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Does anyone feel poorer lately?


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Nationally, the unemployment rate has gone down over the past few months.

 

Allegedly this is the case. However, if you look at the numbers of net new jobs created, the math doesn't add up. And certainly it doesn't jibe with what I'm seeing (an uptick in layoffs since last spring and fewer out-of-work individuals finding new ones).

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I've been reading this thread while sick in bed. So many thoughts. I totally agree about the gratitude about American poor being somewhat different than true world poverty. However, one issue I've seen is the regulations we have in this country that force many people to spend money when they don't have it or could approach the situation from a different angle, yet laws and regulations force use to go one route.

 

- burial - in many places you couldn't use a wooden coffin. I attended a funeral on Thursday. The coffin was beautiful, I'm sure it cost a lot, and it was probably a basic model (been to a lot of funerals). In Louisiana some monks (iirc) wanted to build wooden coffins to support themselves and help out those with little money for funerals. They got in trouble because of regulations.

 

If you own a house you are forced to have insurance, a good idea yes, but those prices keep going up. Property taxes are going up. Those fees get rolled into housing whether you rent or own.

 

Car insurance is required. Licensing your car. Again all good ideas, but I've seen more people riding scooters in our area lately. They don't require a license or insurance to a certain CC level.

 

Housing utilities - not talking about cable or Internet. Our gas prices are ridiculous. We have it turned off in the summer because the company wants 25.00 a month just to have the service. Electric is not so bad - but it's run from the small town we live in, not the big city company like the gas. People don't usually have a choice in those utilities.

 

It's harder (not a hardship, but just harder) to be broke when it's kind of invisible. We have nice things, we weren't broke 4-5 years ago. We downsized our house, which is one reason ds isn't in school and me back at work. We parked the unlicensed broken car and who knows when it will get fixed. Ds's job is not going well and he looking for something else, but nothing will pay barely over minimum wage. We can live on little, but we can't live on minimum wage.

 

People see you working and think you're doing okay, but you're not. You turn down invites and parties because the money has to go in the gas tank to get to work. Even if our 2nd car was working I wouldn't have gas money to drive it. You can only keep social gatherings so minimal when most of your friends lives 30-60 minutes away.

 

We have cable and Internet because that's about all we do. We get take out about twice a month, once if it's a bad month. That involves Chinese or Mexican. The Mexican place is cheaper than McDonalds.

 

I'm glad we live in an area that is more help your neighbor than follow regulations to a T. I still can't use grateful to get my gas turned back on this year.

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Allegedly this is the case. However, if you look at the numbers of net new jobs created, the math doesn't add up. And certainly it doesn't jibe with what I'm seeing (an uptick in layoffs since last spring and fewer out-of-work individuals finding new ones).

 

There are no new jobs in our area, not ones that pay enough to support one person much less a family. Most jobs ds has looked at pay about half a real living wage, there is a presumption that both adults in a family are working and you should just be happy to have this. At least in the industries dh is looking at, non-degreed trades areas. Small companies aren't hiring at all.

 

His current job pays a wage that would have been acceptable in 2000, and has no benefits. We truly have minimal monthly expenses and we're barely making it.

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Nationally, the unemployment rate has gone down over the past few months. Around here, we have seen a lot of new businesses come in or expand, over the past year. Help Wanted signs are in many store fronts, which I hadn't seen on a regular basis for a couple of years. Housing is going up again (never dropped as housing was already low here, but did stop climbing for a while), homes are selling faster.

 

Unemployment is down because the number of people in the workforce has fallen as people give up looking for work. Businesses are hiring, but it's to replace full-time workers with part-time ones to get around increased insurance costs. Housing is up, but the other shoe is waiting to drop: the huge shadow inventory of homes that the banks have not yet foreclosed on in an effort to avoid realizing those losses.

 

I am not optimistic. I honestly feel sorry for whomever wins the election. They're pretty much fighting over who's going to get to take the blame.

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Yep, we are definitely worse off than we were 3-4 years ago. My husband's work is tied to the construction industry (he does pre-wires, home security systems, theater rooms, etc.) and has lost about 80% of his income. We've been living on my at-home medical transcription work, which has also been reduced by 25% over 4 years. Some things I've changed to help us limp along have been:

 

1. Shopping for groceries at Aldi's and 2 salvage grocery type places

2. Making my own cleaners, i.e. laundry detergent, homemade Febreeze, Chlorox spray cleaner, fabric softener, etc.

3. Buying "gently used" household items through Craigs list (furniture and a TV) instead of purchasing new

4. Selling the kids curriculum as soon as they are finished with it, to have money to spend on the next year's school needs. And buying gently used curriculum instead of new stuff.

5. Shopping for clothes at Good Will and consignment sales

6. Refinancing our home at a lower interest rate a few months ago

7. Started an at-home cupcake business to supplement our income

8. The Dollar Tree is my new best friend!

9. Borrow DVD's from the library instead of renting them

 

** One good thing about all this is .... our income is so low that my college son qualifies for a $5100 Pell grant as well as a $2600 state grant. He also earns a state merit-based Life Scholarship, which pays $7500 a year to SC students in math and science-related majors (he's in nursing), so his tuition and books are paid for, thank you Lord. ** This is my "silver lining."

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Unemployment is down because the number of people in the workforce has fallen as people give up looking for work. Businesses are hiring, but it's to replace full-time workers with part-time ones to get around increased insurance costs. Housing is up, but the other shoe is waiting to drop: the huge shadow inventory of homes that the banks have not yet foreclosed on in an effort to avoid realizing those losses.

 

 

Unemployment figures from the federal govt have never included those not looking (or given up). I don't see things the same way you do. I see that my husband's employer can never find enough qualified engineers or electronics techs (aero and software, able to get a secret clearance). Often, applicants have not had the education or training required, or they make it clear that they only want to "move" temporarily and will be looking to transfer asap to get back "home". I'm stunned at how many admit that in the interview. Dh is called, on a regular basis, for tech/engineer openings, in several parts of the country (recently-- since late August-- Florida, Virginia, Utah and Texas). A big issue is people aren't willing to move to where the jobs are.... All for full time jobs (both what his company is wanting to hire and those he gets solicited for).

 

The help wanted signs are in places (retail, restaurants, fast food) likely to hire part timers... professionals don't tend to put out help wanted signs. I do realize (I'm not stupid) that minimum wage is not a living wage... but it is more than "no wage". Not ideal, I know. I also see the help wanted sections in the paper have more jobs listed now than a year ago. Some list full time w/benefits, others don't tell you anything.

 

As far as foreclosures, yes, in some parts of the country, that will continue to be an issue for a few years. I feel sorry for people caught underwater due to the crazy bubbles that finally bursted but I don't think it's going to cause the collapse of our economy. All major signs indicate improvement, slow, but improving. I'm trying to remember the govt website that lists the economic indicators. Will try to find and post, unless someone can beat me to it (in the mean time, dh wants to know what's delaying my helping him with the fence project;)).

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This must REALLY vary by location and industry because from where I'm sitting, things are getting worse again.

 

My DH was just telling me last night that the tech industry is in for a whole bunch of layoffs soon because of the shift away from PC's to mobile devices.

 

Gas prices spiked a couple weeks ago and even though they've come down slightly in the past few days, they are still way above what they were a month ago.

 

The state budget will trigger automatic mid-year cuts if the tax hike proposition doesn't pass next month, and that will mean a lot more layoffs of civil servants.

 

And don't even get me started about the "fiscal cliff" and what that might do...

 

There have always been regions that fare better than others. I know California & Michigan have suffered far more, due to state govt issues, which adds to the pain in those regions. National unemployment has gone down, but as always, areas with low offset areas with high. The tech industry always moves with the new technology but that does require continuous training. I doubt we'll see massive layoffs nationally. Companies struggle to find qualified workers in many tech/computer/engineering fields. And now I'm really going to go help with that fence!

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A big issue is people aren't willing to move to where the jobs are.... All for full time jobs (both what his company is wanting to hire and those he gets solicited for).

 

 

 

Dh has been offered several jobs out of state and we are willing to move, but cannot due to our home. We bought small and within our means and still owe more than it will sell for right now (or the past few years). We know many others (dh's coworkers) who are in the same boat. Many are willing, at least that I know of, but are unable due the economy and housing issues.

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Unemployment figures from the federal govt have never included those not looking (or given up). I don't see things the same way you do. I see that my husband's employer can never find enough qualified engineers or electronics techs (aero and software, able to get a secret clearance). Often, applicants have not had the education or training required, or they make it clear that they only want to "move" temporarily and will be looking to transfer asap to get back "home". I'm stunned at how many admit that in the interview. Dh is called, on a regular basis, for tech/engineer openings, in several parts of the country (recently-- since late August-- Florida, Virginia, Utah and Texas). A big issue is people aren't willing to move to where the jobs are.... All for full time jobs (both what his company is wanting to hire and those he gets solicited for).

 

 

 

My husband is a computer systems engineer for a company that cultivates college students as interns (they pay them well) in the hopes that these students will become employees. There is a better chance of having someone young and single move to the area for the job.

 

Do you think that people are hesitant to move because of being upside down on houses or because of the spouse's job?

 

I wanted to add something to the general discussion. I live in an area with a high unemployment rate but I do not think it is accurate reflection. There is a serious underground economy here. For example, in the construction business there are people who prefer to work under the table. One of my friends who formerly did home improvement work (until it killed his knees--then he wet back to school for a two year computer degree) said that he was surprised at the number of roofers, landscapers, etc. he knew who preferred to work under the table. He did not because of social security, small business loans, etc. There is a seasonal tourist trade here so some people pay social security taxes during the season then do under the table work during the rest of the year.

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If people see the economy as getting better, they must live in a pocket.

 

We have more people at the food pantry these past two months than all the previous. And we have fewer people who can afford to give, so more need and donations are down (on food that is rising in price).

 

People are asking for things like toilet paper, now.

 

 

The economist say that the #s are deceiving because those who have given up looking are not included, and that the real unemployment #s are at 14%.

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Nationally, the unemployment rate has gone down over the past few months. Around here, we have seen a lot of new businesses come in or expand, over the past year. Help Wanted signs are in many store fronts, which I hadn't seen on a regular basis for a couple of years. Housing is going up again (never dropped as housing was already low here, but did stop climbing for a while), homes are selling faster.

 

I'm glad your area is doing well. I believe the national numbers are more due to hiring Christmas help rather than long lasting jobs, and I suspect most are part time at that. Many teens around here tell me finding a job is tough. There are very few help wanted signs. AND, our unemployment rate tends to be among the best in the state.

 

Allegedly this is the case. However, if you look at the numbers of net new jobs created, the math doesn't add up. And certainly it doesn't jibe with what I'm seeing (an uptick in layoffs since last spring and fewer out-of-work individuals finding new ones).

 

:iagree: I remember a short line on our local news right after the rate was announced mentioning that the number may be low due to a state or two not submitting numbers on time. What ever came of that? We watch an NBC affiliate, so I doubt they were biased toward the conservatives. But even if the rate is accurate, I still suspect it's mainly Christmas help being hired (or part timers overall).

 

** One good thing about all this is .... our income is so low that my college son qualifies for a $5100 Pell grant ... This is my "silver lining."

 

We're right there with you. Before the downturn we didn't expect to need help paying for college for our boys. This year we also qualified for a Pell Grant. Our savings got used quickly when the economy tanked and our income is at Pell Grant level. I'm glad it's there, but it sure is humbling when we had things planned out. In hindsight, I'd have put less into savings and more into traveling and enjoying "life" with our boys. At least then we'd have the memories and pictures. (We did enjoy life and have memories and pics, but at the time, we also thought putting money into savings for college/retirement was crucial - we lost most of that - not spent it - lost it.)

 

So, at one point we were trucking along and doing our share to keep the economy trucking along through spending and saving. Now we're spending far, far less and getting assistance with college. It's a bit of a change. Such is life. Compared to many (even on this board, much less world-wide), we can't complain.

 

But I don't believe the economy is improving much - little waves up and down that tend to be seasonal, but no big surge or trend upward.

 

I also worry about the fiscal cliff. It's real. Our gov't (and many others) have been spending on a virtual credit card for years (more than the present folks in office). That bill will come due. We (collective) CAN'T keep doing that - for Big Bird or Defense. It boggles my mind that the people in charge (for years) don't realize that - or probably - don't care about it - pass it on to the next generation so "we" do ok and have all the perks "we" want or "need." I also wish those same people in charge had no access to free health care on the taxpayer dollar (but that's a different subject).

 

I'm glad we live where we can raise our own food.

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If people see the economy as getting better, they must live in a pocket.

 

We have more people at the food pantry these past two months than all the previous. And we have fewer people who can afford to give, so more need and donations are down (on food that is rising in price).

 

People are asking for things like toilet paper, now.

 

 

The economist say that the #s are deceiving because those who have given up looking are not included, and that the real unemployment #s are at 14%.

 

http://www.shadowstats.com/charts/employment/unemployment/unemployment-rates

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Some areas are doing better than others, that's true. But as a country, we have a huge debt, and like others, I'm worried about the "fiscal cliff" that will come up soon. And, there are plenty of jobs available, as long as you're looking for part time retail work. If you're just looking for a little extra on the side, that's helpful. If you're unemployed, or far underemployed, and trying to support a family, it just doesn't work.

 

I agree that whoever is President come late January is going to have a long road ahead. I'm sure that we all have opinions on who might do a better job putting Humpty Dumpty back together, but it will not be an easy task regardless.

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If people see the economy as getting better, they must live in a pocket.

 

We have more people at the food pantry these past two months than all the previous. And we have fewer people who can afford to give, so more need and donations are down (on food that is rising in price).

 

People are asking for things like toilet paper, now.

 

 

The economist say that the #s are deceiving because those who have given up looking are not included, and that the real unemployment #s are at 14%.

:iagree: We try and donate to our church's food pantry on a regular basis, and our pastor told a heart-wrenching story last week of a group of blind people who live together who came in and hadnt eaten for THREE DAYS. They had no amenities at all, either. .

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Agreeing. :iagree: It's actually more expensive to live apart than together, so that job needs to be pretty good in order to pull it off.

 

It just needs to be a job as opposed to no job. I though we were talking about unemployment. I fail to see how somebody with no income can be better off living together than moving and earning an income.

 

In case you think I don't know what I am talking about: we did eight years of long distance. For a few years, DH camped on a matress on the floor of a friend's house during the work week.

Not wanting to move if you have a job is one thing, Not wanting to move if you are unemployed - I don't get the logic.

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:confused: If the alternative is no job and no income, I don't see how one would be worse off by taking the job and living apart, even if that meant paying for some kind of second housing.

 

I didn't read it as that. If there is no job and no income, then it doesn't really matter if you're upside down on your house because it's not going to be your house for much longer. What I was referring to would be a situation in which there is a job and you're either barely or not quite making ends meet. In that situation, the new job would have to be far superior in order to justify establishing a second household. If you wind up barely making ends meet after moving, you're just taking on a whole lot of headache and heartache with nothing to show for it.

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H'mmm - we can pay for COBRA (or whatever you call it) for three months, until hubby's new insurance kicks in, OR ds's college tuition. And then the new insurance will be far more than it has been at the old job, plus he got bumped up into a higher tax bracket...so despite a substantial increase in salary the take-home pay should be THE SAME as it was before the job change. But at least he will (we hope) be happier at the new place. At least he has a job!

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I didn't read it as that. If there is no job and no income, then it doesn't really matter if you're upside down on your house because it's not going to be your house for much longer. What I was referring to would be a situation in which there is a job and you're either barely or not quite making ends meet. In that situation, the new job would have to be far superior in order to justify establishing a second household. If you wind up barely making ends meet after moving, you're just taking on a whole lot of headache and heartache with nothing to show for it.

 

That's how I was reading it too. We just finished living this, as in 3 months ago, so it's very fresh in my memory.

 

eta: we did do the two households for a year, but it was just too much financially. We still have a mortgage & we're paying rent, but at least we don't have other duplicate bills each month. It's still tight, but we have a roof and food.

Edited by Upward Journey
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Probably both - but if they can decline a job for this reason, they must not be doing too poorly. Not wanting a long distance relationship for a few years is a luxury.

 

Maintaining two households isn't cheap. I've done the long-distance relationship thing several times in our marriage so I'm not opposed to it *IF* it makes financial sense. But unless the separated spouse can find a reasonably priced housing situation, it may not actually be a net financial gain to the family.

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I understand that any job is better than no job. The problem I'm seeing as I read through ths thread is how is someone supposed to move if they are barely able to put gas in the car and feed themselves. It's not cheap to move. Just driving to a new area with your family and belonging costs a small fortune that many just can't manage. I'm in the camp that does not see the improvement in the economy.

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I understand that any job is better than no job. The problem I'm seeing as I read through ths thread is how is someone supposed to move if they are barely able to put gas in the car and feed themselves. It's not cheap to move. Just driving to a new area with your family and belonging costs a small fortune that many just can't manage. I'm in the camp that does not see the improvement in the economy.

 

:iagree:We were only able to do it because the new company picked up the moving expenses, otherwise it would not have been possible.

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Not that it will help, but I wanted to chip in on the milk thing...

 

Even with the 50 cent per gallon increase, there is not one dairy farmer in California that is earning enough with their milk to buy the feed for their cows. :sad: It's not through mismanagement by the farmer, it's just mathematically impossible right now.

 

We are bringing in almost exactly the same $ that we brought in around 20 years ago, but fuel is 2-3x more. A load of feed that was $1500 before is now $5000. :eek: Add to that the rising cost of every kind of insurance including workers compensation, and the ever-increasing costs of EPA compliance, electricity, etc...Some dairy farmers in California are literally taking their own lives, even as they lose the farms that have been in their families for generations. :crying:

 

I wish it were different, and I'm sooo sorry that consumers are feeling the pinch of milk prices! Still, I just wanted you to know that the dairy farmers are definitely not profiting from the increase. :grouphug:

 

She is right, the farmers do not profit from the increase.

 

I feel your pain....this was our life. We lost everything....soooo sad.

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It just needs to be a job as opposed to no job. I though we were talking about unemployment. I fail to see how somebody with no income can be better off living together than moving and earning an income.

 

In case you think I don't know what I am talking about: we did eight years of long distance. For a few years, DH camped on a matress on the floor of a friend's house during the work week.

Not wanting to move if you have a job is one thing, Not wanting to move if you are unemployed - I don't get the logic.

 

My daughter's boyfriend recently got a job about 40 minutes from his house. What used to be considered a great commute around here. His truck takes 80 to fill, he'll have to fill it up once a week at the least, if he doesn't drive anywhere else-and he will have to. That will eat 1/3 his pay. You can't live paying that much for gas. It's not including housing, food, utilities.

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:iagree: We try and donate to our church's food pantry on a regular basis, and our pastor told a heart-wrenching story last week of a group of blind people who live together who came in and hadnt eaten for THREE DAYS. They had no amenities at all, either. .

 

Lord, have mercy.

 

I swear, I vacillate between fury, rage, and tears.

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:iagree:We were only able to do it because the new company picked up the moving expenses, otherwise it would not have been possible.

 

The company dh works for still moves new hires. And pays for transfers to move, if needed.

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I understand that any job is better than no job. The problem I'm seeing as I read through ths thread is how is someone supposed to move if they are barely able to put gas in the car and feed themselves. It's not cheap to move. Just driving to a new area with your family and belonging costs a small fortune that many just can't manage. I'm in the camp that does not see the improvement in the economy.

 

:iagree:

 

Can we get back on topic, too, everyone? This was a great supportive thread. I don't want this thread derailed and closed because it's turning into a bashing thread about people who can't/won't pull themselves up by their boot straps. That's great that it worked for some people. But the fact is that it won't work for everyone. People aren't being petty or whiny by not wanting/being able to have two households. We have moved half-way across country several times. Only one company ever paid moving expenses. But they still didn't cover utility disconnect/reconnect fees, down payments for housing (usually several thousand dollars), and all those little fees that add up when making a move, especially a big move.

Edited by mommymilkies
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The company dh works for still moves new hires. And pays for transfers to move, if needed.

 

Dh has had two companies offer relocation assistance and a hiring bonus, but still neither were enough to get us out of this house. If he ends up losing his job, we will obviously take one but we don't live in a non-recourse state so they could come after us for the money due. Dh's company is struggling and all the single non-homeowners have left. It's not as easy as some seem to think.

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I just read this whole thread. I am sooo very, very, very grateful and blessed that our situation has largely been insulated from the entire economic downturn. We moved into a tiny, paid-for mobile on family land right aboout the time the housing bubble was starting its burst/collapse. Yes, it's tiny. There's no privacy. Yes, it's a mobile. It's paid for. It's on family land that is also paid for. The roof doesn't leak and most of the floor is solid. The insulation is terrible, so we use heat or A/C only in room that we are occupying. (Portable heaters and window a/c units.)

 

Even with its problems, we're blessed. We have multiple electronic gadgets and gizmos. We have satellite TV and DSL internet. We typically eat out 3-4 times a week. (We're going to have to cut that out though to have Christmas. Can't do both.) My husband's job hasn't had a real raise in a very long time, but the company has absorbed the rising cost of health insurance instead of passing it through. We pay less than $50 every other week for a BC/BS PPO.

 

Now that I've said how blessed we are: I do see things getting tighter, even for us. I am having to reevaluate our grocery and miscellaneous expenditures because they're making it difficult to make sure our necessities are paid. I am finding myself in need of menu planning, when I've never really had to worry about it before. I'm fussing at my boys for going through milk too fast. I'm making my children choose in season, cheaper fruit instead of whatever they want. A hospital nearby just closed down. I have nurse friends who have been looking for work for months. Nurses! (Of course, they could take travel assignments out of town, but that's not always reliable work. It's hard to do that when you have littles at home needing their momma every night.)

 

Milk is $3.59-$4.09/gal. Gas is $3.40/gal. Decent bread is $2-3/loaf and the loaf is smaller than the cheap stuff.

 

It breaks my heart to hear that some of our ladies are eating the leftovers and crumbs from their children's plates and that a child has no shoes or only shoes with holes in them.

 

Again, ladies, I am humbled and awed and just when I was fretting about my own problems, I am reminded that I am truly blessed.

Edited by dansamy
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As to the moving thing, Renee has told me that moving to FL because there was a job there was, in hindsight, NOT the best idea for them for many reasons. Regentrude, I'm wondering if maybe the disconnect here is that you are thinking of professional level jobs, like professors and engineers, and the other posters are talking about lower level jobs.

 

To answer the OP, we don't actually feel poorer because I have started working. We don't run out of money before the next payday like we used to regularly. We dont qualify for every government program out there anymore. However, with that said, our current income is a number I used to dream of, but between rising prices (we use a lot of gas), lots of medical bills, and a car accident (not our fault) that forced us to buy a newer car and added to the medical bills we already had, it is barely enough. I can hardly wrap my head around that!!

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Probably both - but if they can decline a job for this reason, they must not be doing too poorly. Not wanting a long distance relationship for a few years is a luxury.

 

We would live under a bridge before we would split our family up. We did that, leaving our then 16yo ds behind when we moved to FL. I would NEVER encourage anyone to do that - NEVER.

 

Besides, it would require supporting two separate households, even if one is renting a room from someone. We looked into it when dh got the job here (so we could finish the school year in FL) and it was going to be $400-500 a month additional (and it's more expensive to feed one person alone than one as part of a larger group.) Even with a higher income we wouldn't have been able to do that.

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I didn't read it as that. If there is no job and no income, then it doesn't really matter if you're upside down on your house because it's not going to be your house for much longer. What I was referring to would be a situation in which there is a job and you're either barely or not quite making ends meet. In that situation, the new job would have to be far superior in order to justify establishing a second household. If you wind up barely making ends meet after moving, you're just taking on a whole lot of headache and heartache with nothing to show for it.

 

This is what happened to us. We moved because we thought a job was better than no job. We should have stayed in NC and worked multiple PT part-time minimum wage jobs.

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As to the moving thing, Renee has told me that moving to FL because there was a job there was, in hindsight, NOT the best idea for them for many reasons. Regentrude, I'm wondering if maybe the disconnect here is that you are thinking of professional level jobs, like professors and engineers, and the other posters are talking about lower level jobs.

 

 

 

:lol: I guess I should have read the entire thread to keep from being redundant.

 

My dh recently asked if we would be moving around for my career. If you are willing to relocate, you can move much faster up the career ladder. I said no, that we would be staying in this area. There are plenty of ways to move up in my career without leaving the area, even if it means the projection is slower. Roots are very important (this coming from someone who changed schools at least once every year her entire childhood.)

Edited by Renee in FL
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:lol: I guess I should have read the entire thread to keep from being redundant.

 

My dh recently asked if we would be moving around for my career. If you are willing to relocate, you can move much faster up the career ladder. I said no, that we would be staying in this area. There are plenty of ways to move up in my career without leaving the area, even if it means the projection is slower. Roots are very important (this coming from someone who changed schools at least once every year her entire childhood.)

 

I agree that it's preferable to be able to stay in one area, especially near to family. You're fortunate that your job is in a field where you can move up without moving out of the state. I have noted a general trend in professional fields, on the macro level, to moving folks around and expecting people to just up and move to follow the job.

 

I think that the economy is not improving, but that most of it is in decline and a steady stagnation. But, there are pockets of healthy industry and healthy local economies where people can still remain relatively untouched by the pains of the nation at large.

 

The key to getting those jobs or into those industries in future will increasingly depend upon flexibility, adaptability, and, yes, mobility.

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I agree that it's preferable to be able to stay in one area, especially near to family. You're fortunate that your job is in a field where you can move up without moving out of the state. I have noted a general trend in professional fields, on the macro level, to moving folks around and expecting people to just up and move to follow the job.

 

I think that the economy is not improving, but that most of it is in decline and a steady stagnation. But, there are pockets of healthy industry and healthy local economies where people can still remain relatively untouched by the pains of the nation at large.

 

The key to getting those jobs or into those industries in future will increasingly depend upon flexibility, adaptability, and, yes, mobility.

 

I picked a career (Accounting) and chose to stay in this area for my first after-Masters job for this reason, though. I really wanted to live in the mountains. I had every intention of moving there. However, the jobs simply weren't as plentiful, so I would either stagnate at a lower level or we would have to move after 2 years or so. Where I live now, we are within an hour of two metropolitan areas and several smaller cities. My kids really want stability, and I want that for them. Moving every year or two is NOT fun and has negatively affected some things in my adulthood.

 

This area wasn't as affected by the downturn, but the lower level jobs were hit hard.

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I think that the economy is not improving, but that most of it is in decline and a steady stagnation. But, there are pockets of healthy industry and healthy local economies where people can still remain relatively untouched by the pains of the nation at large.

 

The key to getting those jobs or into those industries in future will increasingly depend upon flexibility, adaptability, and, yes, mobility.

 

:iagree:

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I think that the economy is not improving, but that most of it is in decline and a steady stagnation. But, there are pockets of healthy industry and healthy local economies where people can still remain relatively untouched by the pains of the nation at large.

 

:iagree: Prices are up and wages are down. We know many skilled tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc.). All of them have seen their wages drop. Electricians used to make $60/hour. Now they are lucky to get $25. My dh used to work in construction. He made $35/hour plus amazing benefits. Those jobs are $10-15/hour now with no benefits. Then with gas prices doubling in the last few years and food prices going up with talk of them going up even more, it doesn't look good for a majority of people.

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:iagree: Prices are up and wages are down. We know many skilled tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc.). All of them have seen their wages drop. Electricians used to make $60/hour. Now they are lucky to get $25. My dh used to work in construction. He made $35/hour plus amazing benefits. Those jobs are $10-15/hour now with no benefits. Then with gas prices doubling in the last few years and food prices going up with talk of them going up even more, it doesn't look good for a majority of people.

 

Ayup. We've seen the same issue here. Even smaller businesses that used to be able to hire guys for the summer at the lower end of normal pay are no longer hiring.

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:iagree: Prices are up and wages are down. We know many skilled tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc.). All of them have seen their wages drop. Electricians used to make $60/hour. Now they are lucky to get $25. My dh used to work in construction. He made $35/hour plus amazing benefits. Those jobs are $10-15/hour now with no benefits. Then with gas prices doubling in the last few years and food prices going up with talk of them going up even more, it doesn't look good for a majority of people.

 

My dad has seen the same issues in Cincinnati. I think large cities have it worse there. Here in our very rural area, we paid over $100 just for a plumber to look at my washer and tell me it was not fixable. Seriously. :glare: and this was the least expensive I could find. So I think certain trades are doing better in certain areas. My dad is a house appraiser. He's been out of work for over 2 years because the banks won't pay the appraisers and there isn't as much work. :(

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I picked a career (Accounting) and chose to stay in this area for my first after-Masters job for this reason, though. I really wanted to live in the mountains. I had every intention of moving there. However, the jobs simply weren't as plentiful, so I would either stagnate at a lower level or we would have to move after 2 years or so. Where I live now, we are within an hour of two metropolitan areas and several smaller cities. My kids really want stability, and I want that for them. Moving every year or two is NOT fun and has negatively affected some things in my adulthood.

 

This area wasn't as affected by the downturn, but the lower level jobs were hit hard.

 

Yes, Raleigh/Durham is weathering the depression fairly well, from everything I've heard and read. I think the state's investment in education, technology, and research has helped buffer the hit that Charlotte-based banking and business took. I agree with you that the mountains there are absolutely gorgeous, and thinking about them makes me a bit homesick.

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Ayup. We've seen the same issue here. Even smaller businesses that used to be able to hire guys for the summer at the lower end of normal pay are no longer hiring.

 

This is us too. Hubby owns his own business, but all businesses like his have either gone under or lowered rates. He has lowered his rates to stay competitive. He used to hire folks to assist him with fieldwork, but now he does all of his own and/or has our boys help him.

 

Fortunately, he also is quite the handyman around the house/farm so we don't need to hire folks for those jobs (fixing things). Many people around here do their own fixing - esp with this economy. I've seen handymen out actively looking for jobs too. It's probably better for them to be nearer a city than out in our more rural area.

 

There are still full time jobs around, but wages are down and prices + expenses are up - so far less "mad" money to be spent. Restaurants aren't empty, but I'm told business is down. If true (no reason not to believe those who told it to me), then those owners are in the same boat - decreased income with increased prices. They're still working, but getting less in.

 

We plan to stay in our area until our youngest graduates. Then we hope housing has improved enough to sell our farm and live on the road (camper). There will be less expenses that way, so we can handle less income more easily. Plus, I miss traveling...

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As for those saying just move...um, for those part of a real community and not just islands to themselves, moving can come at a great non-cash but still financial cost. I know so many people here and any family I care to see lives here. We are fortunate. My husband has a very secure job and works for a non-profit that is supportive of the good union benefits he receives. He doesn't make a huge sum, but we would need quite a bit extra to even kinda sorta make up for the loss of our community.

 

Consider:

 

Never leaving many homes without free herbs, veggies or books pressed into your arms.

 

Smoothly established trades (I take away people's greens and fruit and return the produce as cooked, prepared foods like sauces, pies, casseroles while getting to keep the same cooked food for my family.)

 

Sufficient traded childcare to cover emergency and recreational needs.

 

Traded childcare so my son can go to summer camp free.

 

Prepping people's taxes and helping them set up bookkeeping systems in exchange for everything from furniture to childcare to paintings to professional photo shoots.

 

Established resources for a special needs child.

 

I am sorry but that is worth something to me and is not something we would have if we moved every few months, chasing a paycheck. If my husband lost his job, it would take a lot to make moving worth it. Life is more than cash money.

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As to the moving thing, Renee has told me that moving to FL because there was a job there was, in hindsight, NOT the best idea for them for many reasons. Regentrude, I'm wondering if maybe the disconnect here is that you are thinking of professional level jobs, like professors and engineers, and the other posters are talking about lower level jobs.

 

 

 

 

I definitely think that there is a difference between moving for professional level jobs and lower level jobs. I can see where it wouldn't be worth it for the latter. However, it can be very worth it if you are in a professional level job. My DH has moved several times in his career and it has been SO worth it. I shudder to think where we would be if he hadn't make those moves. It has made all of the difference between us being extremely stable right now and being in a precarious position like so many others in the U.S.

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Regentrude, I'm wondering if maybe the disconnect here is that you are thinking of professional level jobs, like professors and engineers, and the other posters are talking about lower level jobs.

 

I was referring to the poster who said her DH wanted to hire qualified workers and was trying to recruit students because nobody wanted to move,a nd somebody asked why that was- so I assumed this to mean a job with expected qualifications.

 

So I guess, yes, maybe I have a disconnect, because in my circle of friends, people with a higher education at postgraduate level, it is considered completely normal to move to different states and even countries to where the jobs are, moving several times in the course of a career, having extended periods of long distance marriages. It is considered normal to move overseas with a backpack and a suitcase while your spouse is working on a different continent (that's how I came to the US for the first time). It is considered normal to spend extended periods with temporary contracts for 1 or 2 years. It is considered normal to look for a job for a long time and end up in a country you had never even considered.

So, I guess I am seeing things from this perspective. I consider choosing the location where I want to live and expecting to find a job there a complete luxury which is unrealistic for all my friends.

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