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Category Archives: Unemployment

I am one of the people fondly considered a ‘99er.  I lost my job in January 2008 and have been steadily looking for employment ever since.  After six months of, what I consider, total despair, a glimmer of hope came my way in the form of a state backed program called No Worker Left Behind.  Because of this wonderful program I will be receiving my Associates Degree in Geographic Information Systems after the fall 2010 term.   Unfortunately, what I am seeing as I near my graduation date is that it is still hard to find a job.  I have put out an average of five resume’s a day for the past three months, willing to relocate anywhere and have only received one phone call.  The phone call was a recruitment company.  My dilemma is this; when employers are receiving unprecedented numbers of resumes for one job, how are the people who are older going to compete against the normal college students coming out with degrees?  How does one overcome these odds as they are battling the depression that comes with the losses that they are experiencing  in their lives?

Here is the reality for those politicians that believe that we ‘99er’s are a bunch of slackers just hanging out on our couches, or in front of our computers, living the trailer park life of our dreams, on the taxpayer’s dime.  In Michigan the most that you can make on unemployment in one week is $362 and that is if you were making good money when you were working.  It is considerably less for persons who held minimum wage jobs.  This amount of money barely affords the necessities in life that are essential if these people are ever to have a prayers chance of getting out of their current situation.    The thought that there are people in our government that honestly believe that the majority of the long-term unemployed are enjoying a free ride grates at my very being.

A person has worked most of their life at a job that suddenly isn’t there anymore.  It wasn’t the greatest job, but it afforded their family the ability to hold their heads up high, knowing that their somewhat middle-class lifestyle was affordable and their bills were being paid.  With the job loss there would be other losses as well, such as loss of health and other insurances.  Not to mention how a loss such as this affects this person mentally in the areas of self-esteem and confidence.  Depression comes in the form of a need to sleep, hoping that when they wake up things will be better. Next this person hears the major news that the banks are failing and this person witnesses the government rush to their rescue, making the decision to assist in record-breaking time.  Even after certain banks were caught flagrantly spending money (remember the $6,000 for 18-holes of golf paid by members of AIG), the government graciously doled out more.  Now American’s are losing jobs at an alarming rate, companies are failing and foreclosures are shooting through the roof.

This person is now collecting the, according to some, coveted unemployment, cutting out expenses that are not essential.  The bills are falling behind; because there just isn’t enough money once they have made their house payment.   Now this person has to make a choice.  Does this person pay the bills and feed their family or does this person pay the mortgage?  Where does the money come from if the car breaks down or gas prices shoot up to a ridiculous amount? Now there are millions of unemployed people and very few job prospects.

For every job that is posted there are a multitude of candidates, many young fresh faces just out of college.  Where does this leave this middle-aged talented and qualified person in the job hunting world?  It leaves them with extremely low prospects.   The norm for many years was the natural order of things; college students came out into the job world while senior staffers were retiring.  Now you have your normal young college students and middle-aged who normally would be nearing retirement, out competing for the same jobs.  How is this ever going to work?  Programs and or incentives are necessary for employers to be encouraged to hire older employees as well.  Otherwise you most likely will see a good portion of a generation going to their graves early as broken people.  Stress kills, and the fact that certain members of our government accuse these people of being “slackers” is outrageous and does nothing more than add to the stress these fine people are already under.  Trust me when I say that every unemployed person out there has put themselves through the “am I good enough” question.  Losing a job is as devastating as losing a loved one, trust me I know.  Four months after I lost my job we lost a son-in-law and three year old grandson in a head-on collision.  How many others of the millions that lost their jobs have has a loss of a loved one as well?  Of those, how many have had to fight foreclosure on their homes?  Now on top of that they are struggling in a jobs market that is not extremely interested in employing people that are nearing retirement age.

So to all the politicians out there that has no respect for the people that put them in office, stop and consider what devastating losses are happening in over a million peoples’ lives.  Do you honestly believe in your heart of hearts that they want it this way?  Wake up to the needs of the people who put you in office.  It’s not only job loss that we are dealing with here; it is a national depression, which has been brought on the domino effect of losing one’s life’s work.  Stand up for the backbone of America and that backbone will bring the economy back.  Previous experience tells us that it won’t be the banks that bring about healthy financial growth.  Without people being able to pay their bills how can we ever hope for a return to good economic health?  Their only hope is the people that hold the purse-strings.  Unfortunately a purse that has been wide open for the ones that caused the initial problem has been drawn tight and locked for their victims.