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National Unemployment Day IS HERE! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dave Howard Karen Woodward   

July 2nd is National Unemployment Day, a day set aside to celebrate the joys of not having to go to a job.  The-day-to-day grind of job hunting is a miserable, humbling experience, and National Unemployment Day is the one day to blow off your job search and take a holiday in the middle of the week. It is a day to mock cubicle trolls who daydream at the nearest window.  To giggle at the suckers slaving away in Wal Mart. To finally stop envying the postperson who gets to work in shorts.

It is encouraged to “go large” on this day, (lap dances, shoe shopping, surfing) but just chasing down your local ice cream truck constitutes participation in the holiday.

The day of July 2nd was established because of its proximity to the July 4th holiday,  a useless job hunting day right in the middle of summer.  Should July 2nd fall on a weekend, it is immediately moved to the previous workday.


The first National Unemployment Day was celebrated in Culver City, Ca in 1997. Karen
Woodward and David Howard, the founders, were looking for work when they realized that their chances of actually finding gainful employment during the week prior to the 4th of July Holiday was unlikely. So the duo pilgrimaged to the Venice Beach Boardwalk, where  they ate ice cream from local vendors, drank exotic cocktails, observed sun worshipers, meditators and rollerblading guitarists.

They had their fortunes told by local mystics for a then-substantial $10 donation. The fortunes given seemed to be prophetic. While Karen was told she was creative and would get married early; David was told he would not find success in life until after his 40th birthday, some 12 years away. For the record, Karen is still creative, but is not married. Dave just turned 40, and is unemployed.

The Legacy

Since its inception, National Unemployment Day has gained steady popularity and has been documented in many incarnations in various cities around the United States, from San Francisco to Syracuse, NY.  On this day, The Unemployed throw off their shackles of shame and remind themselves that they are human. 

Celebrations have included mid-week trips to Vegas for $14 a night hotels in downtown (The Plaza, El Cortez or 4 Queens). Participants feasted on buffets not only of the $1.99 variety but at local strip clubs where there is no cover before 6:00 pm and meals are served. Unemployment day has also been celebrated with Bonfires at Baker’s Beach until these fires where stolen by the Burning Man crowd. In New York, a trip to Broadway for a matinee of an unpopular Broadway Show with forged student IDs took place.  It is a day to get creative and exploit whatever pennies you may have in your bank and to care for the only person who really matters, YOU.

Drinking is not optional.

Those snooty fancy pants at Wikipedia have attempted to squash Unemployment Day! But here it lives forever! How are you celebrating? Send us a link to the video. Use the contact page!

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