I was wondering if anyone is tracking the approximately 65 million people that have applied for unemployment benefits since the bottom fell out of our economy in the fall of 2008?
I see numbers, weekly, for "New filings" of unemployment benefit claims but, I do not see anything on those whose benefits have expired.
I lost my job in October of 2008. I got my 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and then they ran out.
I haven't worked a full time regular job since. I am still unemployed. I have no benefits. I have only had 3 interviews in that time and have had no offers.
I know that I am not unique. There are many millions just like me. Why hasn't the question been asked that would shed light on those just like me?
I see that there are 135,000 new jobs being created nationally for the month but, where are they? And better yet, when there are only 135,000 new jobs and there are around 65 million applicants, the odds for success are in the neighborhood of 0.2%. Not very likely. And that percentage is provided that you live in the region where those jobs were created. It is quite disheartening.
Then let's add the age factor.
I am a Facilities Maintenance Engineer with 35 years of experience in the manufacturing sector. There is likely no situation that I have not encountered in that period. I would be a great asset to any manufacturing firm that would be willing to take me on however, with that level of experience, I am not 20 something and prospective employers seem to see that as a detriment to their organization.
Again, my story is not unique. There are millions of experienced unemployeds just like me that are having the same problem.
Where are the jobs for us?
When I was a kid, I had the "American Dream". Work for a company until I retired, like my father did. Have a house, a family and a decent middle income life. Now I dream of making enough money this week to keep the lights turned on, food in my family's stomachs and a roof over their heads.
That is quite a shift. And again, I am not unique.
Of course, I have seen the "Feel Good" stories of the one or two who are in a similar situation getting a job and everyone smiles and sheds a tear but, that still leaves about 64,999,998 whose lives haven't changed for the better and have, most likely, changed for the worse.
What about the rest of us?
My eleven year old son looked up at me one day and asked, "Are we always going to be poor, daddy?" What can you say to that? I don't have the answer. But, it made me feel angry inside and impotent.
I see our elected officials in Washington, and to a lesser degree, in Albany, unzipping their respective flys and taking turns peeing in each other's bowl of Wheaties and doing nothing but blaming the "other side" for the fact that none of these issues are being resloved and I become incensed. They are all getting paid for doing esentially nothing and there are millions of us who wish we could be paid half as much for doing twice the work that we used to do.
Does this make any kind of sense to anyone or am I missing something?
Something really really needs to be done here. Seriously.
I am so tired of watching a government; "of the government, for the government and by the government", not doing whatever it takes to get Americans working because making the hard choices and doing the hard work would be: "Unpopular and would affect my numbers and PAC contributions for my reelection campaign."
It doesn't matter to me which side of the aisle comes up with what plan to get Americans working. There should be no side of the aisle, in my opinion.
Perhaps, Former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, had the right idea on that one. A unicameral form of government.
No party lines. Just 535 individuals in the U.S. Governmental Chamber all working toward the same end with no possibility of "legislative deadlock" like we see today. Of course, the U.S. Constitution forbids such an act but, given the latest actions of our government's respective branches, it would appear that the constitution doesn't carry the weight that it once did. That is another saddening result of the current state of things.
I remember reading in my history book about a President of the United States of America taking on an enormous amount of national debt to put Americans to work, drag us out of a severe economic depression and build our infrastructure at the same time.
Remember FDR? (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for those who do not know American history.)
I wish he was in the White House now.
Maybe things would be different.