Left Behind

Lost in the economic recovery

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Continued: Left behind: Job loss buries hopes, careers

  • Article by: ADAM BELZ , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 2, 2014 - 8:35 AM

“I knew something was going to happen,” he said. “I was hoping it wasn’t going to be me.”

Fifteen minutes later she called Cushman into a conference room.

It was the end of 2009, and Cushman, then the father of two, had been writing policies and procedures for Wells Fargo Auto Finance. The last time he had been laid off he found a job right away. This time, it took almost two years. He studied accounting, hoping to switch careers, but he needed work badly so he took a temp job processing mortgages for Wells Fargo.

“I was down to my last three weeks of unemployment when I got a job,” he said.

The mortgage market has been slow to recover since the downturn, and he lost the new job in 2013.

Cushman and his wife now have four children, including twin sons born in 2012, and they live in Cologne. His wife used to work, but now she takes care of the little boys. He applies for jobs, helps her make breakfast, tries to connect with people on the phone, attends two networking groups a week, and is hoping to take a CPA exam in the spring.

He feels like the job market is improving — better jobs are available, and job clubs he goes to are shrinking. But everything depends on him finding the right job, one that pays “what he needs to live” and offers good health insurance. So far he hasn’t found it.

“That reality seems to be a little harsher than I thought it was going to be,” Cushman said. “Until I get a job, I won’t know how harsh it is.”


Adam Belz • 612-673-4405 Twitter: @adambelz


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