“I lost my job last April, lost my home due to loss of income, had to sell most of my belongings and move in with a friend,” said Kristi B. of Boca Raton. “If it weren’t for her, I probably would be living in my car right now.”
Many people in the United States have suffered from a direct impact of the economic meltdown. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed individuals in the United States was 14.9 million as of August 2010, with an unemployment rate at 9.6 percent.
While many have had their lives change completely due to the current economic condition, others simply see the repercussions of it in their everyday routine. One college student said that at a recent trip to the grocery store, he noticed that items were anywhere from 25 to 50 percent more expensive than they were a few years ago. “Hyperinflation like that should be illegal,” he said.
The grocery store is not the only place where hyperinflation is evident. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the cost of college tuition has increased much faster than the overall inflation rate since 1981. Many college students either have plans to drop out of school or have already done so.
“Financial aid isn’t always easy to get, and the student loans can be too overwhelming,” one student said.
Being a college student and finding a job is not an easy task, either. According to a press release from the Joint Economic Committee, one in five young workers ages 16-24 are unemployed, hitting a record high in April 2010.
Despite these hardships, more people than ever are seeking higher education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 40 percent of adults between ages of 25 and 64 in the United States had bachelor’s degrees as of 2007. It is also reported that the increase of employment has been among workers who have a college education.
For some, the recession has actually had a positive impact on their lives. “After the housing market crashed, my husband and I bought our house from the developer for $200,000 less than the original asking price,” said Alanna Corrigan of Delray Beach. “We were very lucky to buy our first house at the absolute best time.”
Efforts are being made to improve the financial crisis. Over 570,000 jobs have been made available since the beginning of 2010, according to the Joint Economic Committee. While searching for permanent work again, many people who have been laid off qualify for various benefits, including unemployment compensation and food stamp assistance.