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Unemployed Dedicate Extra Time To Health, Hobbies, And Family

Unpaid bills, dashed retirement plans, and the loss of workers are just a few difficulties the unemployed face according to a WCCO News report.

However, many say life minus work has its advantages.

They have included more time with family and friends, learning new skills, focusing on their health and pursuing hobbies.

Of course, there are a variety of reasons about just how sweet, or bitter the experience has been.

Alex Swain, 36, of Leesburg, Va., lost his job last April at a wireless communications company. After applying for more than 200 jobs, Swain has gone on 10 interviews and has not had a single offer.

"You can't stay in the house all day or you'll lose your mind," he said.

Laid off from his job at a signmaking company in 2006, Andre Lavato, 55, of Waukesha, Wis.has applied for 35 jobs since then without any luck.

He uses his free time for woodcarving, computer illustrations and sketching.

Some of the unemployed are eager to get back to work, some are enjoying their leisure activities, while for others,
the appreciation of free time is fleeting.

Fox 9 News reported that the unemployment rate hit 7.6 in January, a month with more layoffs than at any other time since 1974.

In a Manhattan bar, hopelessness and discouragement set the tone for the atmosphere of well-dressed professionals enjoying drinks and conversation -- many of them which had no job.

After being laid off from her job as an AIG training manager, Susan Lange said, "Wall Street, directly or indirectly, has ruined the best 10 years of life."

In the hopes of landing jobs, jobseekers are trying to network in bars, wait in lines in city help centers and join the business networking Website LinkedIn.

Recent graduate David Gunther gave up his dream for a Wall Street job making $80,000 per year right out college.

Now Gunther has become creative as he has begun networking with professionals and traveling to the places where executives live.

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