At minimum, 14 million Americans are unemployed. At least 26 million are un- or underemployed.We crunch the monthly unemployment reports until our brains are numb. Are we up or down? Losing or gaining? Is our nation moving forward at long last or falling farther behind?
Those are the “official” numbers. While these numbers are not precise, they do help quantify the misery, sadness and tragedy that defines our country today.
In August 2011, USAction asked our online members to share their stories of un- and underemployment.
More than a thousand responded. We learned much from their stories:
Pervasive discrimination exists. The barriers to getting a job are much greater if you are old, if you don’t have a job, if you are a young college graduate, if you are “over-degreed,” or if you are unlucky enough to be in a profession disproportionately hit by today’s economy.
Financial hardship and emotional duress overwhelm many of the un- and underemployed. We repeatedly heard stories of life savings exhausted, attempted suicide, and middle-aged adults moving in with their parents to make ends meet.
Americans are fed up with, and despairing of, the conditions we face in today’s economy. What has happened? Many people’s jobs have been outsourced to other countries. And now, some Americans are outsourcing themselves to other countries in order to be able to work.
After sifting through 1,199 stories we received from our members, we carefully selected a collection of stories we feel best define the experience of unemployed and under-employed Americans.
Great job. Also read the 5 myths about unemployment benefits. Excellent.
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