rest in Aurora, OH   0.0 miles

For the first time in my life I join the ranks of the unemployed. The paperwork involved is baffling. The hoops I must jump through for an unacceptably-low unemployment check are insulting.

Even in the best of the time jobs are not plentiful in the news industry unless one is willing to pick up and move, often a great distance. It seems an insane waste to require the unemployed to file applications they know will not yield a job, or for a position they are unqualified for or uninterested in accepting. But this is the process.

Sadly I am not alone in this futile job search. Though the official unemployment rate is just below 10 percent, I’ve been informed that the number excludes a great many people. It does not count those who were forced to accept part-time work; who have been unemployed for so long they are no longer eligible for benefits; or are too discouraged to continue looking.

We are a far cry from the 25 percent unemployment experienced during the Great Depression. But even worse than the numbers of unemployed is the fear and despair among those who have a job. Such fear paves the way for worker exploitation and downward pressure on wages. We must remain vigilant that we do not allow competition for limited resources to breed fear.

–By Jennifer E. Cooper