One Ugly Picture, A Few Sad Words

Michael Panzner
updated | Author's Website

The long-term unemployment problem, courtesy of Business Insider:

In pictures

Between-2009-and-2011-long-term-unemployment-doubled-from-16-to-318

and in words

Veronica Orozco has been unemployed since June, 2007

Veronica Orozco has been unemployed since June, 2007

Veronica Orozco

Nearly five years gao, Orozco was working as a full-time civil engineer in Chicago when she had to go to the emergency room to get her gallbladder removed.

When she returned to work two weeks later, her employers told her business was slow and that they didn’t have any projects for her at the moment.

They told her to call back in two weeks and when she did, she received the same answer. During this time, she was paid a stipend, but not a full paycheck and was having a difficult time paying her bills. This happened for six months before Orozco decided to apply for unemployment.

Orozco, 30, has two young daughters and a husband who’s currently in school. She makes most the income in her family and needed to get back to work as quick as possible, so she sent out applications for any positions in any field, including Walmart postings. She quickly realized getting another job would be a lot more difficult than she thought.

“The problem is that people don’t want to hire people who are unemployed. And it’s definitely more who you know, not what you know,” Orozco said. “I have to hope that eventually I’ll be able to find work again.”

The family has had to cut out expenses such as cable or going to Whole Foods for their groceries. Orzoco is still actively applying for a job that will bring in a steady income and is planning on returning to school in the summer of 2012.

But stocks are going up, so that’s all that matters, right?

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