#MyJobsReport -- the view from one reader in Indiana

Posted by LDonia on 10/15/2013

Editors' note: When the government shut down a few weeks ago, the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics was deemed non-essential. Therefore, the jobs numbers it releases on the first Friday of every month went unreleased.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) regularly records and analyzes these numbers, as they are one of very few clues as to the state of the American manufacturing sector. AAM decided not to let the shutdown deter us from our own mission.

Instead, we reached out to you: our readers, supporters, and social media followers. We asked you to share with us your own personal jobs report, as you see and/or experience it each day. You all were happy to oblige. We documented on AAM's website some of the information you shared. (This material is constantly being updated.)

One email we received really stood out for us, and we decided that instead of sharing a snippet, we would share the whole thing. Here is that email in its entirety.

Dear AAM,

My story begins last October, 2012, and continues yet today.

Last October I was laid off work due to the economic slump. I had been employed for sixteen years for my sister and brother-in-law. For me, personally, it was a mixed blessing to be laid off from work. My father was declining with dementia and I had to help my mother with the steps necessary to be able to place him in a nursing home. And my mother was very ill herself which made me nursemaid to her for several weeks. My husband was running for a political office so I was doing all I could for him to become elected. My world was in constant commotion and I don’t know how I could have worked a full time job if I had one at that time.

As January rolled around I was becoming anxious to begin a new job somewhere! My outlook at getting called back to my prior employment was looking dismal. So the job searches continued. I really felt I would find something soon because of the experience I have in my field of work which is customer service. I’ve been working practically all of my life. My first employment began a few weeks after graduation from high school. I worked for 16 years before quitting that job, (due to having to be placed on 3rd shift work because this company was going through economic downturn), because I had no one to watch my kids at night as my husband was working 3rd shift where he was employed. After that job I worked for a time for a magazine company selling advertisements and then as an office manager for a local Youth for Christ office. At that time my brother-in-law contacted me asking to come and work for him giving me an opportunity to make really good money, be close to home, and work with my sister. I jumped on board! And now I am still jumping – only getting very tired of the jumping around trying to sell my SELF-WORTH so others can hire me.

I live in a smaller community and have applied to as many places that I felt would give me a similar kind of pay grade. But nothing has come of any of those applications. I have to turn in three job searches a week, according to the rules of Indiana Unemployment. I am still laid off so do the math… I have applied to a lot of jobs – mostly through online job search engines like Indeed.com. I am getting discouraged. I’ve only had 2 interviews during this whole process and both went really well and I really don’t know the reasons for not being hired – I am 55 years old and am beginning to feel it’s the age factor, though God forbid a company to not hire me for that reason, right?

Now I have made a decision to take some classes to get into the medical field. Our savings is dwindling and our way of living is changing and it’s getting harder to make ends meet. Don’t get me wrong, we are still paying our bills on time but there just is nothing much left over.

That’s my story… and it sucks to be unemployed and unappreciated for the many years of service I have given to people. I am grateful for being able to collect unemployment BUT it makes me feel scared to death to be on unemployment with all of the “fraud” warnings they push when you go online to apply each week. Don’t I deserve to get something back, for a small amount of time, without feeling criminal to receive benefits?

Thanks for listening.

-Connie S., IN

Thanks for the email, Connie, and good luck in your job search. If our readers have similar stories to share, we'd like to hear them as well. Please email them to info [at] aamfg [dot] org.

1 comment

Anonymous wrote 44 weeks 3 days ago

Lucky with work.

I am an experienced Merchandiser, thank God. I switched from a job that will not lead to full time to a job that will lead to full time after the first of the year. If I had not gotten into this field in 2004, I too would be seeking work of any kind today.
Hopefully more people get lucky like me.

Judy Ratliff

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