2: Size Up Your Situation

Need No. 2: Job Loss

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What is the average number of weeks to remain unemployed after losing a job? Click on one of the options below:

  • Less than 12 weeks
  • 12 weeks to 26 weeks
  • 27 weeks or over

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average duration for a person to remain unemployed after a job loss is just over 31 weeks, or approximately seven to eight months. 

How Do You Fare?

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You can read about the number of jobs added in the Establishment Survey Data section from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how many jobs have been added in certain sectors, but the real question is whether your emergency savings are sufficient to get you through this time. 

Starting Over After Job Loss

Aimee Schaffer lost her job as a radio news director, made a lot of cutbacks in her budget and eventually opened her own professional pet sitting service. Now she’s back to saving. Click here to read Aimee's Story.

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Aimee's Story


Aimee Shaffer worked as a Public Service News Director for radio for years until one day her employer downsized the company, resulting in hundreds of lost jobs, including Aimee’s.

Unfortunately, her contract made it so that she couldn't work for a competing local station for one full year. “I was without a steady income for the first time,” said Aimee. With the little unemployment she received, she made sure to pay her bills so she wouldn’t get behind. She also looked around for other work and accepted help from family and friends. 

To make ends meet, Aimee cut back on her spending. “For $10 I got a pass to the local parks near my house. I spent lots of time hiking and biking for entertainment instead of spending money on other items,” said Aimee. While looking for work, she took the time to reflect on her work life and decided she wanted a change. “I didn’t want to live paycheck to paycheck anymore.” She loves working with animals and decided to open up her own business as a full-time professional pet sitter.  

Shortly after starting her business, Aimee’s Ford Aspire “expired.” She talked with a friend who worked at a car dealership and discovered that she didn’t have any credit to her name in order to buy a new car. The dealership allowed her to build credit by leasing a car, and after two years of making lease payments without fail she was able to qualify for a car loan. Her loan was also approved because of her business. “My decision to work on my own paid off financially and allowed me to do something I love,” said Aimee.

A few years before Aimee lost her radio job she interviewed Elaine Courtney with Okaloosa Saves and was inspired to save for retirement.  “I didn’t think I had enough money to save but I started by putting $25-$50 away with each paycheck and now I have a nice little fund,” Aimee added. She still enjoys learning about her finances and recently attended a Women and Money course. The course confirmed that she was on the right track with her finances and gave her a free copy of her credit score for attending. “I was so happy to see that all my hard work to earn credit actually paid off.”

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