I know this blog is usually one full of happy thoughts, words of wisdom, and ways to make things better. Unfortunately though, it’s crucial to take a step back and examine what’s really going on, whether it’s positive or negative. That being said, I think it’s important to understand that the economy really hasn’t improved all that much. I’m sure recent graduates, as well as more experienced candidates, are still feeling the pressures of finding and maintaining a job.
I found an article through NPR that was just written yesterday, December 12th. I think it has a lot of valuable information we all should be aware of. It’ll be easier for me to summarize the key points:
- The federal government currently counts 5.7 million Americans as long-term unemployed, which it defines as people out of work for 27 weeks or more.
- Only 13 percent of them said they are currently collecting unemployment benefits. The poll also interviewed people working part-time who want full-time work.
- Of these long-term unemployed and underemployed, 51 percent said they’ve borrowed money from friends or family to get by. Close to half say they’ve had trouble paying for housing and food, and one-third say they’ve changed their living situation to save money, including moving in with relatives and friends. Additionally, 9 percent say they’ve lost their home to foreclosure.
- One goal of the poll was to focus on personal and emotional health effects. About one-third said their mental and physical health is worse.
- About half of the long-term unemployed and underemployed said they currently have no health insurance, and 56 percent said they’ve put off getting health care that they needed.
- Not surprisingly, nearly a quarter said that lack of work has been hard on their marriages. But interestingly, almost as many said it had a positive effect on their relationships with their children.
- A majority of those polled say they don’t have much confidence they’ll get a job with sufficient pay and benefits. Nearly 70 percent would like the government to offer more job training opportunities and placement services, but only about 1 in 10 believe that government efforts to deal with the poor economy have helped them.
You can read the full article here.
This isn’t meant to be depressing, but it serves as a great reminder to those of us who are healthy, employed, and mentally & emotionally happy that we really ought to be grateful. There are 5.7 million Americans who are worse off than you. Your situation doesn’t seem that bad, now does it?