Jobs And Unemployment


I am supposed to start a new job, part time to start, possibly becoming full time, maybe, sometime this week.   I still haven’t received a phone call from them, telling me when to come in though.  It is Sunday, if they wanted me in on Monday at 8:00 am for training they would have called me by now.  This gives me at least one more day to run during the day like I have become accustomed to.  I won’t mind having to run in the morning during the cold february days, any more than I minded running mornings when I was waking up at 4 am to run before going to work at Sotheby’s. 

I want to start working tomorrow, start training and working as soon as possible.  I am kind of non-plussed that I haven’t yet received that phone call, but, having waited for nearly 2 years for THE chance to land a full time job, I can wait a few more hours, a day or two more for a phone call that I know is going to happen.  For nearly 2 years I woke up not knowing if a phone call or an opportunity would show up, so a few more hours isn’t a big deal.

I will be the happiest man on earth when I can turn my back, permanently, on unemployment.  I have depended enough on the largesse of the state.  Yes, I paid into the system for over 2 decades, but I paid into it, thinking I would be helping some other person, and not be a drag upon the system myself. 

That is proof of a simple concept, that just because you think something about the world, doesn’t mean you are right about it, no matter how long you have thought it.  It was an incorrect supposition I didn’t realize I was making until the truth dropped, unceremoniously, into my lap. 

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Unemployment insurance is a good way to help people, who like myself are, due to circumstances they would much rather not be in, unable to stand on their own.  There are still millions of people who are in need of help, who are trying their damnedest to find work, who are just spinning their wheels, because the opportunities are just not there. If the opportunities were there, would there be more than 1 in 10(or worse) out of work in a fairly large number of states? 

There are places where opportunities are beginning to show up.  Ohio and Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped 2.5% from January to November 2010 (the latest available numbers I have access to), Alabama’s unemployment dropped 2.8%, and Illinois’ has dropped by 3% and Michigan’s has dropped by over 3.5% in that same amount of time.  There are places where unemployment never really was a major problem, like the Dakotas and Nebraska.

But for every success story, there are places where major problems exist.  Michigan, whose unemployment has dropped over 3½%, still has unemployment over 11%.  That is how deep the problems were there, Things are moving in the right direction, but there is still a long road they still have to travel. 

There are a number of states, and territories where the number of (not seasonally adjusted) unemployed, by percentage, is as great or greater than the national average, they are, from highest percentage of unemployed to lowest: 

Puerto Rico(15.4%), Nevada(14%), California(12.4%), Florida(12.2%), Michigan(11.3%), Rhode Island(11.2%), South Carolina(10.7%), Oregon (10.5), Georgia (10.3%), District of Columbia(10.2%), North Carolina (9.9%), Kentucky(9.9%), Mississippi (9.8%), Tennessee (9.4%), Indiana (9.4%), Idaho (9.4%), Arizona (9.3), Ohio (9.3%), Missouri (9.2%), Illinois (9.2%), and Washington(9.1%). 

Percentages of unemployment by state is just one of many ways to look at the problem.  County by county it can be even more stark than those numbers.  Most of California and a large portion of Arizona is in desperate straits, there is a corridor of massive unemployment that straddles the Nevada/ California/ Arizona border, with counties on both sides of the border where the average percentage of unemployed sits well above the national average, with some counties as high as 18 and 24% unemployment.  The interior of Nevada, and a number of the counties in the interior of Arizona have points where unemployment is lower than the national average. The southwestern border of Kentucky and the northwestern border of Tennessee, have a similar, albeit numerically less dramatic unemployment problem.

That doesn’t mean if you aren’t in one of these places, you are doing fine.  The unemployment rate in some houses (the only real measurement for individuals in a pickle is their own predicament) in even the best areas is 100%, and that makes any real joblessness in any area an area of concern for all of us.   If anything can be done  about unemployment, it must be done not just on the macro level, but the micro level, not just creating industry and propping up what industries exist until they can stand on their own, but making certain that the hardest hit individuals can get the help they need to get back on their feet.

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Neither my employment problems, nor the nations unemployment problems, are solved, not even close.  There are ways it could be said that things are really getting better, and other ways where things are horrifically bad. Both I and the nation are working on it.   We’ll work it out, in time.  The question becomes does the nation have enough time and practicality to save itself from an even longer and more destructive negative economic cycle, and do I? I can only answer for me, and the answer for me is a simple one.

I hope so.

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That’s it from here, America.  Have a good day, I’ll write to you later, if possible.

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