Unemployment takes its toll on Utahns

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The recent rise in unemployment to six percent in the state of Utah takes its toll on Provo locals who are struggling to get by.

Eric Penrod from Provo begins his day at six thirty every morning. “That couch gets slept on…that computer right there is for submitting resumes,” Eric said, as we walked into his living room.

Eric doesn’t begin his day like most, preparing for work. He begins his day by looking for work.

“I was diagnosed in May with a severe case of mono,” Penrod said as he recalled the sad tale.

Just two months later, Penrod was let go from his job as a tow-truck operator. “It’s been humbling…I can’t even describe to you how hard it is to get out of bed sometimes.”

This is because Penrod is not only unemployed; he continues to suffer from mono, making his job search even more difficult.

“I’ve never had to go through anything like this before and I’ve always liked working,” Penrod said.

Eric’s story is one of thousands in Utah. Like him, so many others come to the Utah Department of Workforce Services in search of work.

Fox Andersen is one of those searching. He knows a thing or two about being unemployed. “Times are getting tough, but we just gotta get tougher,” he said in regards to the recent increase in unemployment.

In his forty two years of work, Andersen has been unemployed three different times. “You’re up against a real monster and this monster’s hungry,” Andersen said of the economy.

Andersen’s experience being unemployed has taught him a valuable lesson. “It gets hard, its gets tiresome, it gets frustrating,” he said. “You’ve gotta ruck up and get a good attitude and get in there everyday.”

That is exactly what Penrod is trying to do. “I go [to workforce services] in person quite a bit.” When Penrod isn’t there, he’s online; searching, waiting, and trying to stay positive.

“Something will come along and it’ll work out,” he said as he thought about the future.

The point two percent increase in joblessness doesn’t seem like much, but it is. That’s almost three thousand more Utahans who are now unemployed.

The new jobless numbers do have a silver lining. It means the period of time people like Penrod and Andersen can get unemployment benefits changes from fourteen weeks to twenty-eight.

To learn more about the recent rise in unemployment visit http://jobs.utah.gov/edo/press/2012/092412.html

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