Long Term Unemployment and Bankruptcy

I’ve had these to blog posts open for a few days and I just can’t get them out of my mind.

First is Long-Term Unemployment: 80 Percent Of People Jobless Last Summer Still Out Of Work from the Huffington Post.

Second is 7 Wildly Successful People Who Survived Bankruptcy from Mental Floss.

They tie together… some thoughts:

  • 8 out of 10 have not gotten jobs since last summer?  That is a disgrace, and says something about the economy and any efforts of the gov’t … as well as any stats coming from the gov’t about how great things are.
  • If you scroll down on the HuffPo article you’ll see a graphic about the breakdown, including how many people simply “dropped out” of the “job search.”  Right below that it says that 61% of the people who got jobs didn’t get real career jobs they wanted, rather something to just get by until they got something they wanted (or needed).  In other words, of the 21% who got employment, MOST of them got step-jobs (or, they are underemployed or unhappily employed).
  • 70% are depleting their retirement funds (think about the systemic results of this!!) and 45% are financing unemployment with credit cards (ouch!  high interest, prone to bankruptcy, and who’s going to foot the bill for any unpaid credit card bills??).
  • There are a bunch of other stats/info on the HuffPo post, even with regards to age discrimination… go read it.
  • Mental Floss bankruptcy article – you should recognize all 7 names on there, and probably the others from the comments.  For those 7 it was not the end of the world.  I’m not suggesting you go declare bankruptcy today, but what you are going through will not be the end of the world, even if it feels like it is.  Each of those people had to have gone through personal turmoil during that period – shame, humility, depression, blame… many of the same feelings that job seekers go through.

I hate to think “it is what it is” because I feel like “it” is what we make it… but sometimes… many times, life happens and we don’t have control over what happens.  We do have control over how we respond or react… those seven people came out of bankruptcy quite well.  And many people who have been unemployed since last summer have the skills, capacity and drive to develop their own businesses… whether it is a “small” consultancy or a large business… every business starts somewhere, right?

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