After 30 years of service to my employer, my position was eliminated. As I continue to seek employment and nearing the end of unemployment’s 26 week benefit, I am more concerned than ever that the unemployment numbers are completely inaccurate. I will soon not be counted in the low percentage rate that is touted for unemployment as are the others that did not find employment while collecting a benefit payment. Why is this figure presented when it is not even close to being accurate?
Terry Says: I agree that there’s a lot of strangeness in the unemployment numbers. In my speeches I use a graphic that shows that despite population growth, the workforce as a percent of population is shrinking. Many of those no longer considered “in the workforce” have stopped looking for work, or have become self-employed consultants, or have been forced to retire early. If they’re not counted, then the jobless number shrinks — leading to the belief that our economy isn’t in trouble. Maybe the economy isn’t — but these people certainly are. And you are about to fall into that category for the statistics.
On a personal basis, let me say that I’m going to assume you’re in your late 50s or 60s — and that means there are fewer, if any, job openings for you. That refers to “existing” jobs — as opposed to work that you might create for yourself. And that’s the key. Don’t go looking for a job. Think about what you can “do” that contributes to the well-being of others. Then figure out how you can “monetize” your skills — either as a consultant, or a teacher, or on a piece work basis — to earn enough so that you don’t have to dig into your retirement savings just yet. Every year you can postpone taking money from savings is a year the money can grow tax-deferred. And it will make a huge difference later in life. So get creative. People will pay for help in all kinds of areas — and you just have to figure out what you have to offer!