Welcome to our brave new world where unemployment issues are among the highest ranking searches on the Internet. Ohio has been one of the hardest hit in this down economy, and we are in a difficult unemployment situation struggling to recover since we have a strong foundation in manufacturing.
President Obama signed an extension of federally funded unemployment benefits in July of 2010. This has given a reprieve to those who cannot find a job after months of searching. This does nothing to help me find work here in Northeast Ohio, but it helps until a decent job comes along.
This extension primarily helps the unemployed people who have exhausted the maximum of 99 weeks unemployment compensation. This group is being called the “99 club”. I will join this club soon, though it is one I never knew existed. We are displaced workers from many walks of life with one thing in common, the jobs we had were downsized, or moved. The sad fact is many of these jobs will never return, and the workers with skills to perform those jobs are no longer needed.
Some families, like mine, were hit twice as hard, as my wife and I were both laid off in November of 2008. We found part time work, but we continue to search for jobs to help get us back to a secure financial standing. We both work when and where we can, and writing for Associated Content has been a big help. Still, doing odd jobs here and there, we are just making ends meet.
How is it that 99 weeks can go by and we still cannot find a full time job? Plenty of reasons, one being the continued lack of new jobs. According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, ODJFS, the latest unemployment data for Ohio reported on September 17th 2010 shows we had 10.1% unemployment in August 2010. Seeing this as a percentage does not reflect the real situation clearly, I prefer to see the total number of jobless people.
Facts: 10.1% unemployment in Ohio means there were 601,000 people out of work. This is down from 10.3% or 614,000 people, and last year in August we had 638,000 out of work, or 10.7% unemployment. These numbers don’t appear too bad when shown as a percent, but we have well over a half a million Ohioans out of work, and that really stands out!
Some of us are not getting hired, likely due to the fact we are close to or over 50 years old. I know that in these days of “political correctness” it is presumed that everyone is being treated equally, but it seems to me there are employers who look at us negatively. Who wants to take me in with all my years of knowledge, when they can hire someone for half my salary.
I have learned of other programs which help when financial crisis hits, and many require a very low income so they only impact a small number of the 99 club. The information we need for any of these programs is spread out over many offices with no connection between these programs information is not easily navigated.
Ohio now has one clearinghouse for many of the assistance programs all in one place. The state of Ohio has a link called “Ohiohereetohelp” it is a one stop location for the programs that unemployed workers need. There are also physical locations for clients who don’t have access to a computer.
So how can we get out of this unemployment mess? it is a really tough question, for us it involves some creative thinking and plenty of writing, plus a diversification of our work plan. We are taking on more smaller jobs, and are not relying on any one employer for our income or insurance. So far this has been the most challenging job situation we have ever faced, and I would not wish this on anyone.
It appears that there is help coming, and there are programs available for people who cannot find work, but it is a large, confusing assortment of programs, and understanding it all has been a difficult process for me and many others in similar situations. Until then we will carry on as we always have with our heads held high with an optimistic view that things will get better!
Thank you for reading my articles here on Associated Content-Yahoo!
President Obama press releases:
Detailed information on support programs and unemployment statistics please visit:
To get a one stop clearinghouse of programs that can help people in Ohio, please visit this site: