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economic justice | labor

Job market recalls Depression

Takes a lot longer to get a job.
Oregonian -- letters
12/30/03

Job market recalls Depression


Letter writer Eric Hanchett had only been unemployed for a week, so he can be forgiven his viewpoint ("Jobless benefits need ending point," Dec. 11). I hope he writes back when his unemployment insurance gets cut off.

This recession is different. There's bigotry out there in the job market -- bigotry against American citizens, prejudice in favor of any legal or illegal immigrant, or offshore outsourcing company, willing to work for less.

My personal job search lasted 26 out of the last 36 months -- with more than 2,500 resumes and 80 applications for minimum-wage work out the door, I was looking hard. I'm employed now -- at a fraction of what I used to earn.

While I agree with Hanchett that historically, anybody out of work for more than a year doesn't want to work, this time around the job market is more mirroring the Great Depression than a recession.

Nine months to a year out for an American citizen with a college degree is average, and more than 17 months out of work is not unusual in the slightest.

THEODORE M. SEEBER Beaverton