The recession has hit hard here in Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola, being a military town, always had a problem generating manufacturing jobs and attracting large corporations to the area. Tourism, retail, and small businesses make up for most of the workforce in our area. Since the start of the recession, Pensacola’s unemployment rate jumped from 6.3 percent in September 2008, to 10.7 percent in September of 2010.
Without new jobs, Pensacola’s recovery will be slow going in the coming year. Many small businesses had to cut salaries and staff due to banks tightening their grip on lending out loans. Consumers are spending less money, which is affecting all business sectors of our local economy.
Families have also been affected by the recession. With the huge number of job losses in our region, families are having a difficult time adjusting to a totally different lifestyle. People are not able to pay their bills and mortgages and not having enough money to put food on the table. The recession has affected every age group in the Pensacola area. I see people that once held good paying jobs and are now out of work applying for work at fast food establishments and competing with 100’s more job seekers for that one position. Many families are filing for bankruptcy which is on the rise in our region. Many hard working citizens have lost their health coverage and are afraid to see a doctor knowing they can’t pay the bill.
Our crime rate has been steadily increasing due to people out of work and not being able to provide for their family. Robberies are occurring on a daily basis with no end in sight. Domestic violence has seen a sharp increase in our area. Husbands are abusing their wives on account of not having enough money and spending more than they should.
With the recession and high unemployment rate in the Pensacola metro area, there is more traffic on the roads as well as accidents. Drivers seem to be getting easily angry towards others as well as showing impatience. The Waterfront Rescue Mission, the city’s homeless shelter is bursting at its seams and running out of room. There are more homeless families on the horizon than ever before. Families that at one time had good paying jobs and nice homes are finding themselves out on the street looking for a place to stay and food for the night not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
The Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in Pensacola is helping many folks from all walks of life in providing a hot meal for the less fortunate caught up in the recession.
The only good news and upside to this story is that small neighborhoods have come together to give a helping hand to each other.