Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 13:51 UK

Rising unemployment: Your stories

Unemployment is on its way up according to the latest government figures, and there are fears it will rise still higher as the effects of the past few weeks of stock market and banking trauma are felt.

Here BBC News hears from a number of people who are facing unemployment and trying to find new work in difficult economic conditions.

DAMIEN DRUCE, 29, UNEMPLOYED, MACCLESFIELD
Damien Druce
Damien Druce may yet have to postpone his wedding plans

It's really difficult with me being in financial services. I first got laid off in December 2007, and in January I went back to work for a previous employer but was laid off again in July.

I've looked within financial services for work, and there is just nothing there. I've also looked at a change of direction to something like communications for fast moving consumer goods, but there is very little out there.

I've applied for a job with Sainsbury's as an assistant warehouse manager because I simply need to get something, but it's paying around 15,000 and I was on 46,000, which means there is a 31,000 deficit.

With two young children and a mortgage of 200k, it just doesn't fit. I'm trying to keep an open mind and I keep telling myself things are going to get better, but there is just so much bad news and that makes it difficult.

I don't think the government is doing enough, and Hazel Blears was on Question Time saying there is help for people with mortgages, but that doesn't come in until January. The problem is much more immediate than that.

I am supposed to be getting married on New Year's Eve, but there is every chance we will need to change our plans.

JAMES MATON, 33, UNEMPLOYED, SOUTHAMPTON
James Maton
James Maton has been working since he was 16 and is missing the routine

It's not very good at all at the moment out there, particularly not when you have a really good work ethic like I do. I've got a mortgage and it is a real worry meeting that commitment of 850 per month.

I spent eight or nine years working for British Gas and in July last year I was made redundant, and since then I have been temping, but my last temp work finished on 19 September.

I've reregistered with all the agencies and I've been calling them three times a week to see if there is any work, but the agencies themselves are getting nothing in.

I have sent speculative CVs all over the south-east of England and I've not heard a thing back from any of the companies. Everyone is just drawing their belts in as tightly as they can. It's very difficult for everyone.

I'd rather not go onto benefits - too much pride! - but I went to the Jobcentre and there is nothing for me there. I am either under qualified, or at least I have the wrong skills, or I am over qualified.

The other thing is that most of the jobs are paying minimum wage, or just above it and with a mortgage to pay I'm not sure how that would work out.

The people at the Jobcentre - it's not their fault - but they're not really able to help much. There is no one who can come in from above and say let's have a look at this situation and have a look at my skills and have a think about what I could do.

I think some of that comes from being a single man, as there do seem to be more protections in place for people with children.

I've been frugal with the redundancy payment that I got last year, but I have had to dip into some savings to pay the mortgage and meet the bills. Bills and food just seem to be going up and up.

KALPESH PATEL, 38, IT CONTRACTOR, LONDON

I am caught in a Catch-22 situation at the moment, which is why I felt motivated to speak out, but I also don't think there is a true reflection of the situation being presented through the news and through government figures.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel, or at least I have to believe that I can

I work in IT as a contractor and that means I have had to form a limited company. I haven't had any work since April, but I can't sign on because if I do then I will need to dissolve my company. If I dissolve the company then I can't look for work as a consultant or contractor.

There are a lot of people like me who are looking for work, but who are not showing up in the figures because we're holding onto our status in case we do find work. It's difficult to know how to break that circle, but there will be a lot of consultants and contractors in the same situation.

I am looking for permanent roles as well as because I don't think I could go another six months without work. I'm spending my whole time - day and night - looking on the web for work.

It is stressful and it's not helping my Crohns Disease. I don't really go out unless it is to do some shopping, and even then I have had to cut back and be very careful there. Eating a good diet when you have Crohns can be quite expensive.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel, or at least I have to believe that I can.




SEE ALSO
Jobless rise highest for 17 years
15 Oct 08 |  Business


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