View Full Version : Longest you've been out of work?

Rich Riddle
12-27-2013, 6:05 PM
I just read an article about unemployment being extended past the 99 week limit for people to find work. Out of curiosity, in your adult life, what is the longest you've been out of work?

Mine was about ten days.

George Bokros
12-27-2013, 6:07 PM
I was out 4 1/2 months the first time. The second it was about three weeks.

Roy Harding
12-27-2013, 6:37 PM
Two weeks - and I HAD a job after two days, it just didn't start until two weeks later. FWIW I've been working since 1975.

Ed Aumiller
12-27-2013, 7:28 PM
Before retirement... less than 2 weeks from age 18 till retirement...
After retirement... NEVER.. too much to do...

Bill Bukovec
12-27-2013, 7:36 PM
26 weeks in 1992

3 days in 2012.

Plan t take some time off in 2015 to move from Minesnowda to Tennessee.

Mike Cozad
12-27-2013, 7:55 PM
4 months in 2006. Decided to change jobs and relocate. Took a while to find a job where I wanted to live. Eventually settled for one "close". Wasn't smart enough at the time to recognize the downturn....

Ken Fitzgerald
12-27-2013, 8:06 PM
I enlisted in the US Navy in 1968 and got out in 1976. I had a job 3 months before I got out and never looked for another job. Even when the company was sold to a larger corporation, I maintained my job.

Then I awoke deaf a little over 3 years ago and for reasons of my personal safety and customer's equipment safety and convenience I was forced to retire a little sooner than I had planned.

There are others, professionals, with college degrees that I know that haven't been that lucky, however.

Rich Riddle
12-27-2013, 9:14 PM

I spent years in the Marines and Army (reserve) and am one of those with college degrees who lost a good job in the early 2000's. A few "get by" jobs came up (including the reserves) and those opened many lucrative possibilities. It seems that many professional employers liked the fact that I worked several "get by" jobs when looking for a "real" one. I know some people with my degrees and licenses who refuse to consider any "get by" position. For me it worked great.

Dan Hintz
12-27-2013, 10:09 PM
After my 3rd layoff in the same number of years, I decided to stay out of the biz and start my own business. I was "out of work" for around 3 years, though to be fair I wasn't looking for it. Once the business was up and self-sustaining, then I started looking. Had something useful within a month or two.

John McClanahan
12-27-2013, 10:20 PM
I lived off of unemployment checks for about 3 months in early 1980 when the shop I worked for closed. Then in 1984 I was laid off, and was out of work for 3 weeks before finding another job.. Other than that, I have always had a job.


Stephen Cherry
12-27-2013, 10:34 PM

It seems that many professional employers liked the fact that I worked several "get by" jobs when looking for a "real" one.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I started pumping gas, fast food. Got my first engineering job because the boss liked that I worked as a lawn mower mechanic while going to college. Didn't like every job that I had, but I have never thought anything honest was beneath my dignity. I've only been fired once, as a auto mechanic, because I did not want to sell a dude driving a beat up AMC Pacer unnecessary service work.

Anyway, I've never really been out of work over the past 30 years. That said, I do understand that changes in the economy can leave people high and dry. It seems to me that the big thing is to recognize when it's time to switch gears, even if it's not exactly what you want to do.

Raymond Fries
12-27-2013, 10:34 PM
Years ago I was out of work for 5 months between jobs. I was an accountant then and the market was tight in my area.

Bruce Page
12-27-2013, 11:28 PM
I’ve had 4 jobs since 1968 and never left one job without having another lined up. Other than my time in the military, the longest I have ever been “unemployed” was 1 week that was spent moving from SoCal to Los Alamos, NM to start a new job. Things were a lot different for my generation. I really feel for the people looking for work today.

Don Morris
12-28-2013, 1:14 AM
After 30 years active duty I retired. I had promised my LOML I would do some things I had put off so I wasn't "working". I was doing the things around the house I had put off. She still was working full time. After about a year and half of catch up. I finished all that and went back to looking for work and began again. Worked for another 15 years, then pulled the plug for good.

Rick Potter
12-28-2013, 1:34 AM
Never......and yes, I realize how lucky and blessed I have been.

Rick Potter

Brian Elfert
12-28-2013, 1:45 AM
It took me almost two months to find a job after I sold my business, but I wasn't hurting for money at the time.

Mike Cozad
12-28-2013, 6:50 AM
I think Rich and Stephen highlighted an intersting point how there are many unemployed that refuse work "beneath" them. In 2006 I took a serious reduction in salary and a step or 2 back in positions of resposibility to get to where I needed to go. It was the best thing I could have done. That position opened up huge new doors almost immediately.

The other odd thing about unemployment I've found since moving to manufacturing is there is a subculture around seasonal work and layoffs. Folks actually work towards enough hours to be entitled to unemployment. Strangest thing I've seen. One plant I worked in was union and when things would slow down rather than layoff by seniority from the bottom, we had rules around offering furloughs. I was always amazed by how many high seniority folks took the furloughs week after week and collected unemployment. Its just a different mindset than I was taught to have I reckon....

Phil Thien
12-28-2013, 7:50 AM
Never......and yes, I realize how lucky and blessed I have been.

Rick Potter

Ditto this.

Started my own business when I was 24 (25 years ago) and thankfully there has always been enough work to keep the homestead going.

Before starting my own business I never was out of work. When I was 16 I took a job at Heathkit for a couple of years, then went to work for various outfits as a contract programmer.

I haven't had much time off. I'm envious of people with paid vacation. I only get weekends and holidays, and many of those get nailed, too. For instance, this afternoon I'm moving a bunch of servers. The last time I took some time off was about three years ago, I took the family to Orlando between Christmas and New Years.

My dad was a columnist and worked from home, worked about two hours a day, and had sixteen weeks of paid vacation per year (that is right, one third of the year was paid vacation). And he complained about that all the time. So I guess the moral of the story is, no matter how good you've got it, you're going to gripe a little bit.

Ralph Boumenot
12-28-2013, 8:46 AM
I got laid off in Oct 2007 and I finally got a job in Jan 2010. This was the worse period of my life. I couldn't even get a job at McDonalds or washing dishes. I'm glad it's behind me now.

Rich Engelhardt
12-28-2013, 9:20 AM
I got fired once the day after Christmas....
I was out of work for about a month.

When I left the retail field and switched over to the IT field, I quit working for 16 months so I could devote 100% to school.

The longest though has been this stretch from August 2011 when I retired until now.
Thank heaven that's coming to an end shortly w/any luck.

Rod Sheridan
12-28-2013, 9:31 AM
I was laid off from a job as as a shear operator in a heavy press room for 3 weeks.

This was the job between high school and college to pay for college.

After that I've been continuously employed, 8 years in one company, 25 in the present company.

One of my friends with similar education has about one job per year, then there's a down sizing or lay offs and he's out looking for a new job.

That seems to be the more common scenario..................Regards, Rod.

phil harold
12-28-2013, 11:24 AM
I used 26 weeks in 2009 and now working for less than i was making in 1983
I have had a real problem due to my age
this article rings true for me

David Weaver
12-28-2013, 11:45 AM
Never more than two days. Actually two days by design in one case. I left a prior employer hoping they would dismiss me (for fear of me taking confidential information) for a two week paid vacation, but they decided that they'd like me to finish my work so I worked those two weeks.

I'm employed in a dying profession, so the grass will not be as green in the future as it has been for the last 14 years. it is definitely much much tougher now than it was 14 years ago. The work is harder to come by and the average quality of the supply of labor has increased. You have to be smart and pretty to have job security now, and I'm not pretty! Sometimes not smart, either!!

Bill Huber
12-28-2013, 12:14 PM
I am one of the lucky ones, I walked out of high school to a job, stayed there for 2 years and then went to the second one, stayed there for 18 years and just retired from my 3rd job after 29 years and was never out of work.

I really think things are a lot different now, I see that the long term employment is just not there anymore. People just do not stay in one place like they used to.

Chuck Wintle
12-28-2013, 12:21 PM
I just read an article about unemployment being extended past the 99 week limit for people to find work. Out of curiosity, in your adult life, what is the longest you've been out of work?

Mine was about ten days.
I was out 4 months during a lockout in the middle of winter. We lost more than we gained.

Steve Rozmiarek
12-28-2013, 12:34 PM
I got my first job when I was 10, driving an open cab tractor in a hay field. That was 30 years ago, and less time for school, I have never been unemployed. Had to take a 3/4 cut in wages one time when a business I owned fell apart, but it opened the door to doing what I do now. I think Mike, Rich and Stephen got it right, many won't do something "beneath" them, and would rather milk the system. 99 weeks is ridiculous.

Dave Anderson NH
12-28-2013, 2:53 PM
I was let go in 1972 from a job I had jumped to 4 months earlier. It took 3 days to get a job and I've been continuously employed since then. Except for the 3 days after being let go I never left a job before I had a new one. The present job I've been at for 21 years with one left to go before retirement.

Andrew Joiner
12-28-2013, 7:45 PM
I started working various low wage jobs at age 16. I worked at 2 different woodworking shops until I was 22. To be honest from age 16 to 24 I only worked as little as I could , because I was lazy!

I started my own woodworking business at age 22 and was barely making a living. When I got clean and sober at age 24 I had a morality change. I became obsessed with work and wanted to make up for the years I wasted. Luckily, I made some money woodworking and put most of my profits into rental property. When I had no work in the shop, I'd work on the rentals.
When I was 40 I decided to lease out my shop and travel. I've done no work other than manage my investments since 1991,so I guess I've been out of work for 22 years now!

In Denmark they cut the time one could get unemployment benefits. It went from 4 years to 2 years. Funny,people found jobs in 2 years, but with the old rules it took 4 years.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/why-denmark-is-shrinking-its-social-safety-net/?_r=0 (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/why-denmark-is-shrinking-its-social-safety-net/?_r=0)

Mike Henderson
12-28-2013, 10:12 PM
I've been very fortunate and never got laid off until I was in my late 50's. Even then, I was able to get another job in about a week. However, I've gone through a lot of layoffs and it's very stressful, even if you're not laid off.


Larry Whitlow
12-29-2013, 1:22 AM
Worked as firefighter for four years while in college. Moved to a new job after graduation without any break and retired 36 years later without any breaks. I feel very fortunate and lucky, though I hope that a lot of the luck part happened because of hard work. I grew up in a farming town. Work was available at an early age and we took advantage of it. Back then, young people did not assume that their parent's owed them a living. We have tried, and I think done so successfully, to bring our kids up with the same drive and values.

paul cottingham
12-29-2013, 12:04 PM
Grew up on a farm with a gentle, hardworking father who instilled a strong work ethic. Worked around the farm, worked in a mill on weekends cleaning until university. In university I held a job washing dishes and cooking right thru graduate school. Worked as a technical instructor, and ran a network installation company until a head injury forced my early retirement. Getting hurt was actually good for me, as being a workaholic was not always good. Longest time without some kind of employment until "retirement" was probably 3 weeks.

Robert Delhommer Sr
12-29-2013, 12:19 PM
About 15 minutes.

Ronald Blue
12-29-2013, 3:17 PM
Other than about 11 months from the fall of 1981 until late summer of 1982 I have had a job from the time I was old enough to work. That would have started when I was 13-14 years of age. I baled a lot of square bale hay and straw before I was old enough to drive. When you were good help word spread quickly among-st the farmers and I was able to make good money every day that was fit for bailing in my summers off. I grew up are a grain and livestock farm so I always knew what chores and work was about. When I got my license I began working as a bag boy in a chain grocery store until I graduated from high school. I had taken machine shop for 2 years in high school and started working as a machinist after graduation. I advanced to tool and die maker status after a few years. After a business slow down in the early 90's and a internal demotion and accompanying pay cut I started looking elsewhere for employment. That was a blessing in disguise because it enabled me to get a job I love doing. There are careers still out there if that's what you want. Railroading can be a career and the advancement opportunities are great.

Joe Tilson
12-29-2013, 4:38 PM
Was out of work for 3 years about 11 years ago. It seemed I was over qualified for everything. Did odd jobs, mowed lawns, and worked temp jobs. Finally got a job in shipping and receiving until retirement. Now I am a househusband.

John Blakey
01-03-2014, 7:53 AM
I edned a streak of 3 years unemployment a few months ago and I can't be more thankful...

Charles Wiggins
01-03-2014, 10:46 AM
I don't remember for sure, but it was probably less than a month, after I finished grad school and moved back home with no job prospects. I've had as many as four part-time jobs at once, and almost always had something else lined up before I left a job. I've never filed for unemployment. I would if I had to in order to take care of my family, but the way I was raised you take whatever work you can get and do your best at it.

Rich Riddle
01-03-2014, 6:37 PM
I don't remember for sure, but it was probably less than a month, after I finished grad school and moved back home with no job prospects. I've had as many as four part-time jobs at once, and almost always had something else lined up before I left a job. I've never filed for unemployment. I would if I had to in order to take care of my family, but the way I was raised you take whatever work you can get and do your best at it.
It's the way my parents raised us as well. My father is 83 and still works 30 hours a week. Of course he rode his motorcycle from Kansas City to Cincinnati in September as well for one weekend. He had to return to work on Monday. Some of the funnest jobs I ever had were those part time ones when looking for a real job. Wished some paid more so I could have stayed there.

Tony Streible
01-04-2014, 10:24 AM
I've been out of work since June. I have been trying to get some projects to do in my shop, but so far, nothing has really come along. My situation is a little odd. After successfully running an unsuccessful building business for 17 years, I got into catastrophe adjusting. Things fell into place and I was deployed to Atlanta for tornado work, then to Long Island for Super Storm Sandy, then spent the spring in Chicago for BUSD claims. Since then, there has not been enough to get me back out. I've applied with other firms, but they are all in the same boat. ie - if company "A" has no claims, company "B" probably won't either. The only difference is market share percentage. So, I've been looking for work, but have been loathe to take a job at $8/hr "yet". I'm worried about taking a job that people would see as a career - one where a company would train or invest in me. When I get a phone call from my adjusting firm, I'm gone and it wouldn't be fair to them. I have about 72 hours to get anywhere in the country to begin. Typically, there are more storms each year. This has been a very good year for home owners, so obviously, I've had very little work.