Last month, it was reported that 625,000 desolate job seekers temporarily gave up what they felt was a hopeless search for a career. According to economic experts, there are five workers for every job opening available which is a slight improvement from May’s number of six people per job. However, the pace is much too slow for those facing the loss of unemployment benefits and their personal financial surroundings crashing down around them.
The long-term unemployed are not only extremely discouraged with the job search but are becoming disconnected from their future goals to face day-to-day tragedy which includes lost unemployment benefits that spiral into loss of cash, home, transportation and in many cases, food on their tables.
Rather than creating a healthy, confident job seeker that follows a consistent and structured routine encompassing all of his or her energies on sending resumes, making phone calls and networking, their attention has taken a different course. Their time is being spent standing in long lines for food at the local pantry or walking the neighbors’ dogs for pennies to buy Ramen noodles for dinner. One woman said that she had spent two hours trying to drum up enough money to pay for transportation expenses to get to an interview.
The job search requires an insurmountable amount of effort because of the large pool of competition. Unfortunately, job seekers are having to be distracted by immediate needs such as how to keep the bill collectors away and feed their families. This is not the way to conduct a job search that will provide successful results.
Extending the unemployment benefits is only a band-aid to the real problem, which is creating jobs, but unemployed Americans need cash now to help them stay alive. By approving an extension, it doesn’t give any of the unemployed an excuse to breathe a sigh of relief and relax, but it will renew the belief that they live in a country that supports each other during extremely critical times. By replacing the doubt that Congress just doesn’t care, job seekers’ confidence will begin to build and they can focus on the search with a new dedication and hope. Many industries are requiring new skills which allows the low-skilled unemployed to focus on the training needed to fill employers’ qualifications. Another venture unemployed should take advantage of — but not all training is free.
To contact your Congressional representatives concerning your support for extending unemployment benefits, please access the following website or click on the link: www.congress.org.
If you live in DuPage County in Illinois, DuPage Pads provides shelter and support services to those who qualify. In Lake County, Lake County Pads. Check out Home of the Sparrow for Kane, NW Cook, and McHenry. Check out Heartland Alliance for Cook County resource assistance.