Yahoo’s new Tumblr of stories from the long-term unemployed will break your heart, and not in a good way:
I live in southern California, and worked in the electrical distribution industry for over 25 years. I lost my job in August of 2008 when the housing bubble and 2nd great depression was hitting hard. The branch I worked in closed since the industry relies heavily on new construction. All of the distributors cut salaries and laid off workers, and still operate with fewer, lower paid people.
I am 58 years old, and lowered my expectations for pay from $20+ per hour to $15 to $12 and now to minimum wage. I have applied for positions at Walmart, Target, Costco, Lowes. etc. I have yet to get one interview. My unemployment benefits are about to expire. My wife works part time, and we have three children, one who is severely autistic. I have plenty of references, however, it appears my age, the length of unemployment and no credit makes me unemployable.
What do I do from here? I wish I knew. Things have been difficult, but are about to get much worse.
I can’t give up looking for work, but it does feel rather pointless. We will have to rely on whatever government programs are available; food stamps, etc. These are very scary times, and I don’t place the blame on any President or political party, although I don’t have confidence in any politician. It all started with banks providing home loans to people who couldn’t afford them, and spiraled from there. Sometimes I wish I would have bought a house as well, since the government seems to care about these “homeowners” more than those of us making do with what we could afford.
Jerry, via comments