With one year to go before the 2012 general election and on the heels of October’s jobless report, Yahoo! News asked readers and contributors to share their personal employment stories. Below is one perspective.
FIRST PERSON | While the release of the October unemployment statistics didn’t bring welcome news, it certainly was not unexpected news for me.
I’ve not been employed full-time since May 2007. I’ve been luckier than many as the unemployment rate stayed at 9 percent throughout the country. Here in Centerburg, Ohio, I am actually working outside the home occasionally even if I don’t have a full-time job.
A year ago, my boyfriend and I were unemployed and ran a seasonal business from our home. In addition to that, he did mowing and handyman work when he could find it. Today, he is employed full-time and I carry a full-time course load at a community college and work primarily from home.
2011 was a difficult year for us. My boyfriend found a position through a temporary agency at the end of January. His hours fluctuated, but he was eventually hired full-time in August. I remained committed to running our home bakery for another year. However, after four successful seasons, we made the difficult decision to close our business. I was working nearly 40 hours to turn a profit of less than $100 a week.
I’ve been primarily self-employed since 2007 with a few part-time jobs in between and no unemployment compensation. At 46, with no college degree but a lot of life experience, I’ve not received much interest in my job queries. That was the key to deciding to go back to school this year, in addition to qualifying for grants and scholarships.
When I last worked full-time as an operations manager for Reliant Inventory, I was making about $35,000 a year. Since that time, I’ve never grossed more than $10,000 and I’m on track to make that amount again this year.
With only one vehicle, it is difficult for me to search for full-time work outside the home. Fortunately, the housing market in central Ohio has picked up some and the low interest rates have led to an upsurge in mortgage refinances. This has led to a part-time, temporary job with a title agency since July. I’m not on a regular schedule and mostly come in to help out when someone is on vacation or medical leave. I’ve also worked on days that a heavy workload is anticipated.
I know that I can’t call these occasional days a real job, but being able to pick up any work these days is a welcome experience.
As I watch the political climate, I’m listening closely to what the candidates are saying. I don’t expect the government to create jobs. What I do expect the government to do is reward those who do create jobs with regulations and a tax code that makes sense and punish those who take their jobs overseas with higher taxes.
The current class of Washington lawmakers is not making a workable plan to restore the American economy and reduce unemployment. I’ve not yet seen a common-sense approach from any current or prospective member of government. I have one year to research the candidates for the 2012 election. At that time, I will vote for the candidate who cares about real people and the concerns of real people rather than those who curry favor with lobbyists at my expense.