Breaking Brown

February 14, 2014

After Jobless Benefits End, Americans Are Hustling to Make Ends Meet

After Jobless Benefits End, Americans Are Hustling to Make Ends Meet


Many Americans who are out of luck in so far as jobless benefits go are hustling to ensure that they can make ends meet. The Washington Post reports that “about a third of the people cut off from long-term unemployment benefits will find help from Social Security or other government programs.” So what about the others who are left to go it alone? They’re piecing together a patchwork existence that they’d probably never imagined prior to losing their jobs and accompanying unemployment benefits.

One Maryland woman interviewed by the Post, Wessita McKinley, an Air Force veteran, worked as a private contractor earning a six figure salary prior to the recession. After working a few low paying jobs, McKinley began piecing together an income:

Now that her unemployment benefits are gone, McKinley relies on what she calls “legal hustling” to pay her bills and keep her daughter in college: helping friends’ children fill out financial aid forms, driving friends on errands, entering data for small businesses — all for a fee.

“There’s no shame in my game,” McKinley said. “If you’re not creative in this economy, you’re going to be squashed.”

With recent cuts to food stamps and the ending of long term unemployment benefits, unemployed workers who haven’t recovered since the beginning of the Great Recession are still reeling, with little to grab hold of in this perfect economic storm.

The number of Americans not in the labor force has exploded to an all time high of 91.8 million. In December the civilian labor force dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, a 35 year low.


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8 thoughts on “After Jobless Benefits End, Americans Are Hustling to Make Ends Meet

  1. Watchful says:

    A lack of jobs forced many, if not most, of those who were receiving unemployment benefits to seek assistance in the first place and they often r criticized, and in some cases, condemned for it. Then millions of them get cut off with this heartless congress failing to give them an extension. Welcome to the so-called ‘economic recovery’ where the gov’t says ‘to hell with u’ and ur left to fend for urself.

    BTW, I never considered this a ‘Great Recession’, but rather, a ‘Great Depression’. We need to stop allowing politicians and talkin’ heads in the mainstream media to mislead us with false terminology to describe what we’re really experiencing in terms of the true economic situation in this country.

  2. DeborahMartin says:

    Been laid off since 2009. Unemployment Insurance was cut off in March of 2011.  I searched for work and was told that “if not currently worked, don’t bother to apply” so by September 2011, I had no choice but to Occupy!  I see talk about people just recently meeting his h*ll, not about the ones in this since 2008 and so on. Wait until they go to welfare with their degrees and experience and meet up with “Back To Work” classes where they torture you with “get a job, don’t want to hear about the economy talk” and the WEP – Worker’s Experience Program which is Indentured Servitude.

  3. Watchful says:


    Now that’s ‘Real Talk’ … thanks!

  4. yolettah says:

    This is why we as a people have to learn how to create additional streams of income, and not be dependent on others it’s a new day. Here’s a recording I will share with you 518-530-1663 email me or message me on Facebook for additional information yolettah@yahoo. Com or Facebook. Com/Yoletta Hall

  5. AdriennaTurner says:

    DeborahMartinI wish people PAY gas, but have been trying to find side jobs. I’m in this number of 1/3 unemployed, no benefits and work yet. I’m trusting GOD no matter what people think or say. Glad I am not alone. I have been unemployed since December 2012 until now Feb 2014, but on and off, since 2004 after getting masters degree. So I know I need to relocate and search elsewhere this year. I hope to sell this home~

  6. Stickhoss says:

    Hola como estaus, or whatever they say, my people had to learn English even thou it was bad English, We all did it, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  But I guess now I got to learn to speak Spanish to get a job, Wait sounds like a redistribution is going on but again certain people are excluded AGAIN, RECONSTRUCTION with who doing the rebuilding?  Look around

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