economic woes, part 2

I feel as if I’m looking for jobs for almost everyone I know right now. While the job that I have is secure, I have at least four friends who are looking for work, plus my brother & SIL are looking to move closer to us, and so I’m looking for work for them, too. Landisdad’s been looking for a new job on-and-off for at least a year–though I think that in this economy, he’s content to stay where he is for a while.

My friends who are looking for work now are a combination of the laid-off, the about-to-be-laid-off, and the seasonally unemployed (i.e.–they’re political consultants, and this is not a big election year). I know at least one person who told me recently that her unemployment is about to run out, so she will be in the “uncounted” unemployment numbers relatively soon.

Laura recently posted this link from the NY Times that shows national unemployment by county, and I found it instructive–the counties that I live and work in both have unemployment rates that are slightly higher than the national average right now, so it may not be that odd that I know a bunch of people who are looking for work.

In my current work life, I’m having the occasion to talk to lots of folks about the recently-passed economic stimulus plan, and am amazed by how many people seem to have a right-wing feeling about the idea of bailing out homeowners who got sucked into shitty mortgages. These people unfortunately include my own mother. If only I had seen this episode of the Daily Show before having that last conversation….

March 6, 2009. politically motivated.


  1. Jennifer replied:

    Unemployment in Central Oregon is 14%. I only know a few people who are unemployed, though — most are employed but have had their hours cut or had their pay cut.

    My pay has been cut by 10% and the company I work for is doing shut-downs, which means my hours are being cut too. I’m a contractor so I don’t have vacation days. My husband is in sales; his commission is at 0%. Last year his commission comprised 45% of his total salary…. Also next month our insurance is being down-graded.

    Both of us work for companies that, just six short months ago, were extremely healthy. They’re both privately held. Both are manufacturers — although my co. is quite large and his is tiny.

    My daughter’s daycare is shutting down on Fridays, effective this month, because enrollment on Fridays dropped by 70%.

    I feel very pessimistic about this recession. People won’t start spending again until they feel confident in their jobs; and unless people start spending, companies will continue to cut back. What the gov’t is doing is a joke. In Oregon it is, anyway.

  2. Jennifer replied:

    Oh by the way, over the last 5 years Central Oregon had housing prices jump comparable to the jump in southern California, so I know A LOT of people with obscene mortgages. They are just ordinary people, perhaps less risk-averse than most, who believed that they’d be able to sell their homes at such a profit that their mortgage didn’t really matter. However, not a one of the people I know with bad mortgages actually believes that the gov’t will bail them out. They are a tiny bit hopeful, I’d say, but just a tiny bit.

  3. Elizabeth replied:

    Actually, there’s no relationship between collecting unemployment benefits and being officially “unemployed’ in the statistics. What matters is that you have to be “available for work” and actively looking. Only 37 percent of unemployed workers EVER get unemployment benefits.

  4. Comfort Addict replied:

    Unemployment is now 15% in my county (Macomb County, Michigan). No wonder I can’t get a job.

  5. the five-year mark « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] effects of the recession, on the kids’ school and the number of people that I knew who were looking for work. We also welcomed a new niece to the family, and the Bee had some advice for her older […]

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