Monday, September 7, 2009

Sign that things are bad.

That times are tough is no mystery to anyone except those in government. Trying to find work in this economy is as bad any has seen except maybe those that remember the depression. As of this writing the unemployment rate is at 9.7% and still rising and we're supposedly are at the valley, but I wonder. I know things aren't good and aren't getting any better soon, but what I'm seeing now has me convinced that we're approaching an economic depression. For one of the jobs that was once thought as one of the most secure are becoming scarce. In fact, quite a few of them.

What I'm going through right now is using what ever means I have to get work, even if it's temporary or short term because any money is better than none at all. Beside, the government here has screwed me twice and I don't want to keep relying on them because one little financial crisis, well here in California everything is a financial crisis, and they may take it out on my hide. The biggest temp work I do right now is substitute teach when I can. When I was laid off last year, the first thing I did was renew my substitute credential and re certified those I could which was only one district, and applied to a couple more. Now with work getting hard and harder to get, I'm attempting to apply and be put on the call list for several districts. I'm trying for 6 to 7 so I can have a decent chance of work every day of the week. What I'm finding is down right shocking. School districts are no longer hiring substitutes. The market is so badly saturated with teachers that were laid off that they've completely overwhelmed the market. How bad? Last year, there was 12 districts for which I tried to get on the roll. I succeeded with 4 of them (1 out of 3). Many now aren't interested in just a bachelor degree and CBEST (California Basic Educational Standard Test), which is the requirement to get a substitute permit in this state, but now will only hire credential teachers now. Those of us that couldn't complete their credentialing programs are now being squeezed out of the market.

For things to get tight was expected. What I didn't expect was how bad. Last year it was 12 and I was only looking at 2 counties. This year I expanded it to 5 and got only 4 that are looking. So I increase my search by 250% and get 33% chances. Seems so many teachers have been laid off that anyone that just a college education is no longer desired just to decrease some of the load from the sheer number of applications. This profession was considered one of the most secure jobs in the country. Once you were in a district or met the requirements to enter, you could find work teaching. As a substitute, it could be erratic, but you would have work. Now, I only have the 3 districts I've been "grandpa'd" in and that could change if the districts decided to change their requirements. As long as their requirement are the same as the state, at least I'm on the roll for those I worked for last year. What's bad is that the picking are much slimmer.

What gets me is this is new in the education sector here in the state. It used to be near impossible to lose a job or lose work in the education sector. Especially in a highly populated state with such a high number of school aged children. Now, we're eating each other just to have a scrap of meat in this job market. If it's this bad in the education sector where everyone is pretty much protected by the government monopoly (heck, I still have my PERS account and add to it for every assignment I do. Try getting that with a temp agency.) is having such a horrid time, what is it like in the private sector? Frankly, I don't wanna know. Given how it's even difficult for me to find a job flipping burgers or delivering pizzas (which I didn't make bad money with tips and good customer service), those jobs are going fast. Even Illegals here are complaining and going back home (why Mexico doesn't care for how we're treating them. Because now they can't find work and Mexico is now having to deal with being invaded by their own citizens.)

So, what's the main point. What happened to those jobs that were going to be created by Obama? Where are those Green Jobs? Oh, that communist, racist thug is now looking for work. They're claiming things would be worse without the stimulus, but I don't know one person that's gotten money from it and jobs are still going down. What's worse, those that lost their jobs last year are running out of unemployment benefits. Remember, the government doesn't count you as unemployed if you're NOT receiving, so those people are going to be recorded as finding work when it runs out. It's this policy that has me to believe the unemployment rate is really twice as high. When you count those who's benefits had run out, are on welfare or social services, or underemployed, or just plain have given up looking, it's likely the unemployment/underemployment rate is nearing 20%. What's going to happen when the government makes the claims people are going back to work when in fact, they're losing everything. When those that have nowhere else to turn to are out in the streets? When those benefits are exhausted and they no longer count as a person any more? Things could get ugly. Substitute teachers have one thing going for them. Since their work is temporary, we can always renew and get benefits, though not all that great and it depends on how well we were able to find assignments, but it's better than what most people have. If those with the backing of a government monopoly are having to scrape for work, things in the private sector are getting worse. When those that want to work can't find it and start to go hungry, we're going to learn several lessons. The stimulus was a bunch of BS. Things can get worse. What real poverty is. The one I hope doesn't happen, when the population starts to get so desperate and disillusioned, as the French once learned, they revolt. Perhaps this is what's going on in those town meetings. All I know is I'm tired of the talk of progress. I don't need extra money in benefits and government end around that allows for teachers that work as subs to indefinitely draw from them. All I know it I just want to get back to full time consistent work. That's the best stimulus of them all.

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