In the spirit of the season, House Republicans have said “Bah-humbug!” and have cut unemployment benefits. This is taking shape in New York City, Los Angeles, Michigan, and everywhere else in the nation. News channel 3 WWMT out of Michigan reports that MI Governor Jennifer Granholm is “urging Congress to pass the legislation (extending unemployment benefits another 3 months).” According to WWMT’s reporting nearly 143,000 MI residents will lose their unemployment benefits on December 1.
Just in time for Christmas.
Still, this seems to be the dividing line in the sand. The virtual never-ending string of unemployment benefits has been a sticking point for lawmakers. While the outgoing Democratic majority were trying to throw their constituents one final Hail Mary in the hopes that 2011 brings plenty of jobs for everyone, it looks like it’s going to be a long cold winter for everyone everywhere who are on unemployment.
Always trying to see the glass half-full, I hope this news will be good news for my search for work. I have been unemployed (voluntarily, mind you) since September, 2007. It’s a little stark to look at that information and think that I haven’t had a full time job in more than 3 years, but it is what it is. I have picked up small temp work here and there but the work is just not there.
By way of how I stopped working and me and my wife’s transient lifestyle, I have been unable to even collect unemployment. However this news of benefits running out gives me hope. You’d figure that when these longest on unemployment lose their benefits, they will be mad. They will be fed up and they will galvanize the hiring masses to loosen the purse strings. That’s the only hope I’ve got for any kind of consistent work.
Right now my wife and I are staying with a friend and she’s commuting to work in New York City. But even her job is a big pay cut from the type of work she’s accustomed to. There is no realistic way we could ever make a return assault on New York City living (or anywhere for that matter) unless people begin hiring again.
I fall somewhere in that crevice of “too qualified and too liable for flight” from the menial hourly work to “not enough recent relevant experience” for more advanced salaried jobs. That and I stopped working at exactly the wrong moment.
What needs to happen, just so the lawmakers in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Michigan, and everywhere else understand, is that businesses need to be given a reason to want to hire. Capital needs to be available, tax breaks need to be extended, gridlock needs to stop, and businesses need to have confidence that there is enough of a demand for their products and services.
If 143,000 in Michigan who could end up on the welfare lines isn’t enough of an impetus, consider the millions and millions everywhere else.