Bleak Outlook for those who are Unemployed

Bleak Outlook for those who are Unemployed

Photo from Picasa

Photo from Picasa

The Numbers Paint a Grim Picture

We are all aware that money is tight for a lot of people these days, but somehow when the actual statistics come out it can still be quite shocking. A recent Associated Press article (See: is reporting that more than 20 million Americans received unemployment payments over the course of 2009. The unemployment rate for the year reached a whopping 10 percent. It is easy to see why sales of many products are way down when one in every 10 people is out of a job.

It has been a Drawn Out Struggle for Some

While there are not as many workers being laid off or let go as there were in recent months, many employers are still reluctant to re-hire until they see a dramatic upturn in the economy. Some of the people who have lost their jobs have been fortunate enough to find work elsewhere, even if their new jobs are not optimal. While lifestyle adjustments are often required, those who have had to take on casual jobs to remain employed should count themselves lucky to have found some work. Among those without a job, 5.8 million have been unemployed for over six months. This circumstance can take a toll not only on the pocketbook, but also on a person’s pride.

The Vicious Cycle

With so many people out of work or working low paying jobs, there is little money being spent. Businesses that rely on sales of some sort are still struggling to bring in customers. They cannot take on extra employees because they are not making enough money to keep them, or at the very least, they are wary of what the economy has in store for us in the upcoming months and years. Also, government stimulus programs are beginning to wane, meaning there is even less money for businesses to work with. So with consumers unable to spend and companies powerless to hire, the economic crisis seems to be here for the long haul.

Just how Long will the Crisis Last?

The unemployment rate is showing signs of declining, but not at a speed that most of us would like to see. Experts are estimating that within a year’s time the rate will be above 9 percent, slightly down from the current 10 percent. With such a scarce job market the government has been forced to extend the term of unemployment benefits beyond the usual 26 weeks several times in 2009 and will likely have to continue to do so, otherwise millions of people will be left with even less to spend.

Job Competition is Fierce

If you are one of the many Americans who is unemployed and looking for work the odds are definitely not great. It is estimated that for every open job there are six unemployed candidates. Of course, there are also many other people to consider. This number does not include the many employed people who are searching for full time or higher paying opportunities.

Try to Remain Positive

It can be tough to stay optimistic is such trying times. Taking a casual job can be humbling, but you can take pride in the fact that you have beaten the odds. Also, try thinking outside the box. If you have skills that would allow you to take on freelance work, this can be a great time to use them. Companies are far more likely to take on freelancers than regular employees right now. The internet has opened up a wide range of online opportunities too.

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