Kai Ryssdal: We’ll get the July unemployment report Friday morning. And whatever virtues it might have as an economic indicator, it has this key failing. It’s a number, a cold hard number. Nothing much personal about it.
We’ve been talking to 29-year-old Sondra Morin on and off for almost a year now. About being unemployed, then getting a job at the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, and we learned last week, being unemployed again. Sondra Morin, good to talk to you again.
Sondra Morin: Good to talk with you as well.
Ryssdal: So what happened? I’m sorry this isn’t under happier circumstances.
Morin: The office closed on June 30th. We were notified in mid-January that that was going to happen, so we did have a good heads up. But it’s an office of 88 people who lost their jobs.
Ryssdal: When they told you in January that this was coming this summer, how did you spend those six months? What was it like sort of knowing that this was all going to come to a crashing halt?
Morin: It was a shock, especially because I had just gone through all that. So that was a very, very recent turnaround, a very fast turnaround. I developed really good relationships with almost everyone in the office, so I ended up creating a wonderful network of people who will act as my references and vice-versa.
Ryssdal: I don’t want to minimize what I’m sure is a lousy experience, but you sound fairly upbeat.
Morin: Well, that might be personality. It also might be just kind of looking forward to opportunities on the horizon. It’s summer, my birthday is this week, so those are good things. But I mean, I need to find a job in the next six to eight months. That’s an absolute necessity. You can carry on with your life and pay your bills on unemployment for awhile, but it’s not necessarily contributing to a culture, society, the economy.
Ryssdal: You know those polls you see every now and then. You see them a lot in the presidential race, but you see them from time to time elsewhere about whether the country’s on the right track of wrong track economically, how do you answer sitting there right now in Chicago without a job?
Morin: I think it’s on the wrong track. I think that what I see happening are temporary solutions, Band-Aid solutions, but not long term, sustainable, job-creating solution.
Ryssdal: What happens, Sondra, if by Christmas you don’t have a job?
Morin: I will have a job.
Ryssdal: Sondra Morin, she’s in Chicago looking for a job. Sondra, thanks a lot.
Morin: Thank you so much.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.
make public service
Thank you for doing your part!