Rough Sailing for the Boat of Unemployment In This Difficult Economy
Whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or a waiter at Applebee's, job loss seems to be prevalent and on the rise amongst a wide variety of Americans.
Residents of unemployment limbo are staggeringly high and more people are experiencing the emotional stress over the hemorrhaging over our nation's jobs.
Santa Monica College seems to be a host for students that are feeling the heat and desperate for money in their pockets.
Students like Jack Marshals, one of the many students who have on countless occasions searched to get back on a payroll.
Searching for employment in the food industry, Marshals said, "Every place I go, they say they have enough people and are not hiring because of our economic crisis."
With the nations' economy deteriorating and a loss of 2.6 million jobs in the last 12 months, students are now coming face to face with the challenges of joblessness.
Yet high hopes are currently abounding due to President Obama's signing into law the American Recovery and Stimulus Act on February 17th.
An act comprised of $789 billion, it will create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years and induce economic growth. But many students are skeptical over the immediacy of the Stimulus Act and our nation's history of spending which has translated to no jobs.
Sophomore Daniel Kantor, 19, says, "My friend's father recently lost his job because of this crisis and I am starting to see the effects hit closer to home."
Although Kantor believes the new administration is making a great effort, he predicts that there won't be an immediate change or turn around until the end of the year.
However, in the face of fiscal tribulation people like Toya Moore, a facilitator at the Greater Los Angeles Career Expo, helps offer people a chance to meet face to face with top employers.
The Expo which is held at the Pasadena Convention Center three times a year (Spring, Summer, and Fall) provides a unique system which offers a chance for job hunters to network in one place by bringing exhibitors like Coca Cola Enterprises and the Los Angeles Police Department to them.
Moore said, "Don't be discouraged. There are jobs out there, you just have to have real expectations and network yourself."
Coming into contact with an overwhelming 1,000 jobless people at the Expo, Moore is fully acquainted with the procedures one must take to jump start people back into the cycle of employment.
"Contact maybe your local Chamber of Commerce and the particular industry that you are looking for," Moore suggests. "They can connect you with other companies and you can network that way. Start making relationships. Also, you can visit www.linkedin.com, which is a professional website for people looking for jobs."
As for the nation's stimulus bill, Moore says "all of those lay offs that they announced, we haven't even seen that yet. It's going to get worse before it gets better and then there will be a huge hiring frenzy."
Consequently, many students are now using the school resources at the Career Service Center in hopes of finding work.
Faculty member Lisa Moss said "we are seeing more foot traffic these days. Over one hundred students a week are now looking for on-campus jobs." Due to convenience and a surge in unemployment, students are using the Career Service Center more than ever to explore their career options as well as seek individual career counseling.
Another student who can attest to the hardships of unemployment is sophomore Courtney Carthon, 19, who said "the key is to budget as best as you can as well as not going out as much."
Carthon admits to also not spending even a quarter of what she used to when she had a job, which she has said makes a huge difference.
She claims it also helps her realize she doesn't have to spend that much money just to get by.
While it is clear that there has been fervent reaction and tireless devotion (at times met unrewarded) amongst students over the loss and clamor for work, an upside is that people are attaching less of a stigma to joblessness.
Santa Monica students may feel less disheartened knowing there are over 600,000 Americans in the same boat drifting in uncharted waters.
Lets just hope the current moves strongly in our favor for an early dock.