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Is there an upside to this recession? (part 1)

Unemployment Lines
Unemployment Lines
(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Like most other states, Georgia has been hit hard by the current recession. According to public policy writer Mike Klein on, there are 587,000 unemployed, underemployed or discouraged workers in our state. And what’s really eye opening is that we’ve gone from under 5% unemployment just three years ago to over 10% today.

But this isn’t the typical job loss situation. A majority of the people who have lost jobs are male. More men are out of work and it seems like we continually hear stories about women now being the major breadwinner. In 2010, again according to, 55.9% of unemployed Georgians are male, with 33.6% being white males (it didn’t mention other demographics). Astounding numbers indeed and obviously due to the financial meltdown. Men in finance, real estate, manufacturing and construction have been heavily hit. That’s not to mention all the industries that then feel the shakeout down the line.

Most of us have lost a job at least once in our lives, and it can be devastating. It leaves you feeling bitter, wronged, worried, depressed…you can finish the list yourself. So is there any upside to being turfed through no fault of your own? If it happened to you, you’d probably respond with “Hell no!” and I wouldn’t blame you. But once you’re at a place when you can put a bit of the anger aside, you’ll notice that whether you asked for it or not, this is a time when you can make some changes, restructure your life. You not only can, but you’re being forced to. So go with it. Think about it, other than the money stress, do you really want to jump back into what you were doing? For a lot of men, that old career doesn’t even exist anymore. So this is your chance, your moment to change your life. Are you going to take it? What have you got to lose?