Harry hope 2009-06-30 06:05:30
From ABC News, 8/12/03:
Discouraged by the lackluster job market, many unemployed people have
simply given up searching for work.
By Catherine Valenti
Julie Hasselberger, who lost her job as a human resources manager in
October, has gotten frustrated with going to countless rounds of
lengthy job interviews, only to be told at the last minute that she
didn’t get the job.
So now the 37-year-old mother of three from Sandy Hook, Conn., has
simply stopped looking.
“I’ve just gotten really exasperated,” she says.
“I just don’t have the energy and the stamina anymore to do the
Hasselberger’s story is becoming a familiar one as many Americans find
themselves without work for lengthy periods of time.
Almost 2 million workers, or 21 percent of the total jobless
population, were out of a job for 27 weeks or more in July, according
to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That is leading to a growing number of discouraged workers, or workers
who have stopped looking for work altogether.
In July, 470,000 people said they had stopped looking for a job
because they were discouraged by the job market — 16 percent more
than the 405,000 discouraged workers reported in July of last year.
“It’s one of the worst job markets we’ve seen since the great
depression in terms of the length and the breadth of the problems
across industries and regions,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at
economy.com, a West Chester, Pa.-based economic research firm.
Trying to Get By
Economists and job market observers say the growing number of
discouraged workers could lead to more economic distress for
individuals and for the nation.
Many workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits have had
to raid their savings or retirement funds or have had to borrow money
to get by.
About six in 10 unemployed Americans said they had spent a significant
amount of their savings, while almost half have borrowed money to pay
their current expenses, and nearly a third had increased credit card
debt, according to a recent survey by the National Employment Law
Project, a New York-based nonprofit advocacy group for low-wage and
Further, one in four unemployed surveyed said they had to move in with
friends or family to get by, while one-third say they are no longer
covered by health insurance.
“They’re in a world of financial hurt,” says Zandi.
“The thing that makes it most difficult is the fact that the job
market is weak across the board. You couldn’t even pick up and move.”
Joseph Madziarczyk, a 50-year-old program manager who lives in
Escondido, Calif., has been out of work for a year and a half after
getting laid off from a job at telecommunications company Titan
His unemployment benefits ran out a year ago and his health insurance
through COBRA will run out in October.
Having used up all of his savings, Madziarczyk is about to start
taking loans out on the equity of his home.
“I feel like I’m starting completely over,” he says.
Though his job search has become increasingly frustrating, Madziarczyk
still hasn’t given up and doesn’t consider himself a discouraged
worker — yet.
“I can’t afford to be in that position,” he says.
“But there are times when you would like to throw up your hands and
say, ‘That’s it.’ ”
Enjoying your 35-day vacation, Georgie?