A job seeker in New York fills out an application during a job fair in December. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
According to an Associated Press series published last week, the United States lost 7.5 million jobs during the recession, but in the three and a half years since it ended, the country has recovered just 47 percent of those jobs.
What’s worse: Half the jobs lost from December 2007 to June 2009 were middle-class employment, and of the 47 percent of work reclaimed, just 2 percent of those gigs pay middle-class wages, says the AP.
Among the causes, the often-fingered culprit is technology.
Even in a healthy economy, computers have increasingly assumed once-human-held work. In a wrecked economy, they’re capitalizing on it: Employers who weathered tough times over 18 months of the Great Recession learned to do more (or at least as much) with fewer humans and more automation. Now that the recovery is underway, they’re not looking back.
To put a human face to technology-caused unemployment, Yahoo! News is inviting readers who have recently lost a job (whether it’s to computer software, a factory robot or something similar) to share their stories. If technological innovation in the workplace has replaced your position, we’re interested in publishing your first-person account and possibly using it in a project.
There are two ways you can participate. Please choose one and submit your story by Friday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. ET.
1) Write your story at Yahoo! Contributor Network.
Stories that meet our criteria may be published on Yahoo! News under your byline. Learn more about what we’re looking for.
2) Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 300 to 400 words, share your first-person story of losing your job to advancements in technology and workplace innovation. Please be very detailed and include: Where you worked (company and city), for how long, what you did (be brief but detailed) and when you lost your job. What technological advancement caused you to lose your job? Please be specific. Was it new computer software? A robot? Machines? How did your company use it? Did other people lose their jobs, too? What, specifically, did the new technology do that replaced your duties?
While sharing that information, please also touch on these questions: Are you employed now? If so, what are you doing? Are you making the same wage? How long did it take you to find a job? How do you feel about technological advancements in the workplace? Do you blame your former employer? Did losing your job prompt you to get different or increased training? If so, what, specifically? Also, please include your age and where you live.
Thank you for considering participating. We look forward to receiving your first-person account.