It’s a particularly desperate time for those with only basic language (for which read 'elementary reading') and maths skills.
One 'Friends of Literacy' call centre is reported having taken more calls in one month than in nearly all of 2007 and 2008 combined.
David Harvey is President of ProLiteracy, an international literacy agency in New York. He says most of ProLiteracy’s twelve hundred member organisations in the US have seen a rush of inquiries from people suddenly caught without a job and a basic education.
Matt Murray of the University of Tennessee’s Centre for Business and Economic Research says those workers are discovering their jobs have either disappeared or have gone overseas and that job prospects will be very bleak 'because the jobs will simply not be there'.