'Evening News' Plays up Recessionary-Caused Unemployment

January 24th, 2008 5:05 PM

Worried about finding employment after losing your job because of this gosh-awful recession we're having? Oh, you haven't lost your job yet? Yeah, we aren't actually having a recession yet, but that's just details.

But the show must go on, and so goes the January 23 "CBS Evening News."

"It's a bumpy ride for the American worker as well. As the economy slows the unemployment rate is rising," anchor Katie Couric said. "About 7.6 million Americans are now unemployed. That's a million more than a year ago. So what should you do if you lose your job? [CBS correspondent] Kelly Cobiella looks at some strategies for job seekers for whom this economic downturn is really hitting home."

While 7.6 million unemployed sounds like a lot, unemployment, at 5 percent for December 2007, isn't near what it was during the highs of previous two recessions. Perhaps Couric was too busy writing up juicy scoops at her college paper, The Cavalier Daily, during the late 1970s to remember what unemployment is like during a real recession.

Unemployment during the Jimmy Carter presidency was at 7 percent, but was amplified by a 13.5-percent inflation rate. Unemployment rose to 6.3 percent following the 2001 recession and 7.8 percent following the 1990-91 recession.

However, for "Evening News," it was time for Remedial Job Searching 101. That might even mean taking a part-time job.

"You should also be open to a part-time job," Cobiella said. "If nothing else it's a way to make contacts. Network in person and online, and as a rule of thumb, allow at least one week of searching for every $10,000 in salary. That's six weeks to land a $60,000-a-year job."

According to the U.S. Labor Department, first-time jobless claims decreased by 1,000 to 301,000 in the week ended January 19, from a revised 302,000 a week earlier. That was far below what economists expected, according to Bloomberg. This is also far below typical recessionary first-time jobless claims, which usually exceed 450,000 according to Briefing.com, an investor newswire service.