All I want for Christmas is a job for my husband

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 20 2013 | 12:01 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:06 am in
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Kristine Shultis

Editor’s note: Baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, were hit hard by the Great Recession. Between 2007 and 2010, 19 percent of those who became unemployed were unable to find work, according to Pew Research Center. Boomers’ net worth fell 25 percent. The following column from an Eastern Iowa woman relates to that trend.

All I want for Christmas this year is for my husband to get a job.

He used to work at Clipper Windpower as a planning analyst. This was a good job, and we thought we were helping the earth in our small way. This ended in June 2011. Since then, it has been a roller-coaster ride of temporary jobs and unemployment. I went to work full time, but it is not enough income to replace what my husband used to make.

With emergency unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of the year, I am left wondering what the future holds for our family.

Unemployment in our country is considered an embarrassment. You might not know that your neighbor or the person sitting next to you at church is unemployed. We are the silent, trying to live as normal a life as possible for our children. When people are unemployed, (some people think) there is something “wrong” with them or they should go out and dig ditches.

Only there aren’t any ditches to dig and my husband is a warm, generous person. In fact, many people still contact him with questions regarding his expertise in purchasing and inventory control. He helps them every time.

There have been many articles lately, including one in the Wall Street Journal, regarding unemployment of those older than 50. Perhaps my husband’s unemployment stems from the fact that he is 50-something. These people have years of excellent experience, good work ethic and, most importantly, the drive and desire to work.

Many in middle management, such as my husband, desperately want to contribute to the betterment not only of their families’ lives, but also the betterment of the country and world.

Unemployment hurts everyone. Where we used to contribute to many charities to help those less fortunate, now we do not. We used to volunteer our time; now we work or search for work.

So, this Christmas, I am asking for someone to hire my husband and the many others out there in similar situations. Help us make a difference again in so many ways!

l Kristine Shultis lives with her husband, Bob, and their two daughters in Shellsburg, IA

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