Views from the unemployment line

With unemployment in the Asheville area on the rise, and 8,100 jobs lost since the beginning of the year, Xpress wants to hear about your experiences in these tight times.

Are you unemployed? Has a family member or friend lost their job due to the economy? How are you making ends meet and putting food on the table?

Let us know in the comments below.

—David Forbes, staff writer

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9 thoughts on “Views from the unemployment line

  1. Amelia D

    How am I making ends meet is a good question. Actually I appreciate the opportunity to answer it, because I was planning on writing a letter to mtnx on this very topic. I guess it is pointless to say that this is the worst job market I could ever imaging in my entire life. It has taken me almost a year to make enough money to even consider moving to a place with more opportunities. I have just graduated from college. I worked extremely hard in school and graduated from a sister Ivy League university. Not only can I not consider anything related to my course of study, I am working the most laborious and unpleasant jobs I have ever worked. I have been through 4 jobs in the last 6 months, mostly because I “wasn’t a good fit” for a $7/hr restaurant position, regardless of how hard I worked. I know time are tough for local businesses, but times can’t be as tough for the young because the local businesses expect support from. There are so many restaurants and organizations in Asheville that I will never again support because of the way I was treated in trying to make a living here (I’d be happy to name them to anyone that’d like to know). Nobody can be blamed for the fact that tourism is the primary industry in this Southern town. However, for a place with so many liberal minded people, I’d hope they could consider it’s own residents.

  2. Bruce E. Clyne

    I am a county School bus driver and I do not know if have a job when school starts in August. I decided that as a personal goal I will continue my education and complete my BA degree at Grand Canyon University. I feel that it is something I can do for me and my family. My beloved wife died if February, 2008 and we returned to Wonderful Western North Carolina to live with relatives until I can suvive on my own supporting a twelve year old daughter. The children suffer the most and there are some stories about children going hungry, I heard on the bus, that would make your hair stand on end. Some are even moving away to ther relatives in other states just to be feed.It breaks my heart but I know I am doing my best to feed my family. I have no where to go. I need work soon.

  3. Concerned

    I am about to be unemployed and my boyfriend has been unemployed for 6 months. As I look at the job listings in WNC I am discourage and less hopeful to find something by August. There are no creative jobs in Asheville or jobs that offer a decent wage to live on. The art market is not big enough here to pay an artist to sell goods full-time. Most of the jobs I see advertised are in retail. A person cannot really survive on $8-$10.00 an hour and pay rent, bills, etc. Most of these jobs don’t even have health insurance. I have applied for about 20 jobs since April and have not even received one call for an interview. This is hard to understand considering I have a great job history and two degrees under my belt. I have considered returning to college but I really do not wish to pay more student loans. The other alternative is to move from Asheville. This is a step we are considered heavily.

  4. dstuart1

    I’ve been here in Asheville for over 10 years and the only work I could find in the past ten years has been the service industry. It’s been a up hill battle for the past ten years to try and make ends meet with the high cost of living and extremely poor wages. I have worked for many well known establishments here in town that have closed over the years. As of June 21st my current place of work closed after being open for a year with just a 3 day notice to its employees! I give up on Asheville I’m going to a city where there is more than just service industry jobs available. I’m currently saving my pennies so that I may get the hell out of here. I would suggest that others take my advice and relocate to a more sustainable city. Good luck people.

  5. newcomer

    It is a pathetic job scene in this area, for sure. I came here last fall and am still looking. I’ve been willing to do most anything, and haven’t had luck yet. I was surviving on unemployment from my previous state, which has run out. Now I’m living on savings. The home I’m sharing is in forclosure, so I’ll have to get a new home, which should be interesting without a job. Anyway, I’m still optomistic. I feel strongly that this is where I belong right now, so something will come up. Life always provides, depending on your attitude, flexibility, and keeping your eyes and ears open for the unexpected.

  6. dstuart1

    You have to look around at your surroundings. Every where you turn there is forclosures,poverty and hopelessness. I was born here in North Carolina, I didn’t come here from another state becuase of the local hippie scene or whatever. I know many people in this town ranging from artist to doctors and I can say with 100% certainty that none of my friends are doing well. Were all poor as hell for choosing to live in Asheville. I do love this town and the mountains but it comes a time when you have to look for sustaiable living and Asheville isn’t it.

  7. Concerned

    When I moved here from another small town in WNC in the mid ’90’s I had no problem finding a good job. I found a creative graphics based job in no time. That company has since failed and is no longer here. Since this city is supposed to be growing and the job market expanding…where are all the jobs? Will Asheville be able to sustain this false sense of wealth for much longer? I suppose as long as the wealthy keep moving here it will (for them), but the locals will be driven out for lack of jobs. It will become a city of transplants, another little Atlanta.

  8. tacostacos

    Wow, this is the most depressing thread I have ever read on MountainX. In fact, I found it so depressing I felt I had to register and comment.

    “20 applications since April?” That’s one every 4 days. Get out there. My wife lost her job last week and found a new one yesterday. She worked her tail off and applied for about 30 jobs in 6 days. Yeah, it sucks, no question. Looking for a job is soul killing in the worst way, because your esteem is so low and you have to puff yourself up and seem confident and capable while you search. But there’s no way around it – you just have to do it.

    Want ads look crappy? (I know they do, pathetic selection of pathetic jobs) Go cold calling with your resume. Places that are looking for someone aren’t even bothering to put ads in the paper, because they have a stack of resumes from people who need jobs.

    Short of that, talk to EVERYONE you know – that’s how things actually happen here in Asheville. Every time I’ve needed a house to rent, a job, a washer/dryer – I’ve talked to everyone I see. Someone knows someone who can help you.

    Amelia – I’m really sorry you can’t find a job that pays more than $10 an hour with your undergrad degree. Welcome to your 20’s.

    Concerned – Asheville has one of the most helpful, supportive, and embracing art communities in the United States. You can get your art out there if you talk to people and are willing to do what it takes. The market for selling art here is phenomenal – thanks to that tourist industry we all disparage all the time.

    And yes, the job market sucks – don’t get me wrong. I’ve spent chunks of time unemployed and it is just crushing. I would just like to encourage people to stay out there and keep their heads up. Firing off one emailed resume a week isn’t going to get you there.

  9. tacobot

    I’ve been laid off since February and I’ve felt that it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Being jobless and on unemployment has given me the time to focus on my creative endeavors and also to figure out what lies ahead for me personally. It hasn’t all been easy… but it’s been very much worth it.

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