What do You Want Me to Do Horror
That is what my friends say to me when we talk jobs- things they do not have. Many who have managed to remained employed for the past two years really have little clue as to what it is like. Seriously. They sympathize, empathize, dehumanize, the horror their friends or relatives live every day, and to themselves whisper, "thank god it is not me".
One friend has been out of work for almost two years. That is a thought that is hard to comprehend for me and most others. The usual response I have is, "you can't work at some Walgreens, Walmart, fast food as a last resort?". Their response is mixed with a combo of pride and realism of this job market. The pride stems from their college education, wiped-out dreams, high tech background, some have MA degrees, and maybe their personal "last resort" has been avoided thus far. The realism part is stark and a horror. They face at least six applicants per job, probably more like 15. For some, middle age now, their is a disgrace of sorts and age discrimination making it harder. The hiring manager perceives them more as a negative than a plus, and the few that are closing in on 60, it's simply a bloodletting. Qualifications? Some are well over qualified because of education or job history, yet, they will never get that " fast food" job because of that. Other jobs are a perfect fit, yet, competition and employers being picky, spell failure. Maybe it comes to their personality, age, perception instead, but the job goes to someone else.
For those who continue to work and were not impacted, they joke, "surely, you can find a job, doing something, like a clerk or cashier". That is naive. If the unemployed person is 40 yrs, a former engineer, or mid-level manager, going for these kind of jobs usually is a waste. You compete with nearly anyone 18 and older. Age is a factor, your past income levels are a factor, how you look is a factor (young or old?).
What is one to do? The statistics bring this all back home: over 435,000 beteen 35-44 have been out of work for over a year, the average length of unemployment is now 25 weeks (six months), 962,000 blacks are out of work over a year, 367,000 between 55-64 yrs, have been out of work over a year, 608,000 between 45-54 yrs have been out over a year.
July produced only 71,000 jobs. That same month, 181,000 left the work force. In the past three months, over 1,155,000 unemployed people have stopped looking and are not counted as unemployed. Had these been counted, unemployment in the US would be 10%. Many of these call themselves, 99ers, meaning, out of work for 99 weeks or more! There are 14.6 million unemployed in the US and 50% of those have been like that for sic months or more. If you count those and those who have given up looking and those working part-time, the levels reach what they were in the Great Depression of the 1930s. There are 3.4 million fewer private sector jobs than in 2000.
With 14.6 million jobless, 5.9 million that have stopped looking, and 8.5 million working PT jobs but seek FT, the grand total is 30 million who cannot find work or seek more work.
Washington seems more interested in funding billions to Pakistan, Afghanistan, bridges to nowhere, warlords in tribal areas to win the "hearts and minds", than helping the American people.
I thought Obama was different. Nyet.