Friday, October 30, 2009


For the past couple of days, the radio has been telling me that the recession is over.

Gentle readers, this is news to me. A (near) year of unemployment. My savings dwindling down. No real idea as to what will happen in the next few months. The countdown to my unemployment running out is on.

But the recession is over.

The government has launched a website called where you can see where all the stimulus money is going. You can even search the country by zip code - cool for New York, as you can really see how it's affecting your neighborhood - but. But. But.

The radio also keeps telling me that this will be a jobless recovery. How can we be expected to spend money to stimulate the economy if there are no jobs for us?

It's all well and good that they are trying to create jobs. Wonderful. But they are only in a few sectors, and, unfortunately, in New York City they are not necessarily in the sectors that are hurting.

During the Great Depression, FDR created the WPA, which stimulated the economy by creating real jobs. In fact, pretty much everyone who was unemployed was eligible for some kind of job under this bill - they restored old buildings, artists created giant murals, the pool at McCarren park was built during this time and it even eventually offered job training. The thing that the WPA did that our current stimulus program is not really doing was offer relief to white-collar workers. I think it's great to offer training to people who previously didn't have that kind of education and building infrastructure through construction jobs is important, too. I'm not really knocking the current stimulus. But, for an already educated person, living in NYC, it doesn't really do anything to help me in my job hunt.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of jobs lost in NYC were jobs in the fashion industry and the arts and on Wall Street - and not the high paid jobs, but the assistant designers and the secretaries and the office managers and event organizers - and those are the people that are currently being overlooked (those are the people whose jobs are being turned into internships). That's the kind of job I had. That's the kind of job that I know a lot of people who read my blog and follow me on Twitter and are a fan on Facebook were laid off from and are currently looking for. But it's not the kind of job that's being helped by the current stimulus. There is a lot of talk about the rich Wall Street people that lost jobs. And there is a lot of talk about people who were living below the poverty line who lost there jobs. And every now and then you see something about the middle class. But not much. And, in my opinion, those are the people who are going to be out of work the longest, because there is just not that much that is being done to help them.

But, ring the bells and throw a freakin' ticker tape parade, dear ones, cos the recession is over.


  1. Can I boo and hiss under my breath while I throw confetti? Oooh, can I get paid for throwing some confetti?

  2. wow, your post sums up perfectly what i felt when i read those articles about the recession being over yesterday. while i did have my first interview in 8 months yesterday, it still seems like i'm a long long way off from even beginning to have the same life that i used to have before i get laid off. hang in there!

  3. It's more about basic economics and accounting, really. A vast majority of companies had a bad year and are still sloughing off jobs to try and get themselves out of the red. If the economy is turning around now, it will take company hiring budgets time to recover. It won't be instantaneous, economically. The employment situation will likely remain bleak until companies, large and small, can get back on their feet.

    Also, money is available for people who want to learn a new trade and to do something that can get them out of the house for several weeks and possibly network with classmates. I think this is part of the stimulus efforts. Some decent places take vouchers like Noble Desktop and Pace University. People should take advantage! Otherwise there are thousands of dollars just sitting there, unused.

    So all is not lost! There is hope and there are options for people out there. :)

  4. Yeah- the money that is out there is a New York State effort, not a national one. New York State has actually done a lot to help those affected by the downturn - and I totally agree that people should take as much advantage as possible!

    The national government, on the other hand - which is where the "stimulus" money is coming from - has not made the same strides that our own (usually really log-jammed, f*d up) state has. Unfortunate for a lot of other Americans (writing this from the school lab computer - where I am doing my homework in hopes of developing new skills for the job market :) !)