Posts tagged with: Chicago

The unpaid furlough strikes again

A friend of mine took a job with the city of Chicago late last year. He loves his new job. He likes the people he works with. And he’s thrilled that his commute each morning takes about 15 minutes.

He’s not thrilled, though, that tomorrow, the 4th of July, he’ll be taking his first of many unpaid holidays.

My friend is like many other workers out there: He’s being forced to take unpaid days off — furloughs — to help his employer, in this case, the city of Chicago, balance its books. My friend has to take 15 days off without pay by the end of the year.

He’s of two minds on this: First, he’s glad he has a job when so many others don’t. Secondly, he’s ticked that the rules of his employment have suddenly changed. It’s not his fault, after all, that the city of Chicago can’t manage its money.

He’s not too unusual, I suppose. There are so many people being forced to take unpaid days off now. I know it’s a better alternative than firings or layoffs. But, still, it always seems that the employees get screwed whenver there’s a financial crisis. I guess it’s true what they say: You’ll never make a fortune by working for someone else.

Big job losses in Chicago

I call Chicago home. So it pains me to see so many people losing their jobs in the city I love.

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago area lost 185,900 jobs last year. In May, the Chicago area saw its unemployment rate hit 10.7 percent.

I’ve seen it firsthand. At the publishing company where I work, the higher-ups fired about 65 percent of our staff. And every time I go to a family party or a friend’s house, I hear about or meet someone who’s lost their job.

I’ve seen people, too, who’ve had to go on forced unpaid furloughs. An engineering friend of mine has to take 10 days off without pay before the summer ends.

Are things getting better? I don’t see it. Is there anything you can do to keep your job? I have no idea. My only advice is this: Keep your resume’ circulating, even if you hold a steady job. You want fallback options in this terrible economy and job market.