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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yes, Twenty Million People DID Lose Their Jobs in 2012!

Trent Hamm, writing at The Simple, referenced my post about the number of people who were laid off or discharged in 2012.  (That link at the Simple Dollar site is no longer active.)  Hamm writes:  

As found on HERE!

According to this survey, 68% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Two out of every three adults living in the United States would suffer significant challenges if their next paycheck were delayed or absent.
In 2012, about 20,500,000 Americans lost their jobs, according to this data analysis. Even if you don’t perfectly agree with that analysis, you can’t argue that the number is somewhere in the ballpark. 2012 was actually a very low year for job loss, too. 
Thus, at some point in 2012, about 13 million Americans faced a crisis in which they lost their job and they were so financially weak that they faced immediate hardships without their next paycheck. That’s about one in twelve adults. 
Staying afloat just isn’t enough. 
In a given year, about one in eight adults is going to lose their employment position. If you’re one of the majority of Americans who would struggle if you lost your job and missed even a paycheck, you’re adding a gigantic risk to your life.

If you are one of the twenty million who will get a pink slip... 

Trent goes on to make some great points about being prepared for the worst:  If you turn out to be one of those twenty million who does get one of those pink slips this year, make sure you are ready!

Unemployment IS going down; we've added millions of jobs the past two years, and an increasing number of people are working full-time vs. part-time. But-- many people don't realize that there is tremendous "churn" in the workforce what with seasonal jobs, part-time jobs, and companies opening and closing.  Even in the job growth year of 2012, over 20 million people got pink slips!  Now many more quit (about 25 million) and even more were hired (about 52 million), but it seems prudent both to have a solid rainy day fund AND to have one foot out the door of your current employer with your resume updated just in case, which is what Trent discusses in his article. 

I know too many hard-working people with valuable degrees and solid work histories who have been laid off just in the past two years after the worst of this recession. If they are older (50 or 55 plus), they generally are not finding jobs equivalent to their previous job.. if they are finding jobs at all. 

I left a comment and added a couple of suggestions:
  • I really don't think that two months of living expenses is enough, though that depends on whether or not you have a working spouse or partner. Also remember that if the economy ever takes a nosedive, as it did in 2008, two months living expenses is really peanuts. Six months to a year might be better. Remember that most people whose homes went into recession in 2008-2009 didn't have adjustable mortgages or fraudulent mortgages or foreclosures; they lost their homes the old fashioned way: They lost their jobs, couldn't find new ones, and went through whatever savings they had.
  • Trent talks about "Building Your Resume Now" and not wasting time at work.  I would suggest not wasting time AFTER work either. Take a course that can add value to current or future employers. Learn a skill online that you can add to your resume. Start a mini-business that can perhaps turn into a full-time business. Keep in touch with former work friends. Plan on spending 5-10 hours a week outside of work on activities that can make you more valuable to future employers.. or to yourself. Schedule that time. 

Unfortunately, we can no longer count on the jobs that we have and, increasingly, everybody is expendable.

For People Fighting Debt and Bad Habits: 

Please visit Trent Hamm's site  The Simple Dollar "for (people) who need both cents and sense: People fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds – we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money."

(Hamm has also written a book entitled The Simple Dollar and subtitled:  "How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of his Dreams.")

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