I thought this NYT article was particularly prescient. It applies to my life and the lives of people I know.
It's important to me that people get a sense of what unemployed/marginally employed people are going through and how much need there is right now. Many people, including myself, have been employed at a rate that is lower than full time (and our bills!) for more than six months (I've been actively looking since Dec 2008, and have been out of grad school since June 2009), don't have health insurance (I do! Go here!), and are straining their respective social and financial credit to survive. I've been lucky enough to have a great family that could afford to support me for some of this period, great friends, a part-time job and the education/wherewithal to keep focused on the job hunt.
The article calls them the 'new poor': people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.
We don't have the infrastructure to take care of these people. What's worse, welfare and health insurance are such politically loaded topics. Far from being seen as things that any civilized nation should do for its people (my own view), these topics are being used against people--to the point where our veteran's don't get the care they need, our families don't get the care they need, people are being turned down for insurance based on their preexisting conditions...
So, to keep this post a little bit positive--tell me your job hunt stories! What is the wackiest thing you've done to get a job? What have you learned in this process? What questions would you like to answer?
My other posts about the job market:
Hurry Up and Wait
Searching For Disaster
Thanks for your time! Good luck in your searches!