"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," wrote Charles Dickens in his 1859 classic, A Tale of Two Cities. Today, very few would say that these are the best of times. The only ones saying that would be a few hundred Wall Streeters, oil and gold speculators, retiring company executive CEOs with their golden parachutes, and some of the recipients of the TARP and ARRA bailout monies of 2008-2009.
With approximately 14.7 million, or 9.5% of Americans unemployed as of the end of June 2009, almost everyone would say that these are among the worst of times ever experienced by most people living in the United States today. (Experts say that if the government statistics included those who have given up on their job searches entirely, and those who have given up their search for full-time employment to take temporary part-time jobs, the numbers would be even higher...try 16% +) Experts agree that the numbers are likely to increase over the last several months of 2009. Unfortunately, at this point, things aren't looking much better for 2010.
During the Great Depression of 1929-1941, a full 25% of the American workforce was unemployed. No jobs were available.
If you are employed...
1. Be Thankful for Your Job
Some statistics indicate that more than two thirds of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs. But, there are millions of people who are desperate to have a job exactly like yours. You may not have a perfect job, very few people do. You may dislike your job, you have a terrible boss, your pay may be crummy, and you may feel that you are under-employed, but you still have a job. With millions of unemployed people looking for work, be thankful for your job.
2. Work Hard to Keep Your Job
You may have to fight to keep your job. No, not a physical or verbal fight, but a fight as outlined in the book featured above: Layoff Proof Your Job. Do everything within your power to remain employed. There are some exceptions, but times of economic distress are not usually good times to change jobs.