by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

My "recession" started in 2001 when the tech bubble burst. It was tough finding work, so I went back to school, figuring I would temp while finishing my BA. I am now registered with five temp agencies and willing to take just about anything that comes along. They all know I am skilled, reliable and honest - something that  seems to be in short supply in the temp world. But I am at the mercy of employers, who can ask to have me moved for any reason. Two different recruiters have told me that not only are potential employees seeking very specific skill sets, they are also specific about education now. It's no longer good enough to type quickly and accurately and know several software packages to work in an office environment. I now have to have a degree in a specific field, even if the job is data entry for three weeks to get an office caught up.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.