More than 146,000 jobs were lost last month, which is an increase of 71 percent over what we saw in March.
And this comes at a time when the economic recovery was supposed to be in full swing. Since March 2001, when the recession officially ended, the U.S. economy has lost over 2 million jobs. Worst of all are the uncounted millions who want jobs but can’t find them.
“I’ve been out of work for six months,” says Jeremy Cohn.
Looking for a job in the best of times isn’t easy, especially when days stretch into weeks and weeks into months without an interview in sight.
“I tend to get kinda bored sometimes. Other than doing all the job related search stuff, there’s not much to do,” Jeremy says.
Even the most optimistic job seeker can get a little depressed.
“If you stay in the house obviously you end up getting bored. You know that’ll eventually lead to depression, but just get out of the house,” Jeremy says.
“In the past three months, the economy has lost a net 525,000 jobs,” says John Challenger, of Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
Which has sent the national unemployment rate soaring up to 6 percent. But it’s worse in Chicago. The city’s unemployment rate is over 6.5 percent. Nearly half of those now unemployment had white collar jobs.
“That’s nearly double what it was in the 80s,” Challenger says.
As bad as it sounds, Challenger says the real unemployment figures are much higher. In addition to nearly 9 million people who are unemployed, there’s another 4 million plus who aren’t even being counted.
“If you were to count the people who are not looking and are unemployed and have given up, then you would have unemployment that’s much more around 8,9, 10 percent,” Challenger says.
Those numbers sound realistic to someone like Jonathan Goldsmith, who has watched his former Arthur Andersen colleagues take months to find work.
“There’s no one answer, there’s no one solution. A lot of it is who you know and there’s a lot of luck involved,” Jonathan says.
But even if you’ve been jobless for awhile, don’t give up.
“A focused job search is your best search. Going to the industry, an association that represents that industry or particular businesses that you’re interested in, that your skill set would be a good fit for,” says Francis Roehm, an author.
Roehm says many job postings have migrated to the internet.
“And it’s just a great way for them to network and build relationships,” says Jonathan.
Which doesn’t mean you’ll find a job tomorrow, but the right one could be the next one you apply for.
Some employment experts put the unemployment rate at more than 12 percent, a stunning number especially if you consider how many of those individuals were in white collar jobs. If President Bush doesn’t find a way to turn this around, he could be the first president since Hoover to preside over a four year job loss.