On Being Unemployed In A Recession

These days you cannot fail to hear the phrases “Economic Downturn”, “Recession” and “Credit Crunch” everytime you turn on your TV, listen to the radio or read a newspaper. All of these phrases mean the same thing no matter where you live on this planet, the good times have ended and it’s time to face up the harsh reality that when the going gets tough the working man gets laid off!

In a bid to survive the failing economy many companies are considering laying off their workforce to reduce overheads and protect their “bottom line”, or for those facing serious financial difficulty, going into administration leaving thousands of people out of work.

For many people out there 2009 will be regarded as a return to the bad old days of the last recession of the early 90’s, and the painful memories of that time. For those who were too young to remember the first time this will be a painful wake up call.

My first encounter with unemployment was in the mid 80’s, I’d just left school and couldn’t get a job for the usual reasons e.g. no experience, not qualified, too young etc. I spent 5 years on unemployment benefit under the Thatcher government, ready able and willing to work but unwanted. Back then there wasn’t so much pressure for you to take a job as there were some 3,000,000 other people also out of work.

Fast forward to 2009 and the unemployed total is rapidly approaching the 2,000,000 mark depending on which calulator the government is using to calculate the jobless figure. Suddenly it’s like someone turned the clock back 20 years, only this time things are a little different. This time its on a global scale…

So what’s my story, well after spending 11 years in Education and 8 years in the manufacturing industry I decided that it was time for a change. I decided to switch to the construction industry which I thought would lead to bigger and better things. Sadly, it was not to be, the job was not what I expected and at the end of October 2008 I found myself back on the job market.

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