My unemployment adventure: By comparison to almost anyone else in the US who has experienced involuntary unemployment recently I'm incredibly lucky.
I was given notice in late January that I was being laid off. Because the company I worked for falls under the federal definition of "large" they were forced to give me 60 days of notice. The way they did this was by saying I was being laid off, but still being paid as an employee with full benefits (health insurance - yay!) for 60 days. Once the 60 days was up, I'd get severance equalling 4 weeks of pay and I'd have to start paying for COBRA coverage. All in all a rather decent thing compared to many of the horror stories I've heard/read about.
The 60 days were up on March 27th and I filed for unemployment. It's really tough to describe how worthless I felt while filling out that brief online form. When my ex-boss told me about the RIF I mostly felt sad and a bit relieved that it had finally happened. I wasn't surprised. I saw it coming, had already started hoarding cash and looking for a new job. Turns out that was a really good thing to have done.
Now it's 2 weeks later and I start a new job on Monday. Unfortunately the new job doesn't provide health insurance until 30 days past the 1st of the month after you've started working. This means I'll be paying for COBRA for a while longer, but I can live with that.
Now I get to be a statistic twice. The first time for filing for unemployment, and then for ending unemployment. It's difficult to say what things look like anywhere but here, but seeing how much activity is going on in this valley (Silicon Valley) things are getting better. I can't begin to think my situation is indicative of how things will go for others but it really does make me hopeful for everyone. I'm incredibly lucky to do what I do, and live in this particular place where it's a pretty sought-after skill. I wish the same luck/karma to everyone out there who has been unfortunate enough to lose their job. I feel your pain. It is not of your own doing so please do not blame yourself.
Peace to all of you.