The Company Men – Still A Current Reality For Many

It’s Monday and many of you are now at the office and working away, while thousands are home looking for employment. I recently saw The Company Men, which is now available on DVD and On Demand and was originally released in 2010. I’m not sure why I don’t remember hearing about this movie when it was in the theatre but it is an amazing film. It’s a movie about the market crash in 2008 and it’s after effects. Although, the movie is not a documentary, it’s a drama based on actual facts and happenings during that time. There are parts in the movie where you can hear President G. W. Bush speaking in the newscasts. The movie tried to portray what millions of families across the U.S. were facing – layoffs and unemployment.

The movie follows three corporate men who are trying to cope with the effects of their company’s downsizing. Each of them had a different economical status before the crash, though none were struggling. All of them had to learn how to cope, face adversity and make things happen after the crash. In my opinion, this movie depicted very close to our current history what was reality for many families at the time. I know many families who went through this and saw many people being affected by the hundreds of companies which were forced to downsize in order to survive. I highly recommend this movie!

Now, here we are almost three years later, and though many companies are not having layoffs as often as before, layoffs are still a reality for many Americans. As of July 2011, the unemployment rate is 9.1%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There are almost 14 million unemployed people in the U.S. This is an alarming number of unemployed people, many who have been searching for a job with no success for over a year. Their lack of success isn’t because they are not trying, but because there are not many jobs available to them. Companies have learned to do more with less. Meaning that many of the jobs that were cut three years ago are still not being filled. People who are currently in the workforce and haven’t experienced unemployment do not understand the difficulty of finding a job. Most of the unemployed can not just settle for anything, because they still have bills to pay and families to support. However, many are willing to do the same for less. The struggle of job searching and the lack of employment opportunities is also very well depicted in the film, The Company Men. You can check out a clip of this here.

A friend recently sent me this article, which was extremely alarming to me. The article talks about how many job sites indicate that those who are currently unemployed would be less attractive applicants. This sounds ludacris to me and a sort of a catch 22. How are people who are unemployed, most of them very educated and qualified, less attractive to employ? They are the ones who need the jobs the most. The article mentions that some employers would rather hire someone trying to make a move from another company or position rather than employing someone who has been without a job for longer than six months – that automatically removes the over 6 million people who are currently unemployed for more than 6 months. This seems like a bit of discrimination to me. It also seems highly unfair and not it’s not aiding the current situation of this country. Companies who are hiring should try to seek employment from qualified applicants, many of who are unemployed people who want to be back in the workforce. According to the article by Yahoo, The Equal Opportunity Commission has set out to find out whether employers are using this as a way to discriminate against certain groups. The article also indicates that New Jersey has recently passed a law which does not allow employment ads to rule out applications from those who are unemployed.

Here’s a trailer of the movie. I give this movie 2 thumbs up, 5 stars and any other high rating I can give it. It depicted our current history in a very honest way.

What are your thoughts on the current unemployment rate? What can companies do to help the economy and hire some of those seeking employment? Have you seen The Company Men? What are your thoughts on the film? Let’s share and discuss this very current social problem.

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One response to “The Company Men – Still A Current Reality For Many

  1. There used to be a stigma around people who were laid off before as being the bottom of the barrel, which a lot of times they were. However, nowadays I agree that a lot of very capable, educated people have been laid off. In addition, companies feel that if you have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, you have started losing the skills necessary to do the job and they will have to spend money retraining you, something they wouldn’t have to worry about when they hand pick a top performer from another company…

    In regards to the unemployment rate, although reported at 9%, I think we need to remember two very important points in this matter that could increase that number by a couple of points. First, there were a lot of people who were laid off and were forced to take minimum wage/multiple part time jobs in order to be able to support their families; and Second, a lot of people just gave up looking and either decided to stay home or go back to school. Neither one of those is counted on the national unemployment rate and are quickly forgotten.

    As far as the movie, I saw it a few years ago and I agree, it’s pretty good!

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