Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who Cares about the Long-term Unemployed?

The Washington Post (March 24, 2014) The long-term unemployed are not lazy, coddled, hammocked or enjoying a taxpayer-funded vacation. They are extremely unlucky — and getting unluckier by the day. It was already known that the longer workers have been out of a job, the lower their chance of finding work. From 2008 to 2012, only one in 10 people who were already long-term unemployed had returned to steady, full-time employment a year later. The rest had been toiling in part-time or transitory jobs or had dropped out of the labor force altogether.

Fox Business (March 25, 2014) According to a new study on the short-term unemployed, this unlucky subset of the unemployed will more likely not find a job than find one. People out of work six months or more are in a hapless situation that has little hope of changing course. They will continue to encounter difficulty finding employment even if the unemployment rate continues to fall. Only about 11% of the long-term jobless found steady employment a year later. The long-term unemployment rate in the U.S. at such high levels is somewhat of a phenomenon.

Brookings Institute (the recent study everyone has been talking about) The collapse in job vacancies, coupled with a decline in labor force withdrawal rates, accounts for the sharp rise in the number of long-term unemployed workers in 2009-13. A larger proportion of the long-term unemployed is over age 50 and is unmarried compared to the short-term unemployed.

LA Times (February 6, 2014) The odds of finding a job decrease the longer people are out of work. A person out of work for eight months will get called for an interview half as often as someone who has been out of work for just one month, even if the resumes are the same, one study has indicated.

The Atlantic (February 4, 2014) There is a near-consensus in the academic community that long-term unemployment is the most serious crisis in the U.S. job market. There are 4 million people who count themselves as long-term unemployed, more than any time on record before 2007. This number has declined in the last three years, but most of the decline is illusory. It's people leaving the jobs market, not people finding new jobs.

Slate (March 21, 2014) The hawks note that short-term unemployment is roughly back to normal, and real hourly wages are inching up. Inflation, they say, could be just around the corner. In other words: The Federal Reserve probably can’t help the long-term unemployed to begin with, nor should it risk trying. We can all probably agree that Congress is not going to step in and do something dramatic to help the unemployed find work. That makes the Fed is more or less their last hope. If it can’t help, or decides not to try, nobody will.

Media Matters (March 26, 2014) On the Fox News channel Charles Payne argued against extending long-term EUC benefits, claiming that the unemployed "have to be pushed back into the job market" and that being unemployed should not be "too comfortable."

Video from TIME -- The 99ers: The Real Lives of the Long-Term Unemployed

It seems that only the Democrats (most of them at least), unemployed Republicans, the new Fed Chair Janet Yellen, a few good people in the media who still focus on this subject, and the long-term unemployed are the only ones who really care about the long-term unemployed—even though the jobless crisis in America has touched everyone in one way or another (whether they realize it or not).

* My other posts on the long term unemployed


  1. Long-Term Unemployed Now Desperate

  2. So what must be done? Perhaps the U.S. needs to try some sort of protectionist measures in order to shield itself from unfair trade practices and currency manipulation from China. But this will never happen so long as Congress is controlled by a few fascist billionaires. Instead, corporate profits will be placed ahead of domestic jobs. Therefore, as long as the U.S. continues to embrace its unfair trade policy, there will be no real recovery from the current depression for the vast majority of Americans.

    While things may seem to look better in a few years, in actuality the billionaires' plan for the future is for the US to slowly proceed through its socioeconomic decline until the American Empire has been totally dissolved. Certainly, there will be many additional attempts to resurrect this empire... more wars will be fought, more oil will be taken from abroad, and more asset bubbles will be created. But these tricks will only delay, not prevent the continued decline of the United States. The winding down process is likely to take a few decades, but in exchange for these delays, the total damage will be irreversible. I have no reason to be optimistic about the future of this once great nation.