unemployment

Who owns America’s job losses?

by Michael Alderete on 2/16/2010

This chart makes it ridiculously easy to understand:

Job losses increased under George Bush, and are decreasing under Barack Obama

Any questions?

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Working again, kinda

by Michael Alderete on 3/26/2004

My unemployment benefits ran out in mid-February. Not entirely coincidentally, I’ve found some medium-term work (sub-contracting for a small consulting company), that I hope to be able to continue doing for the foreseeable future.

It’s not full-time or permanent, so I make less and will have to pay self-employment taxes, etc. But for now, it gives me a lot of flexibility. And while I pays less than I was making in my last job, it pays way more than unemployment benefits.

Anyway, it’s going to have something that gets me up and out of the house most days, and pays some bills.

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My life right now…

by Michael Alderete on 9/9/2003

…is pretty much like this article at The Morning News.

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OK, enough goofing off

by Michael Alderete on 8/15/2003

Ok, it’s been two weeks of sleeping in and doing nothing (much) more than web surfing in my underwear. I suppose I should start doing some real work.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been unemployed. Rochelle and I both left our jobs about two and a half years ago. It was a coincidence, Rochelle taking a planned leave of absence to find her dream job (which she’s now doing), and my dot.bomb suddenly going under. That time we spent our days together, doing cheap stuff around San Francisco, and taking cat-sponsored naps every afternoon. For three months we basically spent all of our time together, and had terrific fun.

This time Rochelle is still employed, thank god. It’s not possible to stay afloat in SF on unemployment insurance payments, which are $370 a week, before taxes. (Yes, you pay taxes on unemployment. Tax cuts on stock dividends, paid for by the unemployed. That’s an economic plan that makes sense!) With Rochelle in a good job, we can tread water almost indefinitely.

Getting laid off is “winning the time lottery.” All of a sudden, I have time to work on the literally dozens of projects that have been building up around me. But in two weeks, I’ve accomplished nothing on any of them. Everything I’ve read or heard about being unemployed in today’s economy says that you have to come up with a routine, something to keep you on track, driving forward to the next job, or at least keeping busy and not frittering the time away. Certainly, when I took the job at Persistence after three months with Rochelle, I looked back and decided I hadn’t accomplished much with that time beyond improving my relationship with my wife (no small thing, that, but still…).

I need this time to be different, in no small measure because I don’t want to do marketing in my next job. I’m planning to go back to hands-on technical work, probably software development, and that means rebuilding a number of skills that have gone fallow, as well as acquiring skills for the technologies that matter today. I have a lot of work to do!

So today I’m starting to put together a weekly schedule for myself. I need dedicated, scheduled slots for networking, job hunting, exercise, e-mail, socializing outside my house, technical development, home clean-up, blogging, bathing, naps, reading for both pleasure and research, web surfing, cat petting, going to the movies (matinees only), etc.

Some of these need to be done every day, but it’s impossible to do all of them in a single day. So I need a weekly, or even a bi-weekly schedule of activities. I’m sure I won’t get it right the first time, but with the economy the way it is in SF, I’m sure I’ll have time to perfect things. In any case, look for my first schedule draft on Monday.

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All good things…

by Michael Alderete on 7/31/2003

Today was my last day at work; I was laid off, along with a few other folks, in what I hope is the last downsizing needed to get back on track. I worked at Persistence for 27 months, all told, at a time when many people were struggling to find work. It was a good job, with good people, and I’ll miss it.

I know folks who have been out of work for more than a year. Scary thought. In spite of that, I’m looking forward to the time off while I look for work, to re-sharpen technical skills I haven’t used much in the last two years. I don’t want to take on another marketing job, at least not right now. I’ve been wanting to go back to technical work, and make the transition from web developer to full-time software developer.

So I have a long list of technical projects for the coming weeks or months. Rochelle has a long list for me, too, which starts with “clean the house” and continues with dinner ready for her when she gets home from work. At least for the next couple weeks, she’ll be lucky if I’m out of bed and dressed when she gets home, as I intend to “pay down” my sleep deficit.

At any rate, I’ll be signing up for unemployment tomorrow. Updating the resume. Visiting the various online job sites. Etc. There’s a lot of work to do, for being out of work!

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