Are you out of work? Laid off? Or worse, fired (these days most employers don’t even need a reason)? If so, my prayers are with you.
If not, then you’d better get down on your knees and start praying for yourself! For every day we wake up with an office to scurry to is a blessing.
New unemployment numbers from the Department of Labor released today show 651,000 jobs were lost just last month, bringing today’s unemployment rate to 8.1 percent.
While dismal enough, unfortunately the situation is actually far worse. What many fail to realize is that the unemployment rate is the percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment. It does not include the millions of people that have lost their jobs and now forced to work part-time. Nor does it include the millions of people who are, indeed, unemployed, but, for whatever reason, have given up on trying to find a job. When you throw in those numbers – 8.6 million part-timers and 2.1 million discouraged workers, according to the labor department – you get a total of 23.2 million people out of work!
Economists predict the current rate of job loss will continue for at least a few more months until the effects of the president’s $800 billion economic stimulus package can even begin to be felt.
But, if we learned anything from the Katrina tragedy, if you’re waiting on the government to bail you out or throw you some kind of financial life jacket, you’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt.
The truth is everyone can say, with some degree of certainty, that things will get worse – but no one actually knows how much worse. My advice: don’t wait around to see.
Start preparing yourself for the “what if…” right now. Even if you’re like me, and don’t have a lot of money – and certainly not a lot tied up in stocks and bonds and things like that – there are quite a few things us average, everyday people can do to protect ourselves and families.
Here are some helpful links on how…
- 25 tips for hard times The Toronto Star (This is my favorite. Most practical.)
- Preparing for a recession wisebread.com
- Tips for surviving a recession The San Francisco Chronicle