Ranting about joblessness and the frustration

Recent unemployment numbers only add to the frustration for those willing and able to work, but unable to find a job.

That includes me.

I worked in the newspaper industry in Northern California for 22 years before being laid off back in March. I have worked as a reporter, copy editor, columnist, assistant news editor in charge of special sections, an assistant city editor and as a staff writer for a newspaper website, but the skills I honed in those jobs have not helped me so far in finding a job in newspapers or in any other field, for that matter.

And I have looked. Typically, I look at quite a few job websites every single day – a dozen or so journalism job sites, a handful more each in government, nonprofit and green industries, a handful more for general employment sites, and another 20 more websites for various organizations in other fields, such as universities or businesses looking to add a writer/editor to a marketing or communications team. No luck so far.

Frankly, I continue to seek a job in journalism because that is where my training lies, but with newspapers continuing to lay off workers or simply shutting down, it does not look bright. And what jobs there are being offered in newspapers require training and experience in multimedia or website construction and maintenance. I have limited skills in both areas, but not enough to land a job.

I am a newsasaur, plain and simple.

I noticed a story yesterday on – of all places – the website of the newspaper that laid me off in March. It was about bleak unemployment numbers. The story by Record staff writer Reed Fujii related that unemployment in San Joaquin County where I live rose to 16.1 percent in October, above the state rate of 12.5 percent and well above the national rate of 9.5 percent for October. [Maine’s unemployment for October was at about 8.5 percent, according to a CNNMoney.com story earlier this month. I blogged about it then.]

Adding to the apprehension is that a local economist is quoted in the story as saying unemployment in San Joaquin County could reach 20 percent early in 2010. Ugh!

I continue to remain optimistic that I will find a job … eventually. But the stress and frustration of joblessness is weighty.

Please do not take this to be whining. Ranting, perhaps, but not whining.

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