« 'Confronting Old Problem May Require a New Deal' | Main | 'Where is the Land of Opportunity? Intergenerational Mobility in the US' »

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Unemployment is Hellish

A follow-up to the post below this on how politicians have turned their backs on the unemployed:

New research reveals that unemployment is especially hellish in the U.S., by Kathleen Geier: ...I am one of those long-term unemployed you keep hearing about...
I’ve interviewed for some great jobs, and I’ve made it to the final stage several times. A few weeks ago, for my dream job, I was one of the final two people they considered — but then of course, they decided to go with the other person. I always hear, “We really liked you!” “We were so impressed!” But someone else always turns out to be a “better fit.” Always! It’s beyond frustrating. ... “Someone else was a better fit” — story of my life. ...
I’ve gone through episodes of deep depression and intense anxiety over this — you have no idea. Some day, somewhere else I will write about it all at length, but the Catch-22 is that I don’t want to do so until I find permanent work. I mean, I don’t want to become the internet’s poster child for unemployment — otherwise I’m afraid the stigma of being unemployed will stick and I’ll never land a job. I survive the horror day to day by keeping myself busy with other things, and by trying not to think about it too much. Denial is a coping strategy, people! Also, “one day at a time” may well be the best life advice anyone has ever given me about anything.
But this stretch — going on 18+ months now — of long-term unemployment is by far the most shattering, soul-destroying, traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced in my adult life, and that includes a heartbreaking divorce. I hope, one day, to write more about my personal story and explain just why long-term unemployment is so devastating. But for now, please take my word for it. Most important of all, please understand this is not just about me. There are millions more like me, who are experiencing mind-boggling levels of psychic distress in this labor market, and who are financially just hanging on by a thread. The suffering caused by this economy has been immense. It inflicts deep damage and it leaves scars. You can trust me on that one.

    Posted by on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM in Economics, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (29)


    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.