Article 43


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hopelessly Unemployed In 2012


Losing your job at 50 or 60 is not good for your health.  There is compelling evidence that no matter who you compare the older job loser to, he or she does worse physically and mentally.
- William Gallo, Yale University School of Medicine


According to the Wall Street Journal, the average unemployed job hunter searches five months, then gives up.

I’d say that’s about right.  In 2004 I spent four solid months looking - waking up at 5AM to make searching for a job - my mission for 10-12 hours a day, five days a week.

I even went knocking on doors dressed up in my Sunday suit. 

And struck out.

AFTER THAT there was nowhere else to look, and nothing else to do.  So I pretty much GAVE UP, and experienced DEEP DEPRESSION.

Thank goodness for staffing agencies. They kept me semi busy with temp jobs - one for forty five minutes, another for four days, and one for six months - with UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS IN BETWEEN - until a real job with benefits manifested from pure LUCK about a year and half later.  The small checks, money saved up, credit cards, and refinancing the mortgage gave me enough cashflow to get the bills paid.

Things aren’t as good TODAY. I can’t even land a TEMP JOB, or get UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. And I’m UNDERWATER WITH THE MORTGAGE, so refinancing the house is out.

Being broke caused some FRIENDS TO DISAPPEAR, when I really need their support.  It happened eight years ago, and again now.  Are they afraid I’m gonna ask for money?

A few others email job hits.  One lady I worked with - WHO GOT LAYED OFF IN 2009 - talked for over an hour, filling me in on what she learned about job hunting the past couple of years.  To those people I’m deeply grateful.

A childhood friend of 40 years won’t sign a JOB CREATION PETITION.  Talk about lack of compassion. NEOCON neantherthal. I’d rather be stabbed in the heart. Less painful.

To keep DEPRESSION, panic attacks, and STRESS in check WHILE WAITING for my retirement savings to run out - I KEEP ACTIVE at the health club, fly up north to visit my elderly mom, and VOLUNTEER helping people WORSE OFF than me.

Psychotherapy for JOB LOSS DEPRESSION and ANTIDEPRESSANTS are OUT OF THE QUESTION, but to help keep my hopes up I religiously splurge on a lottery ticket every Saturday, and still dream about FINDING MY SOULMATE, even though I’m in my 50s.

There’s only so much any of us can control, so I try to be mindful to cherish what I have right now - and live each day as if it were my last. That doesn’t mean fly to Vegas tonight and act irresponsibly by gambling away the house, or think PRAYING TO GOD without filling out job applications is gonna miraculously manifest a great new career.  It means some things are gonna happen regardless of what I do, or how I feel.

Accepting and trusting in the Universe is lot EASIER SAID THAN DONE while WATCHING the world CHANGE.  If UNEMPLOYMENT DEPRESSION doesn’t do me in - INSOMIA may.  Worrying about the future makes for a lot of sleepless nights.  FIVE MILLION OTHER UNEMPLOYED, SUFFERING AMERICANS share my pain, knowing the prospects of regaining meaningful employment are SLIM.

The gym is a real EYE-OPENER to the SEVERITY of the unemployment problem.  I go there the same time every day, and work out alongside the same people, so we all pretty much know eachother.

The mid 50’s guy who spots me on the bench press is out of work two years. His wife’s paycheck keeps his family going. The 40 year old lady on the stair machine next to me has a job, but her husband who worked on the SHUTTLE AT NASA - doesn’t.  Another lady - a 55 year old layed off bookkeeper - can’t find any work other than a part time job at the local supermarket - 20 hours at $8.50/hr = $170 per week.  STORIES like these are the norm.

This is my world.  Again.

For eight years I’ve been writing here about the DEMISE of the middle class, escalating POVERTY, AGE BIAS against older folks, and PREYING of the poor. There’s still no end in sight.

THANKSGIVING is about five months away, and it’s starting to look like it’s gonna be worse THAN 2005.

Do you still wonder why some people take nice, peaceful trips to AOKIGAHARA Japan near beautiful MOUNT FUJI?

To end their lives.


Average Job Seeker Gives Up After 5 Months

By Sara Murray
Wall Street Journal Blogs
June 8, 2011

Jobless Americans who dropped out of the work force typically searched for work for five months before ultimately giving up last year.

The amount of time the unemployed spent hunting for jobs rose sharply last year. Those out of work tended to search for about 20 weeks before quitting in 2010, compared to 8.5 weeks in 2007, according to a recent Labor Department report. The report studied how long unemployed workers took to either find a new job or quit looking.

Labor-force participation, the share of Americans who are working or looking for jobs, has fallen to its lowest percentage since the mid-1980s. Thats partly because people have grown discouraged about their ability to find jobs and have given up looking. With those workers on the sidelines, the unemployment rate has been lower than it otherwise would be.

The official unemployment rate hit 9.1% in May. Including all of those who had part-time jobs but wanted to work full-time as well as those who want to work but had given up searching, the rate was 15.8%.

While sidelined workers can keep the jobless rate lower, they weigh on the economy in other ways. The nation loses their output - from the goods or services they would provide in their jobs as well as the spending that would come from their paychecks. And, if they move onto programs such as Social Security disability, the government could end up supporting them for the rest of their lives.

Those lucky enough to finally land a job last year found they had to spend more time searching. Job seekers took a median of more than 10 weeks to find new positions last year. Thats up from five weeks in 2007 before the recession began.

And, in what’s likely to create a more persistent problem for the U.S. labor market, the odds of finding a job steadily decreased the longer someone was out of work. Some 30% of Americans who had been out of work for less than five weeks found new jobs last year.

Those odds deteriorated for the LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED. Of those who had been unemployed for more than six months, slightly more than 10% found new jobs. Nearly 19% dropped out of the workforce.

The problem endures this year: As of May, 6.2 million had been out of work for more than six months and more than 4 million [5 million in April 2012 ed.] haven’t work in more than a year.


Posted by Elvis on 05/19/12 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Personal
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