I wrote this post yesteerday but was having internet problems so couldn’t post it.

So it’s official, my P45 came yesterday, confirming that I am now one of those statistics that make up the “unemployed”. As someone who has been in a very fortunate position up until now and has never been in this situation before, I had a job ready waiting for me after I finished University and have never been made redundant, it hit quite hard.

I know I am neglecting the fact that I’m not fit to work, but the pressure around is continuously building with scaremongering newspapers and the government’s decisions to not support their citizens.

A recent article by Matthew O’Brien for The Atlantic was brought to my attention: The Terrifying Reality of Long-Term Unemployment. Granted it is about US unemployment but it could just as well be referring to the current employment state within the UK and it is the points raised in this article that I will tackle first.

The chances of finding employment decreasing if you have been out of work for over six months seems to makes sense if you are comparing like for like, of course my background is HR and recruitment and if I was presented with two applications and HAD to (remember I am fair) just bring one in to interview it would be the person who had been out of work for the shortest time. I know it doesn’t sound fair, I know there aren’t many jobs out there but at the back of my mind there would be a niggle asking why they haven’t found something yet. But that is if I could only bring one in to interview, otherwise I would of course bring them both in and see who was the better at the interview stage as I know there are many reasons for people being unemployed. If, however, the person who had been unemployed for longer had been doing something constructive with their time, e.g. learning a new language and the other individual hadn’t then I would choose the former. But then I consider the person as a whole, not just a list of previous jobs like some of my contemporaries.

What surprised me was that the study wasn’t just comparing like for like, this statistic was actually incredibly frightening; “There’s only a 2.12 percentage point difference in callback rates for the long-term unemployed with or without industry experience. That’s compared to a 7.13 and 8.95 percentage point difference for the short-and-medium-term unemployed.” O’Brien (2013). Just take that in. You could have worked for 20 years in a job and following a long period of illness have nearly the same chances of being called back as someone straight out of University.

Sorry for the shocking facts, and I hope people paid attention to the trigger warning. It is just astounding, and backs up what I have been saying to my boyfriend. He has been out of work for nearly two years. He woke up one day in April 2011 with intense back pain, no explanation or injury, he just couldn’t move. This of course impacted on his ability to work and had to resign from his job in the August. Just one month into our relationship this wasn’t too much of a problem, I’d just got a new job and my boyfriend was on medication and due to have a variety of treatments, he kept telling me he’d be back at work by Christmas, we’re now looking at Christmas 2013, but that’s another story (sorry I keep doing this to you, it’s not a lure to get you to keep coming back, I promise!).

By August though he had been off work for months so I suggested he did something to keep his mind busy and self improving whilst he was waiting for treatment, but this idea was rejected. Anyway, two years later and with nothing to show for his time but a list of computer games he has played is making me very anxious and actually delaying my recovery by making me so acutely aware that I need to get back into the employment arena as quickly as possible, which is panicking me greatly.

I am determined not to do the same though and have started networking via Twitter, set up this blog for my MH and POTS interests, set up ideas for Jam Jar Bakes for when I feel able enough to be able to bake for paying customers and done more work on my writing. I will also go back to volunteering as soon as I can. I am just as reliant as my boyfriend on waiting for medical treatment but am determined that I will give myself the best chance in life and not let my conditions rob more from me than they already have.

Edit: 22.04.15 12.35

So no sooner had I published this than the following article was brought to my attention: Female Unemployment Total Set to Hit Record 1.5m

The article is based on statistics that the majority of women employed by public services and the majority of those who went in to the new roles that had been created within private companies were male. Other than that the article does not provide much on unemployment. Nor does it take into consideration that some women have chosen to leave their role in order to raise their children in the face of higher nursery prices. As long as it is the woman’s choice as to whether she works or not I do not see an issue with this. Surely it’s all about giving women the choice, not forcing them to do a job which will put them in a worse financial position, will be detrimental to their children and something that makes them generally unhappy.

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