American Morning

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February 1st, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Clooney film stars real people who lost jobs

Actor George Clooney is getting plenty of Oscar buzz for his role as a downsizing consultant in the new movie "Up in the Air."

The film tackles an issue millions of Americans are very familiar with right now – unemployment. Movie-goers may not realize it, but many of the laid-off workers in the film aren't actors, they're real people who lost real jobs.

Kevin Pilla, Arthur Hill and Marlene Gorkiewicz all appeared in "Up in the Air," and they joined us on Monday's American Morning.

Filed under: Economy • Entertainment
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. eddie

    Obama and his push with the justice dept on affirmative action and not jobs for all is just wrong. His friends in movie land gave big to Haiti ans so did Obama with our tax dollars, 100 million for 3 million people in need. How much per person??? Help is needed here. and it is not given to be equal to all, under Obama. The democrats pushed NAFTA and now blue collar jobs are gone. Haiti persons getting help and U.S. citizens...under Obama especially if white don't get help. A waitress on $2.50 per hour can't live on that and people who are rich just don't tip yet per tax laws the waitress has to pay tax on the tip even if not given. Honest or fair??? No one wants that low a pay.

    February 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  2. Jerome Mayo

    John it seems to me that you have a job, and you never had to get any help or assisstance from your local government. some people might have all the skills and have already attended school. anyone that works for a company pays out of the companys pocket. this is needed so don't fall flat on your face. this will help you, so you can hold on and find a job that you want.
    if the employer has to pay unemloyment to the state, and you can use it. why not, use all the funds that you paid for. eventually you will come to their senses and get a job.

    February 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  3. V Brown

    In Alabama if you are laid off and go back to school to increase your chances of finding a new job you forfeit your state unemployment even if you continue to job search while in school! So to go back to school, pay all of the costs associated with that in order to increase your job opportunities you are screwed.

    While I understand students shouldn't qualify for unemployment that shouldn't apply to those who have been in the workforce, are laid off and are back in school to acquire marketable skills and education while still job hunting. That person is not a "student" they are trying to get OFF unemployment and find a job.

    February 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  4. jirkyrick

    I get so tired of people saying that getting unemployemt extensions keeps people from taking a "job beneath them" I hope you keep your job abd dont have to take such a job. Employers will not even cosnider you once they see your resume. They wont even interview you. They say that you will leae as soon as the economy picks up.

    After getting a college degree, certificatins and gettign 20 years experinece in hi tech, nobody will hire you for minimum wage, 20K, 30K, 50K or whatever. They see your experience, look at the job and say see ya!

    I have been looking for close to a year, I am not a lazy stiff enjoying my unemployment money. It barely pays the bills and I am seeing my savings depleted.

    Until you get laid of from a professional career, you need to think befre you catagorize professionals as above working for any job.

    Besides, I don't see how takign ajob that does not pay your mortgage as helping anything,. you will default, lose your home, firther driving down home values where you own your home. You should be thatnkfull that at least unemployment is helping people to stay in their homes and not turn you neighborhood into a wasteland of defaulted homes

    February 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  5. John Bathan

    Everyone needs help sometimes, but 2 years? Why not get a 2 year degree in that time and start a new career. Unemployment benefits for two years now is the wrong step. First, it will keep people from looking for work, who would take a 'menial' job when they get the same money doing nothing? Second, when the benefits finally do stop, two + years is a long time to not have worked, how can you explain that in your resume, applications, as well as your job skills and contacts are probably long gone.

    February 4, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  6. nyleo72

    In late Oct. 2009 I was forced onto the long list of unemployed Americans (yes...forced!). I have been a Welder/Fabricator for 15+ yrs (with a 3mm cerebral aneurysm found in 2007), and from Aug. 2004 until Oct. 2009 was employed with an ESOP company in south-central new york. Due to an incident that occured in 2007 in which the business unit manager's friend/coworker of 20 yrs was removed from his position for wrong-doing, and missing 20 days of work during the months of Sept. and Oct. 2009 (while under doctors care, with all the required doctors excuses) I was fired by the business unit manager on Oct. 26, 2009. During Sept. and Oct. 2009, I had asked on 6 different occassions for time off as I knew my illness was effecting my work performance but was denied each time!! Since my termination I have contacted numeruous lawyers in regards to a "wrongful termination" suit against the company, and the states DOL, but it appears that there is nothing I can do because of the states "at-will" employment laws. This, to me, is unacceptable. No one should have to go through this type of situation! I won my case with the DOL office against my former employer, and finally, after 7.5 weeks, started receiving my UI benefits. My fight is not over, I will keep pressing local/state officials and the DOL board, in respect to changing the states "at-will" employment policies but I am only 1 person and this road IS treacherous! The change from $55k – $70k a year with great medical package to UI benefits, food stamps, and medicaid has been ungodly! Before I go, does anyone know of a grocery store in south-central new york that accepts food stamps without the cashiers looking at you like your a lazy bum??? If it werent for my Wife and 4 children and other family members, I would of gone bungee jumping in an attempt to burst the bubble in my head....

    February 4, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  7. Alexandra

    I am for sure middle class. I am a lawyer who lost her $97,000 a year job when my law firm downsized in early 2009. The legal market has simply dried up. Obama's stimulus plan has helped me immeasurably in that it subsidized my COBRA. My healthcare plan was so expensive that I could not have afforded it without the subsidy. Also, the stimulus plan extending my unemployment benefits and not taxing them has also helped. I am still unemployed – I've taken contract jobs when I have been able to find them, but there hasn't been much work out there to take. It's been a humbling experience for someone who has been an attorney for ten years, educated at a top 15 law school and a Phi Beta Kappa undergrad. I'm hardly lazy.

    I, for one, am happy with Obama's efforts and support his health care plan.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  8. duvallone

    I would love it if someone would actually put numbers on what is upper/middle and lower class. I figure I am middle class, but am sure not being helped by Obama. I think his interest is helping only those large voting blocs of entitlement/welfare classes, unions, and government workers. The things he is doing are counter-intuitive to incentivizing businesses or individuals. Stop increasing unemployment benefits, and people would take jobs they think now are "beneath" them.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  9. Desiree

    It's great to see faces put on real-life situations. We hear of a down economy and lost jobs, but those of us who have endured months or years of unemployment feel that the lawmakers and Wall Street have no idea that each lost job represents a human being, a family. As a person who has lost a job, and a career, there are few political arguments that satisfy my need: to get a job to support me the way my last one did. I'm currently making less than 50% of what I made before and working twice as hard to earn it. I'm thankful for things like this that remind us that it's not just certain types of people that have lost their jobs. Upper, middle, and lower class alike. Working class and executive class. We're all hurting.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm |