Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: An uncertain future after jobless benefits expire

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    13,467

    Default An uncertain future after jobless benefits expire

    An uncertain future after jobless benefits expire - Yahoo! News


    Unemployed bartender Bud Meyers sits at his computer where he spends most of his time blogging, Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 in Las Vegas. More than two years after Meyers lost his job as a Las Vegas Strip bartender and nearly eight months after he exhausted his unemployment benefits, the 55-year-old is certain he will soon be homeless. He is among a growing number of people who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits because they have been out of work for so long.

    LAS VEGAS The portraits of his dead father are among the few mementoes Bud Meyers is certain he will take with him when he is forced from his home of five years next month because he cannot pay the rent.

    His prized collection of mystery novels, the bedroom set he was once proud to purchase new and anything else that can't fit into the trunk of a car must be left behind.

    More than two years after Meyers lost his job as a Las Vegas Strip bartender and nearly eight months after he exhausted his unemployment benefits, it has come to this: a careful inventory of a life's possessions and the hopeless embrace of a future as a middle-aged homeless man.

    "I can't believe this is happening to my life," Meyers, 55, said on a recent afternoon, as he surveyed the one-bedroom apartment he must soon abandon. "It's a social holocaust."

    Meyers, who is single and childless, is among a growing number of men and women who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits because they have been out of work for so long.

    "Exhaustees" or "99ers" as they are sometimes called are searching for work and help across the United States. But their situation seems particularly bleak in Nevada, where unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosure rates are the highest in the nation and job creation is at a crawl. The "99er" moniker refers to those who've gone beyond the maximum weeks of benefits available, but many people don't qualify for the full 99-week period.

    More than 30,000 Nevadans have exhausted their benefits and hundreds more are expected to join those ranks this year, with the state's average length of unemployment climbing to more than eight months in December, according to state data.

    The response from Washington has been muted. A law passed last month that restored the federal emergency unemployment program through the end of 2011 did not account for exhaustees.

    Meanwhile, efforts to extend benefits for 20 more weeks in states with unemployment rates of 10 percent or higher have mostly met silence.

    "People that are unemployed, particularly in hard-hit states like Nevada, they are not spoiled," said Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Las Vegas Democrat who introduced a measure to extend benefits. "They are not lazy. They are not hobos. It is just the economy is so bad that there aren't enough jobs out there."

    The Silver State's unemployment rate grew to 14.5 percent in December. In the Las Vegas area, where most Nevadans live, it soared to 14.9 percent. In Reno, the rate climbed to 13.8 percent from 13.3 the month before. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Transportation, warehousing and utility industries continued to shed jobs in Nevada. Gambling revenue, the lifeblood of Las Vegas, fell by 4.7 percent in November.

    At best, Nevada's economy shows uneven signs of growth, said Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    "People have stopped looking for work," he said. "They don't think they will find" a job.

    Caught with no income and a recurring flood of unpaid bills, the chronically unemployed are overwhelming charitable groups.

    At the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, a Las Vegas work placement center, the number of people asking for help has doubled to 1,000 this year since 2007. Staff members can only do so much for those who have been unemployed for years, said Development Coordinator Rachel Santos.

    "These are some of the hardest to employ," she said. "We can't create jobs. We can't do anything magical."

    The Goodwill of Southern Nevada said more than 5,600 people asked for career guidance in 2010, up 30 percent from the year before. Roughly 25 percent of those people no longer qualified for unemployment benefits, said CEO Steve Chartrand.

    "One of the things we offer is hope," he said. "Many people come in really feeling down and out and our staff will take the time to listen to them."

    But for some 99ers, the time for hope has passed.

    Meyers initially welcomed his termination in October 2008 as a vacation from the daily grind of catering to tip-hungry cocktail waitresses and standing behind a crowded bar. He raided his $30,000 rainy-day fund and cut back on luxuries such as new clothes and hair cuts.

    But as more people lost their jobs and the stock market teetered, Meyers became panicked. The casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, where he had worked his way up from a lowly bar-back to a comfortable $1,100 weekly wage, seemed reluctant to hire a pudgy, gray-haired bartender over the flocks of young women competing for the same jobs.

    The one time he was called to an interview, his inexperience with mixing mojitos, a trendy mint-fused drink unheard of in the unassuming Vegas era that drew him to Sin City, cost him the opportunity, he said.

    He all but emptied his checking account this month to make rent. With the remaining $56, he bought groceries a pie, some bread, milk, coffee and penned a notice to his friends on Facebook:

    "I'm tired of being made to feel like dirt because I lost my job," he wrote. "Only three more weeks, and I won't be tired any longer."

    It was not so much a suicide note, he said days later, but a cry for help.

    His friends have unsuccessfully urged him to seek counseling.

    "I feel like he is desolate and he is at the end of his rope," said Jacqueline Decker, who also has exhausted her unemployment benefits. "We each have our own hell."

    Robert Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York, said it is not uncommon for 99ers to grapple with depression.

    "You certainly get stuck in a negative thought over and over again," said Leahy, who studies depression. "The longer you are unemployed, the more evidence you think you have that you will never get a job."

    Meyers' pessimism was somewhat softened recently by a display of altruism. A stranger who heard of his Facebook posting invited him to stay in her guest room if he is evicted. She, too, is unemployed.

    He doesn't see it as a solution that can last.

    He calculates that it will take three days of not having access to a shower before he is shunned on the street. He pictures police officers rousting him from the sidewalk. He wonders what he will eat.

    "It's bad enough being 55 and clean and unemployed," Meyers said. "Can you imagine being dirty and unemployed? There's no going back from that."

  2. #2
    Elite Member NoNoRehab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    LYNWOOD JAIL
    Posts
    3,034

    Default

    I was unemployed for a long time in 2009 - articles like this make me count my blessings. I ended up basically lucking into my dream job.

    If anyone wants to help the unemployed in your area and have some work that needs to be done - try Craigslist. There are a ton of laid off mechanics, handymen, landscapers, housekeepers, etc. who advertise on there and will do a great job for less. I've stopped taking my car to an overpriced shop because I found a great guy on Craigslist: he's a local firefighter who was laid off his main job as a mechanic. He does great work for cheap.
    "Don't trust nobody, and 'nobody' meaning Jay Leno in particular." -Chris Rock

  3. #3
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    42,521

    Default

    Is it just me or do you find it heartless when someone has just said they are dead broke and you tell them to seek counseling? They will pay for that how? Does not seem to be at all helpful whn the guy is worried about food.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Silver Member shoegal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    413

    Default

    @McJag - I agree. Why don't they make a sustained effort to help him secure a job?

    @NoNoRehab - Great point about Craigslist!

  5. #5
    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Middle America
    Posts
    14,265

    Default

    No offense. I know people are out of work, but how do not find a job when you are a bartender?
    RELIGION: Treat it like it's your genitalia. Don't show it off in public, and don't shove it down your children's throats.

  6. #6
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5,471

    Default

    It never ceases to surprise me how many people are 'hiring' but never call back and have no answers when people start asking questions about their applications.

    Quite simply, no one is hiring. Just because theres a sign saying 'Now Hiring' it doesnt mean they are.

  7. #7
    Elite Member potato_chips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    5,520

    Default

    So what kind of jobs do people with no qualifications get? Fast food places like KFC and Jack in a box? Dishwasher? What else?
    "The most important question in all of human kind is..... would you hit it or not?" ~potato_chips

  8. #8
    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    31,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    No offense. I know people are out of work, but how do not find a job when you are a bartender?
    The casinos on the Las Vegas Strip [...] seemed reluctant to hire a pudgy, gray-haired bartender over the flocks of young women competing for the same jobs.

    The one time he was called to an interview, his inexperience with mixing mojitos, a trendy mint-fused drink unheard of in the unassuming Vegas era that drew him to Sin City, cost him the opportunity, he said.
    There's more people looking for jobs than there are jobs, so any marginal or even imagined shortcomings--whether it's based on looks, age or actual skills/experience--cost many the opportunity. I do wonder if he's tried to go for any job that will have him, janitor, drive-thru employee, target cashier, starbucks. I am envisioning an increasingly disproportionate number of overqualified people ending up at jobs like these. It's like, did I really go to college for this? It's depressing and discouraging, but you gotta do whatever you gotta do not to be homeless.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Holidays about survival as jobless benefits end
    By celeb_2006 in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: December 5th, 2010, 04:37 PM
  2. '99ers' dread future without jobless benefits
    By celeb_2006 in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 2nd, 2010, 02:15 PM
  3. Senate Republican holds up jobless benefits
    By sluce in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: March 28th, 2010, 08:47 AM
  4. Replies: 12
    Last Post: December 29th, 2008, 05:21 PM
  5. Replies: 18
    Last Post: October 15th, 2008, 06:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •