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August 27, 2014

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Unemployment hits hard at home

“Unemployment,” “recession,” and “economy” are three words my toddler-son will probably start rattling off soon. They are mentioned all too often in our home.

Almost five years ago, my husband landed a great job with a major homebuilder. The company was great; they loved planning parties and often gave away prizes to employees. Now, think back five years ago, and you know that Nevada (as well as the rest of the country) was at a peak in home sales and property was worth almost triple what it is now. It was no wonder a homebuilder was an exciting place to work.

At that time, my family still consisted of just my husband and me, and I also had a rewarding and lucrative full-time career. Five years ago, the world seemed like a wonderful place where nothing could go wrong, and money was freely flowing.

Fast-forward to late 2007. Now my family consisted of a newborn baby, a mom (me) who had planned to be a stay-at-home-mom her entire life, and an economy that had dropped below rock-bottom, taking my husband with it. He had been laid off for the first time in his life. Luckily, he was only unemployed for four days and was able to start another job the following week.

Cautiously, I returned to work, but only part-time. The schedule was very good for my family, and for me. I made just enough money to complement my husband’s job to help us make ends meet each month.

But earlier this year, things at the company my husband worked for started to slow down. With the monetary problems at CityCenter, my husband’s company ended all commercial projects. Still, we were determined that the economy “wouldn’t get us.”

Earlier this month, things changed. We found ourselves “laid-off” yet again. (I say “we” because my husband’s layoff doesn’t just impact him; I’m feeling the pain, too).

Trying to convince myself that things would work out for the best, I quickly started putting my husband’s resume out there on Monster.com and applying for every job he qualified for. I really believed it would only be a matter of days before the calls started pouring in with job offers. But day after day, the phone doesn’t ring. Where I used to curse the annoying ring of the phone, I now wish it would make a sound.

Jobs are few and far between.

As things are continuing to look grim, we’ve decided he should file for unemployment. A very independent couple, we are actually kind of ashamed, but we know it isn’t our fault that we need help. I just hate it that we’re now a statistic: My family now belongs to that 10 percent Nevada unemployment.

I’m trying to get back into full-time employment where I work (away from writing this blog), but things just aren’t looking good in that respect (also because of the sagging economy). There have been cutbacks and setbacks everywhere, and things just aren’t the way they used to be.

I used to think that we’d see the bottom soon in this terrible recession our country is going through, but just when I think it couldn’t get any worse, it does.

With all that being said, I know that my family isn’t the only one suffering in this nation. We are definitely not the only ones in our community. I didn’t write this entry to gain sympathy from anyone, but rather to empathize with those going through the same thing. My parents went through it in the 1980s, and now here I am almost 30 years later going through it myself.

“History repeats itself.” I’ve heard it thousands of times. Hopefully we’ll be able to prepare ourselves once we’re out of this recession so that 30 years from now, our situation isn’t as bad.

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