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Ode to the Chronically Unemployed

June 30, 2011

I just read this headline at one of the progressive news outlets.

“Jobless claims continue to drop.”

Sounds like really good news until I read into the body of the story — “US Weekly jobless claims, ending the week of 6/25, fell 1,000 to 428,000.” If I have the math right that is a drop of 0.23%, almost a quarter of 1%. The word that comes to mind is — negligible.

There is a dirty little secret the government is trying to contain and the media seems unwilling to really go after it.

Most engineers over 50 are underemployed or suffering from long term unemployment with no hopes on the horizon of finding full-time employment in their respective fields. This fact is hidden by a reporting system that fails to count ANY of the underemployed or the long term unemployed — the 99ers who have exhausted their unemployment assistance and have fallen off the accounting systems. Hard data on professional workers who are underemployed may very well be impossible to gather.

So the question is, this week as jobless claims fell 0.23%, how many people ran out of benefits with no hope of finding a job in the near future. The American dream has become the American nightmare.  Jobless claims may have fallen by 1,000 but 10,000 more may have lost their unemployment bennies. What do these people do in a system that ignores their existence?

The jobs situation in American is no less of a national disaster than Hurricane Katrina or the BP Oil Spill. The difference is there was a vigilant media, day after day continuing to talk about how bad it was, putting their cameras in the face of all levels of government and demanding ideas for solutions.

I just am not seeing that level of intensity over the issue of jobs. I suppose it just isn’t politically expedient because without answers it just keeps getting uglier.

And our government is incapable and unwilling to make the hard decisions on imports, immigration, infrastructure, human resources and education, that will have to be made to even begin to solve these problems.

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2 Comments
  1. Melissa permalink
    June 30, 2011 11:15 am

    This is SO true! It makes me angry that they continue to pretend that these other people do not exist. So many people do not qualify for unemployment, and so they are not counted as unemployed. That is absurd! I was close to running out of bennies when I got my job..and that was scary. I have friends that ran out of bennies, I also have friends that lost their job before getting in enough hours…they don’t qualify either. and the mothers that were stay-at-home moms, but now need a job…they are not counted either. It is just another way of hiding problems.

  2. June 30, 2011 12:51 pm

    Amen! I get ticked off every time I see “their” unemployment percentage, because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt MY NUMBER isn’t counted. I’m one of the 99ers and one of the ones near 50 who’s engineering skillset is no longer needed in THIS country.

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