Are you one of the 5 million Americans who have remained unemployed for more than six months? There are more than 14 million unemployed Americans and five million of them are facing long-term unemployment that could extend well past a year. Even after the economy improves, many analysts expect that the unemployment rate will continue to rise for about 19 months. What can you do to prepare yourself for the possibility of long-term unemployment?
- Get realistic about your job prospects. How long have you been unemployed? If it's already been more than six months, you are probably one of the 5 million Americans facing long-term unemployment.
- Understand what you're facing. If you are facing more than six months of unemployment, that means that you will most likely be unemployed for at least a year or maybe even two years. Right now it is taking about 8 months to find a job and that's if you're not part of the long-term unemployed.
- Make an honest assessment of your financial picture. This is not a place where you want to guess. Write down exactly what your monthly expenses are and how much income you are receiving. If your expenses are higher than your income, you are looking at a serious problem in the long-term. Even if you have savings it won't last forever. Now is the time to cut back or even consider bankruptcy to discharge burdensome debt.