It’s Labor Day weekend, a weekend traditionally marking the end of summer—when most kids are on vacation from school and many folks take their family vacations. But for some people, the “vacation” doesn’t end—because they don’t have jobs. They find themselves on an unwelcome, uncomfortable “vacation,” one they did not choose.
I have several friends who have been looking for work for months now. A few have been on a job search for more than a year. It’s a tough time—and very scary. Last week I spoke to a friend whose husband has been out of work for two years. They’ve been paying an enormous sum every month to hold onto their health insurance. She said they’re getting behind on their bills. She sounded kind of depressed. Money worries really wear a person down, especially as they drag on and on.
Several of these friends and ex-colleagues are, like me, middle-aged. Too young to retire, but too old to be attractive to many employers–lots of employers think that a young person is more likely to be around longer (and will take a lower salary). And even for young people, there are tough challenges: too few jobs, too much competition, and in many cases, the crushing burden of student loans.
What about you? Are you struggling to find work? Is someone in your family? Do you know someone who has been searching for a job so long that he or she has become discouraged and afraid? This weekend, in our prayers let’s remember all those who don’t have jobs and offer to help them as we are able.