Newark, Ohio’s Unemployment Rate Has Doubled Since Start Of Depression

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Newark, Ohio’s unemployment rate has been steadily increasing for the past 3 years that I have payed close attention. There are no accurate numbers, so I’ll just use the faulty stats that the government provides. Although not an exact science, I stand by the notion that Newark’s unemployment has at least doubled since the start of the depression.

In October, the Licking County, Ohio unemployment rate is 9%. I found an old blog showing the September 2008 Licking County, Ohio unemployment rate at 6.6% . The unemployment figures were at 4.5% when this depression began. You can argue these figures all you want, but it’s undeniable that it’s steadily increasing and creeping into job sectors that seemed dependable. There have been a few blips showing a decline, then sharp rises to show an overall increase.

In my estimation, the situation is much worse than the stats give a picture of. How many do you know that used to earn a wage high enough to support a family in your standard 3 bedroom house that do not now? How many could buy a decent and safe car, but cannot now? I can remember times when I didn’t know anybody that was even looking for work, but now everyone knows a few people looking.

While all of this has been going on, I’ve seen blog posts trying to spin Newark, Ohio’s unemployment problems as improving. What a disservice! I guess there are people who think that trying to believe false indicators as evidence that things are improving as being optimistic. I see this the same as a ship Captain ignoring a sinking ship and not lowing the life boats simply out of worrying what people will think. Many of those claiming that things are actually improving are government employees, a sector that earns on average nearly double what the private sector earns. They haven’t been feeling the heat, but they’re about to.

On the local newspaper articles and blogs, a common theme is that the unemployed are lazy and it’s their fault. That’s a handy way to brush off the problem. The real estimates of unemployment are near 20%, so 1 in 5 are to lazy to work? I’ve seen figures showing that 28% of American households have at least one member searching for full time employment. I don’t believe that 28% of people searching for work are lazy. The problem is that unemployment pays about $425/month or so to a family of 4. It’s enough to pay the mortage and utilities, maybe some food, and it allows you time to search for work. Nobody is going to give that up for a lower salary that will not allow time to search for a true solution to their problem. Employers even complain about this! They either cannot or will not pay more than unemployment, yet they cry foul on the system. They find it ridiculous that a person will not support a business that will not pay a living wage until they have to.  There is also the overlooked fact that not even sub-living wage jobs are easy to find, regardless of the optimist theory that jobs are just waiting for folks take.

The leading reference that people are using is the online ads. What they don’t realize is that online ads are extremely cheap. Companies are placing ads, but they’re looking for a VERY select applicant. Not only that, but the ads allow them to remain anonymous. In the past, ad costs required a little more thought before they were posted and the company could easily be identified with the phone number or address required for the ad. Companies had to worry that they would get a reputation for high turnover and they would look ignorant for expecting an applicant to have such a unique set of skills. With online ads, they can post all that they want. The ads are meaningless as an indicator for the number of jobs available.

The rest of us understand the true situation which is simple. People cannot find work and the government handouts are going to run out. We’re also giving the handouts with borrowed money that we have no way of knowing how we’ll pay back. With numbers so high, we need a solution. The government unemployment agencies that we pay dearly for and depend on for help in placing the unemployed has failed us. The private sector is just bargain shopping in efforts to keep their failing businesses afloat. Unemployment benefits are temporary fixes to a system that is coming apart at the seams. What can be done?

I think the first step for all of us in the Newark, Ohio area to do is to accept the situation for what it is. It’s not getting better soon and the number of unemployed has at least doubled in just a few years. Everything we’re currently doing is wrong and the numbers are there to prove it. Business leaders are lacking creativity in real solutions. Look at what they concentrate on; grants on top of grants that bind us to ridiculous stipulations, trips to China to see if they can fill the sub-living wage jobs, concentration on downtown renovations that limit the types of businesses, etc. I’ve never heard them say that they want to create jobs that can support families, just jobs in general. The unemployed are desperate and giving in to the pressures of the situation. They’re looking in the same places for the jobs that do not exist. They’re turning to the same government for help that were instrumental in creating their current despair. Our educational system is trying to prey on the unemployed with outdated programs that will create nothing but more debt for them. I don’t want to think about where all of this is going to lead us. After seeing about 3 years of the same ineffective actions by all, I’ve got a good idea.

The only ideas I have stem from the idea that the heart of the matter is simple. People need to create goods or perform services that other people want and it needs to be done at a profit. The scales are tilted in favor or foreign slave or near slave labor and that this simple fact is very difficult to overcome. The simplest of services require high startup costs for licenses and taxes. If you can get past those costs, there are more costs to stay legal with mountains of regulations on everything. Those who already have the access to foreign labor and have the payola to get past the regulations want no part of having these needless restrictions removed and open competition – YET! Government and union employees are not very interested in having their good fortunes compromised – YET!

January will bring with it the after Christmas retail slump. Recently commodities have taken sharp price increases and the effect of this will be felt in January as well. I believe this will be a tipping point for Newark, Ohio. Will the same methods continue or will desperation bring about some real solutions?

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