What’s great is that I am in really good company. In my home state, unemployment is at 10.2%. That means that 1 in every 10 adults able to work isn’t making that daily commute. The US Department of Labor statistics are incredibly sobering. Short of moving to Wyoming, I’m not sure how to solve to problem of looking for work where there isn’t any to be found. Thank goodness I qualify for the maximum unemployment benefit, and because there are no jobs here, unemployment lasts a good long while.
When I lost my job, in 21st century style I told my Facebook friends. Their responses were what you’d expect friends to say — a smattering of profanity aimed toward my former employer, the promise that something better will come along, and the simple offers of help in anyway that is needed.
What stands out though is the response from a life-long friend who lives in an area with 12.4% unemployment (no, that’s not a typo). She’s been trying to re-enter the workforce for nearly two years with very little luck. She told me that being unemployed today can be exciting one day and terrifying the next.
It took a few weeks for the excitement to wear thin — the fun with my toddler, the ability to grocery shop during the day, and the break from the grind of teaching in a classroom was exciting and liberating. I had lunch dates, my son had play dates. I ditched the idea of a set bedtime. I thought about exercising and blogging and cleaning my house every day.
But lately? It’s the terrifying that’s starting to take over. Without blinking, I’ve suddenly collected eight weeks worth of unemployment. Since I’ve become unemployed, three other friends have also become unemployed. No one has gotten hired yet.
Six months ago I thought for sure I knew where we’d be in a year. Now, I can’t be sure what the next month will bring. Some days I find that thought exciting, other days, it is terrifying.
Are you unemployed? Leave a comment, tell us, if you are so inclined, your thoughts on this incredibly absent job market.