I just read in the morning paper that unemployment hit 10% in San Diego county. That’s not as bad as other parts of the country — Michigan 15%; Oregon, South Carolina & Nevada hovering over 12%.

But all these facts and figures thrown out at us made me wonder — who do those number actually represent? Does the California Employment Development Department accurately account for all the people looking for work? Or just those seeking unemployemnt benefits.

I know many people who have lost their jobs, been asked to take unpaid leave or have had their salaries reduced. Many of my friends and neighbors are under-employed. A few I know have given up the hunt all together. A couple recent college graduate friends have decided to work on their master’s degrees, hoping things will improve in the next two years. How are those situations recorded in evaluating the true unemployment picture?

As a freelance writer, I’ve seen my income reduce by nearly 70 percent during the past six months. Magazine editors have fewer pages to fill as their issues shrink in size. Advertising is way down in the print media. As a result, I’m offered fewer and fewer assignments and — because of space limitations — less and less of my article queries are accepted.

So, I’m wondering how it’s going for every one else. How is the current unemployment (under-employment, part-time employment, reduced employment) situation affecting others? Has the stimulus saved your job or created a new one for you?

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