rates in the wake of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. 3. In the United States alone, millions of workers lost their jobs. 4. Many families live paycheck to paycheck and without government support they might lose their homes or struggle to put food on the table every day. 5. Government money allowed them to persevere in a difficult period and use their time to look for a new job. 6. Depending on the conditions of the payments, they can try to find a quality job rather than settling for the first position offered by a company trying to exploit the leverage of an historic jobless rate.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear and simple main idea.
  2. Start an example.
  3. Begin to develop it and vary with long/short sentences.
  4. Develop your example more.
  5. Keep developing by detailing the results.
  6. Finish developing your example.

1. This is largely a positive development because it has wide-reaching effects in society. 2. The one qualification to unemployment benefits is that some individuals will try to take advantage of them and remain jobless while living off government charity. 3. These rare instances aside, society benefits from lifting its most vulnerable citizens out of poverty. 4. Without aid some individuals may turn to illegitimate means of supporting themselves. 5. It is unlikely most would become criminals, but the greater effect would be economic. 6. The unemployed cannot buy products and stimulate the consumer economy. 7. The money the government hands out allows them to keep buying food, going shopping, and props up both large and small businesses. 8. A good economy in turn increases the chances that businesses will begin hiring again and unemployment will decline.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. Here I qualify my argument – this isn’t necessary and if you don’t have time, you don’t need a sentence like this.
  3. Explain your main idea.
  4. Develop the idea.
  5. Continue developing the main idea.
  6. Draw out the results as far as possible.
  7. Remember to include specific details for support.
  8. Conclude with the further possible results/implications.

1. In conclusion, unemployment payments are a great boon for those without jobs and benefit the whole of society as well. 2. It is important that unemployment agencies are well-run and strictly regulated to ensure continuance of the crucial social service they provide.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final detail/thought.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

In many nations, the government gives unemployment benefits to its citizens in need. This allows people to make ends meet during difficult times and is largely a positive development.

The effect of unemployment is that struggling individuals and families are able to survive challenging periods. A good recent example of this would be the record unemployment rates in the wake of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. In the United States alone, millions of workers lost their jobs. Many families live paycheck to paycheck and without government support they might lose their homes or struggle to put food on the table every day. Government money allowed them to persevere in a difficult period and use their time to look for a new job. Depending on the conditions of the payments, they can try to find a quality job rather than settling for the first position offered by a company trying to exploit the leverage of an historic jobless rate.

This is largely a positive development because it has wide-reaching effects in society. The one qualification to unemployment benefits is that some individuals will try to take advantage of them and remain jobless while living off government charity. These rare instances aside, society benefits from lifting its most vulnerable citizens out of poverty. Without aid some individuals may turn to illegitimate means of supporting themselves. It is unlikely most would become criminals, but the greater effect would be economic. The unemployed cannot buy products and stimulate the consumer economy. The money the government hands out allows them to keep buying food, going shopping, and props up both large and small businesses. A good economy in turn increases the chances that businesses will begin hiring again and unemployment will decline.

In conclusion, unemployment payments are a great boon for those without jobs and benefit the whole of society as well. It is important that unemployment agencies are well-run and strictly regulated to ensure continuance of the crucial social service they provide.

Answers

gives unemployment benefits pays money for people without work

citizens in need people who require help

make ends meet have enough money to live

difficult times hard periods

largely mostly

struggling individuals people in need

survive challenging periods get through difficult times

record new high/low

in the wake of following

Covid-19 pandemic the Coronavirus spread

alone just by itself

lost their jobs unemployed

paycheck to paycheck living just month to month

government support money from the government

lose their homes must move out

struggle have a hard time

put food on the table every day being able to feed yourself/family daily

persevere get through

conditions situation

quality job good job

settling accepting a bad/lesser offer

first position offered first job they get

exploit take advantage of

leverage power over

historic jobless rate most unemployed people in history

wide-reaching effects impact across many areas

one qualification one exception

take advantage exploit

remain jobless still have no job

living off government charity getting by with welfare

rare instances aside ignoring some examples

lifting out of poverty not being desperately poor

vulnerable at risk

illegitimate means illegal methods

greater effect more of an impact

the unemployed people without jobs

stimulate help/encourage

consumer economy the free market

hands out gives out

props up supports

in turn consequently

begin hiring again start employing people again

great boon big help

benefit the whole of society give a lot to everyone in society

unemployment agencies institutions that help people find jobs/get benefits

well-run organised

strictly regulated closely monitored

ensure continuance make sure it continues

crucial social service they provide important help for society

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

gɪvz ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
ˈsɪtɪznz ɪn niːd
meɪk ɛndz miːt 
ˈdɪfɪkəlt taɪmz 
ˈlɑːʤli 
ˈstrʌglɪŋ ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz 
səˈvaɪv ˈʧælɪnʤɪŋ ˈpɪərɪədz
ˈrɛkɔːd 
ɪn ðə weɪk ɒv 
kəʊvɪd ˈnaɪnˈtiːn pænˈdɛmɪk
əˈləʊn
lɒst ðeə ʤɒbz
ˈpeɪˌʧɛk tuː ˈpeɪˌʧɛk 
ˈgʌvnmənt səˈpɔːt 
luːz ðeə həʊmz 
ˈstrʌgl 
pʊt fuːd ɒn ðə ˈteɪbl ˈɛvri deɪ
ˌpɜːsɪˈvɪə 
kənˈdɪʃənz 
ˈkwɒlɪti ʤɒb 
ˈsɛtlɪŋ 
fɜːst pəˈzɪʃən ˈɒfəd 
ˈɛksplɔɪt 
ˈliːvərɪʤ 
hɪsˈtɒrɪk ˈʤɒblɪs reɪt
waɪd-ˈriːʧɪŋ ɪˈfɛkts 
wʌn ˌkwɒlɪfɪˈkeɪʃən 
teɪk ədˈvɑːntɪʤ 
rɪˈmeɪn ˈʤɒblɪs 
ˈlɪvɪŋ ɒf ˈgʌvnmənt ˈʧærɪti
reər ˈɪnstənsɪz əˈsaɪd
ˈlɪftɪŋ aʊt ɒv ˈpɒvəti 
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
ˌɪlɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt miːnz 
ˈgreɪtər ɪˈfɛkt 
ði ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪd 
ˈstɪmjʊleɪt 
kənˈsjuːmər i(ː)ˈkɒnəmi
hændz aʊt 
prɒps ʌp 
ɪn tɜːn 
bɪˈgɪn ˈhaɪərɪŋ əˈgɛn 
greɪt buːn 
ˈbɛnɪfɪt ðə həʊl ɒv səˈsaɪəti 
ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt ˈeɪʤənsiz 
wɛl-rʌn 
ˈstrɪktli ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd 
ɪnˈʃʊə kənˈtɪnjʊəns 
ˈkruːʃəl ˈsəʊʃəl ˈsɜːvɪs ðeɪ prəˈvaɪd

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

In many nations, the government g____________________________s to its c_____________________d. This allows people to m_____________t during d______________________s and is l____________y a positive development.

The effect of unemployment is that s_________________________s and families are able to s______________________________s. A good recent example of this would be the r___________d unemployment rates i_________________f the 2020 C_______________________c. In the United States a__________e, millions of workers l______________s. Many families live p__________________k and without g_______________________t they might l__________________s or s___________e to p_____________________________________y. Government money allowed them to p______________e in a difficult period and use their time to look for a new job. Depending on the c_________________s of the payments, they can try to find a q_______________b rather than s_____________g for the f_________________________d by a company trying to e______________t the l_______________e of an h_____________________e.

This is largely a positive development because it has w_____________________s in society. The o______________________n to unemployment benefits is that some individuals will try to t_____________________e of them and r_____________________s while l______________________________y. These r___________________________e, society benefits from l__________g its most v_______________e citizens o_________________y. Without aid some individuals may turn to i_________________________s of supporting themselves. It is unlikely most would become criminals, but the g__________________t would be economic. T______________________d cannot buy products and s______________e the c_______________________y. The money the government h_____________t allows them to keep buying food, going shopping, and p______________p both large and small businesses. A good economy i_____________n increases the chances that businesses will b_____________________n and unemployment will decline.

In conclusion, unemployment payments are a g______________n for those without jobs and b__________________________y as well. It is important that u__________________________s are w_______________n and s___________________d to e____________________e of the c________________________________e.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Listen here from the BBC about unemployment in America:

Reading Practice

Read some alarming news here:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-most-alarming-thing-about-the-worst-jobs-report-in-history

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real speaking exam:

Work

Why did you choose your job?

How much work do you do in a week?

Do you have to work on weekends as well?

Real IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic then check with my sample answer:

Some people like to spend their leisure time after work with co-workers while others prefer to keep their private life separate from their work life.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

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