It’s Not Over

Ironically, according to the economists (who didn’t know it at the time), the recession ended three years ago in June 2009 one month before I received my layoff notice.  Everything since then has been economic expansion (aka ‘Recovery’) albeit a somewhat slow, uneven, and plagued by fits and starts recovery.  The nature of the economic recovery is such that many areas of the country, and many individuals, have not experienced it.  Many of us personally do not feel the recession is over.

This feeling is borne out by the numbers – household income in the two years after the recession ended actually fell more (more than double) than it did during the recession.  Yes, that’s right – household income fell 3.2% during the recession (December 2007 to June 2009) and then an additional 6.7% in the following two years.  The average American family lost nearly 40% of its wealth during the recession and although there has been some rebound in the first quarter of 2012 most have not nearly recovered.

There are still 5.4 million Americans among the counted long-term unemployed and over 17 million in the uncounted categories.  Those are the folks who are under-employed, have given up looking for work, who have fallen off the unemployment benefit rolls and whose lack of employment is not included in the official unemployment rate.  One of the reasons the official unemployment rate has fallen (at 8.2% in May 2012) is the number of people counted as in the labor force has also fallen – to a mere 63% of the American population, the lowest rate since 1981.  The ‘real’ unemployment rate was 14.5% in April 2012.

The unemployed face many challenges.  Employers discriminate against them – so much so and so obviously that a number of municipalities have enacted legislation against such discrimination.  They are beset by worries, financial difficulties, and guilt at not being able to support their families.  The job numbers, while in the positive, are just too small to make a significant dent in the jobless rate, particularly for the long term jobless, many of whom, like us, have lost more than their jobs.  These losses include material possessions, homes, credit ratings, self-esteem, relationships, and sometimes even lives.  Suicides and murder/suicides have increased among the unemployed as despondent and hopeless people look for but cannot find a way out of their difficulties.  According to an article published a year ago “Unemployed people are two to three times more likely to commit suicide, researchers estimate, and the risk rises the longer someone remains jobless.”

The recession may be over but the effects are lingering on.

This entry was posted in economy, hopelessness, poverty, recession, recovery, suicide, unemployment. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to It’s Not Over

  1. SMS says:

    I’m not sure any in the white house can fix this.

  2. I think you are right. The recession may have “officially” ended but the effects will be with us for years I’m afraid. Our business is not doing well still. It remains to be seen whether or not it will survive. I was blessed to find a job though and I hope and pray you also find one as soon as you get settled. Any word on the rv selling?
    Blessings and prayers for you…
    Michelle

    • boxcarkids says:

      The trailer still has not sold – and I’m getting anxious about it! I do not want to have to try and come up with rent for July. We had hoped to be on the road today. We have lowered the price and have had some people look at it but one man who wanted it couldn’t pass the screening to live here in the park, another couple couldn’t get permission to move it to the park they want to live in (most parks have a no older than 10 years rule). We have a very low offer (less than a quarter of what we paid for it a year ago) – we could take it but that amount would not allow us to rent a uhaul and get across country even if we camped the entire way! I have a few more ads out (and have deleted ones that were getting me nothing but spam emails – like yardsellr!) and every day awake with the hope that this will be the day it sells!

  3. Pam McCormick says:

    These numbers are both shocking to me and seem unreal! and to read Alicia’s story …I just kept pinching myself saying really here in America? it is this bad like some foreign country you read about.Don’t be fooled by ANY political hype from ANY party! In my opinion this is NOT just caused in 4 years, this has been coming for a long time of mismanging taxpayer’s money.Between the greed of some powerful people and companies to the way the laws favor this was set in motion and we are living the life after MANY bad decisions.I am frightened and so sad over what people are dealing with.I don’t personally have any experience with this and I am grateful every day for my simple life.I do however work 2 jobs and I am very tired most days even though I am grateful- it is a double edge sword.

  4. Becky R says:

    It stinks, but I think this is the new reality. I think people are going to have to learn to live on less and spend less. I wish we all learned this growing up so that we started our adult lives out debt free and payed for all in cash and had no debt.
    I pray you find a staining job when you move. I pray that you get there safely as well.

  5. alicia says:

    I’m one of the ones who have given up. I’m going to be 62 in a few months and I am forced to take social security or starve. I can’t tell you how low my life has become. I’ve sold everything I can. I still have one more yard sale in me. I’ve rented out my house because I’d take too much of a financial hit if I sell now. I’m back living with my husband who I was going to divorce in 2010 but because of the recession we decided it was better to stay together and try to survive and make it.

    I don’t know how I am going to make it on $1000 a month. My daughter sends me $300 a month but our bills are $2500. Hubby sometimes goes months before he gets work. Hasn’t worked consecutively enough to collect UI.

    Cell phones are going next. Then the basic cable. Then one of the cars. Every month I sell a little bit of my gold jewelry. Now almost down to the core pieces. Last week I sold my daughters’ gold baby jewelry. Last year sold husbands gold wedding ring. and we’ll just keep plunging till we’re dead I suppose.

    This week was tough because food got tight. I foolishly turned down food stamps now I regret it. If I can’t make our lives work right now, I may have to go to a food pantry. I’m praying we won’t have to. I donated some of my clothes a few years back. Now I go to thrift stores trying to buy clothes back. What a fool I am. Don’t give away your stuff because you may need it one day!

    Recession is NOT over. I wouldn’t believe anything the media nor this president tells us. Personally, I can’t see 4 more years of this hell. I want it to be over. At this point, I’d vote for a giraffe. Anything to end this misery.

    I hope one day to be happy. Same for you. I hope one day we all can be happy again. Remember when we used to be happy????

    • Rona says:

      @alicia

      I dont know where you live but there are two companies safelinkwireless.com and assurancewireless.com that offer a free cellphone and 250 min a month free of charge for low income earners very easy to get and works great. I have the safelink one because when I went through a hard time and had no home phone i could leave it home with my daughter so she could call me at work if there was an emergency. It automatically reloads every month and if you need more time you can buy prepaid cards and add them. It was a lifesaver for me.

      I hope things get better for you.

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