🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

Checking in with the newly unemployed

Mitchell Hartman Jun 1, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Checking in with the newly unemployed

Mitchell Hartman Jun 1, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Stacey Vanek Smith: Economists expect the unemployment rate in May to stay right around 8.1 percent. That number gets a lot of attention, but it can be a little abstract.

So we sent Mitchell Hartman to a job center in Portland, Oregon to talk with people who are just hitting the unemployment lines.  


Mitchell Hartman: People become unemployed every day, for all kinds of reasons — some having nothing to do with the recession or business conditions.

Take Kara Kay. She’s a hospice caregiver.

Kara Kay: I worked for a wonderful woman for about two years and she passed away a week ago, so I’m unemployed.

But she’s not worried — not yet. Her kids are grown. She gets about $250 a week on unemployment.

Kay: And I do have a savings account — there’s a phenomenal concept for you.
Hartman: And what are you looking for?
Kay: Now that’s a good question. I’m going to be 55 next month. I’ve done this for 23 years. I’m very good at what I do. And I’m also very tired of it. It’s difficult physically, it’s difficult mentally and emotionally, it’s exhausting spiritually, and because I’m unemployed, I have the option of being retrained.

Kay’s eager to get on with that. The days of federal unemployment benefits stretching out nearly two years are over. Her checks from the state will probably run out in 6 months.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.