What does 9.2% unemployment mean? How can we understand a statistic like 14.2 million unemployed?
Maybe by remembering that each of these numbers represents a person.
“I am intelligent, experienced, professional, lead with integrity and have excellent references,” a reader wrote in response to a Post article asking the unemployed to write about their experiences. “How did my life come to this? I am exhausted, I need peace of mind and I need a job. I am scared and recently called a suicide hot line... God forgive me.”
“Every application not responded to is rejection – being told I am worthless, useless and unwanted,” another unemployed reader wrote. “Every job posting telling me I am not good enough, that all my life work is worth nothing, tells me I do not measure up. I feel like I have been told a 1,000 times to just die.”
The Washington Post has collected stories from six families who have been affected by unemployment. You can read their accounts at Help Wanted: Stories of Unemployment