Hard Times as Over 14 Million People Look for Work
Consolidated Credit Offers Tips for Survival
Over 14 million people are unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 5.3 million and the average unemployment rate is 10 percent. As a call to action, Consolidated Credit offers advice and strategies for the unemployed.
New layoffs are announced every day and more companies are expected to cut payrolls in the months ahead. Counselors at Consolidated Credit are answering a record number of phone calls from distraught consumers who are looking for help.
Call volume at Consolidated Credit has risen 50 percent over this time last year and the organization is bracing themselves for a record number of people seeking assistance. “With jobless rates in 2009 up in all 50 states many Americans may face a grim reality in 2010. Many unemployment offices across the nation will find themselves pushed to the limit. Consumers are having a very difficult time paying their bills.
Among the states, Michigan had the highest unemployment rate at 14.7 percent. Rhode Island is the next highest with an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent, followed by Nevada and California, both at a 12.3 percent unemployment rate.
The long-term unemployed (those unemployed for more than 27 weeks) accounted for 39.8percent of total unemployment. The newly unemployed-those who were jobless fewer than 5 weeks-dropped from 28.8 percent to 19 percent in December 2009.
Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events. There are both practical and emotional sides to losing a job. On the practical side, you’re faced with how you will pay your bills and find a new job. On the emotional side, you may feel ashamed, betrayed, or angry that you’ve lost your job. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and take actions that may affect you for years to come.
On the other hand, in the long run, losing your job may open the opportunity for you and your family to pull together, do some of the financial planning you’ve been putting off, and perhaps even to find better paying or more satisfying work.
Consolidated Credit’s Tips for Surviving a Layoff:
- Take Advantage of Available Programs. You might be eligible for unemployment insurance and in some states you might be eligible for training, loans, or unemployment while you set up your own business.
- Find Part-Time Work. Part-time work should allow time and flexibility to pursue your job search. You primary job is to find full time permanent employment.
- Slash Your Budget. Cut as many expenses as possible. Cut down dry cleaning, cable, the house cleaner, and newspapers and magazines that will not aid you in finding a job.
- Phone Bill. Make sure to call when you’re paying the cheapest per minute prices for long distance.
- Utility Bill. Turn off lights in unused rooms and cut back on your shower time. You’re not going to save tons of cash with even overzealous energy bill squeezing, but for the unemployed, no sum saved is too small.
- Groceries. Visit the supermarket and shop with a well-prepared list. Oh, and avoid the cookie aisle.
- Interest Rates. If you’ve already got credit card debt, or you think you soon will, seek out a new credit card with a lower interest rate and transfer your outstanding balances immediately. Read all fine print and find out what the balance transfer fee is before you complete a transaction. If you are unable to use a balance transfer investigate credit counseling options.
Consolidated Credit is a federally approved, non-profit 501(c) 3 agency dedicated to helping people prevent and solve personal money management difficulties through educational programs, personal debt counseling, and by providing free nonpartisan information via the Internet. We have assisted hundreds of thousands of individuals and families with life-altering credit, debt, and financial issues.