Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yes, It's That Bad

I had an excuse for nearly a year. I was recovering from major spinal surgery. Now that I am ready to get back into the work force, there is not a work force to get back into. I went through unemployment and was entitled to a measly $98 a week. That's not even groceries, but I get it, it is based an what you earned previously. With that said, I went about applying to different laces that fit my personality. Whack and in the public's eye. Sit behind a desk or in a cubicle...just shoot me. But I finally got hired by a demonstration company that is basically the middle man between Company 'A' and Walmart. I just hand out said product for Company 'A'.

But once I got hired I did not receive the hours that were promised me. My manager kept blowing smoke up my skirt but those lowly one day a week hours were not paying the bills. I was never looking for full time, for I love being a home maker. But for right now, I need to help out and get our finances righted. That should take a good 2-3 years. then we will see if I can take it easy and concentrate on my home again. But until that time arrives, the daily grind is my new best friend.

Once I realized that the hours would not be flowing in my direction, my husband said I needed to keep applying to different companies, keeping the job I had until something better came along. So I did just that. I set out filling out more applications to places I would best be suited. But in thee interim I told a dear friend to keep her ear to the ground for any job she may hear about. She informed me that a friend of hers worked for a high profile deli meat company and that he was hiring. She informed me should get in touch with him and see what the deal was. She did and he was not hiring. Not to worry I said, just keep me in mind.

Well about the beginning of July I get a call from my friend and she said the Deli man was now hiring, to give him a call. It was late and I do not like to cut in on peoples time when they are at home, unless it is a necessity. I got in touch with Deli man the next day and I had myself a job, but I would not be officially hired until mid-August. If that was all right with me, I had a job. I could wait, I would just hold on to my piddly little one day a week job until that time.

Well, I had forgotten I had filled out applications in between the time Deli man called and the time I knew I had to get a better paying job. So when I saw there was a call from one of the places I applied to, I kind of got nervous. Hubby said call Deli man to make 100% sure you had a job and explain to him why you were calling. Again assured me I had a job, but the paperwork would not take place until the date we had agreed upon. Whew!

I will be working for a reputable company and getting decent hours. It will not interfere with my homeschooling cooking class, so all is right as rain. But do not be fooled by my optimism, thee economy is still on the downside and looking grimmer all the time. That is why I may not truly want to promote meat (being a vegetarian and all) but it is a job. And until something comes along that is more fitting to my lifestyle, this where my buttocks will be parked.

But here are 9 signs that our economy is not doing as well as we are being led to believe:

One. June's total included 185,000 people who were assumed to be at work, many of whom probably were not. The government could not identify them; it made an assumption about trends. But many of the mythical jobs are in industries that have absolutely no job creation: finance, for example. When the official numbers are adjusted over the next several months, look to some of the 185,000 boosting the unemployment totals.

Two. More companies are asking employees to take unpaid leave. These people don't count on the unemployment roll.

Three. No fewer than 1.4 million people wanted or were available for work in the past 12 months. They were not counted. Why? Because they hadn't searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey. The assumption is that they had found work or don't want it, but there are other explanations: school attendance, family responsibilities, sheer exhaustion.

Four. The number of workers taking part-time jobs because of the slack economy, a kind of stealth underemployment, has doubled in this recession to about 9 million, or 5.8 percent of the workforce. Add those whose hours have been cut to those who cannot find a full-time job, and the total of unemployed and underemployed rises to 16.5 percent, putting the number of involuntarily idle workers in the range of an overwhelming 25 million.

Five. The inside numbers are just as bad. The average workweek for production and non supervisory private-sector employees, around 80 percent of the workforce, dropped to 33 hours. That's 48 minutes a week less than before the recession began, the lowest level of activity since the government began tracking such data 45 years ago. Full-time workers are being downgraded to part time as businesses slash labor costs to remain above water and factories operate at only 65 percent of capacity. If American workers were still putting in those extra 48 minutes a week now, 3.3 million fewer employees could perform the same aggregate amount of work. With a longer workweek, the unemployment rate would reach 11.7 percent, not the official 9.5 percent (which in turn dramatically exceeds the 8 percent rate projected by the Obama administration).

Six. The average length of official unemployment increased to 24.5 weeks. This is the longest term since the government started to track these data in 1948. The number of long-term unemployed (those out of a job for 27 weeks or more) has now jumped to 4.4 million, an all-time high.

Seven. The average worker saw no wage gains in June, with average compensation running flat at $18.53 an hour.

Eight. The jobs report is even uglier when you consider that the sector producing goods is losing the most jobs--223,000 in the last report alone.

Nine. The prospects for job creation are equally distressing. The likelihood is that when economic activity picks up, employers will first choose to increase hours for existing workers and bring part-time workers to full-time status.

I hope everyone is doing well and not struggling like we are. I am a happy person, and my personal life could not be any better, even with our financial disarray, but I look forward to the day that I am not borrowing, every single month half of my mortgage from my in-laws, just to keep a roof over my head.

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