Unemployment Gets Real for More Americans

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The unemployment rate in America is climbing faster than expected, jumping to a 26-year high of 9.7 percent in August.

This week, the Bobcat construction equipment company shut down its plant in Bismarck, N.D.  Nearly 500 people will lose their jobs.

"There's a lot of pain and I would expect that," said Bobcat Americas president Rich Goldsbury.  "These are people that are affected by this.  It's not something that we want to do."

While some economists have fueled hope that the country's recession is ending, the new unemployment figures spark concerns that more Americans will find themselves looking for other work.

you know, you're going to have to keep your head up to an extent, get over the feeling sorry for yourself part of it and try and push ahead.  as hard as that may be, that's what it's going to take.
"It's a lot of people wondering what they're going to do," said Bobcat Union president Jeremy Bauer.  "A lot of people hitting the job market at the same time."

Christians have also been hard hit by the prolonged economic downturn.

The Catholic archdiocese of Detroit is cutting its staff by 30 percent after tithing dropped between 5 and 10 percent in the past year.

Focus on the Family also laid off 75 people this week after a 5 percent drop in revenues in the past fiscal year.

"It was a sad day for us here on Wednesday, and it still is," Focus on the Family media director Lisa Anderson said.  "All of these folks are family to us.  and you know, most of them have come to focus to work here because they're passionate about our mission, about what we do.  they want to be a part of that.  so it's a loss, a very personal loss.
 
Employment at Focus on the Family has dropped from a peak of1,400 employees to 860 because of the financial hits.

Where we've really seen it is in our large donors, members who we consider to be part of our family, and friends who have given to us for years who have lost significant percentages of their businesses, and are really struggling themselves," Anderson added.

The ministry is trying to help those laid off by giving them office space and computer time to look for new jobs.

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