What is Germany doing that the US is not?

According to this Canada Business article the German unemployment rate continues to drop and is currently at 6.9% while the number of people on unemployment has also dropped by some 67,000. Perhaps the US should look at what they are doing in that country. It couldn’t hurt.

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A wandering fate

Here is an article about a local homeless man. He spends a lot of time in the library where I work. It is a sad story, of course. Up until the age of 25 this man was living his life, and doing well. And then one day he was fired from his job for making a mistake with a client. One lousy mistake. Okay, maybe it was a big mistake. I don’t know. But still… And like that his life crumbled. He is now 31 years old, according to the article. I often wondered about him, how he ended up this way. Now I know.

Sometimes, when I wake in the gray morning light and I can’t get back to sleep I worry that this will be my fate as well, a lost soul wandering aimlessly, no home, no direction, no purpose. Sigh….

Unemployment news not good…

…according to this article from Las Vegas Sun.

 

The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by the most in a month, signaling growing weakness in the job market.

Applications rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the second increase in three weeks and the 11th straight week that applications have been above 400,000.

 

Unfortunately, I’ll be adding to this number come August. Sigh…..

Of course this effects the stock market:

Stocks appeared to be headed for another losing day. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 175 points in early-morning trading.

 

And caused The Fed to adjust unemployment forecast numbers:

The Federal Reserve acknowledged on Wednesday that the economy has slowed in recent months. Fed officials also said in a statement summing up their two-day meeting that “recent labor market indicators have been weaker than anticipated.”

As a result, the Fed reduced its forecast for employment and growth this year. It projects that unemployment at the end of 2011 will be around 8.6 percent to 8.9 percent. That’s more pessimistic than its forecast from two months ago, which had put the unemployment rate at 8.4 percent to 8.7 percent by year’s end.

 

 

It seems to be…

… part of my new routine to wake up wracked with anxiety. Before, especially this past winter, I could hardly drag my ass out of bed. Now, I’m waking up earlier and earlier. No doubt the change in weather has something to do with that. Also, going off my meds I think has made a difference. I don’t mind waking up early. I always used to. But the anxiety I could do without. Of course, that no doubt is related to my impending lay off. Each day is another day closer to me being jobless.

Yesterday was hard. Probably because the day before had been quite stressful, what with the phone interview I had, which turned out to be disappointing because it is only temporary contract work. And I know, I know, I told myself I wasn’t going to stress about it — there was no point. But I can’t seem to help it.

Later in the evening on Monday, after my interview, I was able to find three jobs to apply for. That made me feel good, better anyway.  But yesterday I found nothing. I hate when I can’t take any action towards finding a new job. It makes me feel  helpless, and that makes me feel hopeless.

If the unemployment situation weren’t so bad I might not be so stressed, but the fact is that it is. I know one guy that it took 8 months to find a new job, and he had to relocate to a new state. Another guy I know is going on 6 months and is still looking. Others have been searching even longer — years even. That is not encouraging.

I suppose that I got my hopes up a bit too much with this phone interview deal. I allowed myself to believe prematurely that I could simply walk right from this job into a new one, a better one. What are the chances of that in this job market?

Well, nothing to do be press on. At least I can enjoy this weekend with my daughter as we travel to visit my brother and his family.

Too good to be true

Had a phone interview today. It went pretty well, I think. I was pretty excited about it. It was for a Jr. Editor position with a market research firm. I thought it would be a good way to get my foot in the door in marketing. Besides, editing is right up my alley, what with my English degrees and my editing experience. But then I found out that the position is only temporary contract. There’s a slight chance that it could become permanent later, but I think that chance is slim. I was disappointed to say the least. Still, I have to at least consider it. The pay rate would be higher than what I making now but there’s no benefits. Perhaps that is the nature of the new market. If I did take it it would be experience, if nothing else. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. I can’t help wondering how it would effect my unemployment. We’ll see. Won’t know if they’ll want me for a face-to-face interview until after 4th of July weekend. So there’s not point stressing about it right now. Instead, I can concentrate on enjoying this weekend, which my daughter and I  will be spending with my brother and his family in Indianapolis.

Running the Application Gauntlet

Just sent out a couple of emails with resume attachments for a job lead I got over the weekend. The is the first time I’ve had contacts inside the company (thanks to Colleen). Previously, every job I’ve applied for has involved me posting my resume and cover letter via a company’s web site. You just got to figure that there are hundreds of resumes being posted for each available position. How do the people responsible for weeding through these materials manage, is what I want to know? And what the hell are the chances that they’ll notice my resume. It is very discouraging.

I read somewhere recently that the best thing to do is to identify the person who would likely be your boss and FedEx them a hard copy of your resume and cover letter. But one has to wonder how effective this is. People are busy. There’s a reason they have these online databases. I mean, what’s to keep them from just tossing the damn thing out of sheer annoyance.  Still, what else are you supposed to do.

Another thing I read advised being creative by sending a hiring manager an egg timer with a note that says give me just five minutes of your time and blah blah blah blah. Or buy Starbucks cards as a way of breaking the ice. That can get expensive. I’m just imaging hiring managers all over the U.S. with pile of plastic egg timers in their waste baskets.