(NaturalNews) Looking to capitalize on the swelling ranks of unemployed Americans, greeting card company Hallmark has unveiled a new line of "job loss" cards that offer kind words of encouragement and support to those down in the dumps. The six-card line features both humorous and sensitive cards, depending on the level and type of grief being experienced by the recipient, and the company says the cards are already a big hit with customers.
The most recent U-6 figures available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal that 16.2 percent of Americans, or nearly 50 million people, are unemployed or underemployed. Underemployed means that a person has taken on a job with less than full-time hours, or one that offers significantly less pay than a previous position. The current U-6 jobless rate is also among the highest recorded throughout the past year (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.h...).
According to Hallmark, its job loss cards have been available online and in some of its stores since 2009, but they have really taken off in recent days. The company says its decision to make the cards in the first place was spurred by requests from consumers who wanted to buy such cards for their unemployed friends and family (http://corporate.hallmark.com/Current-News/M...).
"People in times of need will always need to connect," said Hallmark's Creative Director Derek McCracken on a recent episode of NPR's All Things Considered. "When the consumers have asked us for a way to connect in those difficult situations, we try to respond in an authentic way and we think that what the greeting card does is offer a bridge."
The real issue, of course, is not the cards themselves, but what they signify -- the continuing decline of the US economy. Hallmark even stated in a recent press release that the cards are "a reflection of the times," signifying the very serious and dire reality many Americans currently face.