Hallmark launches unemployment sympathy cards

Zachary Roth
Senior National Affairs Reporter
The Lookout

A sign of the times doesn't begin to cover it ...

We've all received our share of greeting cards meant to celebrate, comfort or console us over life's big or small events: "Happy Birthday," "Get Well Soon," or "Sorry for your Loss."

But one new line of cards acts as a grim reminder of our bleak economic climate. Hallmark recently started producing cards designed to console the unemployed, an NBC station in Indiana reports.

One reads: "Don't think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time out between stupid bosses."

Hallmark has said the cards are selling well. It's not hard to see why. Although layoffs are relatively low, 14 million Americans are officially unemployed and the unofficial tally is much higher. Perhaps just as important, the average duration of joblessness is now 40 weeks--higher than its been since the 1940s. That means there's a lot of people who could use a little levity, however brief.

In fact, Hallmark might want to send its new cards to some of its former employees. At the height of the downturn in 2008, it laid off 335 employees.

On second thought, they might not see the funny side.