"In the biggest jump in a single month on record, New York City’s unemployment rate leapt to 8.1 percent from 6.9 percent in February, the State Labor Department reported on Thursday.(The New York Times, March 26)
That rate matched the national unemployment rate for the month and reflected an unprecedented one-year rise from 4.4 percent a year earlier. The rapid deterioration of the city’s job market has erased the notion that the region could be insulated from the wave of job losses sweeping across America.
All told, there were about 335,000 unemployed people in the city, a number reached only once — briefly — in more than a decade. It is almost double the 175,000 city residents who were unemployed a year ago. Over the same period, the number of private-sector jobs in the city has dropped by almost 77,000, to 3.13 million, the report showed."
Today at 1:30 Tompkins Square Park hosts the Unemployment Olympics, which includes events such as Pin the Blame on the Bosses and the Fax Machine Toss.
Hmm, OK. The organizers seem to have good intentions here. Still, I'm not a big fan of "hey, it's a recession, let's have some fun"-type events and stories. And the Olympics seem a little -- this will get me in trouble with the EV Grieve HR Department -- youthful. And collegiate. And! It seems to weigh heavily toward the white collar, 9-to-5 crowd.
I know too many people -- particularly in the food-service industry and construction (the off-the-books types) -- who are reeling from the economy. I don't think they'll be in the mood to throw a fax machine.
Actually, everyone I know is suffering in some way. If these people I know didn't get laid off (such as someone in the EV Grieve household), their salary was cut. Or their hours/shifts/benefits were cut. You've all heard the horror stories.
In any event, throughout all this, I continue to see more and more fliers go up around the neighborhood in which people -- looking to supplement their incomes -- are offering their professional services. I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit. At one point, I started noting all the different services that I saw being offered. But it just got to be too many. Yoga and pilates instruction. Personal trainer. Dog walker. Carpenter. Tax preparation. Photography. Break dancing(!). Magic. Apartment cleaning. Language lessons. Guitar lessons. (Mrs. Grieve swears that she saw an ad for Guitar Hero instructions.) Drum lessons. Piano lessons. Moving men with vans. Flier distribution. Home theater installation. Bicycle messenger. Personal safety. Gardening. Personal attendant. Etc., etc.
I could use some shelves in the apartment. And I'd like to improve my Spanish. And maybe learn to play the guitar. Of course, I can't afford it now.
Meanwhile, just a few of the fliers...(the chocolate and roses facial doesn't really count...I left it in for the hell of it...)