The news came out today that the unemployment rate in the United States dropped slightly to 7.5% (a four-year low) and that 165,000 jobs were created in April of 2013.
The “paltry” and “disappointing” figure of 88,000 jobs created last month was revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to 138,000. I will be curious to see if news outlets revise their stories to reflect the fact that 50,000 more jobs were created in March than announced…or it will simply be ignored.
What cannot be ignored is that when I wrote today’s ceditra entry two years ago, the unemployment rate stood at 9.0%. While it is good news that the rate has dropped a percentage point and a half and that 4,000,000 jobs have been created since April 2011, it’s not all that much of a boon if you are still one of the unemployed.
The depression that can overcome someone who is not working was definitely on my mind as my random process for discovering topics to write about (which can never be described as “discouraged”) brought me to page 612 of my local dictionary.
1. a house of correction for petty offenders
2. a public institution in which the destitute of a parish received board and lodging in return for work
The original theme of this ceditra entry was going to be a discussion of my fear of being poor. Granted, in the 21st Century America, debtors are not placed by the government in a workhouse to do labor to pay off their debts. Now, those who are poor face other challenges – like living in unsafe neighborhoods, attending low-performing schools, and generally existing in a cycle of poverty. From the days of the 1980 Reagan-Era recession when my father’s and grandfather’s business went under, our family – for the first time – had to cut back on luxuries. From that time, I have always been in fear of not having enough money.
Yes, I am fully aware in hindsight that my family’s “privations” were insignificant compared to the what other families went through, but I didn’t see it that way at the time because I was twelve.
My parents still managed to keep our house (and still have it), keep us fed, AND send all of us off to college. So part of me realizes that my fear is somewhat misplaced.
However, like all irrational fears, it is still there.
It is there when M. and I met with our financial advisor and he suggested that we place X amount of money in some account that would have left us with an amount in our checking account that was below the amount I felt comfortable with. This unnerved me because I believe (and this belief only exists to quiet my fear) that I am safer when I have more liquid assets available in the checking account. However, I also realize that that belief completely defeats the purpose of investing.
Crap! Being an adult is hard.
I am currently part-time employed. I will soon be out of a job in a pair of months. I will be looking again when we make the jump to the other side of the world.
I keep the fear in check.