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'People always need haircuts'


The Lake Wylie Pilot recently introduced readers to Paul and Susan Hackney of Tega Cay and Amy Burton of Lake Wylie, all unemployed and looking for work. The Pilot will continue to update their progress and struggles every week until they find employment. For their stories, search "news" online at

With six unemployment checks remaining, Amy Burton is resurrecting an old portion of her resume -- her cosmetology career.

"Since the job prospects have been few and far between, I've decided it may be time to fall back on my former career," said Burton, 45, who has been a licensed cosmetologist since 1981. "A cosmetologist will always have marketable skills that cannot be outsourced to a foreign country.

"Even when the economy is weak, people still need haircuts."

The Lake Wylie resident, who has been unemployed since November when she lost her position in the drapery industry, is in the process of completing continuing education units to update the North Carolina cosmetology license. She expects to be done in May.

The Lake Wylie Pilot is providing weekly updates on Amy, along Paul and Susan Hackney of Tega Cay. All three are dealing with the struggles of unemployment.

Meanwhile, the Burton family's savings took a hit when they filed their taxes. Amy says they have to pay some federal taxes that are greater than the state refund they'll receive.

Luckily, Amy said, the family was prepared to owe money. Also, the savings through the COBRA subsidy -- more than $500 a month -- "is helping quite a bit."

"We continue to work on our budget, saving money anywhere we can," Amy said. "We don't buy anything we don't need, and we always try to get things on sale."

Over in Tega Cay, the search for employment may have been uneventful for Paul and Susan Hackney, but there were plenty of reasons to be happy.

Their 8-month-old daughter, Lily, started crawling, and Paul and Susan found time together over the weekend to go kayaking on a farm pond in York.

"She's running a 100 miles per hour," Paul said about Lily's crawling.

The couple found themselves unemployed when Paul lost his job in construction management in October and Susan lost her construction sales job last May.

Paul is optimistic about a project manager position he's being considered for with a drywall company.