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Cassius
Aug 15th, 2003, 03:50 AM
85 Percent of Nation's 2.9 Million Jobless
Say They're Not Just Statistic

In a new Gallup poll on the dehumanizing aspects of job loss, nearly 85 percent of the nation's 2.96 million unemployed said they "agreed somewhat" or "agreed strongly" with the statement, "I am not just some mind-numbing statistic."

"I think what we found quite interesting was that the overwhelming majority of respondents, 75 percent, said they were genuinely hurt by efforts to categorize and compartmentalize their difficulties," said Gallup researcher Evan Krest. "This was particularly true of women between the ages of 30 and 49, and men who have been unemployed for six months or more."

But the most empirically moving answers, Krest added, were given by the 62 percent who said they hoped the study would finally put a human face on their anonymous plight.

"One 18-to-29-year-old woman said she was a real person with a real name and real problems that could not possibly be adequately conveyed using cold-blooded numbers," he recalled. "Unfortunately, her responses were within the margin of error of plus- or minus-3 percent, so she didn't count."