Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Long-Long-Term Unemployed (A Year or Longer)

A Pew Study on the Long-term unemployed --- A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment --- About 1/3 of the [counted] unemployed were out of work at least one year or longer. Data shows that once older workers lost their jobs, they were more likely to have been jobless for a year or longer --- and the older they were, the longer they remained unemployed.

Nearly 44 percent of unemployed workers older than age 55 had been out of work for at least a year, compared with 12 percent of the unemployed workers under age 20. The percentage of jobless workers (for all age groups) who had been unemployed for a year or longer in 2012 was more than twice the rate it was in 2008. However, for older workers, the long-term unemployment situation continued to worsen last year.

READ: Congressional Hearing on Long-term Unemployment for Older Workers

Older long-term unemployed workers in the U.S.

More and more studies are looking at the stress (and resulting depression) that goes along with a layoff and long term unemployment. Often, the unemployed is most likely dealing with identity loss, loss of confidence and abandonment from former coworkers and networks. With repeated rejection, feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness can develop quickly. (And long-term unemployment can kill relationships.)

READ: Long-Term Unemployed Baby Boomers in 2013

Bloomberg: Long-term unemployment is a terrible, grinding wheel from which there is no obvious jumping-off point. The longer you are unemployed, the harder it is to find a job. One of the explanations bruited for the degree of long-term unemployment is the increase in the stigma of unemployment.

One's chances of finding a job fall by half if they’ve been unemployed for over 27 weeks, though recently it’s gotten worse. Those unemployed for 27 weeks or longer are less likely to find a job than to leave the labor force altogether than find a job.

Where once when companies had formal commitments to bring back union workers, now they’d frequently rather avoid rehiring workers, especially at lower pay. Worst off may be the folks who’ve worked the longest for one employer. Decades ago, with years of seniority under their belts, they would have been the first to be hired back from layoffs. Now they may well be the those thrust deepest into the hole, with the fewest tools to climb out.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Poverty has risen because people are left without jobs after exhausting all their unemployment benefits.

I wrote Samantha Lasky at Pew: 

RE: A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment

I'd like some data on those who've been unemployed a year or longer going back to the Fall of 2008. I was laid off in October 2008 when I was 53, then exhausted all my unemployment benefits in 2010, and today (at 58) I am still unemployed.

In the last report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they say the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 4.3 million out of the 11.3 million that were reported in the U-3 rate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the long-term unemployed (those that they still count) accounted for 37.9 percent of the unemployed --- and that over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 733,000 (which I say, was more than likely because, according to the household survey, they dropped out of the labor force and are no longer being counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

I would like to know how many Americans are unemployed, who are no longer counted, that have been out of work 2, 3, 4, and 5 years (since the beginning of the Great Recession and the mass layoffs.)

I am regularly in touch by email with a group of long-long-term unemployed people around the country called the 99ers, and they are all begging for more statistics that they can't get from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The people I'm in touch with tend to be older and have different levels of skills and education.

Bud Meyers

(* To date I have not heard back from her.)


  1. Read this open letter to Senator Ted Cruz from the 55-year-old unemployed Virgil Bierschwale at Keep America At Work

  2. Expect Higher (real) Unemployment

    The IMF has released their World Economic Outlook report and projects unemployment will remain unacceptably high in advanced economies. The United States is only expected to have 1.6% annual 2013 GDP and 2.6% growth for 2014.

    But Jim Devine explains why "real" GDP must grow faster than 3 percent per year to get unemployment rates to fall --- and why anything less will lead to higher unemployment.

    America's offshorers (such as Apple, who uses contract manufacturers in China to build their iStuff) will soon be reclassified by our government as "manufacturers" rather than importers to boost the GDP numbers and to artificially lower the US trade deficit (hiding the causes of unemployment and the affects of offshoring).

  3. U-7 Unemployment Rate is 16.2% --- Millions Not Counted

  4. I was laid off in late 2009 and I still have not been able to find a job,to tell the truth I finally just gave up,you can only hear no so many times!!I am 61 yrs. old and just waiting to hit 62..