What It's Like to be Longterm Unemployed

Every Friday, the federal government puts out the latest jobless rate, which has been hovering around 10% for several years now. But that figure is deceptive because it includes only those unemployed who are still looking for a job; the jobless rate does not include the long-term unemployed.
Below is a first-person account of an educated skilled man who has been jobless for five years now and therefore is no longer counted by our feral gubbmint as being “unemployed.”
Hey Obama, as you and your family fly on Air Force One on junkets to South America, with your wife carrying a $1,000 tote bag, can you hear the cries of despair?….

The Obamas arrive in Santiago, Chile, March 21, 2011

First Person: Unemployed and Uncounted
By Everett Cook – Yahoo – Mar 23, 2011

COMMENTARY | I am, along with many others, one of the unemployed that isn’t counted when you read about the unemployment rate.  I have been unemployed for five years and barely make ends make, and even have difficulty paying my $30 phone bill each month.  Hard to believe isn’t it when $30 a month is a difficult choice to make when it comes to having a phone or buying food.  But if I don’t have a phone I won’t be able to contact, or be contacted, by the potential employers out there.

I have a BA in business, worked for international companies and a very talented photographer.  My girlfriend, the loving soul that she is, graciously takes on most of the bills that the both of us incur each month.  I am just thankful we don’t have any children at this time because we cannot afford the extra costs, nor would I want them to be affected by the plight that we are currently enduring.
We have mounting expenses: medical, dental and I have had to sell off most of my photography equipment.  I have sold so much of my equipment that I cannot make any money with what is now a hobby, it was once a source of income, photography.
We have had to move from a nice house, out in the sticks where it is quiet, the people are nice and it is safe.  The two of us, in our 30s, now live in a poor neighborhood, in a studio apartment.  With the occasional gunfire, drug dealing and gang activity.  What has happened to our world?
We do not qualify for any federal assistance; my girlfriend earns too much and I am too honest to lie in order to get the help that I have paid into.  And every day I just look at the people who are in the same boat, without a paddle, traveling down the same creek.  It is depressing and it has taken a toll on my hairline and general health.  And sometimes I wake in the night to find my loving girlfriend crying because we have to make difficult choices in what to spend our money on; food or bills.
It is genuinely painful to wake in the morning at 6, get online and look for work.  (We are fortunate to have a neighbor that lets us surf on her Wi-Fi signal; that is a godsend).  Sending out resumes, calling the numbers listed on the various ads and not getting a response 90 percent of the time.  And every time that I have a lead, get dressed up nice, trim what’s left of my hair and head out to the interview only to find 30 or more other people applying for the same, single position that is available.  The only money that I seem to be able to generate is from writing these articles, and that is very little.
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Ok, that was a major downer…hopeandchange NOT.


Details vary, but this guy speaks for quite a few. I tried to explain, years ago before I retired, that when long-term employees get downsized they often lose what it takes to get back up again. They often lose their homes, savings, the whole bit. What we in industry were contending with was people in their 40s and 50s who’d been downsized three and four times. Incredible as it seems, this has been going on for decades and the minute these people are out the door, there’s not a word said about them at all, anywhere, with a few noble… Read more »

Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf

I’ve been unemployed in my country for over a year. What galls me is every immigrant who comes into the country gets a job and is put up in a luxury apartment. Irish people are a minority in their own country. I fully empathise with the guy above. All this problem is the result of Communism. They haven’t gone away you know. All our indusrties are gone and farming is being destroyed. We have craven leaders who think more of what Mandela says than listening to our own people. Democracy – my butt!


This post sums up the situation perfectly – you need resources in order to find a job.