Jobless? Reach for New Unemployment Lifeline
Most of us know a friend or a family member who has lost his or her job. Many of us fear we will be next. After all, with more than 600,00 jobs a month vanishing, official unemployment now stands at 8.5 percent. And with as much as 15.6 percent of the adult workforce either jobless, underemployed or part of a group that has just plain given up looking for work, that fear is more than justified.
If you were to join the more than 13 million workers without jobs today, do you know where you would turn for help?
Here are a few of the issues the lifeline addresses:
- Where do you go for unemployment benefits, and what do you do if your former employer contests your claim?
- How are you going to keep your health insurance?
- What do you tell your family?
- How do you stretch every last day out of your money to give you time to find a new job?
- And how do you take your anger, depression or fear and turn it into a force for change?
With the help of the AFL-CIO’s Community Services staff—which has been helping working families deal with tough times for decades—and the Working America Education Fund, the new one-stop resource center for jobless workers provides a ZIP Code searchable data base of more than 50,000 resources. And that list is growing day by day.
We’ve spent weeks putting together a huge database of unemployment offices, food banks, health clinics, debt counseling agencies and anything else we could find that would be useful, but we know there’s more out there. You’re all experts on your own towns and areas, and if you know of another resource we should list, please submit it here. We’ll review submissions and add them to the site where appropriate.
The immediate goal for the Unemployment Lifeline is to provide resources and help now to give working families the best opportunities to cope with the staggering economy and growing unemployment. The site also is fertile ground to grow a community of activist workers who will be especially important to building an economic recovery. Says Clawson:
We need to join together to push for more jobs, better jobs and a stronger economy. The Unemployment LifeLine will empower the unemployed by offering regular opportunities for action to make America’s economy work fors. We’ll be pushing for stronger regulation of the financial industry, for green jobs and health care reform and to restore workers’ freedom to join unions and bargain for better benefits and fair wages.
The Unemployment LifeLine also includes a forum where workers can share their thoughts and information with others, a Worker Wiki that you can contribute too and edit and a calendar of workers’ events around the country.
Click here to check out the Unemployment Lifeline and be sure to spread the word.